Hydroplaning represents a threat for riding safety since a wedge of water generated at the tire-road interface can lift tires from the ground thus preventing the development of tangential contact forces. Under this condition directionality and stability of the vehicle can be seriously compromised. The paper aims at characterizing the tire lateral response while approaching the hydroplaning speed: several experimental tests were carried out on a special test track covered with a 8-mm high water layer using a vehicle equipped with a dynamometric hub on the front left wheel. A series of swept sine steer maneuvers were performed increasing the vehicle speed in order to reach a full hydroplaning condition. Variations of tire cornering stiffness and relaxation length were investigated while the vehicle approaches the hydroplaning speed. Experimental tests stated that a residual capability of generating lateral forces is still present also close to the full hydroplaning condition.