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Old 09-29-2011, 12:43 AM   #31
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Canada
Oddometer: 437
Originally Posted by freetors View Post
What is the coldest temperature you guys comfortably ride in with and without heated gear? I'm going to define comfortable as not shivering and you can still feel all of your limbs so that you can safely operate the bike. Please specify how much wind protection your bike has too. I don't want this to turn into some machismo pissing match (although I'm sure it will) about how tough you guys are.
I got heated gear this year and it is the best thing since sliced bread below ~55F. In previous years I just rode with insulation. Comfort has a lot do with speed and time since you lose body heat over time and much faster as the speed increases. 50F for a few blocks at city speeds in a T shirt is manageable but 1hr on the highway will kill you.

With a balaclava to keep my neck warm, 3/4 length touring jacket and insulated gloves and motorcycle pants I can ride indefinitely down to maybe 45F if I keep my speed below 50MPH. I have very little wind protection on my bike. With heated gloves and heated liner I can be fairly comfortable down to 32F.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:27 AM   #32
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Annapolis MD
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I have done my 40 mile commute when it has been down to 17F, as long as there is no ice on the roads. Heated liner, gloves, and grips make it all good.
turn the liner on when it gets below 40 and the gloves around 32.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:41 AM   #33
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Thomasville, GA
Oddometer: 564
I have ridden in the teens many times. Hippo hands, heated grips and heated liner make all the difference. I can wear summer gloves in the teens with grips on high and the hippo hands make it like an oven. Layer correctly and not too thick (so you can still move and not be the kid on the Christmas story). Its nice and peaceful on those winter days, just remember that it takes a bit longer to warm up those tires. I usually do some exploring in the woods during this time of year since there are not any leaves you can see some cool stuff hidden in the woods.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:19 AM   #34
Joined: May 2010
Oddometer: 80
I am comfortable down to about 35. Below that, I try not to ride much because of ice. That is on my Wee with pretty good non-heated gear.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:33 AM   #35
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Omaha, NE
Oddometer: 28
-6 degrees

6 degrees below zero is what it was when I left home that morning. 25 mile commute down I-80 to downtown omaha. -43 degrees wing chill factor...yeah i was not the brightest crayon in the box, but still had fun.
For year round riding here in Omaha I have a Kilimanjaro jacket and overpants. Gerbing heated jacket liner and g-3 gloves, and a balaclava under my fulmer modular helmet. I have found at 30 degrees I'm on fire with the gerbings plugged in. at 10 degrees I am perfect. And that is with a detachable windshield on my sportster.

Since the Sporty got totalled last week, I want a scrambler, and advice on snow tires...
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:37 AM   #36
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Calgary
Oddometer: 933
I ride in the city down to just below freezing (late in the year before the ground has cooled off). After that it is the possibility of Ice on the road that stops me. I don't use any heated gear, just snowmobile mitts, a good 2 piece jacket and pants (Rev-it) with 2 liners (one thermal and one wind/water proof). and a neck and head thermal balaklava. Last year I road in the snow/rain until the middle of November.

I've learned so much from my mistakes. I'm thinking of making a few more.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:10 AM   #37
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Granbury, TX
Oddometer: 983
Without heated gear down to 30F. With, I don't know yet about 10F so far, which is cold as it gets here. Winters are normally dry, and above freezing during the day, so no ice problems really.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:15 AM   #38
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
Oddometer: 1,731
I've ridden both a GSA and an RT in Mid-Atlantic winters where the temps are routinely below 20 in the mornings. When the temps get below 35 or 40, its time to turn on the Gerbing gear. I can ride down to about 10F before ice on the inside of my helmet becomes too big a problem.

The icing problem is frustrating. I have had a Nolan and Shoei with the Pinlock and they did a great job of keeping fog off the inside of the shield. However, at a certain point, moisture in my breath freezes so fast that I still get a coating on the inside. That point seems to be between 10 and 12F. With my new Shuberth, I'm not sure if this is a problem or not. This helmet seals up a lot better and should keep the ultra cold air away from my face so I'm thinking it should work better. This past winter, I had a problem with the Pinlock on the helmet so fogging of all sorts was a problem but Shuberth has since replaced the shield and I'm hoping all that is cured.

My commute is up to 37 miles each way and most is done at 80 MPH on the interstate.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:15 AM   #39
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Northern Utah
Oddometer: 372
Originally Posted by (none) View Post
Made the mistake of making the highway trek to work one morning when it was somewhere between 5-9F out. Frost formed on the inside of my faceshield and i was quite cold. I will routinely ride in the 20s though. Good gear and heated grips/jackets are fantastic.

Get yourself a replacement SNOWMOBILE face shield!!! Your fogging/icing problems will be gone, down to about -15'F. I swap my single-pane shield in for summer riding, and the dual-pane in for winter riding.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:18 AM   #40
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Hopefully on a bike
Oddometer: 2,169

Well sometimes well past stupid-
Like the time the police pulled me over in the late 60's, said he just wanted to see what kind of an idiot would be riding when it was below 0
As I have gotten older stupid still strikes at times

Don't make the mistake of believing everything you think.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:19 AM   #41
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Longmont, CO
Oddometer: 1,236
Back in MN, I had a few days in high teens/low 20's with no precip. My biggest worry was ice on the bridges and at intersections. I am in CO now and an area where we can have no precip for weeks and temps in the 40's, but it can change we can have below zero but loads of snow. I am going to try and ride the KLR all Winter as long as there is not snow. I just find a low speed route home.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:04 AM   #42
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Joined: May 2010
Location: Alvord, TX
Oddometer: 139
My record is 26deg, without any heated grips or gloves. I thought my fingers were going to fall off.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:11 AM   #43
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: St Louis MO
Oddometer: 1,299
0F last year

Daily commute in ride of 11 miles, routinely ride below freezing. Bought heated jacket liner and heated gloves last year. Fingers and toes are the worst. Usually I make it in ok, but the toes are always the worst. Layers work for me, but have yet to figure out the helmet, and routinely frost forms on visor.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:54 AM   #44
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Oddometer: 2,232
Originally Posted by Oh2RideMore View Post
but have yet to figure out the helmet, and routinely frost forms on visor.
this thing really least it does for me...
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:12 AM   #45
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Fairfield County, CT
Oddometer: 2,509
Ideal winter riding for me is between 30 and about 38 - I run jacket/glove electrics.

If I'm going to bother putting all that crap on, I like to ride at least 50 miles, but generally keep it below 100 miles. For me at those distances, anything in the 20s starts to get to me.... esp. my feet. I actually don't like riding above 38 degrees in the winter because the snow melt then kicks up all that corrosive crap onto my bike and gear.

Dry powdered road salt and chemicals won't eat your bike away until it can pull moisture from the air for nice acidic cocktail. I make sure to hose my bike down (with anti-salt products like "Salt-Away") before any precipitation is in the forecast. Worse thing is bringing a wet, snowy car in the garage when the bike's coated with some road salt or chems.... you can watch the science experiment in action.
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