Winter Driving - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 2010, 11:44 pm Thread Starter
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Winter Driving

Enjoying the cold time up here in Vancouver. I went for a ride today in 24 F weather.
Unseasonably cold but dry here on the West coast. It felt like I had a flat when I began riding until I realized that the tires were approaching rock hard.
It was interesting to see how the KGT responded to the temp. All things being considered the bike ran perfectly although, I did notice that the throttle was a bit touchy.
I tried out the seat and grip heaters on high. The grips still feel hot however the interesting thing is feeling the high heat from the grips on the inside of the hands while simultaneously feeling the wind burn on the finger tips and tops of the hands.
Anyways, it is always useful to ride in varying weather conditions to see how the bike and the body react.
Any others out there conducting amateur winter testing?

Last edited by mpeters; Nov 23rd, 2010 at 11:45 pm. Reason: Grammar
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 3:36 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeters
Enjoying the cold time up here in Vancouver. I went for a ride today in 24 F weather.
Unseasonably cold but dry here on the West coast. It felt like I had a flat when I began riding until I realized that the tires were approaching rock hard.
It was interesting to see how the KGT responded to the temp. All things being considered the bike ran perfectly although, I did notice that the throttle was a bit touchy.
I tried out the seat and grip heaters on high. The grips still feel hot however the interesting thing is feeling the high heat from the grips on the inside of the hands while simultaneously feeling the wind burn on the finger tips and tops of the hands.
Anyways, it is always useful to ride in varying weather conditions to see how the bike and the body react.
Any others out there conducting amateur winter testing?
I used to love those days when I lived in Vancouver. Cold, yes, but the sun feels so good. My wife and I would bundle up and go riding.

Here in Southern California, most riders are waiting for the rain and colder-than-normal temps to subside, but I did meet a few (30 or so) friends in Hollywood Saturday night to share chili dogs and riding stories. They rode in from all over, including Arizona, Oklahoma (via Jacksonville for a Coast to Coast ride), Ontario (yes, Canada), Utah, Oregon, and a few places I forgot. What fun!

Last edited by XMagnaRider; Nov 24th, 2010 at 3:44 am.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 3:53 am
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I know what you mean, even with a little snow and ice on our UK roads I feel the bike is riding on track 'slicks' which is pretty close to the truth.

I discovered something last year when I felt my tires were hard in the Summer and was trying to understand why I was getting much longer rear tire life and heard more tire/road noise from the rear.

When you buy tires on good deals mail order, you can't be sure of the date of manufacture. Often tire companies will bring out a new slightly different tire model and stocks of the older model can hang around a while. If you are a high mileage rider there's no issue as the tires are changed pretty soon. But if like me you are low annual mileage, tires can age faster than they wear out! Tires have a date code on the side wall.

There was all this talk about Conti Road attacks being 'sticky' but trading off shorter life. I wonder if those have softer rubber and make for better Winter tires?



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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 7:33 am
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I've always kept my bike 'available' until the first week of December when the temps get to be more than I can handle here in New Hampshire. In 2008 I went out on one cold day, I believe the temp outside was about 20F. It was going to be my last ride of the season. Took a right hand turn at the end of my street after coming to a stop and the back tire slid out after hitting some black ice (I think). I was only going less than 20mph when the incident happened, but it still isn't pretty watching one of these big boys slide down the road.... Be careful out there!


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 9:10 am
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I don't mind riding in the cold, but need to wear something to protect under my chin, the wind coming up my arms and blowing under my helmet gets mighty cold. My issue is that my partner thows a fit everytime I want to ride and the temp dips below 45 F. She doesn't seem to realize that with heated grips, seat and good gear, I'm pretty comfortable on the bike.

Last year we had some pretty severe snow that kept the roads less than ideal until March. When the weather finally broke and the streets were relatively clean of snow and ice, I broke the bike out. Hit the intersection at the end of the street, stopped for the sign, then let off the brake and hit the gas making a right onto the major street. Whole back end slid sidewise as I pulled through the turn until the tire got some grip. In that case, it was the sand tossed down during the snow storms to generate traction for the cars that was the culprit.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 9:18 am
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My bike is now in a nice toasty warm heated garage. Our forecast low for last night was -18 F.....leave it to the weather man to screw up the forecast.....my thermometer said it was ONLY -7 F.....tonight's forecast says -12 F. I don't even like getting into my truck at these temps! Something about 40 below wind chills that just ain't right. Though I have been snowmobiling with a full heated suit at 10 below and been warm I just can't bring myself to get on a bike. No winter riding here thank you.....FRIGGIN BURRR!!

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 9:32 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalli
I don't mind riding in the cold, but need to wear something to protect under my chin, the wind coming up my arms and blowing under my helmet gets mighty cold. My issue is that my partner thows a fit everytime I want to ride and the temp dips below 45 F. She doesn't seem to realize that with heated grips, seat and good gear, I'm pretty comfortable on the bike.

Last year we had some pretty severe snow that kept the roads less than ideal until March. When the weather finally broke and the streets were relatively clean of snow and ice, I broke the bike out. Hit the intersection at the end of the street, stopped for the sign, then let off the brake and hit the gas making a right onto the major street. Whole back end slid sidewise as I pulled through the turn until the tire got some grip. In that case, it was the sand tossed down during the snow storms to generate traction for the cars that was the culprit.
If it was me, being more comfortable could give me a false sence of security that my tires on the road surface were also comfy! If I feel the cold as I drive through dips and valleys, it keeps me awake and my senses alert.

One year I did hang one of those fast acting digi ice alert thermometers just below the center stand.

It was quite worrying watching the changes in temperatures along a road. It's not a black ice warning device, but the lowering trend of a readout gives clues.

Funny thing about temperature is they say UK temps hovering just about freezing are more hazardous for roads than your extreme lows with snow.



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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 4:13 pm
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I'm headed to Chicago on Friday too pick up my new ride. The forecast is mid-30's' warming to mid-40's as I head south on my 960 mile run.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 4:32 pm
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Based on the temperatures you will see, I suggest starting an hour after sunrise and quiting an hour before sunset. Take your ez-pass, register it for the bike before you go, It sure makes getting out of Chicago easier. And no stopping on the Indiana, Ohio and Penn turnpikes for toll boths. As much as I hate toll roads/expressways, when you have to get someplace its the quickest. I-pass or EZ pass makes life better. If no ez-pass then pickup an I-Pass in IL it is good anywhere the ez-pass is used.

Enjoy the new ride!

My GT is now stabled till March or April, and the ski area down the road is making snow!
We are also under a winter storm warning for Thursday and our weather comes from Chicago

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2010, 7:42 pm
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#1 Today, 12:44 am
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I noticed the same thing recently. Got caught by dark and it cooled off fast. My palms were hot and knuckles were cold, odd feeling. I've ridden alot of miles on naked bikes swapping hands on top of the cyl head.
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