Dirt bike riding in the rain is perfectly okay, but who would say they have never been nervous doing so? Not only will the rain make the road slippery, but it will also be muddy, leading to accidents. You and your bike can also get soaked in the rain, making you sick and damaging some parts of your dirt bike.
You can do a few things to make dirt bike riding in the rain safe. Some essentials include pre-checking your bike, driving slowly, and keeping your distance. Other steps you need to take include avoiding “rainbows” and shiny surfaces and adding reflective decals or extra lights.
With so many things to consider, let me share a few tips for safe dirt bike riding in the rain. I’ll also give some recommendations on how to stay dry while driving your dirt bike in the rain.
15 Tips on How To Ride Your Bike in the Rain
When dirt bike riding in the rain, there are several obstacles to consider besides the pouring rain: mud, stronger winds, flying stones or rocks, and more. Hence, you will need to keep the following professional tips in mind:
Tip 1: Give Your Dirt Bike a Pre-Check
If you’ve been driving for a while, whether a car or motorcycle, you surely know how important it is to check your vehicle regularly. That said, you must still give your dirt bike a pre-check before riding it during the rainy season.
Inspect your bike’s mechanical parts and connections because they will work twice or thrice as hard as other days or seasons.
Ensuring your bike’s lights are working is also vital because there is a high chance of zero to little visibility during the rainy season. You must also pay closer attention to your tires since you’ll ride your bike mostly on wet grounds.
I also can’t emphasize enough the importance of making sure your bike’s radiator is filled with the right coolant fluid. While you can usually use water as an alternative, it won’t do your bike any good during the rainy or cold season.
Why, you may ask? The water can freeze at a specific temperature, and the heat from the engine might not help it stay in liquid form.
Tip 2: Change Your Bike’s Tires or Adjust the Tire Pressure
Of course, you should replace worn-out tires or those without good traction. However, you will also need to replace them if you have the knobby tire models installed. That’s because they lose a bit of traction on wet pavements or grounds, especially used ones.
If you have all-season motorcycle tires (view on Amazon), you won’t have to worry about replacing them. But you might need to adjust the pressure to 12PSI to ensure good traction between your tires and mud. After all, you won’t know if you’ll encounter mud while dirt bike riding in the rain.
Tip 3: Consider Applying Spray-On Pre-Treatment
If you want to take it up the notch in terms of protecting your dirt bike during the rainy season (even regular dirt bike riding days), consider spraying it with a pre-ride protective coating. With this product, mud and dirt won’t cake up underneath your bike’s fenders and other nooks and crevices.
Not only will this ensure easy clean up, but it will also protect against the after-effects of mud, like engine overheating.
Tip 4: Don’t Multitask
During regular dirt bike driving days, it’s easier to perform several actions at a time. They can include shifting, accelerating, and even trail braking while you’re turning.
However, I and most riders don’t recommend doing so while it’s raining (or even snowing). It’s safer to focus on one action at a time, such as ensuring you’ve decelerated before turning your bike into a corner, to help reduce the traction demand on your tires.
Tip 5: Take It Easy
Sudden shifts, accelerations, braking, and steering are not recommended for safe motorcycle driving and riding. Thus, it isn’t surprising that you must also not do such things when it’s raining. These actions can rapidly use up traction, which is already limited when it’s raining.
So, drive gently and smoothly. When you’re required to brake hard, slowly squeeze into the brake lever and increase the amount of force.
I also don’t advise dirt bike drivers to cling to the bars too hard when driving in the rain. Otherwise, there will be exaggerated movement effects and minimal suspension functionality. You, as a driver, will also get tired easily. Let your dirt bike do its job when hitting wiggles and small bumps on the road.
Tip 6: Use Low Revolution or Reduce Speed
With the decreased traction between the ground and your dirt bike’s tires, reducing your speed or using low revolution while driving is a must. Carefully applying the throttle is also highly recommended.
Tip 7: Hit the Brakes Lightly and Earlier Than Usual
As I have noted earlier, you must hit the brake lightly as much as possible when riding your dirt bike in the rain. It’s also safer to hit the brakes at a much higher distance from anything in front of you.
Again, traction is weak or poor, so the brake’s reaction time is longer than when you hit the brake during normal driving days.
Tip 8: Stand Up Once in a While
Surely, beginner riders are a bit confused because they think it isn’t safe to stand up while driving. True enough, but it’s perfectly fine when you take the right precautions.
Standing up occasionally and when it’s safe can help remove the pool of collected water on your lap. Else, the water can seep through the zippers and stitches of your gear. Worst, it can enter the nooks and crevices of your dirt bike!
If you’re too afraid to stand on your bike pegs, it would be best to pull over, park your bike, and stand up. You can also take this chance to stretch your muscles or have a cup of coffee.
