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Old 11-03-2010, 05:40 PM   #46
Gary J
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Originally Posted by UDRider View Post
So is the idea to enter in to the turn slowly enough so you can continuously roll-on?
Yes, that's exactly correct. The right technique being to brake/slow prior to reaching the entry point for the turn, to a speed that is as slow, or slightly slower than the speed you wish to be traveling while in the turn.

The idea being to allow for proper throttle management (being at least on off-idle maintenance roll-on, to minimize the force transferred to the front tire), without the bike exceeding the pre-determined target safe speed at any time while in the corner.

This is true for turns under most all conditions, but of premium importance when taking corners on wet pavement where traction levels are greatly reduced!

The level of importance of slowing an even larger amount below the desired target corner speed, exists when taking downhill turns. That's because gravity will try to make the bike's speed increase (against the rider's choice) as soon as braking is removed; regardless of throttle position.

For street riding it's way better to slow what ends up being more than was necessary for taking a turn, which results in an even larger safety cushion for applying good throttle roll-on technique in the wet (and/or over tar snakes), than to error in the other direction!

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What about decrease radius turns?
The most important aspect for properly adjusting your entry speed for a "decreasing radius" turn, is recognizing that it is this type of corner before getting into it!

Assuming you know in advance (from either looking ahead and reading the corner, or having ridden it before) that a corner is a "decreasing radius", the best technique is to brake sufficiently to slow your speed to slightly BELOW the fastest speed at which the tightest, most challenging, decreasing portion of the turn can be safely taken.

In other words if the constant radius first 1/2 of the corner could be taken safely at 40MPH, but the decreasing radius last 1/3 can only be taken at 30MPH, applying the above approach would consist of consciously reducing your speed down to 30MPH (or preferrably less) prior to getting into the turn. As that it's not a race, nothing lost in going a bit slower in the first portion of the corner than that section could be ridden, for the sake of being properly setup for the more challenging part at the end of the turn.

The objective being for the bike to be traveling at a speed when reaching the decreasing part of the corner where you won't end up being drawn into letting "off" on the throttle at any point.

A bit of roll-off of throttle for a brief moment isn't necessarily the end of the world on a dry day, where tightening the line a little could be done. However finding yourself drawn into coming off the throttle in such a corner on a wet day (which is the theme of this thread) where the pavement is slick, can very likely result in losing front tire grip ..... and a crash!

For corners where you know you'll be crossing tar snakes ahead in the wet; slowing a good 5-10MPH below the speed you wish to be traveling while crossing the snakes while in the turn. is again the pre-approach technique for dealing with that obstacle.

The mantra for the safest technique for setting speed for taking corners in wet and slippery conditions is "slower than normal going in"; allowing for always being able to maintain at least "off-idle maintenance throttle position" (or slight more) from turn entry ...... all the way to exit .... without the bike exceeding the target safe corner speed at any time.

More tips to digest Alex (and anyone else reading that has an interest).

Last edited by Gary J; 11-04-2010 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:06 PM   #47
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Great question AOW!

There’s a key point of understanding to clarify regarding these references to tire pressures set for dry weather riding vs. steady rain conditions, as per what I’ve found to personally work best through lots of real world testing at speed, on and off the track.

That point being to understand that the bullseye to be achieved is tire pressure during operation. With the initial starting PSI set at whatever pre-ride pressure is needed to achieve that dynamic target goal.

In the case of starting out from the garage (“cold” pressure) on a rainy day with tires set to 2-3 PSI higher than would be done on a dry/warm riding day, if one looks at the situation from the pressure during operation perspective, actually the target pressure in both of the two conditions is intended to be very close to the same. Not really much (if any) “higher”.
now that is science I can get behind!
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:50 PM   #48
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This is a great sticky thread. The only thing that I think would help a little bit more, and can be a big part of having fun, or down right miserable time. Is what would be the propper gear or most effective things to wear when going for a rain ride.
The question of examples of rain gear that's proven to work well in keeping dry and getting the job done, came up again in another thread, so adding this post here to the Rain Riding Skills stickied thread.

The following 1-piece rain suit is the exact one I use today, and the Gore-Tex lined leather gloves and boot covers are examples of similar items to what I also use. The pricing examples shown are items that are all available and in stock at "Road Rider Motorcycle Accessories" in San Jose (where I bought mine), as an example.

