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Old 12-07-2005, 12:43 PM   #61
snowrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysco
Right. That-there dual lens thingy keeps it from fogging.
Well it's supposed to. I still usually end up riding with the shield cracked or up, but it's better with the dual lens.
Anyone try a breath deflector? I've been curious if they work for people who don't wear glasses. I can't use the one that came with my HJC snowmobile helmet, it just insures that my breath will fog my glasses instantly.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:49 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysco
Those tires are not for road use. You'll really want to avoid them. All of my previous comments relate to studding DOT tires with DOT studs typically found on car tires.
The main difference between DOT 90/10 knobbies and non DOT knobbies is the manufactuer paid to put the tire through the DOT inspection process. The studs used in those tires are the same ones that are used in car tires, but again lack the extra inspection. I've been riding on the street on non-dot knobbies most of my life so I am not too worried about it. Heck, there was no such thing as a DOT knobbie 10 years ago. I'll report back how well they work either here or in face plant.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:51 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowrider
Well it's supposed to. I still usually end up riding with the shield cracked or up, but it's better with the dual lens.
Anyone try a breath deflector? I've been curious if they work for people who don't wear glasses. I can't use the one that came with my HJC snowmobile helmet, it just insures that my breath will fog my glasses instantly.

Check out my Foggy mask review here.

The thing continues to amaze me. 20f on the way to work this AM, not a hint of fog (visor sealed). Rode in 40f pea soup fog last week, and again, not a hint inside the visor.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:54 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rc46
The main difference between DOT 90/10 knobbies and non DOT knobbies is the manufactuer paid to put the tire through the DOT inspection process. The studs used in those tires are the same ones that are used in car tires, but again lack the extra inspection. I've been riding on the street on non-dot knobbies most of my life so I am not too worried about it. Heck, there was no such thing as a DOT knobbie 10 years ago. I'll report back how well they work either here or in face plant.

I believe the studs in question here were definitely off-road -- they projected perhaps 5mm or more from the knob, and NO rubber would be in contact with the road surface. They'd kick ass on a trail, though.

DOT/Road studs leave rubber in contact with the road.
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:01 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowrider
Anyone try a breath deflector? I've been curious if they work for people who don't wear glasses. I can't use the one that came with my HJC snowmobile helmet, it just insures that my breath will fog my glasses instantly.
I tried the Respro Foggy deflector for a while. It definitely cut down or eliminated fogging of my visor and glasses.

However, I found that the plastic clip part that seals it around the nose made it harder to breathe through my nose, so I ended up basically panting, which annoyed me, so I haven't been using it.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:04 PM   #66
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It will be below zero F tonight when I ride in at 10 PM.

If I don't post about a new weird idea I had before 10 AM Friday, send out a search party. I had a couple of new weird ideas today but only one has made it into the on-bike testing phase for tonight.

One stays on the drawing board while I source materials and find the right Dremmel bit.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:41 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody
I tried the Respro Foggy deflector for a while. It definitely cut down or eliminated fogging of my visor and glasses.

However, I found that the plastic clip part that seals it around the nose made it harder to breathe through my nose, so I ended up basically panting, which annoyed me, so I haven't been using it.
I usually cracked my heated visor when it fogged up and all the breath deflectors, including balaclavas fogged my glasses and then the fog froze. I found a neoprene face mask with fleece neck and nose hole that worked ok if I only breathed through my nose. Another thing is breath control- I used to focus on keeping my breathing and heart rates REALLY low and that helps fogging a ton with any visor. It also kept me more relaxed.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:49 PM   #68
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Hey Roundlight- for cheaper-than-electrics heating and a nutritious lunch, bake a potato right before you leave for work and stuff it in your shirt pocket or inner liner pocket. They stay warm for a long time and it's nice to have a warm snack when you get to work.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:08 PM   #69
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I use a polar fleece head thing sometimes, kind of like a balaclava with a very long neck that folds up however far you want to cover your face (it can be folded to the inside so the face opening holds it in place). I've never been able to have it over my nose or mouth or it will fog my glasses, but if I just pull it up over the bottom of my chin it does help keep me warmer, especially around the neck. I'm not sure if they make them anymore, I couldn't find any on google.
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:09 PM   #70
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I haven't done any snow riding, but I have ridden through 20 degree temperatures. I always worry that my nose will get frostbite from the cold wind that comes through my helmet. The balaclava I wear just doesn't work well when I pull it over my nose.

