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Old 01-04-2006, 07:10 AM   #91
space
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Hey Somebody,

This will be my second year riding year-round in boston, and I've never had a problem. (OK, once I dropped my bike at a standstill on a patch of ice. Gotta watch where you stop!) Anyhow, the roads around here aren't bad, and you should get around fine without the knobbies. I've never had 'em. The electrics though are essential, especially if you're doing a morning commute.

My main reservation is the damn salt, which I'm deathly afraid of now that I've got a beautiful untarnished 1150GS. Anyone have tips for cleaning the salt off when it's 30 deg F outside? Are there any non-water-based solutions out there that do the trick?

Oh, and KL5A: brilliant pics of the stunters!
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:20 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KL5A
The local stunt riders were at a little lake nearby my house....
Where in AK is that and what stunt team?
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:25 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabasilo
Anyone have tips for cleaning the salt off when it's 30 deg F outside?
The only thing that ever worked for me was working at a garage where I'd pull the bike in and wash it inside, then blow it dry with compressed air before leaving.
One time the bike had been in warming up for hours and water was still icing over when it touched the gas tank which made it hard to wash. I decided to warm it up faster by pouring a pot of hot water from the coffee maker over the tank, which instantly seperated and bubbled the cearcoat off the base paint. So, avoid that, I guess.
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:48 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowrider
Where in AK is that and what stunt team?
Arctic Attack, I think based in Anchorage. The lake is Black Lake, at about mile 38-39 of the Parks highway. IIRC, you were up here in AK this past summer. The lake is fairly close to the Wal-Mart in Wasilla, by the GMC/Pontiac dealer, if you remember those places at all.
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Old 01-04-2006, 11:40 PM   #95
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Yeah I know about where that is, and I saw arctic attack do a show. I thought that looked like them but I wasn't sure.



Quote:
Originally Posted by KL5A
Arctic Attack, I think based in Anchorage. The lake is Black Lake, at about mile 38-39 of the Parks highway. IIRC, you were up here in AK this past summer. The lake is fairly close to the Wal-Mart in Wasilla, by the GMC/Pontiac dealer, if you remember those places at all.
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Old 01-04-2006, 11:56 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabasilo
This will be my second year riding year-round in boston, and I've never had a problem. (OK, once I dropped my bike at a standstill on a patch of ice. Gotta watch where you stop!) Anyhow, the roads around here aren't bad, and you should get around fine without the knobbies. I've never had 'em. The electrics though are essential, especially if you're doing a morning commute.
So far this winter I've been riding semi-regularly without incident. I took the bike to work a couple of times the week before Christmas, and will probably take it at least once this week. I'm not regretting the lack of knobbies, at all -- the roads here are turning out to be a lot better than I'd feared. Of course, it helps a lot that we've been having such a mild winter, so far.

I should have ridden yesterday, but by the time it dawned on me that the weather was right for it, I'd already walked halfway to the subway station.
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Old 01-05-2006, 03:03 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody
So far this winter I've been riding semi-regularly without incident. I took the bike to work a couple of times the week before Christmas, and will probably take it at least once this week. I'm not regretting the lack of knobbies, at all -- the roads here are turning out to be a lot better than I'd feared. Of course, it helps a lot that we've been having such a mild winter, so far.

I should have ridden yesterday, but by the time it dawned on me that the weather was right for it, I'd already walked halfway to the subway station.
Yep it's been great, been out for a few spins. Really want to go for a longer blast on the weekend. Now going out this morning would not of been a good idea.......seems like they didn't expect the sprinkle we got last night there are car slipping everywhere on Boylston right now!!

Happy days!
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Old 01-05-2006, 11:53 AM   #98
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It's All Downhill--Or Am I the Only One Who's High?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Weber
Hey Dysco,

Great writeup! good advice i'd say.

I made it through last winter on the XT225 with metal screws in the DOT knobby tires, but don't overdo it, just stager one every 6" or so or you loose pavement traction. It surprizing how few you need, but it's up to you to decide how safe you are on dry pavement. I was fine. Adjust the number of screws, for how many loose screws you have in your head. Speaking of, use 1/2" screws so if they fall out they won't puncture a car tire. Good Karma and all. I only lost 2 screws all winter, although people say I have several more loose screws.

And if you can't crash, don't ride in the snow. Actually that should be the first sentence.
Hey Wayne,

I'm just a few miles from you in Evergreen, except I'm not in Evergreen proper I'm just off CO 103 (the road that leads to Mount Evans) at about 9,200 feet. I'm on the north slope of Snyder Mt. and that means we don't get a lot of sun this time of year and the plows don't do a particularly good job of clearing 103. Ironically, the dirt roads in the area seem to be much more navigable. Its frustrating as hell to live on the one street in the area that doesn't get plowed at all. If I could get from my house to the first plowed street and then over to the roads with a southern exposure, I'd be golden. They've been dry and snow free most of the winter.

My question for the collective is, since I'm at altitude and need to get down from here to dry clear pavement does anyone has any advice about snow / ice / riding and downhilll and uphilll techniques. Most of this thread seems to be about riding on relatively flat terrain.

