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UTC quote
I figured for sure there would be some topic posted by another paranoid newbie but after looking in the search function for "rain riding" I, to my surprise, didn't find anything. Anywho, Looks like I may need to ride home in the rain for the first time tomorrow and I really don't want to. I have been riding for 4 months now and riding in the rain just does not compute in my mind. How can a 300lb 2 wheeler stay upright on slippery, cold roads? I would appreciate any words of wisdom/"don't do this" type comments as well as words of encouragement. Peace.
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UTC quote
I asked nearly the same question to a long-time motorcycle riding friend of mine when I bought my motorcycle. He told me, "It may not seem like it, but you just have to trust that the grip is there."

He was right.

Just keep in mind that it's still soft rubber on rough pavement - not ice.
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UTC quote
I just take everything slower....
Do not tailgate.....
Take your time.....
Wait for the rain to let up a bit....
Ride with a full face, to keep rain off the face...
Buy a windowshield....
Watch out for cagers that cannot/will not stop...
Bring along a towel to wipe everything off
Have a cover for your bike and or seat....or covered parking...
Keep rainpants and rainsuit along....

Nothing wrong with a little rain, as long as your carefull, downpours are no fun though....
@oldswimcoach avatar
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UTC quote
I always wear reflective vests or reflective strip belt (across shoulder to waist).

Riding in the rain stings without a windscreen - but slow it down some and you'll be fine.

Being seen by other drivers is your most important safety tool - wear a vest or belt.
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@ummgood avatar
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UTC quote
I haven't seen this yet in your post but you should wait for around an hour after the rain starts before riding. That first hour is the most dangerous time to ride as the oil has lifted from the surface but hasn't had a chance to be washed off the roadway yet.

I have ridden in the rain since I bought my scoot in August and it is more secure than I thought it would be.
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UTC quote
I'd have to basically agree with what has been said... Full-faces can fog up in the rain, so keep that in mind, and get some rain pants (most jackets are somewhat rain-resistant).

Grip has never been a problem, just don't lock that front wheel!
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UTC quote
During my MSF course in Florida, it rained the entire time we were on the range for the first day. I am like you and have no plans to purposely ride in the rain. Having said that, it made no difference whatsoever as to how the scoot performed, tire grip or anything of that nature. It was miserable ... but aside from that, it was easy enough.
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UTC quote
Once it's been raining for awhile, just take it slow and don't worry. You'll do fine. Folks in Europe ride their Vespas year round and ony see about 100 days of sunshine.

I once spent a September in England, for example, and the forecast every day was "cloudy with bright intervals." Translation: pouring rain with an occasional patch of blue sky in the far distance.

Be very cautious when it first starts raining. As noted above, the first rain lifts oil out of the road surface and makes things slick -- just a little sometimes but it's often really bad on busy roads if it's been a long time between rains. You can stop at a light, put your foot down and feel it go out from under you like you're on glare ice.

Other than that, get some rain good gear and then just take it easy and enjoy the fact that everybody thinks you're crazy riding in the rain.

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
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Hooked
'01 ET4
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UTC quote
just my 2 cents: once when i was caught having to ride home in the pouring rain with an open face helmet--i just wore a bandana like a train robber & found it made a world of difference for my stinging (face) cheeks!
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UTC quote
ummgood wrote:
That first hour is the most dangerous time to ride as the oil has lifted from the surface but hasn't had a chance to be washed off the roadway yet.
Too right, after 10,000 upright miles in three years I found myself sliding across the road in Hyde Park a week ago. Still have no idea why I came off, assume it was fresh rain and oil, I can't have been doing more than 20-25 mph.

Did the British thing, dusted myself down and made sure no-one saw. Didn't want to create a fuss or anything. I do ride a bit more carefully in fresh rain now.
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@ummgood avatar
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UTC quote
GilesMDavis wrote:
ummgood wrote:
That first hour is the most dangerous time to ride as the oil has lifted from the surface but hasn't had a chance to be washed off the roadway yet.
Too right, after 10,000 upright miles in three years I found myself sliding across the road in Hyde Park a week ago. Still have no idea why I came off, assume it was fresh rain and oil, I can't have been doing more than 20-25 mph.

Did the British thing, dusted myself down and made sure no-one saw. Didn't want to create a fuss or anything. I do ride a bit more carefully in fresh rain now.
Hopefully everything is okay with you. Before I rode 2 wheels I used to have a rear wheel drive car with more than 300 Horsepower and I had the same problem with traction in the rain for the first hour in that thing so it not only is dangerous for you to keep traction but you also run the risk of a cager hitting you.
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UTC quote
Thanks for the concern. My parka was a bit scuffed, bike a bit scuffed, pride a bit dented, confidence knocked.

