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Discussion Starter #1
Took the vulcan out for a ride this afternoon. I like to once a week or so, get 'er warmed up, use all the moving components, keep fresh gas in it.

Beautiful day too, here in Tacoma. Sunday, dry, no wind...but 36 degrees F.

My riding suit kept me warm. A balaclava under the helmet kept my head warm, my gloves did a pretty good job, my fingertips were cold by the time I got home...but my feet were cold, wrong boots I guess.

The more I ride the more I enjoy riding. And man, the vulcan is good in the cold weather. I've been looking at Sport Touring machines (more my riding style and better weather protection) but the vulcan runs so good and is so good for commuting I'm having a hard time getting rid of it.
 

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Geek
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Sat home and watched Lord Of The Rings today.

All three
 

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Put my stator in, mounted the engine back in the bike.
Found BB shipped me the wrong gasket for the front bevel gear.....
Try local dealer tomorrow.

Would have been a great riding day, sunny, 74 degrees.

Jon
 

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Brrr? 36 is way above my new low temp limit of 27 (that was only cause the bike wouldn't start that morning). I do about 15 miles to work (12 on the highway). The biggest thing to adding the warmth for me was a kick ass set of gloves and my cheap ass ebay windshield.

When we get back to the way below zero stuff I may begin to wear the extra pants, but the jeans, a leather jacket, fleece neck gator and full helmet are plenty for me to ride to/fro work the long way of course.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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the weather out side is frightful...

Brrr? 36 is way above my new low temp limit of 27... When we get back to the way below zero stuff I may begin to wear the extra pants, but the jeans, a leather jacket, fleece neck gator and full helmet are plenty for me to ride to/fro work the long way of course.
I commute like you do (20 miles round trip, a good portion on interstate/highway), but I find that the cold weather gear needed when the temperature dips below 35 is annoying to put on/take off on a daily basis. (Unfortunately, my work clothes are not biker clothes!) Even so, like Imnohero, I plan to get out regularly throughout the winter, if only for short rides.

My Plexifairing 3 windshield sure helps. And a balaclava keeps the head toasty. For cool days my Thinsulate-lined Wrangler jeans and lined leather bomber jacket feel great; for colder days I don insulated Carhartt bibs and my down jacket.

Don't you worry about the dreaded black ice when the temperature falls below 32?! I know that "all of life is the exercise of risk," but...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have about the same kind of commute...10 miles one way, about half on the highway. I'll ride to work in the cold, but I draw the line once the temp drops below freezing. Primarily because of the ice hazard. It just ups the risk level too high for me. If I lived somewhere that it was dry and below freezing, I'd probably ride...but here in Tacoma, it doesn't get below 32 and stay...so we get fog, dew, whatever you call it every night, then the temp drops...pretty high ice risk in the mornings.
 

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I'll keep driving my bike to work, not a long commute, no highways, as long as this freaky warm spell holds up. We're still getting up to 65-70 degrees every day here in Texas, very strange for this time of year, but I'm not complainin'. :smiley_th
 

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I to am loving this Texas weather. I wasn't going to ride today because of rain, but decided to chance it anyway. I do about a 16 mile commute round trip. My bike looks just like yours Steve. Its a 1994 also.
 

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Hey trsm4, you're in Hurst, we're maybe 10 minutes apart. We'll have to get together for some riding one of these days.
 

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............ I've been looking at Sport Touring machines (more my riding style and better weather protection) but the vulcan runs so good and is so good for commuting I'm having a hard time getting rid of it.


My FJR1300 is ALOT niceer to ride in cold (to even freezing) weather. As much as I liked my Vulcan, I am much happier with the FJR. The Vulcan, even with a large windscreen, just hit me with too much air to make it enjoyable in real cold weather. I still braved it now and then, but the FJR lets me wear less stuff and still be as warm. It even has vents on the side to let hot air off the engine warm you legs, but it has not been cold enough for me to want to try this yet.
I am in the process of installing a set of handguards off a V-Strom on my bike, which should keep the wind off my hands, which are the only part of me that gets cold.
KM
 

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has anyone covered part of their radiator? I was looking at making something out of some high weight pleather material. I've found my bike never even hits the lower side of the operating temps if below 40 degs....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I know some folks have covered parts of theirs...I think there was discussion about it on here last winter or spring.
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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On Gypsy's site she said that she'd cover her rad when it got cooler.

Gypsy said:
In short, you want to keep the temp range above the first hash mark
and between the "hot" upper mark on the temp gauge, but before the
red zone. If, after riding 10 miles/10 minutes at highway speed your
gauge still displays a reading below the lower mark (cold), you're
well advised to block part of the radiator to get temps in the normal
range, keeping a sharp eye on the temp gauge when sitting still and
engine running (ie; stop light, traffic jam, etc).


I find that generally below 43 degrees, I need to block part of the
radiator.


