Winter clothing - what do you wear? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 5:08 pm Thread Starter
KJG
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Winter clothing - what do you wear?

I've had my K1200GT for over two years here in San Francisco. I've ridden in all kinds of weather from warm and sunny to cold rain and heavy wind. It's been cold enough where I saw the flashing snow flake on the display, but that has only happened once.

I have two jackets. One is leather (no particular brand) and the other is a Frank Thomas textile jacket with elbow and shoulder protection and a zip out lining. No motorcycle pants. I ride in my work pants (dockers or jeans).

As the Christmas season approaches, the Mrs. is buying me my first motorcycle suit. I just need to find out what it is I want. So, after giving this some thought, I figured that a two piece suit where the pants and jacket can zip together might be best. I thought about getting the matching pants to the Frank Thomas jacket, then I thought at something more visible. I'm not to keen on the full leathers.

So, since I'm just starting this process, I'm asking the members of this board for any recommendations and ideas.

Thanks.

Ken
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 5:34 pm
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I've tried about a zillion combinations, but my most-used for short winter trips around town is an Aerostich. I wear it over a thin fleece vest if it's cold, or a fleece jacket if it's really cold. I like it because I can wear it over my work clothes (button up shirt and slacks) and it comes right off at work.

It's a nice all-in-one solution. If I get surprised by weather, the 'Stich is waterproof. If I disembark the bike while it's still moving, the 'Stich has crash protection. If I get too hot, I can open vents or remove the fleece layer. If it gets dark, the 'Stich has reflectors all over. It also has lots of pockets and options, it's durable, and it's machine washable.

I originally got the 2-piece because I thought it would be more flexible to use, but I regret that now and wish I had got the 1-piece. The top and bottom pieces are somewhat difficult to reattach. Any time I used the jacket by itself of course it rained and my pants got wet. Now I always use it as a 1-piece except that it cost me more and I have 1 extra zipper to deal with every time I get in and out of it.

At first I didn't like it because it was so stiff, but it breaks in nicely and becomes quite comfortable.

After approximately 7 years or so of daily use I had to replace the armor pieces, which are glued to foam padding that eventually breaks down.

As I've gotten older and fatter I had to remove the hip armor so that I could still get into the darn thing. They do have an alteration service now. I might send it in and have a couple of inches added here and there.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 6:08 pm
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Two words: Warm & Safe.

Aerostitch makes excellent outer gear. I use their Darien pants from below freezing to well above 110 (sometimes in the same 24-hour ride). It's just plain good stuff.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 7:14 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJG
I've had my K1200GT for over two years here in San Francisco. I've ridden in all kinds of weather from warm and sunny to cold rain and heavy wind. It's been cold enough where I saw the flashing snow flake on the display, but that has only happened once.

I have two jackets. One is leather (no particular brand) and the other is a Frank Thomas textile jacket with elbow and shoulder protection and a zip out lining. No motorcycle pants. I ride in my work pants (dockers or jeans).

As the Christmas season approaches, the Mrs. is buying me my first motorcycle suit. I just need to find out what it is I want. So, after giving this some thought, I figured that a two piece suit where the pants and jacket can zip together might be best. I thought about getting the matching pants to the Frank Thomas jacket, then I thought at something more visible. I'm not to keen on the full leathers.

So, since I'm just starting this process, I'm asking the members of this board for any recommendations and ideas.

Thanks.
If you have only seen that snowflake once you haven't ridden in all kinds of weather. Here in the Northeast the snowflake will be on 6 months out of the year. Heck the day I picked up my GT last Nov. it was in the 20's and it snowed a bit. Coming from a relatively warm climate you might not like the layers which I use, it tends to get bulky and reduce your movement. I would suggest taking a look at the Revit line specifically the Cayene Pro. It has a water proof liner, as well as a thermal liner, but stays pretty thin. Look it over here http://www.revzilla.com/product/revi...ne-pro-jacket#. The other way you can go is a thin jacket with heated gear Gerbings just came out with Microwire take a look here http://www.gerbing.com/Products/liners.php. Happy shopping I love getting new gear enjoy

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 7:15 pm
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I'm another 'Stich user. I wear my one-piece Roadcrafter year-round. A couple weeks ago, I took out the armor for the back, arms, and shoulders so I could wear a medium-weight down jacket under it. When it gets below 40 F, I supplement it with an electric vest. Pretty much whatever the temperature, you can wear what you would for walking around outside, throw a Roadcrafter over it, and you're set for riding.

I've Vetter Hippohands for my hands, which go on the bike the same time the armor comes out of the 'Stich. With Hippohands and der grippentosters, I can use ordinary road race gloves down to 25 F.

For my head, I've a home-made Applewarmer Velcroed to my fullface. If it gets below 25 F, I've also a silk balaclava I wear inside the helmet. I may also wear fleece overpants under the 'Stich when it gets that cold. I haven't had the need for more than my regular BMW boots for my feet, thanks to the GT's fairing.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 7:26 pm
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If I could only carry one piece on a trip I would use my Aerostich one peice monster suit and once I even added an electric jacket liner. It's not totally waterproof but does shed most of the rain nicely for a while. It is stiff because I don't use it enough. It was expensive, but can usually be sold for 1/2 price to recoup some when you take up sailing.

If I will be around home in changable weather I tend to stick with my BMW Santiago jacket (bought loose enough to add layers) and pants and add layers, eventually heated jacket and long underwear.

I did once wear my 'Stich to work with work stuff underneath, but I looked like I had slept in my clothes, but that's better than falling off and looking like I died in my clothes. Some folks actually use these for track days, but get laughed at by the Ducatisti in leather, but screw them.

