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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.
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  #1  
Old 14 Mar 2012
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Has anyone riden in deep snow?

...what's it like to ride in deep snow. Can it be done?
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  #2  
Old 14 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastship View Post
...what's it like to ride in deep snow. Can it be done?
Off road, deep snow is little different from mud or sand depending on temperatures and snow condition.
On road, not tried it, but don't like the idea!

The Finland boys will answer more fully.
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  #3  
Old 14 Mar 2012
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Depends on how deep you mean and the terrain you will be riding, but generally it is sufferable for short distances but not recommended due to stability, traction, etc, issues. Deep snow can be a workout even when riding a snowmobile.

Where are you planning on riding that deep snow will be an issue?
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  #4  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by MountainMan View Post
Depends on how deep you mean and the terrain you will be riding, but generally it is sufferable for short distances but not recommended due to stability, traction, etc, issues. Deep snow can be a workout even when riding a snowmobile.

Where are you planning on riding that deep snow will be an issue?
Highly speculative just now but for a long time I've been considering the possibilities of riding Russian zimniks. Russians I've spoken to advise against going on the "bottomless snow" as they call it and deep snow here in England just covers your toes (twice in ten years - maybe) so I have no experience of snow.

Often the winter roads become overwhelmed with snow and will then be graded but so long as there is a solid and even surface underneath I imagine you can plough through? Like I say, never done it so I can only imagine.

Here's an idea of what they can be like:

[YOUTUBE]PNY 2009 Pevek - Daroschni HQ - YouTube[YOUTUBE]

Ice grip and traction seems no problem with these for tyres:

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  #5  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastship View Post
Often the winter roads become overwhelmed with snow and will then be graded but so long as there is a solid and even surface underneath I imagine you can plough through? Like I say, never done it so I can only imagine.
How deep snow it’s possible to drive in depends on several factors. If the snow is light, the traction is good, the surface is even, your skills are good and you are lucky you can plough through pretty deep snow. Normally we have these conditions 2-3 days every winter where I live.
If the snow is heavy or there has been cold after a warm period you might get problems even if it’s not much snow. A few weeks ago I used 6 hours to cover less then a km, with a light KTM EXC with no luggage and the best tires you can get.
You will never know how deep the snow is in front of you, snow evens out the surface and suddenly it can be pretty deep. It also camouflages ruts, potholes and stones, sometimes you have to guess where the road/track goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastship View Post
Ice grip and traction seems no problem with these for tyres:
I use tires like that (Trelleborg/Mitas with 7 mm studs) and as you say grip on ice is excellent, better then you get with slicks on tarmac. But usually you don’t drive on ice and the tires are lethal on tarmac/concrete.

When it comes to overlanding I would say that travelling in deep snow on remote places is high-risk. If the weather turns bad you might be stuck for days, or weeks, or months. Can you handle it? How cold can it get? Will your bike handle it?
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  #6  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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Hi,

It can be done untill the engine tuches the snow and starts to buch snow in front of you while riding then you get stuck:



Have fun, Tobi
Reparaturanleitung und Wartung Motorrad Honda XL 600V 650V 700V Transalp PD06 PD10 RD10 RD13
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Old 15 Mar 2012
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Only done it a few times on ordinary tyres and it was horrible. Soft snow was bad but on the kind of semi-hard packed soft snow skiers call spring snow it was absolutely terrifying. Never again!

You might be all right with those studded monsters though!

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Old 15 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
You will never know how deep the snow is in front of you, snow evens out the surface and suddenly it can be pretty deep. It also camouflages ruts, potholes and stones, sometimes you have to guess where the road/track goes.

When it comes to overlanding I would say that travelling in deep snow on remote places is high-risk. If the weather turns bad you might be stuck for days, or weeks, or months. Can you handle it? How cold can it get? Will your bike handle it?
That was my thought, what's under the snow!