I've got a big dual sport, and I'm dying to ride again and don't think I'll make it to May.

Thanks.
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Old 01-05-2006, 02:59 PM   #99
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Well I have to ride on hills to get anywhere. I don't know what kind of grade you're talking about, but there are a few big ones for me. I'm sure yours are longer, but probably not steeper. The technique for going up and down hills doesn't change much from dirt to snow, you just get away with a lot less on snow. I use only the front brake on snow because the feedback is so much better. If it's really steep going down, I might put my feet down and slide them just in case. Uphill is all in the clutch/throttle modulation. At least when the wheel starts to spin uphill it doesn't try to come around on you.




Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty15
Hey Wayne,

I'm just a few miles from you in Evergreen, except I'm not in Evergreen proper I'm just off CO 103 (the road that leads to Mount Evans) at about 9,200 feet. I'm on the north slope of Snyder Mt. and that means we don't get a lot of sun this time of year and the plows don't do a particularly good job of clearing 103. Ironically, the dirt roads in the area seem to be much more navigable. Its frustrating as hell to live on the one street in the area that doesn't get plowed at all. If I could get from my house to the first plowed street and then over to the roads with a southern exposure, I'd be golden. They've been dry and snow free most of the winter.

My question for the collective is, since I'm at altitude and need to get down from here to dry clear pavement does anyone has any advice about snow / ice / riding and downhilll and uphilll techniques. Most of this thread seems to be about riding on relatively flat terrain.

I've got a big dual sport, and I'm dying to ride again and don't think I'll make it to May.

Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:22 AM   #100
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On winter riding...

Winter riding is the last great bastion of motorcycling. I class winter motorcyclists at the top level, together with GP racers and round-the-world daredevils.

Theres nothing to beat going in to have your haemorroids removed on a stormy day with subzero temperatures and drifts of snow, walking in to the doctors waiting room in your full gear, removing your helmet in a puddle of melted snow and seeing the fantasies flitting across the eyes of the pretty young mothers in the room.

Or when the Duc*ti/H*rley blokes at work, who won't talk bikes with you in the lunch break beacause you're not one-of-us-anyway-with-that-cheapo-bit-of-shite, give you the nod when you arrive at work covered in a layer of snow and crud, and you can give them a withering don't-speak-to-me-you-wimp blistering glance of disdain.

Or the feeling of deep and utter satisfaction when you reach that state of nirvana on a piss-wet day with zero visibility and freezing temperatures, when you physical discomforts disappear, and the sound of your trusty and dependable winter bike fills your soul, and you glow with the realization that you are one with the elements, and you are the ONLY biker on the road...it must be the same feeling of elated solitude Everest climbers have for that split second before a party of tourists make the summit.



Its also the technical challenge of preparing a bike for a hard winter. My winter bike is an XT600, battle scarred and worn, gaunt and dependable. I love this bike, I have the same feeling for it as an old bloke I saw at a watch shop the other day. I was standing next a to a young couple buying a real flash Swiss automatic chronograph with ALL the glitzy chronometer functions, helium release...you get the picture, and this weatherbeaten old farmer walks in and takes off a heavy, battered tin mechanical wristwatch, asking to have it cleaned. The clerk smiled and pointed out that for the price of the cleaning he buy a nice quartz watch and enjoy great precision, to which the farmer replies: My father set this watch every day to the grandfather clock, and I have done the same ever since. My watch tells me what time it is, all day, every day. Clean it.

Anyone else have winter riding tips - I sure love to hear them!
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NordicRider screwed with this post 01-07-2006 at 06:34 AM
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:28 AM   #101
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Salt corrosion, drive chain.


Watch a bike in the wet - the rear wheel thrashes water everywhere, and if there is salt in this water (following road salting) your chain will rust immediately. There are two solutions: chain gaiters, like MZ has on their older models, or a Scottoiler filled with low viscosity oil. Remember, the oil from the Scottoiler needs to flow fast, and needs to be flung off the chain, carrying the salt with it, so dont buy special chain oils or chainsaw oils in the winter!

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Old 01-07-2006, 06:31 AM   #102
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Heat the oil before starting.

By heating the oil from freezing temps to anything above 15C I am assured that the oil will flow immediately, and lubrication will be efficient from the first "thump" of the cylinder. I have an XT600 single cylinder thumper from the mid 80s. One of the many things which make this bike ideally suited for all year riding is its external oil tank. While many scorn the Yamahas outdated dry sump technology, winter riders will immediately recognise the practical advantages of an easily accessible oil supply protected by a thin-walled steel tank. Heating this 2 litre oil reservoir is best done by purchasing a length of "self regulation heat cable", typically used to keep pipes frost free, thaw gutters etc. Try typing "Raychem self regulating" in Google and you will find what you are looking for. A bit of imagination, and you will find a plumbing or roofing company in your area who will have a roll of the stuff. 1-2m is enough to winterize any bike.



