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Old 11-07-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
TorontoAlex OP
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toronto to florida in january

I am contemplating riding my fz8 from T.O. to Fla mid january to go to a training school for a couple of weeks. I read bwokentoofs writeup to northern ontario and noticed he fell quite a bit on his klr on the snowy backroads. Am i insane to think i could do the 401? Is there a tire that could make the trip safe and pleasant? My biggest concern obviously is a snow storm and ice.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #2
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Can or can not be done based on the weather window. A fixed schedule will be your enemy.

Have you ridden any distance in sub 0 C weather? Any sledding experience?

Another strategy is to trailer or van the bike to a spot somewhere in the Carolina's.

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Old 11-07-2013, 01:51 PM   #3
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Why not ship the bike and fly? Should be able to ship from Buffalo relatively cheap and even fly out of Buffalo while you're there dropping bike off.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #4
TorontoAlex OP
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If I fly I'll rent a car. It is a smart idea but not my preference. Fixed schedule is the enemy I agree!

I have only ridden in cold weather this year and it hasn't been that cold yet. I have installed my grip warmers. Combined with my snowmobile gloves it works great so far. I'm waiting for a chin curtain to become available for my helmet as just sticking a finger under my helmet cuts most of the wind buffeting out of my helmet.

I only have a few hours sledding experience. It's totally different than cold weather biking as the sled had fairings and I'm pretty sure there was heat coming out of the cowl on my feet.

I have a really nice teknic jacket that keeps me warm in a t-shirt. Only need better neck protection. My pants work great with the inner water proof liner + long johns. Only need to add snap buttons to close the ankles up more as wind gets up there.

I don't know that it's a good idea to rely on heated gloves and socks because if they break down I'm SOL. I have a feeling that the carbon heated gear is more reliable than wires.

After looking up winter riding I do think it might be too much of a challenge.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:57 AM   #5
NonstopBanana
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As mentioned, if you hit a snow storm, you are better off waiting it out if you're on a bike. As far as snow is concerned, 401 is generally not so bad in the winter, as they keep it well salted and cleaned. They sometimes don't clear out the ramps as thoroughly, so there may be ice and snow left on a substantial portion - you better slow way down as you get off the highway.

The bigger issue is the temperature. Even at relatively high temperatures of 0° to -5° the added wind chill of 100km/h wind makes it feel like -11° to -18°.

You don't need a chin curtain, a good old fashioned scarf will work just fine, and looks good off the bike. Just make sure it's long, thick and comfy. Even if you think your jacket can keep you warm in a T-shirt, I would rather pack the T-shirt until you get to Florida and layer up.

To be honest though, I'm stupid enough to keep riding in the city all winter as long as the roads are clean, but even I wouldn't want to take a long highway trip in subzero weather. Last winter even something as short as a ride from downtown to 401 along DVP made me hate my life. I tried it twice and just kept to city streets all other times. Trying to go fast in such temperatures gets really painful really quickly.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
jon_l
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Sounds miserable to me. Cold weather + interstate =

Fly and rent a bike would be far more fun.

You don't say where in FL you are going. Big mileage difference between the FL / GA line and the Keys. Like 600 km.

By the time you get there, I doubt you'd want to even look at a motorcycle.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
TorontoAlex OP
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Thanks for the advice folks. Ill stick to flying.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:22 PM   #8
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Flying.. Good plan, salt is not good for your bike !!!
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