Been thinking of visiting my folks in the Mosel Valley last week in October, but not sure if the weather will be a bit too cold by then. What do seasoned tourers such as the Jetstreams et al think? I have been riding throughout the winter for the past two years, but that’s only commuting in London…
i find its no problem riding in cold weather, put on couple of extra layers. Worst bit i suffer from is the finger tips. I fitted heated grips to my old bike which worked a treat, or theres heated gloves, or those mitts that couriers work which i think would do the trick on a long journey.
wear a snood to protect the little bit of your neck between lid and jacket, and your ready to go, enjoy your trip
The weather in the Uk can be quite unpredicatable anyway, a few yrs ago i rode my old bike back from northern ireland in February, via Snowdon . I had a weather updated from roadrunner on route that there were no snow drifts that day, and off i went
I was in Cochem 3 years ago in October - the last week in fact. The weather can be hit and miss - I guess you know that if you’re from the area ?? I was lucky, the weather was great, but I was prepared for plenty of rain and cold.
Yes, the weather will be a hit and miss. We sometimes do have, what we call a “Altweibersommer” (Indian Summer), which means you can sit outside in a beer garden during day. My questions is more, what is it like to tour in lower temperatures? As I said, I commute in the winter but never toured when it’s colder. I’m off to Portugal on Wednesday touring the Alentejo, so that’ll be the other extreme :rolleyes:
ah, well a faired bike is warmer than a nekked one, heated vests are excellent as are heated gloves, heated grips are essential for me in winter. ‘Visor proof’ (nikwax) for your visor, pinlock insert, goretex textiles and boots, job’s a goodun. Either that or just stop more often for a warm up / cuddle if you’re with someone who will let you :Whistling:.
Back when I was skydiving I learned a wise saying - “There’s no such thing as too cold, just the wrong clothes.” This held true for almost everything else in life EXCEPT motorcycling.
The thing with skydiving is sure, you’re getting out of the plane at -18C and then you’re adding about 150mph wind chill factor to that for about a minute, then you’re spending about 2 minutes at about 2C before you land. Maybe you’re spending a minute in the plane with the door open at -18C, tops. So really, you’ve got about 6 minutes of real cold, but with the right clothes, you could be relatively comfortable throughout this.
On a motorcycle, you can have similar cold for HOURS on end. I’ve never found the right clothing to keep the cold out on the bike on long trips in winter, especially in the extremities.
The single biggest improvement I’ve made to my biking life is a set of handguards on my V-Strom. Those are even better than heated grips for keeping your hands comfortable. By cutting out the wind to the fingers, the gloves can do their job and keep the warmth in.
I find a plastic bag around my sock before it goes in my boot does more than thermal socks ever did for me.
That takes care of the extremities. For the rest, I wear a thinsulate based neckwarmer, a balaclava under the lid, and icebreaker layers on both my chest and legs.
With all of that, I can do 4 - 6 hours a day at about 3C.
Thanks for the post AL. My mum used to tell me the same saying! I have thought about the hand guards (in combination with heated grips), but the other day, someone told me that they are not really doing anything. My fingers and feet tend to suffer the most in the cold. I used to have muffs on my Vespa and they worked a treat. I might invest in a pair this winter, as they really do work. They look stupid I know, but who cares if your hands are nice and toasty
It is indeed important to keep the extremities warm. Get a beefy pair of gloves with the heated grips cranked up full and wear a pair of latex surgical gloves underneath.
Get some sealskinz waterproof socks, they’re great for keeping the wind and rain out. You could also go totally soft like me and get a pair of heated insoles. Everyone laughs at them but trust me they work a treat!
And keep your neck warm at all times as it’s an area where a lot of heat can be lost.
I’m not sure who says that hand guards do nothing. I’ve tried the following combos:
Just warm gloves
Gloves and heated grips
Gloves and hand guards
Gloves, guards and grips
Heated grips are great on commuting. Short distance, short time, they work wonders. Longer trips though, the wind blasting onto the front of your hands kills the effect of the warmth coming in from under.
Hand guards so far are the single most effective solution I’ve found. Hand guards and heated grips feel a bit like cheating, but the grips work far harder without the outside of your hands getting cold and losing the heat.
October is usually still fairly warm, as long as you have a decent set of gloves and boots (plus something to cover your neck) you’ll be fine, assuming you won’t be travelling at silly speeds which increase wind chill. Rain is the biggest concern so make sure you’re water tight (those cheap HG waterproofs are excellent and keep the wind off, helping you to stay warmer).
It was a LAM observer on my last OR (no sniggering in the back!) who had them installed on his BMW and he mentioned it when I quizzed him about the effectiveness of keeping out the wind chill. I’ve got these strap on heated grips which I used last winter and you are right, they are good for commuting. I’ll be installing permanent ones this winter.
Yes, you are right. It would be unusual for temperatures to drop below 7 or 8 degrees during the day according to my dad, but you never know these days - climate change and all that. We’ll be blasting it down to Trier on the motorway, just to get the long journey out of the way. Whilst down there, it’ll only be A & B roads.
The rain is a concern. I got seriously rained on the other week whilst riding out in Kent for a couple of hours. My Richa trousers failed me for the first time since I got them last year. I washed them now with that Nikwax stuff from HG. Hopefully that’ll sorted it out.
BTW, anybody know how to best fix a pair of waterproof liners? My other half’s have become porous and they started to leak…
Ah don’t bother with the motorway, it’s just tyre destroying boringness. You’ll save maybe 33% time by going motorway, but you’ll have seen nothing and pretty much hated every minute saved (imo…). You’ll make it down there handy in a day, I got down to Saarbrucken by 7pm on my first day euro-tripping down B and D roads. Have you ever been on the D44? Distinctly remember it being absolutely amazing, couldn’t get any filming done because it was raining Do you have a GPS? I found the best thing to do was to use a proper map to find a placename on your route, chuck that into the GPS with shortest distance setting and main road avoidance, this gives you ridiculously cool back roads, no traffic and no cops. This is all a bit train of thought, so hope it actually makes atleast a little sense.
As far as being cold, I don’t have any good tips that haven’t been suggested so far. Newspapers stuffed down your jacket etc is apparently really really good for the cold, you could also buy one of those foil blankets off eBay, the type that marathon runners use, and wrap that around yourself under your jacket…