With the change back to standard time, my daily ride to and from work will now be in the dark on most days and, well, a bit cooler than what we’ve been enjoying over what has so far been a fairly mild summer and fall.
There have been a couple mornings over the past two weeks when the early morning temps dipped below 40°F that caused me to pull out my leather over pants as well as my Gerbings heated jacket and WarmGear heated glove liners to stave-off the cold: I don’t do “cold” when I ride, but I don’t stop riding until the thermometer hits zero either!
However, now that it’s November those cooler mornings will become the norm, not the exception. So, over this past weekend I changed out the stock windscreen on my BMW R1100S “commuter bike” for my Cee Bailey “Touring” windscreen. The stock windscreen is great during late spring, summer and early fall when you want a bit of airflow getting to your body and head. However, the Cee Bailey provides a lot more upper body and head protection from wind blast which is a welcome feature on those very cold mornings.
It’s no substitute for the massive amount of protection I used to get from my BMW R1150RT’s full fairing and powered windscreen, but as much as I liked that bike’s design, features and appearance, the riding experience just wasn’t my cup of tea. It was too refined and too protected, to the point where it was more like riding in a convertible than on a motorcycle! Part of me still misses that bike, but then again… if I wasn’t space limited I’d still have it and just about every other motorcycle I’ve ever owned that wasn’t done-in by a motorist!!
In addition to giving up my short windscreen on the BMW I’ve also had to “shelve” the Shoei RF Platinum 3/4 helmets and my Daytona Polo-style 1/2 helmet for the winter and will be pretty much stuck wearing my Shoei Multitec modular helmet unless the early morning temps sneak back up into the 60’s. I gave the 1/2 helmet one last try early last week on the Road King and between the lack of sunlight and the high 40°F temps I had a pretty miserable ride into work. The next day I took off the Road King’s windscreen and went with my Shoei Multitec and confirmed the 1/2 helmet days were numbered.
Again, with the change back to standard time I also realized it was time to ditch the light smoked face shield on the Multitec and go back to the clear face shield + Pinlock anti-fog screen: Pinlock anti-fog screens are ‘the best’. In 40 years of riding I’ve never found anything that does a better job of eliminating face shield fog when it’s either raining or cold than the Pinlock technology. Best of all, the Pinlock shields are incredibly durable: I’m still using the same clear Pinlock insert that I bought 4 seasons back. It came with a “free” dark insert, but I’ll be darned if I’ve ever been able to use it. I’m guessing they’re popular with the snowmobile crowd!
Anyway, with another 38°F morning tomorrow and the possibility of a wet 36°F ride on Thursday, I’m thinking I’ll be leaving the leathers at home and switching to my well-worn Fieldsheer Highland coat & overpants by the end of the week.
Like I said, I don’t do “cold” when I ride because there’s no such thing as inappropriate weather, just inappropriate gear!