To ride or not to ride. In the colder months, that is the question.
Traditionally, in regions where the winter thermometer dips below freezing, many riders would prep and store their motorcycles, not wanting to brave sub-zero wind chill.
That made a lot of sense in times past, but now more than ever, a plethora of winter riding suits, windproof gloves, headgear – and best of all: electrically heated head-to-toe gear – can make cold weather riding a do-able proposition.
On the other hand, if you don't want to go through the effort, that's fine, too. Perhaps you're already sure the cold season is better spent doing something else.
In this case you'll want to properly put away your bike so it's ready when you are come spring.
Since either riding or not in cold months is now a more viable choice than ever, we'll give you some pointers for which ever way you decide to go.
I ride year round... I only let up when it snows or there is the threat of ice on the roads. But I do believe people need to dress properly and make adjustments for weather and road conditions. Cold tires are less sticky and cold bodies are less responsive.
I swear by grip heaters to help keep the hands warm instead of thick gloves which reduce feel at the bar. I also like seat heaters but have yet to actually get one... since I have moved a fair piece south I think that would be over kill.
I also firmly believe in new tech in the form of ABS and traction control etc for bikes... I wish Harley did more in this regard... Ducati, Honda, and BMW all have GREAT systems available for many of their bikes!
Interesting, yet the problem for me is not the cold weather - as the article mentions, there are already (since some time now) other viable options for warming up.
The main reason why _I_ don't ride in Winter is all the stuff they spread on the roads - salt / sodium acetate and pebbles. If they wouldn't, there would be just a layer of ice - also not the best riding surface for our summer motorcycle tires.
So yes, I would love to ride warm in Winter - if only I had free dry roads to use... Unfortunately, that is not really comparable to a snowmobile ride...
VRSCR '06 Brandy-Wine
200 rear, PCIII, 4 red Competition Footpegs, Front Mirror Signals, Custom Tacho Faceplate, Headlight Visor, Amsoil Air Filter, Topless, X-Screen, Slipper Clutch, 26T pulley, Kuryakyn chromed spider hand grips, chromed slotted HD levers, Works Progressive Chromed Street Tracks, Heavy Duty front fork oil, gel padded seat, radiator grills, Custom Dynamics red accent lights, chromed horn cover
Cortech Sports bags (x3), Axio Tailbag, Tankbag
I hear you! I used to live up north in snow country (Niigata Japan).... the roads were snow covered for about 3 months out of the year... and while the temps were not so bad... the constant snowfall and the sprinkler systems they used to wash off the snow (by pumping sea water directly onto the streets) did not make for nice riding at all... especially when the sprinklers often had clogged nozzles so some didnt work at all and others were squirting 2 meters into the air! Not good to get hit with constant jets of salt water from below... very unpleasant for you and the bike... ride safe! Stay warm! I am glad I moved to a more southern local... now it ALMOST never snows where I live! YEAH!
1200 Triumph Daytona
06 HD Streetrod
I live in Maryland and commute about 35 miles into DC every day. The V-Rod has been rock-solid reliable, except that one time at 14 degrees when the belt broke and stranded me just north of the Jefferson monument.
I've ridden into work with an indicated outside temperature of 11, but this requires a lot of gear for me since I'm really a wus: a fully insulated Olympia Phantom suit with a an electric jacket inside, electric gloves, hippo hands over the bars, either a balaklava or neck gaitor, and a Fog City insulated inner shield. I run down a stretch of un-named highway where for 3 years now I travel early and at 85-95 mph, and if I prepared everything right, I'm typically not frozen 45 minutes later.
Not sure if the deer whistles are working or the DandD exhausts get the deers' attention, but so far so good!
I got cold just reading cnburton's post. Going to throw another log on the fire in your honor!! I'll wait until it hits at least 50 degrees here in PA. Of course I'll be snow shoveling after last nights storm!!
If I waited for warm weather I would never get any seat time. Ice is still 3 feet on the lakes but so long as the sand isnt too bad on the roads its bearable. If I give er for 7 and a half hours southwards it always feels like the tropics. thompson Manitoba isnt the best spot to be an avid rider, but we go were the work is eh...