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So as gas prices have continued to rise more and more I'm beginning to seriously consider riding most of the winter. My problem/question is this, I live in Boulder Colorado, where winter can be quite mild at times (highs around 60), and quite cold other times (highs around 20). Therefore I'd like to get a jacket, pants, boots and gloves that will both do a good job of protecting me from the asphalt and keeping me warm at the same time.

Can anyone give me recommendations?

Also, do you do any special setup to your bike to make it easier to ride in the winter time?

Thanks!

-R
 

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Hey there! I commuted between Longmont and Broomfield at least a few days each month through last winter; during days when there?s no sand down on the roads.

I got by with my regular jacket with the liner in, and a ski fleece (those new soft shells rock). Throw on some underarmor or polypro long sleeve underware and you?re set. Your hands will thank you if you have a pair of winter riding gloves or heated grips. I used Aerostitch?s ?warm wraps? and there are others who actually switched to heated grips.
For pants I wore my jeans underneath a pair of Fieldsheer Highland overpants, and some polypro ski socks to keep the toes warm.
My new job?s down in Golden so I?m seriously thinking of a one piece ?Stitch or the matching Fieldsheer Highland jacket for the longer ride.

Don?t do much to winterize my bike ?cept for the heated grips and paying more attention to maintenance ? your bike will get dirty from road grime so chain lube and oil changes and air pressures become more important.

Just be careful about that greasy mag-chloride residue left over after the snow melts.
 

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ShadowedOne said:
So as gas prices have continued to rise more and more I'm beginning to seriously consider riding most of the winter. My problem/question is this, I live in Boulder Colorado, where winter can be quite mild at times (highs around 60), and quite cold other times (highs around 20). Therefore I'd like to get a jacket, pants, boots and gloves that will both do a good job of protecting me from the asphalt and keeping me warm at the same time.

Can anyone give me recommendations?

Also, do you do any special setup to your bike to make it easier to ride in the winter time?

Thanks!

-R

I guess it is getting to be that time again. I am in SE Pennsylvania and rode through last winter. Here is what worked for me in temps down to 10 degrees.

Balaclava. You can get these for about $10 at Campmor.
First Gear jacket with zip in liner
First Gear HT overpants with liner
Columbia snow boots - my motorcycle boots just didn't have sufficient insulation.
Heated gloves. Rather pricey but I found these to provide the most impact in keeping warm. If your hands are cold, you are going to be miserable. Haven't tried heated grips, but doubt that they do a good job of keeping your fingers warm while they are on the brake/shift levers.
Had problems with fogging on my HJC helmet. Tried the fog city insert. It worked very well but distorted vision a bit. Didn't like that. Tried Rain-x anti-fog: useless. Tried Cat Crap - worked OK. What really did the trick was the breath guard insert thingy (i think it is meant for snowmobiling) combined with Cat Crap.

With all that I was quite comfortable riding on the freeway when it was 10 degrees out.

Don't forget that your tires don't warm up real well when it's frickin' cold out and grip is reduced. Gotta keep those lean angles in check.

Also you have to get used to people asking: "Isn't it cold riding a motorcycle in this weather?"
 

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Gerbings

all I wear is my first gear Ht jacket & pants with my gerbings herated liner, havent found a need for pant liner

heated grips with wind protection works down to about 10°, below that heated gloves start to become necessary, or dispoable hand warmers in your gloves

I wear Sorrel Superior boots (my shifter is modified)

snowmobile gloves are BAD idea, they are designed for thumb throttle and have too much insulation/padding in palm, your hand cramps quickly

balaclava ....yes, consider a snowmobile helmet, they are insulated better, and have double pane visors that don't fog, heated visors are available

tires..... I run Pirelli MTR60 supermotard tires, while they are toast in 1000 miles during the summer, they last 3500 miles or so in winter and don't turn to hockey pucks like most street tires, drop pressure a couple psi if real cold

don't be afraid to use duct tape to seal up any drafts in your gear

I've done my 120mile around the pond (lake winnipesaukee) loop a couple times in winter as cold as -15°F people look at you wierd when they see you riding below zero, the heat on my bike keeps me warmer than my car, what can I say

cold air is FREE horsepower, roll on wheelies in 3rd gear
 
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RandyO said:
Ya beat me to it!

Electric vest or jacket makes all the difference (Gerbings or Widder). With it you don't have to wrap up like the Michelin Man which makes riding easier.

:)
 

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Try out some polypropylene (the new versions that don't stink). I run in the stuff and it is rated for below 0. Worn under leathers, you have no wind getting through. I've actually gotten off the bike after a 45 minute ride in the mid 20's and found a touch of sweat in spots.
 

