Found my temperature limit this AM - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Found my temperature limit this AM

I knew it was going to be cooler this AM, riding before sunrise and frost on the car windows as I was leaving home. Since my bike lives in the garage, I got to slowly watch the temp drop on the gauge as I rode to work... hit 32 degrees F about 10 min into a 40 min ride.

I have heated grips, turned all the way up, barkbuster hand guards, and a larger Givi windscreen that keep me pretty much out of the wind. Also wear thicker/insulated winter gloves, lined jacket and lined over pants.

My upper and lower body were fine, but the helmet I have doesn't feel like I get much air circulation in the summer shows all the airflow in the winter. The tops of my hand get too cold, even when moving hand around the grips and trying to keep them moving.

I know I could get heated gear, but I worry about slick spots on the road when it gets below freezing. I think 34 degrees indicated on the bike is where I'm drawing the line

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post #2 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 08:01 AM
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I have heated gloves and jacket and along with insulated riding pants I'm good into the upper 20's. But I'm with you, once the temps get below freezing, ice becomes the problem. Even starting out in the morning with temps in the mid 30's, ice can still be on the road from the overnight.

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post #3 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 08:09 AM
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For the hands, skidoo muffs, or what some call Hippo Hands. That made a huge difference for me. With heated grips and light Klim Inversion gloves I'm good down to freezing with that setup.

For the rest of the body, heated gear is the way to go. I have my Olympia Richmond and Sentry pants over thin heated layers which is comfortable down to freezing. Below freezing I just add a light fleece on top of the heated jacket. I've been riding in 3-5 degree mornings comfortably without the fleece yet.

You do need to be careful, But if it's been relatively dry, you just drive cautiously. I'm going till the snow falls this year, whenever that may be.

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post #4 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 08:18 AM
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And be careful for your tire traction. I'd speculate most motorcycle tires weren't intended to be ridden at 34 degrees the same way they can at 74 degrees. The rubber may not act the same way at the cold temps, meaning they may not grip the pavement like they should. I've ridden in the 30 degree range enough that I don't bother anymore (I've proven my abilities to myself, that's enough for me), but below 40 my cautious nature really started taking over when I'd ride. Stiff rubber, exhaust condensation on a chocked on ramp creating frost or black ice, no sunshine and rush hour traffic... I've given up commuting by bike at this time of year. But I know that hearty feeling you get doing it.

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post #5 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 09:17 AM
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H8, I'm with ya, even with heated grips and a vest, sub freezing riding for me is just not fun. I did get a pair of rechargeable battery Bluetooth heated insoles for ice fishing in Manitoba so they will come in handy if I am ever caught out on a long trip by colder weather.

I put the bike up her for winter around Thanksgiving. Once temps get below freezing the icy patches on these awesome twisty roads here can stay frosty well past noon if they are in the shade. By the time you are on top of them it's just too late.
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post #6 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 10:18 AM
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I find riding down to about 40 degrees enjoyable below that it start to feel like work.
I did once get caught on a road trip in a sudden cold snap, when starting out the following morning it was 17 degrees. Warmed up to mid 60s by noon, I should have sleep in!
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post #7 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ocoas View Post
I find riding down to about 40 degrees enjoyable below that it start to feel like work.
I did once get caught on a road trip in a sudden cold snap, when starting out the following morning it was 17 degrees. Warmed up to mid 60s by noon, I should have sleep in!
+1 on the 40 degree threshold
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post #8 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 10:29 AM
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Balaclava or "Headsock"

I have a DEMI Balaclava which I keep in my tank bag this time of year. It's of the two-fabric design; a silk-like crown and a thicker fabric that comes down over the face, neck and collarbone area. Can't find Demi anymore, they were/are based in Petoskey MI. great headsock, similar to a Klim. I've had it for years and it is very effective at diminishing helmet draft while being only slightly more snug. The lower part does very well at keeping out wind in the face and neck area, and goes in the washer cold/cold/gentle & air dry.
My riding is 99% pleasure, so I don't have to commute, but It's nice to have starting out on a ride and remove it as temps warm. As the daylight gets shorter here, so do my rides. Temps around freezing, deer, frosty shade, more frequent fog keep the miles down, but I'll still get out for a few a 5mi/8km rides until the snow flies.
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post #9 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 10:34 AM
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Good point about the tires not having the same traction at low temps. They do still warm up. But I don't trust them leaning hard in those temps.

I have ridden when the clock/thermometer on the bank display on Main Street said 4 degrees (F). Didn't have a choice.

I have ridden a LOT in the 30's.

It isn't the first hour or two that gets you. It is the following several hours in those temps that will tell you if your gear works well.

Heated gear is wonderful. Safer in that you don't become constricted by too many layers! Keeps you functioning at your best.

So even if you draw the line at a certain temperature, heated gear can be a great solution to comfort. I use it when the temp is 60 and below. Comfort is good!
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post #10 of 79 Old 10-30-2019, 10:45 AM
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I've noticed that suspension gets REALLY stiff when you dip much below freezing. Engine oil is designed to work at very low temps, but it's simply not a consideration for motorcycle suspension fluids.

Also, ice in the brakes will definitely get your attention.

I once rode home from work in a downpour. After the front came through during the night, it was well below freezing the next morning. Turns out there was still some water trapped in the calipers and/or rotors somewhere, and after a few blocks it froze and I had zero braking up front for a heart-stopping distance. No disasters, but that was a bit of a startler. I've had the same thing happen with frozen mud on my KLR650.

My ride to work is about 20 minutes, and I've learned you can withstand just about anything for 20 minutes. Moisture anywhere near freezing is generally a no-go, but I have ridden with snow falling several times.

As far as longer rides, I try to avoid anything below about 40F, but many times plans have gone awry...
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