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Wisconsin Motorcyclists: Be Prepared for Storms

Riding Your Motorcycle in Wet Weather

Motorcyclists are back, like swallows and other migratory birds, to enjoy the summer season. In Milwaukee, Appleton, or Madison, as soon as the sun shines, the Harleys come out and take over. This is not New Mexico, however, and a quick look at the sky and the wind direction won't guarantee that you are not going to be soaked a couple of hours down the road,.

Riders need to be prepared, because pouring rain is not a question of switching on wipers. Pouring rain means trouble. How should a rider prepare for rain?

Appropriate Gear: Buy the best there is in watertight and waterproof gear, and carry it with you at all times. During a storm, the temperature drops quickly and the wind generated by your speed will freeze you if your clothes are soaked. Numb fingers and legs also affect your reaction time.

Slow Down: Your bike loses traction on a wet surface. Some spots are especially slippery, like painted areas, metal grids or rails, leaves and oily patches.

Smooth Changes: Because your tires do not have sufficient grip, be sure to brake and accelerate smoothly. Braking should be gradual, applied evenly to the front and rear brakes. Accelerate only when you are perpendicular to the ground.

Beware of Standing Water: If possible, avoid crossing standing water, or slow down when you have to. You might hit hidden rocks or debris, lose traction or decelerate abruptly.

Road Wave: Try not to ride too close to the center of the roadway where you could be drenched by splashes thrown by oncoming vehicles. For the same reason, refrain from passing vehicles in front of you, especially large trucks.

Helmet: Give preference to a full-face helmet, one that will keep your head dry with good ventilation to prevent the shield from fogging up. Clean the visor regularly with soap and spray it with anti-fogger. Some gloves are excellent for wiping the visor when you ride in the rain.

Weather Report: Check the weather before heading out, for the different locations you will be traveling to. Don't rely on the weather forecast, though, and keep your rain gear with you.

Hupy & Abraham have offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton in Wisconsin, and Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Quad Cities in Iowa, and Gurnee and Bloomington in Illinois. If you have been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, contact Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) for a free evaluation of your case, or send us an e-mail with your questions.