The days of radiant sunshine, perfect temperatures, and wonderful pavement conditions are slowly starting to fade away. In comes the gloomy clouds, the frigid temps, and soaked tarmac. For the loyalists out there who are not only not fazed by the inclement weather, but they embrace the challenge of riding in the wet stuff, we’ve got five tips to helping prepare for your ride in that inclement weather.
First off, check out those tires and inspect them thoroughly. Any signs of cracking, cords, or baldness will not fare well in normal riding conditions, but it’s even riskier in inclement weather. Think about swapping them out for a good, heavy-treaded tire geared for wet weather riding. Not only will you get awesome mileage out of them compared to those sportier track-based tires, but they’ll handle everything mother nature will throw a them and then some.
2. Waterproofing Your Ride
Waterproofing your bike will make that ride still the talk of the town at the local bike night. Water and grime can take a toll on parts making that shiny, new Road Glide look like a dated pile of Milwaukee metal. Always wax or use a spray polish after washing to protect metal and plastic surfaces. For chain driven bikes, make sure to keep the chain lubed properly as surface rust can appear extremely quickly if neglected. Make sure to use waterproof grease for any situation where grease would be needed (axles, linkage, steering head, etc.). When it is parked out in the elements, also look to have the bike covered with a waterproof motorcycle cover to offer an additional layer of protection as well.
3. Fog Protection
Something we take for granted sometimes is our vision. If your full-face helmet is not already equipped with it, consider going with a Pinlock® insert or an anti-fog coating. Once things get cold and rainy, having fog protection on your shield will pay off big time by providing clear vision even in the nasty stuff. Another thing that will help out with fogging is sporting a helmet with good ventilation. The better the airflow, the less chance of fogging.
4. Waterproof Gear
That mesh jacket that’s been keeping you nice and cool all summer won’t cut it in the downpours the season is sure to bring. Check out a nice setup of waterproof gear from head to toe. I cannot stand being cold and wet on a motorcycle. Having some nice, waterproof, insulated textile gear is sure to make that ride much more enjoyable. If you are happy with your current setup of gear and just need some extra rain protection, check out a rain suit to throw over your current getup.
5. High Visibility Gear
Lastly, that all black gear may look cool and stealthy, but consider brightening things up for wet weather. Higher visibility gear will go a long ways in having those cagers point you out in your daily commute. Consider going with fluorescent yellow or orange gear to maximize your visibility to others. If you’re not into the construction worker look, simply adding some reflective accents to your bike, helmet, or gear will suffice. Also consider a headlight upgrade to an LED conversion. It will increase the usable light your motorcycle puts out and make you easier to spot in the daylight.
That’s it for our basic tips and tricks of the trade. Have something that works for you that we may have missed? Email me at email@example.com. Until then, stay dry out there!