Cold weather riding tips

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Brad's 2nd time
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:14 pm
Location: thrums, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Goldwing Aspencade 1982 GL500 Silverwing

Cold weather riding tips

Post by Brad's 2nd time » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:57 pm

A lot has been said to me about cold weather riding, sand, black-ice, darkness, I have found you can enjoy the cold weather, by dressing warm and in layers (heated vest and grips help), open all senses to road conditions sand and gravel is inevitable, smooth shifts and acceleration, don`t forget 30 yrs. ago there was a lot more gravel, and timing ride from 11 am to 3 pm daylight hrs. sunny and crisp. Any other idea`s or tips ,it`s nice to enjoy that extra cpl. months

Brad from Thrums

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Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Cold weather riding tips

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:07 am

I try to pay as much attention to detail where the weather is concerned, as I am able. I do find radar (I've got the National Weather Service Radar for my local area bookmarked) to be far more reliable than any weather forecast I've ever watched... I also pay close attention to the weather the previous day, as the road surface will hold a lot of heat (here) overnight, and that can be the difference between "wet" and "icy" road surfaces this far South.

Like you, I layer up, but I have had a few mornings where I found my layers were bunching up around my wrists and causing restricted blood flow to my hands. I've pulled over, adjusted things a bit and kept rolling after with much warmer hands. I find that if I keep my core warm, my hands are always warmer, regardless of how cold it is outside. I've also found that I can over-dress and be less warm because I can't move as well in the saddle.

I don't recall riding at temps much colder than 10 degrees F. I prefer the air temp to be above freezing for a more enjoyable ride, but if the temperature is supposed to be in the 40's or higher during the day (and not pouring rain) I generally will ride regardless of the morning temperature... allowing for ice of course.

I have run across ice a time or two. Both cases I recall were very short distances where there was water "leaking" out onto the road from a driveway overnight, where it had frozen. I was paying enough attention to the road that I saw it coming and managed to ride straight up and through the short patch of ice without incident. The other ice hazard I'm always on the lookout for is areas where there is puddling near corners where the water gets splashed onto the road beside the puddles, of which there is one place where I know this is a problem and I can swing wide of that spot when I get near it...

Other than being more careful, and dressing for conditions, getting the mind right is about all it takes. When in doubt, leave the bike home.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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