Cold weather ride - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-Nov-2018, 07:34 PM (065) Thread Starter
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Cold weather ride

New to this forum but I'm a veteran rider. Has anyone ever ridden 400+ miles in 35 degree weather with a 25 mph tailwind? If so, any tips? I've ridden that far in a day before but not when it was that cold. I have a 2011 r1200gs. Thanks for any feedback! -Jeff
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-Nov-2018, 08:44 PM (114)
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Originally Posted by r1200gs_jeff View Post
New to this forum but I'm a veteran rider. Has anyone ever ridden 400+ miles in 35 degree weather with a 25 mph tailwind? If so, any tips? I've ridden that far in a day before but not when it was that cold. I have a 2011 r1200gs. Thanks for any feedback! -Jeff
I refer you to the old windchill chart.

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-...thermia-2014-1

Assume you're going 60mph @ 35 degrees, in 30 minutes you can get frostbite is not protected. Shaking means you've reached hypothermia. Your senses dull, reaction time is reduced and fatigue increases. Remember a motorcyclist makes around 32 decisions per second. At 37 degrees water on a bridge can ice over.

You should be in shape and acclimated to the environmental conditionals before trying this, have good heated gear and wear a wicking base and layers. When your hands start to "tingle" it's a warning. When you can't feel them means you need attention. Skin with a waxy appearance, you're in trouble.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-Nov-2018, 03:49 AM (409)
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Here's probably the stupidest thing I'll do all day. Comment on cold weather riding from the Tropics? I've done cold weather riding though including 25 degrees in jeans so here goes.

Doesn't matter (within reason) how cold it is or the prevailing wind direction. What matters is gear. Proper helmet seal at neck line, addition of a heated vest under the correct jacket, long johns etc.under proper pants, seal at boot/pant junction, gauntlet winter gloves and at 35 degrees you might break a sweat.

What does matter is evaluation of road conditions. Has it been wet or dry? Has the temperature been substantially below freezing for an extended period prior to the ride (lingering ice)? Is it expected to get colder and see moisture along your route?

Minnesota chime in but I say, check the weather, gear up and go.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-Nov-2018, 07:14 AM (551)
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Better living through electricity! Electric snowmobile suit! Electric vest, socks, gloves!
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-Nov-2018, 08:13 AM (592)
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I woke up to 27f one time and had to ride around 200 miles in it with no heated gear and a mesh jacket. I layered up and put on my one piece rain suit and three fingered rain over gloves. I was surprisingly comfortable but I did feel a bit like the Michelin man.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-Nov-2018, 10:22 AM (682)
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There are plenty of solutions for cold. Electric long underwear top / bottom, gloves, socks (wear thin or thick liners under these to avoid burns). Stay dry. Know the windchill chart Jaxon furnished. (You would be more worried about head wind vs tail wind, btw.)

It is a lot more comfortable above 40 than below 40 and a lot more uncomfortable below 20 than above 20. I am fine above 20 but the following describes discomfort which you may face if the 35F forecast varies by 10-15 degrees as it might on a 400 mile journey.

On previous posts, I have relayed rides in temps down to 13 degrees F. I was on a relatively straight highway (91 from MA to Canada) motoring at about 70 mph with electric undies at max. I did incur minor burn from over doing the electrics. Toes and fingers got a bit cold even with electric socks / gloves. Temps really do vary from 80 to 60 to 40 mph. So you can warm yourself up by slowing down, but then you increase your time in the cold because it will take you longer to arrive at your destination. This is a significant trade off considering what Jaxon says about decision making. You want to slow down for e.g. deer contingencies but want to speed up to get someplace warm. You worst shivering occurs after you get OFF the bike. So shivering is a bad diagnostic for your core temp.

Water freezes at 32 F. Black ice may form at 37 F (according to the manual); TFTs on newer bikes flash "37" at this temp.

With all that said, I routinely ride at temps 30-35F and would not hesitate down to 25F, but with temp variance and past experience, were the temps to dip under 20, I would have me ars off the bike having some Glenfiddich to furnish the right multiple incentives re taking the bike out again.
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Last edited by goethe; 08-Nov-2018 at 10:29 AM (687).
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-Nov-2018, 01:08 PM (797)
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Ok, here comes a war story - you've been warned. Once (1975) I rode a R75/6 across North Dakota and into Montana during an early September snow storm. No heated anything, although the bike had a full fairing and I wore a full rain suit. Without a doubt the single most miserable experience of a long motorcycling life up to that point. When I arrived in Billings and tried to get a room I was informed that there was no room at the inn as the airport had been closed all day. I sat in the lobby until I thawed out, got back on the bike and rode ten more miles to a warm room and shower. Think carefully about your skills and limits and remember this is supposed to be fun.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-Nov-2018, 02:32 PM (855)
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I just returned from SW Virginia, at elevation. It was 43 degrees and overcast, spitting rain when I pulled into Bluefield WVA and 41 day after that at elevation near the Clinch Mountains. Exiting Konnarock a few days later, 30's on US 58 near the cut off to White Top. Never was I even uncomfortable.

No electric gear, shorts, overpants, BMW jacket with liner, and a Shoei full face modular with decent gloves and heated grips. Given that the ground had never had a chance to freeze, black ice was not ever an issue but with wind and trees shedding leaves, the wet roadway, especially in the twists on 58 had me exercising extreme caution where it was coated with vegetable matter.

The OP stated he wanted to make 400 miles at 35 degrees. 35 degrees is second cousin to 50 and a distant cousin to 25. Common sense rules and if you're Chilly the Penguin, electrify your duds...he says back home at 6:30PM AST, 79 degrees.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-Nov-2018, 03:59 PM (916)
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I rode 173Kms today in 2-3 C, and hit some light rain/wet snow.

I agree with everything mentioned above. But remember, some people such as myself feel the cold sooner than others. The heated grips are not enough for me; I use Hippo Hands with summer weight gloves this works.
Also wear a fleece tube around my neck, I have it pulled up over my chin and use the helmet strap to keep it in place. Stopping that cold draft around my neck made a big difference for me as well.

brian
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-Nov-2018, 07:33 AM (564)
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Seems like war stories are being offered of what worked and what not-so-much.
Mine is in the latter category. Coming back from a trip to Big Bend in January, I rode the last leg from College Station, Tx to New Orleans and this was the coldest I'd ever been on the bike, or in my life. It was 37 and rainy. Winter layers under my one piece rain suit were not nearly enough.

I remember stopping outside of Baton Rouge at a gas station to get some hot chocolate and I was shivering so much it was hard to dismount and hold the cup still under the spigot. Two cups later I was approaching a shiver-less state. I had a gerbings heated liner on, but, the one-piece rainsuit prevented plugging it in. And the rain precluded taking it off or unzippering.

When I got home I installed a perforated grommet in the rainsuit so I could run the gerbings plug through the suit to power. That works well. A perforation SHOULD be standard on any one piece suit, I think.

Previous to this I had ridden in 23 degrees, in the dry, and subsequently across the pass at Angel Fire, NM in snow, Monarch in the snow, The Sierras in sleet and hail, but I have never experienced the cold like I did on the mentioned ride. I am certain I was hypothermic, and there was no question it was dangerous.
Stay warm at all costs is the takeaway.
Cold not only affects your motor control, especially fine motor control--like your hands, but also cognition. Cold is an anesthetic.

Aside: when really cold I will use ski mittens instead of gloves: waterproof and warmer and thick liner friendly
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Last edited by Dr. Strangelove; 09-Nov-2018 at 07:35 AM (566).
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