Riding in the rain can be dangerous, so we must do everything we can to mitigate that.
One of the most important things we can do, and one of the most obvious, is to keep our visors clear. After all, if you can’t see the hazards, you can’t avoid them.
Keeping your gear in good nick can extend its life and, by extension, yours.
Your helmet, and its visor, are chief examples of this. Here we’re going to explore a few tips for keeping your visor clear when it needs to be.
Also see our tips for riding a motorcycle in the rain
As you’ll have learned from our helmet cleaning guide, maintaining your helmet is a simple task that reaps big rewards.
The first step to a dry, clear visor is this one, if it isn’t clear to start with, you’re going to have a hard time seeing out of it no matter what you try.
Be sure to check out the different cleaning products available- often, a standard window cleaner will do- but keep in mind the many different options online.
This kit from Muc-off, for example, is cheap and cheerful and has everything you’ll need for a spotless visor in a handy and compact package.
At the bare minimum, grab yourself a Chamois and keep it handy for emergency roadside visor drying.
No, it’s not the irrational fear of being wet; that wouldn’t be befitting of us motorcyclists. I’m referring to the plethora of sprays, foams and films that are available to help with water runoff from your visor.
They work by creating a barrier between your visor and the rain, and the barrier is made of some substance that interacts with water the same way as oil- it doesn’t.
Using one of these is a surefire way to keep your visor dry in all but the harshest of rain. Just be aware that once you start using a product like this, you’ll find it very hard to stop.
3 of the best hydrophobic sprays money can buy
- Nikwax Visor Proof– The cheapest option here, but certainly not the worst. Nikwax is a product that does exactly what it says on the tin. Provides great repellent effects but is water-based, so be prepared to re-apply after each and every ride.
- Rain X Glass Cleaner– This one is a two-for. Rain X’s glass cleaner also contains their water repellant formula, so with this product, you can simultaneously clean your visor and prepare it for the next mid-ride deluge.
- Hendlex Nano– This is the premium. Hendlex is a brand sworn by across motorcycling, and many of the seasoned vets will use nothing else. If you can stomach the extra outlay, this is definitely the product to go for. If your journey is long, choose Hendlex.
#3 Anti-Fog Coating
A close cousin of hydrophobic sprays is the anti-fog coating. Instead of focusing on keeping the moisture off the outside of your visor, anti-fog sprays are for the inside, where condensation can build up on cold days and impair visibility.
#4 Pinlock Insert
Another option for anti-fog is the pinlock- a more permanent but also more expensive solution.
Many visors support one of these inserts but make sure you check yours before purchasing- look for two holes on either side of the visor that allow you to mount one. If in doubt, check your helmet’s manual.
If you can mount a pin-lock, however, it is heartily recommended. Many bikers swear by them and won’t leave home without. Be careful when purchasing, as many are proprietary to a specific helmet model- make sure the one you buy fits your visor.
SportsBikeShop has a huge range, and their live chat is very helpful if you need guidance.
#5 Crack The Visor
Simple solution – leave the visor open a crack; the cold air getting in should prevent condensation from building up. Not really a practical option at high speed, though.
#6 The Head Turn
This is the tried and tested method for old-school bikers. Turn your head to the side at 30 mph plus, and rain will blow right off. Choose the right moment for this, as it means taking your eyes off the road for a second!
Not something you would usually associate with keeping the rain off a visor, but nonetheless, here. I’m not talking about all gloves, just the ones that have a built-in squeegee. Most winter gloves will have one built in.
Of course, they’re only one step up from just wiping your visor with an open hand, but you’ll be surprised by their effectiveness if you decide to try one out.
#8 Clip On Finger Wipe
You can buy clip-on versions to augment your existing gloves if you’re not looking to invest in a new pair. They won’t protect you from monsoon-level rain, but they’re ideal for that fine mist that coats your visor and gives all the headlights of oncoming cars blinding halos.
Just remember, though, that if you’ve used a hydrophobic coating on your visor, then any abrasion- including the abrasion from a squeegee- will degrade it and reduce its effectiveness.