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Discussion Starter #1
Got caught in some heavy showers [:M92](first time) yesterday... I was wondering what sort of lean can you still pull off on wet roads and what degree of traction remains (stock Dunlops, good tread)

I was afraid to even turn for fear of sliding but made it home in one piece. Kept the bike as upright as possible.
 

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I think I've read somewhere that you still have about %80 traction in the rain, as long as it's been raining for a bit, after the oil has been washed off the road. Ever see those guys race in the rain? Friggin' nuts.
 

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Yes, but the racers have special rain tires. I tried to Google up a pic, but couldn't find one. They're basically *extremely* grooved tires. One can definitely ride in the rain on regular street tires (i.e. our OEM's), but we certainly cannot achieve the same lean angles we normally can in the dry.

inca jones
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is it safe to lean a little, like in normal cruising, or is it better to pull over and wait the rain out?
 

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You're supposed to wait about fifteen minutes after it starts raining for the oil to wash off the road. After that, just ride at a moderate pace and corner very conservatively. No point trying to break a land speed record.
 

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Well, it's best to avoid the first 15 minutes of a rain shower. That's when it's most slippery due to the dangerous mix of road grime, oil, etc. with a little water. After that, a lot of the crap on the road gets washed away (hopefully). Having said that, it's generally safe to lean your bike. Not as much as you normally would in the dry, but you can still do it. But it's really up to you to determine whether it's safe *enough* to ride and how *much* to lean. You'll have to take into consideration things like road conditions (new asphalt may be slippery due to the oils seeping out, dirt which didn't get washed away - becoming slippery mud, broken pavement which may make it a bumpy ride). Of course, don't forget the most important factor - your tires. If your tires are balding, or if you changed to a supersticky DOT race tire, you may not have sufficient grip.

I've been riding in the rain for years. The two times I crashed (lowsided), I was doing about 15mph during the first 15 minutes of rain. Trust me, it's better to stop, let the rain wash away as much of the surface as possible, and then ride again. And just remember: be SMOOOOOOOOTH. :)

Smooth on the throttle, smooth on the brakes, smooth in leaning, smooth in changing your body position. If you do anything ham-fisted (i.e. jarring motions, jerky lever pulls, abrupt lean transitions, etc.) you're increasing the liklihood of sliding out.

Maintain an extra amount of distance from what's in front of you, and keep an eye out for the cagers behind you (the ones who think that rain means "Go Faster"). Just be extra careful all around.

inca jones

edit: DOH! Tommy beat me to it! The bastard!! :D
 

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The one thing Inca didn't mention, is watch out for puddles. These street/track tires are very shy on tread and what they do have is shallow. Hydroplaning is not that much fun on four wheels and it'll just ruin your whole day on two.
 

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"Got caught in some heavy showers (first time) yesterday... I was wondering what sort of lean can you still pull off on wet roads and what degree of traction remains (stock Dunlops, good tread)"


It's true you would have abotu 80% traction on a wet road assumming the road had track like conditions,


I find depending on the road I have anywhere between 40% to 80% traction...


just becareful and adapt to the road conditions...
 

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I got cought in the rain for the first time sat. Im not sure if its normal but my bike wanted to slip just changing lanes. Im in florida so it rains all the time. (not much oil on the roads) tires have 2500 miles on them. Is this normal or me just being a newbie to the sportbike world? My old street bike didnt feel this way.
 

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In addition to what inca and others have said:

Try to relax, keep all steering/throttle/brake inputs smooth, try to avoid painted marks, manhole covers, tram rails, dirt, fallen leaves etc. slippery stuff or at least do not make big steering inputs or brake or accelerate when riding over them.

Keep longer safety distances to cars, because you cannot brake as hard as you could when in the dry.

All traction is not gone, but it certainly is decreased when it rains. For example my -03 will spin the rear in 1st and 2nd gear when the engine reach 9000 rpm (which is actually quite fun if you're not leaned over) on wet asphalt.
 
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