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First, this is my first post. I got my CBR in August, and have been reading all I can on here since then to get to know as much about my bike as possible.

During my MSF course, it poured for a large part of the second day, so I was able to get some good experience (while not going very fast). Until today, I had avoided riding the CBR in rain. It didn't look like it was going to when I left home, but sure enough it started drizzling when I was farthest away from home, and it eventually turned in to pretty heavy rain. I thought the CBR handled the rain pretty well, but I did find myself doing everything more slowly out of fear of slipping/sliding.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice for dealing with getting caught in unexpected rain, including what to do to care for the bike when done riding (I dried as much of the bike as possible with a microfiber towel)?

Thanks.
 

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Yuck, rain. First 15 min of rain releases oils etc from the road and will be the slickest so try and avoid middle of the lane. I guess common sense plays a primary roll in riding as in driving our cars in certain weather, ride accordingly and smartly. If a downpour occurs sometimes its good to pull over and wait for the worse to blow through. Does suck when caught though.
 

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It goes against everything that feels right but..... Leaning your body off the bike in a corner will give you more traction around a corner in the rain. Here's why (as it was explained to me by my instructor) if you lean your body off the bike in the rain the bike it's self will remain more upright through a corner. It feels wrong but it works. Don't try and put your knee down or anyhting but lean off the bike slightly more than you do in the dry and you'll be pulling faster corners in the wet.
 

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My first ride on my CBR was in the rain.... 'twas 2 weeks before I took my safety course... stupid me.. but what the heck.. i had to get my baby home.. :) I haven't ridden in the rain since then.. I will try avoid the rain as much as possible but I carry my rain coat if the forecast says there's a chance of rain.

 

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My sympathies. I remember watching that when you first posted it, felt for you nut cudos. A true baptism into the riding world:eek:
 

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I always try to avoid driving in the rain for the following reason:

1. The road is slippery
2. Car drivers have difficulty seeing you especially if the rain is really heavy (headlights on heavy)
3. Its not easy cleaning the bike

And if caught in the rain while travelling, I always look for gas station where I can park my bike. Gives me time to rest and best of all safe and dry.
 

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i live in one of the wettest cities in north america, Vancouver Canada. I have ridden in all conditions from hotter than hell to driving rain, often. Wear your rain gear, ride slower and with an extra degree of caution than you normally would, and you will be fine. Same rules apply, ride like everyone is out to get you, and no one sees you. And as for 'caring' for the bike, it is a machine, designed to be outside. It is not necessary to dry it off after a wet ride. My bike is covered over night, but sits outside my office for 8 hours in every condition from pouring rain to scorching sunshine. Perform the proper maintenance, and it will be fine.....
 

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It goes against everything that feels right but..... Leaning your body off the bike in a corner will give you more traction around a corner in the rain. Here's why (as it was explained to me by my instructor) if you lean your body off the bike in the rain the bike it's self will remain more upright through a corner. It feels wrong but it works. Don't try and put your knee down or anyhting but lean off the bike slightly more than you do in the dry and you'll be pulling faster corners in the wet.
How does remaining more upright increase traction? Traction is a function only of your tire surface, weight on the tire, and the road surface. Racers do it to give the bike more geometric clearance so they aren't dragging parts along the ground. If I'm doing it wrong (cornering) please correct me.
 

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Upright is about gravity. Upright gravity is forcing the tyre onto the ground leaning over there is more sideways force on the tyre, than upright.
 

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Ah fair weather riders... Ive heard of this species before :p

But yes Macca is correct.. keep bike more upright and counteract by moving rider weight to the inside.. same as you do when a bit of gravel appears mid corner and you are committed at high speed.
 

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Rain cool

I enjoy riding in the rain but it requires the best (expensive) gear. There is something mystical and rare about it. I do shift my weight to the inside of turns more in the wet to be more careful. I might get sick of it if I lived in the North American North West ( I only live in the second rainiest/ snowiest area of North America).
 

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When I take trips, I have my sidi rain proof boots and rain gear and some First Gear summer time rain gloves.

