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Old 02-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #601
Don Coyote
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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.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:31 PM   #602
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Can the police stop you from riding?

Recently somebody told me that the Vermont State Police had told a guy on a motorcycle to get off the road when he was riding during a snowstorm. Then yesterday at the Montreal motorcycle show I was chatting with a Surete du Quebec officer about their winter laws. Quebec residents are required to have winter tires on their cars during winter months and since there are no officially approved winter motorcycle tires, Quebec riders are not allowed to get on their bikes from mid December till mid March. The guy confirmed that since I am a Vermont resident, I would not get a ticket. But he did tell me that if the conditions were dangerous (snowstorm, icy roads), they could apply a different law, something about driving in dangerous conditions, and not allow me to continue riding.

Just curious, anybody heard about bikers being asked to stop riding in bad conditions?
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:36 PM   #603
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRVT View Post
Recently somebody told me that the Vermont State Police had told a guy on a motorcycle to get off the road when he was riding during a snowstorm. Then yesterday at the Montreal motorcycle show I was chatting with a Surete du Quebec officer about their winter laws. Quebec residents are required to have winter tires on their cars during winter months and since there are no officially approved winter motorcycle tires, Quebec riders are not allowed to get on their bikes from mid December till mid March. The guy confirmed that since I am a Vermont resident, I would not get a ticket. But he did tell me that if the conditions were dangerous (snowstorm, icy roads), they could apply a different law, something about driving in dangerous conditions, and not allow me to continue riding.

Just curious, anybody heard about bikers being asked to stop riding in bad conditions?
It depends. A case can be made, and has been in Quebeck, that "winter tires" are required, therefore eliminating motorcycles from eligability during certain times. I have not heard of it in the US, but it is possible.

Jim
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:28 PM   #604
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:46 PM   #605
randyo
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fwiw, at least my rear tire meets legal Quebec winter requirements, but not my front, no mountain & snowflake symbol even though its studded and knobby

I've never been asked to get off the roads, but I never stopped to give them a chance either. One LEO had the opportunity there were several cars off the road, wreckers pulling them out and LEO standing there watching, I just gave them wide berth on the snow covered road as I rode past, the LEO looked dumbfounded.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:08 PM   #606
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The closest I have come to having an official issue was at a chain enforcement checkpoint on I-90 when it was mandatory chains except for awd vehicles.

I pointed out to the Statey that I had a studded rear tire, 2wd, and chains with me for all 3 wheels.
He asked me where I was going, and I said "up to the summit to ride the snowmobile trails". He just said "ok" and waved me through.

I'm thankful I live where the ninny's and cowards haven't taken over.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:09 PM   #607
Don Coyote
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I just had a 15 minute chat with a LEO who wanted to see who the kook was riding the F650GS as i was leaving a night club last night. He knew more about my Dakar than most anyone i've meet IRL and gave me a rundown of the steeds hanging in his garage waiting for spring. I hit him with as much technical detail as i could just in case he was screening me for roadworthyness (although the roads and sky were pretty clear), but he just seemed genuinely interested in talking about cycles.

I've also been told by a friend who knows someone in the city PD that most of the force are aware of me as the guy riding the BMW around in the dead of winter. No hassles here...
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:11 PM   #608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randyo View Post
I've never been asked to get off the roads, but I never stopped to give them a chance either. One LEO had the opportunity there were several cars off the road, wreckers pulling them out and LEO standing there watching, I just gave them wide berth on the snow covered road as I rode past, the LEO looked dumbfounded.
My favorite part of riding in the snow is passing some dumbass in a 4wd SUV slid off the road and into a telephone pole. Then again, those idiots are my biggest fear when i'm riding in less than ideal conditions.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:14 AM   #609
blackcap
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hi all, ive got a bit of a strange question that i thought might not be so strange for you guys considering the riding you all do. it got to do with snow/mud chains. im riding a DR650 around the world at the moment and being in SE Asia right now have found that mud is a pretty common road building material here. and not the nice mud that makes a rider look good blasting through it. this is the slippery shit thats hard to walk on. i used chains once before to get out of the jungle and they worked really well.



now im starting to think about running some 50/50 tires and carrying a set of chains with me all the time. this would give me better tire milage and good grip when i need it. this will mean i wont have to be loading the bike down with heavy and awkward spare offroad tires that dont get as good milage as something more road oriented.

i know this is off topic, but i figured that guys that have more experience with chains than me are probably going to congregate here and could let me know of anything that i need to be aware of when running this kind of setup. good idea? bad idea? why? thanks in advance
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:39 AM   #610
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TrackmasterII's on the way, should be here Wednesday. KLR is gone, looks like my KLX is the new winter bike.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:56 AM   #611
scootrboi
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I used to ride some in winter. It is a really bad idea. Particularly below freezing, that is just reckless. http://www.flickr.com/photos/2982116...n/photostream/
Sometimes I go out when the roads are relatively clear, but messing with ice is too weird.
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:15 PM   #612
LittleRedToyota
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Originally Posted by scootrboi View Post
I used to ride some in winter. It is a really bad idea. Particularly below freezing, that is just reckless.
no, it is not.

in fact, if you're smart about it, it makes you a much better rider.
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:28 PM   #613
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since winter is upon us, here is a commuting-home-from-work video from last winter to get into the spirit of things...

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Old 11-24-2013, 04:27 PM   #614
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EXCELLENT!!

Are you running studded tires? (didn't read back into this thread at all)

First winter with my DRZ. 8 miles to my office, so I'll use the Suzuki or our gas engine 3/4 ton crew cab (aka the 9 mpg gas hog)
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:30 PM   #615
LittleRedToyota
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Are you running studded tires?
i do not. i just run DOT knobbies in the winter. (i prefer pirelli XCMHes, but pretty much any DOT knobby will probably work equally well on winter roads.)

Quote:
First winter with my DRZ.
nice. just go slowly at first. ride around a bit some weekend or something when you don't actually have to be anywhere to get a feel for it. riding on snowy roads is an absolute blast. icy roads aren't really what i would call fun, but as long as you're careful and patient, they're not a problem.

it really helps you with clutch, throttle, and brake control as well as balance.
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