Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Western Massachusetts
Fog, leaves, a little dread
This is a cautionary tale.
It was to be the final day of riding last November before putting my VN900 into winter storage. Weather in western MA was unseasonably mild that morning -- a warm front came in overnight and by 9 a.m. temps were up in the 60s, although with light intermittent rain. I decided to ride out to do some errands before heading in to work. Had to enjoy this last bit of autumnal warmth on two wheels.
20 minutes or so in, what had been a light mist had become a steadier rain. Coming to the crest of a long hill, I turned into the quiet residential street where I live. Then a scary thing happened. A sudden change in temperature must have caused the visor of my full-face helmet to fog up very suddenly. I had been looking out over the windscreen at the road ahead, but now all of a sudden I was riding sort of blindly. At about 20 MPH, I saw only too late a long patch of wet, decaying, mulched leaves that my neighbor had spewed into the street days earlier. Before I knew what was happening, my rear end fish-tailed out of control and I went down, hard.
Fortunately, my injuries weren't too bad -- I was wearing full gear. I ached from a strained/bruised shoulder for a couple weeks, otherwise I was OK. (Lucky.) The bike was pretty banged up, not a total loss and in fact still rideable; but the insurance estimate was surprisingly high (it always is).
After this incident (which I've had this long hard winter to brood on), I've come to question the value of a motorcycle windscreen in rainy conditions -- especially in combination with a full-face helmet, which I have to periodically wipe off with my glove. I'm wondering what, if anything, can be done to keep both windscreen and visor reasonably clear when it's raining.
The other matter is purely psychological, though one I'm sure I can get over: getting back on the bike the next time the roads are wet. Watch out for those wet leaves, my friends.
VN900 Classic LT 2014
South Hadley, Mass.
"The connection to place, to the land, the wind, the sun, stars, the moon... it sounds romantic, but it's true - the visceral experience of motion, of moving through time on some amazing machine - a few cars touch on it, but not too many compared to motorcycles. I always felt that any motorcycle journey was special." - Antoine Predock