For the average commuter, rain makes moving around annoying. For motorbike riders though rain makes life utterly miserable. People will tell you they are fond of rain but no motorbiker will ever tell you they enjoy riding in the rain. Therefore here are some tips that will help you decrease the misery of riding your motorbike in the rain whilst also providing essential safety tidbits to keep you and those around you safe.
Your regular clothes will get soaked in the rain in no time so it is essential to carry rain proof clothing with you especially during the monsoon season. Look for water resistant clothes or covers which not only keep the water away from your body but are also breathable thus allowing for air circulation. A rain coat will work too in a pinch but if you plan on riding in the rain often it is best to have the proper gear. Getting soaked to the bone combined with the cold can make you sick and uncomfortable pretty quickly.
Visibility is also poor in rainy weather so ensure the clothes you wear are high visibility or reflective so that everyone on the road can easily see where you are.
Wear A Helmet With Visor
You should always wear a helmet and other accessories when on a motorcycle regardless of if you are the passenger or the rider. But when it is raining, you will be sorry if you don’t have a visor. At speeds exceeding 50kmph will physically hurt your eyes and face. Glasses can save you from some of the needle like raindrops but a proper visor is your best option.
Ensure Good Health Of Tires
Every wondered what the zig zag patterns on your tires do? These patterns or treads are responsible for displacing water from the road when you are moving. This makes the vehicle grip the road better and reduces chances of slipping. Over time the treads get worn down and so the wheels can no longer grip the road effectively making a recipe for disaster. Always keep a close eye on your tires along with other auto parts and accessories and replace them before they cause you harm.
In rainy conditions the road becomes slippery. This is especially true if it rains after a long period of dryness meaning you should exercise extra caution. Applying the brakes too hard could cause your tyres to skid which can be a scary and dangerous experience. The safest thing to do is to have more distance between you and the vehicles in front of you thus allowing for more time to gently brake to a stop. If it is an emergency and you must brake, do so by pumping the brake.
Be Cautious Around Bumps & Puddles
This is some very basic knowledge that one must have in order to ply the roads safely. Puddles may seem fun but they can often hide deep potholes or even worse. Going through one of these hidden potholes at speed can easily throw you off your bike and cause serious injury. If you are keeping up with the numerous traffic posts on Facebook, you may have even come across some pictures of entire motorbikes devoured in these potholes.
Speed breakers, bumps and even railway tracks must be approached with caution. Try tackling these hurdles as straight as possible as there is a chance of slippage especially over materials like metal. Take it slow and keep your balance. Another thing to keep your eyes open for are rainbow like splotches on the road surface. This happens when there is oil on the road and this can cause disaster if you are not careful. Avoid going over these.
Bonus Tip: Take Shelter When There Is Lightning
You may think that the rubber on your tyres will keep you from getting zapped in a thunderstorm but that is a complete myth. Water conducts electricity very well and when you are soaked and there is lightning going on around you, you could get seriously hurt. Reports of motorbike riders losing their lives to lightning strikes do not show up often but every year motorcyclists do die from lightning strikes. Therefore it is best to take shelter during such situations. If you find yourself in the middle of a lightning storm, stop riding and head for cover. Avoid trees or long poles as these are magnets for lightning.