Rainy Season Riding Tips


For those of us in normally sunny California, El Niño is about to bring a messy winter. The last time we saw a really rainy winter here was 2004 – 2005, which happened to be my first year of motorcycle riding. Here are some tips for getting through the rainy season if you’re new to riding motorcycles.

Be patient. If you’re itching to ride,  remember that there will be many dry, safer days in the future for you to get out there. It’s best not to ride in the rain at all if possible.

If you do get caught riding in the rain, don’t panic. Ride slowly, smoothly and increase your following distance. It’s best to get to some cover under an overpass or in a parking garage to wait it out if possible.

Keep that chain lubed. You should be doing this anyway about every 300 miles, but perhaps a little more often if it’s gotten wet on the road. Get some chain cleaner, a rag, and chain lube to help keep it in good shape.

Don’t ride canyon roads right after the rain. Give them a few days to clear up, as dirt and debris get washed onto the pavement and tend to hang out for a while.

If you’re bored because you can’t ride… perhaps some viewing material is just what you need. I recommend the if you’re into sportbikes and have any interest at all in watching motorcycle racing:

  • Faster / Faster and Faster by Mark Neale – chronicles the 2001-2002 MotoGP seasons, and the follow up film Faster and Faster covers 2003 – 2004.
  • Hitting the Apex by Mark Neale – just released in 2015, it follows recent seasons for six of the most important MotoGP racers of the current era.

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