How cold is too cold? - Honda CBR250R Forum : Honda CBR 250 Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 11-23-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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How cold is too cold?

Here in southern England winter is well and truly upon us. That means tempratures are typically 0 to 10C (32 to 50F) with occasional dips and peaks a little below or above that range. As I ride purely for pleasure and clock up little more than 1000 miles a year I can't justify spending too much on fancy kit. However, the Alpinestars textile jacket I bought last year primarily for spring to autumn use has proved good enough to keep me comfortable for up to half an hour at 5C and resurrecting some of my many years old proper winter kit by wearing a heavy duty cycling waterproof over the top has got me a bit further. Heated grips make a big difference and I certainly would have spent on them if they hadn't been already fitted to my bike when I bought it.

As I struggle to find time to ride throughout the year I don't want to write off whole months of it so I'm keen to hear how cold you go and what kit makes it more bearable.

Last edited by Keith; 11-23-2016 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-23-2016, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Here in southern England winter is well and truly upon us. That means tempratures are typically 0 to 10C (32 to 50F) with occasional dips and peaks a little below or above that range. As I ride purely for pleasure and clock up little more than 1000 miles a year I can't justify spending too much on fancy kit. However, the Alpinestars textile jacket I bought last year primarily for spring to autumn use has proved good enough to keep me comfortable for up to half an hour at 5C and resurrecting some of my many years old proper winter kit by wearing a heavy duty cycling waterproof over the top has got me a bit further. Heated grips make a big difference and I certainly would have spent on them if they hadn't been already fitted to my bike when I bought it.

As I struggle to find time to ride throughout the year I don't want to write off whole months of it so I'm keen to hear how cold you go and what kit makes it more bearable.
I've been to 28F on my leetle CB; I had wool sox under my riding boots, a balaclava under my full-face helmet, an Aerostich suit, a pair of Aerostich winter gloves, and a Gerbing's heated jacket. That combination was good for my 20-minute commute at that temp, but I wouldn't want to go much longer than that.

I have used the same setup to go for long-distance rides down to around 20F . . . but that was on my Goldwing with its [email protected] windshield, fairing lowers, and heated grips. The heated grips helped, but it's the windshield and lowers that made the biggest difference, I'm pretty sure . . . .

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post #3 of 25 Old 11-23-2016, 04:41 PM
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I hunted when I lived in Montana, so for winter riding I use heavy wool pants with thermal underwear and Soral pacs (boots with felt liners) with winter socks. I have warm mittens for truly cold conditions/longer rides, but have usually gotten by with insulated riding gloves in my 15 minute morning ride ride to where I volunteer.

This area is pretty arid so if there isn't ice on the ground I usually ride. The coldest temp that I have ridden in Arizona is 17F (-9.4C). When I was much younger, and invincible, I rode to college in Evanston, Illinois, all winter, so I probably rode there down to roughly -19C; that was a fairly short trip as well.

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post #4 of 25 Old 11-23-2016, 08:48 PM
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We ride when it's cold. I guess I think snowmobile gear. We go out when it's down to -5C, no colder than that. Probably would do no more than 1 hour of pleasure riding on local roads. Roads have to be clean and mostly free of sand and ice meaning no recent storms.

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post #5 of 25 Old 11-25-2016, 09:42 AM
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I used to ride all winter here in the Northeast, as long as there was no snow or ice on the road. The two most important articles of gear that made it possible for me were a thick LEATHER jacket and a silk balaclava under the helmet. Even though that balaclava seemed thin and flimsy, it made a huge difference in keeping my head and neck warm. I think a lot of it could have been psychological, but it worked. And nothing stops cold air like real leather.
My step-father, who used to ride an old Indian Scout with a sidecar in snow and ice during the winter thought I was a wimp and would regale me regularly about how his "cold weather gear" consisted of stuffing old newspapers down the front of his jacket.
Now that I no longer have to commute on a bike and ride only for recreation, I really AM a wimp and start shivering at the mere thought of any temperatures south of 55F....LOL.
"Shivering" is actually a big danger when riding in the cold. If you're shivering uncontrollably, you're being majorly distracted from focusing on your riding.
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-25-2016, 09:47 AM
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Depends. We ride dirt bikes in weather close to 0F -







On the street, I've ridden into the low 40F/high 30F range, but after a while it's the hands that are the problem. I have winter riding gloves, but they only keep you warm for a limited time. heated gear or grips is the way to go if you are serious.

I wouldn't ride my street bike if the temps were low enough to freeze water on the road. Dropping a dirt bike is one thing, but dropping a street bike is something else.
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Last edited by jkv357; 11-25-2016 at 10:07 AM.
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-25-2016, 03:31 PM
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Yup, even here in sunny southern Arizona:

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post #8 of 25 Old 11-26-2016, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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The above two posts have reminded me of the time I went green-laning on a very frosty day on a KLX250. For a couple of hours off road topping out at 25mph, breaking the ice on puddles and all the body movement that goes with riding off road I was toasty warm, yet when it came to a tarmac section to get back to the van I could feel the cold getting through in minutes.
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-27-2016, 08:23 AM
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Cold Weather Handlebar Muffs
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-28-2016, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by don'tpanic View Post
"Muffs" or handguards would certainly make a big difference. It's the wind that gets you, so blocking it would help a lot.
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