Winter Riding Maintenance

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Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby VANikonShooter » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:45 pm

Hey all -

Where are the winter season bikers?

Weighing the prospects of winter storing the GSA (BOOO...) or just gutting it out and riding at least a few days a week when possible.

Heated grips? Check
Heated Corbin saddle? Check

Comfort I think I can manage, but I'm interested winter mods, best practices, less than obvious safe inclement riding guidelines, etc to keep both rider and bike safe and happy.

Short of having a car port or garage, It'll just be the cover for protection from elements. Does that necessarily pose a particular hardship to the machine?

Of course any particular systems that might be vulnerable during the colder months in the mid Atlantic

I suppose I should carry on with typical seasonal fluid maintenance, but perhaps a lighter weight oil?

Any tips or resources for winter riding would be welcome.

Thanks,

T
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby ERC Scott » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:15 am

Traction is key. Pick your roads carefully. The obvious is not to ride in snowing conditions but there is more than that to consider. Be aware that snow melt and rain (even heavy fog) can freeze overnight on the road and give black ice. This ice can persist well into super-32 degrees if it is in shadows or temps have been subfreezing for an extended time - the road surface could still be sub-32. Unfortunately, these conditions are particularly likely in the mountains were the good roads are. Also the temp differences can vary considerably across our area - keep a close weather eye and don't trust weather forecasters (ie assume the worst outcome ;) Even on dry road be aware that tires will not warm sufficiently to give the level of traction you have during summer riding. Yeah - consideration of traction is way up there.
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby lionlady » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:18 pm

Beware wet leaves (slicker than weasel snot!), and note that since MD (not sure about Metro VA) now "pre-treats" roads with a salt solution when snow is forecast, THAT is also slippery. Areas that use granular salt to melt snow add traction killing grit to stops and corners.

AS for your own comfort, heated grips and seat aren't gonna be enough to keep the cold at bay at road speeds, consider heated (electric) gloves and a heated vest or jacket liner - your bike's electrical system is up to the task. Wind blocking layers will help if electrics aren't an option.

I commuted by motorcycle (4 am shift!) a number of years ago, when we had 4 drivers in the family and only 2 cars. Wind blockage is critical to keeping your core warm at freezing temps, supplemental heat for my fingers, beyond heated grips, was also critical to survival on my commute.

We had a garage, so I can't speak to outside storage effects. Best of luck!
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby JimVonBaden » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:08 pm

I ride year round. The only days I do not ride are when the roads are covered with ice.

Storage outside can be a simple cover. Did this for years.

Maintenance is no different other than a slightly lighter weight oil. I actually kept the 20W50 year round. Heated grips are nice, heated gear much nicer.

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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby dcgsrider » Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:07 am

JimVonBaden wrote:I ride year round. The only days I do not ride are when the roads are covered with ice.

Storage outside can be a simple cover. Did this for years.

Maintenance is no different other than a slightly lighter weight oil. I actually kept the 20W50 year round. Heated grips are nice, heated gear much nicer.

Jim :cool:


Yep, I ride every day the road conditions will allow in the winter. My bike sits outside year-round. I find the bike doesn't need any special prep, but the rider sure does. :) Heated jacket and gloves. I do have a lithium iron-phosphate battery. It will start the bike in temps you are likely to find around here--down into single digits F--but it's a little quirky and needs to "wake up" for a minute or two before it will deliver full amperage. The OEM battery was marginal below 15 degrees.
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby VANikonShooter » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:03 am

Excelleeeeennnntt ... !!

Bad asses.

Thanks guys.

T
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby ERC Scott » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:54 am

A possible substitute for heated gloves are Hippo Hands (now out of production). I have used them for a couple years and they are great IF you can get used to having your hands in a confined area. I should give the std warning that some people might not adapt to them and may increase the risk -- I never had an issue but some riders do. They are particularly nice in cold rain (and snow if you believed the weatherman!) Combined with heated grips they allow you to wear thinner gloves with better tactile control. You can find them in the used gear for sale sites. I use both HH and heated gloves (generally not simultaneously). The HH take 5 minutes to "install" (velcro).

Alternatively, I see that Barkbusters make Blizzard Universal-Fit Cold Weather Handguards, which are similar to Hippo Hands. Available at twistedthrottle. I think some of the European gear suppliers (Wunderlich, etc.) may have similar items. Since I have the HH on the KTM I will order the BB for the RS.
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby dcgsrider » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:12 am

ERC Scott wrote:...

Alternatively, I see that Barkbusters make Blizzard Universal-Fit Cold Weather Handguards, which are similar to Hippo Hands. Available at twistedthrottle. I think some of the European gear suppliers (Wunderlich, etc.) may have similar items. Since I have the HH on the KTM I will order the BB for the RS.


Thanks for the tip on the Barkbusters. I've been thinking about something a little more "robust" in term of coverage, without going "all in" on the Hippo Hands. :D
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby Chiba » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:38 pm

They may have been out of production for a while, but Hippo Hands is active: http://www.hippohands.com

There are other companies making similar products as well.
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby eap » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:26 pm

I love my heated jacket, glove liners and dual wireless remote heat troller from Warm-N-Safe... Competitively priced, they offer an Adventure Rider discount, as well as a trade in program for other brands.
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Re: Winter Riding Maintenance

Postby Rick F. » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:37 pm

VANS,

Ditto regarding the heated gear. With a Gerbings jacket liner, pants liner, and gloves, I was good down to 28 degrees with no problems.

Another important item is tires with silica in the rubber compound--it's great for damp or wet roads. I think most or all Michelin motorcycle tires have silica. Be sure to keep an eye on tire pressures, too. If I remember correctly, you lose about 1 psi for every 10-degree drop in temperature.

Finally, for what it's worth, commuting through the winter generally implies riding after dark. I always tried to avoid that, primarily because you couldn't spot road hazards anywhere near as well as during the daytime. Not to mention the dang deer!

All the best,

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