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Cold weather riding


Duncan1

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Hi,

I plan on riding my 02 R1150 RT through the winter if temps are above freezing. Today it was 40F and I put on my cold weather gear and it was warm and fun. Is there anything you guys recommend I do to the bike to have it function properly in the cold?

I bought the bike in June with 98k on it after getting lots of help here on what to check. 3000 absolutely flawless miles later I am very happy with the bike. Thanks to all of you who provide insight on this forum. I have learned a lot and still am learning.

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Hi Duncan. I too ride all year in Northern Illinois. Only thing I do is make sure I have a little lighter weight oil in the bike. The only concern I have is the corrosion effect from road salts. I try to ride after roads have had salt washed away. Then I take a hose and rinse the bike off as best as I can. I have noticed a few spots that look like they were affected by salt as I changed the rear tire. Rear wheel hub has a hole in it that allows road salts or grit to get in and inside is where I saw some of the corrosion starting.

Don't know what the answer is other than try to find clean roads. Have fun and watch out for icy patches.

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Three tips.

 

First, if roads are sprayed with salt in your area, hose the bike after every ride. You don't need to throughly wash it, just hose the salt away from it. You can also spray a corrosion inhibitor (available at the local aircraft supply store: most common are ACF-50 and Boeshield) on the most exposed parts before roads get salted as an extra safety measure.

Second, if temperatures keep jumping up and down, like they sometimes do, check your tyre pressure at least twice a week.

Third, find a way to keep your feet warm. There are countless ways to do so: wear boots one size larger with two pairs of socks, one-use heating insoles (available in sporting goods shops) and even boots with inbuilt heating elements and Li-ion batteries.

No point keeping the bike in top shape if you don't function well due to frozen extremities! :dopeslap:

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Dave_zoom_zoom
Three tips.

 

First, if roads are sprayed with salt in your area, hose the bike after every ride. You don't need to throughly wash it, just hose the salt away from it. You can also spray a corrosion inhibitor (available at the local aircraft supply store: most common are ACF-50 and Boeshield) on the most exposed parts before roads get salted as an extra safety measure.

Second, if temperatures keep jumping up and down, like they sometimes do, check your tyre pressure at least twice a week.

Third, find a way to keep your feet warm. There are countless ways to do so: wear boots one size larger with two pairs of socks, one-use heating insoles (available in sporting goods shops) and even boots with inbuilt heating elements and Li-ion batteries.

No point keeping the bike in top shape if you don't function well due to frozen extremities! :dopeslap:

 

 

All good points Kakugo.

 

I love my Gerbings elect. clothing. Jacket Liner, Gloves, Pant Liner. I found years ago that when I keep my body core and legs warm, there is no problem with cold feet. It seem the warm blood that is supplied to them does a great job of keeping them warm. I can ride all day at -15*C with no problems. When it gets a bit colder I have to stop to warm up from time to time.

 

In the winter sand can be your friend if you know how to use it. Save the serious leaning for the summer months. During the winter ride with your eyes far ahead and always plan for gentle inputs to the bike. On or off the gas, breaking, turning, etc.

 

I love it. It keeps your skill level up and it's not to crowded with other riders. :Cool:

 

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

Dave

 

 

Oh ya - +1 on the ACF-50! And always put your bike away with clean "dry" brakes. Don't ask how I know! :)

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My experience

 

- Cold roads don't grip as well as warm roads

- The lower sun angle means more glare, even mid-day

- Sand will collect in the obvious places and where you least suspect it

 

But, i do love riding in the winter

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I've ridden a few times during real cold mornings but I'm a fair weather rider. Can someone explain to me what's the fun element in riding during super cold weather? I'm asking because I love riding in general and may be missing something obvious.

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The Rocketman

 

what's the fun element in riding during super cold weather?

 

 

Because you can.

Nothing like taking an all day ride and seeing no other bikes on the road the entire day.

Kind of like you own the road.

Also makes that first hot cup of coffee on the road taste that much sweeter.

You know your days are numbered in the Northeast, mostly by snow, ice, salt & sand. Cold isn't in that list.

 

Dressed and geared up properly, you know inside your head that you're supposed to be freezing, but in reality, you're not. Cold weather riding is not for everyone, but I, for one, enjoy it.

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The Rocketman

I installed a Moen hot/cold water faucet outside my house for swimming pool use, etc. Had a great idea in that I could also wash the road salt off my bike after riding in freezing temps. Only thing is.....the water froze before I put the bike away. Dohhhhhh.......

