Cold weather riding gear

Mods and upgrades that don’t fit any of the above topics such as, bars, seats, fenders, etc.
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AKrider
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:21 am
I ride: '93 Vulcan 500, '06 Honda Rebel, '81 CX 500
Location: Two Rivers, Alaska

Cold weather riding gear

Postby AKrider » Fri May 17, 2013 11:14 pm

May 17, 2013
Two Rivers, Alaska
32 degrees F
Snowing

Well it's been a late spring, I have only been able to ride to work one day so far due to snow, (70 mile round trip), however I am optimistic as we are predicted to get up to 66 on Friday, (37 at night) in the mean time I would like to share a recommendation for a riding jacket I just got from Revzilla. (Free shipping to Alaska!)

After two local rides I can highly recommend the Teknic Sprint Jacket, it's warm, it's waterproof and has many pockets in strange places to carry all your goodies, keys etc as well as CE armor in all the right places. Combined with my Tourmaster Rainmaster Overpants I remain toasty warm and dry in the rain or snow, (as long as the snow isn't accumulating on the roads like it is today).

I guess what I'm wondering is short of a Roadcrafter suit, what do other people use for cold weather commuting gear?

Input would be appreciated. Spring in Alaska is dragging on too long this year, must be that "Global Warming" thing.
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burkbuilds
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Location: Rome, Georgia

Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby burkbuilds » Sat May 18, 2013 9:20 am

Hey AKrider,
Your post reminds me of why I love living in the South. I ride year round here, but we don't get the type of weather you have to endure. I wear Venture brand heated jacket lining and gloves to keep me warm. Works pretty good, I can ride in comfort down to the upper teens in temperature for up to about two hours. It's held up pretty well, I've been using the same vest for about 3-4 years now. It's also my choice in the Spring and fall when I just want to knock the morning chill off early in the mornings. It folds up into my saddle bags later in the day when it warms up and doesn't take up a lot of room.

I hope the weather warms up for you soon and you can enjoy some good riding.

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Triangles
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Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby Triangles » Sat May 18, 2013 10:20 am

I ride year round as long as there is no snow on the road. I bit the bullet and bought a Tour Master Centurion suit I got the warmest gloves Olympia made a few years ago, I forgot what model it was but I just looked at their current glove and they no longer offer it. These gloves are good for for the 20 miles I ride to work down to 6F the coldest it's gotten here. I wouldn't have wanted to ride much further as my hands were starting to get cold. I want to get something like I've seen on snowmobiles, but I forget what they are called. the "mitts" that go over the handlebars that you slip your hands in and out of. I have had several boots made by Bates and Wolverine. Never had any issues with cold feet. I could see the centurion suit lasting the 70 miles you need wearing a warm layer underneath it. FYI the suit with the vents and removing the insulation liners is good up to about 60F Warmer than that and it becomes uncomfortable. I use a balaclava that I found at Dicks sports. It works OK. The problem I have is that the balaclavas I've found that actually block the wind as well as insulate are too thick on the top/sides of my heads where I don't really need anything making them not comfortable to wear. So I deal with the one I got that is real thin except the thick fleece neck that's warm until the wind blows thru it. It would be useless if I didn't have a windshield. I also have a long "touring" motorcycle coat that I paired up with some cheap insulated pants from motodirect.com This works well but not as well as the centurion suit.
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Triangles
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Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby Triangles » Sat May 18, 2013 10:29 am

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AKrider
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I ride: '93 Vulcan 500, '06 Honda Rebel, '81 CX 500
Location: Two Rivers, Alaska

Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby AKrider » Sat May 18, 2013 4:22 pm

Burkbuilds and Triangles,

Thanks for the input.

I thought long and hard about heated gear but I was afraid that Rosebud's charging system wouldn't handle it although I see some battery powered stuff that I could use for the commute. I finally settled on the Sprint due to its bright accents and reflectors as well as it's waterproof reputation, if I can save hauling a separate rain jacket around that's a good thing. A suit would be the ultimate but I can't justify the expense with our short riding season.

As for accessory wear we have closets full of the stuff, I like a silk balaclava with a cotton bandana over it as a neck gasket, with the windshield rain isn't a problem. For gloves I either use silk or fleece liners in my regular gloves, or grab a pair of winter gloves or over-mitts. I haven't figured out how to adjust my shift lever to accommodate "Bunny" boots but if it's that cold I drive the car. (snow machine, ATV or dog team for recreational riding.)

I may research the Centurion or the Olympia suits for next year, a one piece would be great, however when it gets up into the 90's I'm probably back to my ventilated leather jacket and a light weight rain suit in the tank bag for the afternoon T-showers.

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Triangles
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Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby Triangles » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:46 pm

FYI I got the Oxford bone dry mitts. They do a good job of keeping my hands warm on my now longer 30+ mile commute. However I ride on the expressway and these just dangerously collapse in the wind. Never had an issue with them actually pulling in the clutch or front brake, but there was pressure on the levers that I fear would cause excessive wear on the brake and/or clutch. Also when they collapse in the wind they make it difficult (and in my mind dangerous) to manipulate the clutch and brake. If anyone wants to buy some barely used bone dry handle bar muffs PM me. I also bought the heated grips that I never ended up using. Not sure if I'm gonna keep them or let them go too. My plan for next year is to make something out of fiber glass. We'll see how well that works. I'd do it this winter but I have nowhere to do the fiber glass work.
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GeorgiaRider
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Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby GeorgiaRider » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:46 am

Just thought of a question maybe someone can help with. I have a 2006 Vulcan 500. I added heated gloves that pull 22 watts and 2 amps at 12V. I'm thinking of buying a heated jacket liner next year. It pulls 83 W and 7.8 amps at 12V. Is this too much for the battery?

