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Over and over again, the topic of finding the best answers for cold weather riding gear, comes up...........

Obviously it's a valuable question to ask, since hypothermia and frostbite are not things to mess around with.

While all that discussion takes place, I keep asking myself.......what are we doing to the bike?! Starting it in those very cold temps; running it in colder than cold temps. What are we doing to the suspension, on hardened road surfaces that are not as resilient as they are when they are warm?

I get it........many of you have done it, and still do it (ride in the cold, that is), but I wonder if the wear and tear on the bike, is more than you SHOULD put on a bike? After all, "bikes" certainly don't come cheap these days, and parts (depending on brand and year obviously) are not cheap either!

If I had my "ruthers," I'd sooner be living in an area that stayed between 50 and 90ºF year round, and ride all the time, than be here in a place where extreme weather shifts can take me OFF the bike. But that's not reality for me.

Oh crap!! Would you look at that!! "1,000" posts!!!!

-Soupy
 

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more wear than we "should" put on a bike? do you drive a car or truck in the cold weather? same thing there....I do realize that the engine is more exposed than in a car, but things don't get that cold when it's running, it does generate heat.....

suspension? just like in a car....the only "real" difference between a cage and a bike is how exposed the driver/rider is....

look at it this way, a snow mobile used the same tech as a road bike and they are made to run in extreme cold weather....it's not like someone is going to take a bike out in a -40* blizzard though
 

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If I go out in the cold weather (20 or below) I cover the bike for a few hrs with a space heater under it. It starts right up after that. If I don't..It takes 2-4 times to get it started and I start feeling like a bad person:frown:
Idk. I got the bike to have fun with it and I guess i'm going to have to keep up on the wear and tear anyway. But when you haven't had the bike out in 2 months, the roads are dry, the sun is shining, there is only one little degree out there all by itself, and the weatherman tells you "Its going to snow tomorrow, Its going to snow tomorrow, Its going to snow tomorrow, BIG STORM MOVING IN, GET OUT THERE AND RIDE BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!!!!"
Well...you know what happends:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Amazing........the power of the Weatherman!!!!

-Soupy
 

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I know what you are saying Soupy. I don't think my FXD likes the cold - the last time I rode it was about 28F and after 6 miles I still had to have the choke on a bit - but there is a certain sense of adventure taking the bike out when all the "sane" bikers have theirs tucked away for the winter. When I started riding 50 years ago in southern Ontario, I used to ride year-round - only refrained when there was ice on the roads - and never had any problems with the bike. Of course I am not as young as I was then and the major problem with the cold now is ME! ;)
 

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It's a lot harder on the rider than it is on the motorcycle. Road salt can be damaging and would be the biggest concern about riding in the winter.
 

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While all that discussion takes place, I keep asking myself.......what are we doing to the bike?! Starting it in those very cold temps; running it in colder than cold temps. What are we doing to the suspension, on hardened road surfaces that are not as resilient as they are when they are warm?
I guess if your bike is made of candy that might be a concern.

I've ridden in the cold and never had a concern about the bike, but like Dianne, now the issue is ME. I don't like cold. I kept moving South to get away from it.
 

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This is the first time in 52 years of continuous bike/ scooter/MACHINE riding that I've heard a question about the effects of cold weather on other than the rider.

All I can think of is that it take a lot longer, obviously to warm up the machine before the ride. The EPA, told the world to just start the vehicle and instantly ride away but they could care less about how the vehicle reacts to a non-existent warm up as they are only concerned with people not using extra fuel at a standstill.

I always let my air cooled bikes warm up until the cylinders are warm to the touch. My water cooled bikes get to warm up for 5 minutes or so.

Rubber seems to be less pliable when cold also.

The front suspension and the rear shocks could be stiffer because of the seals being less flexible.

Bikes with separate gearboxes that don't get the warm engine oil may be a little stiffer.

Speaking of "STIFF," that is what a rider would be this morning in my area @ 8:20 AM it's 22 degrees with a 11 degree wind chill factor, with possible ice flurries!!!!!

Yesterday on the way to Church, it was 60 degrees and when Church was over it was 70 degrees and I though I'd go home and get the Scoot out and ride for awhile before lunch. 5 miles north and an ugly, stiff wind started and it was 51 degrees out. Almost a 20 degree change in 5 minutes. 4 hours later it was 35 out---weird. Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week was perfect riding weather between 60 and 75!!

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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I have determined that 40 is my threshold. If it is colder than that l will ride to work, which is just a short ride, but no further, and l'm not down to just go out for fun in the cold. Above 40, l'm okay, although it is highly likely that it will be raining at that temp. In any case, is it May yet?
 
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