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I've ridden a few times during real cold mornings but I'm a fair weather rider. Can someone explain to me what's the fun element in riding during super cold weather? I'm asking because I love riding in general and may be missing something obvious.

 

Morning kalali

 

I think the key word here is RIDING, as long as you dress properly for cold weather it is really no different than warm weather riding.

 

The secret is dressing correctly & having a proper mindset. If you think you will be cold or think that you won't like it then you won't like it.

 

Personally I would rather ride in 20°f dry weather than ride in 95°f humid weather.

 

I have done 6 hours in 0°f to about +10°f by end of trip & that was taxing on me. I had issues keeping my feet warm & my helmet kept fogging up inside (otherwise a great trip & I didn't have to wave at ANY other bikes).

 

To me (personally) heated hand grips are useless in cold weather but a heated seat is my very best friend as (to me) a warm butt is scared. My palms don't get cold & I seldom grip the bars tight or with both hands for very long in cold weather anyhow. Now heated gloves I do like as they heat the entire hand (including the backs) & for really cold (below 15°f) I like heated feet to go with the heated gloves.

 

Heated gear goes a L-O-N-G ways towards enjoying cold weather riding.

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Few more thoughts on winter clothing. I use a sheep skin to sit on. ( they are very warm blooded ). The only part of me that gets cold are my finger tips, even with heated grips. Wind is the issue. What I think would be a big help is to have some sort of a wind deflector on the handlebars, but I haven't been able to figure how to mount it yet. Or maybe a snow mobile type of sleeve covers the bar ends.

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Or maybe a snow mobile type of sleeve covers the bar ends.

 

Morning joeb

 

 

I have a friend that rides with those-- it scare the he!! out of me when he uses them. If he pulls a hand out to adjust his helmet or a jacket zipper, or even scroll his GPS, he has one heck of a time getting his hand back in while riding at speed. He has no front brake working with no access to the front brake lever at that time.

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Love winter riding. hate the texas 100 degree 95% humidity. I pretty much park the bike in summer and ride all winter long. I use gerbing heated gloves when really cold, when not that cold I use water proof rain gloves as they keep wind out and are warmer than leather, I wear a heated garbing vest under my jacket liner, and if below 20 I wear something on my face. My feet are just fine, but I keep my visor open a little for fog reasons and need something on the face for the sub 20 weather. I don't do anything special to the bike. I do ride less aggressively though.

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One thing to bear in mind is contingency.

If you are straying far from home or from civilisation, make sure you have conventional clothing to hand as well.

I love my heated clothing, BUT, it can fail. If you rely purely on that and dress down accordingly, then have a failure, you could get yourself in serious trouble.

 

I too am happy with winter riding - so long as it is dry. I have become nervous on snow, and as for ice.....

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The Rocketman

Base layers help tremendously, even with heated gear.

Schampas are your friend.

Hooded top, and bottoms will keep you toasty. Not bulky, moisture wicking, easy to wash & dry and all day comfy if you like warm & toasty.

Electrics are great, but I think keeping the cold wind out is the key to success.

http://www.schampa.com/

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For wind management to the hands: my 1100RTs had levers that directed or restricted airflow through fairing vents to the bars. Not sure if they are on the 1150s - but it's good to use that feature if you have it.

 

This thread also needs some pictures of cold bikes:

 

IMG_4096.jpg

 

This is 6,000 feet in California a few days ago, the trees were dropping snowballs in the road while I was riding through this area (Hwy 155) - great fun. A couple hours later I was crossing the Mojave Desert closer to sea level.

 

I use thin, heat-retaining glove liners, which I can easily ditch when it warms up. At this point though, I had to stop and warm up my hands on the engine. Heated the gloves up too - nice and toasty.

 

Safety moment: For cold weather riding - if your hands are getting cold, don't be tough and push through it. Stop and warm up your hands so you will be able to operate the controls effectively.

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From the top.

Balaclava, or like. I use the BMW Windstopper version.

Over that. a neck gaiter.

Silk turtleneck or comparable base layer. The silk packs incredibly small.

Second layer, moder duotherm style micrfiber.

Gerbings electric liner, or if no electrics another thin layer

(important to prevent wind infiltration/heat loss).

Base layer for legs, I use a fleese or microfiber "athletic" style pant(like jogging/workout).

