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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning on riding through most of the Winter, and starting to gear up for it. There will likely be one or two really cold stretches where l won't be able to ride, but for the most part, Seattle is generally wet and most days are somewhere in the high-30's to mid-40's. I know, it isn't for everyone, but work is only about 4 miles away. School, on the other hand, is about 30 miles away, but will just be 2 days a week. I will have the option of driving the car if l need to, but l would rather ride if l can since we only have one car.

So for anyone out there who rides through the Winter, do you have any tips on gear for the cold and wet? Does anyone have heated grips and, if so, how hard are they to install? Any suggestions for a great riding suit and/or heavy coat or pants?

Any tips or little things to think about would be super helpful :)
 

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Layers are the key to keeping warm. A heated vest is a good option, although I've never used one.

Cold is one thing, but cold and wet is another. A rain suit is the best thing for that.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Staying warm on rides if they are over 30 minutes is difficult if not expensive. The only thing that has worked for me is electric gear. Jacket and gloves for sure and if over an hour like I ride you may want to add electric pants and insoles. So far I'm still able to get away without the last two but I have to admit age may call for those anytime.

Gerbing, Tourmaster and Firstgear are your sources there. Then in rain you want to add a good rain suit. There are a lot of sources there but I use Tourmaster. Just don't get anything made of plastic if it will come in contact with your exhaust system.

Good gear is not cheap but will be money well spent if you are serious about winter riding. You can "get by" with less but you may be miserable for the effort. Youth does help some I must admit but getting too cold can be very very dangerous so be careful trying to prove something. Safety first in winter and that especially means warm enough to operate the controls. ALL OF THEM!
 

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Troublemaker
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I wear a First gear thermosuit. Keeps me warm and dry to 10 degrees for my hour ride to work. Of course, a good pair of gauntlet gloves with waterproof shields help a lot too. Full face helmet, but the shield will frost over. Thinking of getting a heated helmet so I can get away from that.
 

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A lot of "winter" riding around here (Northern Virginia) is the upper 30's to mid 40's.

My experience for riding 30-45 minutes is that cutting the wind is most important:

1. A shield that takes the wind off of your chest and creates a slipstream over your head;
2. Hand guards to keep wind from directly hitting your hands;
3. Leather over-pants;
4. Leather jacket; and
5. Small scarf, good gloves, and good leather boots.

Wind is your enemy in cold weather riding. I think I read that the effect of wind on your body while riding is to "reduce" the temperature by 30 degrees (please do not quote me). Therefore, if you are riding in 40 degree weather, dress for a stroll in 10 degree weather.

Your bike looks like you need to get the longer shield - or does that create the slipstream over you?

You can probably find some nice, color-coordinating hand guards that simply attach under the mirror stalks.

Good, comfortable, thick leather jackets and pants can easily be found and are extremely affordable if you don't care about silly labels. Just shop around.
Nothing beats good leather for keeping the wind off you. The over pants can literally slide over whatever you are wearing -- without needing to remove your shoes -- and can be removed in less than 30 seconds.

Good luck finding whatever you need and enjoy the ride year-round.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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What do you wear in the cold and rain?

A tall windscreen helps, full face helmet, and a neck "gator" for between the jacket and the helmet, (collar turned up) sometimes a wool scarf.

A jacket that hangs down over your ass is good. It's not letting cold air rush into the cracks between shirts and pants, jacket and helmet, jacket and gloves (gauntlet gloves) pants and boots etc that keeps you toasty. I wear snowboarding gloves; I like the removable liner cause they get sweaty. Take 'em out at stops...

down below it's tights, jeans, then chaps.

Alternating insulating and windproof layers is what works for me... insulating layers being thick and fluffy, absorbent, thermal underwear, down filled vest.... windproof being oversized nylon windbreaker, leather etc. It's the warm air trapped BETWEEN the layers that reduces your heat flow to the cold, cruel outside world...

When it rains I wear a pickup truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What do you wear in the cold and rain?

A tall windscreen helps, full face helmet, and a neck "gator" for between the jacket and the helmet, (collar turned up) sometimes a wool scarf.

A jacket that hangs down over your ass is good. It's not letting cold air rush into the cracks between shirts and pants, jacket and helmet, jacket and gloves (gauntlet gloves) pants and boots etc that keeps you toasty. I wear snowboarding gloves; I like the removable liner cause they get sweaty. Take 'em out at stops...

down below it's tights, jeans, then chaps.

Alternating insulating and windproof layers is what works for me... insulating layers being thick and fluffy, absorbent, thermal underwear, down filled vest.... windproof being oversized nylon windbreaker, leather etc. It's the warm air trapped BETWEEN the layers that reduces your heat flow to the cold, cruel outside world...

When it rains I wear a pickup truck.
I think that might be the best advice l've gotten yet Wadenelson :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A lot of "winter" riding around here (Northern Virginia) is the upper 30's to mid 40's.

