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Which One Best Fits Your Winter Gear?

  • Full face helmet, heated suit, waterproof boots -- Grand Turismo.

    Votes: 11 12.1%
  • Full face helmet, lots of layers and lots of leather -- I kinda like my face.

    Votes: 39 42.9%
  • Half helmet, balaclava, layers and leather -- A ride and a hold-up.

    Votes: 37 40.7%
  • 3/4 helmet, reflective nylon riding suit, Goretex boots -- Loud Clothes Save Lives.

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • T-shirt and jeans -- Just plain bad a$$.

    Votes: 4 4.4%
  • Nude and shrunken -- Doin' it like the polar bears.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Vagrant
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3,063 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I saw a few threads around here discussing balaclavas and heated suits and half helmets vs. full in the cold. Let's get it out there once and for all, what do you ride with when it drops below 40 degrees (F)? How about 20? Zero?

I recently found this baby online and just tried it out today, the Marmot Super Hero Balaclava (like the Cossacks, and as Wyoming once said, baklava is a desert). I can't stand being inside my full face so this puppy finally lets me go back to my brain bucket in the cold. This with a half helmet, my leather jacket, Panoptx Diablo goggles, ski gloves with windstopper liners, a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, lined jeans, full set of thermal underwear, hiking socks and combat boots is my winter rig. 20 degrees is my record for a good ride. But the fingers still get numb and boy do they sting when they warm up.

 

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Infidel
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6,331 Posts
I have an HD touring suit. The lining is quilted thinsulate, exterior is ballistic nylon. It's waterproof and very toasty. I can ride comfortably at 30F.

Funny thing is that I don't see them listed on HD's website anymore. :dunno:
 

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Registered
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67 Posts
Only have half helmet. Baclava.

Heated jacket?prty:

Neoprene underwear & leather pants.

Gore-tex Boots.

Insulated, Gore-tex Gloves.

Does me well.

Cold is OK. Cold & wet is miserable!!!
 

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banal
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486 Posts
Anybody can dress up for a cold day. The real challenge is like what I faced week before last, leaving out of Birmingham on a Monday in the mid-seventies, knowing I would have to prepare for anything on my return trip, as I would be departing Ashville NC (high altitudes) the following Thursday after the big cold front was to move through. Turned out slightly worse than my expectation, with 35 mph winds on top of the 25 deg temp, but at least it turned out dry. That's the real challenge to me, and one that gives me a great deal of satisfaction when I have just what I need and little more. Yes I love my half helmet, but in fall and winter touring, nothing beats the 3/4 for versatility. Here's what I had:

3/4 helmet - open face on warm trip out, add neoprene ear-covering mask and snap-on face shield on the cold trip back.

Jeans on warm trip out, add lined leather over-pants on trip back

T-shirt on trip out, add sweatshirt and lined leather jacket on return trip

Unlined leather gloves on trip out (highway patrol gloves), H-D Gortex-lined waterproof FXRG gauntlet gloves (excellent product!) on return trip

Leather 9" boots on trip out, double up the socks on return trip

One thing I love about all of this gear is that as temps change over the course of the day or night, you can easily add or remove to make adjustments on the road side, as opposed to long johns, for example, where you'd have to strip everything off and put your jeans back on if it warms up. I like not relying on battery operated warmers, and allso that this type of layering is easily packable and doesn't take up a lot of space in the saddlebags. My trip 2 weeks ago was a business trip, and I still had room for regular shoes and sweaters along with my riding gear, with just the 2 saddlebags and a small duffle, no tour pak.

Great subject Chris.
 

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fourty three and seven...
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3,465 Posts
Warning only read this post if you want to stay warm on your bike.

You asked for it......I have been doing a lot of cold riding and was just waiting to wave my own flag.....Warning only read this post if you want to stay warm on your bike.


That is an excellent question........having the right clothes makes the difference.

Your ride can easily change into an episode of the twilight zone if you aren't packing the right clothes.

I use the Dewey decimal system of layered clothes. I keep the clothes in my saddle bag in a small duffel bag. I bring them into a heated building when I am off the bike. If you start out in cold weather with cold stuff on, Rod Serling will appear and start one of his famous intros about you.

