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Winter riding tips

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by chilliman64, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. hi Netriders - it's winter down under and it's cold! while we know it's not 'European-cold' it's cold enough for some of us.

    I went out yesterday thinking my summer gloves would be ok, I got that wrong :rolleyes: also, how do you stop a runny nose, earplugs?

    how about some cold weather riding tips on gear or anything else? got any great gloves, jacket liners etc?

    I found this today but I'm sure there's many of you could contribute plenty:


    1. Invest in heated handlebar grips. Many manufacturers offer them as a factory option, but aftermarket accessories grips are also available. These not only keep your hands warm, they allow you to maintain full control of the bike, so they’re a great safety feature.

    2. When rain is threatening, check for any chinks in your wet weather defences. Should your jacket’s sleeves go under or over your gauntlets? Similarly, are your trousers over your boots, and is your jacket done all the way up to the top? Remember, once you’re wet you’ll get cold, and you won’t be drying out anytime soon.

    3. Struggling to get wet weather pants on over your boots? Keep a plastic shopping bag in your jacket pocket. Slip the bag over your boot, and those plastic pants will slide straight on every time.

    4. Jacket and pants that zip together keep drafts around your waist to a minimum.

    5. Get out of the breeze. You’ll cop the worst of wind chill on a naked bike, while a touring bike, with a large screen, will flip the icy blast around you. On long rides, the style of your bike should make a big difference to your pre-trip preparations.

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  2. #2 hornet, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    Heated grips are a given: under 200 bucks professionally fitted and I don't know of one rider whose fitted them and then taken them off, (except to fit newer ones.)
    Bark-busters or the like complete the hand protection picture, although you can't fit them to all bikes, sometimes fairings, etc, preclude it.

    Make sure if you buy a rain suit that it has the 'diagonal' zipper (starts on one leg and zips up rather than in the middle, like trousers).

    Pull your jacket sleeves over the top of your gloves, otherwise the jacket funnels water straight down to your fingers.

    Faired bikes definitely are better in winter: after seven years on a naked 600, I really notice the difference on the VFR....
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  3. #3 icemaker, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    Ohh chilliman64chilliman64, you wore summer gloves to the Blue Mtns in winter? Dont think you'll do that again.
    Insulated winter gloves really help and combined with heated grips (installed oxfords on mine friday (y)) and youve got a winning toasty combination.

    Up top is all about layers and a good thermal top is priceless. To really stop the cold youll also need a wind stopper of some sort. Use the rain liner of your jacket if you have one or buy a mid layer windstopper. My go to combo is Bonds singlet, long sleeve thermal, T shirt and depending on how cold it is I apply/remove the quilted lining in my jacket.
    Downstairs is similar to up top, long john thermals, good warm long socks.
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  4. I have gloves with an extra gusset (if that is the term?) , The inner tucks under the jacket and the outer tucks over to add an extra defence against water getting up your sleeves or into your gloves.

    Heated grips are one of those items like dishwashers. Totally non-essential and you can't see what the fuss is about until you get them and then you swear you will never own a bike without them again.
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  5. Go to the trouble of not just buying "waterproof" gear but maintaining it. There are various "waterproofing" products on the market (I use Dubbin for leather and a spray on one made by whoever makes Kiwi shoe polish that works on about everything else) but they all need reapplying from time to time.

    For the bike, if you can't park it under a roof or in a shed of some sort, invest in a bike cover and use it. Having to plant your butt in a half inch of frost to ride to work isn't fun.

    When riding in shyte weather, especially for any distance, carry a roll of duct tape. It's really handy for impromptu repairs to wet weather gear, especially the plasticised nylon kind (Dririder etc) or for sealing zips that aren't as waterproof as the rest of the garment (still looking at you, Dririder).
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  6. good old Barry Sheene openly admitted he wore rubber/dishwashing gloves under his race gloves in the wet. I seem to recall he mentioned this to Wayne Gardner for a wet motogp.
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  7. Oh, and a tip for applying Dubbin to leather boots/gloves etc
    Start with them dry, not dry-ish ... DRY. Then get them nice and warm, really toasty warm like in front of the fire for an hour or three warm, hot even. Now take them to a room without a gas heater and start wiping on the Dubbin with a rag. Keep putting Dubbin on the boots till it stops melting and soaking in. Now leave them in the other room for the Dubbin to set. Don't do this in front of a gas heater or your whole house will STINK, like eye-watering, dog-killing, marriage destroying STINK.

