Pack everything in sturdy plastic bags with twist ties and bring extras to stay organized as you use items along the way. Stay low on the bike so the wind blows you around less. Make sure your helmet visor works well. You need a pin lock. Bring several pairs of gloves so you have something to wear while the others are drying out which can take more than 1 day. If it is really pouring, you have to slow down and find someone to follow in the right lane. Ride in their tire tracks where the water has been temporarily pushed out and let them hit whatever animal runs out into the road for you. Following a blocker. Twisted Throttle has some nice soft luggage systems which can keep the weight low and forward on the bike. You might get by with 60 liters although I tend to use up closer to 90 with a tent and sleeping bag.
. Bags-Connection Drybags (34 or 60 liter sizes available) - Dry Bags - Luggage & Racks - Shop by Product - TwistedThrottle.com
There are many good street riding boots out there that have some sort of waterproof (Gortex) barrier. Mine are 17 years old and even with one seam splitting, my feet are dry regardless of what is going on outside.
Mine are BMW brand, which carries a Roundel Surcharge, but they are great boots.
If you are wearing a mesh jacket for summer, it probably has a internal rain liner.
That is fine, and will keep your arms and torso dry, but the trouble is (I found out), the rain goes through the mesh, hits the liner, and runs down into your gloves.
The next time I have to ride in rain in my mesh, I will put my traditional rain gear over it all, NBD.
I have already had the opportunity to test my new winter coat in a driving rain (forced me off the interstate), and it came through with flying colors! No rain suit needed with it!
It is a Tourmaster Epic jacket. It is no summer jacket, though. Tour Master Epic Jacket - RevZilla
Price is good on closeout, but it's two major drawbacks are narrow forearms and heavy weight (something to consider on a 250...).
For luggage, I always like those storage bags that are basically over-sized ziplock bags, but they have a one-way valve that allows you to roll the bag after closing and squeeze all of the air out of them.
Depending on when you go you probably won't have to worry about rain. This isn't Seattle, after all.
The roads up north are pretty fun. I'd recommend taking M22 from Manistee up to Northport and then heading south into Traverse City.
I'm not concerned too much about the probability of rain. I am concerned about being prepared to ride through it should the rain come. We are planning to take a somewhat leisurely trip around the lake over several days, but the possibility of having to get to a particular point by a particular time does exist. That could necessitate riding in foul weather. Of course, I am optimistic that a late June trip will keep the rain possibilities to a minimum.
Thanks for the route recommendation. I will check it out on a map.
1. Gear: not limited to apparel. Extra items I should bring in case of rain, bag recommendations, packing items related to a week long trip (not camping though) or related to changing weather conditions.
2. Thoughts, warnings, and/or encouragement about riding in bad weather.
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert nor do I claim to be one, just a rider.
1. Procure the best gear you can find, although Less is Better, yes really. Waterproof suit and boots, non-cotton layers, heated liner, use a new shield for touring, multiple pairs of gloves(heated, summer, Gore-tex), balaclava,cash, sign up for AMA's roadside assistance, trip interruption benefits from your insurance company, maps, maps, charger for electronics, plug kit or slime and pump, small piece of wood/platform for the kick stand for parking on dirt, sunglasses, water container, tank bag, plastic bags as a back up. Again less is better.
2. fact: it sucks 90% of the time . Avoid the superslab if you can. Practice around your area when it rains on familiar roads. Sleep well, rest during, eat, hydrate, relax, is not a race. It's a whole new experience. Enjoy the Ride.
The first time I saw FroggToggs I thought "A paper rain suit?? This is a joke, right?" After several years I kept hearing about how great they are. I finally bought a set. They pack down very small and weigh nothing! I have worn them in a downpour and not gotten a drop on me. They are all pretty much the same but the motorcycle ones have a hood that goes under your helmet. This keeps rain off your neck. Be careful around sharp objects. FroggToggs will rip. Duct tape can repair them.
Go to aerostich.com for glove covers and boot covers. They also wad up very small. Use a tank bag so you don't have to dig through all your stuff when the rain hits. Chemical heat packs are good for the occasional chilly day. Dry bags can be found wherever canoes and kayaks are sold.
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