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What is the coldest temp / worst weather you ever rode in?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mailman, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. queenslegs

    queenslegs XS650 Addict

    Back where I came from the transition from no snow to snow was often quite abrupt. Once the snow hit it was time be put away the summer toys and bring on the winter toys. Consequently I cannot remember much cold weather 2 wheel riding. My younger brother (that's him on the back) can still legally scoot to town, gas station, smokes, food, wherever on his snow machine. I believe there are over 4,000 km of snow mobile trails across Ontario. For those who've never, its a real blast. 1973 TNT Silver Bullet 294. Man I loved that machine. Go like stink Bogie wheels baby!
    0036 - Jim's ski-do.jpg
    Mailman and MaxPete like this.
  2. I had an 18HP Skidoo Olympique - not very fast but 50 MPH across a bumpy field or on a frozen lake felt like Warp Factor 6 to me.

    Of course, those primitive machines would hardly steer and brakes were pretty weak too - so it was usually a good thing that they had decent directional stability. .
  3. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon.

    Hi Bob,
    remember when what you worried about was if the bike's gas tank would run empty before you got to the next gas pump?
    And these days what you worry about is if your bladder will overflow before you get to the next rest stop?
    But, back on topic:-
    Back in the UK when I was 25 or so years old me and a co-worker both lived in a little village mebbe 20 miles from our office.
    And super rare for the West of England, there was an overnight ~6" snowfall and of course when it hardly ever snows someplace
    there's total chaos on the roads when it does.
    Which is why Kenny rode in my sidecar that day instead of taking his solo bike. (neither of us owned a car BTW)
    The bike had good grip in the right-hand "railroad track" that previous traffic had worn in the snow
    but as the rig's track was too narrow for the sidecar's wheel to ride in the left-side "railroad track" Kenny & sidecar
    had to ride the ridge which slowed us down a bit but WTF, we still got to work no more than a half-hour late.
    "Didn't expect to see you guys today" the boss said "Because my secretary lives on your route to work and
    she phoned to say she couldn't get out of her driveway because of the snow."
    "Yeah" we lied. "As we rode past her place we noticed her driveway had an effin' great snowdrift across it"
    Sunny1942 and MaxPete like this.
  4. Bob Kelly III

    Bob Kelly III Ranch Kid from way back,.... that got Old !

    Where I worked at Jones's autowrecking in The Dalles, Or. just after we were married , the owner and his buddy/fabricator. had 125cc honda singles and they rode in the snow all the way to the top of the mountians quite often.... they came back one time talking about their adventures
    and said that they could go in Deep snow..... i mean Deep snow.... step off the bike and sink to your waste type stuff....
    I could never figure out how they did that going out elk Hunting, but I do not doubt they did.... they said after about 1 foot of snow you start riding on top of the snow.... at max it would compress up to the hub or skid plate but no further even in powder snow....
    they went all over on those 125cc honda singles.... HA !
    i quit working there to work for the bike shop in town and the Kawasaki H2 750's god I loved those machines!.... went to Portland to School on the KZ900 and watched a video of a guy taking apart the KZ900 in 15 min with just a "T" handle.... and the boss said after the video, yah right !
    it takes 1.5 hrs to do that in real life ! LOL. he was a working manager/owner and knew his stuff ! but that was the place where I got my start
    ..... many many years ago !..... it was a whole nother world back then.....
    ......He had me give a Harley FLH a tuneup.... I didn't want to do it , but he needed me to so I did..... I had him check my work and he was quite pleased and I said, good now where is the H2's ? hahahaha and we both laughed !..... never liked those heavy unwieldy machines.... their built like a brick shit-house and have power out the Kazoo but their just too darn heavy to be practical.... to me !
    and then about 30 years later I wind up with the 1100 honda shadow that was just as heavy with less power ! HA ! oh well......
  5. Bob Kelly III

    Bob Kelly III Ranch Kid from way back,.... that got Old !

    with the XS650 I have no problems now..... I have to stop for gas about every 30 minutes anyway so I'm good.... I hate that small tank!
    but like you say..... its either a Pee stop or gas so what the heck ! HAHAHAHAHHAHA
  6. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs Kablatta, kablatta...

