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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Winter temperatures are arriving Tuesday night. Will be below freezing at night and early morning (I can hear some of you snickering about what "real" winter temperatures are ;-)).

Any suggestions for what to do at night, while commuting to work in the morning (35 miles, freeway) or anything else?

I park in a garage that is well-ventilated, but thankfully my parking spot is not next to the open air so while it will get cold in the garage it won't be freezing, frost won't form, and when it rains my bike won't get wet (unlike another guy's spot where he put up a tarp to block the elements). Even so I'm getting an all-weather cover for the bike (the really good Dowco one).

For riding I'm getting glove liners, boot liners, and a balaclava. I already have cold-weather gloves and pants with a removable thermal liner that may be getting re-attached. I'll invest in heated grips soon, but not before Tuesday.

Anything else I should consider?

Thanks! :)
 

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Heated gloves are supposed to be the best, but heated grips should help. Something like HippoHands or covers over the grips do help also. Too big/thick gloves may cause problems operating the controls.

If you find you are getting cold overall, a heated vest sounds like a good solution.

In cold weather you may need to make adjustments to your mixture to get it to run well. Cold air makes a carbed bike run lean. Gas with Ethanol makes it lean also.

Run a synthetic 5W-40 oil like Rotella T6, and keep your tank as full as possible.
 

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hands, feet, and face are your main concern... unless it's below 15 or something, i wouldn't be too concerned about anything else. Just dress in layers.. i'm pretty comfy with just a simple hoodie underneath my jacket (without even the liner in) and PJ's underneath my jeans when the weather is in the 30's

just vacuum seal the places where air can get in and you'll be good to go
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Heated gloves are supposed to be the best, but heated grips should help. Something like HippoHands or covers over the grips do help also. Too big/thick gloves may cause problems operating the controls.

If you find you are getting cold overall, a heated vest sounds like a good solution.

In cold weather you may need to make adjustments to your mixture to get it to run well. Cold air makes a carbed bike run lean. Gas with Ethanol makes it lean also.

Run a synthetic 5W-40 oil like Rotella T6, and keep your tank as full as possible.
What do you mean by "makes a carbed bike run lean?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hands, feet, and face are your main concern... unless it's below 15 or something, i wouldn't be too concerned about anything else. Just dress in layers.. i'm pretty comfy with just a simple hoodie underneath my jacket (without even the liner in) and PJ's underneath my jeans when the weather is in the 30's

just vacuum seal the places where air can get in and you'll be good to go
Great thanks! I was thinking of starting with a hoodie and adding layers from there if needed for the upper body.
 

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What do you mean by "makes a carbed bike run lean?"
the air temp is colder. Therefore can pack more densely into the motor thus changing the air fuel ratio. This is why the new fuel injected bikes have compensation ratios to keep the bike at the correct factory air fuel ratio. This is also why the power commander auto tune does so well. Once a bike is tuned on a Dyno the auto can keep the map correct regardless of temperature and humidity. Most people notice the bike runs better in colder weather than in hot idle temp for my r6 was 64. And my zx10 is 61. Carb bikes don't however have the compensation but can be corrected with a very very very slight richen ing of the a/f but this is not required because the carbs are set at a safe mid point for air fuel from factory. For this very reason. Hope that explained a lil more to you than just a simple answer
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
the air temp is colder. Therefore can pack more densely into the motor thus changing the air fuel ratio. This is why the new fuel injected bikes have compensation ratios to keep the bike at the correct factory air fuel ratio. This is also why the power commander auto tune does so well. Once a bike is tuned on a Dyno the auto can keep the map correct regardless of temperature and humidity. Most people notice the bike runs better in colder weather than in hot idle temp for my r6 was 64. And my zx10 is 61. Carb bikes don't however have the compensation but can be corrected with a very very very slight richen ing of the a/f but this is not required because the carbs are set at a safe mid point for air fuel from factory. For this very reason. Hope that explained a lil more to you than just a simple answer
I appreciate the full explanation. Still don't know everything you said e.g. Dyno) but I get the general idea. :)
 

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What do you mean by "makes a carbed bike run lean?"
byte pretty much has it covered, but basically your air/fuel ratio in a carb is set by jet size or adjustments. Cold air is more dense than warm air, and alters the ration toward lean. Cold air will make more power than warm air - but you need to increase the fuel amount to get back to the proper ratio to do it.

