Just for cold weather riders

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by TwoGuns, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. TwoGuns

    TwoGuns Guest

    Maybe I should define cold weather riders first LOL. If you live in
    SoCal or Phoenix, Arizona you are probably not a cold weather rider OK?
    I got a few rocks thrown my way the other day when I posted a message
    talking about using cable ties as traction devices on snowy and icy
    roads. Well get the rocks ready again guys but at least wait to throw
    them until you think about it.

    I am just curious how many of you do ride in cold weather? I live in
    Nebraska but I have a garage where I keep my cycle so starting it up in
    the morning is never an issue. It was 16 above F during the night here
    last night but of course the garage is a nice toasty 40 or so. A bunch
    of us that used to work at the same place get together on Friday
    mornings at 9:00 AM for a coffee and bullshitting session. I decided to
    take the car today since I had to make a grocery run but I did ride the
    bike after I got back to get the Chili fixin's I forgot with the car.
    By that time it was in the Thirties. . . not bad but it does make your
    skin tingle if you forget to cover up. Ironically South of us a couple
    hundred miles of so they had a heckuva snow & ice storm sweep across
    all the way from the Texas Panhandle & New Mexico to Kansas CIty. This
    is the week end of the Big 12 football championship game in Kansas City
    and a lot of the folks who left last night got stranded. I heard on the
    news that Tulsa, Oklahoma got hit really hard. If I remember correctly
    the snow removal theory in that part of the country is "If God put it
    there. . . he will melt it".

    So back to my question. For those of you who ride in cold weather what
    kind of survival gear do you wear and take with you? I have several
    items I carry and the cable ties I mentioned in another topic are one
    thing. I am just curious about some of the items others of you carry?

    BTW for those of you who cuss the heck out of the guy that invented the
    blow dry hand dryers you find in a lot of Rest Area bathrooms. You will
    sing his praises if you ever get caught in a cold snap and spend the
    night underneath one of them!

    TwoGuns, Dec 1, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. How many people *have* to ride in cold weather?

    What Forrest Gump said. "Stupid is as stupid does".

    Coldest weather I ever rode in was 3 degrees above zero in January.
    About all I owned was a Honda and what I could pack in a duffle bag
    across the saddle. There was no work in Boise, so I headed towards
    SoCal, looking for some easy aerospace money...

    I figured if I could get across Oregon to the coast, I'd be OK riding
    down the coast highway. But my Honda quit running as I rode up Stinking
    Creek pass and I figured that I'd better spend some money on a motel
    room if I wanted to survive.

    I got to a motel in Bully Creek, Oregon, and stood under a hot shower
    for half an hour, thawing out. The motel manager said, "You can pull
    your chopper into your room, if you want."

    I said, "No thanks, I don't sleep with motorcycles." When I got back to
    Boise, I left the Honda at a girlfriend's house and ride the Greyhound
    to L.A.

    Another time I rode in 10 degree weather into Flagstaff on my way to
    visit Meteor Crater on a Christmas weekend. When I got to the motel
    room, I stood under the shower for half an hour, and then crawled into
    bed in my long underwear.

    I'd been wearing thermals, two pairs of pants, tee-shirt, sweater, a
    fleece-lined Levi jacket and a fingertip length leather coat.

    One rider I know had to leave Oregon in a hurry, and couldn't afford to
    be stopped by the Oregon state police because he was jumping bail. So
    he got his lunatic partner to ride his motorcycle while he took the
    Greyhound. He was telling me about it, and said that I was the only
    other guy he knew that could have ridden over Grants Pass in January.

