Tips/tricks for winter riding needed - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Motorcycle Safety Discuss safety ideas/tactics or safety-related products.
Ride Smart!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2009, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
VN750_DawgsFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Duluth, GA
Posts: 641
iTrader: (0)
 
Tips/tricks for winter riding needed

I plan on riding the bike for as long as I can. But being the new winter rider that I am, I'm not sure what to expect or the best way to ride as the road condition begin to become questionable. Obviously if I just don't feel safe riding, I'm not gonna ride.

I'm just looking for some hints/tips from some of our year round riding members for riding on less than optimal winter road conditions. I take the highway to work now, but there are back roads I can take if necessary. My biggest concern is riding with somewhat icy/slippery road conditions, and black ice that tend to occur during the the winter months of late December, January and February here in GA. It doesn't snow much....or often here, but I've also never ridden a motorcycle on snowy roads either.

Thanks in advance


My daily ride
Metzler ME880s
NGK caps, wires and Iridiums
Coasters (made by Lance328), earshave and rejet with screws turned out 3 turns
Volt gauge w/ custom mounting cup by Lance328 wired into headlight bucket 13.5v-14v
National Cycles Plexistar 2 windshield
DEKA battery
Mutazu GA Black hard bags w/ custom support brackets and relocation brackets made by Lance328
Custom lowers made by Lance328
Vance&Hines Cruzer exhaust pipes
TOC MCCTs
H.I.D. Conversion kit
VN750_DawgsFan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2009, 09:10 PM
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
flitecontrol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monroe, LA
Posts: 4,698
iTrader: (14)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VN750_DawgsFan View Post
I plan on riding the bike for as long as I can. But being the new winter rider that I am, I'm not sure what to expect or the best way to ride as the road condition begin to become questionable. Obviously if I just don't feel safe riding, I'm not gonna ride.

I'm just looking for some hints/tips from some of our year round riding members for riding on less than optimal winter road conditions. I take the highway to work now, but there are back roads I can take if necessary. My biggest concern is riding with somewhat icy/slippery road conditions, and black ice that tend to occur during the the winter months of late December, January and February here in GA. It doesn't snow much....or often here, but I've also never ridden a motorcycle on snowy roads either.

Thanks in advance
I ride year round, but have never ridden in snow. And never plan to. Can't see what's under the snow, like sand or gravel, and the snow poses enough traction problems by itself, especially with street tires. Doubt I could make a quick stop on snow, and therefore will take the cage on those days. Maybe it's just my lack of confidence and experience.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
flitecontrol is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2009, 09:32 PM
Senior Member
 
Chavisimo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 308
iTrader: (0)
 
I try to ride as much as possible. Time I don't ride is when it rains, snows, or possible roads icing. I don't feel comfortable riding in those conditions so I just cage it to where ever I need to go. For me, i'd rather feel safe and ride another day.

Sorry, I don't have any tips on snowy or icy roads. But why would you want to drive on snow or ice? Its gets bad enough with 4 wheels. I can't imagine on 2 wheels.


VROC Number: 31246
2003 Kawasaki VN750 SOLD
2006 Honda VTX1800C
Chavisimo is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2009, 09:35 PM
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
cm4cm5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: owensboro ky
Posts: 355
iTrader: (3)
 
same here, i never ride when the roads are wet and the temps cold enough to freeze on bridges. surface roads arent bad, but the bridges and overpasses are a defferent story. ive slid lots of times in my truck on them. dont want to think what would have happend if i was on the bike.





Jeff Brooks
Owensboro KY
'94 Vulcan 750

http://youtube.com/user/cm4cm5
cm4cm5 is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2009, 10:36 PM
Senior Member
 
letitflight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 668
iTrader: (0)
 
i agree
i try to ride as much as possible as well. You really got to pay attention on wet roads and freezing temp. I had a "slide" (thank God i didn't get hurt) last winter...pretty scary stuff you go over a frozen patch of water. "Got a 34 rule because of that" - Scootergptx.

PEACE!!!

2005 Vulcan 750
letitflight is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 12:08 AM
Linkmeister Supreme
 
OlHossCanada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 7,960
iTrader: (8)
   
There are only two rules for riding a motorcycle on ice and snow safely. Unfortunately no one remembers what they are.

I think this little bit of wisdom is still on the portal page from time to time.

During my last year of high school (1971), there was another student who rode a 100cc bike all winter , even down to -30*F temperatures. He had attached an outrigger wheel on the right side somehow, which effectively gave him a sidecar rig. I did not know him, or know how far he lived from the school, but I suspect he never left the residential streets, or exceeded 30 mph. He may have had studded ice racing tires on the bike too, for as much as I know.

I do not think attempting to set up such a rig on your Vulcan for travel on higher speed roads would be advisable, if you were even thinking of it.

I agree with all the previous posters, that it is not worth the risk of sliding out on snow and ice to ride in those conditions. Ride in good weather, and take the cage if there is snow or ice on the roads, or any chance of freezing temperatures before you will get home again. JMHO.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html

Last edited by OlHossCanada; 11-13-2009 at 12:18 AM.
OlHossCanada is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 01:43 AM
Senior Member
 
dirtrack650's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Castle Rock, Wa
Posts: 1,750
iTrader: (0)
 
Rode down to 28 degrees last year to get to work - had no choice - but with the right clothes, snowmobile gear, balaclava, HiVis winter coat, it was kinda fun, you know the crazy looks from cagers. Rain in the Pacific Northwest can't slow a biker down or you would only ride a few days each month so, with the right gear winter riding is an option.

