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  • Winter Riding

    OK...I'll take a stab at christening this section...


    This time of year, when most of us who live north of I-40 are suffering deblitating cases of PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome), it's awfully tempting to find a dry day in the winter to crank up the horseless horse and go for a spin. Take em when you can get em!

    Just be careful...

    Even though the roads are dry, there may be residual salt and sand in the corners from road clearing efforts by your friendly neighborhood snowplow. Until this stuff gets blown or washed away, it can make the corners very treacherous. As always, look as far ahead into the curves as you can...keep an eye out for irregular surfaces and dirt or debris that can make a quick withdrawal from your traction account.

    While it may be in the mid 30's or low 40's, spots on the road that don't receive adequate sunlight can still provide you with a nice surprise in the way of an ice patch. Be wary of that shady spot under and overpass or the north slope of a mountain.

    Even though it might be dry and clear where your bike is parked, the same might not be said for your planned destination. In many parts of the country, conditions can change drastically in short distances. I had a breakfast jaunt cancelled a few weeks ago as what was a clear and dry Saturday morning turned into fog, flurries and a slushy freeway just a few miles up the road. When the road gets nasty, slow down, don't make any sudden control inputs, regroup your thoughts and make a smart decision as to what course to take....on that day, my smart decision was to turn back and head home.

    Cold tires and cold pavement don't like to hold on to each other. Your tires grip best when at their proper operating tempurature. In July, it doesn't take that long to reach it, but in January when everything is cold, it takes a lot longer for them to reach proper temp, and they go cold again a lot quicker. Make sure your tires are where they should be before leaning hard into that curve.

    We all want to put in as many miles as possible, and while it's a unforgiveable crime against humanity to pass up a rideable day in the winter, realize that there are some added dangers and be careful. There's no shame in heading back to the garage.....

    Getting THERE is optional.....Getting HOME is mandatory.
    Spring will be here soon.
    07 Triumph Tiger 1050

  • #2
    In addition to cold weather riding, we are seeing a LOT of potholes emerge...be careful of those.

    Thanks Mike!
    Rain Rain Go Away,
    So I can ride another day.
    Remember when sex was safe, and motorcycles were dangerous?


    Current Bikes:
    2006 Kawasaki Concours///COG#:11628
    2006 Honda Goldwing 1800///GWRRA#:398646

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    • #3
      I'd just like to add that you've got a slower response time when you're cold. If you don't have enough gear to keep you properly warm, not only will it be hard to enjoy the ride, you'll be hard put to operate the bike safely.

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      • #4
        Good post! Thanks for the reminder!
        Resident Hillbilly!
        sigpic

        ==o&o>
        09 BMW F650GS

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        • #5
          Another addition...

          If it's been a few weeks since you've ridden, you are gonna be a bit rusty. So take a few minutes at least to warm up... Take a little spin around your neighborhood (if that's an option) before heading out into traffic, and get comfortable on the bike again.

          Tom
          In the end, regrets rarely come from things done, but from things not even tried.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Pay attention to time of day. It might be 50F when you leave on the ride, but if the sun starts to go down any puddles during the day could turn into black ice at night. The same can be said for freezing fog.

            Also it might be dry and cold, and clear pavement, but that patch of old leaves could be sitting on top of some ice.
            When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
            sigpic
            08 Spyder RS SM5 "big Bird" \ 12 S'TtripleR "stripper" \ 02 VFR800 "big red" \ 09 KLX250-S
            Sold: 97 Ninja 500R / 03 SV650N / 01 Ducati 750SS / 73 CB350-Four / 03 BMWF650GS / 08 Gixxer600 / 09 KLX250S "Gumby" / 06 Thruxton "crumpet" / 91 VFR750 /03 Gixxer6 the bass boat
            my Facebook, SpeedShotsPhotography
            MITGC #22

            "I have seen fat kids on Segways go through corners faster."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by subvetSSN606
              Another addition...

              If it's been a few weeks since you've ridden, you are gonna be a bit rusty. So take a few minutes at least to warm up... Take a little spin around your neighborhood (if that's an option) before heading out into traffic, and get comfortable on the bike again.

              Tom
              Excellent advice.

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              • #8
                Also check your tire pressure. If it's colder now than when you parked the bike, you're probably going to need to add some air.
                Originally posted by OBX-RIDER
                put the whiffer in the dilly
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  I was hoping that everyone would chime in with their own additions....Thanks!
                  07 Triumph Tiger 1050

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                  • #10
                    I could write a book about this topic, but I'll limit my warning to the silent killer of winter known as HYPOTHERMIA.

                    If you meet me and want to know more about it someday, feel free to ask. I survived it, but many don't.

                    Ride Safe and 4 Life.

                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ride4Life
                      I could write a book about this topic, but I'll limit my warning to the silent killer of winter known as HYPOTHERMIA.

                      If you meet me and want to know more about it someday, feel free to ask. I survived it, but many don't.

                      Ride Safe and 4 Life.

                      Steve

                      Been there. One time when I was on my Vino 50, I decided to go for a long ride to Burlington, Vermont. I got caught in a horrendous rainstorm--soaked me to the bone. Combined with the wind, I was shuddering and teeth-chattering when I parked the scoot at my apartment. Luckily I was only in the first or early second stage of hypothermia. But it ain't fun.

                      Sparky

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                      • #12
                        Living here in Newfoundland, the soundest advice for Riding in Winter is DON'T! ... though, the weather was good up until Christmas and I did see Bikes out Christmas Eve ... generally here though, the Mounts are away until April ...
                        Sparky my man ... anyone who Rides a 50cc Scooter from Montreal to Burlington, Vermont & back deserves an award! Way to go!
                        Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PerrydaSavage
                          Sparky my man ... anyone who Rides a 50cc Scooter from Montreal to Burlington, Vermont & back deserves an award! Way to go!
                          That would be a "Darwin Award".

                          4 hours each way, and of *course* I was stubborn enough to go during the windiest and rainiest day in fall. I got lost in the burbs, had to take huge detours to avoid the busier two-laners, and was aching when I got to Burlington. By ahhhh....nothing sweeter than realizing I'd GOTTEN THERE! Remember, you're talking to someone who never got his car licence. That Burlington ride was the first time I'd gone a long distance without paying a ticket for the privilege.

                          It did convince me I needed more speed to not be a total roadblock. Which is why I bothered to undergo the motorcycle licensing obstacle course in this province.

                          Sparky

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                          • #14
                            Don't forget to watch out for the sand and gravel they throw down on the road! Around here they use a ton of it and they don't get around to clearing it all off until, oh let's see.... June or so. It's a terrible feeling going around a corner and seeing a big pile of the sand right in your path!
                            Kathy
                            Kathy
                            05 SV650
                            03 TTR125L

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                            • #15
                              I agree with Ride4Life.

                              Be sure to dress warmly and in layers. The cold will definitely get to you quick.

                              In 40 degree weather, I feel my legs and arms beginning to stiff very quickly. It really slows down your reaction time, so you need to be prepared.

                              Dress properly and take reqular breaks!
                              Keep Riding All!
                              *** 2004 Suzuki Volusia ***
                              (Formerly: PAVolusiaRider; PARebelRider on BB)

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