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post #1 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 12:21 am Thread Starter
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Riding in the cold

So what temp. Is to cold to ride? Clear rode but cold outside what is your tipping point?
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post #2 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 12:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: Riding in the cold

For me it's around low 30s
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post #3 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 3:22 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

I have rode in the minus teen's without the windshield factor. I don't think there is a to cold to ride number as long as it will start. You just need to be gentle with all the switches & other plastic parts because they can get stiff & brittle.

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post #4 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 6:11 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

There is NO bad riding weather only Bad riding gear. I have rode in temps as low as 17 degrees. I had stopped for breakfast & came out to see ice forming on my seat. Just started the bike , turned on the seat heater & waited inside till the ice melted.

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post #5 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 6:48 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

I'm good to the upper 20's and the only reason I have to stop there is that my fingertips start to hurt.


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post #6 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 9:42 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

Woke up this morning to a very balmy 19 below.............bike is still on the tender, I'm not that nutz............



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post #7 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 10:01 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

The lowest I've seen on my temp gauge is 32 degrees. With my gear, I really didn't even notice...though a heated seat and socks would've been nice! I actually have about a 20-30 year old "Snow Mobile" suit...i put that in quotes because that's what my dad called it, though it has a Bass Pro Shops tag inside and he used it for fishing in the cold. It is quite warm for riding...though may not be as protective as most winter riding gear might be.

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post #8 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 10:07 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

I have ridden most of a day up Hwy 395 at 15 degrees, LT, heated seats, grips, gloves and jacket liner. The roads were dry and the sun was out, cold but very doable on an LT with the gear.

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post #9 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 11:44 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

I ride through the winter in the DC area - when the roads are dry. My worst case was riding back from Florida last January. I left my hotel in South Carolina at 6 am, the thermometer said 22 deg F. I rode northwards when about an hour later I ran into some patchy fog - the fog would freeze on the visor. Not good.

That kind of stuff and icy roads are the only issues.

I ride with Gerbings - jacket, gloves and socks inside a BMW Streetguard 3 with liners.
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post #10 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 1:08 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

With my current gear I'm very comfortable down to 26 degrees. With a few more electric goodies I could easily go lower. In fact, on my last 26 degree ride I stopped for gas and about froze while standing still. Much better once I was back on the bike with the gear turned on.
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post #11 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 1:11 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

Tipping point is potential for ice on the roads and bridges (temperature, pressure and dewpoint dependent)
Possibly exciting on four wheels but painful and expensive on two.......

Lowest I recall seeing on the temp display was 25F.

Dave
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post #12 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 2:56 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

As the others say, freezing and below isn't a problem with the right gear and the heated seats and grips. The tipping point for me is the condition of the road.
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post #13 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 3:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Riding in the cold

I wanted to ask because I knew that there would be most would ride as long as the roads are good. My friend rides a HD fatboy and unless its 60 or better his bike stays in. Plus he can only ride for about 70 miles and he says HD is better.................What? I'll keep my KLT thanks
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post #14 of 45 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 10:13 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

I use to ride to work ( there is four letter word for ya ) if it was above 25. Now days... I don't like to ride if is below freezing.

But there are motorcyclist & there are bikers . motorcyclists ride there motorcycles , bikes like to play dress-up & ride when it is real nice out.

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post #15 of 45 Old Dec 7th, 2011, 7:51 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

When I rode to work which was 30 miles (40 Minutes) my cut off point was 20 degrees and I did that on RTs and an RS and R bike. My record was 13 degrees which by the time I got to work I was pretty cold. I had a heated vest and grips. My wife only lives 7 miles from her work (ten minutes) and last Winter she rode when the temp on her bike said 9 degrees; she rides an 09 F650GS. Ice and frost are the big concerns and she had a scary ride with frost last Winter and I had a few over the years. As we say it just comes down to the right gear as we know people in Alaska etc ride in sub zero weather.
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post #16 of 45 Old Dec 7th, 2011, 10:46 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulStaske
I wanted to ask because I knew that there would be most would ride as long as the roads are good. My friend rides a HD fatboy and unless its 60 or better his bike stays in. Plus he can only ride for about 70 miles and he says HD is better.................What? I'll keep my KLT thanks
Everyone rides bikes differently, that's why there as so many different bikes.
If someone doesn't ride because it's too cold for them, that's their choice. Can't fault them for that. It's just a matter of how far to go before the enjoyment starts fading. No one likes to ride if the fun factor goes away.

I will also say a bike without wind protection (like a Fatboy) is more limited to how far and how cold it's enjoyable. Before I got the LT, it was tough to ride the Shadow when it got close to 40F, could not keep my legs warm enough without electrics (and I don't have any). As we all know, on the LT and most any fully faired bike, it's much much easier.

ride safe!

