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How cold is "too cold"?

3415 Views 22 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  ktek01
I went riding a few days ago. Sunny day w/temp of 51*F. Was comfortable for a 40 mile ride at highway speeds. My bike is "naked"......no wind protection of any kind.

Today was 38*F, sunny. I stepped out, decided it would be a bit cool. How low of temperatures do you forum members ride it? I just have "standard" gear.........no heated anything. :)
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50F is my magic number. Anything below that and I wear my first gear riding suit/damn near snow suit. It's good down to 32F. Anything below that and I find other things to do.
That's a tuff question. How cold does it get up there at 80mph?
With my current 'cold weather' gear I can ride down to the lower 20's for a couple of hours or more. I have ridden at 17F once for about 40 miles but my fingertips were numb when I arrived.

My gear consists of:
First Gear Thermo One suit
First Manufacturing gauntlet gloves with Goretex
Over the ankle work boots with wool socks
Full face helmet with neoprene 'face' liner

Of course I wear thermal underwear under all of this too.

Hope this helps.
Judgment call. I have no issues riding with temps down to about 10-15F but the road conditions have to be right with no moisture that could have/be frozen on them.

Generally that means my cut off is around the 25-35F range where the road temps are above freezing. Those rides are also usually only done on the FJR which offers more wind protection and heated grips.
Somebody like Biker Bill (or for all I know, everybody but me) might be more motivated so don't use me for a good example...
but I ride for fun, and that doesn't sound like fun.
40 degrees is where i draw the line, dont want to hit ice patch
Its ALL personal preference.

For me when it hits the lower 50°s that it. I'll take the bike to work at 50° IF I know that the ride home will be much warmer. But then I don't ride in the rain either!

Like another post said, I ride for the fun of it. If I have to bundle up to stay warm, it's no fun.
I also ride for the fun but 50 seems to be my cut off ...like a previous post I look at road conditions also ..once the first sand and salt hits the road for the winter I'm done until spring, I just suffer thru the PMS (parked motorcycle syndrome).
I have commuted in temps down to 26 degrees on my bike. Arrived nice and warm due to having a good set up on my 500. SlipStreamer Falcon 16, Heated grips, BikeMaster bike mitts, Olympia goretec gloves, Alpine Stars gortec boots, Motoport kevlar pants, TourMaster Flex jacket, Turtlefur baclava, full Face helmet and my work clothes. Without the bike mitts on my fingers would get numb.
old,, in terms of farenheit, its the number of years you have ticked off yor chronometer is the lower temp limit you should push yorself..
them young ones, let them have those stoopid lower single digit temps..
leave us older fellas the more warmer temps.. hek, we should just stay south for the winter and let them young guns tuff it out in the great white north..

but then I just did a november run to Zion with every mornin temps hoverin rite at 40f. even did some 35f work at the Gran Kanyon north rim... my chronometer must be runnin backward? poncho


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Christmas Day, 37deg, sunny and no wind, was a great day to ride!


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Old, it seems 50 is the norm here with temp on their mind and that's really OK, but to me a sunny 50 beats a dull & grey 50 any day. I like to feel the motorcycle and the elements, but that's hard to do all bundled up. Then you approach the tough elements where I've already been at times - but I like to pay myself for that - in some fashion. I love motorcycling and some more than me, so for fun, 50 deg sounds about right.

but then I just did a november run to Zion with every mornin temps hoverin rite at 40f. even did some 35f work at the Gran Kanyon north rim... my odometer mus be runnin backward? poncho
Way to go P V, and I'll bet those nice distractions helped some. Odometer's not running backwards but it's trying to. And I like your calcs :), a balmy 58's mighty good but I challenge it too - once in a while too much.
We're a little spoiled here in florida, most weeks in the winter we only have to wait a few days for the temp to get over 50*, so i agree with the old timer redfish, who rides them like he stole them.....ride on....
Part of my criteria is how long it's been since I've ridden and cloudy vs. sunny. If it's sunny and in the upper 30's, I'll give it a shot. May only go 30 or 40 miles, but riding is good "therapy" for me! :)
part of my criteria is how long it's been since i've ridden and cloudy vs. Sunny. If it's sunny and in the upper 30's, i'll give it a shot. May only go 30 or 40 miles, but riding is good "therapy" for me! :)
absolutely! I try to ride every month of the year, depending on the amount of ice at the end of the driveway.
My cut off is about 40. My heavy leather coat and pants are good to about 30 deg but then I am nervous about ice or tire grip. At 40 I can ride hours on the interstate and I don't get cold.
In the high 30's and rain here for the last two days and Saturday. Sunday in the high 40's and sun then back to cold and rain.
It's been below freezing since Tuesday with ice/snow/sleet/freezing drizzle/rain, etc. It's been just plain miserable around here!

I welcome a dry sunny day when it comes. Hopefully this Sunday.
I guess it depends on your dedication or desperation.
Me, I'm good down to about 45 degrees with full leather.

Now, I knew a guy back in the 80's that rode his bike to work in the dead of winter. It was in the 20's and there was about 5-6 inches of snow on the ground but he got the bright idea of wrapping rope around the tires for traction. They didn't plow the roads much so speed wasn't a concern for him. All he said was his car turn signals didn't work :confused:
I think ole Buck had about a 13 mile ride to work because he lived out past me on a hill. About two weeks into it he took a tumble pulling into the parking lot and got all wet from the melted snow and was sent home because he was walking around the plant in his long johns with his underwear on the outside :eek: That's not really appropriate attire for a foundry let alone anywhere for that matter. Anyway, the next day I saw Buck pull in the parking lot in a car and thought he must have gotten his electrical problems fixed and couldn't figure out why non-working turn signals would prevent him from driving a car in the middle of winter.
Turns out when he put it in park the drivers door fell off. He got out and just set it in on the drivers seat. When I asked him about it he said he wasn't able to use hand signals to turn because he had to hold on to the drivers door!
Over the years I've known buck I've seen him do a lot of "unusual" things but as far as I know he's still alive.

In Bucks case I believe it was dedication AND desperation to keep a job. Just thought I'd share a true amusing story since it did concern a bike :D
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