Tire grip in cold weather - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Tire grip in cold weather

Hi, I was wondering how grip is affected in very cold weather. For example how safe it is to ride, when it's 2 celcius, how much grip potential is lost in this temp?

My Rides: Suzuki TS50, Honda CB400 Superdream, Yamaha RD350LC, Triumph Tiger 650 (71), MotoGuzzi NTX 650, Ducati 750SS (93), Yamaha XTZ 750 SuperTenere, Vespa 200PX (01), Vespa Sprint 150 (68 ) ... Although ridden, never owned a four cylinder :-)
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post #2 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 10:18 AM
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You definitely without a doubt loose some grip. How much, not sure. I ride a bit in the cold and do the New Years Day ride here in Missoula if possible. Front brake use is SUPER Gentle, it will cause the tire to slide, back is used gradually. All braking is done very thoughtfully and carefully. Turning is more up and down, leaning is not so good. Go carefully and attentive, it can be done.

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post #3 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 10:52 AM
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If you travel at or around posted speed limits and the roads surfaces are clean you won't have a thing to worry about no matter how chilly it gets.
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post #4 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 10:54 AM
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2 Celsius is in an icing danger zone. Pay attention to road surfaces. They can ice up even though the temperature is a couple of degrees above freezing.
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post #5 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 11:16 AM
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There is no question that cold tires on cold roads equals less grip. Gentle throttle inputs, gentle braking and gentle steering/lean angle are very important skills to hone. As the sun disappears (think shaded roadway) it becomes even more important. Ice, dampness, dew, etc. all come in to play in the shaded areas. Add elevation to the mix and there's even more to consider.

All that said, if tires are allowed to warm up to their designed operating temperature, you should be able to enjoy a ride at 35 degrees Fahrenheit, provided of course that you are wearing appropriate low-temp gear!

YouTube is filled with examples of cold-tire crashes in all sorts of conditions if you need more evidence.
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post #6 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scritch View Post
2 Celsius is in an icing danger zone. Pay attention to road surfaces. They can ice up even though the temperature is a couple of degrees above freezing.
But isnt the asphalt a bit warm, that is you need below 0 c for the surface to build up icy coating?

My Rides: Suzuki TS50, Honda CB400 Superdream, Yamaha RD350LC, Triumph Tiger 650 (71), MotoGuzzi NTX 650, Ducati 750SS (93), Yamaha XTZ 750 SuperTenere, Vespa 200PX (01), Vespa Sprint 150 (68 ) ... Although ridden, never owned a four cylinder :-)
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post #7 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 11:22 AM
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Keep your eye on road conditions.
Don't do anything excessive.
Make all your control inputs smooth.
Don't worry about it.
It makes your a better rider.

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post #8 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerazziMx14 View Post
If you travel at or around posted speed limits and the roads surfaces are clean you won't have a thing to worry about no matter how chilly it gets.
... after the tires are warmed up. There is a reason the Gran Prix racers put warmer blankets on the tires while in the pit area.

Last year in the mountains I had a pucker-moment with cold tires. Went into a curve and experienced a skip-skip-skip slippage, or drift if you will, with the front and the back. As a point of info I'm still on the OEM Trail Wings.

I backed off my speeds for another 15 minutes until the tires were warmed up and then they were fine for the rest of the day.

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post #9 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
2 Celsius is in an icing danger zone. Pay attention to road surfaces. They can ice up even though the temperature is a couple of degrees above freezing.
ONLY if there has been a prolonged cold snap. This time of year - roads are warmer ....in Jan and on - different story.
Bridges can stay cold tho after a cold snap overnight and cause icing.

Front tire does not warm above ambient at all ( I have a TPMS ) but rear warms in about 10 min at highway speeds.
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post #10 of 62 Old 11-24-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by V650-2014 View Post
But isnt the asphalt a bit warm, that is you need below 0 c for the surface to build up icy coating?
Yes but your thermometer isn't reading road temperature, it's reading air temperature. And above freezing the air can hold more moisture which then can condense on cold surfaces (like cold roads) causing icing to occur.


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