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So you want to ride year round ... PART I
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So you want to ride year round ... PART I - October 27, 2008, 11:54 AM

I've been noticing a lot of wreck threads since the weather has started to turn cold. With the increased amount of new riders I'm seeing here on the board I figured I'd offer up tips I've used over the years since I am a year round rider. For you noobie riders pay attention and for us seasoned riders a refresher never hurts!

We'll start with "you" the rider. Most fall/winter accidents happen because "you" the rider are not prepared to ride in something other then perfect summer weather. This is ultimately why most off season wrecks happen. You MUST gear up. If you can not make proper choices while you are riding because you are too cold you're asking to start an "I wrecked" thread. I'm not going to tell you what works and what doesn't as thatís always open to rider choice. I will simply tell you what I use every year and you can modify it as you see fit.

HEAD and NECK!!

1) Wrap your head under your helmet. I use a bandana but anything will work as long as it traps heat. You lose the most heat through your head and your helmet does right in between jack and shit for trapping heat. If you are cold you can't make proper adjustments while riding.

2) Breath guard ..... get one. There are universal ones and some helmets even make their own. You'll be surprised how suddenly your face shield fogs up in the middle of a ride.

3) Use something to warm your neck. It's the most exposed part of your body when you ride. A cold shiver starting here makes it to the rest of your body really quick!!! I spent $20 on a fleece neck cover at Harley 3 years ago and it's kept me nice and toasty.

Upper Body and Hands!!

1) We're talking about your core here. Everyone has experienced that cold shiver that starts in your chest and just won't stop. Now imagine that on a bike at speed. Not fun mid turn. I spent $25 at the Army Ranger store in Tysons years ago and bought a set of poly-pros. They are light weight and what I used to wear in basic training at Fort Knox ( now thatís cold ). You can wear them under your clothes and not feel like you have 30 layers on. This combined with my normal riding jacket works great!

This brings me to my next point. We're riding motorcycles here ... not snowboarding. Too many layers trying to stay warm seriously decreases your mobility and can make it near impossible to control the bike in a way you are used to or comfortable with. Don't restrict movement. Find something that traps heat and still allows you to have a FULL range of motion!!

2) Gloves .... if you haven't noticed yet your summer riding gloves are not going to cut it. They are almost always vented which sucks for winter riding. Buy a set of winter riding gloves. I spent $90 at www.newenough.com on the tourmaster serious winter gloves. Fleece lined and 100% water proof. They even have the little squeegee thing on the thumbs to clear crap off my visor.

*small note on your gloves of choice ... if you buy a new "winter pair" wear them around your house for a while doing stuff. They will need to break in before they fit properly. The last thing you need is for your hands to go numb because they are too tight and not broken in yet.

Get a full gauntlet style that goes OVER your jacket. Shorty gloves leave your wrists exposed and allow cold winter wind to flow right up your sleeves. SUCKS!!!

Legs and Feet

1) Your knees and the tops of your thighs are going to take the beating during the winter. I spent another $25 for the lower poly-pro legs. You can wear them under your jeans and pull your boot socks right over the top of them. No bunching up under your clothes and you have full range of motion. Again .. the 30 layers of clothes is not going to work!!

2) Boots .... doesn't matter what kind. Get a full boot. Water and cold shooting up your pant legs is a horrible feeling. Pull your pant legs OVER your boots unless you like having swimming pools in your boots!!!

If you take these steps you'll be a lot more able to control your bike during the fall and winter months. Remember ... warmth with FULL range of motion is the key!!! You've got enough to worry about with bike and road condition changes .... DON'T BE COLD!!!!


God Speed Jeff! You'll never be forgotten.

BOOSTZX3 : in all seriousness head injuries ain't no joke. I've had around 10 concussions and now I ride a Buell Don't let it happen to you!
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October 27, 2008, 12:17 PM

Good info Johnny.
Pretty much what I've been doing for years. I also make sure all my NEW winter equiptment is water proof. Riding in 35-65 degree weather and being soaked is not fun. I'd say the Baclava hood/neck made a huge difference in keeping warm.
Rider's should be aware of the many things that are different in winter riding. Do your home work folks.
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October 27, 2008, 12:19 PM

very nice.

