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Here in Texas it's pretty cold at around 30 to 40 degrees and wet and rainy. I still want to ride occasionally, but frankly I'm somewhat spooked about skidding the bike on wet slushy roads. Mud and water are a more frequent problem here than ice. I already had one close call when I banked into a high speed turn and hit a puddle and lost my balance. Luckily I did not drop it but my under shorts I was wearing that day are no longer useable. The bike got parked after that.

Any tips would be appreciated!
 

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I've been riding a little bit in this cold and rain, but not much. As far as riding in bad weather (and night), the first thing that I always do is slow down. I'm just too nervous not to! When it's cold, I found that I keep much warmer by dressing in layers instead of wearing one big heavy coat. So far I have had no need to invest in any heated clothing. Also, my full face helmet with the face shield closed is much warmer than my open face helmet!
 

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Use your head ... slow down and ride within the conditions.

Even if dry, cold pavement/tires do not have the adhesion as they do during warmer temps!
 

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Warm clothes, Gerbing jacket liner and gloves if you do a good bit of cold wx riding, Frogg Toggs and take it easy, canyon carving is for warm summer days.
 

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Actually I did slow down and I was only going about 45 mph or so into that turn. The puddle I hit was just a little deeper than expected I think. I'm a slow rider anyways even on fair weather days. I think I will keep the bike parked for awhile and crank up the big ole diesel truck and stay warm and dry.
 

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One of the things that really sticks with me from the safety course was a saying one of the instructors had, "How much risk are you willing to accept?". Every time you dawn that helmet, you Have put yourself at some level of risk. Don't go by what others do, go by what your capabilities are for your situation.

For me? I'll ride when it's cold, I'll ride when it's wet, but I won't ride when it's wet and cold. But either way, I try to drive according to the conditions and how much risk I'm willing to accept.
 

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In cold, wet conditions, you have to really slow it down and expect the unexpected (such as that puddle) and avoid all possible hazards (like that water puddle)

If you don't have the experience of riding a big bike in those conditions, then maybe parking it for the season is the wiser thing to do. :grinner:


For those conditions, I am looking very far down the road, identifying any possible hazard that would/could cause grief (sand/gravel/wet spots/snow/ice, bridges etc).
I accelerate/brake very 'smoothly', with nothing abrupt. Getting up to 'speed' takes roughly 2x -4x longer than normal and I back off from the throttle way earlier, coasting/down shifting (raising the RPMs to match road speed to prevent any chance of a rear wheel skid), when slowing down/stopping/making a turn. .


For riding gear, I'll wear

TOP:
My 3/4 HJC AC-3 helmet. (no balaclava underneath)
A long sleeve T-shirt/button down shirt over a Dickie, then my electric jacket liner and then my armoured textile riding jacket with insulated liner installed, over that.

Bottom:

A comfortable pair of undies (wicking material preferred) then a pair of light fleece jogging/track pants and then a pair of my armoured textile riding pants with their zip out insulated liner installed

Hands/feet:

I have a set of grip heaters installed on my bike, so I can get away with a pair of fairly heavy unlined leather gauntlet gloves. Behind the fairing on my bike and with the Baker Built Hand Wings I have installed to my mirrors, this combination works well.
I do have a pair of First Gear Heated Gloves as well, but I find that with the hassle of connecting the gloves wires to my heated jacket liner and tucking all the connectors away under the gauntlet of the gloves to be a real PITA, so I very rarely wear them anymore, since I installed the grip heaters. If you do a lot of cold weather riding, or your hands are very sensitive to the cold, then I'd highly recommend the grip heater kit, in combination with a pair of Hippo Hands!

