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Thread: Winter touring- dumb idea but we tried

  1. #1
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    Winter touring- dumb idea but we tried

    Just back home from three days riding the Lower North island with four other Optimists (read= idiots). So a month ago when summer just wouldn't let go this idea of a 3 or 4 days ride seemed feasible. Two weeks ago I drove back from Hamilton and it was blue skies all the way, 20 bloody degrees still by Hunterville at 4pm! Fudge I said to the Missus, this ride soon might be a clever idea. Nope.

    Friday 25/05/18. Wgtn to Napier. Wet then cold. Cold then wetter. Wetter and colder at the same time. Pretty much that inter-changing mix described the whole ride up. So our aim to push to Gissy Friday was dumped as we enjoyed the warm fire at the Gin Trap. Next day Gissy was forecast rain, rain and more rain, so reluctantly we went to Taupo. We didn't want to go up on the plateau at any time knowing how cold it is in winter. Forecast didn't show any rain along Gentle Annie or Taupo - wrong it was. 3 degrees was registered at one point over the Napier-Taihape Road. Last time I rode this I had a blast, laying black lines out of ever bend. This time all my rear tyre was doing was showering a water spray up my back. Waiouru to Taupo was freezing but actually pleasantly dry half of the time - look at that lovely snow on the mountain radiating warmth.

    This morning we woke to more of Friday's joys of wet & freezing cold. We pulled the pin and rode home in a balmy 6 degrees along the Desert Road. Fortunately the heavens dropped torrential rain on us at times to take our minds off the chill.

    Actually the others suffered the cold but I have to say being now fully kitted out in 1tonne gear was an eye opener compared to my buddies frozen hands at each stop and their misery. I was never miserable from the cold and stayed dry. The Storm gloves did need inner thermal liners for the coldest sections but double gloved like that I couldn't believe I never got sore finger tips etc. My new 1tonne Blitz boots excelled at keeping me comfy, dry and warm. Again, other gear has eventually given out to numb toes and wet socks. The 1tonne Duel jacket and textile pants did an outstanding job. Never a cold moment the whole trip for the body. Completely dry inside after three days of decent rain.

    There were a few more bikes on the plateau this crap weekend than I expected to see. Reassuring to know you are not the only idiots about.

    Bring on summer.
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    Happiness is a means of travel, not a destination

  2. #2
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    Yes next weekends Brass may live up to its name. Friggen cold in the South presently.

  3. #3
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    As is always the case ... a ride in shit weather wearing good gear makes it comfortable. Fun not so much.

    I've had some bloody magnificent rides in shit weather over the years on various bikes.

    But ... just when you think you've ridden in the shittyist weather ever ... you'll go on another ride sometime ... and it'll be worse.

    Such is motorcycling ...
    Sweat wipes off. Road-rash doesn't.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanB View Post
    Yes next weekends Brass may live up to its name. Friggen cold in the South presently.
    Anybody checked out the long range forecast ... it's not that far away ... ???
    Sweat wipes off. Road-rash doesn't.

  5. #5
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    What bike is that? I am planning a trip to taranaki sometime soon. Because I have never been before.

    Sent from my TA-1024 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the report, there's so much snow on Ruapehu already.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jafagsx250 View Post
    What bike is that? I am planning a trip to taranaki sometime soon. Because I have never been before.

    Sent from my TA-1024 using Tapatalk
    Yamaha MT-09 That's a 900 three cylinder.
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  8. #8
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    Planning something similar in a fortnight. Up via Taranaki to the Tron, then back via SH4 and the Paraparas and maybe River Road.
    Great to get inspiration from your post.
    My biggest gripe about winter riding is road spray from trucks. Obscures vision and makes your gear stink. Sure, roads are slippery and its cold, but I can manage those things.
    Note to self: must get some heated grips....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MD View Post
    Yamaha MT-09 That's a 900 three cylinder.


    Ahh very nice, I had a first gen MT 09 and that was a good bike, but your model must be pretty sweet with the added quick shifter and traction control

    Add some Oxford sport hot grips to those hand guards and you're all set!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pound View Post
    Ahh very nice, I had a first gen MT 09 and that was a good bike, but your model must be pretty sweet with the added quick shifter and traction control

    Add some Oxford sport hot grips to those hand guards and you're all set!
    It is damn comfortable for long hauls. I added the higher screen which helped this weekend giving a bit more wind/rain protection than before - that was zero protection before. I added the hand guards which do help keep your hands warmer and dryer. Also got a Nitro rear shock, so it is a sweet ride now.
    Happiness is a means of travel, not a destination

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the feedback on the 1Tonne gear. I've always found my hands feel the cold first and have used silk inner gloves before, which keep the hands warm. The only problem is the riding gloves stretch slightly, especially if they get wet.

    A couple of years ago I bought a pair of Revit Alaska winter gloves. My hands never get cold in those, in fact I can't wear them until the temperature drops below about 12. But they are great if I end up riding home after sunset and it starts to get cold.

  12. #12
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    This thread demonstrates why bikes are a hobby as opposed to a means of transport.

    I spent many years having to ride in all weathers, night and day, including snow, slush, heavy frost and black ice before I got a car licence. It completely changes perspective on riding gear, bike set up, and how fast you can go in the rain (peace of pish after ice). Looking good does not enter the equation, avoiding hypothermia and being able to scrape the crud off your visor are paramount. So are hydraulic control lines, cables freeze and ice can build up in yer brake calipers. Hydraulic lines freeze up eventually, too, but that is feckin nuts cold.

    I doff my cap in the general direction of all those intending to be frozen rigid in the coming months. Just got my rego renewal, might be a 3 month lay off.
    Then again, I do live in the winterless norf. Heh.
    Manopausal.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by george formby View Post


    This thread demonstrates why bikes are a hobby as opposed to a means of transport.

    I spent many years having to ride in all weathers, night and day, including snow, slush, heavy frost and black ice before I got a car licence. It completely changes perspective on riding gear, bike set up, and how fast you can go in the rain (peace of pish after ice). Looking good does not enter the equation, avoiding hypothermia and being able to scrape the crud off your visor are paramount. So are hydraulic control lines, cables freeze and ice can build up in yer brake calipers. Hydraulic lines freeze up eventually, too, but that is feckin nuts cold.

    I doff my cap in the general direction of all those intending to be frozen rigid in the coming months. Just got my rego renewal, might be a 3 month lay off.
    Then again, I do live in the winterless norf. Heh.
    I rode to work twice this week....maybe half a doff's worth.
    DeMyer's Laws - an argument that consists primarily of rambling quotes isn't worth bothering with.

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