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Thread: Winter gear recommendations from a Seattle 'Rounder

  1. #1
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Winter gear recommendations from a Seattle 'Rounder

    As a Rounder in rainy Seattle, I thought I'd share what works for me. Pick and choose among my suggestions for what you think might work for you.

    In order of effectiveness making cold/wet riding comfortable:

    1. Pinlock anti-fog visor insert. Compared to some of the other items on this list, this provides the greatest cost/benefit ratio. Imagine being able to keep your face shield sealed closed all the time - even in wet, steamy, high-humidity conditions, with the rain on the outside of your helmet and you dry and comfy on the inside, with absolutely zero fogging of your visor! I've used a Pinlock equipped visor for 20,000 miles of year-round Seattle riding and can't possibly imagine riding without it. I went for the whole package - new visor with pre-drilled holes and the insert, but if you feel comfortable drilling holes in your face shield, you can just get the add-on insert without a new shield. It took just a minute or so to install and is maintenance free. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

    2. Handlebar covers. Again, another piece of gear that is relatively inexpensive for the benefit it provides. Having an RT-P, of course I had to go with police-style handlebar covers custom built for RT-Ps out of a company in Oregon. Hippo-Hands are virtually identical in design and function. The only down-side is that they take a bit of time to get used to, and they block most of the view from the rear view mirrors. Since my bike also has a set of stalk mirrors, this isn't an issue for me. With the handlebar covers on (they install and can be removed in less than a minute), I simply don't need to use my insulated gloves. The heat generated by the grips stays inside the still air provided by the covers and provide plenty of warmth - even below freezing.

    3. Waterproof armored suit. Now we're spending real money on products to keep you warm and dry! I wear an Aerostich. Is it perfect? No. Are there other brands with equivalent products? Of course. The point is to have an armored waterproof barrier between you and the cold wet stuff. Yesterday the temperature for the morning commute was 40 degrees, with light rain. I wore a t-shirt, jeans, and fleece jacket under my 'Stich and was completely comfortable. For the evening commute home, it was 50 degrees with light rain. Same clothes minus the fleece, which was stuffed in a sidecase. Plenty warm and dry. Many will complain that a 'Stich's zipper will let water in at a potentially embarrassing location. My solution is to simply layer a towel along the length of the zipper between my clothing and the 'Stich. Should any water leak through the zipper, the towel soaks it up instead of the crotch of my jeans. FWIW, I only experience water leaking through the zipper if I'm stuck in stop and go traffic in a downpour. If I'm moving through the rain instead of sitting in it, my windscreen and fairing keep most of the water off of me - which leads me to #4:

    4. Larger windscreen/fairing. Now we have an opportunity to drop some real cash on either a larger windscreen or a new bike with a larger fairing. I have the largest screen Aeroflow makes on my RT. I'd rather push cold air and the rain drops over and around me than sit in a cold shower in a wind tunnel. But that's just how I roll. Also, I've noticed that from the waist down, the fairing on my RT (combined with the screen) I'm bone dry. The RT's fairing routes the rain around my legs, keeping them warm and dry.

    5. Electric gear. Aside from my heated grips, I don't have any heated gear. Most of my Seattle rounder friends swear by their heated clothing, but I just haven't found the need for it. A fleece jacket under the 'Stich plus the grips + handlebar cover option is all the heat I need to stay warm and dry in nasty weather. Most around here use Gerbings, as it's a local company producing quality heated clothing.

    Hopefully my experience and suggestions can help others in their pursuit of riding year-round in inclement weather.
    Last edited by OfficerImpersonator; 11-04-2008 at 09:59 PM.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  2. #2
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    Excellent post. Thanks for posting it.




    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    1. Pinlock anti-fog visor insert. Compared to some of the other items on this list, this provides the greatest cost/benefit ratio. Imagine being able to keep your face shield sealed closed all the time - even in wet, steamy, high-humidity conditions, with the rain on the outside of your helmet and you dry and comfy on the inside, with absolutely zero fogging of your visor? I've used a Pinlock equipped visor for 20,000 miles of year-round Seattle riding and can't possibly imagine riding without it. I went for the whole package - new visor with pre-drilled holes and the insert, but if you feel comfortable drilling holes in your face shield, you can just get the add-on insert without a new shield. It took just a minute or so to install and is maintenance free. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
    I've always been facsinated with Pinlock. But I thought they were a largely Euro thing. So are you saying that you can buy replacement shields pre-drilled in the USA? I've heard they are available in Europe, but not here. All major brands of helmets? I ask because there's no way in hell I'm going to drill holes in a visor in an attempt to make it work.
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  3. #3
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistercindy View Post
    Excellent post. Thanks for posting it.





