Anyone, especially, a rider would certainly agree that riding a motorcycle while raining and if it is at night is daunting. You have to come across numerous difficulties and potential risks which is why many take a halt and wait until the rain stops. Besides many restraints of rain-riding, one of the most devastating and unavoidable problems is your helmet visor. Your eyes play a fundamental role in your riding and a blind person can never think of riding. And a visor on the helmet not only protects your eyes but helps you ride comfortably especially during rain. On the other hand, rain on the visor creates numerous problems affecting the clarity of vision leading to risks and unsecured riding.
However, for many reasons people ride and reach the destination whether in the rain or at night and out of compulsion or for routine work. Many people even enjoy riding in the rain and for them riding out in rain is an adventure trip. For whatever the reasons, you must take special care of your helmet visor if you are riding out in the rain. Know how to keep the rain off the motorcycle helmet visor and ride pleasantly and safely.
What Exactly Happens due to the Helmet Visor in Rain?
Motorcycle riding is always fun and saves time but is dangerous in rain for the visual and other problems due to the helmet visor. The visor gets affected by rain drops, smoke, and fog, and creates a serious obstruction for clear vision. At the same time, rain makes the roads slippery creating havoc for the riders. Poor visibility due to visor problems at one hand and slippery road on the other eventually make your trip extremely dangerous.
Motorcycle accidents are more disastrous than other accidents on the roads. As per NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) statistics, 80% victims of motorcycle crashes result in death or severe injuries in comparison to 20% in bus, truck, or car accidents. Rain caused visor problem is one of the major problems for motorcycle accidents besides drugs and alcohol use, speed, conditions of roads, etc. Know what exactly happens during rain leading to motorcycle accidents.
- Rain Drops: You share the road with other vehicles like buses, trucks, cars, etc. while riding the motorcycle. Your motorcycle is too tiny to get clear visibility by other vehicles even in normal weather conditions. This problem increases when intense rain drops obstruct the vision not only for you but for everyone on the road. Poor vision eventually results in accidents no matter whose fault whether you or other people caused them.
- Slight Rain is More Dangerous: Almost all riders, drivers, and other people on the road are well aware that heavy rain and storms make the road dangerous and prone to accidents. However, few people know that slight rain is equally or even more dangerous than heavy rain and storms in terms of crashes. People either stop or become cautious in heavy rain and storms. But as the rain stops or starts raining light people forget everything saying “just a light rain and can ride pleasantly”. As per the findings of a Rancho Cucamonga-based law-firm founded by Fernando D. Vargas, “accidents increase by 27% in light rain”.
- Fog: Anything that is made out of plastic, glass, and metal naturally feels cool and when the temperature drops, they become colder. The same happens with a helmet visor in rain and when you breathe inside the helmet the air condenses forming fog. As a result, though you continuously wipe the visor moist and fog go on obstructing your vision often leading to crashes.
- Slippery Roads: Wet roads reduce traction for which your tires lose grip on the road. The lesser the traction on the road the unstable the tires while stopping leading to imbalance and crashes.
- Imbalance due to Cold: Cold weather and rain usually make the riders often shiver despite good jackets. Shivering leads to imbalance of the motorcycle and results in accidents.
- Wild Animals on the Roads: Rainy season is the period when wild animals come out to the roads. Often, these animals suddenly come across your motorcycle unexpectedly and bang. Similarly, animals in the rain are not usually visible and it becomes almost impossible to control the motorcycle when you find them all on a sudden.
Also read: Can Motorcycle Helmet Safety Ratings Save Life?
Ways to Keep Rain Off Motorcycle Helmet Visors
Following are some effective ways to keep the rain off motorcycle helmet visors.
- Ensure a Quality Helmet Visor: First and foremost, you need to ensure quality and certified helmet that has a high-quality visor. Many people go for cheaper helmets along with visors that may not be useful in rain despite the application of different methods. So, ensure a quality visor and apply proven methods to prevent rain drops and fog that are effective.
- Turning the Head Method: This is perhaps the oldest and most reliable traditional method to keep rain off the visor. You can further consider it as a test-and-tried solution for the problem. The method is very simple, you just turn your head to both sides when you reach 15 to 30 kmph. However, the only risk involved in the method is taking the eyes off the road when turning the head.
- Visor Cleaning Kit: Most rain-riders either lift their visor for cleaning or try to wipe the rain out from the visor. Both are never ideal because they may imbalance the motorcycle if you do while riding or time taking if you stop and do it. You rather get a visor cleaning kit and use it when necessary.
- Water Repellants: Water repellant sprays are reliable methods as they create a layer between the visor and rain. These repellants come in many forms like sprays, films, foams, etc., and work effectively. But you will have to clean them off the visor before reapplying the repellant.
- Anti-fog Coating: This is somewhat like the water repellants but the anti-fog coating is sprayed from the inside whereas water repellants from out. The anti-fog coating works on reducing the condensation and protects you from vision problems.
- Pinlock: This is another anti-fog measure that is a more reliable and sustainable option but expensive. Almost all visors can support pinlock inserts and to make sure search for two holes on both side of your visor. However, take care while buying the pinlock and ensure that it fits your visor so that you do not have any problem when mounting it.
- Built-in Squeegee Gloves: Many people prefer to use squeegee to prevent rain water related problems in their visor. Squeegee is a tiny rubber strip that usually comes with the motorcycle glove. You can find the strip near the index finger or thumb of your left hand on the glove. This is attached to the left thumb because riders usually use their left hand instead of right hand when necessary. However, though this works pretty well, taking your hand out from the handle and using a squeegee is always risky. You can also look for clip-on squeegees if you do not prefer to use built-in squeegee gloves.
- Potato: Applying potato is another traditional method that works better. You can apply this method when you have no other options. If you are stuck in the heavy rain and you do not find anything, just look for a potato and cut it. Apply the half potato on your visor which will serve like water repellant and help you ride safely and pleasantly.
- Cracking the Visor: Many people follow this option and it is proven and effective as other options. You just make the visor open a crack or half open the visor so that the cold wind gets inside. The cold air will prevent condensation and provide you better visibility. However, cracking the visor especially at high speed is how far ideal is still a question.
- Leather Cloth: Most bikers keep a cleaning cloth in their buke case to clean water from visor in rain. A soft leather cloth can be more effective to clean the water from the visor instead of simple cloth. Leather clothes are perhaps the cheapest materials to use that can save you from crashes.
- Mask: Masks have become very common due to Cov-19 across the world. But using a mask to prevent condensation is an intelligent way. You can also get specially designed foggy masks that can cover your nose and mouth and can provide better service to prevent fog. This method can also serve your purpose of filtering pollution. However, you need to clean the mask at regular intervals for health reasons.
Methods that are effective to prevent rain and fog on the visor can somehow provide better visibility while riding in the rain. But the risks of accidents remain the same if you do not take care of certain things.
For example, if your motorcycle tires are old with wear and tear, your clutch and brakes need replacement, your motorcycle is not lubricated, etc. In these cases, you might not take advantage of your quality visor and good visibility due to bad roads. Similarly, slippery materials like various liquids and oils on the road as well as slippery conditions due to rain can lead you to potential risks. Therefore, It is good that you have a quality visor and you efficiently keep the rain off the visor, but it is better if your motorcycle is fit to ride in the rain.