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    Driving through the winter

    Without boring you to much with details, here's some abbreviated backstory:

    Wife has had chronic medical issues since giving birth last year not covered by health insurance.
    We have one minivan due to having 2 kids)
    I have my 82 gs650l, I've had it for almost 10 years.
    We live in western Texas where winters are usually mild, last year being the exception with snowmageddon.

    I had planned on putting the bike away for the winter to go through the carbs and do some other maintenance. However it seems that i will have to ride it through the winter.

    What if anything can i do to make winter driving safer/more enjoyable?
    Fit w context i live about 3 miles from work.

    Thanks for any tips!

    #2
    I'd just use the minivan. Our furnace guy parks his work truck in the winter and uses a Dodge Caravan to make service calls.
    He said because the weight of the engine is right over the drive wheels, it works great in snow.
    As for riding your bike in winter, obviously any snow or ice makes that extremely dangerous. Get an electric vest, preferably one
    with hookups for electric gloves. Makes a HUGE difference in cold weather. I have a Widder but they're out of business now.

    Mad
    83 GS750E
    2006 ZX14
    2004 KTM 450 EXC
    2001 Yamaha Big Bear

    Comment


      #3
      Tell us what temp a typical winter day can be for you. Going in
      might be different than return home.

      three miles. Might spend more time getting bundled up than riding. But good it’s not 30 miles.

      other note: when riding in cold, I have found it is most always warmer at stop signs.

      Had 850G for 14 years. Now have GK since 2005.
      GK at IndyMotoGP Suzuki Display... ... GK on GSResources Page ... ... Euro Trash Ego Machine .. ..3 mo'cykls.... update 2 mocykl


      Comment


        #4
        I lived about that distance from the office.
        The bicycle was actually faster than the bike and a much better proposition on snow when you drop it.
        Wife might feel happier also?
        80 GS850GT
        79 Z400B

        Comment


          #5
          Sympathies on the medical difficulties for your wife.
          Obviously less tire grip in the cold temps. Take it easy on the turns.
          2@ \'78 GS1000

          Comment


            #6
            Mountain bike and an electric vest

            Think how much healthier you'll be
            1978 GS 1000 (since new)
            1979 GS 1000 (The Fridge, superbike replica project)
            1978 GS 1000 (parts)
            1981 GS 850 (anyone want a project?)
            1981 GPZ 550 (backroad screamer)
            1970 450 Mk IIID (THUMP!)
            2007 DRz 400S
            1999 ATK 490ES
            1994 DR 350SES

            Comment


              #7
              A friend of mine Claudio rode his little GS400 one full winter in Prince George B.C, Canada. We averaged about 8 feet of snow per winter and he rode it everyday. Sometimes he would have to leave it running in the cold weather (like -10 fahrenheit) and he had to feather it pretty good in the snow. I wouldn't do it but it is possible. Up here we can find snowmobile suits and mits quite easily and that's the ticket. Visor fogging is a real PITA do deal with as well especially if you wear glasses.
              1986 1150EF
              2008 GS1250SEA

              Comment


                #8
                I would be using the minivan, but due to wife's health issues I feel better about her having a vehicle with her in case an emergency pops up. We also have to kiddos, 1 year old, and 4 year old. They are pretty clumsy at times and each one of them needed trips to e.r. for stitches already.
                I never heard of electric vests, that may come in really handy, thanks!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Currently I work swing shift, meaning I start at 3 pm, and finish around 11 pm.
                  In a normal year we're lucky (lived in Vermont previously so like to play in snow) to see a week worth of snow throughout the winter.
                  Typical winter temps usually range from mid 30's to mid 50's.
                  The real problem tends to be the wind, it's not unusual to have sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph for large parts of the day.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Myweirdaccent View Post
                    Currently I work swing shift, meaning I start at 3 pm, and finish around 11 pm.
                    ......
                    Typical winter temps usually range from mid 30's to mid 50's........
                    Afternoon shift like that might help you, as afternoon and night temps warmer than early morning temps.

                    I would say set some limits and try it. Like try riding to work in upper 60s, and then low 60s, and see how you do. THen try upper 50s, then low 50s, then upper 40s which is a big step, then low 40s which is another big step, and 30s is another big step.

                    Without good riding jacket having a insulated liner and good gloves you probably arent going to get into the low 60s. Without insulated riding pants (over pants) you might be okay in 50s, but not 40s.

                    Fairing/windscreen will help upper body, but probably not much for knees and leggs.