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dtownmtb said:
...

Also you have to get used to people asking: "Isn't it cold riding a motorcycle in this weather?"
To which you reply... only the sissys stop riding. :)
Winter is when you find out who's hard core.

(pre-emptive virtual snowball lobbed in the direction of our southern riders)
 

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donniej said:
handguards rock!!
The dl650 ones don't fit the SVS but maybe you could find a pair that do.  They defly help a *lot*...
Does anyone use hand guards, and if so what do they use?
It is to bad the 2004 DL650 hand guards do not fit on the SV, are you sure they don't - the pictures look like they might...
 

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My GS has hand guards and electic grips where as on my SV I was using Widder electric vest, chaps (leg & arm), and gloves.

After riding last winter (15+) on the GS with hand gaurds and electric grips I am sold on heated grips and hand gaurds.  I was always able to use my regular racing gloves and my hands never got cold. As the matter of fact, sometimes I would have to turn the heat on low because my hands were sweating.  I will be adding both hand guards and heated grips to the SV.

I second everything the others say about poly pro and fleece but let me add that I like fleece that is WIND PROOF, not wind resistant or wind pro or any of the other marketing crap.  FYI, I purchased an outfit from campmor.com last year that I love, it is their WindBan Fleece Jacket and Pants.  This is inexpensive (relative), wind proof, and the pants have full length zippers on the outside to enable quick & easy donnings.  I wear this under my Cycleport Kevlar suit which provides practically no wind protection and this works for me.

My neck used to get cold but I also purchased a wind proof neck gaiter with an adjustable strap which rest on my chin and I tuck the bottom in my coat and have had no problem since. I think I got this at campmor also?

I still have some fogging issues due to my overheating but I am going to try the breath shield as mentioned above.

I wore leather for years (with electrics) and was never able to keep as warm as with poly pro and wind proof fleece. If I will be on the road for more then an hour I will include my electics in the mix
 

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sstryk46 said:
Does anyone use hand guards, and if so what do they use? 
It is to bad the 2004 DL650 hand guards do not fit on the SV, are you sure they don't - the pictures look like they might...
not sure what you can use on the S........... the dl650 handguards do fit the nekid (I believe) I have KLR handguards on mine, mostly cause I've had them since before they made the vstrom, but I think the KLR guards are slightly bigger and give a tad more wind protection
 

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sstryk46 said:
It is to bad the 2004 DL650 hand guards do not fit on the SV, are you sure they don't - the pictures look like they might...
I'm sure. I tried that before plunking down big bucks on the Gerbing electric gloves. On the S model the handguards hit the fairing - most disappointing. They do, however, work on the naked - Donnie can tell you all about it.
 

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asp125 said:
To which you reply... only the sissys stop riding. :)
Winter is when you find out who's hard core.

(pre-emptive virtual snowball lobbed in the direction of our southern riders)
For those concerned about "the wave". Every other motorcycist I have come upon in really cold weather has waved to me. Misery loves company or something like that.
 

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i just installed dl650 handguards on my naked and they went on without a problem. they are a direct fit.

next up is a windshield and some of this winter gear.
 

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What works for me (it gets to be about 30 degrees on cold mornings) :

1) snowboarder's half mask. And absolute must-have in my book, and all of about $15 at the local Big 5 Sporting Goods. It covers from your nose to the base of your neck, and is made of fleece-lined expanded neoprene (windproof stuff they make scuba gear out of).

2) Gerbing's electric vest. Don't cheap out (like I did initially) - get the thermostatic controller, because thumbing a rocker switch on and off while you ride is a pain in the neck, and this thing will seriously roast you at full power.

3) Grip heaters. Can't beat 'em for $30.

4) Hein Gericke winter gloves. Not sure what's used for insulation in these, but they're not too bulky and my hands have never been cold when using these in conjunction with the grip heaters.

5) Hein Gericke All-Weather boots (similar to Joe Rocket Revolution boots, or the touring boots offered by most manufacturers). Waterproof, comfortable to walk in, and reasonably warm (though I did experiment with using battery-powered socks last winter).

6) Joe Rocket Revolution Jacket (picked up from newenough.com during one of their clearance sales for a paltry $130) and First Gear HT Overpants (with the cold weather liner). Had to sew the Joe Rocket zipper to the FIrst Gear pants, no big deal.

Yeah, I feel like the Michelin Man's evil twin in all this gear, but I stay comfy.

Bill
 
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