I have been riding to work at 29 degrees. No problem. The clothes make the man...........Warm

Head- For cold weather I use a full face Shoei helmet that is a slightly larger size than my peanut of a head. I am able to wear a warm, insulated hat and a ski mask under it. Having the ability to shield all wind from your head and face is key to staying warm. This head gear is layered up to 4 layers.

Gloves-I carry 2 pairs. One pair of mil-spec flight gloves and a pair of cheap, gauntlet style ski gloves made by hyporia (robbed from my kids ski stuff) These gloves have zippered pockets to hold hot packs....nice for 10 hours. Raid the family ski clothes for stuff.

Jacket- I use about 4 jackets. The top layer is NHL black nylon (looks Like H-D jacket) This jacket is big to fit as top layer and has wind closures on sleeves and neck. Fits right up into my helmet to keep wind out. Next is a light weight rain jacket made by Henri-Loydd then my A-2 flight jacket under that.

Multiple jacket layers allow you to add or remove layers to stay warm and dry.

Pants I wear long underwear, jeans and a pair of Northface black snow board pants. I use hockey tape at the boots or my nylon hiking gators to keep the wind and wet out.

Boots-insulated hiking boots. or Sorrels. I have a white bike, helmet and black clothes for winter.

I try to carry a bunch of hot packs. You can put them in your boots, the back of your neck, arm pits and groin to stay warm.

For Long trips in cold weather You should carry enough clothes to survive a cold night on a mountain.

Check your current ski or snowmobile wardrobe....you probably have the stuff already.

Skiing, snowmobiling....motocycle riding all good at -20 if you dress smart
 

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Registered
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226 Posts
So far the coldest I ridden this year has been the mid 20's. The right clothing can make a world of difference. When I leave for work in the morning I am nice and toasty.

I wear:

Upper Body - Fleece jacket, down vest and an inexpensive Cabela Snow mobile jacket. The key component here is the down vest. It really helps keep the body heat in and the cold out.

Legs - Long johns, jeans and chaps. I just got a pair of Cabela Polartec fleece pants but haven't had a chance to try them out. I tried them on in the house and they feel like they are going to do the trick. I hate wearing long johns and having to go into the bathroom to take them off when I get to work. I plan on trying jeans, fleece pants and chaps.

Hands - Cabela snowmobile gloves with silk liners. Good down into the 20's for up to an hour of riding before my fingers start to feel chilled but not cold. When I was younger I used down mittens for the really cold days and they worked great. I am contemplating ordereing a pair of snowmobile mittens from Cabelas now.

Feet - Normal leather harness boots with two pair of socks. Again good for about an hour of riding in the 20's.

Head - Full face helmet with a silk balclava and a scarf around my neck.

As you may have noticed I really like Cabela's gear. It is reasonably priced and does a really good job in keeping me nice and toasty when I'm out riding around.

For my hour commute to work the aforementioned apparel is fine. However if I was going to try and ride long distances (NY to Fla...etc) I do believe a pair of electric gloves and socks would be necessary.

Oh yeah. I have a windshield on my bike and that also makes a huge difference.
 

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Head Trickster
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116 Posts
Yesterday I went for a short 30 mile scoot...about 29/30 degrees...jeans...1/2 helmet w/ face gator...t-shirt/turtleneck/vest/ski jacket...ski gloves.

Wasn't too bad...probably couldn't have gone much further, though.

Next time, if it gets any colder, I will probably just wear this...

 

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Registered
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What's my Cold Weather outfit? A Dodge.:D I have a truck for the same reason I have a house, a tent or a bike suck in the winter.
 

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EASY DOES IT
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8,914 Posts
Starting from the inside out: Polar fleece "long johns", Gerbing heated socks & gloves, cotton shirt Levi or long sleeved "T", jeans, heavy leather chaps, lined "logger" boots, Heavy leather Thinsulate lined "highway" leather, face mask, head band ear warmer, do rag, half helmet with Panoptix riding glasses.

I've been out for extended periods (2-3 hours) in 25-30 degree weather at highway speeds and have ridden for at least a half hour at 15-16 degrees and was toasty, the key is to keep your head covered and warm as well as your upper body to generate heat for your extremities and you gotta have toasty hands and feet or you're done!!!
 

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Premium Member
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337 Posts
...now that it's getting cold out, I remember what I wear in the winter.

