Thinking of motorizing straight on through winter
I haven't motorized through the heart of winter yet. It's just too cold. I've always gotten by with my pedal bike. Much warmer.
But last fall I finally bought a studded tire. (Should'a done it 30 years ago. Oh, well....) I was definitely impressed with the results. It allowed me to ride in icy conditions that used to put me in the car. I was impressed enough that this summer I bought another one. Now I have two.
So my alternatives are...1. Put both studded tires on the pedal bike. (more sure-footedness) 2. Put one on the front of the pedal bike and one on the front of the motorized bike. 3. Put both on the motorized bike.
The downside to #3 is that if the motor bike is down for any reason, then I have to rely on the pedal bike with regular tires. Of course I could just switch out the studded tire wheel on the front of the motor bike. But that could be clumsy; if it's time to go to work and there's something wrong with the motor bike I need to hop on that pedal bike and go now. Even taking 15 minutes for a swap is pushing my luck.
Having a studded tire on the front of each bike would cover a lot of situations. But I'm thinking that I'd really rather have studs on my rear tire too when I'm motorized. When it's icy, anyway. (and I learned the hard way last winter that you do not hold your studs in reserve, in the interests of saving wear on them, with the plan of putting on when it gets icy. Those icy conditions have a way of sneaking up on you.)
Maybe I ought to get moving and order a third studded tire. That way I could have two on the motor bike and one up front on the pedal bike.
One other concern is the avoidance of freezing to death. On a pedal bike I still think of 20 deg F as a 'nice day'. In the teens is okay. Single digits is getting uncomfortable. But I've learned a few tricks (mostly last winter) for staying even more comfortable. So I might be able to 'calibrate' myself downward. Maybe even enough to do it motorized, which is colder than pedaling after all.
On one of my earlier motor bikes I made a faring out of plywood. I gotta admit it was ugly. But it kept the wind of of me. I was riding in the low 30s and felt fine. I think I can do better now that I've got better techniques for foot and hand comfort. One problem with that faring was that it put an obvious load on that engine. But maybe that's a plus, really. I want that engine to be operating in it's power band. But I don't want to go very fast. The extra load could be more good than bad.
Anyway...one of the points of this post is to see what others think in terms of tips and tricks. Any of you other riders from the frozen north ride all year? What's been your experience? Anything I should avoid?
edit: let me elaborate just a bit. I'm a very experienced winter rider. Just on a pedal bike, not motorized. Advice about how to stay dry in a cold rain or how to keep my eyes and brain from freezing in the heart of a deep freeze is welcome. After all, I might learn something. And so might others who read the thread. But this type of advice is not really what I need.
What I need is observations and advice specific to motor biking in winter.
Last edited by bluegoatwoods; 10-01-2013 at 04:35 PM.
Reason: a bit more info