The Aerostich one piece in black is great for scaring young children at McDonalds. I once walked into the bathroom with my helmet on and a youngster took one look and ran for daddy, freeing up the facilities for me.

When I next crash I hope it is an Aerostich day.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 9:43 pm
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In the winter, and cold spring and fall days, i use my Bmw Santiago jacket and pants. Long enough and loose enough. I will also put on my Gerbings full heated liner and I am usually comfortable down toa bout 25 degrees. of course, i am wearing my heavy wool socks in my boots and gerbings gloves, and I do turn on the heat in very cold weather. I usuall wear a high wool turtleneck to keep the frafts out and sometimes with a scarf. If i need moe, I usually quit riding !

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 11:00 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrick
The Aerostich one piece in black is great for scaring young children at McDonalds. I once walked into the bathroom with my helmet on and a youngster took one look and ran for daddy, freeing up the facilities for me.
That made my day, and I know what you mean.

I've been partial to my Santiago BMW stuff too. It just fits well and not as baggy as the Aerostitch or Motoport suit which are very heavy and not as compressible. The BMW gear packs tighter and fits better, but the sheer bulk of the other two tends to make me think I could bounce off a Frieghtliner's bumper and survive.

I've got the Comfortshell suit of BMW and it does seal out water very well (the Santiago inside liners are a pain to carry and install, especially if you need to take off the pants to put the liners in in public which could get you arrested). No liner worries with the Comfortshell and it's impossible for the crotch area to leak like the Aerostitch as the BMW Comfortshell pants use a large gusset rather than the typical jeans zipper thing. Problem is with all the rain-proof stuff (Comfortshell or Aerostich) is they get miserable when the temps hit 90+ degrees and they become a sauna to me. The Santiago has more venting and I don't get the Gore-Tex sauna effect as it doesn't have it in the outer shell.

I also have one of those Gerbing 4-season Cascade Extreme suits in the Seattle gray depressing color that I bought at one of the Cycle World shows. However, it isn't 4 seasons by a long shot. It's a sauna in the summer, but it does work in the wet and cold (heated liners!). The stuff is made in China and their loose sewing has come apart too which I've had to fix at times.

Add to my collection, a snowmobile one-piece (Polaris?). It works well for winter and I can avoid heated gear quite a while with it. They tend to be cheaper than motorcycle gear too. They are water-repellent but can leak in time much as the Aerostitch pants which necessitate finding a blow dryer to dry my regular pants at times once out of the suit. Snowmobile gloves are water tight and have a thinner palm as the snowmobiles have heated grips so you can leave the Gerbing's electric gloves at home. Also cheaper too.

I don't know, but I favor the Santiago most of all. Liners are a pain, but they do work if needed. The yellow color also tends to get people to pull over to allow me to pass for whatever reason (bright suit maybe?). I hated bright yellow when I got it coming off the black Harley stuff, but now I sort of like it. I got it sized so I can wear a Gerbing's thin heated jacket that I sprayed with ScotchGuard under it just in case. The leatherish pants inserts of the Santiagos around the knees tends to go easier on the side-panel's paint than the synthetics too which scruff it up a bit.

As yet, I don't think there is any true 4-seasons clothing gear, but for comfort and convenience, fit, not flapping bulk in the wind, drizzle, etc. I'd go seek out a BMW Comfortshell for the S.F. Bay area. Inland, I'd go for the Santiago. The BMW gear is very well sewn stuff, light-weight, and packable into a bag or case. The Aerostich and Motorport are huge, bulky suits and not as packable and I need to carry them from the bike (Large size). Either wears like iron though.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 2009, 11:23 pm
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I have one of those, an old one too.....!

http://www.mustangsurvival.com/produ...uct.php?id=280

They are very warm, they are totally waterproof, they are very easy to put on or take off.
And they will keep you afloat.....not that we should worry about that!

They also have different ones, two pieces, I have worked on the ocean for 30 years, in the winter everyone wears them.

The only drawback, they are bulky, but if you are only going from A to B.......highly recommended.

I sure wished they had something like that when I was riding snowmobiles in my youth at 30 below.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2009, 1:44 am
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Hello
I'm in Quebec near Montreal and so far we've been lucky, no snow on the ground yet. I hope to be able to ride a couple more weeks. But morning ride is a nono because of the black ice, and riding after the sun is down drops the temp well below freezing. The tires don't heat up as well so lean angles are less inclined. So riding in cold weather is normal for us. We dress accordingly. My ride is a 2008 kgt with heated grips, seats and I have extra power outlet for heated gear. Here is my set up:

Upper body
1st layer, long underwear synthetic material to keep dry.
2nd layer, light turtle neck sweater for the torso.
3rd, Heavy wool type turtle neck sweater
Heated jacket
Rukka jacket with liner

Lower body
1st layer, Long jones
2nd, liner with Rukka pants

Head
Full windstopper baclava
Shoei multitec

Feet/hand
2 pairs of socks, 1 light sock with heavier wool sock on top. I make sure the boots I choose don't squeeze my feet.
The gloves need to have a lighter palm insulation for the heated grip to perform, and the back of the hands wind/water proof. Try to keep the bulb down to use the controls.

I can ride all day with occasional use of the heated jacket and the grips on low setting. Obviously when I stop, something hot is always welcomed.

Once I begin to feel tired it's much harder to keep going, the shivering starts even when everything is full ON. Time for a break.

Bests Regards

Sylvain
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