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Tips for riding in the rain

I ride in the rain a LOT. did 100 miles of joy riding today in the rain as well...no slides, no issues, no heart stops.

takes a lot of practice. not just practice, but it also takes learning proper body positioning and the likes. there's really a lot involved, and the best way is to start SLOW.

1) tire pressure! i'm running 30psi on my BT014 front right now and the same on my rear metzeler racetec K2. i suggest you bump yours down to about the same for rain riding.

2) throttle! *important* not only do you have to keep yourself in check and be really smooth when you're getting on the gas as you apex/exit a turn...but you also have to compensate for your somewhat limited traction when you're coming into turns. get off the throttle sooner!

3) brakes! here's where it gets tricky... lemme break (nyuk!) it down for ya (also applies to dry riding...which is kinda like dry humping.. just different): you've got 100% of available traction in a straight line, right? when you start to lean, you're ticking away % marks the farther you go... off the top of my head, i know pilot powers are "rated" at 41 degrees of lean angle in the wet. that means at 41 degrees of lean angle, you're using 100% of available traction, and you've got none left...hence, you speed up, you low-side. you get on the brakes...you low-side.

say you were only at 35 degrees of lean...using roughly 80% of your available traction...that means you've got 20% left to play with on the brakes. you can only get on the brakes so hard, else... boom+skitter-skitter.

you've also got a rear brake...don't forget about that one, as when riding in the rain, i put my rear brakes to good use. you first gotta learn em though. if you start riding around and start stabbing at the rear brake incessantly and with disregard to pressure sensitivity and the likes... well..you're gonna fall down. PRACTICE! practice in a straight line though. it's best to get ALL your braking done before you start to turn-in when riding in the wet anyhow. pretty much in the dry too, unless you've got somewhat advanced skillaz (like me!). brakes are important. it's best to go into a turn too slow than it is to go in too fast. wet or dry.

4) BODY POSITIONING! fucking key element right here, people! it's IMPERATIVE that you get this shit right! hang off the bike! why? cause it allows you to keep the bike more upright whilst maintaining the same speed at the same radius around the same corner than if you were sitting square in the seat. did that make sense? it did to me.

easiest way to give you a visual without...well...a visual... would be to say:

-a) inside elbow pointed straight down at the ground.
-b) outside arm straight...inside of outside arm should be resting on the tank or close to it.
-q) turn your shoulders INTO the turn (i.e., face the direction you want to go with your chest... you chickas out there should be shining your headlights gloriously in the intended direction of travel).
-f) look through the turn! lead with your face.
-w) get your inside cheek off the seat. don't cry about how it makes your legs hurt. shut it! just do it! it's gonna help keep you from sliding the bike around and going into on-coming traffic.
-nine) toes on the pegs. nothing worse than dragging your toes into the asphalt, upsetting the chasis/suspension/you. i've personally found that i feel much more planted on the bike and much more stable if i rotate my inside foot so that my toes are on the tip of the peg, and the heel of my boot is up and pushing on the heel guard of my rear-sets. that allows me to put the arch of my foot on the outside peg and apply pressure to the outside peg...which...you should be weighting the outside peg just before you apex, and all the way through the exit.

4.2) BODY POSITIONING.2! relax! it's gonna be okay! as long as you stay relaxed and light on the bars, keep your speed down, and make smooth throttle and brake inputs...you're gonna have a good time riding in the rain.

5) in closing... riding in the rain is really gonna help you out when riding in the dry. you're gonna eventually (if you haven't already) come across leaves in the road, gravel, dirt, animal carcasses, tic-tacs, shoes, and maybe even a pair of pliers, and run it over. sometimes there's just no getting around it safely. it's gonna happen. and because you're an experienced rain rider who's become accustomed to the feeling of little to no traction, you're not going to panic and you're gonna roll right through it with little thought.

if you practice the things i mentioned, and you stay relaxed, focused, but ready for anything, you're gonna enjoy riding a whole lot more. in particular, in the rain.

smooth is key! smooth is key...smooth is ke...smooth is .... [voice echos, trailing off]


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