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I am planning a fairly large ride on my Kick-ass Blue Fz6 where the possibility of encountering rain is high.. I was wondering how dangerous is it? Has anyone rode in the rain?? Do you do anything differently? Can you still lean without having the back end slide out?? And does the lil windshield help at all?? I'm just really curious as to hear how it is..
 

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how bout dem deadskins
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first off, rain hurts so wear your gear. second, you can still lean cornering just dont over exagerate your turns & keep them nice and tight. your windscreen will help but not entirely.
 

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Rain is very tricky because that's when you get the slick oil spots. Def slow down on hard leaning curves. Stay out of the center and ride either the 1 or 3 lane position to avoid oil slick. The screen does help somewhat if you are comfortable laying on your tank to get below the screen. If you don't have raingear pants, try using the rear pegs on highways to help with reducing how wet your pants get.
 

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avoid semi-truck tire spray at all costs
 

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I've ridden in the rain plenty, especially back in the early 1990's when my bike was my only mode of transportation. As for the FZ6, I got caught in a torrential summer thunderstorm in the berkshires a few weeks ago. I think a sane person would have pulled over to wait it out. I didn't- partly because the friend I was with didn't stop, and partly because I just wanted to get home. visibility was terrible but we pressed on. The bike did amazingly well- no slipping and sliding-very maneuverable. of course, you have to adjust your driving to the rain- ie slow down, test your breaks and don't break hard, keep your visor as clear as possible. My visor kept fogging up so I'd open it and get pelted with rain (I was wearing a 3/4 helmet that day) on my face which felt like little sharp pebbles, so I'd close it and it would fog up, so I'd open it... you get the picture. So I would say, if you know you are going to end up in the rain, don't wory about the bike if you know how to ride in the rain. But you should:
1. wear a full face helmet (put some pledge on it to bead up the water or use rain-ex to keep the fogging down).
2. wear a full rain suit (I always carry mine on my bike)-yellow will make you more visible.
3. Go slow
4. invest in some waterproof gloves. I didn't have any and my gloves were drenched. the leather dye leaked onto my hands which were also drenched. When I took off my gloves, my hands were black. it took a while for me to get all the color off my hands.
5. I switch my high beams on so I'm more visible to the cages.

you will do fine. Oh- the stock windshiled on the FZ makes no difference in the rain-it was made more for wind protection-just MHO. You will want to lube your chain too after a good rain.
 

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One big thing to remember, the road will be slickest when the rain first starts. The rain will pull the oils out of the road and up to the surface. Take it slow, especially around intersections. Once it's been raining for a while, the oils will be washed away and traction will increase.
 

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Definitely, without a doubt, you need rain gear. You do NOT want to be traveling at 75 mph in 65 degree weather (it usually cools off when it rains) while soaking wet, or you will be MISERABLE!

I can personally vouch for this two-piece rainsuit:

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/item.aspx?style=11923&department=161&division=1

I rode two-up with my girlfriend coming back from Appleton, WI to Milwaukee to take the ferry to Michigan last May. The trip took an hour and a half and it poured rain the whole time. If not for the rain gear, it would have been an awful ride.

Besides that, like the other posters said, stay in the tire tracks of the car in front of you (their tires clear out most of the water) and remember that you don't have as much lean angle to work with, so take it easy in the corners. Also watch out for manhole covers, because they get really slippery.

With the right gear, riding in the rain isn't bad (that reminds me, waterproof gloves are a big plus). Just take your time and enjoy the ride. Hope you have a good trip!
 

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tilejerky said:
Definitely, without a doubt, you need rain gear. You do NOT want to be traveling at 75 mph in 65 degree weather (it usually cools off when it rains) while soaking wet, or you will be MISERABLE!

I can personally vouch for this two-piece rainsuit:

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/item.aspx?style=11923&department=161&division=1

I rode two-up with my girlfriend coming back from Appleton, WI to Milwaukee to take the ferry to Michigan last May. The trip took an hour and a half and it poured rain the whole time. If not for the rain gear, it would have been an awful ride.

Besides that, like the other posters said, stay in the tire tracks of the car in front of you (their tires clear out most of the water) and remember that you don't have as much lean angle to work with, so take it easy in the corners. Also watch out for manhole covers, because they get really slippery.

With the right gear, riding in the rain isn't bad (that reminds me, waterproof gloves are a big plus). Just take your time and enjoy the ride. Hope you have a good trip!
Along with the man hole covers, the lines on the road are slick as shit when wet.
 

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I ride all winter here in Oregon. I have to say these guys have pretty well covered it. I use the Fog City liner and it's 100 times better than any rub on compound I've found. You might get a screen wiper for your left thumb. (http://www.aerostich.com/product.php?productid=16506&cat=301&page=2) Rain also chills you, so bring additional layers. I wear a polarfleece neck wrap in the rain, since that's the only part not protected by leathers & helmet, and it doesn't absorb water.

Pavement is slickest just as the rain starts after a long dry spell, and gets better as cars scrub off the oil in the first few hours. You might do well to pull off and have lunch while the road washes a bit. The bike will be fine, but filthy.
 

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i live near seattle and ride everyday. dont worry too much, just be more cautious. like said above, in the beginning, the roads are slickest. use the clutch slowly. dont jump the throttle around turns. dont ride in the middle of the lane. i almost laid down my ninja braking in the middle of the lane. just hit some oil. i put my foot down like a dirt bike.
 

