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I've historically put my bikes in the garage in mid-October. My chieftain is the first bike I think I can make myself comfortable on during the colder weather. I'm looking for recommendations on how to best prepare for the cold rides. My work commute is about 24 highway miles each way.

I'm going to buy the heated grips tomorrow. I don't currently have gloves and hate the bulky feeling of winter riding gloves. I'm hoping I can be comfortable with the grips and a much lighter glove.

I have Indian riding pants I've worn during colder weather. So far I've used them down to mid-high 40s with a thermal base layer. I can sometimes feel a little air penetration along seams in the thighs but overall comfortable so far. I bring jeans in a small duffle in the saddle bag to change when I get to work.

I have 6" Ecco boots that are insulated and gore-tex. No complaints about the feet yet with boot socks.

I have a few Indian jackets. My warmest is a green canvas military looking riding jacket with removable fleece liner. My core stays reasonably warm but my arms get a bit chilly. I suspect the absence of gloves doesn't help me here. I ride with a base thermal long sleeve with a short sleeved shirt (work shirt) over it.

For the head I have a gator that I pull over my nose and up the back of my head. I then put on a run of the mill fabric beanie on my dome. I have a 14" dark tint freedom shield (that I think I would trade for a 12" if anyone is interested) to keep the wind off me. My head has been reasonably comfortable.

I'm considering getting soft closeouts and fork deflectors for the cold weather.

I'd like to hear from you about how you dress/prepare for the cold. What gear do you use (brand /model please) and any regrets? Anyone using heated gear?

Thanks for the conversation!
 

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2016 Indian Roadmaster 120 Stroker
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To extend my riding season, First Gear heated jacket liner, have heated grips on the RM already, First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket and pants. Thinking about getting the First Gear heated pant liner and socks too.
 
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24 miles is cake. You鈥檝e got riding pants. All you need is a serious wind proof riding jacket and a pair of specifically wind proof winter gloves. There are some nice deerskin riding gloves out there that will take care of you with heated grips. Here鈥檚 the best tip ever. Wear a scarf or a turtle fur neck warmer. Make sure it鈥檚 enough to reach all the way up to your chin bar on the helmet. It鈥檒l make all the difference in the world.
 

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Move to Texas. Our "winter" just ended, and riding season starts now.

But on a serious note, I have Hotwired gloves and a jacket. The gloves are a bit cumbersome, but the good thing about Hotwired gear is that it doesn't require a ton of controllers like Gerbing. Just three settings: Green (warm), Yellow (warmer), Red (frickin hot). At it's hottest, Hotwired gear gets about 110 degrees or so, and rarely have I found it necessary to go Red. If you're doing a lot of riding around International Falls, you might want to stick with Gerbing, which gets hotter. Hotwired is more user friendly though, and you can connect the jacket to the gloves and heated pant liners to heated shoe insoles. Check it out on Revzilla.

I've found that winter gloves without a heating element simply don't work long term in really cold weather. Doesn't matter how expensive they are or what they're made of; you're hands will start freezing. So whatever else you do, and despite your misgivings, buy heated gloves. If bulkiness is a concern, some companies make heated hand liners, like Hotwired and Firstgear. Or you could try this lite glove from Joe Rocket that, so far, gets good reviews.
 

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I just put heated grips on myself, I'm hoping that the grips and thinsulate gauntlet gloves will do the trick. For me to extend the season I concentrate on what bothers me, my hands, feet and neck. My body and legs(with chaps) are OK.

Unfortunately due to a recent injury I may not get to test my grips this season.
 

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Layers.

When I had my Shadow, which only had a windshield, I wore a full-length Firstgear winter riding suit. That thing is warm as fresh toast...if I wore it in temps above freezing, I would start to sweat.

After I got my Roadmaster, the fairing and lowers cut out a lot of the wind, so I don't use the suit anymore. Now, it is thermal base-layer top with my jacket liner, and fleece-lined jeans and/or chaps over my jeans, depending on weather. I wear a Shoei J-Cruise year-round, so all I need for my head is a neck gaiter. I have three sets of gloves that I use regularly: leather palm/mesh back Indian gloves for summer, Roland Sands Design perforated leather for spring/fall, and Fox Creek Leather fleece-lined deerskin gauntlet gloves for winter. Combined with my heated grips and seat, I stay fairly comfortable for a couple hours' of riding. Here in Germany, I put my bike away for the winter once they put the salt on the roads, as A) mud/snow/winter tires are required here, and B) they use real salt, which I don't want on my frame.
 

