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Discussion Starter #1
Is it just me or is riding at night in the rain incredibly stressful?

I had to ride back to South Wales from Manchester yesterday afternoon, no option. Left around 15:30 - 16:00 in light rain, got my gear on so not too concerned but visibility is pretty poor; lots of crap being thrown up by trucks etc. As the ride goes on obviously it gets dark, still raining, mist/fog, wind, dirt on the roads etc etc. I'm making progress but still feeling a bit on the edge, dazzled by oncoming traffic as the visor is covered with water/mud despite wiping it regularly; several corners give me a small moment...

Stop at a Little Thief after 2 and a bit hours to warm up but still another 2 hours riding ahead and I'm feeling pretty stressed; anyway make it home in one piece but I still feel knackered the next day, mentally more than physically. Not helped by my previously great boots leaking a bit and a couple of other damp spots.

I guess I'm asking is this just how is goes if I'm going to ride in all weathers or am I missing any tricks?

Help!
 
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Discussion Starter #2
I should add that I think poor visibility is the biggest problem. I don't mind riding in rain, in fact I quite like the adventure, bit at speed I just find it hard to see much, which is a bit disconcerting!

My visor has a few obvious scratches but otherwise looks pretty good. Heavy rain is sometimes feels like less of a problem than light mist, and a bit of road grime obviously makes things even worse.
 

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Generalissimo Tea Boy
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A new visor makes a world of difference, especially when other vehicles are about and there are lots of brake lights/headlights. Also a bit of Mr Sheen on the outside of the visor makes rain and muck come off easier when you wipe with your glove.

Leave plenty of stopping distance and relax as you ride.
 

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hi , to stop your feet getting wet:sign5: get some Goretex Army socks either long or short from eaby or sealskins if feeling rich;).

I have a extended screen which helps stop most the spray onto the helmet , but at night does sparkle in the rain, when following lorries DONT , get past as the spray is horrendous . Do yo were glasses as I`d imagine they dont help in the rain.

My Nolan N103 with pinlock visor is brilliant and the music just chills me out, unless its AC/Dc or a bit of Lizzy:toothy4:
 

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Riding in the rain when its dark takes a lot more concentration hence your mental exhaustion. A visor in good nick is essential and the polishing trick works although the manufacturers don't recommend it. Wonder why?. I very often resort to lifting the visor slightly and peering through the clear gap using the visor as a sort of peak. You can get a thing called a 'V' wipe that fits onto your gloved finger and is rather like a windscreen wiper. Also a small micro fibre cloth in a half tennis ball attached to the bars allows a good wipe on the move. If you lose the cloth it's no great shakes just carry a couple. Water on the inside of the visor is a pain too, only way to deal with this is to stop and clear it away. The last thing is to have the best gear possible for wet riding. Getting cold and then soaked is not good at all, I have a fabric coat and trousers plus a one piece when the rain comes in biblical proportions. Oh! and have plenty of stops for warm drinks and rest try not to ride more than an hour and a half.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. Glad it's not just me, some good tips there too; I think a new visor might help to start, the helmet is a couple of years old and I'll try the polish tip.

I do wonder if the lower screen on the RD03 means that I get more spray in the face. My previous Transalp, although having the standard screen, did seem to direct the blast a bit higher, more towards the top if the head. Although could be rose tinted memory syndrome.

The other thing which I know I need to address is my crappy brakes, especially in the wet (I'm blaming the EBC pads on worn discs). I've got new discs on order so hopefully that with a new visor will be a good start. It's hard to force yourself to stop rather than just pushing on but with hindsight I think it would have been worth at least a second stop. Getting home half an hour later is undoubtedly better than not getting home at all!

Thanks
 

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Please excuse slight diversion off topic, but, Tramp, have you seen those wonderful Ex MOD Goretex socks advertised anywhere lately?
Mist, water and fog inside visor and on specs is a horrible problem, a mixture of meths and wash-up liquid smeared on the surfaces (not polished off) does help. I agree that spray polish on the outside of the visor works -I think it sort of fills in "micro-scratches".
 

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bike nut
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i would just recommend the best kit you can afford combined with a clear visor, which makes all the difference.

you certainly need good waterproof gear to keep out the worst rain. I have sealskinz socks, gore-tex trousers and a long gore-tex coat which tucks under yer bum!
also if its really bad i have gators on over my boots and tucked under my outer trouser layer, which is really good and keeps any wind/water off your ankles and out your boots.

then good waterproof gloves with the elastic end done up round my sleaves to stop any drafts and leaks!

then finally buff normally up to just under my eyes, and if its a long trip i take 2! so when you stop and the first one is soggy and wet i have a nice dry one!

I quite enjoy having all the layers on nice and toasty, fully waterproof :p feeling like a 'Michelin man' :p maybe thats just me though......

:blob8:
 
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Discussion Starter #9
i would just recommend the best kit you can afford combined with a clear visor, which makes all the difference.
My gear's pretty good although of the separate liner type so you do get saturated even if not wet but I did seem to be getting a bit damp after 4 hours. Think I might invest in an oversuit for future rides like that though.

The main disappointment, gear wise, was my Gaerne boots which have been great up till now but both feet were damp when I got home. They are seven months old and have been used regularly but I'm still feeling a bit let down. Perhaps I'm expecting too much?
 

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I find the dazzle of oncoming car lights at night draining, has any one tried the Sunday paper job of anti dazzle glasses?
 

