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As I look at a forecast high tomorrow of 99 and an excessive heat warning, I am pondering cold weather riding.


I will likely be commuting about 30 minutes each way on a Burgman 400 any time it's not snowy or icy.


So hit me with your best cold weather riding gear tips please!!


:smile
 

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Gerbing heated gear is always nice.

I used layers of Heat -Out under liners and hoodies under my First Gear Kilimanjaro parka. The heat out liners add layers but will wick your sweat away.

I also have armored riding jeans that with the under liners help.

I put on a pair of 'Copper Fit' gloves that are real thin. These help spread the heat around the hands. Then I put my gauntlet type motorcycle gloves on over them. With my 'Oxford' heated grips my hands are warm down to 12 Degrees F.

My boots are "Georgia' brand loggers with insulation.

Then the last layer I ALWAYS put on is my "Day Glow" Class II wet weather top and bottoms for 2 reasons. They light me up to be seen better in the dark winter days. And they are one of the best wind blocks.
 

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I used to commute 45 minutes each way to Fresno 5 days a week at 4am, in the winter foggy & 35 degrees
I was riding a small unfaired bike, about 3/4ths of the trip was on the freeway
I didn't have much money & no car to fall back on
I started with a ski jacket , insulated bib pants, gauntlet gloves w/a rubber scrapper on the back of the left index finger & motocross boots big enough for extra socks
Balaclava & full face helmet
I cut up a winter jacket & used 1/3 of the sleeve [thumbhole in the knitted cuff], to improve the wind protection between the gloves & jacket
I made a piece that velcroed to the outside of the bottom of the helmet & tucked into the top of the jacket
The two homemade bits made all the difference
I haven't seen the helmet neck thingy for sale anywhere, for summer I made a chin skirt [fit tight to my neck] to reduce the wind noise on an unfaired bike
 

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I've done this and will continue to do it, and yes I live in floridawhere it's really really cold at 50 degrees, but, sew a loop in your jacket sleeve that your thumb can slip thru and hold your glove and jacket together with the jacket inside the glove gantlet, a lot of air comes from behind in the vacuum created by the windscreen but if your jacket fills up the glove gantelet , it doesn't matter which direction the wind comes from, you can still pee without screaming when the gloves come off.
 

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I cut up a winter jacket & used 1/3 of the sleeve [thumbhole in the knitted cuff], to improve the wind protection between the gloves & jacket
Can also make one of those neckwarmer snood things from the top bit of a sleeve from a discarded fleece jacket :)


In my impoverished college days I had a collar my mother had knitted for my truck driver father back when trucks didn’t come with doors but it was bulky and itched like mad.. she was ahead of her time but the materials let her down.
 

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You don't mention where you live. It makes a difference. ;) If you live in Florida, you might be riding a lot in the winter. And in Australia, "winter" is our "summer". There's a place in your profile where you can fill it in once and not worry about it again.

I've commuted down to the mid-teens, and when I did that, I was doing so without any electric heated gear. There's some ways to do so without spending a lot. But your location will make a difference.

One of the things you can do now, is to analyze your commuting route. Look for the places where leaves will accumulate. Where are the metal manhole covers? Where will water accumulate...and freeze?

The last turn to work had two metal manhole covers in the apex of the turn. You had to aim between them to make the turn when they were wet. Rather than try remembering that when it was raining and cold, I rode to miss those in the summer too. It became ingrained muscle-memory so if my concentration slipped for a second, chances are that I would make the turn correctly.

Long after the main roads and freeways were dry, water accumulated in one spot under a bridge. Tires going through it, would spread that water out for 10-15 feet after the puddle. When the temps dipped to freezing, the rest of the commute was dry...but that one place would be icy. The answer was to move over one lane...and do that day after day.

In other words, identify those hazardous areas and ride today like you would in the winter.

When you share where you live, I can offer you more ideas for clothing and gear.

Chris
 

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When I was working (prior to June of this year :grin ) I would commute by bike every day there was no ice/snow on the pavement. That included temps up over 100 deg F to down to near -16 deg F (that's minus 16 F). My commute TO work was 11 miles of Interstate highway with 1 mile of city streets at each end. Going home was less on the Interstate and much much more on city street and country roads for 15-25 miles. I was so intent on having only ONE riding jacket and pants that I found the Tourmaster Flex gear which worked out great... with a bit of extra for the cold days. Cold to me is well below freezing temps. The big thing to remember in cold temps is LAYERS. My Flex jacket and pants both start with a mesh base and add a solid shells over it all, and have a wind/rain liners and thermal liners to add under it all. That setup worked very well for me in any temp from just below freezing (30 deg F) to over 100 F depending what layers I added or removed. Obviously all layers out for hot end and all layers in for the cold end of that range.

When temps dropped to where most riders think of as cold I added a neck gator called Turtle Fur (fleece neck gator).

When I rode a Gold Wing the fairing provided sufficient protection for the hands that my Tourmaster Polar Tex gloves were enough in the cold. At that time I was only riding down to mid to lower 20s F. Then I bought my first B650 and my hands were much more in the breeze so needed more. I tried Hippo Hands grip muffs but the very first time I used them the temp was -5 deg F and they did not work well for me. I didn't want heated grips since for the temps I was riding in I knew my palms would be warm but the back of my hands and finger tips would be still frozen. I decided to go for the heated gloves. At the time Gerbing was the choice but now there are a few choices to consider that work as well. I still have my original Gerbing gloves from 13 years ago with only the controller being replaced once. Mine are hard wired to the scoot and I can move that system from one bike to the next.

Once temps drop below freezing I add a fleece jacket under my Tourmaster jacket with all jacket layers installed. When temps drop to single digits F and below I also add thermal long johns. This setup has kept me comfortable down to the lowest temps in which I rode to work. In fact, the coldest temps in which I've ridden was on a joy ride that lasted well over an hour at 60 mph.
 

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OH, I forgot to mention. Since I wear a full face helmet with a Pin Lock insert I don't have to worry about the visor fogging in cold weather. Pin Lock does a wonderful job preventing that. BUT since I also wear glasses and the Pin Lock does nothing for them I do have the glasses fog up in cold temps if I don't do something to prevent it. I made a "snorkel" to exhale through to keep my glasses clear at any temp below 40 deg F. It's just a small vinyl tubing elbow that is a bit longer on one leg with a short length of clear vinyl tube on that end. The vinyl tube exits just at the bottom edge of my helmet to one side when I put the short leg of the elbow in my mouth (like James Cagney smoking a cigar). I ONLY exhale through this and inhale through my nose to keep fresh air coming in but the moist warmer air out of the helmet. Used this before I had a Pin Lock helmet visor. Works great.

-
 

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I made a "snorkel" to exhale through to keep my glasses clear at any temp below 40 deg F.
...
That's a pretty clever trick! I'd considered trying to modify a respirator mask for the same reason (ditch the filters, keep the one-way air valves, direct the outlet downward out of the helmet) based on my experience wearing chem warfare masks, but that's a much simpler solution.
 

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In Paris, France I observed scooter riders using an “Apron” or I’d call a lap blanket .

It wasn’t really that cold either.
They are very common in North European cities (not U.K. where they are considered too girly, but starting to be used more). Very warm indeed on bikes with heat bents in the tunnel.

As well as warmth, they keep rain off the everyday/work clothes so lots of people leave them on year round. Also a bit of aerodynamic advantage but I don’t think anybody uses them for that apart from a handful of hypermilers.
 

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Heated grips and a balaclava go a long way toward keeping you warm. Rain pants over whatever pants you're wearing make make great windbreakers for your legs, too.
 
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