    We might have our crazys down here, but you northern boys can keep yer ice and snow games up there...

    MaxPete, Mailman, robinc and 2 others like this.
  7. gggGary

    gggGary Cara Mia!!

    While in the van yesterday saw the first salting of the season, a nearby long river bridge. They use that brine spray now, the telltale is a set of light stripes about 9" apart down the middle 10' of the road bed. Blech!
    Mid March many decades ago, weather was nice enough for a CB450 first ride of the year. The ice on Devils Lake looked solid so went for a slow tour out on it. Enjoying the day and view a few hundred feet out on the lake I stopped to look about. :whistle: It was cool because the ice was clear and I could see the bottom 10 feet down. :bike: hmm what are all those funny looking little bumps I see on the ice? Turns out the ice was maybe an inch thick (no I didn't measure) and the "bumps" were small holes with little fountains of water coming through, the weight of the bike was sinking the ice! :yikes: I um VERY carefully got my ass turned around and off of there! Yes I have all kinds of stupid cars on lake ice stories. :hump:.

    MaxPete and Mailman like this.
  8. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru

    Gary that's a great story! You are so lucky to have made it off the ice!
    We here in The Valley of the Sun just never see ice. I had a friend who owned a Jeep , who drove up to Northern Arizona to go 4 wheeling in the snow. He came upon a frozen pond and thought how much fun it would be to go out on the ice and spin donuts with his Jeep, right up to the point where he crashed through the ice. He wasn't hurt but he couldn't get a tow truck to go get his jeep for about a month. By which time it was completely ruined of course.
    Silly desert dweller.
  9. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon.

    Hi Bob,
    I'm sure you know that an XS650 Standard tank will drop straight onto your Special and is one gallon bigger?
    Can't help with your Pee range but unlike gas pumps, there's trees everywhere, eh?
    MaxPete likes this.
  10. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon.

    Hi 2Many,
    Google the Welsh Dragon Rally and the European Elephant Rally.
    What we do when forced to by necessity those guys do for fun
  11. Grimly

    Grimly XS650 Addict

    Until about 1983 I'd ridden all year round, but never went any long distances in the winter.
    Easter break that year was almost tropical, and I headed down to a friend's house in the south of England, about 400 miles away. It was so warm on the way down, I was riding with minimal coverage, jeans and t-shirt more or less.
    Towards the end of the break, the TV forecast looked a bit gloomy, but I was literally quite unprepared for what happened next.
    Snow, rain, hail and ice covered most of the country for a day or two. Just out of virtually nowhere, with minimal warning. Of course, these days we'd have ample warning of that, but the long-range forecasts were a bit vague and unreliable. If there had been such a thing in place at the start of the week I'd have done things differently for sure.
    Anyway, I'd postponed my return trip for a couple of days to allow the roads to clear and the temperature to rise a bit, but had no choice but to leave and head north again to get back to work.
    That journey north was one I'll never forget. Because I was foolish enough to take only summer gear with me, I was caught out badly. My hands were frozen to the bars, and the totally inadequate gloves I had became torture intstruments as they got soaked and virtually useless. My upper body was ok, as were my legs, but my feet were like blocks of ice.
    I discovered a trick, after being pulled over for slipstreaming too close to tractor/trailer units by motorway police. At 60mph, the long rectangular body of an articulated truck generates more than one calm air pocket behind it. There's the one that's obvious (and was too close) but there's another one about 100ft behind that, and a bike fits into it quite nicely. I spent the majority of the remaining 300 miles doing this distant slipstreaming.
    Eventually I got home and soaked in a hot bath for hours.
    For years after that, my fingers were acutely sensitive to cold, and I reckon I sustained some lasting injury. It gradually recovered, but I'm still averse to getting chilled there.
    After that, I became a total convert to the benefits of full touring fairings , and did many similar journeys without the slightest problem. BMW's RT fairing, Vetter's fairing, any of them are better than freezing your ass off and losing control or your life. I couldn't give a rat's ass what a fairing looks like, as long as it does its primary job.
    gggGary and JimD54 like this.
  12. Bob Kelly III

    Bob Kelly III Ranch Kid from way back,.... that got Old !

