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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I was hoping to get some practice in before it started raining around here, but looks like my luck ran out as it's raining now and through the weekend. I freely admit that I'm new to it, so I'm hoping for a few tips on riding in the rain from the more experienced crowd. My mechanic told me that when he took the bike around the block, he had a hard time keeping the rear tire from slipping. The tread is almost new, it's just a lot of torque for such a light bike.

Anyways, things I'm most worried about is the rough roads (it's construction season) and one of the bridges I have to take is steel mesh, not concrete. It's even a little "wiggly" in my car, makes me a little nervous. Other than slowing down a bit, and making sure I leave more space as best I can, what else should I know? Tips? Tricks? Things that have cought you?

Thanks guys, I appreciate the help.

--Noob
 

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be extra careful with your downshifting is one I can think of. I got a little squirley on my first ride in the rain on wednesday.
 

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Stay away from the rear brake. Whatever you do, do it smoothly and deliberately.

Stay extra vigilant for tailgaters and other idiots on the road, not only is your stopping distance increased, so is theirs. Leave yourself more time to react to threats.

And try to stay dry!
 

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All of thee above.

Plus don't even think about crossing that steel bridge in the wet. Unless your walking along side the bike,

FOG
 

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Discussion Starter #5
FOG said:
All of thee above.

Plus don't even think about crossing that steel bridge in the wet. Unless your walking along side the bike,

FOG
That could be a problem as it's the only access to where I need to go other than adding 2+ hours to the commute (no, that's not an exaggeration) by going around.

I have chaps, not pants, so any tips to help prevent the pissed-pants look?
 

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Then walk the bike. In the wet, that bridge is the slipprest thing in the worls and just think about falling on it.

Go here: http://www.ex-500.com/index.php/topic,2003.0.html

Oh yea tips: Braking: Be sure to brake softly at first with the front brake so that weight transfer loads the front tire. Then you can brake much more severly than you can imagine. If you grab a lot of brake before you load the tire, you will stop the wheel, but not the bike. Then the loss of that front gyro will cause the bike to fall over, Even at 100 MPH (ask me how I know).


FOG
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jason said:
is the bridge just like a metal slab, or is it grated?
.

It's grated.

FOG said:
Then walk the bike. In the wet, that bridge is the slipprest thing in the worls and just think about falling on it.

Go here: http://www.ex-500.com/index.php/topic,2003.0.html

Oh yea tips: Braking: Be sure to brake softly at first with the front brake so that weight transfer loads the front tire. Then you can brake much more severly than you can imagine. If you grab a lot of brake before you load the tire, you will stop the wheel, but not the bike. Then the loss of that front gyro will cause the bike to fall over, Even at 100 MPH (ask me how I know).


FOG
Alright, I'll look deeper into the surface streets and see if I can find a way around. I have to rule out walking the bike as there's no sidewalk along there, it's pretty much paint line -> barrier.
 

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I live on a island in Fla with 3 drawbridges to get off it, all have the steel grating.

You can go over them in the rain, just drop back from the cars ahead of you in case they stop, you don't want to do any heavy braking on that stuff or any braking at all if you can avoid it.

Just go a normal speed and let her do her thing, don't try a death grip, the handle bars will shake a bit but hang loose, just go in a straight line and you'll be over in a jiff. Don't go too slow, bike work on a gyroscopic princple, she's more steady going 30 then 15 over that stuff..

The old Sunshine Skyway bridge (about 15 miles long) had a 1500ft section of grating at the top (250ft up), it was one lane each way and narrow.
I still have dreams about going over it in on a bike. The amount of wind that could come up thru that grate was horrifing and the cheese grater effect if you fell... :eek:

And actually the rain is the only time i use my rear brake, softly braking with both if its real slippery.
 

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That bridge when it's wet, treat it like if you were on an ice rink.
 

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Even with experience, I avoid riding in rain at all costs. But when I get caught out in it, I do several things.

The first being a given: REDUCE YOUR SPEED. I know that sounds stupid, but you'd be amazed how many idiots out there insist, that slick roads don't affect traction. Well, if it can cause Rossi to lowside, than it obviously can cause 'Joe Average' to as well. Because, let's be honest: 'Joe Average' ain't no Rossi. :) The second thing is, leave copious amounts of space. I add on average, an extra two car lengths of space, once the Heaven's open up. Third, I hug the bike extra hard with my quads, to help stabilize the momentum, relax my elbows, and lower my overall riding stance a few inches. So it looks like I'm literally "humping" the tank, when I lower my center of gravity. Doing all of the above got me through an unexpected wet snowstorm a few years back, while riding an '83 750 Sabre. A much more...*ahem*..."supersized", top-heavy bike.

And most of all? Don't panic. And if you feel you're in over your head, don't be a hero. Pull over to the side of the roasd, until things calm down weather-wise.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow... so much for the alternate route plan. I found 3 ways around the bridge that I need to go over. 1 adds 2+ hours to the comute, the other 2 are metal grate. As I didn't have the luxury of time this morning I went ahead and took my chances. I slowed down, put the throttle in a neutral setting (no torque, no grinding, just an even flow) and I have to honestly say that while I made it across unharmed and on both wheels, it had to be one of the top 5 most terrifying 100' of my life.

I have one more route that by buddy drove me around tonight to try out Thursday.

I found out from a couple very expierenced riders in my classes that I am going to have a lot of problems with stability due to the fact that I weigh almost as much as the bike, and that my torso is so high that my center of gravity is too high for what I have to work with. Think 6'6", 32" inseam, linebacker. Any tips from bigger riders out there?

Anyways, I am definately taking steps to avoid having to post pics in the Reserved Space (thanks Fog :p ) but I still value the advice.
 

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alex182 said:
I found out from a couple very experienced riders in my classes that I am going to have a lot of problems with stability due to the fact that I weigh almost as much as the bike, and that my torso is so high that my center of gravity is too high for what I have to work with. Think 6'6", 32" inseam, linebacker. Any tips from bigger riders out there?
I don't think it will be much a 'problem' for you.. Allright, I am not your size, but I rode smaller/lighter rides before and all went well.. And besides, you've grown accustomed to your size and you will get accustomed to the 500 in the same way.. It will only feel lighter for you than for smaller peoples. You probably got the nimblest 500 of us all ;D

Anyone can be an idiot, even with experience ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Frog said:
Anyone can be an idiot, even with experience ;)
Anyone but FOG of course, he's perfect in every way! :D






Gotta wipe my nose, hold on...
 

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alex182 said:
Frog said:
Anyone can be an idiot, even with experience ;)
Anyone but FOG of course, he's perfect in every way! :D
He is the best mechanic I know around the 500 and he shares his knowledge, and for this, he has all my respect.
 

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I'm 6'4" w/ a 32" inseam and its not that hard to be stable on these bikes, it only took 1k before I started dragging knee.
 

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If at all possible, get some practice on residential streets before you get on busy thoroughfares.

Try making some practice stops before you actually have too. You'll probably be shocked by how much longer it takes unless it's been raining long enough to get the oil off the road. I slid about 50' past the first intersection I came to in the rain, decades back. Happened to be a cop sitting there so it was triply embarassing... Thankfully, he let me off with a warning. Never did that again.

I personally hit the rear brake till it locks up, for just an instant, when the traction is questionable. It gives you a very good indication of how much traction is available. Keep in mind that you can easily lean over far enough to lose traction, when the roads are oil-slick.
 
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