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Let me start off by saying I hate the cold. In Houston this morning it was 50 and I dressed like it was freezing on my commute. Here is the picture my wife took of me this morning:



As you can see I really dress warm. The real issue I have is the temperature swing. It was 78 when I rode home. It's like this morning I had on my heavy Cortech jacket, leathers, gortex boots and was comfortable. Then coming home, liner out of jacket, but still got hot, with sweating feet. I'm lazy and dislike taking two jackets, change of clothes, etc. Maybe someone can share how do you handle big temperature swings without taking your closet with you. Do the heated vests work very well? I know this is a weird topic but very important to a lazy and cold natured daily commuter so please chime in.
 

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It's been colder than that here when I leave for work for the last 2 weeks. Gets up to maybe 65F when I go home. I'm still wearing my same leather jacket and perforated gloves. If it gets much colder I may have to break out the solid leather ones though. lol
 

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It was about 40 this morning. I wore my leather jacket and thick skiing pants, was expecting worse but surprisingly it was fine.


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I'm in Phoenix so the temperature swing is different (60 in the morning, 95-100 by the afternoon) but the concept is the same. In the morning it's leather chaps, boots, gloves, mask, and liner in the jacket. By the afternoon it's jeans, no liner, no gloves (or mesh gloves). Come this winter, it'll be even colder in the morning (down to about 30) but still in the 70s to 80s in the afternoon. Then i'll wear full pants to work, leather jacket, and lined gloves with a mask under my helmet. Then in the afternoon it'll be the bare minimum for protection. Saddle bags become winter clothing storage.
 

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Maybe someone can share how do you handle big temperature swings without taking your closet with you.
bring a backpack, saddlebags, luggage, etc. to shed your warm stuff for the ride home. i always ride with a backpack to work and if it's already filled with other things, i'll strap my jacket to the pack.
 

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My temperature threshold is 277K, which sounds much better than 41F or 4.4C

I tuck my demin jeans in my wool socks and put on a second pair that is one size larger in the waist. The inner jeans go in the boots, the outer jeans go over.

My tour master jacket has a windbreaker and an insulation liner. I keep those two zipped together and wear them under the textile outer layer. Good pair of gloves, and a ski neck sock over my neck and chin, and Im good down to about 40F.

When its nice in the afternoon the second pair of pants and the jacket liner go in the trunk/saddle bag. I do feel the cold, and at most my hands get cold but not numb.

Having a large windshield and fork deflectors on the bike certainly helps.

Im only hitting 45mph max on my commute. If you are riding the highways google the wind-chill graphs, its exponential with speed... so if you are riding 80mph in the cold, your mileage may vary.
 

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Must just be me than, at 50F on the highway at 80mph I only wear a windbreaker overtop my air mesh summer jacket. I don't need anything to stay warm, and either leather gloves or winter gloves. Just take off the windbreaker and wear the mesh jacket for the ride home in >70F
My commute is 75miles all highway.

Below 50F on the highway I'll put on a lined jacket, or I'll go with an underlayer with a windbreaker, and an under or over layer for the pants. Really depends on where I'm going what I wear, and if I need to protect myself from rain.
 

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Yeeaaahhhh.....

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I'm the same - at 50 degrees, I'm still wearing jeans and my vented coat with gloves, I don't use my liner or chaps until it's under 50. If I do have extra gear for the ride home, it goes in my saddlebags or tour pack.


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Thanks for the replies. I do almost what everyone has suggested. I'm cold natured and lazy. I will continue to do my layers and fill my saddle bags with clothing not needed. For those of you that ride with just a mesh jacket in the 50s you are tougher than me. My commute is just 25 miles with about 10 miles on interstate, it's that 10 miles that chills me. I leave the house at 5am so little to no traffic and my speed is only limited by my hand, usually 75 or so, depends if I'm running on time.
 

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Maybe this is a good place to ask something I have been wondering about: Has anyone ridden a MC in the snow... I mean intentionally?

It seems like riding a dirt bike on a track, where you are sliding and drifting the bike in turns nearly all the time, would be similar to riding on the streets in the snow. Except in the snow and ice it would slide and drift much easier than on dirt or in mud.

I grew up in Buffalo and my first few cars were VW bugs. I got really good at driving in a nearly continuous slide when it was snowing and slick, drifting around corners, stopping.. even making the car do a 180 when I wanted to.

I doubt a cruiser bike could be ridden in the snow hardly at all, but a dual purpose dirt/street bike that is light, and has street knobby tires.... maybe?

I know in WW2 the germans had BMWs with side cars, with a shaft drive to the wheel of the side car - they were unstoppable in the snow and mud. I dont think there would be any point in riding a 3 wheel MC in the snow, but a dirt bike might be fun... to a point.
 

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I rode my Honda XR75 dirt bike in snow when I was a kid. It's a whole different animal than dirt and mud because it turns to ice when you spin. I dropped it more than once just trying to navigate a turn. Pretty scary. I don't think I took it out again in the snow.

Well maybe I did. After all, we're all bulletproof at that age...lol

That being said, the V Star stays inside when the temps drop below freezing. I'm pretty sure I'd go down the first time I hit the brakes or tried a turn on even a half inch of snow.
 

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... how do you handle big temperature swings without taking your closet with you...
During cooler weather I rely on my tried and true leather jacket and chaps. Once temps get above 80 I rely on my EVS G6 armored jacket and motocross pants with knee/shin pads. However since I do a lot of north/south touring where temps can vary by 50 degrees in one day I'll wear my body armor underneath my Fieldsheer insulated one piece suit. That way I always have crash and abrasion protection yet also have cold weather and rain protection good for below freezing temps and the riding suit can easily be packed away in my tank bag, saddle bag or strapped on top of my pillion pad with my camping essentials pnce the temps get warm.
 

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I used to ride my kawasaki gpz1100 (550lb) in the snow all the time, and attempt to NEVER touch ice with it. On the snow was fine, just don't turn, the snow is much like dirt, it grips good, till it just lets loose. I always road with my racing tires on it, no where near knobs.

But it's basically like anything else in the snow, changing directions and stopping you have to pay attention to your speed, going straight, your basically fine, as long as you don't have to stop, or change directions. I never took it on the highway in the snow, just around town. The more snow the better.

Now the next day when it's all slush and ice, ya, that is not fun at all, and you have to watch out for the black ice.
 

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I love my electrics and now have a bike that can support them. With those, regular vented jacket, lined jeans and frogg toggs, I'm set for temps from 40's to 80's, wet and dry. When I wore layers, it seemed I was stopping every hour to add/remove a piece of clothing to get comfortable again. In the cold, I resembled the Michellin Man and had trouble riding comfortably. While I bought the lower cost electrics, they have proved sufficient for my riding habits.
 

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when its getting down towards 40F I would not say Im comfortable, I would say its tolerable.

Then I think about all the billions of people that have lived for the last 300,000 years, and how they struggled to survive,

while Im riding an excellent motorcycle across the face of the earth on a paved road...

its tolerable. No complaints.
 

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Being able to ride in the cold is a matter of frame of mind. I had a friend question my sanity for riding motorcycles in sub-freezing temps yet he skis and rides snowmobiles in the same temps. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Riding in the cold might be a frame of mind. The thing is my mind doesn't get cold, just the rest of me. 😀
 
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