Cold weather riding

Discussion in 'UK Motorcycles' started by Cab, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Cab

    Cab Guest

    It's getting to that time of the year that your nads want to drop off.

    I was wondering what hints people have for riding in the cold, with
    stuff like clothing, bike preparation and riding style.

    For clothing, obvious. Wrap up warm in layers. Use silk glove linings
    if poss. Long Johns for the legs and as a last resort, tights. Yes,
    yes, I know, but they bloody work (according to a mate).

    For bike preparation, what can people suggest? Warm tyres are a bonus,
    but take longer to warm up obviously. But do tyre pressures need to be
    adjusted? Is a change of oil necessary? (Something I've never done,
    btw.) Any other preps necessary?

    For riding style. What can be done to improve confidence? Ride like
    it's wet? What part of the road to aim for? The same? In the 'tyre
    tracks' of cages, as it'll be warmer? What stuff should be avoided?

    Any suggestions would be welcome.
    Cab, Dec 16, 2003
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  2. Cab

    Rexx Guest

    Only thing I've done is made sure to check the chain more frequently, as
    being stored in the garage which can be quite damp, if it's not oiled
    enough, it starts to rust. Oh, and making sure to run the bike for a few
    minutes before riding off and revving it too much.
    Rexx, Dec 16, 2003
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  3. Cab

    Ginge Guest

    Wear any clothes you like, then ride in the most stylish way you can to
    a local emporium of fine four wheeled horseless carriages.

    When you arive, locate a sales representitive and inform them
    "It is now winter and I wish to purchase a car" - they may offer you a
    range to chose from, this is good so long as you do not purchase a brown

    Once complete it's time for a journey home safe in the knowledge you'll
    no longer suffer from the cold winter mornings, without hesitation ride
    stylishly home and put the bike in the garage, from here on you'll find
    yourself taking it out only on the nicer weekends.

    Ginge, Dec 16, 2003
  4. Socks. Lots and lots of socks.
    Just keep it smooth.
    Mr. Fantastic, Dec 16, 2003
  5. Cab

    Ace Guest


    You didn't actually do much riding in Paris rush-hour traffic, did
    you? I'd guess Cab's journey would be about three times as long in a
    Ace, Dec 16, 2003
  6. Cab

    Ace Guest

    Proper mountain-type thermals are better though. A higher
    warmth/weight ratio. Don't wear so much that your clothing
    (particularly gloves) get tight - remember it's the trapped air that
    keeps you warm.
    Nahh, any difference would be negligable.
    You' prolly have 10w40 in as standard, I'd guess, so this should be
    fine for winter. I mean, you're not exactly in the Arctic.
    I'm always a bit more bothered about the state of my tyres in the
    winter, but that's only an issue if you tend to ride them to the
    canvas the rest of the time :-} Lots of WD40 spray, regularly
    re-applied, should help keep the road salt out - pay particular
    attention to brake linkages, shocks etc.
    Just go for the smoothest line. If you start getting paranoid about
    using particular bits of the road you'll end up getting twitchy, which
    will be worse. Obviously, white lines and road seems are to be
    generally avoided, and yes, you ought to be thinking of it as 'wet'
    riding unless you can specifically see otherwise.

    When there's snow on the road just waer big boots, keep your feet on
    the ground and use them as outriggers :)
    Ace, Dec 16, 2003
  7. Cab

    Ginge Guest

    That's not my fault. Paris is obviously crap. :)
    Ginge, Dec 16, 2003
  8. Cab

    flashgorman Guest

    Three times longer but four times warmer. Swings and roundabouts and so
    flashgorman, Dec 16, 2003
  9. Cab

    Hog Guest

    Wot he said, deffo. Good ski gloves are super warm, though not armoured,
    when the mercury goes through the floor. Killy mine are.
    Lets be clear here, I don't *think* that Ace is suggesting you spray the
    tread pattern with WD40 :eek:)
    Hog, Dec 16, 2003
  10. Cab

    Cab Guest

    <G> Pretty much spot on.

    About the roads I ride on, most are main roads, so unlikely to be iced
    up, BUT, there is one slip road I take, on the way home that is really
    dodgy. I happened to be in the cage in Jan/Feb and took the slip road
    in the evening, which for some inexplicable reason was an ice rink.
    We'd been caught short with a sudden snowfall, but this was bizarre. I
    saw three or four bikers that had just given up and were waiting by
    the roadside for the snowplough/salter vehicle.
    Cab, Dec 16, 2003
  11. Cab

    Pip Guest

    Layers, mate. But not too many, as they will compress, squeezing out
    the layers of still, warm air that you want to insulate you.