Wool socks, you can also use sock liner (microfiber or silk).

Heated gloves. I also carry silk glove liners that extend range another 7-10 degrees.

In real cold, a plastic bag over your feet (inside boots) helps retain heat.

The outer gear, jackets and pants usually have liners. Wear them.

The closer to zero it gets, the more likely I'll add my Aerostitich Triple Digit rain glove covers. They cut the wind and

retain heat from heated gloves, extending riding greatly.

Weal areas are the extremities and your neck.

Keep them covered and warm, maintain core temperature and you can ride through very cold ambients.

Heated seats rock.

:Cool:

 

As to the why?

Well, because you can, and like others, I would much rather ride in below freezing temps than hot hot.

Best wishes.

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The only item I'll add is be very aware of road surface temperatures and black ice. One very bad situation that can surprise you is when air temperatures rise just above freezing, especially if the sun is out. Previously frozen snow or ice on the sides of the road will melt and run off, sometimes across the road surface. If the road surface is still below freezing the water will ice over and then additional run off will flow on top making it look like it's just a wet roadway. DAMHIK - it's a seriously slick surface.

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Morning Tallman

Very comprehensive list of cold weather riding gear. Much appreciated, but I just have to comment on what I see as an irony. Noticed you reside in Florida . Florida? Do you bundle up like that for those 50 degree days ?

Kind of like an Eskimo giving advice on avoiding heat stroke ( hey, who would know better than an Eskimo, right ? ).

Just kidding, but do have a serious question. With heated gloves,where do the wires run ? Do they plug into vest or are they wired directly to bike ?

 

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Can someone explain to me what's the fun element in riding during super cold weather? I'm asking because I love riding in general and may be missing something obvious.

 

It's really no different than snowmobiling. If you're geared up for it, it's a blast. If you're not, it's miserable.

 

There's an old Scandinavian saying: "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear."

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Morning Tallman

Very comprehensive list of cold weather riding gear. Much appreciated, but I just have to comment on what I see as an irony. Noticed you reside in Florida . Florida? Do you bundle up like that for those 50 degree days ?

Kind of like an Eskimo giving advice on avoiding heat stroke ( hey, who would know better than an Eskimo, right ? ).

Just kidding, but do have a serious question. With heated gloves,where do the wires run ? Do they plug into vest or are they wired directly to bike ?

 

Often have teens and 20's in the ohdarkthirty commute.

Go to the mountains and snow happens.

DSC00030.jpg

 

My gloves plug into my Gerbings jacket sleeve, mine is old style, they've had a coupke updates, and, there are other players in the game now wrt gear and controllers.

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Can someone explain to me what's the fun element in riding during super cold weather? I'm asking because I love riding in general and may be missing something obvious.

 

There's an old Scandinavian saying: "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear."

 

Fair point. I'll keep that in mind next time I suit up for a ride. But suit aside, I'll still need to overcome the anxiety knowing that I have little to no traction from that hard tire rubber as I leave my driveway.

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I'm also from north Florida. 20's here for even for just a few days of the year. I use a variation of the hippo hands. If I had unlimited funds, I'd go with Gerbings gloves. Heated grips heat your palms, but the top and front of your fingers will get cold if you're doing 80mph in freezing temps.

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Dave_zoom_zoom
I've ridden a few times during real cold mornings but I'm a fair weather rider. Can someone explain to me what's the fun element in riding during super cold weather? I'm asking because I love riding in general and may be missing something obvious.

 

 

Hi kalali

 

I know it sounds crazy to most people. All I can say is, if you got an itch you just need to scratch it. I think most riders just don't get the itch all that much.

 

Dave

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I've ridden a few times during real cold mornings but I'm a fair weather rider. Can someone explain to me what's the fun element in riding during super cold weather? I'm asking because I love riding in general and may be missing something obvious.

 

 

Hi kalali

 

I know it sounds crazy to most people. All I can say is, if you got an itch you just need to scratch it. I think most riders just don't get the itch all that much.

 

Dave

 

Scratch that itch!!! Who needs a snowmobile? I'm going to Flagstaff over Thanksgiving and I hope there's enough snow on the trails to make it fun. This was a bit deep.

 

IMG_3546.jpg

 

Apologies for the non-BMW content... but Husqvarna was briefly with BMW....... it's a shame that didn't work out.