                    Many folks say heated vest is the most usefull. I found that heated gloves to be the most usefull for the wattage. I got heated gloves about 10 years ago. The gloves are 24watt so 2amps on full heat, not a big load on bike electrical system. (Vest 48watt, Pants 48watts, Jacket liner 72watt). Back then they were all connected to the bike electrical system with cords and controllers and such. THese days the battery operated type heated gear are more common.

                    When I was younger, I rode to work regularly, 12 miles, without any heated gear, in low 40s and 30s. Good jacket and insuated over pants and heavy gloves. SOmetimes would arrive cold, and took a while to recover - hopefully didnt need to interact with folks for a while.

                    Had 850G for 14 years. Now have GK since 2005.
                    GK at IndyMotoGP Suzuki Display... ... GK on GSResources Page ... ... Euro Trash Ego Machine .. ..3 mo'cykls.... update 2 mocykl


                    Comment


                      #11
                      ANd that is without even concidering rain.

                      Rain will make it feel colder.

                      Butr for 3 miles, you can tolerate it. Although you may not want to arrive wett.

                      But do get some rain gear. If it is predicted that might rain, dont let that make you decide not to ride, just take the rain gear with you, and ride anyway. Probably most times it will not be actaully raining at the time you return.

                      .

                      Had 850G for 14 years. Now have GK since 2005.
                      GK at IndyMotoGP Suzuki Display... ... GK on GSResources Page ... ... Euro Trash Ego Machine .. ..3 mo'cykls.... update 2 mocykl


                      Comment


                        #12
                        My advice would be to invest in some snowmobile gear, preferably a one piece snow suit or ski gear, pants and jacket.
                        The best gloves I ever bought for winter was purchased at a bicycle shop. Brand was Pearl Izumi. Don't know if they are still made but the pair I bought had a place for your thumb and two separate pockets for two fingers each pocket. Think mittens only with pockets for two fingers.
                        Hold on and I will post a couple of photos of them.

                        IMG_20211030_212638097 by Larry Alkire, on Flickr

                        IMG_20211030_212643936 by Larry Alkire, on Flickr

                        IMG_20211030_212717856 by Larry Alkire, on Flickr
                        Last edited by alke46; 10-30-2021, 10:33 PM.
                        Larry

                        '79 GS 1000E
                        '93 Honda ST 1100 SOLD-- now residing in Arizona.
                        '18 Triumph Tiger 800 (gone too soon)
                        '19 Triumph Tiger 800 Christmas 2018 to me from me.
                        '01 BMW R1100RL project purchased from a friend.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I think a 3 mile ride is very doable. Yesterday I rode for an hour and the warmest it was was 42 fahrenheit. I was going to wear double jeans but just wore 1 pair so my knees were cold and my thumbs were cold, I just wore my insulated bike jacket with a light jacket underneath. 3 miles into the ride I was still very comfortable. A loose set of raingear (so you can jump into them fast) and waterproof boots would be a necessity. Also make sure the motorcycle battery is up to the task.
                          1986 1150EF
                          2008 GS1250SEA

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for the tips on the cold weather gear and the idea of slowly but steadily getting used to colder temperatures. I knew a guy that worked at a ski resort in Vermont many years ago who rode his motorcycle to work everyday during ski season. But he had an Enduro with a few modifications, he even had studded tires!

                            I am used to layering up on the ride because my usual riding season lasted until November when I lived up north, as long as there was no snow.
                            At that time I had a 20 mile commute to work (mainly interstate) and would usually leave for work, and get back home when it was dark and frigid.

                            I'm looking into getting a windscreen that I can throw on the bike, and some saddlebags. I had both when I originally bought the bike almost 10 years ago, but the windscreen cracked during my drive from Vermont to Boston so it had to go. The noise of the plastic rubbing against each other was driving me nuts on the interstate. Unfortunately the saddlebags didn't last to long either. But I think a new pair may come in real handy for putting all the extra clothes I can wear.

                            My current setup for cold weather riding is my 8 inch work boots, 2 pairs of pants(one is a dedicated motorcycle pant with padding), a long sleeve waffle weave with a motorcycle jacket, and winter gloves. I will probably add a scarf or neck gator to it if it becomes to cold.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Trust me on this. Once you try a heated vest and possibly gloves, you'll wonder how you ever rode without them. On warmer days
                              I'd still wear the vest and just not plug it in. The vest keeps your core warm so I found I had much less trouble with my toes and
                              fingers getting cold.

                              Mad
                              83 GS750E
                              2006 ZX14
                              2004 KTM 450 EXC
                              2001 Yamaha Big Bear

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