Dave
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post #17 of 45 Old Dec 7th, 2011, 11:19 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

I have been on several long rides where temps dropped to the low 20s for extended periods of time. Some of them have been very isolated roads. I carry a SPOT for emergencies - you can't count on cell phones out there.

Two things concern me about cold weather riding:

1. Ice, snow, and other conditions that make the roads slippery and treacherous. I don't mind how cold it gets as long as the roads are dry and my tires grip well.

2. Heated gear failure. How well can you cope in sub-freezing temperatures if you have an accident, or your bike has a simple mechanical problem that forces you to stop, or your heated gear stops working?

I carry enough layers to survive without the heated gear, but the thought of riding for several hours without heated gear (even with all layers on) in 20 degree temperatures is something that would not be fun any more. Just warming up my body after putting on extra layers from "cold storage" can a chilling experience in itself.

Hypothermia is very dangerous, and it can sneak up on you in a way where you think you are still safe, but you really are not.
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post #18 of 45 Old Dec 7th, 2011, 1:47 pm
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Talking Re: Riding in the cold

Well, it's 13 miles to the coffee shop. Both mornings this week (100 miles north of Kansas City, MO)were around the 15 degree mark. Dressed for the occasion and WENT. YeeHaa!
Not a problem.

It takes longer to get the tires warmed up for fast curves, but the ride is good ammo for coffee cafe talk.

Yep, they( the coffee drinkers at the Senior Center) tell me I'm nuts, but I'm the one having FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those other guys are just withering away in my opinion.

I'm near 72 YO and LOVING retirement.


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Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
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post #19 of 45 Old Dec 7th, 2011, 3:52 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

Like someone else said on this thread, Bass Pro Shop is Awesome. Their cold weather gear really does the trick. We wear their boots, under clothing and gloves and we ride in low 30's. We ride until they start to salt the roads though, New York State really pours it on and we don't want the corrosion
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post #20 of 45 Old Dec 9th, 2011, 10:40 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

I will ride to work if the forecast is down to 32, below that I don't ride. I am a third shifter and you never really know what it will be like at 7 am. I have no problem in freezing temps if weather is perfect, any chance of moisture and it is parked. I have good enough gear that I really don't worry about temps, remember, you have to knock off 20 deg. for wind chill on any skin. I was on my way home just last week and temp display said 28, weather was really nice and roads were dry. In the middle of a left hand 110 deg. turn off a 55 mph highway, there was a weeping crack that was froze in middle of turn. Front end slid at least six inches suddenly to the right. I was so glad I didn't ride that day, I would have been in a ditch. I have become a pretty good weather forecaster over last few years with help of internet. Some times I'm wrong, but I'm as good as the guy on TV.
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post #21 of 45 Old Dec 9th, 2011, 4:40 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

I've only been down to 7 F. Same as others have said, if the road is dry temperature doesn't matter. I have been caught in a sudden blizzard in a canyon. Not something I would do on purpose.

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post #22 of 45 Old Dec 9th, 2011, 7:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Riding in the cold

Just got my bike back from the shop soi had to take Sue out for a ride and put about 70 miles on her started at 32 ended 29 great ride but the roads were dry even though it snowed last. Ride safe everyone. Paul
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post #23 of 45 Old Dec 10th, 2011, 6:41 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

Never too cold in Florida........... It has been in the teens once or twice.......lol

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post #24 of 45 Old Dec 10th, 2011, 11:28 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

I have been out when it's colder, but the 40 degree mark is pretty much my tipping point. Much below that and it's just not fun. The heated seat on my GT made it marginally more bearable, but on the unheated RT not so much.

I have to tip my hat to you guys out there in that sub freezing stuff though! That's really something.

Ride Safe,

Bob
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post #25 of 45 Old Dec 10th, 2011, 3:49 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

This past week was my coldest of the year with temps at 32 in the morning. I over dressed and in the stop and go traffic, I was way too warm and finally got comfortable when I got to the Interstate. Last year, lowest was mid 20's but below 30 the ice scares the hell out of me. I've also found that in the 20's, any painted surface can act like ice.