    You can also use Durasil silicon floor wax for this, and it works just as well. Use the same procedure and again, do NOT put the wax on in front of or anywhere near a gas heater!
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  8. yeah that won't go down in my list of 'brilliant things I did in 2016'. if it wasn't for Andrew WestAndrew West loaning me some inners I doubt I could have continued on from Richmond. poor SibiSibi had it worse than me!

    think I might invest in some of those battery heated glove liners - with two bikes I don't really want to fork out for two sets of Oxfords as much as they seem to be best option.
  9. I have Oxfords on my Strom. Bloody brilliant! I've heard you can get seat heaters as well ... not sure I like the idea of having one short out that close to my nethers though., nor do I like the idea of being tethered to the bike via a power cable for a heated vest etc.
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  10. I had a heated vest that the battery died on but as it was 14V I figured that the bikes nominal 12V was close enough and wired a plug from the bike to plug it into. Has the advantage that the battery will have a limited time before it goes flat and then needs to be recharged which is virtually impossible during a ride. However, if you have too many auxiliary items powered from the bike it is a good idea to check that the bike can handle it all. Having a bike battery go flat mid ride is far worse than having the heated vest battery go flat. Particularly since on something like the Icicle Ride I am already running extra lights.

    I don't see a major issue being tethered to the bike by a power lead. You do have to remember it is there when you get off or you look like a klutz. Provided the lug is in the same direction as the lead, I reckon the plug would pull pretty easily in a crash so don't see that as a problem.

    I always wear the vest on the Icicle Ride, just in case but rarely used it deliberately. Have had a few times though when riding and thought, is it just me or is it really hot, when I have accidently knocked the on switch.
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  11. Another suggestion for cold, but not wet weather is to wear your wet weather gear anyway. The amount of chill caused by the wind is significant, and a layer of plastic that stops all wind makes a huge difference.
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  12. It was cold this morning and i have a new jacket that I dont know how it will function.
    Multiparty thin layers are better than a could of thick layers, makes moving easier.
    Neck socks are just fantastic.
    Thermals, top and bottom.
    I didn't do any of this today,used to with my old jacket. Will start doing it now.
    Today it was long sleeve T shirt, and 2 sloppy joeys. To restrictive.
    Next time it will be thermals ,long sleeve T and 1 thin fleece plus jacket
    Long ski socks, thermal and riding pants.
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  13. +1 for neck socks, so simple but so awesome
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  14. The other thing to remember about the cold is that you can actually have strategies to deal with it. Warm clothing, heated clothing, thermals etc.
    There is no way to deal with wearing wet weather gear in 40C heat.

    In that perspective cold is probably better than heat, which is why I reckon Autumn is the best riding season.
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  15. If you ever under insulate and get caught out in the cold the newspaper down the front of your leathers and legs works.
    Plus you have something to read when you stop.
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  16. image.

    I have a set of BBZ handlebar guards which, along with the heated grips, are awesome at keeping hands warm. Problem with grips alone is that they warm your palms, but the backs of the hands are still in the wind, and therefore cold. Much better than Barkbusters regular hand guards bc they curve around further, so offer more protection.

    Downside is they're butt ugly, so I take them off when the weather warms up.

    BBZ - Barkbusters
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  17. Forgot to say, do your jacket up and then the neck sock over it. It allows more head swivel and less choking that way.
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  18. How to ride in Winter?

    Live in QLD. :p


    I've got heated grips this year and honestly, I'm thinking I'll probably get through winter with summer gloves only.
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  19. Layering is the key to staying warm. Being wet isn't so much of a problem if you're warm.

    While I don't and won't have them myself, heated grips are good. Combine them with bark busters or similar and they're even better.

    Personal experience had taught me you that while you get what you pay for, you don't have to spend a small fortune to be dry and warm.
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  20. To hot in summer,have you met any locals. Thats why I dont live there. Little joke,the ones I know are nuts though