Winter riding.

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Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Fri 21 Oct - 17:03

Now that the weather is starting to turn bad, what tips do you have for riding in poorer conditions?
Some people commute on their bike, what tips would you give?
And at what point should you call it a day and take the car/bus/train?

The first thing that springs to mind is clothing. You need to stay warm. Build up layers, the wind chill is very quick to take effect, especially on motorway. Decent gloves, Hand guards? Heated grips?

Riding style, obviously toned down to suit the conditions. But how? What do you do differently?
What advice would you give to someone who isn't used to it?

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winter sucks

Post by bigfuckinandy on Sat 22 Oct - 3:21

i personaly have travelled the m8 in a bllizard feet down skiing doing 10mph all the way home
it was not fun, was just at sunny govan when it started and could not see the road within seconds. had no real choice but to head home or ditch the bike in some random street, so home i went, smooth throttle and no sharp turns and home i got no mishaps.

but a must is liner gloves
and although i dont have one, a pinlock visor

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Sat 22 Oct - 3:25

Pinlock is the muttz! I don't know how I managed without it before! Very Happy

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Big Stu on Sun 23 Oct - 21:56

I'll be commuting on the bike for as long as possible, come payday I'm investing on some winter gloves and some decent waterproofs!

Already got some under armour which made a huge difference to staying warm in the early mornings, need to get some anti fog stuff for the visor - looking at new helmets so no point in fitting pinlock just now

Thermal neck tube is deff the best thing I've bought so far tho Very Happy

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Tue 25 Oct - 1:05

I had my bike licence three years before I had my car, so I had no choice but to ride in all weathers if I needed to get somewhere.

My tips would be, as Andy said smoothness is the key, I found riding a gear higher than normal helped, that way there is no jerky throttle responses.

In cold dry conditions I would wear long john's under jeans and a thermal top and jumper under a leather jacket, I was generally warm enough. Fingers would tend to suffer as I wore "racing" gloves because I prefer "feel" to warmth.

In the wet I would wear a rain suit over the above clothing.

If you do decide to commute in winter then spend Money on good winter tyres, they may prevent a crash! Get tyres that have plenty treads, as opposed to sport tyres with a minimal tread. Also sports tyres will not heat up enough in cold conditions.

Finally do not let the weather dampen your Enthusiasm for riding, I can still be fun, and it will make you a better rider.
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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Tue 25 Oct - 3:26

Blacklisted wrote:do not let the weather dampen your Enthusiasm for riding, I can still be fun, and it will make you a better rider.

I agree! Very Happy

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Big Stu on Tue 25 Oct - 3:58

Any recommendations for good wet tyres?

I'm still on the stock tyres which apparently have a reputation for being p1sh in the wet - I'd agree with that reputation. I know I'm only on the 125, but riding in the wet has been........interesting Shocked


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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Wed 26 Oct - 11:18

Apparently Michellin Pilot Sporty get a good write up for 125cc bikes with or without tubes and in all weather and riding conditions (excluding ice and snow obviously!).
I can't confirm or deny this personally as I only rode a 125 for 8 weeks.
A quick google search should lead you in the right direction.
Let us know how you get on..

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Thu 27 Oct - 5:37

Get a set of racing wets, its not legal but they'll work awesome in the wet. Plus what police officer is going to fine you for making your bike safer in bad conditions... Very Happy
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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Thu 27 Oct - 5:44

Blacklisted wrote:Get a set of racing wets, its not legal but they'll work awesome in the wet. Plus what police officer is going to fine you for making your bike safer in bad conditions... Very Happy

Most of them!! If it's not legal and they can up their coffers by imposing a fine I'm sure they will. Mad
Although the question is do they have the savvy to notice?! Smile

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Fri 28 Oct - 3:26

G-force wrote:
Blacklisted wrote:Get a set of racing wets, its not legal but they'll work awesome in the wet. Plus what police officer is going to fine you for making your bike safer in bad conditions... Very Happy

Most of them!! If it's not legal and they can up their coffers by imposing a fine I'm sure they will. Mad
Although the question is do they have the savvy to notice?! Smile

Bike coppers would surely notice. I got the idea from a magazine a few years ago, one of their journos swore by wets in winter, they heat up quickly in cold/wet conditions and also perform brilliant in the wet! But the question is would that arguement hold up in a court of law? Even if it did I'm not sure you would find a solicitor willing to try!
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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Fri 28 Oct - 4:41

Fair enough, so now begs the question.. why are they illegal? scratch

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Kennypa4 on Fri 28 Oct - 6:21

well being wet slicks they will have no tread pattern so are not legal Smile

Edit : Dont read this i was talking pish Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Last edited by Kennypa4 on Sat 29 Oct - 3:42; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Sat 29 Oct - 3:27

Kennypa4 wrote:well being wet slicks they will have no tread pattern so are not legal Smile

Racing wets are far from slicks, the have loads more tread pattern than normal road tyres
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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Sat 29 Oct - 3:39

Here is a good article on wet road tyres.
http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-top-10s/whithams-five-best-winter-tyres/14795-7.html

It also addresses why wet race tyres are illegal.. Land/Sea ratio!!