Other than that, I was and am fine.
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UTC quote
Bikes have more traction in the rain than you might imagine:


External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text


That said, I'd follow the advice above and ride like it is slippery. Be especially careful of metal construction plates, rail lines, and the big white plastic arrows that are glued to the road - when wet they are slippery as snot.
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UTC quote
Though grip on asphalt is still good, do be careful around wet leaves, wet paint (center line striping, etc.)

Advice for keeping slow is very good - also keep it smooth, especially braking.

And most important - be hyper aware of your surroundings, make sure the cagers see you. Reduced visibility is the greatest danger in the rain.
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UTC quote
Get one of these. I actually saw one in SF the other day. The verdict is still out about it.

I personally don't like riding in the rain. Only did it once and it was enough. But if you have to, then follow the advice from everyone who responded. Definitely get rain gear. I was caught in the rain and got soaked. Not fun...

Ride safe,
Can-Am Spyder
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UTC quote
Some of these have already been stated, but here are the basics:

Use front and rear brake more evenly (instead of the usual 60/40%)
Ride in the tire lines in your lane (between the tire lines is more slippery due to oils and fluid from cars).
Give other vehicles more space then usual.
Be careful on painted road lines, they are very slippery, so try to go over them upright.
Try to avoid riding within an hour or so after the rain starts (especially if it hasn't rained in a while- oil rises to the surface of the road).
If you start to slide the rear and/or front wheel, don't panic and hit the brakes. Give the bike a little bit of throttle and ride it out.

And yeah, you actually have a lot more traction in the rain with modern moto/scooter tires then you think. Having said that, don't over do it...be smooth and confident and you'll be fine.
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UTC quote
Cut down on speed, leaning into corners, your stopping time is lengthened and visibility reduced.

Avoid manhole covers, leaves, sticks and read the road ahead.

But really, it is not too bad. Just don't go ahead with "likeabatouttahell" running through your head. I had the misfortune to ride in a storm and it worked out alright. Soaked to the skin, but the ride was fine.
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Hooked
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UTC quote
Just take it slow and increase your following distance. Your braking is reduced as well. I have ridden in the rain and I always pack a poncho and a bungee cord in the pet carrier. Just go slow and ride safe.
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UTC quote
If I didn't ride in the rain, my riding season would be awfully short. Follow all the good advice above & use common sense & you should be ok. Now I'm off to ride through the rain & wind
@558 avatar
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UTC quote
Relax your speed.

Plan corners "okay i'll go around that drain, do the turning, watch out for the second drain, and not give it too much throttle until well clear of the second drain."

Wear a high-vis if you have one ( and when they are £1 each from tesco nobody has an excuse).

Watch out for lines and cats eyes.

And be gentle with the bike but have confidence.
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UTC quote
Visibility
Since everyone has provided such fine advice, I figure I'll [visibility] skip the formalities and say that [visibility] I do not mind riding in the rain [visibility].

In fact, I rather enjoy scooting in the rain if I am not hurried. The whole world calms down. I stay relaxed and get focused. Quite the Zen experience, if you will. My brain goes a mile a minute. The second I have to pull more focus on the road, the more calm I am, and the more I simply enjoy the experience.

Also, being seen as an "all weather rider" builds "street cred" with other bikers on your route. When I started a new commute recently, I was ignored. But as I ride the year/weather out, I notice I gain a lot of respect from the street bikers in my region. I think (ever so vainly), that since I don't see them on their bikes, they must be in their cages watching me ride... wishing they were me LOL.
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UTC quote
Just be careful!
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eeeee bip
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UTC quote
choice
Or just get in the car and drive to/from work, turn the stereo up a bit and adjust the air con. Relax and enjoy in the toasty warm. Keep nice and dry while looking out for scooter riders.
Sorry I couldn't resist.
Billy-no-scoot
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Granturismo
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UTC quote
grip in the rain is all about the tires.. my 460bhp vette still sticks hard in pouring rain, but im running good tires. Iv had to drive a few times in the rain in my first 1000 miles upright...seems that pacing yourself is the main pro trick.
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Can you use rain-x on the helmet visor or is there some other product out there?
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UTC quote
osteopath wrote:
Can you use rain-x on the helmet visor or is there some other product out there?
If you turn your head slightly, the rain flows away. Go left, then right, and repeat until the water has beaded off. If lazy, wipe it.

