autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Would You Please Bring Back the Damn Mudflaps?

Honestly, I can’t exactly point the very moment when some car designer thought that mudflaps were no longer fashionable, but I definitely would like to travel back in time to throw a cup of muddy water, coffee and a dash of motor oil in his face, just to let him know how his idea would feel.
So I ride in the rain. Big deal! If you ask me, everyone should do so, provided they have the right tires. Myself, I do, as I ride a dual sport machine, and I really don’t seem to care too much about riding in the wet several miles to work. But riding in certain areas of the city becomes frustrating because almost all of my other fellow motorists are driving cars with no mudflaps. And this, my dear, sucks. A lot!

Now, this is not a rant aimed at you, because it was not you who decided that mudguards were no longer a worthy accessory for the cars you’re riding. But nevertheless, it’s a rant, because riding behind two lanes of cars constantly throwing dirty water and whatever types of dirt the city roads are covered with is lousy. And reaching legal speed (or above) makes things even worse. Oh, in case the designer extraordinaire forgot, it’s worse for everyone, including other drivers.

Some guy told me that I shouldn’t be riding when it rains and I smiled kindly back at him when replying that I really enjoy riding and haven’t spent big bucks on my machine only to ride it during fair weekends, and only once a month. Really, the guy looked like the type that would not ride his two-wheeler if he even suspected that some clouds might be nearby his area, so I knew I shouldn’t be bothered by his ideas. It was more interesting to wipe off dirt from my clothes…

So back to the main issue… When did receiving a dirty water shower become fashionable? Now, why nobody seems to be bothered by this aspect is an even deeper mystery. Some might be living in areas where rain is really scarce, or drive on roads which are incredibly clean. Still, doing 75 km/h (46 mph) on a wet road behind a sedan with no mudflaps is an experience that I find extremely unpleasant.

I WILL drive my (non-mudflapped) van when the weather is crappy, but I won’t spend dozens of minutes putting on rain gear (and then taking it off) for a short city errand, especially if the rain is only a drizzle. My leather jacket, Goretex-lined shoes, heated grips and rain gloves are usually more than enough to help me through. Still, this has nothing to do with dealing with the occasional horizontal downpour on the road that the lack of mudflaps causes.

To make things even clearer, I’m 1.86m (6’1”) tall, riding a 990 Adventure, itself a tall bike, so you can imagine that the shower I get from the cars I ride behind is not exactly a joke. I won’t complain about getting my shoes dirty, as this comes with the job, but when I get mud marks on the top of my helmet and shoulders, I’m not amused… and all because someone decided that car mudflaps were not needed.

And to provide an answer to some of my non-riding fellows who asked why I rode behind the cars, I’ll just add that I try not to stay behind them, but transforming a decent city ride into a supermoto race in the rain is not exactly healthy, for me or my driving license. And with wet rotors, wet brake pads, and wet roads, an aggressively ridden motorcycle is not exactly the safest place either.

Honestly, I know I am doomed, because I cannot fathom a future when mudflaps for common cars would once again be used. At low speed, the rear bumper design seems to work, but the effect is minimal as speed goes up. Sedans with deep trunks are more rider-friendly, as the water their rear wheels picks up from the road is partly thrown on the trunk’s underside, but the rest of them…

I guess I’ll buy a taller windscreen, so that maybe it will at least shield my helmet’s visor better, and then I’ll have to live with all this, because there’s no way I will stop riding in the wet, and the rain gear hassle is not at all an appealing idea. Does anybody know a time-travel machine in good working order? Just need it once…

Ride safe, friends, and remember: who doesn’t ride in the rain, doesn’t ride.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories