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  #1  
Old 26 Sep 2007
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about the winter....

Hello
I live in Portugal and the winter were it´s very smooth,but I need to know the winter in other country's . Because I need to learn ride a motorcycle in the snow and ice road's , It´s possible or it's impossible ride a bike in this type of conditions?
thanks
Rui
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  #2  
Old 26 Sep 2007
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Winter riding

What a horrible thought- winter and snow.
This topic has been covered here before. Best advice for snow riding is to avoid it if at all possible.Not fun, dangerous and cold ,cold ,cold .
Be happy you live in Portugal in an area with mild winter and no snow! Save the travels to other parts of the globe for seasons when those parts are snow free.
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  #3  
Old 26 Sep 2007
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It is quite possible to ride in snow and ice, It is also much more risky. It helps if you have a bike that has a low centre of gravity, pulls happily in gear at tickover at walking pace. and lastly, you should be able to reach the ground easily so you can support the bike without it leaning at much of an angle. Otherwise you will end up doing the splits as your foot slides on the ice. Your foot can support a load on ice, but not push against it much.

Having said that you should try to not touch the ground, I suggest you pactice on very wet ( marshy) grass or mud roads. failing that a dry field of green grass.

learn to slide it, do figure of eights fast and very slow ( below walking pace)
learn proper use of front and rear brake, and cadence braking. On hard packed snow and ice, do as much control using only the throttle as possible,

singles are best, then twins, basically the less cylinders the better.
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  #4  
Old 26 Sep 2007
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If you can, avoid riding in ice and snow.

On black ice, it is impossible to ride without spikes in your tires. (sliding is possible but I don't call that riding)

In snow it can be done but there are many dangers like;
- snow is very slippery.
- you can not see what is under the snow.
- car drivers often have limited vision (foggy windows, snow on the windows etc.) but drive much to fast anyway.

I have made trips of 400 km in snow a long time ago but would I do it again ? No, not if I can avoid it.
There is one exception, a sidecar (or trike) Driving in the snow with a bike with a sidecar is fun !

Make sure that you are dressed for the cold. When your body is to cold, your reactions will be like when you drank to much.
Make frequent stops to get warm again and to eat and drink something.
Make sure your bike and you are in good condition.
Wear protective clothing. The chance that you fall is much bigger. This should not not always be a big problem if you are prepared and don't go to fast.
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  #5  
Old 26 Sep 2007
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No problem. Buy spikes to screw into your cross-type tire. Not too long, though, or else it'll be difficult to ride the bike on hard asphalt.

These are great (the small one):



You can unscrew them from the tire and re-use them later.

Make sure you have enough cranking power in your battery when its cold. Lube your wires with anti-freeze stuff. Protect vulnerable metal parts from corrosion by spraying them with anti-corrosion stuff, smearing on some used engine oil, grease or similar.

Warm clothes goes without saying. Buy double layer visor to prevent icing. Mount handgrip heaters. A wind shield is a must. Practice on lose gravel before entering the snow.

Here are some two wheeled examples from Norway:










And - above all: Have fun!
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  #6  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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Spikes on public roads may be legal in Norway, but not in the Netherlands.
We don't have that much ice and it will damage the roads to much (they say, I have no experience with it).
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  #7  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrijt View Post
Spikes on public roads may be legal in Norway, but not in the Netherlands.
We don't have that much ice and it will damage the roads to much (they say, I have no experience with it).
It's legal in all Nordic countries. Cars using spiked tires are wearing out the asphalt rapidly. I doubt bikes are contributing to that to the same extent. However, Norwegian authorities are trying to get car owners to use non-spiked winter tires, both to cut cost of road maintenance but also to reduce the amount of asphalt dust suspended in the air due to the spiked tires. On a two wheeler, though, you really have no option.
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  #8  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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As mentioned before, the smaller and lighter the bike the better, same goes with the fewer cylinders the better. better off oil/air cooled for the really cold trips. full on motorcross tyres work well in deep snow, but on scandanavian roads, which are well ploughed, you are better off with an road enduro type tyre with more, smaller knobbles.
Black ice is only suited to studded tyres, but, the cold white ice roads are useable on road bias tyres, the softer the compound the better. there is a reasonable amount of friction available, so i was quite happy at 30mph, and did 1800 miles on snow/ice without crashing once. i did however have a couple of 180 degree spins and some "memorable" front end slides.

the main thing to remember is that the front brake is redundant!
http://www.scarabis.com/Photos/AndyScand07/1240032.jpg
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  #9  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe C90 View Post
As mentioned before, the smaller and lighter the bike the better, same goes with the fewer cylinders the better. better off oil/air cooled for the really cold trips. full on motorcross tyres work well in deep snow, but on scandanavian roads, which are well ploughed, you are better off with an road enduro type tyre with more, smaller knobbles.
Black ice is only suited to studded tyres, but, the cold white ice roads are useable on road bias tyres, the softer the compound the better. there is a reasonable amount of friction available, so i was quite happy at 30mph, and did 1800 miles on snow/ice without crashing once. i did however have a couple of 180 degree spins and some "memorable" front end slides.