Here's a link to their website for at least one of the items: http://www.roadridermca.com/products...t-271-139.html
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:01 PM   #49
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Great Advice for a new rider like me, usually where i live in Antioch the weather is good in the morning, but getting closer to work(walnut creek) it will start pouring and i wanna make sure i remember all this stuff Just incase i am caught in the rain... Hope not too dough.

Appreciate it Gary!
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:32 AM   #50
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what about car drivers

i like the thread here. being a 20k+ annual rider rain or shine i think the advice is sound. how do we get the cagers to think about how they operate their cars? like the cars at san pablo damn road this morning before 5 am.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:20 PM   #51
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Gary - thanks for your excellent post! Today we rode Uvas, Watsonville Road, 1 and 17. Didn't do much twisty struff but practiced a couple of your suggestions.

My thighs WILL hurt as I focused on just skimming my butt on the seat, supporting my weight with my legs/feet on the pegs keeping my arms and hands nice and loose. I didn't tear the ricepaper much. Love that metaphor! A couple of throttle chops here and there, but otherwise very smooth. There is so much good information but I like to pick one or two to work on for awhile before trying more new stuff.

Your tips are always helpful, timely and useful. Thank you! :-)
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:38 PM   #52
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Today we rode Uvas, Watsonville Road, 1 and 17. Didn't do much twisty struff but practiced a couple of your suggestions.
Thanks for sharing the feedback on your focused application of a few of the wet road riding techniques, during your recent ride Deb. Congratulations on being a good student!

There's always a lot of satisfaction that comes from hearing that some real world value's been found by another rider, from any of my posted riding tips.

Glad the "ricepaper" metaphor caught your fancy. It's one of my favorites too, as it truly captures the essence of what marks the sign of a proficient wet weather rider.

Hope your thigh muscles are burning good the day-after. That's a really good sign of success!
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:01 AM   #53
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Thanks for sharing the feedback on your focused application of a few of the wet road riding techniques, during your recent ride Deb. Congratulations on being a good student!

There's always a lot of satisfaction that comes from hearing that some real world value's been found by another rider, from any of my posted riding tips.

Glad the "ricepaper" metaphor caught your fancy. It's one of my favorites too, as it truly captures the essence of what marks the sign of a proficient wet weather rider.

Hope your thigh muscles are burning good the day-after. That's a really good sign of success!
Hey Gary - Sure thing on the feedback. Thanks for all that you do! I appreciate the time and effort you put into providing us with such invaluable information. Further, I like that you break-it-down to a detail level for people like me.

Yes the "ricepaper" metaphor caught my eye. And it was perfect timing as I'm still new with the R6 and learning to keep things more smooth as I shift. With the wet conditions it's more important than ever!

I also noticed in another response you wrote that a heavier bike can help in these conditions. I tried to tell Jeff that I felt more confortable on his Gixxer when it's wet because I don't have to work so hard to make it stick to the road. But it's more work for him when I ride it as it's not lowered and he has to move it around when parking. And for everyday riding, it isn't very practical.

Anyway I'm getting off track here. Yes, my thighs are burning today. Inner and quads. I'll continue to work on these new techniques and try some of the others as well. Please do keep posting! It's great stuff!
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:06 PM   #54
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Went for a long ride on Friday (Mellow group ride) and Sunday (solo ride), it wasn't raining but definitely damp and slippery specially on 84 near La Honda and near STP (heading towards it from La Honda). Interestingly with thick winter gloves I found myself supporting myself more by legs, core muscles. On Friday front wheel slipped a tad on 84, well more like a wiggle, but no major issues. Maybe my imagination, but it felt like both times it happened at about the same lean angle.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:14 PM   #55
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Nice to snap black on white but some love rain some dont, i love rain when im solo, very rarely riders could actually learn by reading I THINK.