My experience for riding 30-45 minutes is that cutting the wind is most important:

1. A shield that takes the wind off of your chest and creates a slipstream over your head;
2. Hand guards to keep wind from directly hitting your hands;
3. Leather over-pants;
4. Leather jacket; and
5. Small scarf, good gloves, and good leather boots.

Wind is your enemy in cold weather riding. I think I read that the effect of wind on your body while riding is to "reduce" the temperature by 30 degrees (please do not quote me). Therefore, if you are riding in 40 degree weather, dress for a stroll in 10 degree weather.

Your bike looks like you need to get the longer shield - or does that create the slipstream over you?

You can probably find some nice, color-coordinating hand guards that simply attach under the mirror stalks.

Good, comfortable, thick leather jackets and pants can easily be found and are extremely affordable if you don't care about silly labels. Just shop around.
Nothing beats good leather for keeping the wind off you. The over pants can literally slide over whatever you are wearing -- without needing to remove your shoes -- and can be removed in less than 30 seconds.

Good luck finding whatever you need and enjoy the ride year-round.
I didn't know there was a taller windshield available for my bike. Is it aftermarket, or just a kit that you buy from Suzuki? I am all over it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Layers are the key to keeping warm. A heated vest is a good option, although I've never used one.

Cold is one thing, but cold and wet is another. A rain suit is the best thing for that.
I have heard you talk about Joe Rocket stuff in the past Dodsfall...what do you think of the Survivor suits? I like the fact that they are waterproof, have a zip-out liner, and are armored.
 

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Pale Rider
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For leather gear, you can soften it, while making it waterproof, by rubbing in some Mink Oil -- available at any leather shop, or Wal-Mart, most likely. Rub it into the leather with a micro-fiber cloth, and rube it again, with a clean micro-fiber cloth, to 'polish' it. Let it sit overnight. Re-apply every two weeks, or as needed. It works on finished leather only, no suede. It can be used on gloves, jackets, chaps, or leather pants, as well as boots.

Avoid silicone, as this junk will close off the pores of the leather, permanently... Once applied, the leather will never breathe again. Mink Oil will never close up the pores.

I would suggest thermal long john underwear, top and bottom. They make them in hi-tech materials which will wick away moisture from your skin, to keep you dry. They're not terribly expensive, but they help quite a bit. Go for the lowest temperature rating you can get. On the bike, you will endure wind chills equal to 50-70 MPH winds! Make sure you dress for it...

A waterproof gator, around your neck is good. A waterproof balaclava which covers your head and neck, is even better! Any vented helmet will prove to you just how much air flow it has, in cold temperatures -- you WILL feel it! A waterproof balaclava will prevent rain from touching your head and neck, as well as blocking the wind quite well.

If on a budget, buy some battery heated socks from a hunting supply store. They should sell gloves, as well. Rechargeable batteries will save you a ton of money. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
For leather gear, you can soften it, while making it waterproof, by rubbing in some Mink Oil -- available at any leather shop, or Wal-Mart, most likely. Rub it into the leather with a micro-fiber cloth, and rube it again, with a clean micro-fiber cloth, to 'polish' it. Let it sit overnight. Re-apply every two weeks, or as needed. It works on finished leather only, no suede. It can be used on gloves, jackets, chaps, or leather pants, as well as boots.

Avoid silicone, as this junk will close off the pores of the leather, permanently... Once applied, the leather will never breathe again. Mink Oil will never close up the pores.

I would suggest thermal long john underwear, top and bottom. They make them in hi-tech materials which will wick away moisture from your skin, to keep you dry. They're not terribly expensive, but they help quite a bit. Go for the lowest temperature rating you can get. On the bike, you will endure wind chills equal to 50-70 MPH winds! Make sure you dress for it...

A waterproof gator, around your neck is good. A waterproof balaclava which covers your head and neck, is even better! Any vented helmet will prove to you just how much air flow it has, in cold temperatures -- you WILL feel it! A waterproof balaclava will prevent rain from touching your head and neck, as well as blocking the wind quite well.

If on a budget, buy some battery heated socks from a hunting supply store. They should sell gloves, as well. Rechargeable batteries will save you a ton of money. Cheers!
:coffee:
All great ideas1 I was looking at balaclavas and snoods online...what kind of material do you like? The fleece ones look warm, but l wonder how much room they take up in a helmet? Then again, l guess l could just get a bigger helmet for the Winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sorry, but dinner and game intervened!

Now riding a BMW F800ST and loving it!
Interesting. I rode a BMW 650 in my BRC class. It was kind of a strange bike. I guess the best way to describe it was, it was very un-Japanese. I had never ridden anything that wasn't Japanese before, and all the controls were just different. For instance, it had ABS, but if you pushed the ABS button and the light came on, that meant that the ABS was disabled. I am sure l could have gotten used to it, but it didn't feel like anything l had been on before.
 
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