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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone has attempted to cut vents into the upper fairings near the knee / thigh area to access the engine heat during the winter months. I rode my bike through the winter and I could only ride at temps above 29 degrees without heated clothing because my thighs would go hypothermic within the 30 minute commute to work. I was sitting at a stop light on Sunday in 80 degree temps and I noticed the amount of heat coming up from the bike when the radiator fans kicked on. I thought that it was a shame to let all of that free heat escape in the winter. Before I go and try something crazy this fall, I just thought that I should ask the forum if it's already been tried.
 

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I had a Honda Goldwing that had vents in the fairing that would direct engine heat into the cockpit and a knob to open foot warmer vents in the lower part of the fairing. They didn't help much in cold temperatures. Also, the radiator fans did not operate because the engine temperature never warmed up enough which would likely be the case with the LT also.
 

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jhsonderb said:
I had a Honda Goldwing that had vents in the fairing that would direct engine heat into the cockpit and a knob to open foot warmer vents in the lower part of the fairing. They didn't help much in cold temperatures. Also, the radiator fans did not operate because the engine temperature never warmed up enough which would likely be the case with the LT also.
Jim, your comment about the Goldwing vents is interesting as I have always wondered if they would be of any use in colder weather. Not that I would be in the market of getting a Wing, just out of curiosity...

I fully agree that with LT the radiator heat would only be availabe when the bike is moving (in cold weather) as my fans never kick in during cold weather in normal traffic conditions, unless the bike sits and idles exceptionally long.

And Chad...what kind of heated clothing you have? I have Gerbings pants and jacket liners with individual Heat-Troller control units and I can ride with those around 0 deg C weather with short underwear and when it gets colder I simpy change to Long Johns or turn up the Heat Troller

IMHO it would be much more worth investing into proper heated clothing and controls rather than start experimenting with bike fairings. The latter effects the looks of the bike quite seriously and there is no guarentee that it would work as the shape of the fairing is not originally designed for that purpose (unlike Wing which does not help much either as we heard from Jim...)

Here is one idea for the Heat-Troller (permanent) installation
http://picasaweb.google.fi/pozoizquierdo/HEATTROLLERSFORGERBINGS#

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Currently, I have no heated clothing. I bought the bike in October '08 and I kept experimenting with the weather in Virginia to see just how cold it had to get before I could not ride to work safely. With boots, gloves, blue jeans, turtle neck, standard winter coat, a full face helmet and neck scarf, I was able to set up the wind deflectors and windshield, grip and seat heaters to ride for 30 minutes to work without feeling chilly with the temps all the way down into the lower 30's. When I would dismount and walk into the building, I would notice that the tops of my thighs were the only body parts that felt cold. I may have been due to the denim being stretched tightly in the riding position and not providing any type of an air gap.

I was just curious if the venting of engine heat was ever attempted. It sounds like it is not the way to go. If I plan to ride for longer periods in colder temps, it looks like the cure is the heated clothing. I don't care for a lot of extra effort or delays when I am preparing to ride. I tried on some of the heated clothing and it was not easy for me to get the pants on and off over the boots that I wear.

Thanks for the input. It will keep me from attempting anything stupid as far as redirecting the engine heat.
 

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You are doing well if you can get down into the 30's with just jeans (try that with an unfaired bike!). Try some overpants if you don't want to mess with heated clothing. Get some with a full side zip and they are not hard to get over any boot.
With the extra layer over your legs, you will notice your toes are cold. :brick:
 

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Comfort in any weather condition is all about the proper gear.

Was just discussing fairing vents with a friend last week, he wanted to cut in some vents like the 3 inch diameter ones in his Kabota tractor cab (they open/close and rotate) just above his knees to warm his hands.

Recommended he get better cold weather (or heated) gloves.

BTW- Blue Jeans/denim are NOT proper riding gear! Run as fast as you can and throw yourself on the asphalt to check it out. That is about the slowest you would ever crash on a motorcycle, it only gets worse from there. I know, you have not and do not plan to crash,
but you will, that's why they are called accidents. Hope you are an exception to the rule, I am not.
 

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I had considered fastening a radius fin to the fan air outlet.

It could be removed in the summer.

Possible materials might be found in the tupperware section at a grocery store.
 

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dougholck said:
BTW- Blue Jeans/denim are NOT proper riding gear! Run as fast as you can and throw yourself on the asphalt to check it out. That is about the slowest you would ever crash on a motorcycle, it only gets worse from there. I know, you have not and do not plan to crash,
but you will, that's why they are called accidents. Hope you are an exception to the rule, I am not.
A very heartened +1. The extra time taken to on/off the gear could be paid back many times over. I pack my work clothes in a side case bag and dress in the bathroom. I don't mind the extra time as long as it allows me to ride.