For my feet, I just wear a thin pair of socks inside my fairly loose fitting size 12 leather riding boots. Despite their 'Dusty' appearance, I treat them religiously with Dubbin, which has kept them waterproof for at least the past 4 yrs. Yes, my feet still get cool/cold, but not as bad as if I were wearing a thick pair of socks. The trick is to leave a bit of insulating air space between your foot/feet and the outer portion of your boots, so it has a bit of a 'thermal break' between foot and boot leather.
I have thought about getting a pair of heated socks, but again am concerned with the 'connection hassle'. My present boots/socks combo method works well enough to ride comfortably for 3+ hrs in temps of 30* and above. :baffling:


Dusty
 

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About the only thing I can suggest is to take what Dusty says and get out there and do it. Experience is where you find it, and a level of comfort will eventually come from riding with a hieightened awareness-level in adverse weather conditions. Common sense is really key to riding in any condition,and there can be so many variables that trying to detail particulars is a pretty fruitless effort here.

Keep that awareness-level on a sliding scale no matter how much experience you aquire though. Complacency is a killer and can get any of us when we least expect it no matter how much experience or what level of awareness we think we have when we choose not to use it.

Remeber that Safety Course you took? Find another parking lot on your own, and maybe with another who has the experience already, and do it again, ..in the rain, snow, slushy-stuff, ..and eventually work your way out of that parking lot to a point a mile down the road and evaluate the ride. ...
 

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I ride mine all year round but really pick my days. Cold = OK, Cold and wet = another day :thumbsdown:
 

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Poolguy, I live in Livingston (just east of Huntsville for those that don't know) and yesterday I went for a 120 mile ride (long story that involves 3 trucks down for repairs...sighhhhh) to pick up another truck. and although I am not one to shy away from riding in cold weather, if given the choice I would not have ridden yesterday. It was 40*f and humidity was at 97% and low clouds made for an even longer ride.

Here is a list of what I wore to stay nicely warm;
(with exception of hands could not find my riding gloves and took a chance on lighter gloves)

boxer brief (for comfort on a longer ride)
sweat pants
jeans
leather chaps (yea... yea...yea.. had to get them from the bedroom... but they are warm)
Dr. Martin boots with thick socks
long sleeved t-shirt
fleece pull over (very warm to wear to start with) (( I had to laugh at myself when my daughter showed me the definition of fleece))

fleece
/flēs/Verb:Obtain a great deal of money from (someone), typically by overcharging or swindling them.

riding jacket with inner liner (Himalayan Motorbike Wear)...... ((yes I know it is made in Pakistan... but the price was right))
a pair of tight cotton work gloves (the kind that has the palm dipped in a rubber for grip)
a pair of mechanic type rubber gloves
a pair of cotton gloves
a GPX full faced helmet (with vent closed)

I was very warm.. in fact when I stopped for fuel I was actually sweating a little. Riding highway 190 was actually nicer than I thought with the weather being what it was... I do wish I would not have left my leather riding gloves in my truck. It would have made it much better. It was not unbearable but my fingers were cold.

The problem we have here in this part of Texas is that it does not get consistently below 40*F for very long (maybe 6 weeks) but the humidity stays above 60%... So lack of being acclimated to the weather and the humidity (that seems to cut straight through what ever you wear), it is hard to dress appropriately.

As far as road conditions.... we have decent roads in this area. I have driven on much worse. Ride to your comfort level and don't worry about driving to slow. The advice listed in the above post is worth listening to. I ride solo 98% of the time and ride aggressively by comparison to my friends and family (and they are not wimps), but will not ride beyond my comfort level (very often).
Skidding on the road is not a pleasant feeling most of the time. The best advice I ever got on that was to ride it out. The bike will want to stay up right as long as it can .. the loss of control. I have only had that happen maybe 3 times and thank the good lord not been in an accident because of it. The 3 times it happened was not because of water or ice, but chemicals in the road (oil, fuel, and my daughter's helping clean the bike using Armor All on the tires) Use common sense and know your limits and don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly...


Kevin E.
 

