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Safe Riding Temp

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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 10:30 AM     #1
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Safe Riding Temp

Good morning,

With the ability to heat ourselves nicely while riding. Is there a temperature which is deemed to dangerous to be riding in ? ie: Anything below 35 Farenheit ?

Is traction between asphalt / tires not an issue when it gets that cold ?

Thanks
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 11:40 AM     #2
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

Here is a link to a wind chill chart.

NWS Wind Chill Index
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 11:48 AM     #3
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

Thanks Joe,
I'm not worried about myself getting the chills. But rather losing control (if thats even an issue) on a dry cold road due to road being cold and freezing the rubber.
Tks
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 12:52 PM     #4
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

I would think the tire would warm up well above freezing after a couple of miles due the constant flexing and friction.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 01:04 PM     #5
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

Smitty would be a good source - I think he's ridden in blizzard conditions...;)

I'd say once you get close to 32-degree point it's getting dicey with traction.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 01:08 PM     #6
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

I think you change your riding style when the temperature is below freezing.
Frost or black ice on an expansion joint/manhole cover are not to be taken lightly.

While it makes sense that cold rubber does not grip as well as warm rubber, I think the odds are better that you will find some ice.

Now, this all changes is you are pushing it in turns and accellerating hard when it is cold. I have ridden in temps as low as 7 degrees F for 2 hours on my commute. The factors that come into play first for me are:
1.) Truly dry roads.
2.) Keeping your visor clear.
3.) Rider comfort. (I don't really feel like pushing it when I am traveling at 70mph at 7 degrees F)
4.) Grip of the tires, but I find #3 to limit this.

I have found cagers to be more courteous, but I think that is because they think I am crazy. It doesn't get much colder than that where I am. Maybe some of the folks from the frozen north can weigh in....
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 02:05 PM     #7
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

I have ridden in the past in below freezing conditions it is not a lot of fun but at the time a motorcycle was my only transport
if you do end up on frozen roads take it easy even when they are dry and you feel good grip to come round a bend at 60 mph and find a snow drift across the road you will wish you were going slower

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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 02:06 PM     #8
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

Thanks guys. The lowest I will ride in is 33F to 35F which is 2 to 4 degrees celcius (sorry.. Canadian here). I want to take a nice trip into Vermont before season is done with... and was curious about when its just too risky. If I see ice.. I'm going home.
Tks again
P.S. What is a "cager" ?
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 02:19 PM     #9
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

The biggest thing to watch for when riding in low temperatures is shade, the pavement can be clean and dry in the sun but go into shade and it may still be wet from dew and might even be ice. And definitely avoid near freezing temperatures at night on a bike, you can't see possible black ice until its too late. Slid through a red light on my butt many years ago because the sun had gone down and so had the temp and the damp spots on the road turned to ice.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 04:01 PM     #10
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Re: Safe Riding Temp

I just read a good article from motorcycleusa.com about winter riding. States that your traction will be reduced SLIGHTLY as the temps get colder. The rubber on bike tires is formulated to operate in summer temps. Author recommends that you change your riding to a laid back style and not push it in the corners at all!
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