Great post for sure, im sure it could save some pain and $ for many.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:18 AM   #56
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Got caught in a light rain heading back down 84 from STP yesterday. I used the marshmallow grip on controls, don't tear the ricepaper and skimming the seat methods as suggeted by Gary J. The more I use these techniques, the easier it gets. Thanks Gary! This stuff really works and not just when it's wet. I find myself using these methods when it's dry too. I feel much more in control of my bike. :-)
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:56 PM   #57
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I used the marshmallow grip on controls, don't tear the ricepaper and skimming the seat methods as suggeted by Gary J. The more I use these techniques, the easier it gets.
Cool beans Deb!!

Always good news to hear first-hand feedback from folks that have taken to heart some new ideas on riding technique, applied them religiously, and had good results.

It is amazing how many of the key techniques for riding a bike efficiently (and safely) under traction-challenged wet weather riding conditions pay direct dividends when carried over into regular go-fast dry weather days.

Over the years I've found that the improvements in smoothness, sensitivity to bike feedback, and increased level of bike control that comes out of a full-on rainy trackday, almost always translates into faster lap times (and better riding) at the next dry trackday/roadrace.

Should be a couple more months of alternating rainy weather conditions for folks to continue to practice the techniques highlighted in this thread. Plenty of time to get really tuned up to surprise your friends, come Summer riding season!
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:18 PM   #58
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Your giving me good info Gary ... Been practicing this week ... even though it has mostly been sprinkles ... but tomorrow looks like the real deal in the rain :-)
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:31 AM   #59
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Good overall post but a little too much to ask someone to keep in mind especially while dealing with many adverse conditions at the same time. I too am a daily rider and have been for many many years. I have found that smoothness is the key to maintaining control at all times. It is very easy to tense up when faced with slick roads limited visibility and traffic and therefor to keep reminding yourself to stay relaxed with control inputs.

Under no circumstances should you put a foot down while underway this is a sure way of ending up on crutches remember that you are riding a motorcycle and not a tricycle. Do not mess with tire pressures either, a decent tire with good tread will handle the water just fine. If any thing ride in one gear higher than you normally would to prevent overwhelming the rear with a sudden burst of power this is especially true of high horsepower machines. Most importantly do not put yourself in a situation where you can be hurt such as riding to close behind a car, or a car too close behind you, stay out of blind spots and make sure that you see what is coming up.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:09 PM   #60
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Good overall post but a little too much to ask someone to keep in mind especially while dealing with many adverse conditions at the same time
While I totally respect each rider to make their own personal decisions on what techniques and methods they elect to apply to their own riding (including you Peter), I would politely request that you not post up 180 degree reverse contradictory advice telling riders your opinion of what they should do when riding in the rain .... at least within this thread.

If you wish to post contrasting directives to BARF members on rain riding skills and techniques, feel free to do so, but I only request that you open up your own thread on the topic and have at it over there.

This thread was "stickied" by BARF's head guy (Budman) as an instructional resource for me to serve as the SME for presenting concepts and techniques for other BARF members to access for their rain riding education. Information derived from a tremendously deep history of real world experience in rain riding at the most extreme levels. Levels and mileages experienced by very few.

The original advice is solid and proven, however if an indivdual choses to take a different path for their own personal rain riding that's totally fine and respected. However posting significantly contradicting advice within this thread would be appreciated if it is avoided.

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Do not mess with tire pressures either, a decent tire with good tread will handle the water just fine.
An example of the 180 degree contradictory advice to what has been previously provided in the instructional content of this tread. The tire pressure setup being a concept and action that has been thoroughly tested and proven to be beneficial for tire performance and safety in the most extreme wet weather conditions, on the street, backroads, and even the racetrack. Again do what you wish with your own bike's tire pressures, but please do not post up your personal opinions as instructional advice within this thread, that deviate greatly from the original content. Thanks!


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Most importantly do not put yourself in a situation where you can be hurt such as riding to close behind a car, or a car too close behind you, stay out of blind spots and make sure that you see what is coming u[.
I agree with this statement 110%, Peter. You're right on the money there! Keeping the largest possible 360 degree "safe zone" from traffic around you, is definitely a golden practice for riding around other vehicles in slippery, wet road conditions! Stay away from getting wrapped up in other people's bad driving decisions or vehicle control mistakes.

Looks like lots of wet weather is predicted for the immediate days ahead. Conditions that should provide lots of opportunties to practice these rain riding skills!

Last edited by Gary J; 02-17-2011 at 08:49 PM..
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