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Sort your visor and brakes, don't worry about getting wet.

I have an upturned plastic lid from a spraycan cable tied to a mirror, and inside it I keep a bit of wet sponge. It's good for giving a visor a quick wipeover to clear it, and costs nothing.

I do a fair bit of night riding, and it can be tiring, particularly in the conditions you experienced. Just try to relax, take your time, and pull in for a stop/coffee when you feel yourself getting stressed.
Try to not look or concentrate on oncoming headlights, dip your eyes towards the road/kerb momentarily to avoid glare.

Like you say, better late than never!


Chin up, Good Luck



Bob :thumbup:
 

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I am paranoid about keeping my visor clean ;) I use a spray which beads the rain straight off but when you wipe with the glove wrecks the coating by the spray. So heavy rain is no problem light drizzle when going slow is a pain :rolleyes: as it does not have the wind speed to clear the water.

I also have a pinlok in my visor which works well but even that fails after continued wet riding :confused:

Just take your time and lots of stops to clean visor re apply spray then off again :thumbright:
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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Is it just me or is riding at night in the rain incredibly stressful?

I had to ride back to South Wales from Manchester yesterday afternoon, no option. Left around 15:30 - 16:00 in light rain, got my gear on so not too concerned but visibility is pretty poor; lots of crap being thrown up by trucks etc. As the ride goes on obviously it gets dark, still raining, mist/fog, wind, dirt on the roads etc etc. I'm making progress but still feeling a bit on the edge, dazzled by oncoming traffic as the visor is covered with water/mud despite wiping it regularly; several corners give me a small moment...

Stop at a Little Thief after 2 and a bit hours to warm up but still another 2 hours riding ahead and I'm feeling pretty stressed; anyway make it home in one piece but I still feel knackered the next day, mentally more than physically. Not helped by my previously great boots leaking a bit and a couple of other damp spots.

I guess I'm asking is this just how is goes if I'm going to ride in all weathers or am I missing any tricks?

Help!
Riding at night for me is great fun :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: i enjoy it but suffer from kerractoconis (think that a close spelling) in one eye. This effectively gives me 3 of the same images in my left eye which ever so slightly overlap eachother. Oncoming headlights can give it a bit of greif just through the glare of their lights so i just tend to ride slower and smoother
 

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Heavy rain is better as it tends to keep the visor clear, Drizzle is the worst as it does not clear and it seems to smear ( even on the bus windscreen ).
Do not get too close to heavy vehicles and plan to overtake them asap.
 

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Visibility. Bike polish on your visor will help beading. A new bvisor is also advisable if the one you have is old. Give yourself twice the romm you'd usually ride with and twice the time: don't rush.

All this has been said already.

Getting dazzled by traffic headlights. Personally, I find it extremely difficult gauge the distance or speed of a vehicle behind me, using mirrors when it is dark and raining.

So if you have any doubt, don't pull out of your lane unless you are certain you have the space (in other words, when there are no cars in that lane!!). Particluarly applicable on dual carriageways/motorways.

On normal roads, if oncoming traffic is dazzling my vision, I tend to look at the verge/curb on the nearside, somewhat ahead of me (far enough that you can comfortably brake for a hazard you see there).

That is the only bit of road that is not obliterated by the bright lights of traffic coming toward me. I use it as a gauge of position, speed and change in road direction.

Peripheral vision, being less susceptible to light and more tuned to movement also warns me of what any vehicles ahead of me are doing.

As soon as they are passed you can look at the road ahead as normal without the glare on the retina!!

Particularly useful if you are be-spectacled git like me!

Ah the joys of the evening, rainy commute!
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again chaps, I'll definitely try some sort of wipe/sponge within easy reach along with a new visor.

I think the main tip I've picked up, and it's such a typical thing to do in lots of situations, is that just pushing on isn't the best idea. You'll probably get there but the benefits of a break outweigh arriving a bit later.

Good point about not worrying about getting wet. In a past life working in extreme weather I was always more concerned with being warm, a bit of moisture never did much harm.

Just washed the bike and I'm back to thinking it's just the greatest bike ever.... just need to fix the indicator/brakes/strip it and clean it properly/adjust the front inner tube etc etc etc!

Cheers
 

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Craigypops
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So you will appreciate how tired we all were doing the first TLD from John O Groats to Landsend when in pouring rain and near 0 visibility i looked at my sat-nav that said 475 miles to go!... I nearly cried! lol

Best tip for driving in dark/wet conditions is slow down, don't try to do the speed you would normally do, just take it easy and basically do what others have already said and you should be fine.

Keep it safe fella.



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Get a 'V wipe', greatest invention since brake cleaner. Done many miles in the dark and wet. I'd rather not, but needs must. Worse thing about night riding, especially in the wet is badly adjusted car headlights:mad:
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Fridge it may also be worth looking at your bike screen, I know that I get lots of road spray and rain on my visor because I have a little screen but MoM and J get hardly any because they have big adventure screens.
You're right about the screen. I actually like the look of the low screen, I think I've still got the original one and it is small compared to lots of bikes; it does however deflect less rain. I tried a touring screen on my Transalp but found it noisier, and it didn't look as cool!

Will look out for a v-wipe thingy and I priced up a new visor today, I'm sure Arai make more on the visors that the helmets themselves (£40ish for a clear visor!).
 
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