Wet weather riding advice please - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Wet weather riding advice please

I know, best advice is to avoid it. Unfortunately, I signed up for the local MS 150 motorcycle SAG and they ride rain or shine. Looks like a 60 percent chance for two days of riding, so I will get a slow soaking, I imagine. Any advice on what I can do to protect the bike? I was thinking a giant baggie?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 06:32 PM
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Why would you avoid riding in the rain and what exactly does the bike need protection from?

You don't say where this will be? Actually, even if you were in a northern state, where they salt the roads, it's still early in the season, so protection from road salt is not an issue. The bike doesn't need any protection from rain normally. What you could do if you think you want some extra protection is make sure the electrical connectors are properly sealed and covered. Lube the chain before starting the ride (if you don't have an automatic device like a Scottoiler) and at the end of the day.

I take it you don't have a lot of experience riding in the rain. It would be good if you practiced some braking in a wet parking lot, to get a feel for what you can expect. This would be especially important if you will be riding next to thousands of bicycles in the rain. What pressures do you usually run? Try lowering the pressure 1-2 PSI, that will help warm the tires up quickly and you better traction.

Everything else is the same - plan ahead, look where you want to go, brake firmly but progressively (what ever you do, don't grab a handful of brakes), accelerate smoothly. There isn't much too it, you'll be just fine.

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Last edited by Gustavo; 09-18-2009 at 07:26 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Element View Post
I know, best advice is to avoid it. Unfortunately, I signed up for the local MS 150 motorcycle SAG and they ride rain or shine. Looks like a 60 percent chance for two days of riding, so I will get a slow soaking, I imagine. Any advice on what I can do to protect the bike? I was thinking a giant baggie?
Best advice for rain at your SAG course? Bring rain gear! Seriously I don't know exactly what an SAG course is, however if it is similar to an MSF course in the US, what better time to practice riding in the rain then on a closed course under an instructor's supervision? I had taken an MSFBRC (?) in 2001 and it POURED for 5 hours straight! I saw the forecast, brought raingear, and had a blast! And don't worry about protecting the bike, she won't melt
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 07:14 PM
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Took the MSF course in the rain

I took the MSF course in the rain in January. Like said earlier, wear a rain suit and stay warm. A number of people fell down especially when executing braking drills. Here in California, the California Highway Patrol oversees the MSF courses. The on-bike safety test has an automatic disqualification if you fall down (so don't fall down).

Good luck and have fun.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 08:32 AM
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The bike doesn't need any protection. It was designed to be rained on. You OTOH, need to consider the additional effect of the weather. If where you're riding is begining to experience cooler fall weather, layer up under the rain gear. Nothing is more miserable than being wet AND cold at 50 or so MPH and having a couple more hours to ride until the next stop. Wool will keep you warm even if it is wet. I'd be willing to bet there are some high tech fabrics that will do the same.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikkio View Post
Wool will keep you warm even if it is wet. I'd be willing to bet there are some high tech fabrics that will do the same.
...like, for instance, a 12V jacket liner like the Tourmaster I use .
Being "toasty" in cold, driving rain - PRICELESS!

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 01:26 PM
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Gustavo hit on a lot of good points. One thing to remember about riding in the rain, sudden changes in speed contributes in a high percentage of wrecks where the tires break traction. When riding the twisties, maintaining a constant safe speed will keep the bike on its wheels.

As for gear, I use Frogg Toggs rain gear. Its inexpensive, last several years, and easy to pack in a small space. I also use Tour Masters Transition 2 jacket and their gloves.

Use a good anti fogging agent on your motorcycle visor, and I recommend using a full face or modular helmet. I've used Fog City Products, Scott anti fog wipes, and Zooke lens wax. (Scott products tend to be a what you pay). I prefer Zooke wax and Fog City visor cover. I like the Zooke for keeping my riding glasses clear, the inside of the visor, and outside. On the outside it acts like RainX, and is visor safe. Also helmets like HJC have what is called a breath deflector and directs your breath down and out of the helmet.

http://www.zooke.com/

http://www.indysuperbike.com/custome...productid=2500

As for hauling some gear, I recommend a good set of hard panniers. They tend to keep your gear drier than some soft bags.

Last, get a good water resistant boot, and a good wicking boot socks to wear with them.

I've done the above and have been fairly comfortable for long distance. Two years ago I road 535 miles in pouring rain from my house to about 5 miles short of my Motel in Tennessee. Under all of that gear, I was dry.

Maloy

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 08:18 PM
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I spent the last two days riding around the Blue Ridge mountains in the rain. At least it wasn't cold. I applied NikWax to my textile riding suit and it keep me mostly dry. The previous responses are right on about your riding style. You can't do anything to aggressively! You can still ride a good pace just give yourself a lot more time to do things!

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 08:46 PM
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a tip,

wear dishwashing gloves under your gloves and wrap the cuff over your rainsuit cuff.

this method breaks in new gloves like a charm, your hands stay warmer and dry and water won't sneak up your sleeve.

"If everything seems to be under control, you're not going fast enough."
Mario Andretti
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 11:31 PM
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Hi Element,

For a country averaging 200 days wet days out of 365.24, we see a lot of rain. Some points to share:

1. Drop your tyre pressure 1-2 psi from normal. Let's the tyre feel the road.
2. Be smooth on the throttle. Slow, Look, Lean and Roll at corners.
3, Be smooth on the brake.
4. Wear protective,waterproof and visible riding gear.
5. Avoid painted lines on the road, they're slippery when wet.
6. Avoid puddles for they can aquaplane the bike.
7. Spray Rain-x on your visor and windscreen.
8. Try not be stiff on the bike, be cool and alert.
9. Fix additional lighting (ex.fog light) to be more noticed by others.

But, like you mentioned, the Best would be avoid it (the rain).

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Ride safe,
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 12:12 AM
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Hey stlee29,

How many miles do you have on your Versys? Are there any issues with the Versys that you have seen in that humid climate? I do not know why I ask since living in the mountains of New Mexico, humidity is my least worry.

I can say that there are times that it is wet here and I do not really notice a big difference than when it is dry. Hough's book implies that you still have 80% of the dry traction when things are fully wet. Still, when I had just put on my new Roadsmarts, I did slide into one turn in the driving rain. I will never know if it was the new tires or the wetness.

I think that the biggest deal in dealing with the rain is to keep yourself dry. Then you can still make good judgments, which is what keeps you upright on a motorcycle!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 01:18 AM
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Hi Mursili ,

Only 18,000 km so far. Too busy to ride as much I want.

Had some hiccups when riding last month. Had some water in the fuel when had left my bike sitting in the rain. After some fresh fuel, all good now.

Glad to hear you were A-Ok when you had your slide.
If on new tyre, good to have say 100 km in the dry riding to scrap off the oils on the tyre.

on being dry in the rain. Even if some dampness in the boots.
Had recently used black silicone around the soles of my old Sidi on-road. What a difference...

I guess is to have smoothness in the throttle control and body motion on the iron horse. On the straights, have this habit of tapping the rear brake first (shifting my momentum) to reduce the front nose dive when braking hard on the front. That's the difference of Jap front suspension design compared to the BMW anti-dive telelever.

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Ride safe,
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