I'm going to the International Motorcycle Show in San Mateo in December. I believe a vendor will sell stuff like rain-x. Vinicio wants to ride up Sat so we can test some bikes. Wanna come along?
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UTC quote
check out the elkskin gloves aerostitch sells w/ the integrated squeegee on the the thumb.

greatest thing since sliced bread/ipod/10megDigiCams/arduino/angelieJolie/etc/etc...

\osc
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@osteopath avatar
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UTC quote
how much is the show? Sure I'd like to come if you guys don't mind me tagging along on my scoot while you guys jet in with your Ducatis
@michael_moore avatar
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Molto Verboso
GTS(me)/GTV(wife)
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UTC quote
osteopath wrote:
Can you use rain-x on the helmet visor or is there some other product out there?
Yep, but there are a couple of Rain-X products out there. The normal Rain-X for the outside of the shield, and Rain-X Fog for the inside of the shield. Of the two, I'd say the anti-fog is more useful, as fogging is the most annoying thing about rain riding.

Alternatively, you can use this neoprene thing called the Respro Foggy that fits in your helmet and keeps the shield from fogging.
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UTC quote

I've ridden in the rain quite a few times - from a downpour to that stuff that just makes you "wet" and uncomfortable.
Don't ride in the rain unless you feel confident to do so - it is better to avoid it if you can.
Anything wet / shiney / slippery is a potential death trap from oil / grease or road markings unfortunately - so is vision (if it's bad enough that you can't see more than a few metres in front of you don't take the chance, pull up).
Cagers pulling away from stop lights or pulling out of Service Stations (LOOK OUT).
BUT if you have no other choice, keep your wits about you (as you would normally) and to reiterate what has been stated above, don't tailgate, wear a full face, safety clothing, avoid the "greasey strip", brake nice and easy well in advance of any hazard (if possible).
If you happen to fish-tail as I did once, I used both brakes (more of the front than the rear) and pulsed it. Even though I didn't end up going exactly where I wanted to go I managed to pull up safely to compose myself and take a deep breath.
Loads of us on MV ride in the rain and it's not my favourite riding experience but it's better that you know how to handle it rather than one day finding yourself caught in it.
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UTC

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2010 GTS 300 and some motorcycles
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@goofy_foot avatar
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UTC quote
There is a "fog city" visor liner that completely stops fogging. You put it on like a huge sticker on the inside of your face-shield and you'll never see fog again. I love these because I don't have to reapply anything and, best of all, I can lock my face-shield down tight so I stay warmer and still not worry about fogging the visor.
@ollie avatar
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GT 200 "Ollie"
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Location: Seattle
 
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UTC quote
Living in Seattle for the first year, I appreciate all of the advice given! I agree that the 5 or 6 times I've ridden in the rain, I really enjoyed it. It does seem to slow time down and it is really relaxing. The fogging up is bad and I'm thinking of trying the stick on product. Thanks again.
@michael_moore avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
GTS(me)/GTV(wife)
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Location: Mill Valley, CA
 
Molto Verboso
@michael_moore avatar
GTS(me)/GTV(wife)
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UTC quote
goofy_foot wrote:
There is a "fog city" visor liner that completely stops fogging. You put it on like a huge sticker on the inside of your face-shield and you'll never see fog again. I love these because I don't have to reapply anything and, best of all, I can lock my face-shield down tight so I stay warmer and still not worry about fogging the visor.
Don't you find the reflections at night a problem with the Fog City? I had one for a while but took it off b/c oncoming headlights made it pretty hard to see.
@2011super avatar
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@2011super avatar
2021 GTS 300 Touring
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UTC quote
If you are ever having trouble searching for a topc like riding in the rain you can also do a Google search that looks like this.

rain and riding site: modernvespa.com
@starreem avatar
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07 GTS250(RIP), 13 GTS300, Several Lambrettas
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@starreem avatar
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UTC quote
Great advice. That should be a sticky or a FAQ
2007GTS wrote:
If you are ever having trouble searching for a topc like riding in the rain you can also do a Google search that looks like this.

rain and riding site: modernvespa.com
@cynner avatar
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UTC quote
osteopath wrote:
Can you use rain-x on the helmet visor or is there some other product out there?
I use Rain-X on the outside, and Zooke on the inside. I also use Zooke on my glasses, 'cause they get foggy too.
@wangta avatar
UTC

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@wangta avatar
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UTC quote
Michael Moore wrote:
Be especially careful of metal construction plates, rail lines, and the big white plastic arrows that are glued to the road - when wet they are slippery as snot.
+1000000000000

Nothing worse than turning and having to ride over a wet manhole cover. Seriously - those are really really slippery, if you're leaning too hard or going too fast, the bike can get out from under you within a second. Make sure to straighten the bike for a second until you're past the danger, then continue turning.
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