Cold weather riding vs bike type - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Cold weather riding vs bike type

As the weather cools and deteriorates as we approach winter I see fewer and fewer bikes on the road. Although cheap adventure bikes (Versys, WeeStrom, KLR, etc.) make up a pretty insignificant amount of registered motorcycles they seem to be over represented by the riders still on the road.

Anyone else have a similar observation?

Last edited by twowheels; 11-25-2012 at 06:22 PM.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 02:03 PM
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I know of my 4 bikes, three of them get put away (BMW R1200GS, BMW R90S and a Triumph Thunderbird) while the Versys stays on and available should there be a break in the weather and the roads are clear. It's not that I don't love it, and am willing to subject it to the nasty conditions, but it just seems the best for that purpose. Plus, both my son and I share riding it, so if there's a nice day, one or the other of us can go for a rip.
That said, I still am seeing the occasional Harley out riding around. I guess it figures, as around here they (Harleys) make up about 80 percent of the bikes on the road.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 02:07 PM
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It is way to cold to ride in shorts and flip flops this time of year. That eliminates a big part of the sport bike and cruiser crowd.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 02:18 PM
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Don't understand

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Originally Posted by kenr74 View Post
It is way to cold to ride in shorts and flip flops this time of year. That eliminates a big part of the sport bike and cruiser crowd.
That's kinda of funny, sports bike riders protect their heads with full coverage helmets but don't care about their feet. Then you have the Harley people, man they protect the hell out or their feet with big ass boots but no helmets!
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 03:07 PM
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That's kinda of funny, sports bike riders protect their heads with full coverage helmets but don't care about their feet. Then you have the Harley people, man they protect the hell out or their feet with big ass boots but no helmets!
So one can still negotiate his wheel chair and the other can't remember where he is walking to.

As it gets cooler here in Middle TN the bikes that offer the least wind protection and the bikes that don't have the spare amps for heated gear get put away. Then there are those that just don't ride unless it is sunny and above a certain temperature regardless of what style bike.

And of course there are those that ride no matter what regardless of what style bike.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
As the weather cools and deteriorates as we approach winter I see fewer and fewer bikes on the road.

I've noticed all the race/super sport bikes seem to go into hibernation at the first sign of cold weather. Most of the cruisers and high end sport tour bikes do the same. The only bikes left on the road at this time of year seem to be the adventure bikes (Versys, WeeStrom, KLR, etc.) and the occasional metric cruiser and older Japanese standard.

Anyone else have a similar observation?
In the winter I see mostly cruisers on the roads around here but I don't think that's a function of the weather, I think that's because 90% of the riders around here ride cruisers. Oddly enough the second most popular bikes on the winter roads around here seem to be dual sports (KLRs, DRs XRs etc.) with the occasional classic metric bike here or there. I very seldom see an "adventure" type bikes around here irregardless of the weather. There are a couple of BMWs in the area but I have yet to see a VStrom, a Vee, a Tiger or anything along those lines. I feel like the odd man out sometimes.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
That's kinda of funny, sports bike riders protect their heads with full coverage helmets but don't care about their feet. Then you have the Harley people, man they protect the hell out or their feet with big ass boots but no helmets!
I always think it is strange seeing a $600 helmet on a guy riding in shorts. I guess I have crashed enough offroad that I don't want to see what happens if I go down on road.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
As the weather cools and deteriorates as we approach winter I see fewer and fewer bikes on the road.

I've noticed all the race/super sport bikes seem to go into hibernation at the first sign of cold weather. Most of the cruisers and high end sport tour bikes do the same. The only bikes left on the road at this time of year seem to be the adventure bikes (Versys, WeeStrom, KLR, etc.) and the occasional metric cruiser and older Japanese standard.

Anyone else have a similar observation?
My bikes follow the same route but come January, February as long as the roads are clear and free of salt my trusty ole 400cc scooter is the only two wheeler seen in sub 20 deg,F weather. The "tough guys" are gone til summer.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 05:05 PM
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I live in an area full of cruisers, most have been put to sleep. Sport touring bikes are quite rare, all I have seen is my versys and a v-strom. There are the odd ss, but they disappeared a while ago.

