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Hello,

This will be my first year riding through the cold season. I am trying to figure out the best cold weather stuff to get. I ride 40 miles one way to work at 60-75mph. I intend to ride if the road conditions are not bad and winds stay below 25mph.

I know what I get, need to fit over clothes and workboots. I was thinking Carhartt due to price but I am hearing and reading wind proof is the biggest concern.

Please educate me.

Thank you,
Fred
Northern VA.
 

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I'd say it's more accurate that winds are typically between 35 and 100 mph based on the information above. :)

I'm not sure what constitutes cold weather in VA, but here I ride 35 miles in 35 minutes, mostly at 72 mph, down to 20F or slightly less. I use lined textile clothing from Joe Rocket, grip heaters by Symtec, insulated textile gloves, and an electric jacket by Gerbings. I could probably ride all day at 30 degrees or above with that setup, and I stay plenty comfortable on my commute down into the teens.

The keys are wind protection, body core temperature maintenance, and extremity temperature management. If you keep your core warm, it's much easier to keep your fingers, toes, and nose warm.
 

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I use TourMaster heated gear. Heated pants, insoles and a full jacket liner with heated collar. Decent gauntlets and heated grips too. You might find a bala clava a welcome addition too. Highway speeds equal a very cold wind chill factor so you need windproof outer clothing or wear a rain suit over regular riding gear. You may find a hit and miss assortment of cold weather gear before you can feel protected and comfy.
 

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This will be my first year riding through the cold season.
One-piece snowmobile suit for starters.
After that, you will need to seal up "cracks" where the wind gets in.
Fingers are usually the biggest problem.

Over the years, I have known many, MANY riders who thought they could ride down to 30F and below as long as the roads were clear........and didn't last past the first 30 degree ride. Some can do it, many can't.

Keep in mind that frost/ice can form on places like bridges when the overall outside temp is as high as 35 F. Some spots can be REALLY slick even when the road is generally clear.

Then do you have a "Plan B" for getting home if the weather unexpectedly turns nasty while you are at work ??

When you get to work, do you work outside or inside ??
 

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I plan on getting electrics for next season but for now I have a Fieldsheer jacket and Castle insulated riding pants. The combination keeps me comfy for quite a while in 30 deg temps during the day. At night it is a little different story as I do get chilled but not to the bone.
 

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A good windshield, especially one that extends out over the grips, goes a long way in reducing the wind-chill exposure.
 

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Be careful with the "little chilled" statement. You may be a lot colder than you think. I once thought I was doing great and only a little chilled. Nearly missed 2 corners while on the highway and finally called it a day before I killed myself.
 

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Yeah, a little chilled can mean that your fingers don't want to open up to grab the levers after a run on the highway.
 

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I know, I know but my commutes usually are not that long, 20 min and at 1:30 am with little or no traffic. All I gotta look out for are large road rats. It is rare that I hit more than two lights on the way home.
 

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I find my Firstgear Explorer gloves (textile) with thinsulate to be very warm and comfortable. They are very wind/ water proof but have a slightly padded fit so they don't feel as direct as regular leather gloves. The visor wiper is just about useless but I always think those things are hokey.
Keeping a pair of those spongy acrylic gloves (sold at grocery stores) in you jacket can help a lot sometimes. They take up almost no space but do make a difference

As for Carhartt, I realy enjoy the fleece lined jeans. On moderately cool days they protect you from the wind and the "raw" feeling when wet. They also keep you from getting the hairs burned off you legs from the flapping in the wind. For serious cold or wet they leave much to be desired. (like chaps perhaps)

Also most crucialy: wool socks. Never wear cotton. Wool socks will keep you warm even if your feet get wet or slightly sweaty from working all day. When your feet aren't happy you aren't happy. In extreme cold I may wear thin (skiing) Smartwool socks under thicker wool boot socks.

Also you can consider grip heaters and seat heaters niether of which are terribly expensive.

NMc
 

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I just got some winter tourmaster gloves... riding in 30 degree weather, my finger tips started to get cold after about 40 mins. not bad.

I will say that with cold weather riding, the most important thing to keep warm is your core. once your core temp goes down, all the blood leaves extremities and your hands and feet will freeze in no time.
 

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If you do decide to start loading up on the heated gear keep in mind that your available power is limited by the size of your alternator.
 

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If you do decide to start loading up on the heated gear keep in mind that your available power is limited by the size of your alternator.
:plus1:

tis the reason i didn't put it on the KLR... i'd rather be cold and riding, than cold and stranded. :)
 

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TourMaster heated gear is warm without adding power. The full sleeve liner and pants are good insulation and I only turn them on to the low setting when I get cold. I am sure the KLR would power up this gear easily. My VStrom is also one of those bikes short on extra wattage but I have heated riding gear(including insoles), heated grips and never have a dead battery or problems. Lynda's M runs the same stuff plus two 20 watt driving lights with no problems.
Womper, lurk on some KLR forums and see what they say about adding power hungry items. You may be surprised.
 

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very true, it doesn't draw much and the klr should be able to power it up. It's a pain to work on it sometimes though, i need to find myself a good fuse block as the battery is a pain in the ass to connect anything to...
I do plan on putting more lighting on tho... that might suck some juice :)
 

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dude... just checked it out... awesome... thanks!
 

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I don't ride when it gets below 35. So I don't use heated gear. For me, the best accessory on a bike for cold weather is hand guards to keep the wind off your (gloved) hands.
 

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I don't ride when it gets below 35. So I don't use heated gear. For me, the best accessory on a bike for cold weather is hand guards to keep the wind off your (gloved) hands.
It doesn't have to be down to 35* for you to need heated gear unless all your rides are short ones, try an all day ride @55* and you will see what I mean.:mrgreen:
 

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It can be pretty difficult to find the best stuff for your commute, simply because everyone is so different. I get my stuff from J&P and I like them quite a bit. I suggest checking out some sites with customer service ratings – this will give you a good idea of the actual quality of the material you’re buying. Plus, try reading a good sample of the comments – sometimes people pinpoint specific problems or benefits, from issues with a helmet, to a great set up motorcycle grips, and you can better tell how that would affect you too.
 
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