    I've always been facsinated with Pinlock. But I thought they were a largely Euro thing. So are you saying that you can buy replacement shields pre-drilled in the USA? I've heard they are available in Europe, but not here. All major brands of helmets? I ask because there's no way in hell I'm going to drill holes in a visor in an attempt to make it work.
    I bought my Pinlock insert and pre-drilled replacement face shield for my Shoei Multi-tec directly from Shoei. I don't know what brand/model helmet you have, but perhaps the manufacturer carries the parts?

    Face shield:http://www.shoei-helmets.com/store/p...oducts_id=1803

    Pinlock insert:http://www.shoei-helmets.com/store/p...oducts_id=1793
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  4. #4
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistercindy View Post
    I've always been facsinated with Pinlock. But I thought they were a largely Euro thing. So are you saying that you can buy replacement shields pre-drilled in the USA?
    For some helmets/brands, yes. I got a pre-drilled shield plus insert for my Arai XD from Arai. Not cheap, but worthwhile.

    // marc

  5. #5
    Mongo
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    I wear a Scorpion Helmet. It has pretty good anti-fog capability. I have a set up I can wear down to 0F. I'm interested in finding out if it can go below 0 but even in NH it just doesn't get that cold very often.

  6. #6
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
    I wear a Scorpion Helmet. It has pretty good anti-fog capability. I have a set up I can wear down to 0F. I'm interested in finding out if it can go below 0 but even in NH it just doesn't get that cold very often.
    I'll second that. My Scorpion has not fogged up even in temps down to the 'teens. But at really cold temperatures you will get some condensation - water droplets forming inside the helmet, but not a general fogging.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Don't forget your towel
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    3. Waterproof armored suit. snip Many will complain that a 'Stich's zipper will let water in at a potentially embarrassing location. My solution is to simply layer a towel along the length of the zipper between my clothing and the 'Stich. Should any water leak through the zipper, the towel soaks it up instead of the crotch of my jeans.
    As a fellow Seattle-Area Rounder I can appreciate OI's tips. To which I will add the following:

    Beaded seat cover: Sitting in the puddle that forms under your butt during a good rainstorm will eventually defeat either the seams or the fabric of your rainsuit. The beaded seat creates a drainfield down there so you sit above the puddle, not in it.
    Steve
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

  8. #8
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgborgstrom View Post
    As a fellow Seattle-Area Rounder I can appreciate OI's tips. To which I will add the following:

    Beaded seat cover: Sitting in the puddle that forms under your butt during a good rainstorm will eventually defeat either the seams or the fabric of your rainsuit. The beaded seat creates a drainfield down there so you sit above the puddle, not in it.
    That's my next addition. Does anyone know if anyone makes a beaded seat cover for the unique RT-P single seat?

    One item I forgot to add to my original post - lighting. Up here at our northern lattitude, the sun rises around 7:30 AM and sets around 4:30 PM this time of year. It's only going to get worse for the next six weeks until we hit the winter solstice. I have auxiliary lighting, and aside from making me more visible to other motorists, the extra light makes the road more visible to me, especially in dark and wet conditions. As for mounting extra lights, go as low to the ground as you can. There is a reason fog lights on cars and trucks are mounted low on the front bumper. The effects of fog, rain and other vision obscuring substances can be lessened with driving/fog lamps mounted low on the bike - either on the front fork or the front of the motorcycle.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  9. #9
    shire2000
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    Living just a little North of you, on Vancouver Island, I agree with all of your gear but would add one thing for those extremely rainy days we often get here.

    AQUALUNG!!!!


  10. #10
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shire2000 View Post
    Living just a little North of you, on Vancouver Island, I agree with all of your gear but would add one thing for those extremely rainy days we often get here.

    AQUALUNG!!!!

    What does Jethro Tull have to do with riding in the cold rain?
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  11. #11
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    I bought my Pinlock insert and pre-drilled replacement face shield for my Shoei Multi-tec directly from Shoei. I don't know what brand/model helmet you have, but perhaps the manufacturer carries the parts?

    Face shield:http://www.shoei-helmets.com/store/p...oducts_id=1803

    Pinlock insert:http://www.shoei-helmets.com/store/p...oducts_id=1793
    I have a Shoei X-11, and they do have one! Here's the link:

    http://www.shoei-helmets.com/store/p...oducts_id=1638

    Thanks!
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  12. #12
    Don't forget your towel
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    Steve
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

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