UK soft guy fears Wisconsin winters

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by RICHXHELL, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. RICHXHELL

    RICHXHELL Scooterist

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    Hi all!
    Possibility of moving to Madison, WI in future. Have visited in summer but my friends tell me the winter is fierce.
    Over here I have an SV650S which in the long run I probably wouldnt ship. In any case Im looking for a dual sport or similar and probably most likey would buy a V-Strom.
    BUT what the hell do you guys do in winter? Do you ride at all? Are the roads clear enough and the days warm enough to get any riding in up Wisconsin way?

    I'd appreciate your advice as I don't like the idea of a 6 month riding season.

    Rich
    #1
  2. Rider

    Rider Spectacularly Correct

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    Rich, I have friends in Wisconsin and I have to be honest with you: the winters are pretty brutal. :uhoh
    I doubt you'd get to ride much between early November and maybe late March at the earliest. Of course, every year is different. And some are milder than normal. And it depends on where in the state you'd live. But it's pretty goddam cold up there.
    #2
  3. Team Dennis

    Team Dennis Certified Troublemaker

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    Well, I moved from Milwaukee 25 years ago. Lake Michigan was supposed to keep Milwaukee warmer than most. :lol3

    Not so. I drove 54 miles round trip every day to work on a Honda XL-175 set up with crash bars for the inevitable down situation (BLACK ICE). While I looked like the Michelin man in my snowsuit, my biggest concern was the idiots in the cages. The bike with trials tires and some sheet metal screws in the tire for very icy days, really had no traction concerns.

    With enough will-power and no car, you can ride 365 days a year. :evil
    #3
  4. staples

    staples Been here awhile

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    In Chicago I can ride a 20 mile one-way trip about 340 days of the year. The other 25 days it's WAY too cold or it's too snowy to get outta the driveway. I try not to ride in there is any percipitation under 40 degrees or if it is below 15 degrees. But I have been known to ride in single digits before. In Chicago, at least, they use enough salt that you can ride a few hours after the snow has stopped on a street bike and not worry too much about traction. Sometimes you can ride sooner than that. The salt dries the roads fairly well. Hope my info it helps.
    #4
  5. ysr612

    ysr612 Long timer

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    Back in the 60s & 70s at least the students rode year round. Both bikes and motorcycles.
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  6. TIM I.

    TIM I. and some dry white toast

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    I live in Iowa, border state to WI, same weather as Madison. Before I bought the GS, I'd ride up to December and then start-up in late March. past 2 years have been very light winters and I rode dec-mar. the days I didn't were simply due to a few extreme weather days or salted/sanded roads so bad I didn't want to dirty the fancy pants sportbike.

    Now that the GS is in the garage, I can't wait to see just how much more I'll be riding... should have done this sooner :):
    #6
  7. Hair

    Hair On time and on budget. Supporter

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    One word
    Snowmoble
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  8. topes

    topes Banned

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    My wife and I would ride most winters days. As previously stated, there's just a few days each winter that you're not going to want to ride. I kept track one December and found that I was able to see blue sky on three different days. The weather can be bleak. Don't fret thought, there's plenty of winter sports about like drinking beer and watching the Packers. There's a reason most Wisconsin residents have a quarter barrel of Miller on tap at the bar in their basements.

    Here's the love of my life gearing up for a ride to school. The only unusual thing about this photo is the fact the sun appears to be out. :evil

    Attached Files:

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  9. QuickMule

    QuickMule Half-fast Adventurer

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    I lived on the Wisconsin/Illinois border just a bit South of Madison (used to ride to Madison to party all the time) and rode mostly all year 'round, though when it got down to -10f (-23c) or colder I'd have a hell of a time starting the bike in the morning. A blanket over the bike with a heatlamp under the engine overnight helps. Why doesn't anybody make block-heaters for these things?

    Like Dennis said - keep a big box of panhead type sheet metal screws handy. When it stays cold traction is not bad - when you have to watch out is when it gets warm enough during the day to partially melt, then freeze again overnight. And freezing rain is not unusual there either - when it comes down as rain and freezes almost instantly on contact - fuck that, I called in sick those days.
    #9
  10. motojoe

    motojoe Arrest Cheney and Bush

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    I also live in chicago, I ride about 350 days a year. If I didnt have a car I could ride 355-360 but somedays its just easier to go see if my truck will start. No joke though there is a dark area where I park my truck because it doesen't get sun faded too much. Suit up and ride. Snow makes rain seem easy :D
    #10
  11. troll

    troll zx6e.net

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    I definitely rode more last year than I had previous, but it still wasn't everyday. Maybe a couple days a week in Dec and Jan (see avatar). But a lot of time it wasn't worth it to suit up just to ride 5 minutes to work. And the salt really sucks on street(sport)bike tires (almost like rain). DS would probably be ok. I just really hate when it's in the 30s and below. Teens on down is outright painful no matter how dressed you are. Gotta be able to move enough to shift once in awhile! :)

    Not to mention a lot of the nice bits on my sportbike are now slightly oxidized which hadn't been for years before it saw salt :( But my lack of washings probably didn't help.

    Troll
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  12. RICHXHELL

    RICHXHELL Scooterist

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    Thanks for all the replies guys, really appreciate it. Food for thought, certainly.
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  13. Wolffy

    Wolffy Lost Voyageur

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    most people in Wisconson do the same thing as us Minnesotians.
    Drink beer and watch footballl :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky :freaky
    #13
  14. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer Supporter

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    enough said about the weather in MADtown. Anyway you look at it gets cold up there!

    The good news is that Madison is a great town! UW is an outstanding school, the Badgers are a decent (american) football team, the bars are good and plentiful, there are lots of good roads close by.

    Not a bad choice if you need to live in the midwestern US -- but I'm ready to move to warmer climes...

    kfs from just across the boarder in Illinois.
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  15. RICHXHELL

    RICHXHELL Scooterist

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    This is begiining to look more of a possibility, I have an offer on the table. If it comes up Ill look forward to meeting up with some of you guys...and acquiring a bike somehow. Anyone know if you can get insurance on a UK drivers licence? I guess I could take a WI state bike test, i hear they are non too tough [​IMG]
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  16. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer Supporter

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    Welcome to the US! Hope you get the offer!

    Will you be at the University?
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  17. RICHXHELL

    RICHXHELL Scooterist

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    Thanks. I would be working in the UW medical school if it works out. Ive been there in the summer and liked it a lot.
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  18. Deadman

    Deadman Badly Bent

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    I've lived about 45 miles east of Madtown for the last 20 years or so. Winter isn't really all that bad. Yeah it gets down to -15 F but that's normally only at night and for short periods. Average temperature is proably 30F or so. Kids @ the UW ride kamakazi scooter all year long.

    I have seen 60 deg on a christmas day and the same wierd thaw in January. The biggest worry is the sand and salt on the roads. Probably not to bad in Madison, but out in the country it can be rough. I ride regularly up to the end of november, then I keep the GS ready incase we get a a warm spell or no snow for a while. I rode New Years and Christmas day this year. However, the good riding season is from Late March till end of October.

    What part of the Uk do you hail From? Drop me a line with any questions about the state. There are some great roads south and west of Madison.
    #18