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Old 09-28-2011, 12:07 PM   #16
T-Dub rider
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Oddometer: 147

Really a lot of variables here, off road, on my TW I have been out in -10 for an hour or so with no electrics. Only notible change to my riding gear would be a thin fleece hat under my balaclava and a "No Fog" breath deflector, but that is working hard to keep the bike upright and low speeds. On my road bike the limiting factor is road ice and my hands getting cold. I have brush guards and shields that are good for a couple of hours in the mid 30's, but those"Hippo Hands" things were a big improvement. Those and heated grips make core body temp my only concern.
I'd rather be in church thinking about meeting God and on my motorcycle thinking about the ways I can avoid meeting Him.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:33 PM   #17
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Location: Woodbridge VA
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These days its not so much an issue of staying warm unlike back when I first started riding in the states in 1970, its more an issue of road conditions. If there is ice or a good chance of it, I usually don't bother, just not worth the risk. Now back in the day....... when all I had was two wheeled I'd take a greater risk just to ensure I kept my then current job if public trans was not convenient. Lowest I've ridden in is prob. around mid teens around town, mid 20's on a longer day ride.

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Old 09-28-2011, 12:57 PM   #18
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Location: Arse-trailer
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then something cooler before heading back

i'd rather photoshop a bike into a cold environment from a warm lounge room....
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:32 PM   #19
High Country Herb
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Western Sierras
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I used to ride an hour and a half to work on my Ninja, with winter temps in the 20-30 F range. I didn't have much in the way of cold weather gear, just sweat pants under jeans, a wool flannel under my leather jacket, and some cheap leather ski gloves. My throat would hurt for about an hour after arriving at work, until I bought a fleece throat protector.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:58 PM   #20
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: The ATL, aka Spaghetti Junction
Oddometer: 942
Last March I rode from Atlanta to Philadelphia via the Blue Ridge Parkway. I did this on my 100% naked SV1000 and with no heated gear. I was wearing fairly thick insulated riding gloves and a very nice (and very warm) Tecnic Stinger touring jacket.

On day 1, at higher elevations near Asheville, NC the temps got into the 30s but I kept riding and riding and riding. Bad idea. I lost feeling in the tip of two fingers, which lasted MONTHS before full feeling came back. I can't say it was a majorly huge deal because it didn't affect my ability to use my digits or anything, but still. Kind of freaked me out because I truly didn't feel any numbness at all while I was riding.

I thought I could keep on going but in hindsight I probably pushed it a little too hard. The moral of this story: Protect yer fingers. They are easily the most important (and difficult) body part to keep warm.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:38 PM   #21
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Location: Northern NewEngland
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I put my heated gear on as soon as the high temps are in the 50's, but prolly don't actually turn it on till temps are in the 40's. that said, I've ridden as cold as -12F for a "ride" . I don't consider it a ride unless I'm out for 100 or more miles

been out -25 for a short spin, without heated gear... actually without gear at all, just wearin sweats, sneakers , went mile up the street turned around, nearly got frostbite in the 1 minutes, wind chill @ 75mph is prolly -80 or so
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:52 PM   #22
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Worst day was 14*F for 300 miles of Colorado high country riding back in 1991 on an R100GS with a one piece insulated rain suit for the top layer. I had to take three hot baths to warm up when we found an motel and quit riding at sundown due to extreme thermal cooling.

There are lots of factors besides ambient temperature that can make a ride really cold. The humidity, how much sunlight you're in, dehydration, caffeine and alcohol, sleep.... lots of things. Get it right and it's no big deal. Get it wrong and you'll remember it 20 years later like it was yesterday.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:24 PM   #23
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Joined: Aug 2007
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I routinely ride when the outside temps* are around -454 degrees F. Fortunately I have enough protection that I normally stay pretty warm.

*Outside the Earth's atmosphere.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:46 PM   #24
Adventure Driven
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Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Lake Zurich, IL
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Ride year round if the temp is 20F or above.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:16 PM   #25
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Spacecoaster FL
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Originally Posted by freetors View Post
What is the coldest temperature you guys comfortably ride in with and without heated gear? I'm going to define comfortable as not shivering and you can still feel all of your limbs so that you can safely operate the bike. Please specify how much wind protection your bike has too. I don't want this to turn into some machismo pissing match (although I'm sure it will) about how tough you guys are.
I commuted about 20 miles of mixed streets and highway in a start-off temp of about -10F. My bike didn't even have a headlight shroud. I had no heated gear or grips. I wore a wicking base layer (poly-prop or similar long underwear), an insulating layer (heavy poly polarfleece over a long-sleeved t-shirt w/some cargo pants), and wind-resistant/water-resistant textile riding gear with quilted liners. I also wore a wind-resistant fleece balaclava, leather ski mittens w/wicking liners, heavy poly-prop snowboarding socks, and insulated waterproof steel-toed workboots. I cracked my helmet shield open just a hair to avoid frost. I was fine for work by the time I got out of the exterior layers, but I don't think I'd have gone much more than 40-50 miles without heated gear or cocoa stops to warm up indoors.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:19 PM   #26
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: central USA
Oddometer: 6,636
I did an 11 mile commute to work one morning at 10F It was OK except I about dropped the bike at an intersection. The water that drips from car exhaust had frozen on the pavement, the ABS kicked in and saved me. When I came to a stop one foot hit more of that ice. Strained some muscles keeping bike up. No electrics.

Petty much now I only ride when roads are dry and hopefully the surface is above freezing.

No more 10F if I can avoid it

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Old 09-28-2011, 08:24 PM   #27
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Oddometer: 287
A Chilly ride home

I was on a trip into Canada, a few humdred mile above Michigan, in late Sept. a number of yrs ago.
I took my heated vest and chaps, and my winter gloves, my heavy Balaclava. I was ready for whatever. And I got it. i woke on the 3rd day, the tent was froze solid, my small ceramic heater was doing the best it could, but it had dropped to 10 deg. F overnight. I decided to change my route and come directly home here in Ohio.
So 10 deg. F was my all time low, and even with the warm gear, I did get a little cold.
Ride safe all,
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:12 PM   #28
Machinery 2 Upper Level
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: North Alabama
Oddometer: 306
Cold Commute

The coldest I feel okay in is about 15F. That's on my WeeStrom with a Givi windshield, handguards, electric gloves, and the heftiest combination of non-heated riding gear I own. That is Joe Rocket touring jacket & First Gear pants over fleece and work clothes over UnderArmor long handles. Commute is about 13 miles each way, & with a long hood under a fullface Arai which I always wear anyway.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:17 PM   #29
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Oddometer: 18,913
-9F is the coldest I've ridden in on my 525 with zero wind protection.

Zipped the liner into my fieldsheer adventure jacket, pulled on my tekvest underneath that. Snowmobile gloves did pretty well, but my fingers were the only part of me that got cold. Balaclava under the helmet. Geared up like I was going snowmobiling, more or less.

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Old 09-28-2011, 11:12 PM   #30
Watch Out for Squirrel!
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Road Rage Jersey
Oddometer: 657
heated grips & jacket. long johns. no wind protection beside windshield. usually ride as low as 40F but have done 30... too cold.
2003 F650GS
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