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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

The last couple of days its been extremely rainy in Miami and I have got stuck in a few unavoidable showers. Im very familiar with 400-700 hp cars but when it comes to bikes I'm pretty clueless and tend to be overly cautious when on two wheels. My last bike was a Ninja 250r and I luckily only got stuck in one bad weather situation.

Some of the things that terrify me are

-switching lanes over the painted line
- large painted arrows when coming into a 90deg turn
-middle of the lane (oil)
-emergency braking or braking to hard on anything paint
-hydroplaning over puddles

So here comes my question what are some do's or dont's when riding in the rain or on wet roads?
 

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A front wheel lock up is more possible in wet conditions. Give yourself more time to stop at lights etc. Painted lines are usually harmless unless you're turning over them. Switching lanes shouldn't be harmful. As for the Grom in the rain. I lock up the rear every stop just for giggles and slide to a stop.
 

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Yeah ride like a grandma is a good start. Better to get home a little slower than go down.

Switching lanes over the painted line, I can't say I've even noticed a difference in this.

As for the oil in the road I have read it's the worst when it just begins raining, once it been raining for a while some will have runoff. Some spots, right up by the lights will still be the worst so ride like a grandma,

Emergency braking, find a straight section where you can practice, all the better if it has some paint too to test that. Look for a empty area of a parking lot.
 

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Hi guys,

The last couple of days its been extremely rainy in Miami and I have got stuck in a few unavoidable showers. Im very familiar with 400-700 hp cars but when it comes to bikes I'm pretty clueless and tend to be overly cautious when on two wheels. My last bike was a Ninja 250r and I luckily only got stuck in one bad weather situation.

Some of the things that terrify me are

-switching lanes over the painted line
- large painted arrows when coming into a 90deg turn
-middle of the lane (oil)
-emergency braking or braking to hard on anything paint
-hydroplaning over puddles

So here comes my question what are some do's or dont's when riding in the rain or on wet roads?
Everything you've mentioned above, with exception to hydroplaning as motorcycles tires are rounded profile wise and are much more difficult to do than a car, are things to be aware of in rain. However the easiest advice to handle those events are to avoid them when possible by riding simply in the areas around them and more importantly simply staying as upright as possible during the times you have to ride over them and not doing anything sudden by leaving yourself a little extra room.

The advice earlier of waiting for a while after the rain first starts to let it wash the first layer of crap off the roads is spot on as well.

But in reality riding in the rain isn't a big deal once you get used to it. Just make all your inputs and motions slower and more deliberate (don't stab at the brakes, nail the throttle, turn sharply and quickly), try to keep the bike as upright as possible by leaning your body more into corners than the bike and just be relaxed. Half of the time people have issues in rain because they are so tense they stab at the brakes and break traction when if they simply eased on and gradually increased pressure, they'd have been fine.

I did a track day last season in the rain and couldn't believe how much fun it was and how much traction I had, even on a liter bike, in the pouring rain on a tight, second gear only, twisty track. You are riding a Grom as well: it won't do anything YOU don't tell it to do and sure as hell won't over power the tires on its own so practice braking in a wet parking lot, practice your turns while keeping the bike more upright, and practice being more comfortable with slightly less traction and you'll be fine.

Mike
 

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change the stock tires on the Grom to Michelin Pure Sports which is a better rain tire. The smaller/lighter motorcycles then to slide more to the edge of the road or out side/far right side of the road if the roads were design like Calif roads where the high spots were in the center of the roadway on a two-way road as to have a better run off of the rain water and this tends to slide the lighter bike towards the right.

