Riding through the winter. - Honda CBR250R Forum : Honda CBR 250 Forums
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-25-2017, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Riding through the winter.

Gentlemen, I've decided to ride the bike through the winter instead of store it. I don't have a proper place to store the bike currently (two sheds in the back yard that would possibly work decent) but since I'm new to riding and I see that some people do it, I want to ride through the winter to experience what it's like and judge rather or not I want that to be a regular thing I do in years to come. Anyone else here ride tear round that want to share some tips? Is there anything I should do to the bike in terms of preventative maintenance to ride through the cold season compared to the summer.
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-25-2017, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Who ride year round* not tear round
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-25-2017, 04:21 PM
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Depending on where you live it could be a real challenge. Are you talking cold weather or snow on the ground?

I ride cycles in the winter here in WI, but not on the street. My street bike riding is done shortly. There's enough traffic here that with any amount of snow on the ground it would be super dangerous. If I did ride on the street over the winter it would be on some type of small enduro and not my normal street bike.

If you haven't ridden in slippery conditions before I wouldn't take to the streets if there is snow. You will lose almost all of your ability to turn and brake with the front. Turning and braking is done more with the rear - that's why the enduro is a good choice because it's like riding on the dirt.

If you haven't ridden a dirt bike a fair amount, I would suggest you do so before venturing out in any real winter conditions.
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-25-2017, 08:30 PM
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You can ride in winter. It just can't be your ONLY transportation if you have freezing temperatures.
For 3 years when I lived just outside of Boston, I only had a bike and rode year-round, but I also had to rely on public transportation or I wouldn't have had a job for long.
As long as the roads are clear (and I mean REALLY clear) you can ride in sub-freezing temperatures, keeping in mind that ANY sudden snow storm can strand you and your bike for days. I had whole weeks where I could ride, after the sun had melted ALL snow and ice from the roads and relatively mild weather lasted, but it's not something I'd ever recommend anyone else doing.
There are just too many variables. "Black Ice" for one thing. It can form on "clear" roads from excessive morning humidity alone. You hit that stuff and you're down faster than you know what's happening. Something as random as someone throwing a drink out of their car window can freeze an unexpected patch of ice in your path. Especially in a city, people clearing snow days after a storm and tossing it on the "clear" street in front of their home can be dangerous and especially hard to spot at night.
Add to that the fact that you really have to insulate yourself with extra clothing and balaclavas and stuff, and the best you can hope for is that the cold will be just barely tolerable. Even if it is "tolerable" the cold WILL eventually get to you, slowing your reactions and control inputs, so when you do come across a dangerous patch your reaction time will already be compromised.
It's just not a good idea. You're taking an already risky past time and making it a whole lot riskier.
The ONLY time you should even consider riding all year is if the temperature in your area stays well above freezing all through the winter.
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-25-2017, 10:20 PM
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I rode throughout the winter in Evanston, Illinois, in 1969-70. I needed to take the public bus twice, but usually was fine riding a '67 Suzuki 250 Scrambler. I did fall a few times. I selected routes to Northwestern that had light traffic as much as possible.

Please note that then I was still fairly young (doctoral candidate) and indestructible. I wouldn't do that again as there was a fair amount of ice in that climate. Amazing how safety conscious one becomes in their old age.

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post #6 of 26 Old 10-26-2017, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsonder View Post
I rode throughout the winter in Evanston, Illinois, in 1969-70. I needed to take the public bus twice, but usually was fine riding a '67 Suzuki 250 Scrambler. I did fall a few times. I selected routes to Northwestern that had light traffic as much as possible.

Please note that then I was still fairly young (doctoral candidate) and indestructible. I wouldn't do that again as there was a fair amount of ice in that climate. Amazing how safety conscious one becomes in their old age.
I lived in the Arlington Heights area for 20 years until recently. Riding in the summer was nuts! Wouldn't even consider winter riding. Might have been better back-in-the-day I'm sure.

As we get older we get smarter - and also realize we don't bounce as well as we used to!

I'm going on 40 years of riding, over 35 on the street, and I feel that winter riding in any type of street situation with traffic is just too dangerous. Too many variables are added that reduce your ability to stay reasonably safe.
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Last edited by jkv357; 10-26-2017 at 09:36 AM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-26-2017, 12:22 PM
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If you do decide to ride through the winter heated grips make it a lot easier to stay in control. With them your hands won't go numb on the cold days and you can wear thinner gloves on the less cold days. Heated kit would be even better I imagine but that's a luxury I haven't justified myself yet.
As others have said, take care and learn to read the road surfaces well ahead.

If you want to see some proper winter riding have a watch of this french moto-journalist's trip through Norway.
https://youtu.be/QOLyb621_W8
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-26-2017, 01:22 PM
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Considering that you have very little experience and no rider training yet I would strongly advise against riding in winter. You still need to learn a lot and the last thing you need are treacherous road conditions, numb hands with little brake/clutch control and cars who's drivers can't see you because they started their journey with a ice covered windshield. Wait a year, take the training, get some more miles and if you feel confident then get special winter gear and try out riding in the winter.


(yep, I'm a safety preacher....)
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-26-2017, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Guys thank you for the input! Afrer considering everything said, I will be commuting to work (3 miles) and back only on low traffic roads. I want to get the experience and buy winter gear. I am grateful for the comments telling me the dangers as I hadn?t considered a lot of those things said, and it will help increase my awareness.
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-26-2017, 05:24 PM
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If you're going to buy winter gear, start with a good quality, form fitting silk balaclava to wear under your helmet with a long neck that can be tucked into your jacket. It doesn't need to be thick. Perhaps it's part psychological, but having your head, face and neck covered under your helmet, even by that thin silk fabric, will make you feel warmer than anything else you buy.
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