I too found out the hard way, the differences between piling layer upon layer rather than have 2 well layered layers.

hopefully I'll enjoy this Winter much more than I did last Winter lol

and for those who don't have the $20 for a neck warmer...cut the top off a $3 beanie cap from 7-11....works wonders!!!
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October 27, 2008, 12:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneway View Post
and for those who don't have the $20 for a neck warmer...cut the top off a $3 beanie cap from 7-11....works wonders!!!
Awesome idea!! I probably have a dozen skull caps at home. Athough, I have a face/neck thing made by Schampa that works well. CHecking Schampa's website, I just found this. It's a wrap-around, fleece lined "helmet skirt". http://www.schampa.com/product_p/hlmskrt01.htm

Thanks for posting up that info, Johnny!


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Last edited by Castle; October 27, 2008 at 12:39 PM..
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October 27, 2008, 12:35 PM

rubber surgical gloves work great under gloves. I use them for sports, snowboarding and riding. Do not inhibit motion or feel but make a toaster for your hands.


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October 27, 2008, 12:41 PM

Manassas Honda carries a nice thin micro fiber neck warmer/hoody for I think $10 bucks. Works well in 10 degree temps and is not thick like some others.
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October 27, 2008, 12:51 PM

I just don't ride in the cold


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October 27, 2008, 12:53 PM

Good post Johnny! When I used to ride in the cold, I bought REI's balaclava for $15, thin BUT WOW it worked extremely well for those extended riding.

I have BIKER glove liners that are windproof lined under my winter gloves since they are so thin and works great.

Actually, for me PJs under my jeans kept me nice and toasty no matter how long I was out, IF it was dry out.


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October 27, 2008, 01:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeeb View Post
rubber surgical gloves work great under gloves. I use them for sports, snowboarding and riding. Do not inhibit motion or feel but make a toaster for your hands.
I've tried this but it didn't do squat for me. Granted i was using a leather summer glove. I just have to bite the bullet and get a pair of real winter gloves.


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October 27, 2008, 01:18 PM

Nice post JS

here's a chuckle :
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySpeed954 View Post
You MUST gear up.

I spent another $25 for the lower poly-pro legs. You can wear them under your jeans and pull your boot socks right over the top of them.

I was up North this weekend after dark and found the brown jersey gloves ($1.89 at your local gas station) did well as a budget glove liner for a few hours. Also helps to zip in the liner on your perforated leather jacket


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No one gives a fuck about your puff out your chest bravado.
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October 27, 2008, 02:06 PM

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I just don't ride in the cold
Cheater. lol
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October 27, 2008, 02:30 PM

Heated grips and gear work well too. Only thing is, you have to remember that just because you are enveloped in a "suit of heat" doesn't mean you don't need to take it easier out there. Riding in 30 something weather isn't anything like riding in 80 something weather.


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October 29, 2008, 08:52 AM

Thanks for the info man, good write up. Also remember to take the bandana off before going into a store, I learned the hard way that liquor stores in Baltimore don't like people with bandanas anywhere near there face!
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October 29, 2008, 09:51 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by B00STZX3 View Post
Thanks for the info man, good write up. Also remember to take the bandana off before going into a store, I learned the hard way that liquor stores in Baltimore don't like people with bandanas anywhere near there face!



I don't put the bandana over my face .... I put it over the top of my head. I use a breath guard and a chin guard to protect my face from the cold.


God Speed Jeff! You'll never be forgotten.

BOOSTZX3 : in all seriousness head injuries ain't no joke. I've had around 10 concussions and now I ride a Buell Don't let it happen to you!
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October 29, 2008, 10:16 AM

I also wear those sports undershirts the dissipate sweat. If your body is sweating and wet, you will get cold.
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