Need opinion about riding in heavy rain


I'm in South Florida and this time of the year it rains like that Forrest Gump scene in Vietnam. This will not stop me from riding every single day, I'd rather gear up and suffer through the weather before I get into a car for the trip to work. My question is this....When the road is heavy with rain, do you prefer to ride in the perimeters of your lane where the road is often lower because of tire wear from vehicles which means more standing water, OR do you ride in the middle of your lane where there may be less water as this section of lane is higher but has more oil and fluids from cars built up?

Curious to see what your answers are. I've taken several rider courses and read lots over the last 20 years but never found an answer to this, thanks.


I would rather ride in the least deep part of the water. Even then ride only at slower speeds. Deep water and faster speeds spell disaster.


oRg Gal
Staff member
I've been in torential downpours, for hours (15 hrs to be exact, during last year's trip to and from the Spring Bash, during a nor'easter LOL)... :banghead:

I tend to avoid the middle; assume there's more chance for slick spots there, and honestly, I'm always amazed at how well the Busa travels in rain, even if you're going through some water that's standing. Two tires cut through it way better than 4 flatter tires which leads to hyrdroplaning. I can keep a good pace, no real need to slow down much IMHO. Biggest issue, as always, is making sure you avoid cagers that won't expect a bike to be riding in that kind of weather.

Riding in the rain is never fun, but my Busa does fine and impresses me each and every time :thumbsup:


Seasoned Beef
Donating Member
I guess it would depend on the roads. I assume you know the roads well. Not a lot of fluids in the roads now-a-days.


Donating Member
If the wheel lanes are dipped enough to actually make a difference, I'd try to split the difference and ride more toward the edge of the wheel lane, but not in the middle. With good sport touring tires and riding car speeds, you shouldn't have any problems anywhere in the lane. Main build up of oil residue will be in the center at stop light intersections, for up to 4-5 car lengths back. This is where the most cars will be stopped the longest, with the most chance to drip. But out on the normal road it shouldn't be noticeable at all.
A few years back I did a track day on the Busa at Heartland Park Topeka in the pouring rain. Was on BT-016s and every small river running across the track equaled a slide. Learned a lot about going fast in the wet that day.


^^^ I too tend to split the difference. Heavy down pour isn't that big of a deal as it tends to wash most of the grime away in the first couple of minutes. Its when you have a light sprinkle after a long period of no rain that things get slick.


busas weight helps you stay planted, and scanning the surface always tell you where you want to be.. i ride in hawaii alot and one minute is nice as hell and all the suden a down pour.. you will be amazed how many riders get undet the bridges to wait it out. me I can still manage 70+ in the rain...


I also agree. I actually Love riding in the rain, especially on a Hayabusa. The bikes are certifiable! :beerchug:


Re-Recycled, Busa-Less...
Donating Member
Um, my answer would be when it's just starting to rain stay in the tracks of others, once it's good and soaked ride the ridges. Standing water is a real hazard at that point and can hide unexpected potholes, etc.

Staying in the tracks is often not the right answer.

Used to love riding in the Florida Downpours, provided a lot of entertainment.


Donating Member
Agree with all that ^ I got caught in a hail and rain storm week or so back. Definately entertaining. LOL. If it gets real ugly I like to turn my fast idle up a bit in case my fingers slip off the clutch during downshifts,you get less of a surprize that way.(rear wheel lock-up). When yer hands get cold and wet,you dont quite have the same control. Just my 2 cents. If its super intense and I'm in the care of someone else ( a passenger) I constantly check my mirrors for tail-gaters.I give them the ol' false braking(tap the brakes to lite up the light,but not slow down) till they get annoyed and pass or back off. I like to make lane changes really cautiously aswell,freshly painted white lines can be nasty,especially on old roads where they have been painted a hundred times and the paint is now a quarter inch thick. Better to pick a lane and stay put. Pavement snakes (repairs to black top) can be nasty in the rain aswell. I try never to touch my face shield to clear the rain,always seems to make it worse. I turn my head as far to the left and right as I can,while looking out of the corners of my eyes for trouble ahead.I find the wind blast clears the shield faster and better than a glove,even the one's with those little thumb squeegies. Imediately after deep puddles and also at random intervals I'll drag my brakes a bit to try and keep them drier. I'm not a big believer in braking in puddles thou,were not in a mud bog truck trying to keep dirt and rocks out of our brakes. If I feel her start to hydroplane a bit,I just keep the throttle steady,dont snap it off,or gun it. If you've entered deep water and yer now hydro'ing,braking isnt gonna help you anyway,might even make it worse,either way you could be done.

As they say in Nascar..."Tires is everything son. Tires is what wins races." If you live in a wet climate,try and choose a middle of the road tire,or a full on touring tire for the wet season.Not as much fun in the twisties,but could save yer bacon.

Dont know about yer "hood" but around here lots of dummies drive faster in the rain,they know the cops dont speed trap in bad weather. There are also the major fug-wads that see this as a chance to show up motorcyclists.To teach US a lesson.Then know we slow down is nasty weather and they take this time to blast by us and make up for all the times we blasted by them. Give yourself bigtime stopping distance from the car in front of you.This is not the old days of single pot masters, drum brakes and bias-ply tires. Just about everybody is rockin' sweet azz rubber and anti-lock brakes. Cars stop way faster these days...especially if they just missed the entrance to Mickey D's drive-thru. LOL.

Play it safe out there boy's and girl's...I want all my Org brothers and sisters to arrive alive...EVERY TIME.



Donating Member
+1 on the ride in the groove until it rains enough to wash the middle as clean as possible and then ride in the middle away from the puddles once it starts collecting

also, watch out for toll stations when it is raining...i have found that the last 30 feet pulling up to pay is the slickest part of the interstate!!!


Just saw this one. I live in the UK and it rains all the time here.

Avoid long lines of water.. you'll aquaplane on them.. You can tell its happening as suddenly you cant feel any vibes through the handlebars.

if you see a bar of water ahead of you (we get little rivers forming across the road in the uk) be prepared that the bikes gonna slow down fast when you hit them.. so lean back a bit..

Dont make sudden aggressive turns and be prepared to brake smoother with 50% front and 50% rear (90/10 in dry) and allow more time to stop.

Dont agree with the "stay out the middle of the lane" comments. Stay in the middle of the lane.. don't follow the water lines.. i know what people are saying about the middle not being as "clean", but the extra "abbrasion" of the middle of the lane (it doesnt get worn down at the same rate as the "wheel lines") means it has more grip than the smooth grooves do, particularly in the rain. The odd drop of oil wont be an issue, you'll be over them in the blink of an eye. That's what our Institute of Advanced Motoring teaches us here in the UK.

Most important, stay relaxed... it's not that bad, and make sure your visor doesn't steam up.. that's more dangerous than anything else the wet can throw up at you lol



my advice never. cars have enough trouble not hitting us on a nice day. ain't worth it to me.

I check the weather. I did get stuck once coming home from work. I got off the interstate and took lesser roads. The rain was bouncing back up after it the road and didn't feel safe at all. My tail light sucks that came with my under tail and was more worried about getting hit from behind.

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