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STAND AND FIGHT!
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13,197 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Even Steve Farson, who seems more accustomed to cold weather riding than most, mentioned in one post a trip that ended in hours of being miserbly cold.
Unless you only ride in great weather, chances are someday you'll get caught underdressed for the weather, and hypothermia can kill you long before you feel painfully cold, since your hazard recognition, reaction time, and IQ have dropped dangerously.

There are some great tricks, free stuff that can really save your bacon, it you know the tricks. Most of you old timers are going to know all these, but just in case, I wanted to share.

One of the simplest great assets, if you are a rider with bags, it is assumed you carry a rainsuit of some kind. It sounds klunky and goofy, but it is amazing how warm your warm weather leathers become under a full rainsuit.
I don't carry a suit with me, but I use a cheap but heavy suit I got at Sam's, for $25 I can afford to keep one at home and one at work. That top layer can be the warmest layer, if it keeps the cold air out and makes the rest of your outfit more effective as layers that aren't getting cold air between.

Here's the story I really started this thread to tell. I got caught a long way from home with nothing but jeans, light jacket and T-shirt.
Hobo insulation saved my butt. Newsprint. Nothing that you can scrounge up in the trash can at the roadside park is warmer in a pinch. Stick long sections of several sheets of newsprint folded so it's a 3/4 circle around the front of your legs down in your jeans. Make another section into a short poncho, cut a hole for your head so newsprint goes down in front and back of your torso like a sandwich board. More tubes go down your jacket sleeves, and last thing before you close your jacket put a big section of paper under your armpit on each side and another that overlaps them both in front.

Emergency gloves, I keep a large pair of latex gloves stashed in a riding coat pocket, to put on over my perforated summer gloves in case of rain, they'd come in very handy in a cold snap as well. If you have gloves, but they aren't handling it, a pair of plastic bags with a strip of string or duck tape around the palm to turn them into crude mittens makes a poor pair of gloves much more effective. Variations on this theme could make your boots a lot warmer, if that's your worst problem, or keep them dry if you have to ride in rain with a rain suit but nothing to protect your feet.

And then, of course, almost everybody who's ridden very long has made a rainsuit out of a box of (6) trash bags. Every truckstop has duck tape and trash bags. Use duck tape to make the plastic tight and keep it from flapping in the wind and seal the seams, I've had an improvised rainsuit work nearly as well as a real rainsuit. If making the suit procedure it isn't apparent, stick each leg into a trash bag, pull the opening as high up your leg as possible, and tape it there. If the bags are long enough leave your boots covered. Poke a hole in the bottom of a bag and put it over your head, stretching the opening and pulling it down until you're wearing it like a hula skirt. Tape it to the leggings. The torso and arms are made the same way.
Course you have to have somebody help cut it off of you later.
 

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Just passing thru
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6,636 Posts
Good thread and good tips. I often rely on my cell phone and credit cards when riding but I am dredfully unprepaired for any real world emergencies. I have been meaning to but have not acted. So after all the Old salts and young sharpies respond I will collect and plan where to stow it. So far I have
Electrical tape, duct tape, small set of tools in a roll up bag, cheap rainsuit, Latex gloves and a small can of fixaflat on my list.
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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13,197 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That reminds me of the trick I was shown once about how to work on tires with the wheels on the bike. It's much easier if you have the weight off of the wheel, and the wheel lifted off the ground. You can do this with either the front end or the back if you know how.

I don't know if this will work on an 800 lb dresser, at least maybe not the front wheel. But it will work on a Dyna. To hoist the front wheel off the ground, pull the bike from the left side with the right side handgrip, till the whole front end rocks up off the ground balanced on the rear wheel and the kick-stand. Good to have a big mate help with this, but if somebody can put some kind of chocks under the frame so it stays up, then you can work freely on the front wheel.

In order to get the rear wheel of a TC or Evo or Shovel off the ground, any engine with the big primary cover on the left side. That is your pivot point, if you put something soft on the ground to protect the primary cover, you can lay the bike all the way down on the left side, once the primary cover contacts the pad, the rear wheel will lift clear of the ground and allow you to work on it.
 

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On a ride
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4,996 Posts
Good advice Nathan. Can vouch for the wind blocking properties of rain gear and rain liners. The trash bag note reminds of a ride where we all got caught by a cold sleet and snow going over Independence Pass near Aspen. Prior to this it was a cold rain the previous two hours. One rider caught very unprepared, with soaking wet/cold gloves, was putting his hands on his mufflers at every stop to warm them up!
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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13,197 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
One rider caught very unprepared, with soaking wet/cold gloves, was putting his hands on his mufflers at every stop to warm them up!
At that moment, I wonder what he'd have paid for the idea to stop at a quicky mart and dry his gloves in the microwave,
then use empty plastic bag wrappers from a couple of loaves of bread for mittens.

Could probably have gotten them pretty dry on the exhaust pipes.
Truck stop restrooms, or some McDonalds use those hot air blower type hand dryers. That'd be a big help.

BTW, that's another good use for newsprint, is drying something out by wicking action, like if a buddy's gloves being wet is an emergency,
you could pack 'em with newsprint, wrap them in newsprint, wad 'em up tight in a newsprint folder, and sit the back wheel of the bike up on top of the folder while getting coffee to warm up.

The long thin plastic bread wrapper bags would be a big help if a buddy's got wet boots and feet. put a thick wrap of newsprint around his feet to wick moisture and put his feet in the bread wrappers before putting his boots back on to to insulate and prevent further wettness. Change the newsprint out for dry at every stop.
 
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