4 tips for riding a motorcycle in the rain.
Not everyone loves the rain… Honestly, we must admit that Ecuador is one of the best countries to ride a motorcycle all year round. But driving a motorcycle in the rain is something else because we don’t like to get wet. Even if it rains, you have to ride the bike!
We do encourage you not to stop enjoying a wonderful trip because riding a motorcycle in the rain is not as satisfying as on a sunny day. Nobody doubts that you will be more vulnerable if you drive only on two wheels, and much more on wet asphalt or wet ground: poor visibility, slippery, wet ground, etc. For this reason, we are going to give you four tips so that you do not have problems when riding a motorcycle in the rain. (Ecuador is one of the best countries to ride a motorcycle all year round. (Even if it rains, you have to ride the bike!)
- Drive the motorcycle according to the intensity and amount of rain.
Driving motorcycles according to the amount and intensity of the rain greater than the force of the water, the state of the asphalt, the grip. The worst happens when a spark begins and not when it rains hard. In this case, the water will soften the dirt on the floor, creating a very slippery greasy layer that will cause problems for any pilot.
- Safety distance in case of rain
Always being at a safe distance at any time with your motorcycle is good and even more so if it is raining. The safest thing is to keep twice the normal distance, about 100 meters, for two reasons: first, to gain time to react well in advance, and second, to prevent the water from rocking the wheels of the car in front.
- How to brake in case of rain
If you don’t usually use the rear brake, now is the time to get in the habit. The ideal in these cases is to touch the rear first to contain and then the front to stop. Relying on all the effort on the front caliper is a bit risky, as you can easily lose the front part when locking (low-side the bike). On the other hand, try not to break in the middle of a curve, do it sooner. The best trick for this is to anticipate the turn and slow down so you don’t have to brake or change direction when you’re already in a curve.
On days of heavy rain, puddles can overly wet the brake discs and form a liquid layer between the disc and the pad, which acts as a lubricant. In the event of unexpected braking, the braking capacity will be significantly reduced. In addition, the levers have more travel and the touch is very spongy. Repeatedly acting on them as a pump helps them regain the initial touch. Although it seems impossible, a sudden change in temperature can cause the disc to bend slightly (for example, when driving through puddles with hot brake discs).
The well-known ABS (Antilock Brake System) prevents the wheels from locking in the event of heavy braking. It consists of a pump incorporated into the brake fluid circuits and some sensors that control the revolutions of the wheels. If one or both wheels suddenly reduce their revolutions during sudden braking, the ABS detects this and interprets that the wheels are about to lock without the vehicle having stopped. This means that the vehicle will begin to skid and slide on the ground uncontrollably. To prevent this from happening, the sensors send an automatic signal to the ABS system control unit that reduces the pressure applied to the brakes.
- How to prevent the helmet from fogging up?
The difference in temperature between the hot air that we exhale when breathing and the cold outside causes the helmet screen to fog up. This is a serious problem because you will quickly lose your vision and have to lift the screen. To avoid this, it is recommended to open it slightly to allow air to enter, use a pin or a nasal mask. The pin lock is a small screen with a silicone edge that adheres to the inner surface of the helmet screen, creating a sealed air chamber to prevent fogging. For its part, a nose cover prevents the air that we expel through the nose from hitting the screen, which always causes the screen to fog up. The sum of both elements will greatly minimize the appearance of fogging. The ideal is to use a clear screen, leaving the smoked/tinted ones for the summer since the luminosity with water decreases a lot. You also have to be careful with the fog from the mirrors, when entering a tunnel it is very easy for them to fog up, for example.
These tips will make your ride under the rain a bit safer. Then again, our mission in your tour is for you to enjoy yourself, there’s always a “plan B” to take.