An ideal riding world would simulate clear sky’s and grippy tarmac. However, as dreamy as this sounds, riders must be realistic and prepare for the worst conditions. It’s not pleasant, nor the safest, but sometimes we can’t avoid getting caught out or commuting in the rain. Now that the wet season is officially here, riding safely in the rain requires the correct awareness, technique and gear.
What to avoid on the road? Roads are extra slippery, not only due to the present moisture, yet because oil is especially slick on rainy days. Stay clear of the “rainbow-glimmer”. Best to avoid riding in the center of the lane, as cars tend to leak oil centrally. Align yourself either right or left, given whichever is the safest road position for you. Be cautious of painted roadway lines and signs. These surfaces do become incredibly slick and don't provide much grip.
Allow adequate space between yourself and other vehicles, giving an even greater stopping distance than usual. Anticipate gear changes, shifting smoothly and swiftly. Shifting gears in corners will place pressure on the rear wheel, making it accessible to slide out.
This also applies to braking, as the back tyre will lose friction if too much stress is involved. Braking needs to be balanced and gentle. Most of the braking power will generally come from the front calipers, yet it is good practise to ensure even pressure on both rear and front brakes.
Keywords to remember with throttle control are “steady and smooth”. Stay calm and gentle both ON and OFF the throttle, especially when cornering. Wild flicks of the wrist will jerk the bike around, leading to a lack of friction between the tyres and tarmac. Most importantly, stay within your own comfort zone, taking corners at your own pace, accelerating smoothly and shifting gears with meaning.
Wearing the correct riding apparel for rainy days won’t just keep you warm and dry, yet can increase your safety. When investing into wet weather gear, there are a few important requirements that need to be present. Harley Davidson’s® Reflective Rainwear suit is a great example of what a quality and affordable wet weather suit should be.
100% waterproof and incredibly breathable, Harley’s® Reflective Rainwear suit is made from 100% nylon ripstop and polyester mesh lining. The suit can be easily folded away in a small and convenient backpack. For high visibility, reflective materials are present on the torso, arms, legs and back of the suit. The jacket is designed with a high collar to securely keep water out, and feature external and internal pockets. It is important to note that the suit is strictly designed to keep water out, and offers no impact protection. Fitting comfortably over your existing riding gear, the suit aims to battle the elements and increase safety visibility. The Harley Davidson® Reflective Rainwear suit is priced at RRP $278.26 (Sizes XL and below) and RRP $304.34 (Sizes XXL and above).
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Highlight Features About The Harley’s Reflective Rainwear:
- Waterproof and Breathable. Hook-and-loop storm flap. Fully seam sealed interior and double seam-sealed shoulders and crotch.
- Fit & Mobility: Adjustable sleeve cuffs. Bungee cord and toggle hem. Elastic waist. Stirrups.
- Ride Enhancing Features: Two-way zipper front. Bungee cord and toggle hood folds under collar. Leg side zipper to knee. Heat-resistant shields on lower inner legs. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material piping, stripes, and graphics.
- Pockets: Zipper hand-warmer pockets and one interior zipper pocket. Storage bag included.
Riding in the rain will never be an enjoyable experience for any sane rider, however planning ahead and preparing with the appropriate gear, knowledge and awareness will keep you safe and dry this wet season.
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