Cold Weather Riding - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Cold Weather Riding

It's that time, we're getting down in the 40's at night and low 50's during the day. How do you guys gear up without being bulked up to enjoy your ride in cooler weather? Do balaclavas do the trick? What kind of gloves do you wear?
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 06:08 AM
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Balaclavas or gaiters keep cold air going down from the jacket neck region. They are a must. I also where leather jacket with sweatshirt and t-shirt underneath, long johns and jeans, and heated Gerbing gloves. Sometimes chaps. If the temperature drops below 10 degrees F, and I am planning on being out for more than an hour, I use my heated boot insoles. Gloves and insoles run off bike electrical system.
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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 06:55 AM
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Because of possible “black ice”, I never ride if the temp is going to possibly drop below freezing in shaded areas. I think the lowest I rode cuz I got caught in it was 38 degrees. The heated seats, backrest & grips worked GREAT! Heck, the grips were so hot they were almost burning my hands through the gloves!
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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 07:34 AM
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full face helmet with the top vents closed

Made a neck/chin cover

Tourmaster 3 season / 3 layer mesh jacket works well down to 40F, with a long sleeve undershirt and heavy winter shirt.

When it gets down towards 40F I put on a second pair of jeans that are one size bigger in the waist. I got mesh riding pants this year that have a windbreaker insert - that should work as well.

Wool socks in my Tourmaster touring boots.

The hardest thing has always been gloves. I found than lined split leather gloves from Walmart keep my hands pretty warm (about $15). I got a pair of HD winter gloves from the Goodwill store, new with the store tags, for only $20. They work the best for keeping my hands warm, they are like snowmobile gloves, but I dont get a good feel on the clutch and brake lever, and I dont feel confident pulling out into traffic slipping the clutch.

Have to add: putting the windshield and lowers on the bike makes a nice still air pocket to sit it when its below 60F. Even though my hands are not behind the windshield on the grips, it throws the air blast out past the grips and my hands stay warmer.

The biggest challenge riding in cold weather for me, when I stop for a light my visor fogs up from my breath. If I dont open it my glasses also fog. Once I get going 100 yards down the road I can close it loosely and its fine.

Last edited by KCW; 09-26-2018 at 08:39 AM.
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 07:39 AM
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Thick leather jacket, skiing pants over jeans, balaclava and cold weather riding gloves work great for me in temps below 40. Nothing is heated, but I try to not ride below freezing point due to possible icy conditions
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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 08:34 AM
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Commuting daily I've come up with clothing layers depending on temperature. My work dress code is business casual so that is always my base. Let me say I hate the cold so I've learned what works for me. Bike prep means windshield goes on once temp starts to be in 60s. Above 70, mesh jacket, mesh gloves, mesh boots and 3/4 helmet. Between 65 and 70, liner goes in jacket, medium weight long cuff gloves, rest stays the same. At the 55 - 65 range I start to layer up. A have a heavy leather jacket and Tourmaster Cascade jacket that I will use either, without liner, thicker long cuff gloves, leather chaps, neck gator, goretex lined boots and full face helmet. Now, at 55 and below I start to get serious about staying warm. Hoodie, tourmaster or leather jacket with liner, thick full cuff gloves with additional glove liner, neck gator and add scarf, tourmaster bib pants and goretex boots. Lower than that the next layer consist on rainsuit, rain boot cover, rain covers on gloves and handle bar hand muffs. I know this all sounds extreme but I stay warm and can dress and undress in just a few minutes. The other thing I've learned is you don't want tight fitting clothes, the air gap between layers acts as insulation. One key thing to remember, block all air getting to any skin. I've never used electric gear as Vstar charging system has difficult time supporting it. For a laugh here's a picture on me dressed for mid 40s this spring, don't laugh too hard, I was comfortable.

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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 09:30 AM
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Too risky to ride below freezing but it's been just a couple of degree above freezing a few mornings already. I keep my windshield on, half helmet and wear a sweater under my leather jacket. I have warmer gloves in my saddle bags but they aren't as comfortable to use so I tend to use my summer gloves unless it gets too cold. I only have a fifteen minute commute to work so this works ok for that. For a longer rides I'll wear long underwear and definitely warmer gloves, maybe even wear my full face (it needs to be really cold though - I hate the fogging too).

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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 09:49 AM
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This is a good place to point out: Check your service records for the last oil you put in your engine.

20W40 or 20W50 is only good down to 40F. If it got below 40F overnight dont start your bike up if you have 20W oil in the engine. It will be too thick and your top end will be oil starved.

10W30 or 10W40 is good down to 10F, but is not good for hot summer days. Again: dont start your engine if it has sat below 10F over night.

And BTW, this includes if you store your bike in the garage and start the engine up every month during the winter. Check the temp, check your oil rating. This matters!

And if you keep your bike in a heated garage at home and ride it to work, and the temp drops during the day below your oil min temp: dont do it! Its not worth one ride.
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Last edited by KCW; 09-26-2018 at 09:51 AM.
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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 11:09 AM
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when temps drop to 50s i start wearing my neoprene face mask with a bandana cover. keeps my face from getting cold down to the low 30s.

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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
This is a good place to point out: Check your service records for the last oil you put in your engine.
20W40 or 20W50 is only good down to 40F. If it got below 40F overnight dont start your bike up if you have 20W oil in the engine. It will be too thick and your top end will be oil starved.
10W30 or 10W40 is good down to 10F, but is not good for hot summer days. Again: dont start your engine if it has sat below 10F over night.
And BTW, this includes if you store your bike in the garage and start the engine up every month during the winter. Check the temp, check your oil rating. This matters!
And if you keep your bike in a heated garage at home and ride it to work, and the temp drops during the day below your oil min temp: don't do it! Its not worth one ride.
I am not denying the be careful when starting your bike in cold weather which was your point. But, where are you pulling the temps because from the attached chart the temps do not match?
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