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I would consider purchasing an XR if:

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Re: How To: Rain Riding Part 1

Good start on this story!

I had no idea that the average American bike mileage was so low! I ride around 30k miles a year, but I also use my bike for transportation to and from work. A 55 mile round trip.

Rain riding is a big part on this. Many hours and miles spent in the rain every year. I look forward to reading the rest of what you have to tell us on the subject.
 

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Re: How To: Rain Riding Part 1

It's raining now in LALA land and I just got back from the post office on the CL. I'm sitting here nice and dry, except for my boots which are soaked.

I wear a US Navy Aircrew Dry Suit with booties and everything. Put a slicker over that, and I'm ready for the North Atlantic.

Check out some surplus stores, especially if you live close to a military base. Lots of great wet-cold weather gear from uncle sam. Pawn shops too.

Nice to know that my old green codura nylon aircrew jacket slides across the tarmac better than my leather one.

Plastic bags & duct tape work in a pinch for boot covers if you're out and about and it starts raining.

Thanks for the good read.
 

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Re: How To: Rain Riding Part 1

Nothing beats a good cordura suit, a good pair of gore-tex boots, and a second pair of gloves.

After several years of stuffing on my bulky, non-breathable rainsuit and boot covers I ended up getting a Dainese cordura suit & then eventually got some Daytona boots.

I still haven't gotten the gloves "solved", but with heated grips I just swap my gloves to a pair that is warm when wet and put my nice leather gloves in the bags.

Saves a ton of time and it's so much more comfortable then raingear. Here in New England we get lots of unpredictable weather, it almost always rains for part of the day anytime you take a long ride, having to keep donning and removing the raingear each time the weather changes gets old fast.

I hope to get some good gloves with drawstring guantlets at some point to complete the whole thing. Gloves are IMO the hardest part, I hate riding with glove covers or lobster mitts. You lose feel on the control just when you need it the most.
 

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Re: How To: Rain Riding Part 1

As a mutant seattleite whose 2nd vehicle is needed by my wife, I commute daily on my bike, and obviously very frequently in the rain. I'm not quite like bmwdude, I think I put about 7k miles per year on my bike (my commute is a few miles but I always take the long route just to get a longer ride in).

I've found that my fieldsheer pants, jacket, and standard olympic leather gloves (although I use fieldsheer gloves as well when I go east into the colder higher altitudes) work great in the rain. I'm never wet, I'm rarely cold at all. I wear standard engineer's boots by double-H boots and they are completely water-proof as far as I can tell. I bought a timbuk2 bike messenger bag that works great in the rain; it's completely waterproof, although admittedly the only stuff that goes in it generally are groceries. It holds a ton though; I made a big old chicken dinner for 6 and everything fit in there, including the whole chicken, a bag of potatoes, and an apple pie on top.

I'm looking forward to more information on riding strategy in the rain.

Bike prep eh? The only thing I do is clean and lube more than most folks probably. Also, I leave my bike outside year round, so that would be necessary anyway. I wonder what I'm missing.
 

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Re: How To: Rain Riding Part 1

Ah, yes; everyone at work thinks I'm insane, since as long as my bike's running, I will ride it. I've only driven to work four days in the last nine months, and two of those were because I had worn the rear tire to the belts(didn't realize until one sunday, when I went to a friend's to meet for a ride and noticed a different rubber compund).

Of course, it's still So Cal, and almost never really rains, and since I grew up in the Northwest....
 

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The glove problem...

Thanks for a great intro on rain riding. I rode in winter weather for two years (30 years ago).

A couple of observations. 1) For me the problem wasn't staying dry, in was the convenience issue (or lack of it!). My job required slacks, shirt & tie, nice shoes, etc. My ride was a 650 Yamaha with a Vetter fairing & hippo hands.

I would get dressed in my work clothes, pull a waxed barbour suit on over all that, stuff my dress loafers in the pocket of the Vetter, lace up a pair of linemans boots. Then ride 30 miles over SF penninsula mountain roads to Cupertino. Then get out of all that s**t, and hang it up to drip dry, slip on my loafers! Then do it all again to go home! That is why I don't commute in the rain. I didn't like the hassle of all that then, I sure as heck wouldn't like it now (in my mid 50's!). Longer trips in inclement weather weren't so bad!