I think a bike might be more capable than four/six wheels in these conditions. I'm more off road than on nowadays, my beloved KTM 500 two stroke is the evilest bike I've ever ridden (only I can start it ) but I think a spell at the Norwegian School of Winter Warfare on the Hardangervidda plateau would be required by me! I have not the first conception of what real cold is really like - but that's the adventure of it. Also, no one has ever been to these parts by bike, as Colebatch and the Polish lads have demonstrated, it can only be done in winter (I'm thinking Chukotka)

I have a Zil 131 and know lots about URAL trucks too, when it comes to a bike simple is best also so air cooled, replace seals with aerospace spec ones (for the cold) up rate the electrics, design a warmer heated suit...it's all just a thought experiment for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
Hi,

It can be done untill the engine tuches the snow and starts to buch snow in front of you while riding then you get stuck:
That's a good point, never thought of that one. I wonder what a GS would be like?

There's also snow chains for bikes:



and Snow claw:

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Last edited by Fastship; 15 Mar 2012 at 15:30.
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  #10  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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i have ridden off road in snow about a foot deep on an XT600E fitted with TCK80's. I found it quite grippy and fun, you got used to the back sliding about and even the odd front slide. The problem came when the snow was less deep and you were riding on the ice under the snow, that was less fun
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  #11  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastship View Post
I wonder what a GS would be like?
I've used my GS (R80GS...) on tires with small studs for commuting and fun a few winters and it has been a good winterbike. I never did any extreme offroad but I'm sure there will be problems before the snow reaches the cylinders.
With synthetic 0Wxx oil and a standard battery it started easily to -17-19°c. I should have had a bigger battery for the cold days.

When driving in snow tires are extremely important, I never use anything else then winter-tires from Trelleborg/Mitas. It's far better then anything else I've tried.

Some soft-core pics:



This has to be fun:


June in Norway:



Testriding Ural:

Last edited by AliBaba; 15 Mar 2012 at 18:50. Reason: Added pics
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  #12  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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AliBaba 's post gets closest to the real answer- don't even think about it !
Every other post seems to be skirting the real question which is about DEEP snow. Several posts show snow packed down, snow on top of a hard surface snow on ice which all mean it is NOT DEEP snow . A motorcycle is not suited for anything like DEEP snow ,A bike will cut down into the loose stuff untill it is totally buried and stuck.Tried it ONCE on a farm field, will never be so foolish as to ever think about doing it again.
A bike is only one part of a transportaion system, the other part being a prepared track or road of some sort.Without part II a bike will be a dead weight to be winched around and out of deep snow.Great cardio workout though , untill the exertion kills you
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Old 15 Mar 2012
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Difficult question somebody think 5 cm is deep some one can ride in 30 cm.
There is also other issues like cold climate, wind factor, etc.
On hard bottom like normal road with 20 cm light snow is okay, wet snow will drop your velocity almost 0 km/h and anyhow your are sweating badly. Afterwards you will be frozen....
I have done 1000 mile less than 24 h three times in February sometimes it has been reasonable sometimes ****ing freezing -32C and with wind factor that means -68C.
Only way you can manage is preparing and practice there isn't easy way to do it. Testing and testing gears to found out set ups your are comfortable for all kind of weather and temps. Bike must be also build for that purpose. If you star cutting corners price could be unsustainable > froze bites > numb limbs > lost toes or fingers even life....

Most of all don't trust any heated cloths they will run you in deep shit.

I only wear "organic" clothing...merino, etc....
Here is something...

DUSTY WOBBLS

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Old 16 Mar 2012
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Fantastic responses, thanks very much. Plenty "food for thought" so far and a lot for me to read on Capo's "Dusty Wobbls" site!

It's clear I need to get some real experience in such conditions so I can see a trip to Norway and Finland with my bike in the back of my Zil next winter to test this out

I've designed an ultracapacitor starter for bikes that is impervious to low temperatures and have some ideas for using aerogel insulators for clothing in combination with Fabroc polymer.

For Chukotka, range is a consideration - 600 miles is needed.
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Old 16 Mar 2012
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If you need any information or so just pm and we can chat...
there might be plan for Polar Butt ride from Nordkapp - to Southern Finland next February ???
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