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Wind protection is key to extending the riding season. Some quality chaps will help with keeping the lower half from freezing. I have chaps from Fox Creek Leather that are amazing quality. For the upper body I just layer up since most of my wind protection is either a windshield or fairing depending on the bike.
Here in Ohio, I usually ride until A.) it gets below freezing OR B.) They start throwing salt down on the roads.
 
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If you don't like bulky gloves, check out Hippo Hands covers for your grips.
 

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To extend my riding season, First Gear heated jacket liner, have heated grips on the RM already, First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket and pants. Thinking about getting the First Gear heated pant liner and socks too.
A heated liner is a must. I used to have a Kilimanjaro that was an amazing shell and completely waterproof. Highly recommended.
 

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Leather jacket with a sweatshirt over a t-shirt. I'll wear my leather chaps too when it gets cold enough as well as some insulated gloves. Long johns under the jeans if going any distance.
 

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I've historically put my bikes in the garage in mid-October. My chieftain is the first bike I think I can make myself comfortable on during the colder weather. I'm looking for recommendations on how to best prepare for the cold rides. My work commute is about 24 highway miles each way.

I'm going to buy the heated grips tomorrow. I don't currently have gloves and hate the bulky feeling of winter riding gloves. I'm hoping I can be comfortable with the grips and a much lighter glove.

I have Indian riding pants I've worn during colder weather. So far I've used them down to mid-high 40s with a thermal base layer. I can sometimes feel a little air penetration along seams in the thighs but overall comfortable so far. I bring jeans in a small duffle in the saddle bag to change when I get to work.

I have 6" Ecco boots that are insulated and gore-tex. No complaints about the feet yet with boot socks.

I have a few Indian jackets. My warmest is a green canvas military looking riding jacket with removable fleece liner. My core stays reasonably warm but my arms get a bit chilly. I suspect the absence of gloves doesn't help me here. I ride with a base thermal long sleeve with a short sleeved shirt (work shirt) over it.

For the head I have a gator that I pull over my nose and up the back of my head. I then put on a run of the mill fabric beanie on my dome. I have a 14" dark tint freedom shield (that I think I would trade for a 12" if anyone is interested) to keep the wind off me. My head has been reasonably comfortable.

I'm considering getting soft closeouts and fork deflectors for the cold weather.

I'd like to hear from you about how you dress/prepare for the cold. What gear do you use (brand /model please) and any regrets? Anyone using heated gear?

Thanks for the conversation!
One thing you may want to look into for Winter riding is skier mittens, I have found that gloves don't keep your fingers & hands as warm, Mittens keep your fingers together and generate more heat and mittens don't interfere with operating the throttle or controls, I have a pair I bought at a ski lodge near by and they work very well in cold riding conditions. 馃惡
 

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I have a complete set of the Gerbing Electric Clothing [pants,jacket,gloves,socks,and thernostat to regulate the heat] buying that set up waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1999 and STILL use em today.They came with a life time warantee , as long as they were used properly.However,Mr. Gerbing has since died,so I don't know if someone else has taken over for him or the company has dissolved .
 

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Fly Ignitor heated gloves - amazing. They also heat the back of your hands (the side facing the wind...unlike heated grips). Kanetsu (Aerostitch) heated vest... almost as vital as the gloves, and you can get a connector at Napa to tie into an unused 12V switched power source (already covered elsewhere on this forum).
I ride every month of the year, in Mn! As long as it's above freezing, and the roads are dry - I'm on two wheels. It sure saves on the truck.
 

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General approach:

Wind becomes the enemy. Have a wind-breaking layer on all parts of you getting cold.
Inside the wind-breaking layer, one or more insulating layers to hold the heat in.
Wicking layer against the skin - getting wet and staying wet, including sweating, is your enemy. Get that moisture away from the skin.

My solutions:

Heated gloves, chaps, fleece, winter jacket, wicking base layers, wool socks, and plastic bags allow me to ride year-round down to (so far) 20 degrees Fahrenheit or about -7 degrees Celsius at highway speeds for hours at a time. I have a windshield; no fairings and no lowers.

If nothing else, keep experimenting until you find out what works. The proven solution beats theory all to hell.
 