the main thing to remember is that the front brake is redundant!
http://www.scarabis.com/Photos/AndyScand07/1240032.jpg
Yes, you really had the Tour d' Force last winter, didn't you :-)
Anyway: I'd still recommend spiked tires. It can be ridden on most surfaces except in deep snow. Trelleborg Army is the weapon of choice over here.
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  #10  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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snow riding

Rui , have a look at an earlier thread on this subject from a year ago under this site at ..... hubb/travel-hints-and-tips/riding-in-snow-20699.
In Canada studded tires were commercially popular for a time about 40 years ago because of their alleged contribution to automobile winter safety. However they tore up the pavement and left gouged tracks in the highways which would collect rain and ice which made wet weather driving more dangerous , and subsequently they were discontinued with no noticable increase in automobile winter accidents. Better allseason / winter tires were doing just as well for cars.
While all the mentioned motorcycle examples of studs, warm riding clothes etc.etc are indeed valid you must note that these are recommendations from riders who live in climates where snow and ice are common. These riders have the option of riding in times ,locations and conditions of their choosing. Also it is a strategy to get some riding in during an otherwise bleak cold season which can take up nearly half the year. . They can spend considerable time in preparing their bikes ,go out for their ride and return to their warm homes in most cases. For you as a travelling motorcyclist the game will be quite different- you will not have your own shop or tools available to do the required preparations if you encounter snow and ice. Not to mention the load of warm clothing you will need , carrying a box of tire studs in case you eventually want to install them at roadside or in a hotel is impractical as is riding all the time with studded tires.Agreed, studs or spikes do give excellent traction on ice, witness the ice racers' antics , but those are short events, the riders can quickly get off their bikes and warm up in their trailers or heated competitor quarters. If you get the chance by all means do go for a ride on snow and ice , just as a lark. But remember tourists in the thousands head SOUTH from northern Europe and N.America during winters for a good reason. Plan your northern travels for seasons when you have NO snow or ice to contend with and enjoy the trips.
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  #11  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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cold-cold-cold

Attachment 714

Attachment 715



somebody nows the elefantentreffen

Last edited by samson; 27 Dec 2007 at 15:37.
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  #12  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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Very valid inputs from Sjoerd there. Winter riding demands careful preparations. It is by all means doable, but you need to know what you're heading into. Several winter riders in Norway attend rallies, some of which are over several days. Staying warm and dry all the time is of outmost importance. Regarding studded tires: In Norway, most winter riders on two wheels run studded all the time. The rear tire typically last 5-6000 km's before it wears down (Trelleborg Army) because it is soft and stay soft even in really low temperatures. It's not bad on asphalt and good on hard-packed snow and ice. Good all-rounders, in other words.
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  #13  
Old 28 Sep 2007
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thanks all folks

hello all the people.
thanks for your response to my question, but riding in snow it´s a new experience for me, and off course I have a lots of questions.
Rui (must sorry my English)
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  #14  
Old 28 Sep 2007
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Winter riding

I once went into Lapland in March with an Africa Twin, with studded tyres. It is a lot tougher task than riding under normal "summer" conditions, and you need to be able to keep warm, otherwise you cannot ride, and will also compromise your safety, because its much harder to handle the controls and keep focussed if your suffering from the cold. And unless youre adequately prepared, you WILL suffer from the cold, a lot.

You will need to be able to see well, too, and normal helmet visors will be full of mist almost all the time. Monitoring the changing weather conditions is also very important, to listen to the forecasts, and plan when is a good time to ride and when is probably not such a good time. The Africa Twin was way too heavy for winter riding, if I were to do it again, I´d look into some 125-250cc enduros, the lighter the better.

The choice of the tyre (tread pattern) and type and number of the studs is also important. Especially on wet snow, if tread pattern fills up with it immediately, theres virtually no traction, studs or not, and if you have long spikes, they might be good on trails, but if your going to ride tarmac, you cannot use them because they will wear out in an eyeblink. If I remember corect, I used a stud meant for cars, which only comes out some 1-2mm from the tyre. Even they wore quite quickly.

When it was snowing (a lot), that was probably the worst weather, because you couldnt really see anything (the snow blocked the visor, glasses etc) and also when that snow starts to cover the ice underneath, well thats a bit of a handful! Especially on a heavy bike, you need to be able to pick it up very quickly if you fall, cannot leave it lying on the road under bad visibility. Would be good to have a riding partner who can warn oncoming traffic if you go down.

All other types of winter weather were relatively ok, cold is just a matter of preparation. When it drops to something like under -10C, though, the amount of preparation needed will skyrocket. Humidity %, combined with temperature reading is also an important factor.
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