Some ideal bike features were listed in the original post. What are the ideal bikes? The DR650's low seat height seems nice. I originally thought about an XT225, but low weight might be a problem. Are there any older models that I could look to pick up cheap that would make good winter bikes? I don't want to ride my FZ1--I fear corrosion. A bike I got for under $2000 I could expose to the snow, I'm thinking.
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:25 PM   #71
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Question

I've got a similar question as Dirtgain. What do you guys think of a KLR650 as a daily winter ride? Without studs, BTW, Minnesota outlaws 'em.

Otherwise I get the impression that reading about it is nice, but you have to just get out and do it to really know about winter riding.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:42 PM   #72
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KLR650 is pretty ideal. Another thing to consider is a windshield- you can get a good screen for a KLR that won't obstruct your vision if it's covered with ice and snow. That'll go a long way to keep you warm.

The XT225 wouldn't be a bad bike because it's not so powerful that you can't control it starting on the slick stuff and the DR650 has a great motor for it- simple and torquey.

I've ridden most all of my bikes in the snow at one point or another. The best without studs was a KLR, the worst was my YZ250F with my WR450F coming in a close second. An old honda VT700 was not terribly threatening and, oddly enough, my 919 was fairly stable in rough ice and snow The old standby 650GS was always faithful, though, and really handled well but the extra 100 lbs is noticable. The most fun in the snow is my TTR125LE...
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Old 12-07-2005, 08:59 PM   #73
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Dual sports are kind of tall for snow in my opinion, but I'm riding my DR650 this winter. I should have new steering bearings tomorrow or friday and then I can try it out more. The tires seem to grip well enough it should make up for the height. This is my first winter using anything but plain street tires. There's a guy in michigan that also rides carless in winter and he loves the KLR for it.
I think for me, the ideal snow bike for the street might be a GS650G with a dirt bike handlebar, dual sport tires and a thin board bolted down on the frame instead of a seat. It's a shaft drive, and a little lighter than the ones I'm used to but similar, and is cheap. Fours have a good weight balance for snow, at least I like it, and have good weight for the tires to find the ground. Also, on the low end a four makes very little power and increases power smoothly and evenly so it's easy to get traction on anything if you use the throttle and clutch right. Downside of the fours is if you go through deep snow the engine cases are wide and get hung up. That's not what you find on the road though--the only time I got the cases stuck was messing around trying to ride up on the sidewalk. For a really great snow bike, something to make the clutch pull super light would be nice, maybe a hydraulic conversion. I use the clutch a lot, like every throttle transition on or off gets a clutch feather.
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:26 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by snowrider
I think for me, the ideal snow bike for the street might be a GS650G with a dirt bike handlebar, dual sport tires and a thin board bolted down on the frame instead of a seat.
Good point. I've always wanted to try an old beater shaftie but never had the opportunity. A friend of mine fixed up my old '75 GL1000 and he's going to give that a whirl in the snow- it should be heavy enough to get traction anywhere but could be a handfull in a slide. The old Nighthawks with the hydraulically adjusted valves and shaft drive would be comparable to the Suzuki- I happen to have a basket '85 Nighthawk in my garage right now...
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:49 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysco
The old Nighthawks with the hydraulically adjusted valves and shaft drive would be comparable to the Suzuki- I happen to have a basket '85 Nighthawk in my garage right now...
I had one of those old Nighthawks for a starter bike -- a 1984 CB700S. Just sold it on eBay a few months ago. I was sorry to see it go, but needed space for the Strom.

One possible problem for using this as a snow bike, if yours is the same model: The 16 inch wheels. I didn't find a lot of options for street rubber, and I can't imagine that the story is much better for dual sport tires or knobbies.

I ended up deciding not to put studded tires on my bike this year; Right now I can't get myself to spend the money on what would basically be an experiment for me. Besides that, I can't quite flatfoot the Strom.

I'll hope for a dry winter and ride it when the roads are reasonably clear, and stick to the bus the rest of the time. I rode in to work yesterday in windy 25 degree weather. I won't be doing that again until I get some heated gear.
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