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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Picked up my Rapid Red FZ-09 on October 18, and I am really enjoying this motorcycle. Usually, I stop riding by the end of October as the morning temperatures in rural northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania get a bit chilly. This morning, I noted the outside temperature at 36 degrees (all temperatures in this post will be Fahrenheit). That seemed cold, but the afternoon temperatures looked to be heading into the high 50s. Car or FZ-09? I thought about all of this for a few moments and decided, "Let's go for it... FZ-09."

Although I don't normally display the odometer, my FZ has about 800 miles, mostly in mode B but I have been spending some time in Standard (more on that in another post) after developing what I believe to be fairly smooth throttle control. The ride was looking up, as was the temperature, which rose to about 39 degrees. A heat wave! This was quite unexpected as the elevation increased on my ride towards, and ultimately through, Blue Ridge Summit, PA.

Descending from Blue Ridge Summit more rapidly than I ascended minutes before, my commute enters a low-lying area where temperatures may drop considerably. And drop it did. With about 15 minutes left before arrival at the office, the temperature plunged to 28 degrees. The low-lying area, combined with the summit blocking early morning sunlight on its western side, had an unusually steep temperature drop. However, by the time I reached the office, the temperature had recovered into the mid thirties.

Making this ride possible were only a few items that I would not otherwise wear on a warmer day. For cold weather riding, I use a TourMaster Transitions jacket, hi-viz, with liner. That provides plenty of warmth to the torso; I had a work logo polo shirt and undershirt underneath. I found a neck warmer at Wal-Mart costing all of three dollars that does its work nicely. The neck warmer goes on before the jacket, forming a continuous barrier from collar to chin. After putting on a Scorpion EXO-700 hi-viz full-face helmet, I tuck the top of the neck warmer into the helmet's cheek pads to complete the neck and lower face coverage.

Keeping the hands and fingers warm are a pair of gloves I picked up at a motorcycle show in February. The name is long forgotten, not one of the better known brand names, but they get the job done and allow a very nice level of feel on the controls combined with wind protection on the tops and tips of the fingers. Other than my normal riding boots and trousers, a pair of off-the-department-store-shelf BVD thermal underwear are the only cold weather upgrade below the waist.

Under most circumstances, I won't commute when temperatures are below freezing due to concern with local patches of ice. Today's drop in temperature in to the 20s while en route to work was unexpected, but fortunately without incident. In less than an hour, I'll begin the return trip, enjoying these reasonably mild November afternoons. The afternoons have been a pleasure, as has every ride on the FZ, but it really makes the morning preparations, as pleasant as they are, worth the effort. I'm just not ready to park this motorcycle for the winter.
 

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You guys that ride in those kind of temperatures are tougher than a wood hauler! I just can't seem to do it. For me, riding has to be FUN, and if I'm cold, it ain't fun to me........but I admire the folks that can. I ride in 45 to 50 degree stuff sometimes, but that's with a heated jacket liner and a pair of heated gloves. Call me a wuss if you want..........heck, write it down on paper if you want......I'll sign it! :eek:
 

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I get it Trip. I'm the same way with my snow mobile. I draw the line at zero. Below that, it just isn't fun. I have to admit, I routinely rode my bike at the 32 mark. I just gear up warm. My biggest concern was black ice. Amazing how a bridge can get icy when it's well above freezing. I don't understand the physics, just the reality.

We actually have great riding weather in the summer. It's not too hot to wear appropriate riding gear. It's usually mid 60s to mid 70s around here which is right where I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Although I have come across threads about riding in cooler weather, I personally know few motorcyclists who do so. Interestingly, I have learned at least as much from hunters as motorcyclists about preparing for cold weather adventures.

One of my personal celebrations is to get out and ride both on Christmas Day and New Years Day. Major exceptions are Christmas Day 2012 and New Years Day 2013. On both days, our area had slick roads from a dusting of snow the night before. The motorcycles stayed in the garage.
 

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I keep riding as long as there is no ice or snow but we are expecting snow overnight and in the morning here in Indy, I am not ready to park my GROM or my FZ yet so I checked the forecast and it will be better later in the week, back in the 50's. I just need to move to a climate where I can ride all year long :)
 

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I'll keep riding as long as the weather is good and there's no salt on the road. Once they start salting the roads, the bike gets parked for the season. :(
 

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I'm finding the layers in my Rev'It Ignition 2 jacket and Rev'It Gear 2 pants plus a thermal layer and a turtleneck do the job for me down into the high 30s thus far. I also wear the TCX X-Action boots and a set of skiing gloves which mostly do the job (though I just ordered the Klim Togwotee winter gloves). Not on the freeway, mind you, but on side streets. I did have an issue the other night on cold tires, though, which was a wake up call. I braked as normal and the tires just slid. No squeal, just seemed like a silent lock-up. I responded by keeping the bike upright and modulated the brakes, but wow did it get my attention.

It's definitely different riding with thick gloves, though, changes the whole feel of the bars.
 

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I put on "Oxford heated grips" from "Twisted throttle" then you don't have to wear gloves as thick, $50. Also they make the grips a bit bigger around, fits my hands better. Cold hands on a MC suck, I also have heated gloves but prefer to wear thinner ones with the heated grips.
 

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I put on "Oxford heated grips" from "Twisted throttle" then you don't have to wear gloves as thick, $50. Also they make the grips a bit bigger around, fits my hands better. Cold hands on a MC suck, I also have heated gloves but prefer to wear thinner ones with the heated grips.
$50 isn't bad. Thanks for the tip. this is my only real issue (other than fogging glasses) when riding in the cold
 

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$50 isn't bad. Thanks for the tip. this is my only real issue (other than fogging glasses) when riding in the cold

If you can get by with contacts, I highly recommend fitting your helmet with a Pinlock visor. I generate a lot of heat (wife says I'm full of hot air), so fogging has always been an issue. My Arai would fog any where under 50 degrees. This AM was 23F, and not one bit of fog on the shield....
 
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