Cold Weather (Gear) Advice - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 10:38 am Thread Starter
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Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

First, I live in N.E. Ohio. I road one morning last week and it was 38. This started me thinking, which some would say is dangerous in itself.....

For the next 18 months I will be commuting about 65 miles one way (130 RT) 5 days a week. Not complaining, but..... I have an F-150 that gets 14 mpg and two bikes. A 2000 LT and an 01 R1100S. They both get 40 something mpg. Kind of a no brainier, if you know what I mean.

Another note to this: I leave at 5:30 AM each day, so not only is it chilly right now, its dark.

While blowing down I-76 somewhere above the posted speed on my LT at 38 degrees outside I stayed very warm, but the wind did come around "behind" me and my back was the only thing that got a little cold during the hour drive. So this of course turned my thoughts to all of you, and the HUGE amount of knowledge on this site. So here's my question(s).

Any advice on cold weather riding gear? Heated vest? Pants? Suite? It also rains. (If you live in Ohio, you know just how un-funny that has been this year!) I plan on riding every day that I can for the next 18 months so any and all suggestion's are appreciated.

Also, I have an HID low beam kit coming (Didn't take too many dark rainy mornings to make this investment!) and wondered if there are any other suggestion's for lighting. Is it worth the investment to add the hi beam too? Is it as easy as the low beam gig? And for those of you not accustom to Ohio, especially NE Ohio, we have deer. lots and Lots and LOTS of deer. The first half of my drive in the morning is interstate or major highway. The second part of the journey is farm country. As in lots of corn. And hay. And other things deer love to eat. So, being able to see them as early as possible is just pretty darn important to me. (And my family!)

Any advice here too?

Thanks to all for all the info I've already gleaned off this forum!

Joel

Last edited by jtfoto; Sep 20th, 2011 at 10:49 am.
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post #2 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 11:50 am
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

Heated jacket liner. I found with the vest sometimes my arms would get that wind coming around the fairing and make it chilly. Gerbing has a liner that is heated in the sleeves, collar, and arms. I know they make pants that you can plug into the liner, as well as gloves that will also pug into the jacket liner. This stuff is NOT cheap, but it works well.
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post #3 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 11:52 am
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

I have the PIAA 1100x kit installed on the bike. Helps alot. My LT had the HID standard (2007) for the low beam, but the high beam is useless with the HID and the PIAA's. I'm going to try a PIAA bulb in the high beam and see if there is any kind of improvement over the current high beam. I'll let you know.
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post #4 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 12:00 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

I would go with the heated jacket liner and heated gloves. Your legs should hold up fairly well with what ever riding pants you have on. You may also want to get one of these for your head/neck. I usually put mine on when it gets in the lower 20'S. Of course, my commute is only 20 miles each way.
http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/3/11/367/11757/ITEM/River-Road-Balaclava.aspx?SiteID=SLI|Neck%20Protection&WT.MC_ ID=10010

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #5 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 12:03 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

I'd suggest buying a cheap beater car, because sooner or later you WILL hit one of those deer, riding/driving for an hour each day on two lane deer infested roads. Even a mid-sized car will likely get 50% or better fuel mileage than your truck, and if/when you hit a deer, you will be much better protected. The odds just don't look good on this trip, at least during the short winter days. Maybe next summer, the motorcycle might make sense, as you will be driving in daylight both ways.

As far as cold weather gear, I've used Gerbing electric pants, jacket, gloves, (and socks when it's really cold) for many years, with great results. I wouldn't say it's waterproof, but it's pretty water resistant. If you already have good riding gear, a vest might work good, instead of the jacket, as long as the sleeves are heated. The only issues that i've had are the face shield frosting/fogging up in really cold weather. Of course, it doesn't take much snow on the roads to make me park it!

The older I get, the more I appreciate heated gear, even down here.

Ruben

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post #6 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 12:08 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

Gerbing's jacket liner and heated gloves.

I also have the pants, but rarely wear them. Tall boots and tall wool socks are good enough on the LT.
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post #7 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 1:37 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

The BEST "accessory" I've ever purchased is my heated vest.

The new micro-wire technology allows for half the bulk, and much better heating--if you can get a vest with zip-off sleeves or a full jacket liner, even better

========================================
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post #8 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 2:07 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

Being in Minnesota I ride in cold weather all the time. For a 1 hour drive here is what I would have.