Fuel injection compensates with a sensor that reads the intake temp and adjusts the ratio via a map or closed-loop system.

Winter gas also meters differently than summer gas, and contains less energy - so your mileage will drop. Winter gas vaporizes easier, and helps get it started with cold air.

Ethanol displaces gas, and needs a higher ratio of fuel to air, so mixing it in with gas will make you run lean - and get worse mileage too. Since we are on the subject of gas - use the lowest octane that doesn't detonate for the the best power and mileage. Higher levels of octane ("Premium") than are required to just barely hold off detonation have no benefit and reduce power.

Because of the cold temps and leaner mixtures it's sometimes necessary to increase the octane in winter to avoid detonation. When it warms up go back to the lower grade.

A 5W synthetic oil moves easier when cold (that a 10W), and increases cranking speed and fuel mileage due to less internal drag - it also reduces engine wear on start-up - and can be used year-round.
 

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byte pretty much has it covered, but basically your air/fuel ratio in a carb is set by jet size or adjustments. Cold air is more dense than warm air, and alters the ration toward lean. Cold air will make more power than warm air - but you need to increase the fuel amount to get back to the proper ratio to do it. Fuel injection compensates with a sensor that reads the intake temp and adjusts the ratio via a map or closed-loop system. Winter gas also meters differently than summer gas, and contains less energy - so your mileage will drop. Winter gas vaporizes easier, and helps get it started with cold air. Ethanol displaces gas, and needs a higher ratio of fuel to air, so mixing it in with gas will make you run lean - and get worse mileage too. Since we are on the subject of gas - use the lowest octane that doesn't detonate for the the best power and mileage. Higher levels of octane ("Premium") than are required to just barely hold off detonation have no benefit and reduce power. Because of the cold temps and leaner mixtures it's sometimes necessary to increase the octane in winter to avoid detonation. When it warms up go back to the lower grade. A 5W synthetic oil moves easier when cold (that a 10W), and increases cranking speed and fuel mileage due to less internal drag - it also reduces engine wear on start-up - and can be used year-round.
pretty much got in detail where I tried to avoid however. Fuel octane is not something to go below the recommended octane as I have seen it a few times when I was working at the Yamaha/Kawasaki dealership on the race bikes. If a bike says 91. Then get 91. If it doesn't say then regular is ok. This is important because like jkv said it changes detonation. Problem with it being below is it causes overtime holes to develop in the top of the piston from improper detonation points. Also. Not every state has winterized gas. Try to ethanol free gas as much as possible no matter what the octane. And yes changing oil in the winter is a good idea. But stay away from 0w oil. It's too thin and your doing more harm than good. But everything else is good info
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
pretty much got in detail where I tried to avoid however. Fuel octane is not something to go below the recommended octane as I have seen it a few times when I was working at the Yamaha/Kawasaki dealership on the race bikes. If a bike says 91. Then get 91. If it doesn't say then regular is ok. This is important because like jkv said it changes detonation. Problem with it being below is it causes overtime holes to develop in the top of the piston from improper detonation points. Also. Not every state has winterized gas. Try to ethanol free gas as much as possible no matter what the octane. And yes changing oil in the winter is a good idea. But stay away from 0w oil. It's too thin and your doing more harm than good. But everything else is good info
Here on the deep blue left coast it's dry difficult to find ethanol-free gas. Thanks for the tips though! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yesterday was tolerable enough for everything except the hands. Today it was about 10 degrees colder (sub-freezing without wind chill, even worse at freeway speed!). The thermal liner for my pants was added today and worked, but a couple fingers on each hand went numb (pinky and ring, with the thumbs beginning to by the time I got to work). Heats grips should be arriving tomorrow so I'll put those on this weekend.
 

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Yesterday was tolerable enough for everything except the hands. Today it was about 10 degrees colder (sub-freezing without wind chill, even worse at freeway speed!). The thermal liner for my pants was added today and worked, but a couple fingers on each hand went numb (pinky and ring, with the thumbs beginning to by the time I got to work). Heats grips should be arriving tomorrow so I'll put those on this weekend.
. While you ride. Alternate hands to the motor to get them back warm. I do this a lot. It works great
 
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