i only passed my test a week ago. now i learn to ride. i done most of my training in the dry, however i had 1 day that rained all day. i was bloody scared. there are that many conflicting views on how to ride in the rain. i was/still am scared to lean into corners, when learning i had to lead, so i could not see how the instructor set them self up to take a roundabout. i went out in the rain last weekend in the rain and twice nearly failed to come off a roundabout properly. mainly due to not leaning i think. any oppinions or experiences shared would be appreciated or advice on courses to help confidence. i know you cant beat experience/practise but i would rather not fall off and dont want to be a fair weather rider.
Wet weather riding
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wet weather riding
I think you have answered your own question yourself in that by not having the confidence in your bike you have nearly got yorself in trouble. As long as your tyres are in good condition and you dont give the bike handfuls of throttle then the bike will handle most lean angles you can take. The usual rules apply of observation apply that you look out for Diesel spills ETC but accepting this get out and practice and just get used to the feel of the bike.
easier said than done
It's still early days for you... Trust your instincts and cautious as you are, get out there and practice... in your own time!
Wet weather is nothing to worry about. It will only help polish your riding. Be very smooth on the clutch and always select the right gear to match the engine speed. Avoid strong winds! And keep warm and dry! Otherwise your concentration goes easily...
take it easy
meaning: don't push yourself too much. I don't know about you but I HAD to get on my bike and commute into heavy london traffic from the 1st day I passed my test (long winded story, I work long hours and very difficult to go to work by public transport), so I HAD to get used to it in the rush hour traffic, not ideal! If you don't have to go out there in heavy traffic then at first ride out during 'quiter times' so that you don't have to worry about all the crazy people in a rush around you! Just take your time and go slow, smooth riding is the key. Avoid white paint (any road paint) when you are braking, avoid tar-bands and manholes and diesel patches. Having said this you can ride over these things but smoothly and if at all possible avoiding breaking over them or harsh accelerating. Riding in the wet itself is not very different then riding from the dry, you just need to be 'smoother' but as a 'new rider' you will probably be very smooth anyway? I was! and still am as only been riding 9 months now!
I had to ride back home in the snow last march and I made it in one piece (at 15-20 mph all the way). I got home and looked like a snow-man, all covered in snow!!!!
Joining a local Rospa or IAM group will help you a GREAT deal too, they are very friendly and flexible, I have VERY limited time on my hands due to my job and work shifts too but they joined me to an instructor who is not too far from my area and we arrange ride outs at a convenient time to us both once a fortnight. They also do 'ride school' days where in a 'classroom' environment they teach you about 'roadcraft' and all sorts to ride safely and well.
Wet weather is great for honing all year round skills and improving your confidence, I really enjoy it. I find my tyres are a bit slippery til they warm up but not much different really, just don't give it too much pasty. Leaning can get your nerves going but accept that you will slide a little at times, you can't really avoid it unless you take corners too upright which means over-braking and takes all the smoothness out of your riding.
I read somewhere that if you hang off the bike slightly when cornering it allows the machine to stay more upright and keeps more rubber on the road, anyone tried this or is it bollocks?
If you select the correct speed that you comfortable with to go into the corner, make sure you set your self up for the corner, lean into the corner and accelerate out. After tim eand more confidence you will build up and will be able to take the corners a bit faster. I ride every day for comuting and its england garanteed to rain, its all about setting yourself up for the corners.