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Here in Eastern NC, there have been days above my 50 degree minimum in each fall/winter/early spring month. Since I added the heated RM seat and lower wind deflectors, my minimum temp is somewhat lower, if the forecast is for the day to get warmer. I have gee and hawed on the heated grips and ultimately decided to not spend the $$$ unless I find a discounted used set. If I decide I have to ride when it is cold, I can have my clever bride make me some handle grip fur-lined mukluks, so to speak. That said, I am already switched from armored mesh to leather jacket and wild rag neck wrap for my short commute to the mines and on weekend jaunts. Planning to ride to Northern VA this weekend dressed in leather over insulative layers, insulated gloves and usual sense of humor. See y'all up the road!
 

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A snowmobile suit. Wear gauntlet style lined gloves and make sure the sleeves are tucked in. For the head, a balaclava will keep the neck warm. You can add a scarf if needed. The key to the legs is velcro the legs so the wind will not go up. Get a suit larger than you would wear and then layer underneath. I've ridden with temperatures in the low teens and been comfortable.

The best method thought is to move to South Texas. Here, 50 is cold.
 

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Winter riding gear I use:

Head & Neck: Neck Gaiter or Balaclava under a FF helmet.
Torso: Insulated Leather jacket that has a removable liner. Sweatshirt or poly pro waffle long underwear top underneath.
Bottoms: Insulated leather chaps over jeans. If colder then I wear waffle weave poly pro underneath.
Feet: Wool socks calf length under over the ankle boots.
Hands: Insulated leather gauntlet gloves that go over your sleeves to block the wind.

I have no electric or heated anything and I have been comfortable down to 20 degrees.

You might want to look at the Freeze Out undergarments as well. I have not used them personally but have heard good things about them.

To me nothing beats Quality leather for wind stoppage. Layers is the key and although it seems like a lot it is not that restricting. You will not feel like Ralphie's brother from the Christmas story.

For your short ride you may be able to get away with just insulated chaps for your lower body and the goos thing about chaps is you just unzip them off and there is no need to change pants at work.

You are already getting heated grips and I think that those will help you a lot. My hands are the first thing to get cold but not to the point that I fear frostbite.

I extended my riding season about 3 years ago. I live in South Central PA and it gets cold here in the winter. The time I stop riding is when they start to put salt down. That SH!T will eat through everything, especially now that they use brine with it to make it more effective.

As a matter of fact you can now see grooves in a lot of the roads here from them using the brine and it makes stripes in the road that you can see in the summer where it has eaten away the pavement.


Hope this helps. Good luck!
 

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Gerbing heated jacket and gauntlet gloves. I鈥檝e had them for years and have held up great. My only gripe is the gloves aren鈥檛 water proof but if it鈥檚 wet snow or rain it鈥檚 not cold enough to need them. Heated grips serve a purpose on a cool morning but don鈥檛 work in extended frigid temps. I鈥檝e got a Fox Creek lined leather jacket that weighs over 10 lbs and along with chaps really break the Cold wind. Here in Wyoming mid Oct to Nov is about the limit, usually things are icing up by then. We鈥檝e already had a blizzard that closed I-80 for 2 days. I鈥檒l winterize and put on the lIft here in a couple of weeks. My cold weather riding starts in early spring, April usually being the earliest. 6 years ago I left for southern Georgia on April 18th with a nice break in the weather actually hitting a little snow 2 weeks later in N Texas on the return trip.
 

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As UnMonkey said cold wind is the main concern. A warm windproof jacket with layers underneath, heavy pants (I have insulated jeans), warm boots and a full helmet are the start. Add some good gloves - I transition through the seasons with mesh airflow (summer) > thin leather (fall) > insulated windproof (30-50F) > heated (<30F). I prefer heated gloves to heated grips because the heated gloves warm the outside surfaces where the wind hits the hand and they keep your hands warm even when they're off the grip. If it's really cold (teens), I'll add a balaclava.

For equipment, engine guard covers (soft lowers) are essential for keeping the cold wind off the boots. I've also got a heated seat on my Chieftain which helps - my previous bike didn't have it. With this setup, I've been able to ride the 30 minute ride to/from work year-round even in single digit temps - but that gets a little chilly by the end of the ride.
 

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Living in SE TX helps a lot, as we have nearly year-round riding weather.
Just add a layer or two for the colder days & have sufficient storage to be able to shed a layer if needed.
 
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