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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... for Thanksgiving I'm going to Ride my '06 GS1200 up to NorCal to see my Pop who's closer to his Sunset than his Sunrise... and it WILL BE raining for some part of said trip. Limited time on way up will be Freeways/Expressways (way back may involve PCH/Hwy1/L.A. and East back to PHX).
I almost put this Post in 'Crash Stories' but that seemed rather fatalistic, so apologies if it's in the wrong place on R1200GS.info :eek:P
It WILL be raining some part of this Ride I'm afraid (and that 'afraid' is not just a 'phrase'). Euro/WorldRiders don't even BLINK while rain-riding so I'm asking for some tips from anyone more expert/experienced than me in the rain, WHICH'D BE EVERY RIDER ON THE PLANET!!! I've virtually NEVER ridden in Rain. I don't want to be a granny though of course I'm sensible enough to adjust my ridinig according to conditions (and I am otherwise an above-average to a solid Rider). I'll also have New tires, moreORless proper Rain Gear via suit over warm KLIM Adventure Top/Bottoms, Gaitors, RainGloves. '06 has ABS. And I'll do some www surfing over the next few weeks about RainRidin' in addition.
Thank you in advance from any AWESOME insights from those of you that RideTheRain like it weren't no big deal.
Land vehicle Car Water Speedometer Trip computer
 

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While I don't not mind riding in the rain I do not like getting caught in the rain. I hate getting wet so if I can get my rain gear on prior to the droplets I'm a happy camper.

As for riding in the rain rule of thumb the darker and shinier the pavement the more slippery it is. The best thing to do other than getting the rain gear on before the rain is have good tires, slow down and do not do anything fast or jerky or keep the death grip on the handlebars.

I've ridden with folks that were 2-up on worn TKC 80's in a torrential downpour that were comfortable riding tight technical twisties faster in the rain than I am in the dry. Like so many things it more the Indian not the arrow.
'
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"... indian not the arrow"... I'LL BE USING THAT LINE AGAIN... SOON!!! Yes, SofSmoov&Silky is Plan 1... 2 is proper equipment and BEFORE the 1st raindrop falls!!! Have you seen MotoGP in the Rain... COMPLETELY insane ain't it. Some people are just reallyReallyREALLY good Riders!! MANY THANKS!
 

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You need to see and be seen. I put my windshield all the way down so the air hits me in the face-mask and keeps it clear. I also use Rain-x for plastics. Apply often.
Also people can't see you very well so keep that in mind. People coming up behind you can't see you unless you have a very bright tail light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Will be adding soonerNlater but not in time a sweet LED TailLight/Turn set-up... waaaary bwight!!! There's an extra setta lights back 'ar, for now and I keep an eye on my mirrors as much as the road ahead too. 'Was thinking the Rain-X too. I've gotta LebronJames WindShield and can only lower it so far though... that's a GREAT tip to lower it to keep the Helmet WindScreen clean (I also look left and right occasionally to wind off the drops the few times I've been 'caught' in rain). FREQUENT application if the Rain-X overcomes some comments I've seen on other similar Posts that speak to it 'not' working. I wonder if I have to worry about my '21 Klim Krios helmet letting Rain in... yet haven't heard anyone speak to that so I'm thinking I'll be good there. THX!!!
 

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It is not that difficult. Stay dry, dial it back from sporty throttle / braking to more of a grandma mode, and leave plenty of space around you.

The biggest issue I found with interstates and rain are the big rigs (18 wheelers). I got caught in a heavy desert downpour on I15 outside of St. George UT. Road flooded with about an inch of water in the wheel tracks so I moved to the right lane to slow it down. Everyone just kept barreling at speed. Big rigs were up my butt and people passing would throw water up hitting me from the side. I exited until things settled down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The biggest issue I found with interstates and rain are the big rigs (18 wheelers).
I'm not proud and'll exit if anything gets to hairball. Rain, Gear, MindSet, Tires... OH!!! AND THE BIG RIGS... EXCELLENT REMINDER!!!
Also I note that GrandMaws are very old... AND THERE'S GOOD REASON(S) FOR THAT!!!
 

