If you’ve rode your motorcycle more than a few hundred miles, it’s probably happened to you: you’re cruising along, minding your own business, when a storm splits the sky.
Your ride can go from “nice” to “hell” in seconds.
While it’s probably safest to pull over under an overpass and wait for it to go away, you don’t always have time. If you’re trying to meet up with someone, or if you just want to get home, you’ll want to keep riding.
Wild weather is dangerous, though. Before you make the decision to plunge into the storm, make sure you have the gear on our checklist.
1) Full-Face Helmet
That centurion-inspired helmet looks bad-ass, but will it save you from the weather? Without a full-face helmet, rain and wind can hurt your eyes and blur your vision, making it harder to drive. If you don’t have a helmet with a visor, it’s probably best to pull over.
This life-saving chemical can defog the visor on your full-face helmet, making it easier for you to see everything that’s happening on the road. With clearer vision comes greater safety — you’ll have the reaction time to dodge road debris and slow vehicles.
3) Rain Suit
Honestly, this one isn’t just about protecting your body. While a good windproof, waterproof rain suit will keep your core safe and warm, it’s also about protecting your leather. Heavy rains can damage traditional cowhide leather by getting rid of the dye or stretching the fabric. If you’ve invested a lot in your leather jacket, the extra money for a rain suit is a necessity.
4) Heavy Duty Leather Jacket
Rain suits are nice, but they won’t save you by themselves. Keep your core toasty warm against the rain with a good, thick leather jacket. Even if the rain itself isn’t cold, things are sure to get chilly as you ride along. The cold can dull your response time — not to mention make riding miserable. There’s a reason riders wear heavy duty leather, and so should you.
The same rules apply to your hands. Frozen fingers can make you slower to steer, and in stormy weather, that means danger. Beat the cold and the wet with gloves, so you can get safely home.
- Relax — It may seem strange, but tensing your body against the storm will wear you out faster, making you more tired and less able to react.
- Slow Down — It’s tempting to race through the rain, but you’ll arrive alive if you go slower.
- Be Smart — If visibility is zero even with a good helmet and Rain-X, it’s time to pull into a diner or under an overpass.
Two Rivers Customs specializes in making old bikes look new, building custom bike frames, and more. If your ride could use a new paintjob or some new accessories, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.