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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Kennypa4 on Sat 29 Oct - 3:40

Opps Silly me yeah of course they will what going to Disperse the water for the tyre lol. So why are they not legal then ?

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Sat 29 Oct - 22:49

Good article that G. It seemed to me that buying wets was the best option, they're cheaper, perform better and are safer, oh yeah, and illegal! Very Happy I have no idea why they are illegal, or why tyre manufacturers dont just bring out a road legal "wet"? Makes sense to me!
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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Sun 30 Oct - 3:54

I agree, it seems to make sense but obviously the Ministry of Transport have guidelines on tyre design and racing wets don't meet them. Rolling Eyes

"Race wets are made of a much softer compound, which allows them to heat up quickly, but more importantly the tread pattern that is cut into them has a far lower Land/Sea ratio than standard tyres. The part of a tyre that makes contact with the road (being the land) and the part of the tyre that has been cut away (being the sea.) The more ‘sea’ a tyre has, the more effective it is at shifting water."

They probably don't have enough 'land' area to meet legal requirements. Once you start complying with regulations, that's when you end up with road tyres that have to perform in all conditions. Maybe they heat up too much in the dry? If the rain stops while you're out do you then need to change your tyres again?! Question


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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Mon 31 Oct - 6:28

I agree wets would heat up to much in the dry, but that would be at track speed and for a prolonged period of time, ie a race length. On the road they wouldn't be used anywhere near their full potential, even by the fastest of riders. And I believe they wouldn't overheat or loose grip that much in one of our winters, it's Scotland afterall! Very Happy

I'm not sure on the actual legalities of why they aren't legal, but would like to know! Any subject matter experts about? Very Happy
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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Mon 14 Nov - 23:01

If you ride a bike in the UK you're going to get caught out in the rain more than once in a while, so developing wet riding skills should be high on your agenda. And there's no secret to it: the key to swift, safe riding in the wet is no different to that in the dry - you need to be smooth, relaxed and confident. Those three things are the building blocks of good riding no matter what the conditions. If you find it's necessary to make significant changes to your riding in the wet in order not to feel like you're constantly about to crash, there's probably something that needs addressing with your riding overall, not just when the heavens open. The trouble with modern suspension, brakes and tyres is that they are so good that many basic riding errors are masked or can be got away with in the dry. But once it's wet there's only so much a set of decent tyres can do, and heavy-handed steering inputs or clumsy throttle and brake control will manifest themselves as confidence-shattering twitches, slides or crashes.

So relax and be smooth - which is easier said than done if the thought of riding in the rain scares you rigid.

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Tue 15 Nov - 5:16

I agree!

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by G-force on Tue 15 Nov - 5:39

Blacklisted wrote:
I'm not sure on the actual legalities of why they aren't legal, but would like to know! Any subject matter experts about? Very Happy

Back to the racing wets question...
It seems it could just be as simple as they don't go through the same tests that road tyres do so therefore do not conform to legal requirements.

However, although they may perform brilliantly in the wet, after prolonged use in the dry they will overheat and lose performance/grip when the rubber starts to deteriorate.

I read an article in Bike magazine comparing winter tyres... THE WINNER
On test were.. in order of rating..
Michelin Pilot Road 3 - 5*
Bridgestone Battlax BT-023 - 4*
Dunlop Roadsmart - 4*
Michelin Pilot Road 2 - 3*
Pirelli Angel ST - 3*
Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact - 2*
Avon Storm 2 Ultra - 1*

I myself use BT-023s and find them predictable and responsive in most conditions.

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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Wed 16 Nov - 9:00

I'm using Pirelli Diablo corsa's just now, not the best winter tyre but I'm not riding in the wet much at the moment, in fact not at all! When we went to inchnadamph in 2010 they performed well in the rain, in fact, its the fastest I've rode in the wet! I think the problem is they cool down quickly in cold and wet comditions, whereas tyres designed for winter conditions heat up alot quicker, then maintain that heat better in cold/wet conditions than summer tyres.
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Re: Winter riding.

Post by Blacklisted on Sun 5 Feb - 6:03

I had my first ride of the year the other day, a short blast from my bikes old home, to her new home! It was cold wet and slippy! Roll on the spring time and the cold wet and slippy weather! Then after that it's summer, my favourite day of the year! Sports bikes ain't the best choice of machine for winter riding, niether are near slick tyres! Very Happy

But regardless of machine or conditions, it was fun! It made me realise why I love bikes!

P.s. If your going to ride at night, make sure you remove your tinted visor! ooops! Embarassed

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