Full-face helmet, Thinsulated leather gloves, T-shirt, thermal shirt, heated jacket liner with a tall neck warmer, leather police motor jacket with sheep collar, and on the waist down: boxers, thermal pants, jeans, leather chaps, wool socks, and engineer boots. I turn the jacket heat up and everything stays warm.

I also put on some lowers for my Road King, and the engine heat helps keep my feet warm.
 

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Premium Member
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210 Posts
What I wear in winter

I ride all winter but usually only in weather above 32° unless the roads have been dry for a week or so. I don't want to hit ice in shady corners.

I start with a set of DuoFold long johns. I used to use the cotton-lined wool but got a set of the polypropolene-lined wool ones last year and found that they are MUCH warmer. The poly wicks any moisture away from your skin and eliminates that clammy feeling. Next I put on a pair of light wool ankle-high socks followed by a pair of heavy knee-high wool hunting socks. Then a pair of HD Motor Clothes jeans. I have found that they have the best "fit" for motorcycle riding. No mashed nads! I tried regular boot-cut Wrangler jeans, but they don't fit nearly as well (some mashing!). Last year, I wore unlined 12" high laced leather boots but hope Santa will bring me a pair of insulated leather/gortex boots for Christmas (!).

I wear a Widder electric vest with electronic thermostat that plugs into the bike's electrical system over the long john top, covered by a longsleeved cotton Hanley (with HD logo, of course!). If it's really cold, I also put on a fleece pullover top with a high, zip-all-the-way-up collar. I use a light fleece head sock/balaclava (I can't wear one that covers my nose because it fogs my glasses!), and tuck the bottom of that inside either the jacket or the fleece's collar which I then zip up. I also use Widder electric gloves which plug into wires that run down from the shoulders of the vest.

I wear a pair of HD Competition leather pants (chaps leave my 'package' WAY too well ventilated!) with knee armor and a fairly heavyweight leather jacket with a liner and crash-padding sewn into the shoulders and elbows. I wear a full face Shoi helmet with face shield. This year I have an EG Classic instead of the Sporty 1200 I rode last winter (the SuperGlide came and went before winter got here!). The windshield on the new scoot should be nice.

I did have to have my leather guy put an extra snap on the collar of my jacket so I could get it closed with all that stuff underneath. I have been out riding in 34° weather at 60 to 80 miles an hour for six hours in this gear and was warm as toast. However, as I have gotten older, my circulation isn't what it once was and I may have to add a pair of electric socks to the mix soon.
 

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But officer........
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28 Posts
Gotta love the Ultra

Got home from work about an hour ago and according to accuweather it was 21F. I just picked up gerbing pants last Wednesday and have had the gloves. I wear jeans then the Gerbings, on top a t-shirt, sweat shirt and a Nitro jacket (First Gear Kilimanjaro knock off). Also wore my full face for the first time in 3 years. Did'nt like the confined feeling but glad I had it on. The only thing that gets cold are my feet. Unlined Rocky's and 1 pair of socks. The ride is 27 miles through 2 lane roads. Had to watch out for ice patches in a couple of areas because of the light dusting we got yesterday. I also have the dual control thermostat, gloves on high pants at 50%. By the way I live on the Front Range outside of Colorado Springs.

Dino
 

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fourty three and seven...
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3,465 Posts
We must be sick to ride in this weather...........let's all meet at dunks for coffee.
 

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Vagrant
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3,063 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
That ice can unnerve you. I hit a small patch the other day, about 25 degrees out, slight turn. Got it upright, pulled in the clutch, rolled off the throttle and coasted over it. Tail end still jumped out as soon as it touched. Do they make studded tires for Winter riding? If so, would you want them?
 

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Registered
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swmnkdinthervr said:
Starting from the inside out: Polar fleece "long johns", Gerbing heated socks & gloves, cotton shirt Levi or long sleeved "T", jeans, heavy leather chaps, lined "logger" boots, Heavy leather Thinsulate lined "highway" leather, face mask, head band ear warmer, do rag, half helmet with Panoptix riding glasses.

I've been out for extended periods (2-3 hours) in 25-30 degree weather at highway speeds and have ridden for at least a half hour at 15-16 degrees and was toasty, the key is to keep your head covered and warm as well as your upper body to generate heat for your extremities and you gotta have toasty hands and feet or you're done!!!
But could ya bend yer legs to get them on the foot pegs? :nope:
 
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