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Three couples on motorcycles, probably Harleys, were headed south yesterday in pouring rain. I envied them. Indeed, some of my fondest riding memories have happened in what is often considered "inclement weather"....Vail Pass in a thunderstorm, snow squalls in Alaska, hail in Alberta, nighttime lightning strikes in Montana, ridiculous wind in Texas, and on an on. Sure, those occurrences may have been miserable and even frightening at the time but they are seared into my mind as my most memorable times on a motorcycle.
 

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Three couples on motorcycles, probably Harleys, were headed south yesterday in pouring rain. I envied them. Indeed, some of my fondest riding memories have happened in what is often considered "inclement weather"....Vail Pass in a thunderstorm, snow squalls in Alaska, hail in Alberta, nighttime lightning strikes in Montana, ridiculous wind in Texas, and on an on. Sure, those occurrences may have been miserable and even frightening at the time but they are seared into my mind as my most memorable times on a motorcycle.
Go make new memories!
 

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I know what you mean. Thankfully mine were just rain. Going back to my hotel after the best days riding ever, I got caught in a down pour on the Blue Ridge Pkwy. Pulled over to put on my rain gear and thought what the purpose. I was soaked to the bone all ready and only 15 miles to my room. I wound up talking with a bunch of other riders that had the same thought as me only they had about 75 miles to go. Only time I had to put my gear in the dryer. Thankfully the hotel had a laundromat
 

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@Nodaker. You know you're a sick puppy 🐶. I do not have fond memories of bad weather riding. It was just bad. Glockjock RTE in a monsoon. Tornadoes while hiding under an overpass. Pennsylvania Turnpike with snow flurries. Coming thru Eisenhower Tunnel and popping out into a whiteout. And many more.

Yes, they are memories, but definitely not fond ones. I prefer the morning sun coming up while riding thru the passes. A bit of misty fog over the Louisiana wetlands. Waiting for the gators to cross the road in Florida and south Carolina. You know - beautiful fun things, not doom and gloom... 😉😁
 

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[B]Nodaker[/B] I'm with you. The older I get the less I can remember (and foolish things like the theme song to The Big Bang Theory takes up too much memory space) so the extremes are what stick with me the most, good and bad.
 
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No thanks :) I don t want to remember the 8 hours of riding in torrential rain one time coming home from a big trip I was a nervous wreck at the end of it In hindsight we probably should have stopped somewhere overnight (y)
 

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When it rains while I am riding , my thoughts go back to the time I left Glens in an epic thunderstorm . It was that way for 150 miles . At times I could hardly see the road in front of me . My wife was behind me in A CAR laughing all the way home as she occasionally tapped the horn as if to say , "I told you not to ride the bike this year " .
Women are just wonderful aren't they . Head Hand Arm Facial expression World
 

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@Nodaker. You know you're a sick puppy 🐶....
Do you mean because I started up the Wing in January and rode a couple of miles when it was -35F just to say I did it? Or riding across Death Valley when it was 118F just to experience it? I have learned a lot from riding a motorcycle in 153 degrees of temperature variation. (Don't do it!) I no longer seek to ride in bad weather but those experiences were valuable learning tools.
 

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Bad weather on a Gold Wing? Done a bit of riding mine in the cold, the hot and the very wet. Didn't find it pleasant but it's all relative. Reminded of how it used to be; riding a hard tail in all kinds of weather on dirt/mud roads. Leather helmet, goggles, throttle in one hand, timing in the other and a third hand required for shifting :).

Four hours riding through thunderstorms into snow on a 74 TX500 in a tee shirt and jeans, now that taught me a lesson as a young man. There is a limit to the value of time spent in the company of a lady. Well, she was no lady but that's beside the point. Then again, maybe that was the point....
 

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The first time my wife went on a local ride with me (@ 5 hours long) we encountered a torrential downpour...for about an hour. I realized then... rain protection isn't bad on these bikes as long as you keep your speed up...


until it blows in from the side! Ahhh, memories... especially when the rain reaches your butt crack. Lol
 

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riding in the rain should be required for every new rider. My first long ride was to the Dragon. It rained on day two for most of the day. I was with a friend who said, have you ever ridden in the rain? I replied no....He said, put on your rain gear and follow me....slowly in the tire tracks.....It was a very eventful day that I have repeated occasionally with confidence.
 

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Nodaker, I agree! Some of my most memorable rides have included the nastiest weather mother nature could dish out.
A snow storm in the Yukon on my first trip in 1976. A bolt of lightning hitting a tree next to I80 as I passed, it blew fuses on my GL1200. A tornado in South Dakota that crossed I90 in front of us. Meeting my future wife on a cold/wet/snowy Labor Day camping trip in the Yukon. Lot's of wonderful trips!
 

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I've been on quite a few road trips where it was raining all day long..what are you going to do..road trip riding is rain or shine..in 2018 when I first got my new wing if I didn't ride in the rain I would had hardly ridden at all that year. All my riding gear for my road trips is Goretex, so I'm ready for any pop up showers or heavy rain and I never need to stop to put on rain gear..riding in the rain with proper riding gear is still fun..only downside is the bike gets dirty.
 

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We've not had the best luck on longer rides.
On a ride to Myrtle Beach 3 years ago, we had rain of varying intensity 13 of the 15 days. Tail of the dragon was a light mist. Really didn't help calm the nerves for our first Dragon experience.
The worst was about 7 days in we pulled in to Columbia SC and it was raining harder than I've ever seen. Lightning everywhere. Good times for sure.
Two years ago leaving Bozeman Mt. we had rain, snow, and hail. All in the same day! Got to Pocatello later that day in another downpour. The next day heading East across Wyoming on I-80. Constant 40 mph cross winds with gusts much higher than that. I was so glad when it was time to turn south towards Denver and have that wind at my back. My navigator just about decided to quit riding after that trip...

Going to Gulf Shores and Destin in 3 weeks.
Hoping for better weather this time.

To Nodaker's point though, riding in bad weather will either make you tough or make you smart.
 

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I find riding in the rain tolerable though not desirable. However I have been caught a few times enduring close lightning strikes with no safe place for shelter and THAT makes me very nervous. ⚡⚡
 
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Riding a bike just puts you so much more in touch with nature, which will sometimes include rain. I try to take it all in stride but I don’t know if I would continue on in conditions that I experienced as a younger man/rider. Going 65-70 miles an hour in a down pour to keep your eyes on the tail lights in front of you because that’s all you can really see would probably cause my pucker string to over tighten and possibly snap!
 
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