Tip 9: Avoid Puddles, Hollow Pits, Bogs, and “Rainbows”
Water splashing everywhere while you drive can be fun and Instragammable but poses great danger. A hollow pit filled with water, a shallow bog, or a small puddle of water can be deceiving. After all, any opening can be filled with rainwater continuously. Thus, you would never know how deep or shallow a body of water can be when it’s raining.
Worst? It might not be just water. They can be filled with mud, dirt, and debris that can not only cause an accident but can also completely total your bike.
But what if you have no choice but to ride through a puddle? I suggest holding your bike’s throttle steady, keeping it upright, and avoiding touching its brakes.
You will also notice some rainbow-looking pools of liquid. Avoid those since they’re made of oil and water, which can be extra slippery.
Tip 10: Don’t Go Deep in Muds
Yes, your dirt bike is designed to work on muddy terrains or trails. But it doesn’t mean you should let it dive deep into the mud, covering your bike’s engine.
Tip 11: Avoid Shiny-smooth Surfaces
Ultra-shiny surfaces like painted lines, tar snakes, and metal plates can be the cleanest areas you can find while dirt bike riding in the rain. But wait, stop! They’re already slippery during normal riding conditions, so expect them to be extra skiddy when it starts to rain.
If you can’t avoid driving on them, roll over them without making any sudden inputs or hard braking or acceleration.
Tip 12: Find a Dry Line
I don’t mean dry sidewalks or areas where you can’t normally traverse while driving. I’m referring to the tire tracks of the bikes or cars in front of you.
The wheels of the vehicles moving in front of you can plow through the road, pushing the rainwater away from it for a brief time. So, take advantage of those tracks and use them as a guide for safe dirt bike riding.
Tip 13: Add Reflective Decals and/or Extra Lights
Zero to low visibility is normal during the rainy season. Hence, make sure other drivers and pedestrians can see your dirt bike. Add reflective decals to the front and back, or add an extra light.
Tip 14: Protect Your Valuables
Before placing your valuables like wallet and phone inside your bike’s trunk, consider putting them in a waterproof bag or Ziploc. Yes, your bike can be water-repellant or waterproof, but taking extra precautions is always better.
Tip 15: Bring Extra Clothes or Gear
Don’t spend the rest of your day or night soaking in rainwater or mud. Make sure you bring a change of clothes and gear. Of course, don’t forget to keep them in a waterproof bag or Ziploc.
How Do You Stay Dry While Riding in the Rain?
While bringing an extra set of clothes and gear is essential, you must also find ways to stay dry (or not be soaked in the rain) while riding your dirt bike in the rain. There are several suggestions, but here are what I highly recommend:
Wear Waterproof Gloves
Your hands are the most exposed when driving your dirt bike while it’s raining. It only means that you need to protect them not just from getting wet but also from the cold. Wet hands can negatively affect your grip on the handles, while cold hands can become numb.
A pair of waterproof but breathable riding gloves (view on Amazon) will save the day!
Apart from keeping your hands dry and warm throughout and after your ride, it will also ensure it doesn’t make your hands sweaty while wearing it. The sweat can make you feel uncomfortable, leave a foul odor, and even turn your gloves into a breeding haven for microorganisms.
Invest in Waterproof Riding Boots
When looking for a pair of riding boots, your best options are waterproof. You can wear them when dirt bike riding in the rain and unknown terrains.
While you’re at it, make sure you choose waterproof riding boots with a secure closure (view on Amazon). Not only will they stay in place no matter how bumpy the ride is, but the rain won’t be able to enter the boot via the top opening.
Wear Rain Boots
If you still don’t have the budget for waterproof motorcycle riding boots, then you can go for ordinary rain boots. Just make sure you pick a pair that won’t make you feel uncomfortable while driving. Also, check your local laws to ensure it’s legal to wear them while driving.
Wear a Waterproof Riding Suit
Like the gloves, a quality, waterproof, breathable riding suit (view on Amazon) ensures you stay warm and dry without feeling like you’re inside the oven. That is even if you plan to wear layers of clothing inside.
Layer With a Raincoat
If you don’t have or still can’t invest in waterproof riding suits, wearing a raincoat will keep you dry when riding in the rain. Again, purchase a high-quality product that can withstand strong rains, the wind, and other elements.
Safe Dirt Bike Riding in the Rain Made Possible!
With all the tips I shared, you will feel more confident driving your dirt bike while it’s raining. But, of course, you have to pair this knowledge with the fundamental safety driving guidelines and local laws.
Have a safe, dry, and warm dirth bike riding experience in the rain!
Kris is an avid off-roader and outdoor enthusiast who loves to brave the elements and take on challenging terrain. He also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others so that they, too, can appreciate the ride.