One of the reasons that I stopped riding my dirtbike was that I took a spill (edit: on the road) on a corner that had a patch of gravel. Today I would probably keep my bike as upright and slow as possible as I take the turn, although I am still not sure if the weight of the bike and rider would be enough to find traction in gravel.
Now for the past month we had been having good weather and I haven't had a chance to ride in a full downpour or rain soaked road.
The question had been asked to many riders, "how do you ride in rain?" and the answer has been "Very carefully, no sudden moves, turn slowly" and Chris from PRS even said "Walk the bike around the corner"
Now which words don't I understand? all of them except the one with walking the bike around the corner.
Of course we try to do the obvious like avoiding larger puddles on water on the road, or gently steering (in a more upright turn).
but "How carefully do we need to ride?".
1. Can we take a normal corner with a gentle counterbalanced lean (going lets say 10kph, 15kph)?
2. Can we go straight at any speeds and as long as we are relaxed on the handlebars, the bike will continue to go straight (even if we begin to hydroplane)? or will the hydroplaning take the bike sideways regardless of your steering?
I will also assume that the weight of the bike + biker will play a role on keeping your tires contacting the ground, so slower speeds would probably be best to get the best traction.
3. How much is no sudden moves? like the gentle curves on Westminister highway I use countersteering at 120kph. So lets say we drop it back down to the speed limit of 90kph and taking it easy. Is that enough?
4. If we hit an oil + water patch while turning, is there a recovery method to keep the bike from sliding, or to let the bike slide until it regains traction? now all this is probably at speeds of only 10-15kph so I don't expect to skid more then a few feet?
5. when do we walk the bike around the corner? as I'm sure the traffic would love you for that.
6. No front brakes? just rear brakes?
7. New pirelli tires with chicken strips on the side. Worn the middle but not yet the sides. More dangerous in the rain? (I would assume so). Can we sruvive the rain if we ride gently? ie. just easy leans enough to get around the corner at slow speeds?
I would appreciate your inputs and hopefully with your pointers I will again practice in the neighborhoods before heading out to the highways for a full rain ride. The next few days seems to be raining so this would be a good chance to practice the Vancouver winters.