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Just take it easy like you would in a car. Some people seem to think riding a motorcycle in the wet is a death wish. You might be surprised at what the bike can do before you run out of traction. I did a wet track day and it was probably the most fun I've ever had.
 

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For when you don't have rain gear:

If it is a short down pour (as judged by the clouds overhead) pull over and weight it out, even if you can't hide under any shelter. When riding, you will actually get wetter than had you remained stationary. Your forward speed will cause you to impact upon more rain drops.

(I have tested this theory and proved it true - I remained stationary for 5 minutes, and rode for 5 minutes. I got about three times wetter.)

As such, if there is any hint for forthcoming rain, I carry my rain gear (jacket, pants, gloves). With the gortex suites, I remain totally dry, and don't get sweaty inside. PS: Such suites are cheaper at bicycle stores.
 

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If you can, change out the the visor on ur helmet to an anti-fog one. I had a helmet that kept fogging up on me on dry days and during rain days, it was a biatch. So I ran out and got me a Scorpion helmet with anti-fog.... best 200 bucks I spent. Rain hurts hitting ur face even at 40 mph. I would also recommend using the wind that comes off of your windshield when your riding to get rid of the rain water on ur visor instead of smearing it off with your arm/hand. Just lean down from time to time, low enough where u feel the wind blowing off the windshield and onto your visor.
 

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taurus574 said:
If you can, change out the the visor on ur helmet to an anti-fog one. I had a helmet that kept fogging up on me on dry days and during rain days, it was a biatch. So I ran out and got me a Scorpion helmet with anti-fog.... best 200 bucks I spent. Rain hurts hitting ur face even at 40 mph. I would also recommend using the wind that comes off of your windshield when your riding to get rid of the rain water on ur visor instead of smearing it off with your arm/hand. Just lean down from time to time, low enough where u feel the wind blowing off the windshield and onto your visor.
I found that with my helmet, I could just turn my head to both sides and the water would just blow right off (I was riding in the fog...it sucked).
 

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the human bike-rack
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I live in tropical northern Australia and as it turns out the wettest region in Australia. Average annual rainfall here is approx 4m or 14' ! I commute by FZ6 so as you'd imagine I ride in the rain heaps. But being the tropics the ambient air temps are always very tolerable.

The first 30 minutes after rain is when the roads are at their greasiest- beware intersections (oil), uphill/ downhill bends (oil), diesel spills anywhere and road markings etc etc. BUT if it rains more than 30 minutes then you can be pretty sure all the greasy stuff has been washed clear and the road pobably has as much if not more grip than when its dry- but still watch the road paint.

Waterproof clothing is effective and doesn't have to be all that expensive to work alright. I am yet to find truly waterproof boots. Plastic baggies over your boots will only last about 10 minutes before disintegrating. Most black leather gloves bleed dye eventually.

Watch your tyre pressures. Tyres with insufficient air pressures are MUCH more likely to aquaplane and in the smallest and shallowest of puddles.

If you start to aquaplane do not try any corrective action- maintain an upright straight ahead position and definitely do not brake- maintain a loose grip (easy to say from here) and resist the temptation to throttle off. Aquaplaning is usually only momentary often its all over before you say WTF. Its just the same sort of techniques as when you encounter ice.

I do not ride in car tyre tracks. If you are close enough for the car in front to clear the water from the road then you are too close in wet conditions!

But locally on our tarmac roads the tyre tracks tend to be low points where I am more likely to encounter puddles. I ride the usually higher and dryer strip between the wheel tracks but only after I am sure there has been enough rain to wash that surface clear.

But as always ride according to the conditions and within the limits of your skills.

cheers .... kimbo
 

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It's made of people!
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When I took the MSF course a couple months ago it was pouring on the last day. I was really suprised at how well the bikes handle rain. Braking and cornering were a lot better than I thought even in hard braking and swerving.

Don't worry about the bikes abilities as much as your own. Take it slow and give the cars and trucks more room. Scan farther ahead. Just keep in mind that many people are idiots so dont get lazy.

The ole' fiz seems to handle it pretty well, just use common sense.

That's my two cents :)
 

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Ride Naked
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tilejerky said:
I can personally vouch for this two-piece rainsuit:
http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/item.aspx?style=11923&department=161&division=1
With the right gear, riding in the rain isn't bad (that reminds me, waterproof gloves are a big plus). Just take your time and enjoy the ride. Hope you have a good trip!

Looks like a nice suit for the $$$$. What do you wear underneath it? It gets far too hot down here to wear all full gear PLUS a rain suit. I'm planning on getting all of the Icon Field Armor to wear underneath a rain suit (when I can plan ahead). I just need to get some arm protection as, for some strange reason, Icon doesn't make that.
 

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skeleton, a group of us actually did a lab on rain fall, and whether or not you get wetter by running, or by walking. we figured out that if it is only a light rain, then run(or ride it out) but if its raining hard then wait it out. by going faster with light rain, you decrease your time in the rain, which means you get less wet. then, if it begins to rain harder, it doesn't really matter. once it reaches a certain point, and the concentration of precipitation particles is very high, then it is advisable to stop. however, if it is hurricane-like conditions(which you really shouldn't be riding in)it once again, does not matter, ride or wait(i would ride in a hurricane if i had to get away, otherwise i would hide like a little girl). thats what i gotta say.

there is a thread that skeleton put up in regards to tire physics.
 
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