This heat cable is self regulating, and will produce more heat at low temperatures, less at higher temperatures, i.e. no thermostat or other electronic doohickery required. It is very sturdy stuff, and will not burn out if left on for extended periods, or if the cable overlaps. It is quite stiff, yet flexible enough to mould to oil reservoirs, sumps etc. and is covered in a chemical resistant covering. The cables are available in several effects, from about 4W/foot to about 20W/foot. I picked up a few meters of cable rated 50W/m at 10C. Plugged in at room temperature, the cable soon becomes hot, hotter than you can hold it in your hand. The cables are simply cut to size, sealed at the one end using heat flex, and plugged in to your wall power source (you need to splice a plug in using heat flex). I cut two lengths, and spliced them to the same plug.



The one piece was extended, to function as a battery and carb warmer at the same time! I have also tried to extend the cable to the engine, but the effect is too small to heat such a large lump of steel! It is very important to get as much contact to the metal of the tank as possible: a strip of wood and some cable ties solved this problem (more effective than thermal glue, quickly removed again, a huge advantage having an external oil tank!). Making an optional removable isolating sleeve of aluminium tape and glass wool will optimize the thermal efficiency of the heater.


I use a clock timer to switch on the heater an hour before take-off. I am presently collecting data to document the thermal efficiency of the system (below), but clearly my goal of an oil temperature increase of 20C from ambient temp has been attained.



20C above ambient may not sound of much, but have a look at the viscosity chart below. Had I been using the recommended 20W-40 oil, viscosity would have been about 2500cSt at 0C. By changing to 10W40 for the winter, and increasing the temperature of the oil to 20C the viscosity falls to 250cSt, ie the oil is 10 times less viscous (more flowable) than if I had not initiated these changes. I think there can be no doubt that 10 times more oil flowing through a motor during the first minutes of operation is A Good Thing . There really is no need to heat the oil further to optimal operating temperature, say 60 degrees as the flowability will "only" double in this range, as opposed to the 10 times increase in flowability from 5C to 20C, while the energy requirements and complexity of the heater will increase hugely.


For the number-heads among you: the heat capacity of oil is 2000 J/kg/C, meaning that 2000 Joules will heat 1 kg (1 liter) of oil 1 degree Celsius. 2000 joules = 0.56 Watt hour, so heating 2 liters by 15 degrees requires 0.56 Watt hour*2L*15C= 17 Watt hours. At 15W/foot, 1.5foot (45cm) will produce 22.5W (18W at 80% efficiency), thus it will take one hour to produce the equivalent of 17W hours. This corresponds nicely with the thermal efficiency curve, and proves that I know how to punch numbers into a pocket calculator.
Price? Well, lets say the heater is on 2 times 2 hours, the equivalent of about 60W hours. 0,06 * 1,60 DKr/KWh = 10re (1,6US cents) per day. Expensive? Yes, but worth it!
Note that the heat cable I use has an upper heat limit of about 110C, so you may need to remove the heater if you are going on a long ride. The heater can be removed in seconds and placed in a tank bag, if necessary, but my oil temperature rarely if ever gets near 80C for any length of time during this season.
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Old 01-07-2006, 11:12 AM   #103
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Hey Nordic Rider-all good info!

Are you running synthetic? I've been using it in my Pegaso (and my cages), the difference in cold weather starting is well worth the extra cost.
I like your oil heater. I've seen the heat cable you use around here (I'm in Alaska) but we also have the flat rubber heat pads that you glue to a metal surface. The trick setup for winter riders would be one for the oil and one under the battery and then you're good to go .

Winter riding is the last frontier but I am seeing more and more interest and participation. This is my second winter on the studded tires. The riders you work with are jealous becuase they bought the wrong bikes which are just not practical for winter riding.

Enjoy and while you're at it, do a ride report!
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Old 01-07-2006, 11:39 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KL5A
Hey Nordic Rider-all good info!

Are you running synthetic? I've been using it in my Pegaso (and my cages), the difference in cold weather starting is well worth the extra cost.
Thanks, KL5A - yes, I use synthetic motorcycle oil, 10W- in the winter, 2oW- in the summer. Buy it via the net in Germany and the price is about the same as a regular supermarket oil would cost here in Denmark.
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Old 01-07-2006, 04:22 PM   #105
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Does this stuff only work off household AC current? Man I have longed for a way to heat my battery/oil/carbs in winter, but I've always needed a self contained way. Something I could run off an extra battery would give me a rechargable solution and work fine. With my 850 and 1100 it was rarely a problem. Only when it was way below zero Faranheit would I need a boost for the battery. But I tried a GS550 that I thought would make an ok winter bike and I had to ditch it right away because it just wouldn't start easy enough. I needed a jumpstart every night leaving work. I tried setting hot cups of water from the coffee maker under the carbs--no good. I looked for a cordless hairdryer (which would also be handy for frozen keyholes when it's too cold for lock deicer to work quickly--I used a corded one out the window of my apartment once)--couldn't find a cordless hairdryer.
When I was working for someone else second shift and I knew it was supposed to get below zero Faranheit I would disconnect the bike's battery and bring it inside with me. I had a small battery tender with me just in case, sometimes I'd charge the battery at my desk. That ended up being the only solution that worked for me.
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