Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > All Miscellaneous questions > Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else

Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 19 Aug 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 48
Do you ride in frozen/frosty/snowy conditions?

Hi,

I live in Ireland where we see occaisional snow most winters. 5-10 cm would be typical; 15 cm would be 'a lot'. It lasts up to a week, and is then gone. Other than that, we get a good deal of frosty mornings throughout the winter months.

On one occaision I unexpectedly had to cover about 100 km on small rural roads, where there had been no snow ploughing but some gritting; the snow had been compacted by passing traffic and was quite hard and very smooth. It had thawed somewhat, and re-frozen, so it was quite glasslike in many places. I couldn't manage any thing more than about 30-35 km/h, and had two wipeouts where the wheels went from under me, before I realised what was happening. In the end, it just didn't seem feasible, but it was my first attempt at snow/ice, so maybe there's some learning I need to do.

So, can anyone answer, or comment on any of the following (I'm less interested in situations on your "big trip" where you have no alternative but to get over that snowed-in pass high in Bolivia; in such circumstances, you do whatever it takes to keep going. I'm more interested in when you've decided to do a weekend's tour from your own home, and at the last minute there's a dump of snow; or what about commuting, or doing more day-to-day biking, no matter what the winter weather?):

1. Do you ride in similar frozen/slippery conditions (including frost all the way to half a metre of snow)?

2. Do you use specific tyres when it's slippery on the ground? Are there 'winter tyres' for bikes in the same manner that there are 'winter tyres' for cars? Anyone use metal-studded tyres in the winter? What do you do if you're caught out on the wrong tyres?

3. Do you manage to maintain any sort of reasonable speed, let's say 80 km/h? Or is that just a crazy notion in such conditions? Do you allow double or triple the amount of time for your journey?

4. Any observations on how the bike handles (bar the obvious slipping all over the place!), or tips on how to handle it?

5. Are you of the opinion that two wheels and icy conditions just aren't meant to be wedded together, and garage your bike while there's snow on the ground?

Let's hear all your comments and see where this thread goes!

Ken.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 19 Aug 2006
jkrijt's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 542
> 1. Do you ride in similar frozen/slippery conditions
>(including frost all the way to half a metre of snow)?
If I can avoid it, I don't.
If I have to go, I choose a bike with a sidecar. Driving a sidecarrig in the snow is much more fun then on two wheels !

> 2. Do you use specific tyres when it's slippery on the
> ground? Are there 'winter tyres' for bikes in the same
> manner that there are 'winter tyres' for cars?
In the Netherlands, metal-studded tyres are not allowed on public roads.
For wintertyres, I guess you could use knoby motocross tyres. I never tried.

> 3. Do you manage to maintain any sort of reasonable
> speed, let's say 80 km/h?
80 km/h with a two wheeler in the snow is NOT a reasonable spreed in my opinion.

> 4. Any observations on how the bike handles (bar the
> obvious slipping all over the place!), or tips on how to
> handle it?
Don't do anything quick. Brake very gentle, accelerate very gentle, keep your feet on the pegs as long as possible. Watch out for cars and other obstacles far ahead because you need a lot of room to stop your bike or to avoid them.
Snow is ridable, ice is not. When there is black ice on the road, I leave the bike in the garage.

> 5. Are you of the opinion that two wheels and icy conditions
> just aren't meant to be wedded together, and garage your
> bike while there's snow on the ground?
When there is snow on the roads, they put salt on the road. Salt mud on your bike causes corrosion so IF you riode your bike in those conditions, clean it carefully after each trip or you ruin your bike.
Snow, ice and bikes are not made for eachother but riding in snow is possible.
__________________
Jan Krijtenburg

My travelbike is a yellow BMW R1100GS
My wifes bike, that I use a lot, is a 1978 Honda CB400T
http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/ (my personal homepage with trip reports)
http://www.krijtenburg.nl/HU_BoZ/ (The HU Motorcycle Travellers Community in my area)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 19 Aug 2006
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,098
Riding on snow can be good fun ,riding on ice is less so .
I don't think any tyres are suitable ,although I have just bought a set of Cheng Shin trials tyres for my daughters dirt bike and the tread blocks have sipes in them [ N American car winter tyres have sipes to help grip on ice ] ,so they may be a little better ,but I doubt it .
Maybe a trials pattern tyre would be the best type to go for if you KNEW that you were going to encounter snowy roads .
I think if you can maintain 80 kph [about 50 mph ] on the roads in snow you are bloody superman .
I had a Royal Enfield Bullet that was very good in snowy conditions, the smooth power delivery [ power ?] and good engine braking helped a lot , because it pays to leave the brakes well alone in ice and snow ,unless that is ,you want to slide the back round a bit .
A third wheel [sidecar] is the best strategy IMHO .
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19 Aug 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 48
Siping

I had never heard of siping (mentioned by Dodger, above) but it describes making thin cuts across the tyre tread...or so Wikipedia informs me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siping

Thanks for the replies, guys. They're exactly what I was looking for. (Of all the motorcycling equipment I thought I needed, I never considered a sidecar! Must redress that!)
:-)

Ken.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 19 Aug 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,500
i would say riding in snow or ice on public roads is to be avoided if possible.
more because of possible 'contact' with another vehicle. as to riding speeds, i will tell you a true story.
Back in the sixties I was in the forces, and was stationed at RAF Watton in Norfolk for two years, this included teh winter of 62/63. Coming bact one weekend to my home in Cornwall I found I had clutch slip going up hills at about 80 mph coming across Salisbury plain on teh old A303. I persevered for a while until I came to a layby opposite which was an all night road cafe with a fire. It was a bitter cold night. I pulled in to the layby and put the bike on teh centrestand intending to adjust the clutch. It was not easy to do that because of the ice in the lay by. I then looked at the road. It gradually dawned on me that the surface was black ice, and my clutch slip was in fact wheel spin. It took me ages to cross the road as due to the incline i could barely stand on the ice. The Triumph had been getting wheelspin going up the north east facing hills, going down there was no ice. I drove a lot slower the rest of the way.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 20 Aug 2006
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,098
Old Farts Story Time

