1000 miles and tank hugging
November 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm #2379
I finally hit 1000 miles for the year on Sunday after going 18 days with no riding due to the IL weather. The temp gauge said 48 so I decided I was going out as that was as good as it would get. When I got out to the local lake I noticed a definite drop in temp due to a wind chill and going anything other 30 mph. I had my full gear on but my gloves are not made for that cold and I didn’t have enough layers on under my jacket.
As others have noticed when you get cold like that you ride faster than you do normally. Theres a sweeping curve that opens into a straight section of 55 mph road and the wind hitting me in the chest was freezing so for the first time I did more than just tuck on the Ninja. I had my chest hugging the tank and my helmet was doing a good job breaking the wind. I noticed on the ride that although you would think that tank hugging would only work on the straight it also works in corners. I found that in the sweeping corners I actually took very good lines and cornered better than I do normally. I think the position I was in had my head lower and more forward on the bike and I just judged things better.
I was only out for an hour but my hands were freezing when I got back. Proper winter gloves will be needed before I attempt that again. I was having to palm the throttle while I moved my fingers to keep them “warm”. My advice to anyone else venturing out at this time of year is to check the wind chill and wear as much gear/warm layers as possible. Better to be too warm than cold.November 25, 2008 at 3:20 pm #15012briderdtParticipant
…about hand guards (wind deflectors that bolt on to the handlebars) and what a huge difference they make. I’ve got a set coming my way. But in the mean time I’ve been wearing my old ski gloves. So far they’ve done well enough for an hour, but I haven’t been doing any highway speeds (45 max).November 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm #15013MunchParticipant
Ok I noticed the same thing with speed and cold. If you think about it, it’s contradictory in itself…. the windchill is making it cold and you are throttling more creating more windforce and more feels like …cold. The urgency in your head and instinct needs to be slowed down. Yes your getting to a warmer area faster but your also creating a frostier feel by creating more wind on yourself. Also …yea….. gotta be careful near lakes, ponds,creeks and here swamps. Excess moisture that lingers near them add to the temperature drop.
I bought some Alpinestars (link somewhere in lost posts) and they do more then well enough to keep the cold and wind off. I ride 38-35 degrees air temp and add the 75+mph. they do fine.
Absolutely always layer…… like your mom used to tell ya….. if you got it you can take it off…..but if you don’t …you can’t put it back on.
I got to ride yesterday myself after a week off…… here in NC we have had a couple of frigid days. thankfully twice already we have had snow flurries….and dang it if I can’t ride atleast it can do is snow. It always amazes me how much better I get to feeling after a decent ride.
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a prediction, but today…… is a Bi**hNovember 25, 2008 at 5:02 pm #15016BuddParticipant
I would disagree with you, Munch. The faster you are going the more comfortable it is to lean. The more you are leaned the less the wind is hitting you. I stay much warmer on the interstate (hands not included) in the cold than I do on secondaries or tooling around town. The bike is also expelling more heat because it is working harder at speed. Granted most of this heat dissapates before it hits you, it is still warming you somewhat.
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineNovember 25, 2008 at 7:52 pm #15022MunchParticipant
Guess I need to emphasize I am on a cruiser..no fairings or windshield in which respect I am correct. On a bike with fairings well I leave that to you. Assuming everyone can creep down to the level that itty bitty windshield can give you coverage.
As far as engine heat…again no fairings for me so the heat goes in the direction of the wind….. straight back.
rare edit: I re-read above and though I am not gonna change it, but want to make sure you realize that I am not slamming sport bikes…. that windshield just looks tiny. The tone is softer then it seems :^)
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a prediction, but today…… is a Bi**hNovember 25, 2008 at 7:58 pm #15024BuddParticipant
Yeah, getting below the wind coming off the windshield means that you are low and your head is almost all the way back. It will get you really tired really fast.
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineNovember 25, 2008 at 9:10 pm #15025Clay DowlingParticipant
I wasn’t comfortable with my skill level for my daily commute (45 miles one way) until the temperature had dropped. The first morning was brutal. My jacket was fine, and the insulated jeans I used for ice fishing were also excellent for riding. But I discovered my heavy winter gloves had blown a seam, and my face was frozen even inside my full face helmet. A very brutal ride.
I picked up a balaclava that day, before I rode home, and it made me worlds warmer. I also grabbed a pair of snowmobile gloves from Tractor Supply. They aren’t ideal, in that $13 gloves don’t really have the flexibility you might like, but they’re warm, and the gauntlet cuffs come up over the sleeves on my coat, keeping the cold air out.November 25, 2008 at 9:10 pm #15026eonParticipant
I couldn’t find that thread. Is the general consensus that any pair will do? I’m seriously searching for something to keep my hands dry and warm over the winter months. My $10 rain mittens let me down last week and I need to find something else PDQ. Problem is there is not much of an aftermarket for my ride (Piaggio MP3 500). I saw a picture where someone had mounted hand guards on my type of bike but they looked kind of small. I was concerned my hands would still get wet and therefore cold. My other option is those muff thingies but even those are a pain to get a hold of. Looking at a 3 week delay while they are imported. Would love to find something local.November 25, 2008 at 9:40 pm #15028
You do have to be flexible to tank hug and I don’t thing I could do it on a long ride but it’s useful when going directly into the wind. Once you are low you are more streamlined and your chest is not getting hit. With the angle I had my helmet at I didn’t get col air under the chin piece either. I’ll probably play with a windshield mod in the spring to make life easier.November 25, 2008 at 9:41 pm #15029JirikiParticipant
I am not really suggesting this… but you can lean down on the tank and put your feet on the passenger pegs… kind of like skeleton luge…
obviously you can’t shift and you have no rear brake… and center of gravity is higher… but it is less fatiguing… haven’t tried myself, but I know some sport bike riders who use this strategy if they are going 300+ miles on the super slab…
your much safer bet would be to get a double-bubble wind screen so you can tuck a little less…November 25, 2008 at 11:03 pm #15032briderdtParticipant
… supposedly does this — raises the level at which turbulent air hits your helmet.November 25, 2008 at 11:41 pm #15033Sangria7Participant
Haha…I rode this morning and with wind chill like 34 degrees. Yes I noticed I tend to go faster trying to reach destination. My fingers were the main problem. They started to hurt from possible frost bite. I too palmed my throttle, attempting to wiggle my fingers.
I just cant believe a good pair of winter gloves cost so much
I need to find my old Army winter gloves and see if they work….November 26, 2008 at 3:56 am #15037dcJohnParticipant
I’m a big fan of my heated FirstGear Carbon gloves.
Not cheap, and you’ll need a controller and wiring: http://www.firstgear-usa.com/fgweb3.nsf/Products/760EB3936F8F657886257340004D918D?opendocument
And heck, while you’re rigging that up, might as well get the heated jacket line that the gloves can link directly into from connections at the sleeves:
Toasty.November 26, 2008 at 3:21 pm #15047
I’ll pick one up in the spring I think. I almost picked one up last month but I suspected that the IL weather wouldn’t let me do to much riding and I was right.November 26, 2008 at 9:11 pm #15053Sangria7Participant
I got these today from my Yamaha dealer for $40.00
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