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Old 12-16-2013, 02:09 PM   #16
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Sierra Nevada
Oddometer: 356
California here. And yep, we ride all year, and we know you're all jealous. But we do also like the occasional foray into the cold. It reminds us all who live here why we stay here. Most wouldn't know it but the desert gets quite cold in the winter, the mountains have too much snow so the desert is our ride of choice. The trip through Death Valley and over into Nevada gets into the teens and usually down into single digits in January every winter. My buddies and I make sure we do this at least once per year. It helps balance the 110 we ride in during the summer.

Move farther north in the land of fairies and governor moonbeam and it gets real cold. Teens to mid 20's often. There are far more riders on the roads in No-Cal during the winter than I've ever seen east of the Mississippi. I guess it's just a cultural thing to pack your bike away for the winter. Out here, we just have a closer relationship with our bikes.
When you get into northeast California, around Modoc County, it gets really fucking cold in the winter. Somebody from the northeastern states would be impressed with how cold it gets in Susanville in the winter. Don't forget, the lowest winter temp in the lower 48 is often in Truckee, right up at the top of Hwy 80. The overnight lows there are often colder than North Dakota.

I'll avoid upper 80 and 50 in the early part of the winter but not for the cold, it's the risk of hitting black ice that concerns me.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:30 PM   #17
guitstik OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: May 2013
Location: Eads, TN
Oddometer: 332
I have a pair of snowmobile pants that I wear over my jeans. Cycle gear has some good prices on "Freeze out" under garments as well as Sedici electric liners. I also have their "Bilt" brand foul weather jacket with chin/neck guard. With pants, liners, heated gloves, freeze out long johns, balaclava and jacket I have been able to ride comfortably in 20*F weather bellow 20*F with wind chill. I still need to get a pair of electric pants liners and heated in soles.
It's not that I wouldn't own a Harley, admitting it would be the problem.

Harley Davidson: The cure for the common man.
71 R75, 73 R75, 81 R65, 97 R1100GS
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:48 PM   #18
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: butler, ky/Franklin, tn
Oddometer: 840
I do have a Gerbings electric jacket and wear it often in the winter. Sometimes I even turn it on, but not normally. Wearing it under an Olympia phantom suit, with a long sleeve shirt works well down to freezing temps. Below that, I will turn it on or just not ride.

My riding does change during winter as well. I will tend to ride more of the little back roads and stay off the higher speed roads. I enjoy riding during the late fall to early spring months on those roads anyway. The lack of leaves on the trees opens up some great views that are missed during the summer months.
My traveling distance and times are shorter during the winter months.....mainly because of the shorter hours of daylight. I don't enjoy riding at night because of limited vision....harder for me to see AND harder for people to see me.

Salt on the roads and ice are more of a concern this time of year, of course. I actually had to wash my bike last week after a day of riding! .

I DO ENJOY the looks I get from non-riders this time of year......
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:23 PM   #19
Adventurous Commuter
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: Danville/Louisville, KY
Oddometer: 1,008
I'm here in central KY and ride all year. Today was a balmy 57*, but I've ridden in temps down to 25*F or so. If it's above 40* I can ride highway speeds for as long as I want, anywhere below that and I have to stop and take breaks after an hour or so. I just have layers and heated grips, but I might look at some electric soles or socks since my feet get pretty cold down there after a while.
As long as my bike will start, I figure it's warm enough for me to ride. It does sit in an open air parking garage, so I had to get a jump the other day since it had been sitting for a while.
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:28 PM   #20
Mr Head
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Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Oddometer: 7,826
I no longer ride in snow and ice. I live in Orange County California now so snow is something I can see, but don't have to ride through.
I did my time in snow and on ice when I began riding in Colorado in the mid 70's. I rode as long as the streets were free from snow. Mostly.

I started out on a CB360 and moved on to an 850 Norton Interstate. Kick starting that thing at -22F one night was a task. I got it started and only had to stop about every 8 miles to warm my hands up. I was wearing a pair of surplus flight pants, Korean warm surplus three finger mittens and an open face helmet. Full face were not yet glasses friendly.

