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As I was riding to work this morning there were a few patches of slushy snow and it got me to wondering, (other than stay at home) are there any tips for riding in snow? I know slow way down, stay in the tracks, stay off the brakes, if you must brake use rear only.
 

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You about covered them all. If it is slush that means the snow is melting and the LT as heavy as it is will push thru it with out much trouble. Just be super careful if the temp drops below freezing as ice will form from the melting slush. But then it doesn't get that cold down there does it? Silly me, I didn't think it snowed down there either.
 

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generally speaking........

........the best advice is don't do it. Here in Toronto, Canada, I ride a bit in cold weather but I've realized 3 things.

There is no such thing as a 4 wheel drift on ice or snow, on a bike, it's a 2 wheel crash. As we all know, bikes turn, by and large, by not only changing the angle of the front wheel, but by leaning (hence your center of balance is no longer over the wheelbase). Grip is required for this. Loose the grip, and down you go on ice, because the loss of traction combined with the non-centered load no longer directly over the wheels is inescapeable.

Secondly, ice doesn't show. The road can look fine, and it's icy. That's why they call it black ice. You only get one chance at this on a motorcycle, (it doesn't matter if the other guy is in the wrong if you're all mashed up under his front axle).

And finally, a large vehicle can be coming the other way, hit a pothole full of slush, and cover your visor. Not to mention it can be heavy when it hits you. Then you have to stop, on the ice, in the slush, when you can't see.........nice picture, huh?

I've learned to put mine away for a few months. Now, having said all this I'm sure your winter's aren't like ours, but, from a guy that lives where there is a white winter, that's my 2 cents worth.

Rod.
 

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Rod pretty much covered it.

Personaly, if there's chance of slick/ice/slush road - I dont' wanna be there with my LT. A 'bouncable' dirt bike or rat bike, maybe - but there is only one of me still.

At the same time - this is a realistic road condition that could be un-anticipated. You gotta be ready. Thankfully, these un-anticipated ice/slush moments "should" be realatively short. Best plan is to stay straight and level - until you're on the other side. Sadly, real life may not always allow for that.

Tiz a risk, you gonna take it?
 

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Yes, I'm serious...

When I was a kid growing up in Ohio farming country it was a common occurrence to put snow chains on the rear tires of our 2WD pickup truck; this resulted in fabulous traction.

Anything exist like this for a motorcycle? Now, I'm not talking about doing 80 mph with a chain flailing itself around the rear tire of the LT, but maybe something like a minimal-use strap-on cleated gizmo. They have them for cars when you're stuck without traction. Would be a nice thing to have in case you got into snow/slush/ice that lasted longer than 100 yards.
 

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Just ask Joe about his patented Motolight Ice-Melting setup. :D
 

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Snow riding

I have ridden a few miles in snow on the LT. Not salted, not sanded, not slush, but 3-4 inches of freshly fallen wet November snow. It started out as flurries but by the time I got home I was making tracks. You gotta go real slow if you plan on stopping or turning.

Here's an old thread about the best tires for riding in snow:


http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=K1200LT&Number=46521&page=&view=&sb=&o=

and a picture:

http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/downloadattachments.php?attach_id=1409?Cat=
 

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There's one other tip that I gleaned from Proficient Motorcycling. Try to keep the bike as close to vertical as possible in the turns by leaning your body instead of the bike. By doing that you can do a little bit of 2 wheel drifting without going down.;)
 

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I was everyones favorite babysitter...I would always ride my motorcycle rain,shine or snowstorm. When it was really-really bad, I would just kick the ice chunks out of the way. Usually I was one of the few on the road.
Somehow, I can't imagine trying that on the LT. Ah yes, a perfect day still is sking in the morning, (water or snow) and riding in the afternoon oh, and party at night-rollover and repeat! ~;-)
 

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Stud the Tires

Years ago I had the opportunity to watch the ice races on Lake George, NY. Dirt bikes with 1/4 inch bolts bolted through the front & rear tires with padded inserts and tubes inside the spoked wheels. Those guys would run 50 - 60 mph on the ice and then chase the snow mobiles over the straights.

Got caught in 6 inches of snow in Norfolk, Va on my CB350 Honda in 1969. Had a ball crossing the 4 wheel tire tracks.

30+ years latter - you won't catch me out in that stuff!! How risk averse are you???
 

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Thanks, Joe. I couldn't find that pic, so I figured you'd pipe up. :)
 

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I spent the previous 20 years living, driving and motorcycling in the northern Sierra Nevada. From 2000 through 2004, i drove daily from Virginia City Nevada down Geiger Grade (State Route 341), up over Mt Rose (State Route 431), crossed the 9500 or so Mt Rose summit (highest pass open all year in the Sierra) and down to the lake in Incline Village. We saw, on average--up on the peaks--about 35 feet of snow each year and at lake level we could often receive 8-10 feet of snow over a few storms. Occasionally we'd see that amount from one storm.
Interstate 80 and the infamous Donner Summit was my alternate route to get to work, so I can safely say that i've driven in some of the worst winter weather this country can throw at ya.
It wasn't unusual to get snow in July on Mt. Rose and once in a while we'd even have flurries in August.
I drove my motorcycle many many days on that work commute and after dealing with unexpected winter driving conditions more times than i care to recall, my advice to anyone contemplating driving in snow and ice is to do it on 4 wheels or stay home. Yer just too damned precious to risk a crippling and perhaps fatal excursion on your bike simply because you're too impatient to wait for better weather.
I'll probably get some boos for this, but dammit--i'd rather sit a day or two out than lose forever my ability to toss a healthy, complete leg over my bike in better weather.
 

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NevadaNez said:
I'll probably get some boos for this, but dammit--i'd rather sit a day or two out than lose forever my ability to toss a healthy, complete leg over my bike in better weather.
No boo's from me. Sounds like wise advise. I crashed HARD in '95...and it was weather related. No need to tell the whole story. Let's just say, I have learned. Next time, I might not be so lucky.
 

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Thanks Joe--i too crashed HARD in 95--a doe ran across Highway 70 (Feather River Canyon) west of Quincy, CA at 1 in the afternoon. Whoda thunk???
Anyway, that was on a beautiful summer day, the odds Gods were with me, and i still ate it. With that kinda luck, i ain't risking it when the hazard factor outweighs the fun factor--life's short enough and it can really suck when you're unable to live it the way you've become accustomed to (and I know this pretty well--i spent about 15 years a flight paramedic.....)
 
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