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Rain/ Wet riding


New member
I am headed 5 hours north for a football game over the weekend and it is forecast to rain Sunday on my way home. Knowing the forecast, should I take the truck (12 miles per gallon) or the bike? I have been caught in the rain, and have somewhat decent gear, but I have never purposefully set out on a 5 hour trip in the rain. Thoughts anyone?

2000 K1200RS
Ride it!

I have always gotten a feeling of satisfaction when riding in the rain. There is something about knowing that when most people pack up and go home, I'm still out doing what I enjoy. Use good rain gear, make sure your tires are good and properly inflated, and just slow down and leave much greater following distances and it's as safe as riding in good weather. When you get home I'll bet you feel like you've accomplished something just a little out of the ordinary. We ride partially because it allows us to interact with our enviroment more than when we're in the ol'cage. Riding in the rain can enhance that feeling.
Other considerations

I'd ride if the trip home isn't after sunset. Rain riding isn't bad or even scarry if you have some experience. What kinds of roads will you be on. Heavy traffic on interstate or light traffic on backroads. If your gear keeps you dry and comfortable traction and traffic become your only concerns, relax and ride within your comfort zone.
to ride in the rain or not

I do it all the time. I rode cross country twice this year. There's no glory in it. It's just something you might have to do to get somewhere. I have a rain suit that goes atop my riding gear. Stopped in traffic during a downpour with a cordura suit on, the seams eventually leak and I get flooded. That said, I'm on my RT not my unfaired airhead. I put rainex on my helmet shield. The adjustable windshied on the RT allows variation in the backpressure so I can always find a low pressure area to suck the water down off the shield. The spray coming from the wheels of trucks on the highway is actually worse than the rain itself. I'd say take the car and enjoy the event. Ride another time. I for one am looking at trailers. I see no evil in keeping my nice bike nice but would like to ride it on far off roads and have it at rallys to enjoy without beating myself up.

R100R the retiree with 158K but she's so sweet and will never be wet again.
R1100RT the new BMW with 13K. the second RT
ST1300 It's a red one

If is is raining, enjoy. For if you don't ride in some rain sometime, you don,t ride at all.

If it not raining when I go to leave the garage, ride.
john1691 said:
I am headed 5 hours north for a football game over the weekend and it is forecast to rain Sunday on my way home. Knowing the forecast, should I take the truck (12 miles per gallon) or the bike? I have been caught in the rain, and have somewhat decent gear, but I have never purposefully set out on a 5 hour trip in the rain. Thoughts anyone?

2000 K1200RS

I have ridden many times in the rain when I lived in Europe and was on a trip, it was usually a case of pack up the tent wet ride all day and get a hotel that night because it is still raining. Think of rain as liquid sunshine and go for the ride... just be aware of your zone and give more space to those around you.

Rain -

Can be just a minor inconvenience or a long miserable experience... :banghead

What kind of rain is forecast? Heavy gully-washer or intermittent showers?

How waterproof is your gear (Suit, Boots, Gloves and Helmet)? Do you wear a rain-suit over your regular stuff or do you trust your gear to be waterproof for long periods of wetness? If you go - duct tape your gloves and pants around where they seal and bring an extra set of thermal-underclothes if at first you fail to keep the water out.

What are the temperatures forecast to be? Between 40-60F and wet for two or more hours is a prime zone for hypothermia. DAMHIK

What kind of traffic do you intend to ride in? Heavy or light ÔÇô road spray can be dangerous, sticky and dirty.

Intersate or two-lane? Interstate - Fast moving cars and trucks lots of spray. Two-lane - Wet leaves, oil and mud in corners lots more turns, and traffic is closer.

How good has your bike been previously in wet conditions? If there is going to be short somewhere it will be found in prolonged wet riding. How are your tires? Plenty of rain groves left?

Ultimately, if you are asking the question should I, or should I not? You are probably already telling yourself the answer Take the truck and enjoy the next ride closer to home.

I ride in the rain all the time and donÔÇÖt feel any worse for wear, I take the necessary precautions, my bike is prepÔÇÖd for it and I trust my gear to keep me 90% dry after the first hour. But I hate just pounding out miles in the rain unless I have too. Too many things can go wrong very fast.

Your perspective on the matter is what is important; if it looks like off and on showers and you have (extra) time to stop and make adjustments, and your confidence is high. Take the bike and donÔÇÖt back on the matter, itÔÇÖs all good and like someone else said, itÔÇÖs good for the soul to take risk. But, only if the risk outweighs the benefits of spending a little extra money in gas as compared to a motel room and an extra day to get home?



Have fun, let us know who won the game when you get back!!! :brad
I don't generally leave the house, on my bike, in the rain. If I'm on the road and I have to ride in the rain to get to my destination I just deal with it. I don't think it's pleasant but it's no big deal.

Now if it was solid rain, both ways......I'd take a car.
rain/wet riding

It may come down to why you ride a motorcycle: is it for enjoyment, is it for transportation, is it to test your own mettle, or whatever. You have to figure out what the underlying reason is for possibly exposing yourself to 5 hours of discomfort (and danger), and then putting an appropriate weight on that factor in deciding your choice of transportation. I enjoy trying to figure out what is making me think I should or shouldn't do this or that. If I can do a successful "backtrack", then more often than not I can decide what I will do or won't do. It doesn't even have to be the logical choice, it's still a good decision as long as I want to do it or want not to do it.

Enjoy the game, and your truck ride to it.

Saterday morning, no rain

Well, it's Sat. morning, and no rain so I'll be taking the bike. Thanks for the input everyone. Rinty, was the last sentence a challenge, or were you thinking a Syracuse fan couldn't possibly be an all weather rider since we watch football in a Dome? I ride because I love bikes. I like to look at bikes,talk bikes, plan rides and most of all, I like to ride. So with all the good advise, I'll take the bike. I have over the gear rain protection, and the weather is a possible T-storm but likely just showers.

Thanks again

2000 K1200RS
rain/wet riding


No challenge intended, but I did assume that it would be an outside game, and I wondered why you would want to sit in riding gear for several hours. The statement was actually a reflection of what I would do, because I don't like rain riding, and I don't like bike cleaning.

Have fun.

The choice is yours. It's been riding all day here, it's 5:30 pm and I've been out since 7 am. I love it. Rain, cold, sun or heat I love it. It's my prefered form of transportation. Life is short, experiance it in all it's wonders. Be safe.
Home again

Well, I did ride the bike, and loved the trip. The game was a good one as well. Syracuse won in double over time, doesn''t get any better.

The ride up started as mostly cloudy, but slowly became mostly sunny. Not a drop of rain until after the game on the way to my friends house. I wish I weren't so dumb, and had remembered the camera. Saw`some nice scenery and overllook areas on 81 N on the way up. One overlook view had clouds down in the valley, below the road I was on, so I could see over them to the mountains (hills) behond. Pretty nice, wish I could share it with you all.......

The ride home was fairly dry, had some sprinkles here and there. The road surface only got wet in one area, and that was only a couple miles. I saw 3 GS riders headed north, and passed a K1200LT, who then passed me when I stopped to make a call. Most bikes on the road were HD's, but I wave at them all.

Thanks again for the feedback from everyone. I'm glad I left the truck at home!

2000 K1200RS