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post #26 of 45 Old Dec 12th, 2011, 6:39 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

Early this year I rode to work at 18 degrees. No heated gear (though I thought a lot about it afterwards). BMW Winter Pro 2 gloves and my wonderful heated grips. Long underwear, several more layers and my mesh riding suit with warm liner and rain liner for the extra protection. Balaklava which helps quite a lot. Would I do it again? Of course! I mentioned that I rode a bike to work to a customer and he pointed out that I was crazy. Yeah, so?
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post #27 of 45 Old Dec 12th, 2011, 9:21 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by BugZapper
Early this year I rode to work at 18 degrees. No heated gear (though I thought a lot about it afterwards). BMW Winter Pro 2 gloves and my wonderful heated grips. Long underwear, several more layers and my mesh riding suit with warm liner and rain liner for the extra protection. Balaklava which helps quite a lot. Would I do it again? Of course! I mentioned that I rode a bike to work to a customer and he pointed out that I was crazy. Yeah, so?
It is not only the temperature, but how long you were out riding in it. How long does it take you to get to work?
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post #28 of 45 Old Dec 13th, 2011, 1:03 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

It's 26 here now, and I'm headed out the door to take the DR650 out for a spin. No heated anything.
17 on the LT, 23 on the Harley if I recall correctly.
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post #29 of 45 Old Dec 13th, 2011, 1:29 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
There is NO bad riding weather only Bad riding gear. I have rode in temps as low as 17 degrees. I had stopped for breakfast & came out to see ice forming on my seat. Just started the bike , turned on the seat heater & waited inside till the ice melted.
+1, although my lowest temp riding was 25 degrees, as long as the roads are dry.

Regards & Ride Safe!

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post #30 of 45 Old Dec 13th, 2011, 3:57 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

I prefer riding in the cold, and there's good news and bad news. You get so numb it doesn't hurt in a get-off. That's good. But the old bones shatter in a million pieces, Not so good. Still beats sweating to death in my ATGATT.

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post #31 of 45 Old Dec 14th, 2011, 4:46 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

You have to ride when it gets cold, Just to air out all the gear a little from all the sweat when it's hot, otherwise it will stink in the spring when you put it on.
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post #32 of 45 Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 12:04 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

For many years didn't own a car so used my bike at whatever temp- as low as -5F.

Its not so much a question of temp as road conditions and gear you own. I used to take the dirt bikes out in the snow just to pass folks going up the steeper hills in town. My current RT is my preferred transportation over my car but it only gets to low 20s around here- no big deal with modern gear. I can certainly do "unlimited" miles in such temps given the qualities of today's gear. But the RT would be a bit of handful in snow/ice compared to a dirt bike which works about as well in deep snow as on a muddy track.

There are some things that need consideration for best comfort / safety in below freezing temps
1) Wind blocking both by bike and clothing - includes neck, hands and feet
2) Electric gear - at least jacket and gloves- maybe more if your bike lacks lower protection
3) Anti- fog provisions for visor of a full face helmet
4) Tire choice suitable for temp- not some summer race tire
5) Evaluation of survival options should you be crossing a long distance between safe/warm spots
6) Proper socks and boots with lots of toe space- too tight means cold, quickly.
7) Modern synthetic base layer clothing

Closest I've ever come to a problem was a couple hour ride in below zero temps as a kid when I didn't own any good gear. Got so cold I literally couldn't stand up to get off the bike- had to be lifted off by friends and took me a few hours to get my body back to anything like normal mobility. With the gear I own now, that ride would no be problem at all.

My preference for sport touring machinery derives directly from my experiences at all weather riding. There is no other type of bike that is as satisfactory for all weather use on pavement. And the RT is about as good as it gets.

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post #33 of 45 Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 4:11 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

It depends entirely upon what temp your gear keeps you warm.

Here in AZ I do not have to worry about black ice--that is my BIG concern when temps go below freezing.

Occasionally I wonder what exactly I should be looking for when I go over a bridge with a sign warning that ice forms on bridges?

Maybe you should ask CarlieVT what chains he uses so that you can ride in the snow? :-))

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post #34 of 45 Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 7:50 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

10F this A.M. as I went in to work my ankles got a little cold as I wear normal leather dress shoes to work, the rest of me did fine. My ride is about 7 miles and about 3 on the freeway hit normal speed about 75. There have been mornings I have not ridden due to frost or ice but bare pavement I have not found my stopping point yet. Ride safe Ron

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post #35 of 45 Old Dec 26th, 2011, 7:51 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

I don't see anyone mention the cold ground and how it relates to tire traction.
Do you think tire traction goes down as the ground temp goes down?
This is what keeps me from riding in the winter.
Ellie
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post #36 of 45 Old Dec 26th, 2011, 1:49 pm
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Talking Re: Riding in the cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by missusfinz
I don't see anyone mention the cold ground and how it relates to tire traction.
Do you think tire traction goes down as the ground temp goes down?
This is what keeps me from riding in the winter.
Ellie
Ellie,
I expect you're right. Taking curves the speed limit might be a heads up option. Stopping distance would be a bit longer in an emergency too.

I'm just not as aggressive in cold weather, but I do ride a lot in the winter.........providing road surface is dry.

Just my opinion....