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I used to ride to work occasionally in the winter (high teens - low 20s -- Fahrenheit).

I was always glad I did it, but was equally glad I didn't *have* to do it every day!

 

The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is your frame of mind!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks again everybody for the input.

I did ride a couple of times in the cold weather (once a misty 40F and once a sunny 28F). Very enjoyable but for one problem:

I have the hardest time getting my boots (size 15) under the shift lever for upshifts. Anybody have an idea if there is anything that can be done/adjusted to make that easier?

Thanks

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Thanks again everybody for the input.

I did ride a couple of times in the cold weather (once a misty 40F and once a sunny 28F). Very enjoyable but for one problem:

I have the hardest time getting my boots (size 15) under the shift lever for upshifts. Anybody have an idea if there is anything that can be done/adjusted to make that easier?

Thanks

 

Just when it's cold? :)

 

You might want to start a new thread for that so the large footed forum folk who aren't interested in cold riding (which is to say won't read this thread) can find your question and help you out.

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Thanks again everybody for the input.

I did ride a couple of times in the cold weather (once a misty 40F and once a sunny 28F). Very enjoyable but for one problem:

I have the hardest time getting my boots (size 15) under the shift lever for upshifts. Anybody have an idea if there is anything that can be done/adjusted to make that easier?

Thanks

 

Afternoon Duncan1

 

That is an issue we all deal with when using heavy winter boots or even in good weather & riding off-road with good boot protection on.

 

I use the side of boot where the top of the sole meets the upper leather (basically use the top of the sole that sticks out just a little)-- With a little practice it works just fine.

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  • 1 month later...

Probably too late for this year, but you can find frost free taps at a good hardware store.

 

My biggest fear is the road salt and other chemicals on how they work the aluminium over.

 

Good luck and safe riding.

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Probably too late for this year, but you can find frost free taps at a good hardware store.

 

My biggest fear is the road salt and other chemicals on how they work the aluminium over.

 

 

Welcome to the forum Viaje.

 

Can you explain what you mean in your post above. I don't understand what you are saying.

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Probably too late for this year, but you can find frost free taps at a good hardware store.

 

My biggest fear is the road salt and other chemicals on how they work the aluminium over.

 

Good luck and safe riding.

 

My experience riding through three winters in New England was to wear appropriate gear. It's easy to ski in sub-zero weather as long as you're dressed properly and the same lessons worked for riding.

 

I will second the corrosive effects of salt. My experience was that if the roads are wet with salt, you will see some corrosion on the parts exposed to the salt. I found that the lower fairing screws all had some rust and the area of the oil filter showed some rusting where the finish was not intact (e.g. oil plug edges). I decided to avoid the wet road days.

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Duncan,

 

One aspect of this is riding in low temperatures.

 

Other aspect is riding in winter where they use salt on the roads in winter. And as part of that concern: I have an other bike as my winter beater. When find a day that roads are clear, still may be some salt on the roads.

 

I find the mid 20s (degF) is better than low 30s, in that the snow banks on side of road are not melting and running across the road.

 

Other concern is that other drivers are not expecting to see a bike.

 

.

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.

.

This thread also needs some pictures of cold bikes:

.

 

Okay.

 

Jan 2nd. 28 degF.

Driveway was biggest problem.

 

 

SAM_2267E_w1000_zps8j1usfmd.jpg

 

SAM_2269_TourMasterGlove_w1000_zpssqgwb9ug.jpg

Was out for about 2 hours. Would have been 10 - 15 minutes without the electric gloves.

 

SAM_2271_Self_W1000_zpsbc0w2sfm.jpg

 

SAM_2276_w1000_zpss8ewdasf.jpg

 

SAM_2280_w1000_zpsv86ru3iq.jpg

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I agree , 20's is about the lowest I can take, even with the heated gear. I have almost always over the past 50 years, ridden year round, mostly in N.E. but now Ca. and the only use sand, but alot of it.

 

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My only real experience riding in cold weather / winter was a few years ago. It was 17F when I left for my 1 hr commute. All went well - then on the way home it started to snow. It was a snow that you know isn't going to stick to the ground (large fluffy flakes) however, I guess because it was the first time I'd ridden in those conditions I found it a bit off putting - the snowflakes coming at my helmet made me feel a bit off. Not sure if it was just because of the first time riding in snow or what it was. Heated grips, a good suit, and if your lucky enough to have a heated seat, I say go for it!!

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