2) Nobody has talked about "Hippo Hands" although I know that they are still available, (maybe not under that name). A waterproof Nagahyde covering that slips over the ends of the bars (sealing up around the contol cable entrances). You slip you lightly gloved hand inside and ~ warm & dry without undo bulk around your control levers & switches.
 

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Re: How To: Rain Riding Part 1

Excellent article. The layer thing is really important. The Fog City shield thing works great However, the adhesive only worked for one season for me. Also I found these items useful a baclava to protect your neck and chin and a chin curtain

The glove discussion was really great Gabe.

Great writing for a rain amatuer... just kidding. I seem some pretty good storms in California..

kpaul

(reformed rain rider now a fair weather wimp)

Seattle
 

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Excellent Point

" I do is clean and lube more than most folks probably." Yep a mechanic at Kent Kawasaki told me to make sure to clean and lube the chain.. more than Kalifornians would :)

Gloves were always my problem when I commuted...My Olympic gloves were a soggy mess when I arrived at work....
 

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Interesting artical gabe. I'm amazed at the low average milage, I usually average that in a month. The bread bag thing doesn't really work though for the same reasons, your feet sweat and the bag holds the moisture in. The best rain and general riding boots I've tried is Sidi On Road Sympatex, I've had a pair for about four or five years, wear them on the bike and at work all day with just a pair of Fox River syn-wool blend socks. I've never had a problem with cold or wet feet. I've tried everything from Sorel Caribo's (work great except zero shift or brake feel) to Chippewa Engineer boots slathered in Hubbards Boot Grease which also work well but not as warm and the Sidi's work best in all conditions. I have a pair of 15 year old TourMaster Elite gloves that were great till they wore holes in a few places, now I use them in conjuction with the little nylon rain covers if it's cold and as long as the holes don't line up between the two they're still fairly warm.



Other than that, J.R. Ballistic suits work pretty well for the money but they wear through if you slide down the highway.
 

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Thanks

Thanks man. This is just the thing that might work for me.. I like to wear tight gloves for control... but they would always get soggy. I can't stand big gloves with no feel. hippo hands allows the me to wear my normal gloves. Thanks again.
 

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Welcome from the Rainy Pacific NW. I am a year round rider. Gabe's tips are all great. Especially the heated vest.



Here's some tips I have for you folk.



1. Dry hands. Go to an Industrial supply store (safety equipment and the like) and buy some large rubber gloves, heavy duty to wear over your gloves. (The place here in Portland has about 15 different thicknesses and types. WAY cheaper than anything morotcycle specific and very durable, too. Why over the gloves - so when/if you crash you will still have lots of abrasion protection.



2. Check out a vest by Vision vests. No, I have no interest in them and they didn't pay me to say this. They are a tough vest that has lots of reflective material on it. It can be put on over your rain gear.



3. Wear a WHITE helmet - see the Hurt report. The tips about reflective stuff on the helmet are well taken ( I have the turn signal arrows for my Shoei flip up helmet.) Some of my friends laugh at me for being so visible, but if it saved one driver from changing lanes into me I'll take the ribbing.



4. Sailing rainsuits (I got mine for $50 at Costco) which feature a bib type pants and a long jacket in a bright color, are great. Warm too. (Sailing suits are almost always bright and have reflective trim because if you fall overboard on a rainy night you really want to be seen!!)



5. Always check braking traction when starting out in the rain. Practice braking in the rain.



6. Learn about increased stopping ditance the easy way (before) rather than the hard way (BANG!) Slow down!!



I put over 30 K mile on my bike last year and rode in all kinds of weather (except snow). As was stated in the article, it's not half bad if you dress for it. Having experience riding in the rain gives you confidence and that makes for a much more relaxed rider when it does get wet.



Keep the rubber side down. Watch out for the manhole covers and white lines!





Thanks for reading.
 

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Re: How To: Rain Riding Part 1

That sounds like something you would see at Sturgis..i.e. get two big girls with DDs (the kind Buz likes) on some harleys and have them ride around in ice rink full of whipped cream.bumping in to each other. Topless of course... Jello would work too.. God I am sick man.....Too much on demand ;)
 
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