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I left the SF Bay Area heading east yesterday around 11:00 a.m. About 60 degrees F. I'm thinking, wow, this is December, and it's quite pleasant. But I spoke (thought) too soon: the central valley was covered in fog; it drizzled at one point; temperature now around 45 but with the breeze, the chill factor made it in the 30's. I'm cold and getting colder by the minute...and I've still got 100 miles to go. Should I turn around? (Probably, but I didn't).

I wear winter gloves but my hands still got cold.
I had a wool shirt under my Triumph leather jacket but I need at least one more layer, maybe two.
I stopped for gas and ended up spending about 1/2 hour inside the station just to (partially) warm up.

Anybody out there use
Hand warmers?
electric vests?
Other?

Then there was the time a couple of years ago when it started snowing and I had to ride 15 more miles to my destination...but that's another story.
 

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around 40 degrees everyday around here.

i just use:

winter gloves
leather jacket
jeans
riding boots

and of course helmet. i will ride everyday as long as there is no snow and ice.
 

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I left Colorado Springs on a Honda CB750 headed for Dallas on New Year's Day, 1973. It had snowed half a foot overnight and the temp when I left at 6:30 AM was 12°F. I did the 750 mile trip nonstop (bathroom/food/gas breaks only) and arrived in Dallas the same day. It's not an experience I would ever want to repeat, especially 35 years later, but it answers the question. We never quit. :D
 

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As long as it's not slippery I'll get out there. I might look like the Michelin man when I'm kitted up but I'm still grinning like a loon. It's the just the unintended sideways action I can't cope with - mind you, having started my two wheel days on a Vespa I find that if I drive in the same cautious manner I can get out of most problems. Vespas were unstable in the bloody dry!
 

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All winter, but I don't generally go out much under 35ºF, it's supposed to be fun. It's sometimes a good bit colder coming home.
Gerbings electric jacket liner under heavy leather and their electric gloves, balaclava, big "Snoopy" goggles.
The Gerbings are the caterpillar's spats! Comfortable at those temps, not just survivable. The arms are wired as well. The gloves are bulky, but aren't they all.
I made Lexan wind deflectors last winter;

Very effective. I'm in dead air from waist to boot top, and am comfortable with just jeans and boots.
That said, it's 20ºF at 10 AM, so I'll probably give it a miss today.
Redhawk
 

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Black Ice Equals No Riding.
 

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its been sub 40* degrees for a while here, whenever it gets warm enough to ride, its raining... so I haven't had any seat time in over a month... getting really ansy...

I can bundle up and still ride down to 20*F... but its just not a pleasant experience.. I wear thick socks, flannel pants under flannel lined jeans, 4 layers on top, two layers of gloves, neoprine mask with a neck warmer that gets stuffed into my jacket and my helmet to seal the cracks... just feel like a giant stay-puff man and I'm not comfortable on the bike.
 

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I ride all winter,except in snow.I really don't like snow,frost and ice no problem.I have been known to ride at minus 5 centigrade,and lower.With proper warm gear it really is not such a big problem.Although I have to say sunny and warm is much,much,prefered.
 

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Put ~150 mi on the Sprint yesterday. Temps were around 34-35 degrees F. I'll need new gloves (getting some air leakage on the fingers) but other than that I was fine. Full face helmet, balaklava, heavy leather motorcycle jacket, good boots with wool socks and lined leather pants. If it gets below 30 degrees, it does get a bit cold. I'm looking at adding heated grips and a heated vest for longer roadtrips. The recent threads on winter cold protection have been quite informative!

Derswede
 

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Black ice warning??

Since you guys are clearly cold weather experts - are there any warnings/thoughts/advice when it comes to black ice. Being an Aussie, cold weather riding is a new experience for me. Ok, I am in San francisco so it rarely gets 'real' cold but I will often experence temps below 30when riding north early in the morning. Should I wait until the sun is up for an hour or watch corners in the shade? Any hints. Thx
 

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I invested in some heated gloves, jacket, and pants.

Without them my fingers become frozen after just a few minutes in cold weather. Makes riding miserable for me. It was expensive but worth it.
 

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Personal I don't ride if the weather report says the temp is going to fall below 32F or 0C. You can't stay upright on sheet ice! Rarely if the roads are bone dry and the temp is below freezing I might ride. But thats so rare here in UK. So Basicaly when the water freezes the bike stays at home. Other than that I ride all year.

For Aussiematt's benefit If you abssolutley have no choice and have to ride in freezing conditions wait till the sun is up and in shaded sections go very very carefully cos if there's ice it'll be hiding there. Oh yes and leave the brakes alone use gentle engine braking. Do nothing suddenly cos if you aint smoooooooth you will come off on the ice.
 

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I'll ride to school down into the 20s if its dry out. Its not a long commute but still no fun if I don't have a few layers on and my balaclava.
What is the worst is when its in the low 30s with fog, which I get fairly often being near the water.

Since this is usually in the morning I try to take routes with less traffic volume or the freeway if its early enough.

My crazy roommate rode his scrambler rain, sleet or snow last winter with knobbies and lots of luck. Only once did he have to call for a pickup in the truck when he got stranded in a flurry with no visibility and fast accumulation on the road.

Probably the most important thing to winter riding in colder climes is paying attention to the weather reports and being overly cautious while riding.
 

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I invested in some heated gloves, jacket, and pants.

Without them my fingers become frozen after just a few minutes in cold weather. Makes riding miserable for me. It was expensive but worth it.
I find black ice more of a problem in early spring than I do in even November. The Earth and the ground is a great insulator. Once the ground gets warm in summer, it will hold that heat for a long time and the same ting for winter when it gets cold. In November, the ground is still relativly warm (unless there has been a cold snap) and typically, the wet spots on the road are just wet. It is the wet leaves in the fall that are the real hazard for me. Spring is worse for black ice becasue the ground is still mostly frozen or, if it isn't, it doesn't take much to get near freezing. It has had all winter to cool, freeze and stay cold.
So, in early spring, if it looks wet (shade, corners, etc) it is probably iced up. Fog is really bad too. It will settle and ice the roads right up. I willl still be cautious of black ice in early morning well into April.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
water on ice

Since you guys are clearly cold weather experts - are there any warnings/thoughts/advice when it comes to black ice. Being an Aussie, cold weather riding is a new experience for me. Ok, I am in San francisco so it rarely gets 'real' cold but I will often experence temps below 30when riding north early in the morning. Should I wait until the sun is up for an hour or watch corners in the shade? Any hints. Thx
Hey Aussiematt, I'm just south of you and yes, for the most part we are fortunate: not often do we have ice on the road. But if there has been ice overnight and the sun is now up, keep in mind that often the most slick of all is melting ice, ice covered with a sheet if water.

Shep
 

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milsherut, I'm in SJ and ride up to Los Altos everyday ('cept weekends).

It's been pretty chilly in the mornings lately hasn't it?
Tonight I just bought some glove liners, hopefully that will hold off the frostbite.
 
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