    I looked at him and say, "Yeah, right."
    First item on the list is common sense. Second is to dress in layers.
    Third is to be ready to improvise whatever it takes to survive.
    Well, if it's a nice rest stop and it has hot water, you can thaw your
    hands out by running the lavatory faucet over them. That's what I did
    at the rest stops.
    Potage St. Germaine, Dec 1, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. I always used the magic spot on the exhaust pipe that's just right
    for warming hands without frying gloves. For warming your right
    hand at stop lights, you grab the pipe with your right hand while
    blipping the throttle with your left.
    Rob Kleinschmidt, Dec 1, 2006
  4. TwoGuns

    Charlie Gary Guest

    TwoGuns wrote:

    two pairs of socks

    good boots

    polypropylene long underwear (too cheap to buy silk)



    long sleeve flannel shirt

    warm-up (sweat) suit top and bottom

    aerostitch roadcrafter one piece suit

    insulated gloves covered with aerostitch triple digit rain covers
    (heated grips being thought about)

    silk balaclava

    arai helmet

    throttle lock so I can ride with my right hand on the valve cover.

    These are my current things to keep me warm. I can be comfy at 12
    degrees, except for the fingers.
    For the scoffers, all I can say is I don't ride to enjoy the weather.
    If I did, I wouldn't live where it rains a lot.


    Charlie Gary, Dec 1, 2006
  5. TwoGuns

    Bob Scott Guest

    Dunno if what we get counts as cold :)

    We ride all year round[1] and we're in Central Scotland. It's not
    unknown to find myself riding in subzero (centigrade) temperatures or
    falling snow but if it's too grim I can resort to the train for
    essential journeys.

    One of my best days riding last year was delivering a Cagiva Grand
    Canyon that a friend from southern England had bought on ebay from
    someone just north of here - rode it 400 miles south on a beautifully
    sunny, crisp November day. It was -3 centigrade when I set out so the
    first 30 or so miles I was having to pay attention to the black ice, I
    got a scary, lurid slide on a back road in the Borders but it was okay
    Wear? My normal boots (Altberg) & socks, thermal long johns, either
    Draggin jeans or leather salopettes, t-shirt, shirt & jacket (currently
    a Triumph Expedition complete with thermal liner). Full face lid, scarf
    or neck tube & a pair of decent waterproof winter gloves - think the
    pair I use just now are by Held. Handguards are a boon & when/if I go
    back to commuting by bike, whichever bike I'm using will get handguards
    & heated grips.

    Take with me? Nothing much - I suppose I should really given my penchant
    for heading up nadgery wee back roads in the Highlands, in winter but I
    don't carry anything specifically for winter survival.
    Never yet spent the night under one but I've used one to melt the frozen
    snow sufficiently for me to get my gloves off. That was a particularly
    horrible 3am ride home from Glasgow through an unexpected March blizzard
    - needless to say I didn't get a second date with her...


    [1] I gave the car away when my wife refused to pay to get it fixed -
    getting it had been her idea & I was damned if I was spending my money
    or time on it. Keeping her bike running takes up enough of my time.
    Bob Scott, Dec 2, 2006
  6. It's hard to imagine anyone wanting to ride a motorcycle during the
    winter in Scotland when it's cold and there are only four or five hours
    of daylight.

    As we crossed into Scotland at Carter Bar, I was impressed by the
    bare-kneed and kilted piper standing there, strangling a cat for all it
    was worth, and that was in June.

    I hope his tips were worth the frozen knee caps.

    Scotland was lovely then, the hills were all green and gold and the sun
    didn't set until around 11:00 PM but there was always a bitter wind up
    the Firth of Forth. We stayed in a motor lodge by the firth bridges.

    Then we went up over the Highlands to Aberdeen. By the time we got to
    Fort William, I had been chilled and pelted with freezing rain often
    enough to have the beginnings of the worst cold I ever had in my life.

    I was on a TWA Getaway bus and I watched BMW riders head up The Great
    Glen in the rain, and I did not envy them at all.
    I suppose Scots are accustomed to the cold and their blood thickens. I
    actually expected *warm* weather in Edinburgh during June, so I didn't
    take a heavy coat with me.
    I wound up buying a fleece sweater in Fort William. But it was too

    I talked to a friend who said that he was wearing only a T-shirt when
    he visited Edinburgh Castle, and he stayed to watch the military
    Tattoo, even though he was shivering.