That is how it was when I rode my 1987 YSR-50 to work in Northern Calif, it could also be that at those years there weren't much Hi-tech tires for small/lighter motorcycles that could have good grip on wet roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I feel it get a little light when I go over the painted parts in the roads but maybe its all in my head. I see people hauling in the rain and I can't believe such a small contact patch has so much grip. My 400 whp bmw breaks loose in the rain like nothing :/
 

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I feel it get a little light when I go over the painted parts in the roads but maybe its all in my head. I see people hauling in the rain and I can't believe such a small contact patch has so much grip. My 400 whp bmw breaks loose in the rain like nothing :/
I ride my 99 Hayabusa in the rain or shine and in the winter time at my work place there would be only two or three motorcycles in the parking lot me and I guy on a Suzuki Bandit and another guy on a yamaha.

My Hayabusa has 160rwhp and I use BT 016 tires and now O23. I ride in the rain ave around 65-90 mph with full down pour with no problem. I do not lean over in the sweepers like I do in the summer/hotter weather. You just have to be careful with water on your disk brakes and look out for idiots talking on their cell phone, changing their CD in the CD player or changing the radio station. Watch out for women putting on make-up while driving also.

you have to ride your motorcycle like everyone around you is trying to run you off the road.

Ride safe and use good riding gear.
 

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I feel it get a little light when I go over the painted parts in the roads but maybe its all in my head. I see people hauling in the rain and I can't believe such a small contact patch has so much grip. My 400 whp bmw breaks loose in the rain like nothing :/
The Stock Grom tires are crap so swapping them will help; decent tires in the wet make all the difference. But they do work OK for what they are.

You are feeling the bike get slightly out of shape on paint, no way it can provide the level of grip dry pavement can, so it's not ALL in your gap head. However like I mentioned earlier your rain survival is: ride smooth, practice and when you see painted surfaces move off to the side of them. You'll do fine.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Stock Grom tires are crap so swapping them will help; decent tires in the wet make all the difference. But they do work OK for what they are.

You are feeling the bike get slightly out of shape on paint, no way it can provide the level of grip dry pavement can, so it's not ALL in your gap head. However like I mentioned earlier your rain survival is: ride smooth, practice and when you see painted surfaces move off to the side of them. You'll do fine.

Mike
This is what I have been doing. It's nice knowing what the bike can handle and what I can actually handle ;)
 

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Braking is of course more dangerous in the rain, but to give you an idea of how slippery the stock tires are...the mighty Grom's 9hp is sufficient to spin the rear wheel in first gear, under power. And I'm 200lbs.
 

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I bought my MSX at the same time as a friend who has a lot more experience with bikes then i and although i have avoided riding in the wet, he did a few times since then.

His opinion is that the stock tires are really not safe on a wet road and i believe him no question. Just look at the tires, there are so few voids that water cannot be evacuated efficiently.

So my best advice if you plan riding in the rain is to first change the stock tires for something better designed. Then practice and get used to your bike in a wet environment.
 

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When possible stay out of the middle of the road rain or shine. That is where autos drool and dribble various fluids. Wear a "neon green" "Hi-Viz" helmet. looks like crap but it makes you much more visible. A reflective vest made for motorcycle use helps also.
I also endorse getting "soft" rain tires. You wont wear them out that much faster than the hard compound tires and on some bikes the soft ones will last as long since you are less prone burning the tire through slippage.
 

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best suggestion is dont, and use alternative means of transportation

when i was moto only for 2x years, riding in the rain sux and is really a last resort, plan extra time for your commute, dont rush anything, first rain = bad drivers, rain in general = bad drivers behaving worst.

take it slow - you do want to arrive in 1 piece, soaking wet maybe but in 1 piece
 

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By no will of my own I did my first rain ride today (rained right before I got off work, [email protected]*#!). I was taking it super easy barely leaning over and both the front end and rear both started squirming on wet asphalt at the apex of a turn. I couldn't believe how early it started getting loose! It felt like I only had 1/4 of normal traction and that almost sounds generous.

Based on that I'm going to be more careful about checking the forecast as, while I feel I can drive myself around safely in the rain, I have barely any margin for error just keeping up with traffic and would be unable to avoid the crazies who like to come out in the rain.
 
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