I used to cross Salisbury Plain at night on my way back to work in Wiltshire after a weekend at home . I was admiring the stars one night as I blasted up an incline and my in my cold and vibration induced stupor [ I rode a Norton Atlas in those days ] I realised that the sky was now devoid of stars , or to be more exact ,just one bit of it was !
I swung over to the right hand side of the road and narrowly missed a tank .
[Salisbury Plain is a military exercise ground criss crossed with public roads ]

I woke up rather suddenly and had to buy another pair of Belstaff trousers .

Later in the year I was driving a Triumph [car] at night again across the Plain when once again the sky was blacked out .This time it was smoke ,inside the car ,the wiring loom had caught fire !

Salisbury Plain is not my favourite place .
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 20 Aug 2006
indu's Avatar
Motorcycle Addict
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 440
I ride all winter here in Norway. I have an Ural sidecar outfit, and use only standard russian tyres with metal studs (which is allowed in Norway). No problem neither on snow nor ice. It's a lot of fun! And I can keep up a reasonable speed (whatever that is - it's an Ural, remember...). I plan on adding a somewhat more powerful alternator to the bike to be able to use heated liners under my riding gear. Tip: If you ride a lot in sub-zero conditions, buy yourself a snowmobile helmet. Much more comfortable and warmer than a cross helmet with goggles. And you have full face protection without having the visor freezing up due to your breath inside the helmet. Or buy a double visor to your full face helmet.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 20 Aug 2006
Gold Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 77
I have lived in Western Canada all my life. In my younger days I did ride to school and back every day no matter what the conditions including icey roads and heavy snow. I also ice-raced for several years (oval tracks on the lakes).

Avoiding icey roads is the best advice. Your experience of having the wheels slip out from under you will repeat itself often on glare ice without some type of studs.

For racing we used sheet metal screws that were screwed into the tire from the outside - the hex head of the screw providing the grip. The traction as good as or better than dry pavement depending on the tire & pattern of the studs. This method is impractical for street use. They would wear down or tear out on dry pavement very quickly. I do believe you would have better luck with car tire type studs if they are legal where you are riding. (A couple of strategicly placed sheet metal screws in the bottom of your boots is also a good idea)

Snow is a different story. Temperature plays a big role. If it is near or just above freezing it will be like riding in sloppy mud. As the temperature drops the snow becomes firmer and traction actully gets a little beter. In any conditions involving snow the more agressive the tread the better in my opinion. I run with Continental TKC-80 which is basically a street rated knobby. Also, like riding in the dirt, tire pressure is very important. By lowering the pressure you get more tire surface contact. You can run as low as about 12 PSI in my experience but try about 20-25 PSI to start.

As for speed, the first thing I do in my car as I leave the house on a snowy or icey morning is hit the brakes. Do the same on your bike. You will quicky get a feel for how quickly you can stop a various speeds. This of course is much more important than how fast you can cruise along the road.
__________________
Bill Atchison
Red Deer, Alberta Canada
www.backroadexplorers.ca
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 23 Aug 2006
indu's Avatar
Motorcycle Addict
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 440
If studded tyres are allowed where you live, these are what you'd be looking for:



They are specifically made for winter riding. The rubber keeps soft even at really low temperatures. They are called Trelleborg Army.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 31 Oct 2006
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Almeria, Andalucia
Posts: 185
So while the best advice is "don't ride in snow", I have to consider it and it is possible.. as I find myself snowed in in northeast Estonia and not quite sure if the snow is here for the rest of the winter or just a few days.. but I'm assuming it will thaw at some stage because I'm trying to be optimistic.

If I could get a couple of hundred miles south I'd be out of this snow and free to travel even further south towards some decent weather.

Unless anyone knows for sure that a bizarre heatwave is heading this way?
__________________
www.BesideTheSeaside.eu
---I'm back. Now what?---
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 31 Oct 2006
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: N.Yorkshire
Posts: 338
snow, snow, glorious snow

1) yep, maximum depth approx 6" or 300mm, After that the leg/foot guards lift the tyres off the ground, making things awkward.
2) trelleborg make winter spec tyres, using a softer compound rubber, giving a nadge more grip. they also to the spiky type, but watch for road legality.
3)forget using the front brake. I converted the 90 to rear brake cable control to a lever on the left bar. so you can have both feet down on the ice.
4)garage anything valuable or with more power than neccesary. use something unbreakable, and learn to rear wheel steer!!!!!

the best tyres have lots of sipes, or lots of small knobbles. eg catspaw. big knobblies may work in deep snow, but new road tyres are far superior on ice.
http://www.trelleborgtyres.co.uk/
__________________
Harley Davidsons,
The most effective way of turning petrol into noise without the side-effect of horsepower
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Continental Divide Ride Kpick North America 6 15 May 2009 16:31
Everest Base Camp Ride: Nepal & Tibet hanif23 Southern Asia 0 9 May 2002 19:05
World-wide "memorial ride" - PLEASE READ ME Photog Rob Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 3 26 Aug 2001 22:47
World-wide "memorial ride" - PLEASE READ ME Photog Rob Travellers Seeking Travellers 1 18 Jul 2001 04:15
Word-wide "memorial ride" - PLEASE READ ME Photog Rob Route Planning 0 18 Jun 2001 03:15

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 15:04.