    Californians just don't expect the weather to be that cold in June.
    Potage St. Germaine, Dec 2, 2006
  7. TwoGuns

    Bob Scott Guest

    It's not that bad - it's about 8 hours daylight just now. I'm supposed
    to be going for a long ride with some friends on Christmas Eve - we'll
    see how that goes.

    It doesn't feel cold to me but then again my neighbour spent a year at
    UCSB and complained bitterly on his return about how cold Scotland was -
    that was the height of our summer.
    A piper of my acquaintance reckons he can make around 1000GBp (~$2k)
    over a good weekends busking - more if he's in Edinburgh. I'm still
    surprised he hasn't quit the day job - life as a chartered accountant
    must be more interesting than I thought.
    It's not always a bitter wind up the Forth - it sometimes blows down
    Know the place - it's about 20 miles from here so I past it quite often.
    There are some excellent roads around there & the surfaces are
    astoundingly grippy, even it torrential rain. Rip the hell out of your
    tyres but the grip is worth it.

    Guess you'd think I was insane if I told you about the time we crossed
    Glencoe in the driving snow... at midsummer. We got to the cafe at
    Tyndrum and took one table for our sodden kit & one table for us. We got
    home at about 4pm to find my Father sitting in the sun, sipping a beer &
    telling us what a lovely day we'd got for a nice ride on the bike. I
    could cheerfully have throttled him.
    To the locals it probably was warm weather.
    Nah, Californians just have an unrealistic idea of what constitutes cold
    Bob Scott, Dec 2, 2006
  8. If you mean UCSB at Goleta, the Pacific ocean controls the temperature,
    keeping the land warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

    The weather at the beaches around Santa Barbara might be a very
    comfortable 70 degrees in June and if you suit up and ride over the
    pass to Santa Ynez and Lake Cachuma it might be 100 degrees inland and
    you'll be sweating in your gear.
    I thought Glencoe was dreary enough in the mist. Wonderful place for a

    I was kidding a tour guide in Edinburgh. I asked her if there was a
    McDonalds there. When she said there was, I asked if the Campbells ate
    there. She said, "Get on with you, now!"
    You might see snow flakes in the Los Angeles Basin once every ten
    years. When it gets down to 45 degrees F, they open the armories for
    homeless people who otherwise live on the street to sleep in.

    It's been hitting 30 degrees here in the central valley at the base of
    the Sierra Nevada. My tropical plants are dying of the frost again.
    It's hard to tell what will survive the extreme from freezing to 100
    degrees every day during the summer.
    Potage St. Germaine, Dec 2, 2006
  9. TwoGuns

    TwoGuns Guest

    The weather at the beaches around Santa Barbara might be a very
    One of the coldest trips on a motorcycle I can remember was in July of
    1970. I had ridden the Harley from Nebraska to visit my Dad in Santa
    Cruz, CA. All I had carried for warmth was my leather Jacket and
    leather gloves. I rode from Santa Cruz North to San Francisco on the
    Coast Highway. I left Santa Cruz at about 7:00 AM and it was clear and
    sunny. By the time I got halfway to Frisco it was foggy and about 50
    degrees and I was freezing my butt off. Worse than December in
    Nebraska. LOL.
    TwoGuns, Dec 2, 2006
  10. The evaporation of moisture as you ride conducts the heat out of your
    body rapidly.

    I rode up Highway 1 in August one year, on my way to Seattle. You'd
    think it would be too hot, but the marine layer comes up as fast as the
    sun rises.

    The local Indians called it "The Sigh of Dawn". They had expert weather
    shamans, with nothing to do except sit on the beach, eat abalone and
    pismo clams, and watch the weather.

    Heated air rushes up the canyons and sucks the fog right with it. It
    doesn't burn off until the afternoon wind comes up. Then it cools off
    and the wind rushes back down the canyons, chilling passing riders.

    It was typically foggy along the coast, and when I would get cold, I
    would ride over the mountains to an interior valley and get too warm,
    then ride back over the mountains to the coast and get cold again.

