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Motorcycle rain gear and tips to stay dry on your next ride

Added July 13, 2016
To quote the poem “The Rainy Day,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Into each life some rain must fall.” You’d think Longfellow was a motorcycle rider. Although he lived before motorcycles were invented, Longfellow was a traveler, so he surely experienced rainy journeys. It’s rare to ride for days without encountering rain. While “Some days must be dark and dreary,” we don’t need to be wet, cold, and weary.

What are the 3 types of rain gear?

Today we have many excellent choices of rain gear to keep us warm and dry. Before exploring them, it’s important to note that motorcycle rain gear is designed to handle the unique needs of riding. Some key factors that must be addressed in motorcycle rain gear design are wind at riding speed, flexibility for riding positions, and heat resistance. Rain gear not designed for motorcycle riding often fails quickly when riding. There are three common configurations of motorcycle rain gear:

  • One piece – These can be the lightest, smallest, and lowest in price. The big plus is the least amount of openings for rain to enter. The big negative is they can be difficult to get into and out of, especially when worn over protective riding gear.
  • Two piece – These rain suits consist of pants and a jacket. The big plus is the ease of putting them on and taking them off. A bonus is the jacket can be used off the motorcycle. On the downside, they are bulkier to pack and the area where the pants meets the jacket can be a big source of leakage.
  • Two piece with bib pants – The bib pants on these rain suits are very much like traditional overalls. This design greatly reduces the issue of rain entry where pants meet jacket, while adding only a small increase in packing size.

7 tips to keep you dry on your next motorcycle ride

After choosing your style of motorcycle rain gear, here are a few tips to help keep you dryer and safer:

  1. If possible, buy a size large enough to go over your riding jacket, chaps, and body armor
  2. Choose brightly colored rain gear with reflective panels to increase your visibility
  3. Where rubber overshoes to keep your boots dry
  4. Plastic bags worn between socks and boots can help keep your feet dry in wet boots
  5. Nitrile disposable gloves worn under riding gloves keep your hands dry and prevent dye transfer
  6. Rubber kitchen gloves have long cuffs to seal sleeve ends and offer bright colors to improve hand signals
  7. Ventilated goggles, face shield, or a full-face helmet deflect rain from prescription glasses

Quality rain gear makes riding in the rain more comfortable. Remember, rain creates challenges beyond staying dry. It floats slippery oil on road surfaces and can form a thin layer of water on the road causing hydroplaning. Rain reduces both visibility and traction, so slowing down is wise. Consider taking a rest to get completely off the road during heavy downpours.

Till next time, stay dry and ride safe!