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Handling Wet Roads on Your Motorcycle at High Speeds

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and should not be construed as expert opinion but rather the author's individual experience in riding.  All riders should consult the owner's manuals and product specifications for their individual machine and components.  Midwest Traction encourages all riders to seek professional training.

Riding your motorcycle in wet weather is already challenging, but the risk multiplies when you need to go faster. On a wet track or road, it’s important to focus on maintaining a smooth ride by doing things in a more gradual manner than usual – such as opening the throttle and braking. These considerations reduce the chance of losing control.

Finding the Best Grip

It is crucial to know the best riding position on a wet road. The roughest spots are along the middle of the road, where there is less wear from the cars; the best grip can be found here. The outer edges of the road are shiny and smooth, which make them extremely slippery. When approaching corners, it build pressure in the front tire by braking in a straight line. Leaving the corner is trickier, since there will be a slight spin no matter what precautions you take. Best approach: feed the throttle as you return to an upright position.

Tire Pressure Matters

Often, riders will experiment by dropping their tire pressure by two to five PSI in wet weather. in most instances, this compromises handling for the sake of more traction. Some experts also believe that a drop in pressure prevents the tire from clearing the water effectively. Most modern tires are fine for road riding in wet conditions, but for racing, consider rain tires.

Lower the Gear

Braking while going fast must be gradual. The main danger will be during the first moments when the front suspension lowers with the extra weight. Hence, it's wise to keep only one finger on the front brake, preventing from pulling too hard and locking the front wheel. Before braking, lower the gear, to transfer weight more gently. 

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