    One Southern California rider moved to Santa Cruz for a change of
    scenery. Maybe he wanted to get away from the drugs, or the cops, or a
    bad relationship. Who knows?

    He was back in Los Angeles within six months. He said that he was tired
    of being cold all the time.
    Potage St. Germaine, Dec 2, 2006
  11. Heh.

    Although it doesn't get down to Minnesota-like temperatures there, it as
    sure as hell feels like it.
    The Older Gentleman, Dec 2, 2006
  12. TwoGuns

    oldgeezer Guest

    TwoGuns schreef:
    I do drive 'cold'.
    But my country is only 200 miles x 150 miles, so I don't
    get far, and don't drive for many hours. 3 at most.

    Imagine yourself sitting in your backyard with the full
    motorcylcle clothes on, plus winter gloves, helmet, and boots,
    and it freezes, but no wind is blowing.
    You can sit still for a long time and don't get cold. Okay,
    you'll be a bit shivvery, but that's all.

    Now imagine yourself in the same outfit in a storm of
    55+ mph.
    Then you get really cold.

    Below is from experience. The worst ever was that I was
    halted by the guardsman at work who normally waved friendly
    at me when I came in. He told me to defrost first. So I must
    have looked real bad. I could not get my glasses off of my face.
    I also had a colleague who had frozen ears once. It looks
    funny, they swell and get red, but it hurts like hell, he said.
    And his ears from then on were very susceptible to any temp
    below freezing point. Any frost, and he started complaining
    about his ears.

    My message is: "Break the wind".
    Have clothes that keep the wind out, (leather for falling off,
    plus over that leather a thin nylon suit. Keeps you dry too).

    Forget about breathing nylon jacks. They'll freeze you to
    death. Wear leather if it is warm too (for safety).

    Wear a good helmet (do that if it is warm too for safety.
    I was saved by three helmets, that I disposed off afterwards.)

    Wear good boots + socks. (do that if it is warm too, also
    for safety. I once saw a lady that skid 100 meters over the
    asphalt but wore normal shoes. You could see her ankle
    bones. Strangely, no blood, and white --like dead-- flesh
    around it. She cried. Ever since, I wear boots. Always.)

    There are nylon boot covers as well. Here they sell
    them in bicicle-stores. Buy them if you can. Cheap
    and very good.

    Dependent on your bike:
    Get hand guards. Will keep your gloves out the wind.
    Get a big enough wind screen.
    Get a full fairing for your legs.

    Dependent on your wallet:
    Get an airhead beamer. You can put your boots
    on the cilinders. (and you can feel the ignition
    through your soles too --experience ;-.)

    I don't carry anything special with me. I have a
    Honda. It sits in an unheated shed. And simply
    starts and rides.

    oldgeezer, Dec 4, 2006
  13. TwoGuns

    oldgeezer Guest

    [email protected]_my_sig_for_address.com schreef:
    Sometimes I think Dutch and translate words.
    Which doesn't always make sense. But I hear you..:)

    I mean I heard the preacher.
    oldgeezer, Dec 5, 2006
  14. I can imagine Jack Nicholson out in that storm, with his hatchet.

    But not me.
    Potage St. Germaine, Dec 5, 2006

  15. Keeps you warm for a short while, agreed, but it's a bit smelly. Eat
    lots of beans and you might manage a long-distance trip.
    The Older Gentleman, Dec 5, 2006
  16. TwoGuns