Thanks.
GeorgiaRider
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Triangles
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Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby Triangles » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:27 pm

I would have to do some digging but IIRC the stator puts out only 19A and I believe it uses 12A to run the engine and electrics so you have less than 7A to play with with if you want your battery to charge at all. I'm going from memory and my numbers are likely off but I'm 99% sure you do not have 9.8A overhead with the stator. How far do you ride that you need heated gear in Georgia? If you're handy with a soldering Iron your could build a Lithium pack sufficient to last your whole ride. Just make sure you come up with a way to turn it off if the voltage gets to low. Otherwise you risk turning the pack into an expensive brick. Going all LED lights and HID headlight MIGHT free up enough juice. I added a HID light because I was going to add heated gear. Just don't be one of those asshats that blinds everyone by dropping an "unshielded" HID in a halogen fixture. That was one of my fears when I tried even the shielded HID.
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GeorgiaRider
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Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby GeorgiaRider » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:49 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like I'll be ok if I just stick with heated gloves. Sometimes our group rides in the mornings and we have cold starts. Not too often that I need the gloves. I was thinking a heated vest would be nice to warm the core and reduce layers.
GeorgiaRider
2006 Vulcan 500

Kuryakyan Foot Peg Extenders and Pegs
Memphis Shades Alley Cat Windshield
Saddlemen Large Slant Saddlebags
Powersports Mini-Tachometer
Kawasaki Luggage Rack
Kuryakyan Iso-Grips
Airhawk cushion
Marlin's Clock

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Triangles
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Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby Triangles » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:57 pm

This got me thinking. I dug in for a more accurate answer. According to my friendly factory service manual, the stator puts out a maximum 17A at 4000 RPM at 14V which translates to a capacity of a whopping 238 watts! :shock: I found this article useful for estimating unknown loads on the vulcan 500 ltd. So we have:

55W headlight
16W running lights
8W tail light
7W speedo light
50W ignition (estimated)
=136W or 9.71A to run the bike.
So 238W-136W
=102W or 7.28A of overhead out of the alternator. So confirmed, you cannot run all that heated gear :( Since the 50W for the ignition is estimated, this leaves a little uncertainty in the calculation. I think this might be an over estimate since our ignition system is very basic but who knows?. For a margin of safety, I would assume I had 5A or less overhead to play with especially considering the brake light and other indicator lights will decrease the available overhead when they are on.

If you went full LEDs and HID headlight you would have an available overhead of 149.5W or 10.68A

+20W HID
+14W Running
+7W Tail
+6W speedo

So in theory you could do it but your battery wouldn't charge much if at all. Plus you would have to modify the turn signal circuit to work with LEDS. I'm not sure what you would have to do for that. You should be able to at least use it intermittently in this fashion. Hope this is helpful.
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GeorgiaRider
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Location: NW Georgia

Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby GeorgiaRider » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:22 am

Great info Triangles. Looks like if I just stay with heated gloves I have room to spare and the battery will stay charged. Please confirm this is correct. Thanks for the help.
GeorgiaRider
2006 Vulcan 500

Kuryakyan Foot Peg Extenders and Pegs
Memphis Shades Alley Cat Windshield
Saddlemen Large Slant Saddlebags
Powersports Mini-Tachometer
Kawasaki Luggage Rack
Kuryakyan Iso-Grips
Airhawk cushion
Marlin's Clock

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Triangles
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Posts: 765
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:35 pm
I ride: '94 Black Cherry Vulcan 500, '06 Candyfire Red Vulcan 500 LTD
Location: Toledo Ohio
Contact:

Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby Triangles » Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:56 pm

yes your gloves only pull 2A In theory you should have about 5A to charge the battery.
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GeorgiaRider
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Location: NW Georgia

Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby GeorgiaRider » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:05 am

OK. Thanks again.
GeorgiaRider
2006 Vulcan 500

Kuryakyan Foot Peg Extenders and Pegs
Memphis Shades Alley Cat Windshield
Saddlemen Large Slant Saddlebags
Powersports Mini-Tachometer
Kawasaki Luggage Rack
Kuryakyan Iso-Grips
Airhawk cushion
Marlin's Clock

burkbuilds
Posts: 350
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Location: Rome, Georgia

Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby burkbuilds » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:42 pm

Hey Georgia Rider, I actually did run my 500 with the heated gloves and vest. Don't remember all the numbers but I do remember what I had to do to make it work. First, I put in LED on all running and turn signals and brake light. I had to change the turn signal unit to an electronic one to make them work. I kept the standard headlight wattage. Next, I found out that even after doing all of that I had to be running highway speed to keep everything going and the battery charged up if the vest thermostat was on high. If I dropped down off the interstate and failed to turn down the vest, then it only took about 15-20 minutes before I had a dead battery. As a precaution I bought a trickle charger and plugged it in every night just to make sure I had a full charge when I started out the next morning. I found the heated vest to be a wonderful item when it was really cold and I was running I-75 for a couple of hours straight, even around town in the dead of winter the low setting made life a lot better. I'd highly recommend it, but if you are cruising around town, better keep the vest on low, it still helps a lot and you may actually get too warm if it is sunny out even on the lowest setting.

GeorgiaRider
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:51 am
Location: NW Georgia

Re: Cold weather riding gear

Postby GeorgiaRider » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:34 pm

Thanks for the update. I'm enjoying riding in this weather lately...
GeorgiaRider
2006 Vulcan 500

Kuryakyan Foot Peg Extenders and Pegs
Memphis Shades Alley Cat Windshield
Saddlemen Large Slant Saddlebags
Powersports Mini-Tachometer
Kawasaki Luggage Rack
Kuryakyan Iso-Grips
Airhawk cushion
Marlin's Clock


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