1. Heated vest
2. Good riding coat that cuts the wind and has multiple layers. Outside shell, wind liner, isolated liner. I also wear either my vest zipped up around my neck and or a sweatshirt zipped up around my neck. Dress in layers.
3. Insulated deer skin gloves. Lets heat from the grips come in, flexible and good wind protection and allows blood circulation.
4. Insulated jeans and maybe long johns. I also have canvas chaps.
5. Warm water proof winter boots. I use a winter hiking boot.
6. Full face helmet or helmet that gives you full face protection with a shield.
7. Heated seat and heated grips.

Here are the areas that I always need to keep from getting cold. Back, wrists, neck, ankles or at seam of boots and pants.

I road 8 hours in 30-40 degree weather with this and never got cold.

The other item that makes me stop riding is deer. By Nov 1st I tend to see deer almost everyday I come or go to work. That is when I tend to switch to the car.

Tom Ress
Great White North
Minnesota
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post #9 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 2:08 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

Gerbing heated jacket and gloves which I wear below 65. Below 50 degrees, I plug them in. I don't need electric pants with my riding pants. Below 40 degrees, I plug in my Gerbing soles to keep my feet warm.

Below 35 degrees I add my riding suit lining between the Gerbings gear and my riding suit.

I've ridden like this to 0 degrees F without any issues.

Finally, in colder weather, you will need a full face helmet with pinlock visor - that will prevent fogging up of the visor. Also, as someone said above, a balaclava is comfortable below 45 degrees.
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post #10 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 3:07 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

What really made the biggest difference after heated liners was a Gore-tex jacket (pants don't hurt either) It blocks all the airflow and adds 10-15 degrees to your insulated gear. I also have a pair of Gore-tex snowmobile mittens for when it gets really cold. They are thinner in the palm to transfer the heat from the grips and nicely insulated on top. Keeping the fingers together keeps the hands warmer too.

The back pressure is from having your shield all the way up. Lowering it just a bit will keep the wind off of your back.

_____________

Kim Thomson
Motorcycle Cigar Smoker
05 K1200LT - The Golden Rocket Ship
91 K100RS - The White Stallion
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post #11 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 3:34 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

HID light if properly aimed along with MotoLights Bulb types include halogen, standard LED and a new high output LED!

Again AIM is very important.

I don't like to ride when you can have ICE so +1 on a used car for winter.

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post #12 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 3:47 pm
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Smile Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtfoto
First, I live in N.E. Ohio. I road one morning last week and it was 38. This started me thinking, which some would say is dangerous in itself.....

For the next 18 months I will be commuting about 65 miles one way (130 RT) 5 days a week. Not complaining, but..... I have an F-150 that gets 14 mpg and two bikes. A 2000 LT and an 01 R1100S. They both get 40 something mpg. Kind of a no brainier, if you know what I mean.

Another note to this: I leave at 5:30 AM each day, so not only is it chilly right now, its dark.

While blowing down I-76 somewhere above the posted speed on my LT at 38 degrees outside I stayed very warm, but the wind did come around "behind" me and my back was the only thing that got a little cold during the hour drive. So this of course turned my thoughts to all of you, and the HUGE amount of knowledge on this site. So here's my question(s).

Any advice on cold weather riding gear? Heated vest? Pants? Suite? It also rains. (If you live in Ohio, you know just how un-funny that has been this year!) I plan on riding every day that I can for the next 18 months so any and all suggestion's are appreciated.

Also, I have an HID low beam kit coming (Didn't take too many dark rainy mornings to make this investment!) and wondered if there are any other suggestion's for lighting. Is it worth the investment to add the hi beam too? Is it as easy as the low beam gig? And for those of you not accustom to Ohio, especially NE Ohio, we have deer. lots and Lots and LOTS of deer. The first half of my drive in the morning is interstate or major highway. The second part of the journey is farm country. As in lots of corn. And hay. And other things deer love to eat. So, being able to see them as early as possible is just pretty darn important to me. (And my family!)

Any advice here too?

Thanks to all for all the info I've already gleaned off this forum!