It would appear I may be the only one riding year round
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 08:32 PM
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Here we have riding weather all year--temps will dip below freezing in Winter, but snow and ice on the roads are rare unless you go up in elevation a bit.

In the "off season" BMWs make up a high percentage of the commute bikes I see on the road--higher than for example than in the Summer when there are more bikes out. For how uncommon they are, I think Verses are well represented too--there's one I see regularly during the commute, and another I saw once while we were both refuelling at the end of my commute.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 06:50 AM
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We have an MC parking pad at work, laid in concrete, that can hold about 20 or so bikes on a nice Summer day. 15 of them will be cruisers, the rest mostly sport bikes. As the weather turns to Winter here in Canada, fewer and fewer bikes have assembled there. For the last 2 weeks, my Versys had the pad all to itself with the exception of one day shared with a KLR.

Even I had to throw in the towel 3 days ago and park for the season. Snow's here.

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 09:04 AM
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First dusting of snow here, but I had two good rides this week. At 10 degrees Celsius I was mostly comfortable with Gerbing heated liner and gloves, however after about 20 minutes I did get cold on the back of my upper arms and lower front (stomach area). It was then that I found myself missing my Concours, which had the best the weather protection of any bike I've ever ridden. Early spring and late fall is the only time the V is less than adequate for me.

I saw mostly cruisers and luxo-barge type bikes on the road.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 10:34 AM
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When it's c-c-c-cold I tend to reach for the Honda ST which has much better wind protection than the Versys, but I have heated grips, heated gloves and a heated jacket liner so I can take the cold pretty well on either bike. As long as there's no salt and crap on the roads, I keep riding. I rode several times in January and February this year...never rode in either month before.



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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 10:57 AM
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My Buell had NO wind protection at all and I didn't ride much in real cold weather because Frost Bite is very low on my Fun List of things to do!

My KLR offers much better protection and I ride it in low temps. The Versys I park as it's too nice a bike to beat up with road grime and any salt after the first snow. BUT I do ride it until then.

Almost all the cruiser riders I know are "Fair Weather Riders" and park it when the temp drop below 70. BUT I do see more HDs than Sportbikes when it gets cold.

I have also noticed that almost every one waves in winter here. Not sure it they're saying hello OR HELLO...another fool!

Or was that look THEN leap?

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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 12:07 PM
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Around here if there is a %20 chance of 'shade' the cruiser's get parked and it's just me and a couple KLR's on the road. Maybe it's a Kawi thing. ;-) As long as there's no snow I'm on the bike.

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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 01:16 PM
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There definitely appears to be a steep dropoff in the number of sport bikes in NYC once it hits about 45f. Unless there's snow or ice on the ground I'm riding 365. I tend to only see adventure bikes and scooters with barn door windshields once its properly cold...

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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 02:26 PM
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I was talking to a friend at work that rides a Hybusa about the same thing. He can only afford to carry insurane for 6 months a year. He says it's common for the liter+ bikes due to the $1100.00 it costs for the six months they get. If I had to pay $2K a year for insurance, I probably wouldn't ride in the winter either.... As it is I pay $210.00 for a whole year which means the V doesn't get much of a break come winter...
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 01:22 PM
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Only machine I've seen on the road consistently since the beginning of October is an old hippy-looking dude on a Zuma 50. I think it's his only transport; he must live near me because I see him quite often during the riding season, more than any other single identifiable rider. We had some unseasonably warm weather leading up to Thanksgiving, and various sorts were out for a final ride; mostly cruisers, primarily H-D, with the odd sportbike here and there. I generally drop my oil and park my bike around Halloween. Much later and the chance of clear roads with which to burn the last of the moisture out of your crankcase diminishes considerably.

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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 03:53 PM
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I have 2 bikes and the Versys is the last one to get stored for winter...still have about 2 weeks left of riding before the end of the season...
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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 04:00 PM
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It was 28F when I left the house this morning.
When I got to work my boss told me he was sending me out for a drug test because "you must be on something to ride in this weather".
I saw a couple bikes out riding yesterday after it warmed up but none today.
It's supposed to snow tonight, I'll leave the V parked until the roads are dry then I'll be back at it.
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