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as far as how to ride.............do you remember the first day you rode a large bike, I was so intense with everything. Hearing, looking and seeing, took a whole lot less chances, observant of everything and anything. Slowing down isn't always the best thing to do, remember, you're part of traffic, but traction is a little different in colder weather, either braking, turning, accelerating. Use common sense, all this will help, but like anything else, with risk, comes a chance of something going wrong. I do a lot of praying, and hoping for luck............LOL
 

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Tip: Use a higher gear than normal, to effectively reduce the power to your rear wheel... and in-turn reduce the bike's ability to spin-out the rear wheel.

I learned this from riding sport bikes in the rain... Bikes which are both Overpowered, and extremely light in the rear, which causes the rear tire to constantly break free and slide.
 

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In this neck of the woods (Pacific Northwest) you can ride almost year round ...if yea don't mind wet..ocasionall snow park the bike ...the real thing that willruin your day on a Motorcyclehereis black ice... you don't see it till your on top of it and you may go for miles without encounteringany ...just hope it's not in a corner... it is tempature related with humidity so most of the time traffic reports give reliable warnings
 

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the best foul weather gear? go to a marine center and buy the kind that sailors wear. i sailed for over 25 years and still have some of the gear. it puts a stop to all wind and rain. nothing beats it.also if you hoist a sail it will improve your fuel miles per gal. walkabout:smiler:
 

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Just know your limitations, dress in layers.



No hot dogging in poor conditions.



For me, if it is going to rain, no dice, it stays parked. I love riding, but will not add the extra issues of water. If I am caught in the rain, then ok.



I rode in 23F this morning to work, a new record low for me, but I knew it was going to warm up later.
 

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I've personally driven in temps down to -19F, but prefer things to be dry. Riding in rain, sleet or snow is pretty much all the same advice. Keep warm, ride slow, ride smart, anticipate more. On snow, try to head for the unpacked snow if you can, it will provide better traction than the packed stuff.

Mud is the worst as it makes it really easy to lose traction - remember to not hit the brakes or clutch, steady throttle, let momentum carry you through the gunk, and then gently deal with things from there based upon the situation. A good method to learn for mud is to get out in a grass field in the early AM and practice. With the morning dew, things WILL get a bit hairy and you might hurt your pride a few times, but you will learn how to deal with slick situations.

Everyone has their own best method for keeping warm; the key is to remember that the wind chill (especially if you are wet) can induce hypothermia very, very, very quickly. Hands, feet, and face are particularly problematic. Learn to recognize the signs of hypothermia (and heat stroke in the summer) and don't mess with either.

One of the biggest aspects of risk management is learning when to swallow your pride, set back, and wait another day. Ride within your limits and capabilities, not anyone else's ride.
 

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clouddragon9 wrote:
On snow, try to head for the unpacked snow if you can, it will provide better traction than the packed stuff.
...that's completely opposite of what my experience has given me.

Packed snow has predictable traction, at least for me. Even packed snow on ice is predictable as long as it is adhered to it. Fresh snow is problematic on dry roads as it acts to insulate what is beneath it, sometimes melting and turning to a layer of ice until it packs down in various ways.

So many variables in riding on snow. Knowing my area here with the stuff took a while, and tookthe risk of desperation to ride to get enough experience to be comfortable (which is always to degree with hightened awareness levels)compared to what I knew when I got here. Different than the east coast slush-to-ice I was accustom to.

...my experience in the stuff anyways. :waving:
 

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All great tips and thanks! I rode today and it was nice and dry but chilly. I do know my limits and abilities. I have been a pilot for 30 years so I under risk management :)

I guess what spooked me was the fact that I just never considered the bike losing traction that day as it's usually so grippy. I'll be looking closely at every puddle from now on. LOL Thanks again for the thoughtful and well written responses. You folks are great!
 

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Hey Poolguy, I've been a private pilot for 9 years and I echo your risk management statement. For years, I would never ride below 50 degrees as I just don't like cold weather. (yeah good luck living here in Ohio) I have recently come to understand it's just that I didn't know how to dress properly. I am in the market to buy some good cold and/or rainy weather gear now and plan to ride my new (to me) '05 a lot more in the colder weather.
 
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