    CBXXX Guest

    I ride year round in northern NJ.Yes snow storms too.(not by choice ,no
    car last 2 winters).
    First,what type of bike you ride is VERY IMPORTANT.
    I have a 1990 Kawasaki Concours with Sidecar
    Dual Star heated grips
    ATV mitts (Hippo Hands for those who remember)
    FIRST GEAR KILIMANJARO jacket with liner
    FIRST GEAR OVERPANTS I have 2 sets one with removable liner and one
    with non removable liner.
    In weather above 20* I usually just wear jeans but the back of my legs
    get cold so Gerbing has offered to add heat to the back of their heated
    pants liner for a very nominal charge which I will order after
    christmas.They also have a great service of adding heat to YOUR FAVORITE
    GLOVES if you don't want to buy theirs.Last I checked they only charge
    $79 for it.
    Joe Rocket Ballistic jacket with liner (much stiffer than the
    Damart or army polypropylene long underwear (damart is the BEST!)
    expensive though unless you get seconds at their stores.
    Mickey Mouse military boots with inflatable bladder (not for hiking or
    much walking as very heavy.
    Snowmobile gloves with gauntlets (for very cold under 20*) or snowmobile
    gloves without above 20*

    The reason I stress the choice of bike ,with the Concours (have 2, one
    with sidecar one without so on street clean day I can ride 2 wheels) I
    can turn the wind deflectors around for winter use and block the fairing
    vents with black foam and remove the 2 lower inner fairing panels,which
    allow the engine heat to get to my legs and torso.
    I also use clear plastic shelf covering to protect the front of the
    sidecar and also across the radiator and fairing.Easy to remove come
    spring and the bike is clean of road salt and grime.

    Love the look on peoples faces (especially police) when I tootle by in a
    snow storm! :>)))) RIPPER
    CBXXX, Dec 5, 2006
  17. TwoGuns

    Bob Myers Guest

    Add a balaclava to that. Works wonders. Having something that
    covers not only the helmet/neck gap, but also puts an extra
    layer over the top of my head is a Good Thing.

    Thank God for Leatherman, amen! I'd also add a note about upping
    the cash-on-hand (on-bike, rather) to something that will not only
    cover a tank of gas but also a hot meal and a cheap motel room, if
    the distance to be ridden, etc., is such that there's ANY chance of not
    able to make it home for whatever reason.

    Not that we ever get cold weather in Colorado, of course....

    Bob M.
    Bob Myers, Dec 5, 2006
  18. TwoGuns

    Bob Scott Guest

    I find that a balaclava just give me a headache - maybe I should have
    bought a bigger helmet (or just get my hair cut). I've also found
    growing a beard makes a surprising difference, although I didn't realise
    how much until I shaved the damn thing off. On the upside, my mother-in-
    law didn't recognise me without it :)
    Oh yes, got caught by that one - I had about £2 in change with me and
    the petrol station cashier looked must upset at me paying in loose
    change. A tip I liked (& really should remind my wife about) is to tuck
    a £10 note inside the lining of the helmet. Although it's not much use
    if she forgets it's there.

    There's the Aprilia toolkit, spare clutch/brake levers & fuses beneath
    the seat of the Falco & a bumbag (fannypack?) with tools, fuses, cable
    ties, recovery service card etc that shuffles between tankbag & top box
    as needed. Mind you, I should make sure it's got the right sort of fuses
    for all the bikes or change the fuse box on whichever bikes don't use
    spade fuses. Really should get a mobile phone, but our last breakdown
    (brother-in-laws Laverda) was somewhere with no service...
    Good call, although along the roads I use for my winter recreational
    riding the only hotel is about 2 miles from home. It is amazing how much
    difference stopping for half an hour & getting some hot food inside you
    Bob Scott, Dec 5, 2006
  19. TwoGuns

    Ian Singer Guest

    I used to wear gloves that looked like ladies dress silk ones, but not
    silk. They were made in Israel and the nichrome wire was sewn in the
    inside of it and went up and down each finger and thumb. You wore
    regular gloves on top. Were cheap, and comfortable, until one day one
    developed a short and started cooking my hand. Had to pull over and
    unplug them really fast.

    Ian Singer


    See my homepage at http://www.iansinger.com
    hosted on http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=10623894
    All genealogy is stored in TMG from http://www.whollygenes.com
    Charts and searching using TNG from http://www.tngsitebuilding.com
    I am near Toronto Canada, can I tell where you are from your reply?
    Ian Singer, Dec 5, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.