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What's your experience and advice for riding in the rain?

Heated visor

I could never keep my visors from fogging up, even with Schuberth pin locks, chemicals, etc., so I bought a Bell Helmet that accepts a heated visor. (I think they are intended for snowmobiles) Very reassuring in those hot, humid thunderstorms to be able to see. Works well. I plug it into my battery-charging SAE connector.

(I also have heated jacket, but seldom use it. It is plugged in to an EzCan, e.g., straight to the battery via its own connection.)

For rain gear, my leather pants and jacket work OK for occasional downpours, for a while, but get soaked if I endure too long. I have rain gear, but seldom get it out, because I mostly try to avoid riding in the rain.
I don the rain suit jacket and pants if after looking at the weather app for the latest radar suggests it's prudent to do so
My advice is water repellent riding gear with Goretex lining. My preference for 30 years has been Aerostich. Klim is also excellent I am told. I think some of the BMW branded stuff is good too. Any gear with a rain liner is total nonsense to me. If I didn't have my Stich I would have a rainsuit to put on OUTSIDE my riding gear. Sometimes in the summer I wear mesh vented riding pants or riding jeans and if so I try to remember to have my rain pants in the bike.
Good tread depth is the first thing I would recommend. I ride almost every day regardless of the weather. I use Columbia Omni-Tech breathable rain jacket with a hood and rain pants. I walk in to Bass-Pro Shops with all of my riding gear on & try them on. I always ride with Gore-Tex boots & I have Gore-Tex gloves. I've rode all day in tropical storms and never get wet. My pinlock visors always work for me. If the pinlock fogs up it isn't sealed correctly. Depending on your handle bar height your gloves might need to go over the sleeve or inside of it. If your arms are level it doesn't matter. If your arms are raised up a little try the gloves over the sleeve. If your arms are down from level you might need the sleeve to go over the glove. I don't trust my mirrors near as much in the rain.
Running in the Rain

After years of different gear, I've migrated to Klim gear with the Gore-Tex waterproof lining. I have an Aerostich Roadcrafter which I used for years with a cruiser with little to no wind protection, but consider it old technology because it depends on a coating to make it waterproof and it wears off. I think the two First Gear jackets I purchased (very cost effective) also used the coating system for waterproofing and they eventually leak. 99% of my moto travel is over the road, and although one of my close moto friends will just stay in the hotel another day to let the rain pass, I find that inactivity, even though I may get some work done, as unattractive as I'm overseas for the moto trip, and want to keep going. I also use weather information and the inexpensive Garmin access to weather and traffic via an app on my phone to the NAV Vi, and can view when a cold front band is coming and usually pull into a gas station or convenience store and wait it out, then roll on. Upgrading to Klim gear several years ago has resulted in staying dry enough to be comfortable all day in rain. Admittedly, heavy rain should always be avoided and I always pull over somewhere. I've never had to wait more than an hour for it to get lighter. Light rain one can run in all day if the gear is working. Also have the pinlock inserts, waterproof gloves (Joe Rocket ones on Revzilla-$30!). 3 years ago I took advantage of a BMW rad sale and bought that BMW neon lime coloured mesh jacket with waterproof removable liner and the waterproof pants because the sale price could not be ignored (75% off I think). During the hot times of year in Asheville, I wear the mesh jacket on day rides, which I only started having this past year, with the liner in a sidecase. The heat relief in the mesh jacket is worth the risk of getting wet, plus I'm never that far away from my home there. For any over the road trips I use the Klim gear. Had a get off in October and the Badlands Jacket and Pants completely protected me, not a scratch or bruise. Unfortunately couldn't say the same for the boots, but I digress, This thread about rain. Other then the occasional day ride excursion with the BMW Mesh Jacket, I ride with the Klim gear and usually just need to zip up the vents, and keep going.

When traffic pulls off the road during a major downpour, get back on the highway in unison with the other traffic otherwise you could be in danger attempting to enter traffic once the flow has resumed.

Normally, by riding a bit slower than normal, using less leaning and allowing for longer stopping distances, riding in the rain, even all day rainfalls, have not been an issue for me. However I once put myself in a very dangerous situation that could have easily been avoided. Early one morning my riding partner was intent that we leave the rally early. Although I wear a mesh suit and it was only raining lightly, figuring the rain would not last, I made the mistake of not putting on my rain gear. My RT usually keeps me dry in light rains.

Once on the road, the light rain became a major downpour. Pulling over onto the almost non-existent shoulder of this two lane road was not an option as deep ditches bordered the road. It was about thirty miles before we reached a town with a restaurant where we took refuge. During that ride I became soaked and although the temperature was mild, I suffered the early onset of hypothermia.

If there is rain, always wear the gear that keeps you dry.
First if you don't have to ride in the rain....Don't. If so be careful......
Heading up to the 100,000' Ride in Denver I saw some pretty serious cells brewing to the west, near Raton Pass. Being an old guy I pulled over to put on the gear before I needed it. Good thing too. I figured that I could get past it before it ate me. Wrong. The storm was moving a little faster than I thought and it was black inside if it. I couldn't understand why the truckers were pulling over until well into this mess when the hail started. They didn't want chipped paint!!!
My gear was a Marmot waterproof jacket over a BMW Airflow jacket with Gortex overpants. Nice and dry and they each pack down to the size of a water bottle and breathe. If I'm headed out, I take the kitchen sink.........Nothing worse than being soaked and trying to put miles on.
I had to smile at the HD guys hunkered down under the overpasses. I guess black vests and bandanas don't do much to keep you dry.
I read once that HD guys check the weather in the morning to see if they are going to ride......Beemer guys check the weather that morning to see what gear to wear.
Embrace the suck!!


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If the word "rain" appears in the forecast, I have all the gear with me, either wearing it or in my pannier. The best investment I've made in this regard is my Aerostich gear - I rode 10 hours back from the MOA rally in Vermont years ago in a constant downpour and was still completely dry by the time I peeled myself off the bike.
Stay relaxed on the bike. Get those shoulders relaxed on down and keep those elbows loose so you can respond if things get slippery. You can't steer with your shoulders, arms and elbows locked into a rigid box.

Avoid stripes and that reflective paint on the roads and be careful about that greasy spot down the middle of the road. We have green painted bike lanes on some of our roads and if I have to cross over them, they can be super sketchy and slick. If you live on the west coast, be super careful in the winter on roads that are on the north side of a hill - they'll get mossy and will be slipperier than ice.

Get decent wet weather gear, stay warm, stay loose and watch for the snotty parts. Your tires will give you more grip than you might expect. I was fortunate to take CLASS on a rainy day and learned all about adhesion in wet conditions - they're higher than you think, but can go away quickly if surface conditions change.

And don't feel like a wuss if you elect to take the bus.

I'm not a fan of rainsuits, so I've always tried to buy gear that is, on its own, waterproof. Same for gloves and boots. I hate doing the underpass rain suit dance, so waterproof gear always.