    A _good_ (read expensive) waterproof windproof jacket and trousers
    that do what they say on the tin. IME, there's no substitute for the
    real thing - Cordura and GoreTex.
    Armour is good for keeping the draught off yer knees and shoulders.
    Salopette trousers are good because they give you an extra layer of
    the proper stuff behind the opening of the jacket, which is always
    vulnerable no matter how well it overlaps on closure.

    Waterproof boots are a must - with plenty of room in them for proper
    thermal walking socks. I wear my old para boots in really cold
    weather, as fuckall will get through the heavily-dubbined leather and
    sewn-in tongue, and they allow me to get a pair of thick fleece
    walking socks in without squeezing them flat and negating the effect.

    You must remember the need for freedom of movement - it's no use
    looking like Bibendum, being lovely and warm, but can't reach the bars
    'cos you can't bend your arms ... To this end I wear a pair of
    ordinary thick cotton trousers over the boots and under the
    thermal-linered Cordura trousers. Tights or thin long johns work well
    without adding much bulk.

    Thickish long T-shirt that overlaps under the trouser waistband,
    thermal fleece polo-neck sweatshirt (again, from an outdoor shop, one
    long in the body and arms to prevent draughts). Big armoured
    Cordura-GoreTex jacket (HG, Voyager II) with thermal liner tops it
    off. HG Pathan Lobsters over the hands, and if it is very cold, a
    pair of silk inner gloves.

    I like to seal my lid to my heid, so wear a Buff like a snood - pulled
    up over my head with all my hair tucked in then pulled over my chin to
    overlap the helmet chin curtain and allowed to ruche over the throat
    area - or if it really is taters, a Kohler thermal balaclava with
    double-thickness neckpiece.

    The bottom line is that if you keep the core warm and dry, and the
    cutting wind off the extremities, you'll be fine in most conditions.
    Do not wear your entire wardrobe or you'll find that you can't look
    around or that cold is conducted through your gear. Experiment with
    layers and see what works best for you, it will soon become second
    nature to think about it.

    Buy proper kit that is expensive enough to work, from people who know
    what they're talking about and the use to which the gear will be put -
    and you'll not regret it.

    PS. **** the sunscreen.
    Pip, Dec 16, 2003
  12. Cab

    Ace Guest

    Most ordinary ski gloves will not be as warm as proper winter bike
    gloves - for that you need to get proper mountain gloves.
    Ace, Dec 16, 2003
  13. Cab

    sweller Guest

    What he says, thin loos(ish) layers are the key. Keep the body warm the
    extremities can cope. Dr. Ivan called this the "Russian Method" when
    applied to arctic type stuff.

    The basic premise is you keep your torso warm to fool the body into
    thinking it's not cold and it therefore doesn't reduce the blood flow to
    fingers and feet keeping them warm.
    I only wear para boots and they are the dogs, warm and pretty much
    waterproof in winter and fairly cool and comfortable in summer (with the
    appropriate socks).
    sweller, Dec 16, 2003
  14. Cab

    Cab Guest

    Bollox. Too late. What about the brake discs? They're nice and shiny
    now. :)
    Cab, Dec 16, 2003
  15. Cab

    Cane Guest

    Yes. Wrap up warm before riding.
    Cane, Dec 16, 2003
  16. Cab

    Hog Guest

    Never brake in the winter, wait for summer to come a'round.
    Hog, Dec 16, 2003
  17. Cab

    HooDooWitch Guest

    Paging David Thomas. ...
    HooDooWitch, Dec 16, 2003
  18. Cab

    David Thomas Guest

    Yeah right, where will I find "virgin" snow.... I live in Essex

    David Thomas, Dec 16, 2003
  19. Cab

    Alan.T.Gower Guest

    Only if you've got nice legs.

    As Pip said, layers mate. Did you know that a biker is like an onion in

    If you get caught out with a cold snap while on your bike wrap some
    newspapers around you.
    Just make sure you have the correct pressures. BTW, tyres rarely warm up
    in the winter. Even copious amounts of kneedown and stoppies wont get
    them very warm.
    Just check for ice, if there's frost on the cars then there's frost on
    the road. Be careful in country lanes because hedges can block the sun
    from thawing out any frost, you wont find out until you've hit it.
    You'll know if the road is icy because the back will slide around a bit.
    Just take a bit extra care that's all.

    Don't ride in the track of cages, they will compress the snow into ice.
    Always try to ride in virgin snow.

    "Kneesliders Sponsored by Cane"
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    TGF, UKRMFBC#7, Two#24, BOTAFOF#11, YTC#9, GYASB#1. SbS#23.
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    "Nemo repente fuit turpissimus"
    Alan.T.Gower, Dec 16, 2003
  20. Cab

    Ben Blaney Guest

    Another attempted murder foiled. Thanks Hog, you fucker.
    Ben Blaney, Dec 16, 2003
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