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Two things... 1) Rain mode (if you've got it) on the bike, that helps tone down the throttle response curve; and 2) If you don't have a pin-lock face shield, use Rain-X for plastics on both the inside as well as the outside - helps prevent fogging

I've got two rain suits... a one-piece and a two-piece... one-piece has a hood that goes inside your helmet... if I know for sure I'll be in rain, I use the one piece...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
... use Rain-X for plastics on both the inside as well as the outside - helps prevent fogging
I'd liiiiiiike to think that I'd-a thought to Rain-X the INSIDE too... BUT MIGHT NOT HAVE; THX!
Yeh, no 'rain mode', but I get it on the 'smooth' word I've seen here a few times today.
Might go Balaclava or at least a neck gaitor to overcome cold/wet neck. My Ridin'Bud is going to check out my 2pc and though not AeroStich or BMW, it'll likely work well w a solid Adventure Jacket and some layers underneath. I bet ya' TWO THINGS: He'll lend me his high(er) end RainSuit and, if I remember right, 2. He'll lend me his heated vest (though I'll have to tie it into battery since BMW outlet isn't enough as I understand it).
 

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Biggest problem I've had in rain is fogging helmet face shield. If you put something absorbent around your neck and it gets wet, the moisture will be permanent in your helmet and you'll have fogging anytime you close the shield. I prefer no collar. Also, if you have a touring screen, you won't get much water on your helmet while you are on the highway. Just keep moving.

Worst time I've had was on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Speed limit if 45 and the sides of the road have no paint, so you can easily go into tall grass and very soft ground. That's just no fun when your helmet fogs...and there's no place to pull over. It's happened on 2 trips. Scary stuff. Made it through both times OK. At highways speeds, the only pucker moments come when passing trucks or when water is deep on the road. Other than that, just avoid sudden maneuvers and stops. With new tires, you can generally ride at your normal highway pace.

Oh, mind any worn areas of the lane your in where heavy trucks etc have created a low stripe where water is deep. Just avoid those low areas and you won't hydroplane. If you do run in there, keep calm and carry on. Don't panic or jerk the bike around, just steer out of it while steady on power or maybe a little decel, but not a lot.

All good! (y)

:alien:
 

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Yes that is also a good point. Cracking the visor can help with that (creates airflow along the inside surface of the visor).
Well...in this particular case, cracking open the shield resulted in rain POURING in on my face and soaking the inside of the helmet. Only happened there, heading north on BRP, I think near Marby? ..and it happened twice...Combination of wind speed/direction, amount of rain and low bike speed...a "perfect storm"? Those are the times you want a double-layer screen or Rain-X. I had neither.

I've been in a lot of rain before and since and always managed OK. Those two times were special.
 

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"... use Rain-X for plastics on both the inside as well as the outside - helps prevent fogging ..."
I have no connection to Rain-X. I just want to clarify about Rain-X. Do NOT apply the same (exterior) Rain-X water-repellent to the inside of your visor. The most common type of Rain-X (when people refer to "Rain-X") has hydrophobic property (resists to water). The water would beads up and rolls off the exterior surface with the assistance of the wind. When you apply the same Rain-X water-repellent type to the inside of your visor, the moisture beads up to tiny droplets and clings to the inner surface of your visor (which we call "fog"), which would make the condition worse. Make sure you use the "Interior Glass Anti-fog Rain-X" type. This type has hydrophilic property (attract to water) and spreads the water to the surface, preventing droplets. Here is the link to the product: Interior Glass Anti-Fog - Rain-X

There are videos in YouTube which use different materials to apply to the inside of the visor like toothpaste, or baby shampoo to prevent fogging. I do not like using toothpaste as toothpaste has abrasive material. I tried baby shampoo but had to give up because it gave me haze and halos at night. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
CRIKEY!!! ‘CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!!!

I posted effectively this Q to another forum (R1200GS.info) and was able to ‘keep up’ w responses… AT THE COST OF NOT KEEPING UP HERE (FB’s BMW R1200GS Owners), SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is/are MY takeaways… and there are MUCHO!!!.

Motorcycling in the Rain Tips
in no particular order…
hopefully helpful to others in the future!