    Thanks Fred ! yah I know.... some day.......
    When I was a Kid back at the ranch one winter it froze so hard the pond had a real thick sheet of ice on it...
    so I ventured out on it .... no problems when it's 4" thick or so....
    but many times it was only about an Inch thick and although it held me up... there were these eiri sounds
    from all around as I eased my way out ..... sure enough boom and dropped to my knees....
    talk about COLD !!!!! i got out of there quick !
    by the time I got my Motorcycle it never froze that hard again... so I never took the bike on it.... or I would'a ....hehehhe
    but Our drive way was a old logging road.... ment for 4x4's not 2 wheel cars and every winter it was the same hassel
    trying to get in and out on that road... a few times Mom would ask me to go to the store for her on the bike simply because the road was so bad
    saturday was usually the day we spent chucking rocks into the ruts on the road so we could get in and out....
    even the VW's got stuck.... the truck, and the big 53' oldsmobile that road was not partial ... it would get anything stuck... a friend of my Dads came out to visit and he got stuck in his 4x4 truck and I had to get the d2 cat going to get him out !
    one winter it was so bad we left the cat down by the bad spot ... that next spring we hauled truck after truck after truck load of rocks from the creek to the bad spot on the hill and finally made it a decent road by hand.... it still got slippery but the Ruts were filled and it didn't matter
    that much.... back then we didn't have a tractor with a loader.... man we needed one then !...
    but in all the times in and out of that road on the bikes of various sizes I always made it in and out fine.... might have mud all over me from time to time but that was normal !
  13. Bob Kelly III

    Bob Kelly III Ranch Kid from way back,.... that got Old !

    Grimly: I have a Windjammer fairing out under the pine tree for the xs650.... but doubt I'll put it on.... because I don't wann'a ride in that stuff any more... I want ride when it's warm,.... not cold ! LOL but I came to that conclusion as well.... any fearing is better than no fairing!
    and it does make a big difference !..... I've had 3 fairings all windjammers with the windshield and side pockets... big in godly things
    but they are the best for winter riding ! you can tuck behind that bubble and barely get wet at 60mph !
    because of that experience I have always wondered about riding what I call a Motorhome type motorcycle like the Honda interstate
    that is already set up with fairing saddle bags and even a Heater !!!!
    ..... I in my dreams have designed a Cycle-car... that is fully enclosed and has little doors that pop open for your feet ..I can't help but wonder if it would be worth building.... but for me now...when it's cold I stay Home !!!!! HA !
  14. Grimly

    Grimly XS650 Addict

    I don't have any plans to put a fairing on the XS, as I like its lightweight chuckability too much, and it's a summer bike for me. My fully-faired bikes are a pair of GS850s (well, one hasn't got the fairing yet, but it will have when it's built back up) and another Yamaha, an XJ900F has nearly had a fairing put on it, but I really like it without. The weight distribution of the GS and the XJ are sufficienctly different that I strongly suspect I wouldn't like a fully-faired XJ on the road. As for the GS; it's such a heavy brute that the addition of the fairing made no difference to it.

    Regarding your fully-faired and enclosed two-wheeler, Royce Creasey did it with the Phaser nearly 40 years ago. More recently, the Swiss did it with the MonoTracer. Only difference was Creasey allowed you to put your feet out, although I believe there were skids available if you wanted them. The MonoTracer has an automatic skid extension when stopped, so you can keep your feet in.
  15. Bob Kelly III

    Bob Kelly III Ranch Kid from way back,.... that got Old !

    Enteresting ! Never seen that beastie before ! .
    Bah humbug, on the electric crap.... but a BMW engine in it would be fantastic !
    I'ed drive one ! the idea of out'a the elements is very appealing to me ! LOL spent too many Cold rides to enjoy it anymore!

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