Hypercold Riding Question - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Hypercold Riding Question

Hey all- Good morning from a brisk NYC (8deg f). Was wondering if anyone might be able to shed some light on something for me. When I ride to work on the coldest days like today I notice a bit more rolling resistance in neutral for the first few minutes of my ride. Not a crazy amount- but I know how she feels, so I notice it. My theory is that the grease in the bearings stiffens up in the cold and after a few minutes of friction and rotation they warm up and resume normal rolling resistance. Does this sound accurate?


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 09:12 AM
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Cold oil / grease is thicker and offers more resistance until it warms up
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 09:24 AM
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Sounds to me like you are insane. Wanna borrow my truck?

But seriously, the grease could be cold causing an increased viscosity, or your chain could be stiff from the cold (moisture on chain freezing). Any liquid gains thixotropy when cooled. If it gets better after a few minutes of riding I would say these are reasonable assumptions as to why it is giving more resistance for the first little bit while super cold outside.

What tires are you using to ride in snow and ice? Cagers definitely are not looking for bikes in this weather.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 09:31 AM
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You said "in neutral", maybe you meant with clutch pulled in. I dont ride at all...I mean never with the bike in neutral. Maybe its the rolling resistance of your cold tires along with the chain being stiff as Ian says? Do you store the bike indoors or is it cold as a cast iron toilet seat when you get on?

I'm no diplomat

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Depending on who you ask I'm either completely out of my mind, or I have balls of titanium. That said- I really just HATE the subway. It's literally the reason I got my V in the first place. If there's ice and snow on the ground I won't ride- but short of that I'm taking my bike. I ride on Michelin Pr4 rear and Pr2 front (rear Pr2 caught a nail). Oxford heated grips, snowpants over my jeans, -40c rated boots, and 2 Arcteryx fleece layers under my Olympia jacket. It's really not that bad, presuming you give the grips time to warm up (which takes a while if the bike has been in 5deg cold all night). I also rock a hi viz vest, extra lighting fore and aft, and a very cautious riding style.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 10:31 AM
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If there's ice and snow on the ground I won't ride- but short of that I'm taking my bike.
I'm with you and have been doing the same thing for 20 years. While passive gear like a windproof jacket is nice electric heat completely transforms winter riding. I've got a 56 mile one way mostly highway commute and can be straight up hot the whole way to work if I choose to turn the heat up all the way. Electric jacket liner and gloves are two items I will never be without again. I can even plug in my electric gear into a separate battery and use it off the bike (or on the dirt bike which doesn't have the juice to even power a headlight).
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 11:41 AM
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Off topic - but a question for the winter riders.

How do you keep your visor and glasses from fogging? After 50 years of trying, I've never found a solution that works very well for me.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 11:55 AM
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I've got a helmet with a pinlock on the visor (basically making it dual pane). On bikes where the airflow hits the helmet directly I don't get any fogging at all, just some condensation (which seems impossible to avoid). On bikes with a big windshield (e.g., my versys in winter) I either crack my visor open every once in awhile or I just leave it open a little. This has worked for me down to 0 dF (which is about as cold as it gets here).
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 12:27 PM
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Can't imagine riding below freezing as ice and snow on road would cause major loss in traction. I can't even see the pavement on my side street till late March.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 12:57 PM
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Off topic - but a question for the winter riders.

How do you keep your visor and glasses from fogging? After 50 years of trying, I've never found a solution that works very well for me.
You could also go with a snowmobile helmet with a heated visor.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 03:01 PM
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Off topic - but a question for the winter riders.

How do you keep your visor and glasses from fogging? After 50 years of trying, I've never found a solution that works very well for me.
Pin Lock system works well for me.
PinLock also makes an insert that sticks to any visor, I haven't tried that but I may soon because the helmet I just bought doesn't have pinlok available.

Back on topic, I think you're experiencing thick grease. Your 4 wheeled vehicle probably do the same thing but because they weigh so much you don't notice it.
Cudos for riding, I usually ride through the winter but this has been a very messy winter on the roads around here. I rode a few weeks ago, the temp didn't bother me but I was uncomfortably close to going down on gravel and ciders a couple of times, kind of lost my appetite for it after that.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 07:29 PM
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I started reading the initial post by Goat, then thinking is this a test of sorts?
He has a NASA logo. This guy could be a rocket scientist. Hell they think up this stuff all day. I would offer my non-scientific opinion of cold oil equals thick oil. Colder the thicker. So it will take some friction to get to normal liquid state. Good luck up there in the real cold. In Atlanta yesterdays ride to work was 45 degrees Fahrenheit, home was 28. todays ride home should be 27.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 01:56 PM
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I would venture a guess that the largest contributor to what you are experiencing is the tires, when cold, have a higher rolling resistance until they 'warm up' on the molecular level.

Of course the bearings will also be out of tolerance until they warm up, and cold grease in the wheel bearings and the chain will also contribute.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 02:57 PM
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Off topic - but a question for the winter riders.

How do you keep your visor and glasses from fogging? After 50 years of trying, I've never found a solution that works very well for me.
A nose mask is the ultimate solution. The best will touch your skin around your muzzle and give you zits. The next best which I like is a Shoei harder rubber mask (for 1100 helmet) that just touches the bridge of your nose. Cycle Gear also has a spray on that works ok, but they say use it every time (it must have to be damp to work I'd guess.) It works ok, but it's a hassle and you have to carry it with you and wipe it down every day/time you get on. I've ridden 8 degrees in the more humid South and MO (like Chicago jet stream weather.) Northern cold is easier if that makes it any better. But I'm sure it gets to be a drag after a while.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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I started reading the initial post by Goat, then thinking is this a test of sorts?
He has a NASA logo. This guy could be a rocket scientist. Hell they think up this stuff all day. I would offer my non-scientific opinion of cold oil equals thick oil. Colder the thicker. So it will take some friction to get to normal liquid state. Good luck up there in the real cold. In Atlanta yesterdays ride to work was 45 degrees Fahrenheit, home was 28. todays ride home should be 27.
I assure you this is not the case. Just a fan of the space program. I have an HJC Symax 3 with a pinlok visor in it. To be honest I've had issues with it still fogging due to a lack of proper seal against the shield. I started riding with http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Research-Face-Black-Large/dp/B001J2M3Q2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423968783&sr=8-1&keywords=outdoor+research+face+mask and that absorbs enough of the moisture from my breath to keep the visor clear. My commute is only 30 minutes or so, and I usually never ride longer than that in these low temps. I have put some thought into a heated visor, but since trading in heated glove liners for heated grips, I'm a huge fan of not being tethered to the bike with wires...


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