I actually enjoy riding in the rain and on weekend trips when the rain has been going on since the beginning, Riding on the road isn't much different wet vs dry after all the oils and dirt have been washed off.

Took a trip to the inagural Moto GP in Indy and the last day was the tail of a hurricane passing through, during the race. Those bikes didn't slow down much at all, still pulled the front wheel out of corners and was held long enough to finish the race on a call. They called the race because it rained so hard, one portion of the track became a pond, it wouldn't drain fast enough.

Believe in your bike and tires, these tires perform extremely well on wet pavement. On freshly wet pavement, as has been mentioned, its smart to use caution as that is when it is the slickest.
 

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As far as the bike goes, If I get home in the rain, I like to hose it off with a garden hose before putting in the garage to kep most of the gunk off. If its not raining too much, I'll soap it up at the same time and consider it washed. I always towel dry and then use my compressor to blow out the nooks and crannys.
 

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Upright is about gravity. Upright gravity is forcing the tyre onto the ground leaning over there is more sideways force on the tyre, than upright.
I'm sorry but this is false. With the same radius turn, at the same speed, the force that turns the bike (that which points to the center of the circle) is exactly the same. Furthermore, the angle between the center of mass of the bike/rider, the tire, and the road must be exactly the same in either case. The only difference there is whether you are moving the bike or the rider to accomplish the shift in the center of mass.

Any difference in the amount of grip you get would be a function of the surface area of the tire in contact with the road, as the friction force is simply the normal force (in this case the weight of the bike/rider system) and the coefficient of friction between the tire and the road.
 

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I agree with CBR Rod, after the oil has washed away it is very much like riding any other time except that you and the bike get wet, and visibility can be impaired, more so at night.
I dont like rain road muck on the bike, but love to ride, got to do it. Try to make sure your chain is lubed well if it looks like a threat of rain. I have not used every chain lube on the market, but most are gone after a good rain ride.
D.I.D Racing Chains & Dirt Star? Rims
TSUBAKI RIDER Motor Chain
The rollers are not sealed,and once rust starts there the chain goes to hell. There is a good diagram on tsubaki site. When it gets dry with some rust it will wear at a fast rate. Dry and rusty sounds like a WW1 half track going down the road.
 

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Ok....for all of those who disagreed with my post. It's just what my instructor (of 20 years) told me was the safest way to corner in the wet without sacrificeing to much speed. I appreciate your comments and different opinions. It works for me. i don't feel like i'm loosing grip when i use this technique. Good suggestions fellas!
 

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Hanging off works

I'm sorry but this is false. With the same radius turn, at the same speed, the force that turns the bike (that which points to the center of the circle) is exactly the same. Furthermore, the angle between the center of mass of the bike/rider, the tire, and the road must be exactly the same in either case. The only difference there is whether you are moving the bike or the rider to accomplish the shift in the center of mass.

Any difference in the amount of grip you get would be a function of the surface area of the tire in contact with the road, as the friction force is simply the normal force (in this case the weight of the bike/rider system) and the coefficient of friction between the tire and the road.
Hanging your body off the bike to the inside of the turn definitely increases the maximum cornering force that can be generated before washing out of tread contact. Or in the case of our discussion, increases your margin of available cornering force for a safer margin before approaching the limit of traction in the rain. It also seems to me from my experience on muddy hair pins on my mountain bike that there is also something else going on more than just preserving your remaining lean angle by keeping the bike more upright. You definitely go faster and crash less by hanging off the bike and sticking your knee out to get as much body weight placed to the inside of the turn as you can. Is it possible that the size or shape of the contact patch of an upright tire is bigger or shaped better for traction than a leaned tire?
 

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I have rode many mountainous curvy roads the last 2 months, many times i have gotten caught in the inevitable rainstorm..some were really good downpours...

i must say i did slow 5-10 miles an hour,stayed firmly planted in the middle of my seat as i always do..and navigated every single corner successfully without the slightest hint of ever losing traction...i was more worried about hydroplaning than i was anything.

I am not saying leaning off the bike in corners during a rain doesn't work, i am just saying that so far i haven't found the need to do it.
 

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Learn it.. do it.
 
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