I tried using adhesive-backed velcro strips to affix a cardboard
panel to the radiator---and it didn't last long! The buffeting
aerodynamics down low on the bike do everything possible to rip it
away. What I finally did was to run a piece of aluminum flat (apprx
1/2" wide by 10 1/4" long--doesn't have to be aluminum, BTW), drilled
1/4 holes in each end to match up with the two lower radiator
cover mounting screws near the bottom of either side of the radiator,
so as to affect a holding bracket for a covering panel. You'll need
slightly longer 6mm bolts from your hardware store to add some
bolt shank length since the aluminum bracket thickness won't
allow proper thread engagement.


Then I cut a piece of wood paneling (the thin wall-covering type,
like 1/8" thick), into a 8 1/2" X 9 3/8" size (be precise on this).
The wood paneling piece is *just the right amount* of blockage on the
radiator when dropped in behind the aluminum bracket, but you always
have to remember that it's there, lest you overheat the engine and
your radiator fan starts running all the time as well. I painted my
wood paneling piece *black* with a spray can to make it look less
noticeable.
 

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I'm really liking my Fieldsheer Deuce 2 jacket. It has a half liner but in the real cold weather, I wear a liner from another jacket under it that's basically a nylon jacket insulated with poly fill that's warmer than heck. It's nearly as warm as a goose down. Those two combined and my arms start to overheat unless I'm moving at 22 degrees. I usually keep the vents open on the Fieldsheer just to keep from overheating. I have a pair of insulated pants that I can wear if I'm going to my longest place of business (35 miles) but my normal ride is only 11 miles to work, so I can usually bear the stinging legs for that long.:D

If it's really cold like the 20's, I let the bike warm up til the needle moves about halfway to the middle before I get started riding. If we've had a few rainy days (I'm not riding then) and then it's turning colder than heck (I wanna ride then) I'll fire up the bike the night before and let it warm up. It makes it kick right off the next morning when it's blistering cold. Seems like if I let the bike sit for several days and then try starting it when it's way cold, it doesn't want to start. There's probably a scientific explanation on cold gas vs warmer gas etc. on this one... I haven't yet bought and installed the iridium plugs, but I plan to.
 

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On Gypsy's site she said that she'd cover her rad when it got cooler.
With appologies to Gypsy...Covering your radiator is not needed and, well, kinda stupid.

There is no such thing as "operating tempature" and unless you plan on riding in temps way below zero, I can't see any reason to block off part of your radiator.
If your engine runs, it produces heat. Blocking off your radiator only makes the engine run hotter, and this is the one thing you are trying to avoid by having a water-cooled system to start with. If your temp gauge reads low, that is a good thing...the only thing you do want to make sure of is your oil gets warm. And warm is better than hot. Anything around 100 degrees F and your good to go. The key here is when it is cold outside, to let the bike warm up properly, not to get the engine hot...but the oil warm. Do NOT rev up the bike until it is warm. those that sit there and hold the throttle open so it runs 3-4,000 rpms to "get her warmed up" are doing the exact thing you are trying to avoid when the bike is cold. Cold oil does not flow and parts are getting fried by exsesive friction.
Bikes do not have "heaters" like cars, with blowers to warm up the occupants. This is the reason some folks block the radiators on their trucks and cars...SO THEY CAN GET WARMER FASTER INSIDE THE CAR.
Engines hate heat and it is heat that eventualy kills them. Don't hurry up the process by making your engine run hotter by cutting off its cooling system.

Many also think that windchill can freeze up their cooling system. "Windchill" is a percieved condition that only effects big moist blobs of flesh (like us humans) it does not effect solid inanimate objects. If it is 30 degrees outside, the coldest your engine, windshield, or fork tubes can get is 30 degrees. Even if you are going 50mph.

If you think your bike is not getting hot enough: Go ride 20 miles at 55 mph in 32 degree air, stop your bike, jump off of it and remove your gloves. Then grab hold of the header pipe coming out on the right side near the rear brake lever If you don't burn the crap out of your hands...you are not human.
KM
 

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I remember having the "wind chill" argument with my ex wife years ago. We had a night of 30+ mph winds when a front was coming through and the temps were supposed to get into the low 30's with wind chill of (what ever) and she wanted me to put blankets around her Fiero so it wouldn't get damaged by the wind chill.:) She is the same woman that used to gripe at me for having my headlights on in the morning after it was daylight because I was "wasting electricity". :confused:
 

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If you think your bike is not getting hot enough: Go ride 20 miles at 55 mph in 32 degree air, stop your bike, jump off of it and remove your gloves. Then grab hold of the header pipe coming out on the right side near the rear brake lever If you don't burn the crap out of your hands...you are not human.
KM
LOL...:smiley_th
 

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Discussion Starter #19
yea, in my experience riding in the cold weather, what makes a difference is when the engine gets 'heat soaked' not what the temperature gauge reads.
 

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It was 37 on my ride home today and even on the highway my guage was just over the warmed up mark, which is where it stays in any weather under 70.

I have not looked at the cooling system too much, but don't we have a thermostat like a car? If you are running cold is either really really cold out or your themostat needs replacing.
 
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