Riding your bike in the rain can be tricky. Ask any motorcyclist and they'll say riding in the rain is absolutely the worst and would advise against it all costs. However, there is a specific community of motorcyclists, who actually enjoy the wet weather. Yes thats right. Reason – it puts their skills to the test. How good their bike handling is during testing conditions. Many would say riding on a wet surface is akin to playing with fire, however what about when you have no choice but to go out when its pouring.

Here is a fact from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) motorcyclists may want to pay attention to. Motorcycles make up 2% of the total number of vehicles registered in the US. They are involved in 5% of all accidents on the highways and 14% of all traffic accidents in the US. This statistic is no way a reflection of how motorcyclists ride, however it doesn't hurt to know a thing or two about road safety – specifically wet road safety.

Here are 15 tips that all motorcycle enthusiasts, who love to ride in the rain, must keep in mind.

Do Your Homework – This means forward planning. Know what route you will be taking. Make a mental note of how smooth the road is. Are there any potholes, manhole covers, excessive white markings on the road. All of these could create problems. Avoid shiny smooth surfaces on the road. Keep your acceleration and breaking in check. Any sudden movement in rainy weather could make your back wheel breakaway or both wheels skid or lock up when breaking. You could also find yourself in a bit of a puddle if you go round a bend banking over at an angle.

The Anatomy of a Skid – What causes a skid? Is it snow, gravel or a sheet of ice. No. Its when the rider does something excessive with regards to the conditions. Doesn't matter if its a drizzle or a downpour, motorcycle riders are advised to lay off heavy breaking and acceleration. Delicate conditions call for a delicate foot. Also refrain leaving too heavily on turns. An upright position is what you want when riding in the rain.

Keep Your Distance – The breaking distance in the rain will increase as compared to dry weather – this goes without saying. It is perfectly natural for your bike to experience reduced traction. In case of little or limited traction, your brakes may not engage properly. Hence, allowing yourself twice the braking distance can help you stay safe. Motorcyclists are advised to invest into ABS (Anti Locking Break Systems). Although ABS is quite helpful but thinking its a lifesaver or a substitute for discipline and experience on wet road surfaces would be a  mistake.

'Aquaplaning' – Sometimes called hydroplaning, it is when the wheel goes through a puddle of water resulting in water build up between the wheels. This  results in loss of traction that could create problems. Standing water on the road should be a big 'No No'. If you go too fast, your bike will lift itself on top of the water. It'll be like skimming a stone over a lake. Solution – Avoid it at all costs. If the road surface looks extra slick and shiny then ease up on the throttle.

These Boots are Made for Ridin' – Rule number one when you're riding a motorcycle, you must have the right motorcycle riding gear. And talking about gear, boots take the top priority. In wet weather, its not only your tires that need traction, your boots need them too. You don't want your feet slipping off the brakes right when you need them. Solution – make sure the soles of your boots have a nice grip to withstand rainy weather.

Responsible Acceleration – Rain or no rain, rash acceleration is always a bad idea. However that doesn't mean you have a mile of angry drivers cursing you for going too slow. Acceleration in rain is not bad as long as you do it responsibly. Always vary your throttle smoothly and delicately. Don't be afraid to accelerate out of a bend. If you do it slowly and smoothly, it shouldn't be a problem. It takes quite a bit of experience to get the sense of acceleration, so practice as often as you can.

Take it Easy on those Bars – Its natural to hold on to the handle bars tightly during wet weather. Most riders for some reason believe that holding on tightly could keep them safe. What they don't realize is that it may be doing the exact opposite. When taking turns or on a round about, allow the bike to follow the road surface. If you tense up at these moments, your bike will fight you and it may cause a crash. The key here is to relax and take it easy.

Wear the Right Gear – When out in the rain, you must have the right gear on. This includes waterproof jacket, boots, gloves and pants. Also the pants should be padded for extra protection. The visor of your helmet should be open a tad so that it doesn't fog up and you should also make sure no rain water gets in.  In cold weather wear thermos to keep yourself warm. Try to be as comfortable and dry as possible. Also wear high visibility clothing as visibility could drop dramatically during rain.

Riding Position – Your riding position should remain the same during wet weather. An important point to note here is that the more angle you put in when making turns, less grip you'll have on your bike. Keep your bike upright and leave the maxines and knee downs to the professionals.

The 'First Hour' – If its the first rain of the season, stay off the road during the the first hour. Reason – during the first hour all the grime and oil on the road mixes with rain water making the surface extra slippery. Let the rain wash away that excess grime and oil so that you don't have anything to worry about. Also avoid  riding at night unless you know the road. At night you wont be able to see those rainbow patches oil spills leave on the road.

Reduced Traction   You'll experience reduced traction if your tires are worn or bald. Check your tires regularly for wear and tear. You know what wears your tires out quickly, breaking and accelerating hard. Also general show off behavior. Drive responsibly and check their tread depth. Your tires should have deep grooves as they help in expelling water, allowing the tires to come in contact with the road.

Tire Care – Check the pressure of your tires. Under inflated tires are more prone to hydroplaning. Here is a tip: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists find better traction when driving in the tracks of vehicles in front. As it disperses excess water from the tracks, motorcyclists don't need to work about hydro or aqua planing. Keep your distance from the vehicle in front though.

Follow the Right Vehicle – As long as the subject is following vehicles, here is a tip on how the guy in front could help you out. Always have a clear line of sight, which means you should be able to see three to four vehicles in front of you. To do that, trucks or vans are out of the question. Follow cars that allow you a clear line of sight. Its smart to read traffic way ahead of you especially when its raining and you're on the highway. A good line of sight in this case will give you ample time to react if there is a pile up. Do not depend on the vehicle   in front to brake and let you know. Be prepared on your own by being vigilant.

Keep it fifty fifty on the Brakes – Use both (front and rear) brakes equally during rain. This will help you come to a balanced stop. Here it goes without saying that brake gently. Also if you go through a puddle, water can get into your brake rotars and pads. This can affect your braking power. Drag your brakes to clear the water out before your stop. Make sure all the water is cleaned out of your pads and rotars. 

Above All Stay Calm – If its your first time out in the rain, the worst thing you can do to yourself is panic. Do not tense up or be stiff. Be aware of your surroundings and stay smart and conservative with your throttle and breaking. Make sure you understand wet conditions are not the same as dry. These will require different skills. Once you have completed your first foray into the wet and wild, you will gain confidence and become wiser. 

In addition to being skillful, motorcycle riders need to be 'qualified meteorologists'. They must know when to ride and when to take shelter. When a  majority of motorcycle accidents happening in the rain, riders are advised to avoid wet whenever they can.