Originally Posted by gutsandglory
Where does the time go? My last "big" ride was fleeing Katrina in an 18 hr marathon.
Ride to work everyday but if it looks like rain I keep the bike parked. So now I'm looking at a ride and haven't ridden in wet weather in 5 yrs. Any tips , hints, refreshhers? Thanks all.
A good place to start is to get a copy of "Proficient Motorcycling" by David L. Hough. There is a section about riding in the rain, with some of the warnings above, including road paint and tar snakes. He also mentions railroad tracks and the slippery wood boards that often surround them.
Pay attention to the tread wear on your tires and proper tire pressure. Modern, well-maintained tires grip well on wet concrete and asphalt.
If you are going to do a lot of riding in the rain, consider getting waterproof riding gear. Many of my long distance riding friends wear Aerostich gear, and most, but not all, swear that it keeps the water out completely. The advantage is that you do not have to stop to put on special rain gear.
If you are concerned about being caught in the rain on rare occasions, then you might consider buying Froggs Toggs - outer jacket and pants in a small stuff bag. I live and ride in Southern California where it doesn't rain too often. Froggs Toggs makes motorcycle-specific versions of their gear - with reflectorized piping and lower pants zippers so they can go on over your boots without taking them off.
My Froggs Toggs have kept me dry many a time on rides all over the country. They fit over my regular gear. Obviously you have to put them on BEFORE the rain starts, and I have been caught once or twice in an unexpected downpour trying to get my rain gear on before everything gets completely soaked.
There are no waterproof gloves, even the ones that have Gore Tex or are specifically labelled "waterproof". They will eventually soak through, and some types of gloves take forever to dry. I have been told that the weird three-finger Aerostich overgloves are about the best you can find.
Some of the textile gloves that I own become impossible to put on once they are soaked through. The liners get clammy and stick to your skin as you try to insert your fingers. No amount of force will overcome the stickiness as you try to put them on. The fix is to have a pair of pure silk glove liners handy. Put them on first, then insert your hand in the wet glove. With the silk liners on, your hand will slide right in. Silk liners are cheap and easy to find. I always keep a pair in the glove box on my K1200GT, where they can add an extra layer of warmth when needed, even when wet. I can't tell you how many times I have loaned them to a friend's pillion when their hands got cold. (Come to think of it, I should buy an extra pair or two to have around.)
When your hands are wet, having heated grips and wind deflectors are a big help. I don't have the wind deflectors, but have ridden in several downpours for long hours in 40 degree weather. Eventually my gloves soaked through, and the heated grips made all the difference.
Maintaining the waterproofness in your gloves (whatever waterproofness you can get from them) and your other gear requires cleaning them regularly. The build up of perspiration, skin oils, lotions/soap, and grime prevent Gore Tex and similar linings from doing their jobs. You will need to buy special cleaners and restorative treatments (such as Nikwax) and use them periodically.
Give your helmet a look too. Check the seal between your faceshield and helmet - major leaks can be distracting. You will also have to deal with fogging. If fogging is a serious issue, consider getting a Pinlock version of your faceshield.
'Hope this helps.