I've fallen down on an iced mountain pass, (unhurt),, and my wife and I one wee hours of the morning when my "fog-free" face shield fogged came to a stop in a foot of snow at the edge of a flowbed surrounding a home.

Graduated to Widder heated gear, wearing out the chaps commuting.

A Stitch suit sure would have been nice back then. I found that big ski gloves worked pretty well. And my 79 BMW R100RS was great with heated grips and deer skin ropers and silk liners.
Best set up was a /2 conversion with sidecar and a later model motor. 12 volts and a Sears car battery in the trunk to power that airhead to life.

Not me, but one of our other mechanics.
"You don't go to Mongolia for the food." - Sebastian & Kim
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:01 AM   #21
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Joined: Mar 2013
Location: MaconGA rhymes with the Congo
Oddometer: 3
Winter Solstice

Okay! I'll admit, I am sure this will sound pretty boring to all you off road adventure types, but here it goes anyway. I would love to have a crowd of guys here in Georgia, specifically, middle Georgia, who, like the Southern California Motorcycle Association crowd, enjoy doing things like a LD Winter Solstice ride. Maybe one day. Some things like a good wine or in my case a good single malt scotch require cultivation and attention. Ergo my problem. A buddy of mine as recently acquired a FJR and we got to talking over lunch about some of the Iron Butt Rides out there.

You guessed it! So we did a Winter Solstice SS 1000. The only dirt we saw was road construction and agricultural type as we were flying by on the asphalt through GA and FL. Oh well. Maybe next time we will get a chance to indulge our wilder side and get some real adventure. Anyway, it was, as you can imagine, if you really stretch that stuff between your ears, a rather long ride to St. Pete from Macon, GA. We got a little more wild and exciting as we braved all the last minute Christmas shoppers and the traffic they engendered on the way to the malls. Finally as we made our way out of the city to more rural areas between Tampa and Vero Beach, we actually got to enjoy some two lane riding. It was beautiful weather the whole day. We left at 5 am and got back just before 11 pm.

Stay tuned or not for out next report whenever that might be.
I ride a 08 R 1200 GSA. Got it in Feb 13 with 46 K and just turned 82 K on this ride. Its been a great year so far.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:55 AM   #22
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Northern NewEngland
Oddometer: 1,807
here's some video from my annual (I believe this was 12th annual in 2011) Stupid Bowl Sunday Kanc Ride

correction, my 13th annual in 2012
IBA # 9560
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82 XV920R
A man with a gun is a citizen
A man without a gun is a subject

randyo screwed with this post 12-22-2013 at 08:04 AM
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:32 AM   #23
guitstik OP
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Joined: May 2013
Location: Eads, TN
Oddometer: 332
Saturday the weather forecast was for winds up to 35mph and light rain. In the middle of the ride to work that changed to tornado warnings, wind gust up to 70mph, heavy rain and temps dropping to 29. My "weather prof gear" was severely put to the test and failed, I wasn't soaking wet but wet just the same. I had a blast passing cars that had gone through deep water and stalled while I just breezed on by.
It's not that I wouldn't own a Harley, admitting it would be the problem.

Harley Davidson: The cure for the common man.
71 R75, 73 R75, 81 R65, 97 R1100GS
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:38 PM   #24
V Saarela
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Boden, North of Sweden and near the arctic circle
Oddometer: 355
I live in the northern part of sweden, not far away from the Arctic Circle. People here usually rides wintertime their snowmobiles, but I do not own or like them.

So, I ride instead motorcycle. Started in 90s with an small 250cc. From that the cc has grown up to few Honda XL1000 Varaderos.

I was doing rides below -30 celsius and it ended up with eyes freezing. There was som big problems among others totally blind few days. Four years without winterrideing, but today(since 2 winters) Im back, but do not any holidaytrips or rides any longer trips in below -20 C. (I use nowadays a CBR 600 as a winterbike)
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