Just my $0.02, ATGATT
Jer
 

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Chad,
Following some of the other comments here, you will be amazed at what a difference it makes riding in cold weather just by keeping your core and hands warm. This means a good, armored riding jacket to keep wind out of your core, a heated jacket liner or vest (I prefer the jacket for just a few more bucks) and, maybe most important, a good pair of heated gloves. Good armored riding pants will also do wonders for keeping your lower body warm or you can go all the way with a heated pants liner. I have a Gerbings jacket and a pair of Gerbings G3 gloves. My commute to Seattle is around an hour and this set up has been fine in temps down to 19 degrees (my coldest morning ride...by the way, around here and I suspect no different in your part of the world, you do have to be very careful of black ice when riding on sub-freezing mornings). For your feet, while I don't have them, I'm told the heated insoles work quite well. Hooking everything up as you prepare for the ride is a pain in the #$$, but well worth it as you're pulling out of the driveway and you can already feel the heat.

IMHO, heated gear would be much more effective than any attempt to use engine heat at 70 mph. As an aside, I have a friend with a new Goldwing who says their engine heat systems work marginally at best. He also wears heated gear. Good luck!
 

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I can ride into the 20's with my Olympia riding suit. It's not heated but with the removable liners in I'm toasty. The only other thing I need is the grip heaters. No wires! The liners are actually like an extra jacket and pants. I use all layers below 40 and just the outer layers above that. Above 80 I have a mesh jacket.
 

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My 1989 Yamaha Venture Royalle had vents in both sides just below where my knees were and they provided flow through warm air when needed. Was a great help in keeping warm in colder weather. I have been wearing a tourmaster jacket but just jeans. I'll have to upgrade to something a little more protective!!
Cheers
Jim :bmw: :dance: :dance:
 

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Chad, I have often had the same thought (as have many others I suspect) about cutting vents. I looked into it a little and I think that it really may be more work than it is really worth. You would need to block or semi-block the side vents to 'force' the air through the vents. That may or may not adversely affect the cooling abilities of the radiators.

I also looked at placement of the vents. I wasn't sure that with all the mechanicals that are hidden under the tupperware that I could get the vents plumbed and placed in an optimal position. Like they would either come out above or below my thighs and neither position would cure the original issue of cold thighs.

I too was concerned with the finished product and didn't want it to look hacked. So after all of that, I invested in a set of Gerbings. Now, cutting a vent would be a heckuva lot cheaper, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work as well.

YMMV
 

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I wear Olympia clothes with the liners in the winter and stayed comfortable riding at 32 degrees. After being at speed for awhile the heated grips don't keep my hands warm so I think that heated gloves are in order.

+1 on the Jeans comment. I know from experience as do others. Ride safe
 

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2+ on the proper riding gear. I wear Motoport Air Mesh year round. Have the breathable liners for the pants & my legs rarely get cold. If it is below 20 or so, I might put on lined jeans. My biggest problem in winter is cold feet & hands. Gerbings socks & gloves help a lot. Plus having a heated jacket helps a lot as well.

When shopping for riding gear, I found that the better gear will cost significantly more money. Polypropylene & polyester is NOT as strong nor have same abrasion resistance same as 1000 or even 500 Denier Cordura & Kevlar. I figured I was money ahead to buy the best gear I could find. Good gear is a hell of a lot cheaper than a skin graft.
 

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Since the hot air on the KLT is forced out of the side of the fairing lowers
rather than cutting a hole for a vent, how about just re-directing the flow of air.
On my R80RT, my K75RT and my K1100LT I had a product called Baker built air wings
that I used to get cooler air to my legs,
I can think of no reason why you couldn't use them to direct the flow of hot air.
 

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SilverBuffalo said:
Since the hot air on the KLT is forced out of the side of the fairing lowers
rather than cutting a hole for a vent, how about just re-directing the flow of air.
On my R80RT, my K75RT and my K1100LT I had a product called Baker built air wings
that I used to get cooler air to my legs,
I can think of no reason why you couldn't use them to direct the flow of hot air.
The winglets under the mirrors already do that. In the winter I adjust them all the way open and the cold air flows out away from the bike and forces the warm air from the radiators back on my legs. The only part of me that gets cold are my feet as I put on peg lowering kits and now my feet are below the fairing.
 

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katnapinn said:
The winglets under the mirrors already do that. In the winter I adjust them all the way open and the cold air flows out away from the bike and forces the warm air from the radiators back on my legs. The only part of me that gets cold are my feet as I put on peg lowering kits and now my feet are below the fairing.
Matter of fact, weren't there someone on the forums that did a ghetto mod by making some 'flaps' that fit to the lower exhaust ducts? I can't remember now whether they were to deflect cold air and allow engine heat to warm the boots, or if they were installed to the rear of the duct openings to deflect warm air away. I even thought that particular bike showed up on the classifieds sometime ago, butt if so, I haven't found it yet.
 

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katnapinn said:
The winglets under the mirrors already do that. In the winter I adjust them all the way open and the cold air flows out away from the bike and forces the warm air from the radiators back on my legs. The only part of me that gets cold are my feet as I put on peg lowering kits and now my feet are below the fairing.
I don't think we are talking about the same thing here Steve,
sure the winglets do a great job of moving the air around the bike
but they are way out in front of the heat generated by the motor.

I think it would still be feasible to add a second set of wings at the rear of the lower fairing vents
to "push" the hot air back onto the legs when you wanted to.

The older K bikes (K75 & K100) used to generate a lot of heat that way,
so much that they were actually somewhat "unpleasant" to ride in the warmer climates.
 
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