  • Be Smooov in everything
  • RRRrreeeeee lllll aaaaaaaxxxxx…
  • Be (more) judicious with Throttle (see above)
  • Add Rear Brake more than we may/may not in Dry (50/50ish)
  • Less Lean Angle
  • More object spacing (less stopping distance available for Rider AND OTHERS)
  • Head (more) on a swivel than usual; ANTICIPATE
  • Accept more mental fatigue and adjust accordingly
  • Expensiver RainGear is generally better ‘n Cheaper
  • Lite RainGear can also be effective
  • Boot Outters
  • Glove Outters
  • Beware Road Paint/Markers and especially manhole covers
  • Remember part of RainGear is to Stay Warm (Layers, too)
  • GoreTex is miracle fabric! AND OUR FRIEND!
  • Repellent to FaceShield (specific raindrop ‘spreader’); different from next 2
  • ‘Interior Glass/Plastic’ Repellent to FaceShield (specific FOG mitigation)
  • ‘Interior Glass/Plastic’ Repellent to eye-glasses if present (specific FOG mitigation)
  • Repellent re-application often
  • Pinlock (fog control)
  • Visor-Cracking provides ‘immediate’ fog relief (usually)
  • Neck Gaitor mmiiight help stave-off water entry into exposed area
  • HiViz Jacket
  • Add (temporary) reflective tape to Bike and/or Helmet to help with visibility
  • Weather Radar is VERY useful (Wait/Stop/Push-On)
  • Since NorCal Ride, consider CalTrans ‘QuickMap’
  • AirDown by a coupla pounds (more contact patch)
  • Ensure solid and broken in tires (Street better ‘n dirt, softer better ‘n harder)
  • Avoid lane middles
  • Consider riding in vehicle-in-front tire wake v greater water elsewhere
  • Be aware there will be sliding; know your skills and apply as needed
  • Trust my platform (’06 GS w ABS… I trust her)
  • Anticipate Rain [hard(er) to don RainGear UnderOverPass w 18 Wheelers flyin’ by]
  • Darker/Shinier pavement indicates more water accumulation
  • Avoid Death Grip
  • Don’t Fear
  • Lower Bike WindScreen to allow airflow to Helmet Windscreen to dissipate raindrops
  • Windscreen ‘too’ tall; then move head side to side for airflow over faceshield (moves drops)
  • Bright Rear End (LIGHTS YA’LL w minds in the gutter)
  • Remember water fly off of others, especially the BigRigs/18Wheelers
  • It’s okay to stopNtake a break if conditions or weariness necessitates; ‘s not a race

… okay, and the prolly #1 answer was this,
and it’s SOOOOO INDICATIVE OF GSers; gotta love ‘em!!!

!!! HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE ADVENTURE !!!

Seriously, ya’ll… you’ve helped another Rider avoid get-offs, injuries and even death by taking a minute to compose a thoughtful reply and I APPRECIATE IT!
My Dad appreciates it too as he has his concerns and I chose to respect them when he reminded me of the rain up there.

Stay Calm & RIDE ON YO!!!
 

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Agree and I use MyRadar...but in those days, I think 2000 or 2001? I didn't have a smart phone and there was no MyRadar.

Weather was quite nice when we entered BRP in Cherokee, NC. The 3 of us got split up for a while and the weather turned. I was on my own in this sudden spring downpour and fog. These guys had both told me, "I've never ridden BRP where it didn't rain somewhere." Well, it rained. Oh my!

If the road had stripes on the edges, I think I'd have been fine, but no stripes, fog on these hills and on the shield, hard rain and low light was all conspiring to try to make me ride onto that soft shoulder covered in tall grass where I knew I'd sink down to exhaust pipes and fall over. I slowed way down and tried a lot of quick combinations of ducking under the touring screen of my '99RT and moving the shield and windscreen to various angles to find a way to see. Finally just opened the shield and gave up trying to keep the rain off my face. Ouch, rain hurts on your face! I didn't want to stop because visibility was pretty bad even for cars and I would have been stopped in the road...no shoulder, not that there was much traffic, but it only takes one.

...In cases like this, you just press on and say your prayers. I guess that's why they call it Adventure?
 

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I'm an instructor in the UK and ride in the rain a lot, everyone has covered all of the points needed, plenty of space to the vehicle in front, treat your visor, good wet weather gear, if your boots leak gortex socks are amazing.

The biggest thing for me is attitude, you have to embrace it, if you start out thinking "this is going to be a terrible ride" it will be, as someone has already said, you can ride a bike almost as hard in the rain as in the dry but you need confidence in your bike, tyres ability, starting off with the right mental state goes a long way to giving you that confidence.

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Don't want to scare you out of a ride in the rain. It's not usually so bad. Even when it is, the ideas above are mostly great.

I always carry rain gear with me. I usually out west in summer, I take a good mesh riding outfit and use rain gear as a layer for cold weather (mountains) as well as rain protection. Layers under mesh don't usually do a lot of good because wind goes right through, but rain gear is pretty much wind-proof, so you get the effect of a normal Gortex all-weather outfit but mesh only is much cooler in summer heat.

Rain gear is pretty handy! It doesn't require a lot of room to store. The other great thing about an outer rain gear setup rather than a waterproof inner layer is that your outer suit isn't soaked. When the rain stops, you freeze as all that water in your outer layer evaporates. Better to have it just blow off you.

Oh, Craig, just one more tip. Don't take photos on your bike in the rain!!! Too many distractions already! Have a great trip.

:alien:
 
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