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I would like to hear your opinions about riding in cold weather ( I mean around 0 c. or 32 f)
I personnaly always lower my tire pressure by about 10% to have a little more contact patch and to help the tire stay warm. I have never noticed any adverse reaction, au contraire, I think it help: I have been suggested that many years ago by a local representative of tires.
But several other riders do not agree to this and on let me know , on an other forum.
 

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I ride in the winter when the roads are clear and on Christmas Day regardless of weather conditions. The Christmas Day thing is a tradition that goes back to when the big present was a 4-wheeler. Some Christmas days the roads are fine and I can ride 30-50 miles. Other Christmas days (like this one coming up) I'll be lucky to get around the block without falling over.

The main problem with cold weather riding is the tires never warm up enough to grip on anything short of a straight line. I don't trust my tires in the twisties I normally ride without 2nd thought when it's warm. Tread depth too makes a difference. A worn tire is stupid in snow. Then again, riding a bike in snow isn't the best way to prove you have the sharpest knife in the drawer. :D
 

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If you have to ride in really cold weather, definitely reduce tire pressure. Unfortunately, most motorcycle tires rely on their ability to "stick" to the road, and cold tires just don't heat up enough to provide that stick. So reducing speed and going around corners granny slow is a given.

I ride in cold weather all the time.

For me, these are the essentials:

1. Coldwave 3/4 length cold weather coat
2. Scorpion EXO1000 helmet (anti-fog visor)
3. Thermal motorcycle gloves
4. Thermal long johns
5. Michelin Anakee tires (because they are tried and proven)
22-25 psi front, 25-30 psi rear (in cold weather)
 

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Well, Arkansas is a long ways from Ontario or Quebec, but our winter weather here has been much colder than normal. Our high temp today was 23 degrees and the night time low was 12, which is darn cold to us.

I ride all year long though. I agree you do need to be prudent with the throttle around curves. I personally do not lower the tire pressure in my tires. Most of my commute is high speed (80mph) on the interstate and I worry about tire life. I have not had any problems from my new tires (PP 2CT) even at normal pressures in the cold. I think the stickier the tire you can use the better for winter riding.

Good gear is very important. I have an Aerostitch and I wear Rocky thermal underwear. I actually stay quite warm. I have Olympia winter gloves that work well down to the low 20's. I went to a local cycling (bicycling) shop and bought a good baclava to wear under my helmet.

Oh, and stay hydrated. Cold weather can dehydrate you faster than you can imagine.
 

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I don't ride under 50 degrees F because today's high-perf tire's glass point is pretty high and the tires turn to stone when it's that cold. Learned that lesson the hard way with a low-speed low side. I've never researched it, but maybe there's some cold-weather tires available?
 

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BC is sure being hit with some weird weather - heh? Just talked to a friend of mine in Parksville - 4 feet of snow. Wow.

I guess when it comes to cold weather riding I just take it darn easy. The Sprint wasn't fantastic in the cold for traction but it was great for protection. I could comfortably ride in 0-4 degrees on the Sprint where the Bonnie is minimum 6C.

I know the Montreal weather quite well and yeah, extending that riding season as long as possible means riding in 0 C.

I guess my advice is just take it easy the tires aren't meant for that cold.
 

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Lower tire pressure will cause the sidewalls of the tire to flex more, thus causing the tire to heat up more than with normal pressure.

I ride year-round
 

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I don't ride under 50 degrees F because today's high-perf tire's glass point is pretty high and the tires turn to stone when it's that cold. Learned that lesson the hard way with a low-speed low side. I've never researched it, but maybe there's some cold-weather tires available?
I am glad this discussion came up. When I buy auto tires and choose "high performance summer" I know that the first 10-15 minutes or so you need to be careful. I did not consider (but now I think of it it is reasonable) that our bikes tires are most likely all "high performance summer" compound. I have been riding at a temps around 32f and greater, and guess I have just been lucky so far. In the future I will be taking tire temps into consideration.

Does anyone know if the big cruisers also run tires with this soft summer type compound or are their tires more like the "all season" auto tire compound?
 

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I am glad this discussion came up. When I buy auto tires and choose "high performance summer" I know that the first 10-15 minutes or so you need to be careful. I did not consider (but now I think of it it is reasonable) that our bikes tires are most likely all "high performance summer" compound. I have been riding at a temps around 32f and greater, and guess I have just been lucky so far. In the future I will be taking tire temps into consideration.

Does anyone know if the big cruisers also run tires with this soft summer type compound or are their tires more like the "all season" auto tire compound?
Razzoo,

You will find due to the much greater weight of most cruisers that most Cruiser compounds are harder than sports bike tyre compounds.

Having said that some of the Sports Touring tyres available have harder compounds as longevity is also a factor that is important for these type tyres.

Sports touring tyres available for Sprint's that are fairly long life include:
Avon Azaro's
Avon Storm
Michelin Pilot Road 2C
Dunlop Sportmax
Pirelli Rosso
Metzeler Z6

There are more of course and many are listed in the tyre sticky with reviews in the "Maintenance tips and tricks" sub forum.

In short the sportier the tyre normally the softer the compound.
ie race mediums are a lot softer than normal sports tyres which are usually quicker wearing than sports touring tyres.

cheers,
DaveM:cool:
 

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Katana has a good point the lower pressure will allow quicker heating, but the speeds at which we ride safely in the winter will more than likely not effect this heat cycle to a great degree. The best advice is to run your pressures that you normally run and keeps the speeds and leans lower when cold.

My advice to you is to invest in a set of Gerbing heated gear - best investment in my 20+ years of biking. Has made my winter riding down right enjoyable not having to always fight off the cold.

I have a new set of Rosso's currently on the bike and they handle very well. We had a cold spot last week in the teens and low 20's and they handled great, but the salt on the road is a far greater worry.
 

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I'm usually careful riding in the cold since the surface usually has sand or salt film. I got an abrupt wake up back in November on a 20 degree F ride home from work. As I came up the on ramp watching traffic over my shoulder, I picked a hole and cut through two lanes to the left lane still in the lean. As I rolled on more throttle and started to straighen it up, the back tire broke loose at about 80. I held on and the Sprint shook back and forth a couple of times before straightening up and grabbing hold again. One of those reflex things you don't have time to think about. I'll back off a little now until it warms up some.
 

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I would caution very much against lowering tire pressures in the hopes that the tires will come up to pressure.

They will wiggle and squirm more but usually when you don't want it which is all the time.

Todays good sport touring tires Z6's Avons etc. all have a high silica content which is good for grip cold and wet.

I ride down into the lower 20's less than that hardier souls can take over. But I vary my riding according to the road conditions. If the road is clear and dry I differ very little from normal after all is warmed up. Frost is no fun, stay off. Wet, more caution than wet in the mid to high 30's which is a lot around here.

I would advise to stay the hell away from tar snakes and all painted lines. Wet lines are slick anyhow but when it's cold will reflect the heat away and there could be a layer of frost on them.
 
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