Joel
I rode from Clev.,Oh to Richmond ,Va it was 25 degrees when I left Clev. no heated gear. I was comfortable except my feet got very cold by the time I got to the Turnpike(boots fit too tight to wear heavy socks) or they probably would have been fine. the rest of my attire was (long underware top and bottom,jeans,chaps, winter gloves, full coverage helmet, heavy shirt and insulated bike jacket. The temp finally made it to 30 degrees through Ohio and Pa then gradually warmed the further south I got to about 45 degrees. I really saw no need for expensive heated clothing but admit that I usally don't ride when it is that cold. Good luck up north WAL
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post #13 of 14 Old Sep 20th, 2011, 8:20 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

I used my LT for work, I did field service.. I rode from late May to sometimes as late as late December and I did this for 20+ years, last 10 on my LT, I retired this spring. With the heated grips and seat my riding window opened by 6+ weeks immediately. My biggest problem was that once I left home, and even if I left home when it was good riding temps and a good weather outlook, I never knew when I was coming back. I also did not know where I would end up or what routes I would be riding home on any day. My F150 did the job when I wasn't using the LT and in the winter it was not unusual for me to ride 100s of miles in blizzard conditions. My ace in the hole was I had a company credit card and I used it for hotels and meals when I deemed riding unsafe.

When I left home 98% of the time the commute was for a minimum of 100 miles round trip with an outside of 300 to 400 miles. I needed to always be prepared for any type of weather and from what I read about your commute that is what I advise that you prepare for.

This is what I came up using the LT for almost 100K. BTW most of those miles was for work related activities.

Even with LED MotoLights, HID Low and High beams there was not enough lights to make me feel comfortable before after sunset or before dawn, especially if I was riding multiple hours after dark and/or before sunrise.

The solution I came up with was that I purchased two Hella Fog Lights and put them under my mirrors. They lit the road for 100 feet across (a three lane road) about 3 feet up and 100 feet down the road. With the initial lamps they lit the road but did not give the intensity of light I needed to allow me to scan for deer and small animals on the shoulder or just off the road comfortably. Since I had a deer accident on a previous bike, I was super paranoid and felt I needed more. More illumination meant the Hellas had to be HIDs. So I converted the fog lamps from 55w halogen to 55w HID using standard HIDs and 55w ballasts. I was told that there are no 55w specific lamps but the ballast created the environment for the lamps to work better or brighter.. I have no proof that these lamps work at 55w but the light output is spectacular and more importantly I DO NOT get flashed by oncoming traffic. Once I put them on they stay on. HID high beams are useless on roads with any traffic. However if the roads are very lightly traveled or you are the only one on the road they can be used and add a lot to your safety.

You still have to be cautious, but I felt that the extra light(s) improved my ride because it took some tension out of the road scanning for danger.

I also had a heated liner with a high neck and proper fit to keep the liner close for max transfer of heat. Unfortunately I would have to stop riding when the road surface temperature supported the formation of 'black ice'. Probably your case also. My driving cost speadsheets indicated that use of the LT brought my average F150 MPG from almost 16 MPG to almost 25 MPG over the year by using my LT for approximately 6 months. My LT gets pretty close to 50 MPG.

I also had one pannier filled with heated liner, extra winter liners, extra winter gloves and extra rain gear so I could layer over my waterproof textiles in summer. Cold night drizzle will sap most of your energy and attention in 30 minutes. Once the night temps dipped past 60 I also carried my winter gear including overpants that I could easily step into and zip up quickly on the side of the road.. Riding for twenty minutes you can tough it out below freezing. Longer than that you start to get lethargic and pay attention more to keeping warm than looking for critters or other danger.

Good luck.. It's dangerous out there in the cold.

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA
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post #14 of 14 Old Nov 7th, 2011, 6:40 pm
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Re: Cold Weather (Gear) Advice

Gerbings Microwire heated Jacket and the New Gerbing's microwire heated socks!

Also have to give a huge +++++ to the Rev'it Alaska GTX Gloves. All leather, Real Gore-Tex, hard carbon leather covered knuckles, intergral sliders and Warm, Warm, Warm!

I rode yesterday for about 45 minutes at 32-34 degress on the freeway and was totally comfortable, didn't even need the heated grips on!

then rode for another hour after a short break at about 43 degrees!

Down right Balmy with the gear!

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