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Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
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Converted HD rider.
Love this LT bike and still waiting for my first speeding ticket. LOL
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post #37 of 45 Old Dec 29th, 2011, 12:09 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

Michelin Pilot Roads and RoadSmartswrok well enough in the cold. One tire that absolutely is crap in the cold and wet is the Bridgestone BT-020 that was OEM on my RT. One ride on that at any temp below 40 and you have to wonder if anyone in Germany actually ever test rode one or just plain doesn't care about customer safety.
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post #38 of 45 Old Dec 29th, 2011, 8:07 am Thread Starter
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Re: Riding in the cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer7
Michelin Pilot Roads and RoadSmartswrok well enough in the cold. One tire that absolutely is crap in the cold and wet is the Bridgestone BT-020 that was OEM on my RT. One ride on that at any temp below 40 and you have to wonder if anyone in Germany actually ever test rode one or just plain doesn't care about customer safety.
Yikes that's the tires I have the bt 20. But I don't ride that hard anyway. The tires seem fine to me. I did ride the other day to run a few errands and the temp on my LT read 26 my only concern was ice
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post #39 of 45 Old Dec 29th, 2011, 9:10 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer7
Michelin Pilot Roads and RoadSmartswrok well enough in the cold. One tire that absolutely is crap in the cold and wet is the Bridgestone BT-020 that was OEM on my RT. One ride on that at any temp below 40 and you have to wonder if anyone in Germany actually ever test rode one or just plain doesn't care about customer safety.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulStaske
Yikes that's the tires I have the bt 20. But I don't ride that hard anyway. The tires seem fine to me. I did ride the other day to run a few errands and the temp on my LT read 26 my only concern was ice
The Bridgestone BT-020s are crap in the warm and dry, too.

I hated 'em. Poor handling in all conditions, especially in wet weather. Front tire cupped badly. Both tires wore out quickly compared with any other tires I have had. The early-wear "feature" is a blessing, because you get to replace them with something good.
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post #40 of 45 Old Dec 29th, 2011, 6:46 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

It is true that everyone has his or her personal limit. Fair enough.

I will ride in sub-freezing temperatures, but generally only if the weather and roads are very good. Eons ago, I have been commuting on a bike in high school and college; learned the hard way (very hard, I might add) that a two-wheeler has no stability on ice. I am trying to avoid a repeat of that learning experience.

On the other hand, there are some who apparently hate when it is warm. Here is Paul Mondor's bike on the Trans-Labrador Highway in January 2008 .
Got me beat, no?


Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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Last edited by rdwalker; Dec 29th, 2011 at 10:55 pm.
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post #41 of 45 Old Dec 29th, 2011, 9:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Riding in the cold

Woozier that's cool how about a spyder for snowy days ha ha
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post #42 of 45 Old Dec 30th, 2011, 5:30 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

What about salt and other corrosives used on the roads in the winter?
I am worried that my bike would dissolve if I rode it in Canada.
They put lots of salt on the roads up here. How corrosive resistant do think the bikes are? Especially the wheels?
Ellie
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post #43 of 45 Old Dec 30th, 2011, 6:48 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

Missus
Check with some of the English on that issue. They have a lot of some chemical on their roads as well as salt, potassium chloride, or sulfate, or whatever, and it corrodes their bikes like crazy. But they like to ride all year.
For me the lowest I remember is 24 degrees into Yosemite a few years ago. With no heated gear. With heated gear today I am a lot more comfortable.
And you know at 24 degrees I am checking very carefully for clean, dry roads.
In the old days, many years ago, before they used recorded temperatures, I don't know what I got down to, but I do remember shivering uncontrollably and the snow falling all around.
dc
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post #44 of 45 Old Dec 31st, 2011, 8:34 am
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Re: Riding in the cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by David13
Quote:
Originally Posted by missusfinz
What about salt and other corrosives used on the roads in the winter?... Ellie
.... Check with some of the English on that issue. They have a lot of some chemical on their roads as well as salt, potassium chloride, or sulfate, or whatever, and it corrodes their bikes like crazy. ... dc
Actually, David, as a long-time Brit-car afficionado and owner, I came to the conclusion that the British simply shrugged and gave up in their struggle against elements - at least until fairly recently. For a country that has some snow and mostly rain, their cars traditionally leaked and rusted awfully.

Ellie's question is quite valid. I ride when it is cold, but stay off the road when there is salt out, regardless of temperatures. I lost a couple of bicycles that way... rusted gear train and pitted rims.

Someone recommended to me a marine wash, used to clean salt water off boats. I did not get a chance to try it yet, but it's food for thought.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #45 of 45 Old Dec 31st, 2011, 4:48 pm
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Re: Riding in the cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by highroamer
As the others say, freezing and below isn't a problem with the right gear and the heated seats and grips. The tipping point for me is the condition of the road.
I'm with you on that statement. Put the bike down on black ice back in March. I have no desire to repeat that,

Take care,
Chris

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God" Kurt Vonnegut

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