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Old 02-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #603
Don Coyote
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Southwestern Great Lakes Region
Oddometer: 1,334
After these last few weeks of regular snow around here, I'm feeling pretty confident dealing with really messy stuff. I did take my first two falls in a few years this week, but going down at slow speeds in slush and snow is probably the best, most painless lesson on the limits of traction you can get.

A few of the most obvious tips:

Start with the right gear. Numbness and loss of visibility from fogging are important to avoid. A lot of options to stay warm out there, but two of the best value items i've found are handlebar muffs and a helmet that takes a good chin curtain. Pinlock visors aren't the perfect solution to fogging, but short of a top line snowmobile helmet, I'd go with that.

I'm commuting in a city and staying with my 80/20 dual sport unstudded tires. I've been impressed at how well a Kenda 761 has done around town and getting me up the hill to my house. My front is a Distenza which has some cupping, but has held the road in some sketchy turns.

The back tire does all the work, the front just steers. Smooth on the throttle, feathering the clutch in dicey situations, easing off when the rear feels like it is slipping. Keep an eye way ahead to anticipate braking situations so it can be accomplished with just the rear. This is where ABS will really earn it's keep.

People say the F650GS ABS sucks and since i notice the back end sliding before it kicks in i'd agree, but it is good enough that i think it has kept me up a few times. I also started engine breaking a lot this past year and it was an important habit to get out of early in winter...

Probably the most important concern to me is staying as far from cagers as possible unless it means a more traveled and cleared road.
'06 F650GS Dakar
Those who believe you should always error on the side of caution usually become comfortable making errors and before too long know of little else.
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