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Hey guys,

So it's about that time when the weather is getting pretty chilly. I thought moving to SF would enable to let me ride year-round - I might be wrong. It's Dec 8 and the parking garage I usually park at generally has about 30 bikes. Today there's only 6.

I might be one of the only 6 left but I'll try my darnedest to be the last! So far here's what I'm rockin':

The gear:
  • Dainese D-system Waterproof Motorcycle Jacket (Black, model 1654499) - I like it because it's light-weight and keeps the wind off while offering me a decent amount of protection (from the wind and a crash). It comes with another layered jacket underneath which I've replaced with a thicker hoodie.
  • Matching Dainese Pants (black) over jeans
  • Dainese Torque-out boots
  • Leather gloves (with the kevlar knucks and such)
  • A giant bandanna / handkerchief folded several times into a triangle
  • Shoei helmet

The technique:

Dressed in my regular shirt and jeans I put my regular hoodie on first - zip it up at the neck as high and comfortable as possible and button the flaps down it has covering the zipper. Then slide on the Dainese pants, making sure they go over the bottom of my hoodie. I then put my boots on (these go over your pants), then slide on my Dainese jacket making sure they go over the top of the outer-pants - this insures my mid-section has no area where the wind can get in. I zip and button my D jacket as high as possible on my neck. Strap on the helmut and position the handkerchief / bandana over my chin / neck area (this helps so much in the cold). The on comes the gloves, tucked into my jacket sleeves and zipped down so there's no room for wind to get in, and I'm ready to go.

The best tip I've found for myself: spending the extra minute to make sure everything's properly zipped and overlapping above will save you an entire trip's worth of being cold.

This has gotten me through so far and I keep note of what on my body is cold on my daily 30 min commute across the Bay Bridge - everything is generally AOK except my hands (which have not an ounce of warmth in them by the end of the trip), my mouth area where my helmut blows light air on, and occasionally areas around my neck where the wind may get in.

Things I'm going to try soon:
The bandanna (worn cowboy style) has helped me tremendously since I started riding a few months ago but I might opt for a thick scarf instead wrapped several times around my neck.

My helmut came with a chin curtain - I have never seen anyone use these and I tried using it the first week to some success but it would fog up my helmet when I'm not going fast (read anytime I'm not on the expressway). I think this little guy requires more practice and experimentation.

Some warmer gloves. Today, I doubled up two pairs of leather gloves and it helped a good deal but my hands were still pretty icy by the time I got to work. If anyone has any tips on this one I'd appreciate it.

Fighting the cold is a continual battle. If you got your own nice setup to get around it let us know!
 

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on comes the gloves, tucked into my jacket sleeves and zipped down so there's no room for wind to get in,!
It would be best to buy riding gloves with winter insulation...(the way you describe how you tucked your gloves "inside" the sleeves gave me the impression that you're still using summer gloves,hence,with shorter cuts). And I think doubling-up your leather gloves is just way over the top! hehehe. I'm up here in one of the coldest places on earth(Scandinavia)and the best thing is to have Thinsulate gloves. I can ride for hours without numbness. These are gloves that are real thick but soft; designed to be worn overlapping the sleeves.
 

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i ride throughout winter in washington, d.c. coldest i've ridden in was 27 degrees...without heated gear.

if you want to be warm, get a battery harness wired and some heated gear. i have full gerbings and there is no way you can stay as warm without plugging yourself in.

i was out today in the low 30's. no probs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tip guys. Got some Cortex winter motorcycle gloves with a soft inner liner and I'm a lot more comfortable. My hands are still a little cold (meaning no warmth in them) after a long trip but not nearly as icy as they were and they warm back up much faster.

Additionally, the chin curtain is invaluable in cold (30 degree or under) weather. If your helmet came with one or has the available accessory, get it and use it!

The bandanna / chin curtain combo totally solves the chill around my neck and lower face. I'm now quite comfortable in 30-40 degree weather while doing 80 on the expressway.
 

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not seeing anyone out riding recently in the D.C. metro area.
loads of road salt still on the ground following the blizzard isn't doing anyone any favors.

winter riders are very rare, here.

grrrr...
 

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[QUOTE

winter riders are very rare[/QUOTE]


Count me in :) If you're the lazy-type rider...I suggest you stay home and pass winter 'coz leaving the bike unwashed for a day or two after a ride will create problems. Rust develops before your eyes...out in the disc brakes, handle bars, chromed bolts and nuts, chain,etc. So take time to wash out the salt and contaminated grit...and WD40 all the way!
Salt even eats through my waxed-laden chains after failing to thoroughly washed it out.
 

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Coming in a bit late here, but it's still good for next winter:

In terms of the neck, consider the cylindrical gaiters used for skiing and snowboarding. I wear one from Smartwool, but lots of companies make them. They tend to be very wind-resistant, plus they are made to fit with a helmet and you don't end up with 4 feet of scarf inside your jacket bulking things up.

And for your hands: Take a look at Roadgear. I have a pair of their full Kevlar winter riding gloves and those things are practically bulletproof when it comes to cold, plus they are water proof.
 

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you guys don't have trouble with losing your tire on frozen roads?
 

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you guys don't have trouble with losing your tire on frozen roads?
Keep off your bike on frozen untreated roads. And I don't ride when I can't see clean asphalt. It may be -4 Celsius...but it doesn't necessarily mean snow and ice on the roads(I'm speaking of the road conditions here on my other side of the world).
 

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I've got a full set of Gerbings gear; socks pant liner, jacket liner, and gloves. This combined with a balaclava from REI under the full face and have been fine riding in the low teens the past few years. The ony problem is that the Monster can't handle powering a full set of gear, according the dealer, so I am on the Harley during the really cold months.
 
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