95 VN750 (eBay)31k+
GL1100 front fender
OEM engine guard
OEM high back rest
'V-Twin' HWY pegs
Black 750 Spectre handlebars
SunPro Volt Meter (Amazon)
Maier bug shield (JCW)
Bar Ends anti-vibe (JCW)
Emgo air filters
Tank bag-Eclipse
Tail bag-FroZone Cooler
Back Rest-Igloo 6 pak cooler
WalMart Saddle Bags
R/R Relocate
Dry Splines Lubed
AGM DieHard-Sears
Gutted Goat
Sporster XL Mufflers
LED's-stop,tail,turn,marker
Pickup coil mod to .45mm
Silverstar headlight
Rotella T6
dirtrack650 is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 02:05 AM
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
KIMMERLING's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SAN ANTONIO, Texas
Posts: 1,126
iTrader: (7)
 
Send a message via Skype™ to KIMMERLING
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtrack650 View Post
Rode down to 28 degrees last year to get to work - had no choice - but with the right clothes, snowmobile gear, balaclava, HiVis winter coat, it was kinda fun, you know the crazy looks from cagers. Rain in the Pacific Northwest can't slow a biker down or you would only ride a few days each month so, with the right gear winter riding is an option.
I moved from Tacoma, Washington ..to Texas 6 years ago..and I am loving it! I am a new rider and enjoy the sunny weather!

2011 Suzuki VSTROM DL650 with ABS Purchased Jan 28 now with 39,000miles WRECKED JAN 12 ,2013
"To strive, to seek, to find, not to yield."
05 Vulcan 750 26,050miles *Traded in*
Ventura guards
MadStadt mount
Givi windshield/Heated grips
Backoff
Riderbeads
Givi 52 topcase
Pat Walsh Crash bars skid plate
OEM centerstand
Headlight modulator
Battery tender
Aquarium thermometer with forward probe mount
Admore LED Lighting/Givi E36N panniers
KIMMERLING is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 07:09 AM
Columbus, Ohio
 
jimkonst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 523
iTrader: (2)
 
Aside from the obvious about ice and snow,
riding in winter means riding in the dark. I wear a reflective vest over my black clothing.
LED rear lights are a good idea, as are light surging devices to make you more visible. Don't drive beyond your headlights--low beams. It is scary to dim for somebody and be in the dark, flying low.
Colder weather means condensation on your full face windscreen, so buy a defogging agent, or better yet, the Fog City insert that really does work, by providing a double pane of plastic, or be prepared to ride with the screen partially opened. That can really hurt your teeth and dry your eyes when it's cold.
Wind proofing your clothing is much more important, as is having a large windscreen that protects the hands as well as the chest and face.
Electric gloves make life worth living, again. No other glove I have tried kept me even close to comfortable...my electrics are sometimes too warm, so I have to turn them down or sweat. Imagine sweaty hands on a bike in the winter!
I use a fairly cheap rainsuit. Heavy vinyl, snap closure, bright yellow, no hood (it interferes with your helmet and catches rain. Nothing makes you quite as miserable as riding through a deep puddle and having massive quantities of water jump into your shoes. If your socks get wet you will be miserable all day, so either have a change of socks or wear waterproof boots or chaps.
When I commute to work I tend to ride like I drive. In a hurry. That is the most dangerous thing I can do, so I make a concerted effort to leave ten or more minutes early and drive in a calm, sedate, predictable manner, with little lane changing. I have a throttle boss/cramp buster that makes the miles much more comfortable.
Since my deer encounter a few days ago I have taken to closely following midsized trucks or large cars, the idea being that they will illuminate the road better and hit the deer for me. I stay close so deer are not tempted to cross behind them and in front of me. I find that deer are less common on interstate highways, and anyway, I prefer the controlled traffic, one way lanes, and controlled access. Big semis will blow you around, especially about fifty feet in their rear, where the wakes rejoin. Avoid that distance.
Bring a half cover for the bike. You will get rain or frost on it, especially if you work the night shft. A full cover will melt against the pipes. Check to see if your insurance will cover commuting...some don't without your specifying.

In closing, count on taking longer. do not drive like a kid on a bike in the summer. Passing, lane changing, and frequent acceleration will make you a hazard. You are doing this to save money, not to be a cool biker dude.

My three cents worth.


Jim
'95 Kawasaki Concours

Sold my Vulcan




I do LOTS of dumb stuff. Riding is only one of them.

Last edited by jimkonst; 11-13-2009 at 07:21 AM.
jimkonst is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 08:11 AM
Senior Member
 
LibertyPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Titusville, New Jersey
Posts: 6,388
iTrader: (0)
   
Be careful and take it easy as it'll be dark and may be wet. If its wet, don't use any large inputs of any kind, throttle up or down, quick shift and quick clutch engage, deep banks left or right - all of this should be avoided. Everything should be nice and smooth, seemless and carful. The first thing to do is watch the weather reports. They will tell you the road conditions and if there's ice or black ice. If there is, obviously take the cage.

Not sure if you get snow down there but if you do be careful on that first nice day. By "nice" I mean no snow on the roads or bridges, dry conditions, sunny day, still cold out but worth a ride. If you get snow and the salt trucks have been around, the salt will still be on the road even though they're dry and its tough to see. If you hit a patch of that you might as well be on gravel. I came around a corner on a brisk but dry morning and luckily hit the patch on a straight away. My tires still did the 'wandering' thing and it was rather disconcerting. Had I been in a turn I'd have been down guaranteed. In the Summer I "have fun but be careful" in the Winter I "Be careful but have fun". Be mindful and stay alert.
LibertyPilot is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Once registered, your User Name"cannot be changed". We can make exceptions within 7 days, but after that, it is set in stone.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome