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Thread: F650 winter riding?

  1. #1
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    As long as the roads are black you should be fine.

    But when the roads turn white with either snow or salt exercise caution. The salt will get into every opening. Salt will eat into the aluminum and will be very difficult to remove.

    Muriel lives in New Hampshire and rides during the winter. Maybe she can add some suggestions or advice from her experience.
    Last edited by PAULBACH; 11-30-2007 at 02:17 PM.

  2. #2
    2-up and havin' fun sugarhillctd's Avatar
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    The salt, etc.. should not be a huge factor- I was actually thinking of getting a used Japanese dual purpose bike that I could be less concerned about. And possibly stud the tires.
    John & Cathy
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    No salt used here, they use "gravel" which resembles small boulders. It tends to build up in the center of the road, it's not fun when someone decides to pass you and as they roll over the berm of gravel when pulling back in front of you they pelt you with rocks. Duck and cover is what I've learned to do, get down flat on the faux tank and behind the windscreen.

  4. #4
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
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    Up here in WA, they don't use salt, they use that miserable flesh eating antifreeze concoction. Well, it won't actually eat your flesh, but I have seen what it does to aluminum. And it ain't pretty. The alum running boards on my Dodge p/u were pitted and rusted after one season. (Four months) And the truck got washed once a week.
    I have heard that some folks that drive over the local passes every day have had brake rotors rusted and trashed, oil pans eaten through, any exposed metal was corroded.

    If you do ride in an area with that stuff, wash it after every ride.
    Too damn many bikes to list

  5. #5
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    As long as the roads are black you should be fine.
    Do not believe that.

    It is more the temperature you want to worry about. If the temperature is close to 32F you can get black ice which has been described as frozen frost. Also just cause it is okay when you leave, what will it be like on the way back.

    You can find more info about riding in the winter over at www.yearroundriders.com we do it safely
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  6. #6
    Mongo
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    Quote Originally Posted by SugarHillCTD View Post
    The salt, etc.. should not be a huge factor- I was actually thinking of getting a used Japanese dual purpose bike that I could be less concerned about. And possibly stud the tires.
    Maybe Cliff could chime in here. He has a fresh perspective.

    http://www.yearroundriders.com/forum...topic=3504&hl=

  7. #7
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SugarHillCTD View Post
    This may be a way out question, but do any F650 riders venture out on local roads in the winter- specifically snow covered?

    I am wondering about the feasibility of using a motorcycle (smaller, perhaps a "dual purpose") for a 14 mile round trip commute during the winter. As you see, we live in Northern NH and it is a low population area with smaller two lane roads.

    Studded, lugged tires?

    Or is this a really stupid idea?

    Any actual experience?

    Thanks
    Hey John - I live in Michigan and try my best to ride all year round. I have a 12-15 mile commute (depends on the route I take). I ride my 2004 Rockster most of the time. When the weather is bad I ride an '82 Yamaha XT550 with knobbies. Pushing my personal envelope temp-wise has been fun. I got caught last night riding home on snow/ice/with "corn" snow on top of that. It was a challenge, but I was able to maintain about 20-30 mph speeds and made it home faster than my wife did in her cage. (We have a small jewelry store and she typically goes in 1hr or so before I do and leaves 1-2 hours before I do - hey, she is the artist and makes the jewelry so I ain't gonna argue!)
    I have heated grips (amen) on the Rockster but not on the XT. I wear an Olympia Phantom riding suit (ON review forthcoming) and a pair of the TourMaster winter elite gloves. Lately I have been using a Jett battery operated heated vest. Very nice! I have gotten up to 4 hours from one charge.
    My Scorpion helmet does a pretty good job of not fogging, but last night riding home in a steady downpour of snow I had to crack it open regularly. I will be ordering a Respro Foggy Breathguard (item #1558) from Aerostich this week.
    I used to ride until the temp hit 40 or so. Took some inspiration from a guy who used to be on this forum and now have done my commute on an unfaired bike at a low temp of 13 without the Jett vest (I find I cannot go much faster than 40-45 at that temp because my eyes water from air bouncing off my chest into the helmet!)
    Riding in the winter has tons of benefits for me - the same theraputic bennies riding gives plus the challenge of temp extremes.
    Anyway - if you want to read about people riding in the winter on everything from scooters to 650's (and a lot of V-Stroms) to Harleys, you are welcome to sneak a peek at www.yearroundriders.com. There is a guy from Alaska on a KLR650 that posts some fantastic ride reports, and a V-Strom rider who lives in Korea.
    Sorry for the long post - riding all year is one of my passions.

    Edit - FYI my name on the Rounders is El Dookey. (see the link in Mongos post above)
    Don't winterize; Rounderize!
    www.yearroundriders.com

  8. #8
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradfordBenn View Post
    Do not believe that.

    It is more the temperature you want to worry about. If the temperature is close to 32F you can get black ice which has been described as frozen frost. Also just cause it is okay when you leave, what will it be like on the way back.

    You can find more info about riding in the winter over at www.yearroundriders.com we do it safely
    Please allow further explanation ...

    If the road is clear and dry as in black pavement.

    I do not advocate riding on black ice - just clear dry black highway in the bright light of day.

    Do not ride on black ice!

    But I bet you knew that!

  9. #9
    Rally Rat nytrashman's Avatar
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    i bought my F650GS last Dec and rode it all through the winter. this year i am putting a set of TKC's on the bike and once again plan on riding through the winter. one thing i like about winter riding is you don't have to put up with all the sport bikes or following a pack of Harleys going 15mph under the posted limit. you do need to watch out for ice, sand/salt on the road but if you ride carefully and are dressed properly it is quite enjoyable. hippo hands and heated grips are a must when the temp drops into the 20's as is a good heated jacket liner. single digit temps require heated gloves & socks and the little 650GS charging system has a hard time handling all that elect. load. install a volt meter/battery monitor to keep an eye on your charging system and turn off some of your heated gear a little while before you get home or when your riding in town and you don't have the rev's up. i have given thought to putting my headlight on a toggle switch so i can shut it off when i want to power all my heated gear, but i am not 100% sure i will do this. i also make sure to keep my bike on a battery tender every night as my garage is not heated and very cold. i have used the respro foggy mask and it works great at keeping your visor clear but is a bit of a pain in the ass to put your helmet on/take it off. i am going to try the pinlock system this year and see how that goes. i normally use a light tinted visor during the day but when there is snow on the sides of the road i switch to a very dark tinted visor to reduce the glare. one final note about heated gear........don't bet your life that it is going to work. make sure you have plenty of warm cloths with you in case your 100 miles (or more) from home and your heated gear stops working. riding 100 miles in 20 degree weather with non functioning heated gear will get you in real trouble real fast. take it slow and easy at first and enjoy the winter riding season.

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