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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are a few inches shy of the all time record snow fall here in anchorage. My TW is more or less set up for winter, I rode up until christmas last year. I am running tempered ice screws (mostly used on snow machine tracks) in the outside lugs of stock tires, in previous years I had ice screws in all of the lugs but have found I like leaving the center of the tire free better. I mounted a windscreen off of a jet ski last fall, a big improvemet over previous years winter riding with no windscreen. I did install plug ins and temp controls for heated clothing, and bought the heated gear, but have not used it yet. It is a 3 mile ride to work and has not seemed necessary, plus I am a bit skptical of the amount of available power from a 1994 TW.



The ice screws index well on icy roads, hard packed snow. Piled up loose snow is pretty scary, especially if you are in heavy traffic. I have ridden down to (-)12F , it was (+) 12F this morning, piece of cake. rw
 

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We are a few inches shy of the all time record snow fall here in anchorage. My TW is more or less set up for winter, I rode up until christmas last year. I am running tempered ice screws (mostly used on snow machine tracks) in the outside lugs of stock tires, in previous years I had ice screws in all of the lugs but have found I like leaving the center of the tire free better. I mounted a windscreen off of a jet ski last fall, a big improvemet over previous years winter riding with no windscreen. I did install plug ins and temp controls for heated clothing, and bought the heated gear, but have not used it yet. It is a 3 mile ride to work and has not seemed necessary, plus I am a bit skptical of the amount of available power from a 1994 TW.



The ice screws index well on icy roads, hard packed snow. Piled up loose snow is pretty scary, especially if you are in heavy traffic. I have ridden down to (-)12F , it was (+) 12F this morning, piece of cake. rw


I'd like to try riding on studded tires someday. How does it compare to dirt or road riding?
 

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Balls!! I whine when it's 50+ here in nor Cal!! Today was not so bad as it got to about 70 by lunch, so I rode my bike back to work. This helps, as fuel localy it's about $4.70 for the cheap stuff! And still going up.



Bet fuel ain't cheap up in the great white north either! Watcha paying for a gallon of the cheap stuff?



I'd tell you to stay warm, but that does not seem possible, so WTH, just have fun! M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'd like to try riding on studded tires someday. How does it compare to dirt or road riding?


There are a number of locals here that ride in the winter. the "recommended", "preferred" deal is to stud up a new set of tires. I am a bit skeptical of the local style of low profile stud (compared to the agressive stud used in southeast alaska where it is truly icy) disclaimer, (I lived in jnu for 22 years) but they seem to work ok. Ice screws, which I bought at the yamaha dealer in Palenville (wasilla) work ok on pavement, but do wear off. I seem to replace them every 5 weeks or so, or every 150 -200 miles probably. People seem to get multi year use out of actual studded up tires. I run agressive studs on my toyota pick up certainly.



I have one of those receiver carriers and pack the bike around. One of the spring things to do is to haul it up turnagain arm past the whittier turnoff to one of the drainages that come down from a variety of glaciers of the coast range. Generally there are a bunch of young guys on snow machines blasting around up there. They are always supprised to see some white haired geek show up on a motorcycle. There are more agressive spike things if you are serious about ice, but the ice screws are OK on a 14hp bike. It is probably accurate to say the deal with traction addendums on ice / packed snow is if they are working properly, you ride very straight w/o melodrama. rw
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Balls!! I whine when it's 50+ here in nor Cal!! Today was not so bad as it got to about 70 by lunch, so I rode my bike back to work. This helps, as fuel localy it's about $4.70 for the cheap stuff! And still going up.



Bet fuel ain't cheap up in the great white north either! Watcha paying for a gallon of the cheap stuff?



I'd tell you to stay warm, but that does not seem possible, so WTH, just have fun! M.


I do not find staying warm to be much of a problem, it is true that (regardless of the outdoor sport) you find your self wearing the basic $1000 worth of stuff, and it works very well. I am currently wearing motorcycle specific stuff, 1st gear armoured / insulated riding pants, and a comparable tourtec yellow green coat. I decided I wanted to wear the impact armour in traffic. People ride snow machines all the time, and routinely work outside so other than a few specific dexterity / weird mechanical happenings from low temperatures, winter has many advantages over summer for backcountry mobility. It is probably easier to get the darwin award in the winter as not paying attention is bad ju-ju.



Fuel is variable here, it recently went up to ~$4.10 from ~$3.70ish in anc and the valley . Further out of town, you will see over $5 (+) then there is the bush where $10 - $12 (+) fuel is common. A few years ago I was on a run down the yukon in my skiff from Eagle to the dalton hwy bridge (500 miles in 4 days) and stopped in Ft Yukon to buy fuel. 40 gallons @ 8.50 / gallon (had been $12) , thought I was making out with such a great price. rw
 

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There are a number of locals here that ride in the winter. the "recommended", "preferred" deal is to stud up a new set of tires. I am a bit skeptical of the local style of low profile stud (compared to the agressive stud used in southeast alaska where it is truly icy) disclaimer, (I lived in jnu for 22 years) but they seem to work ok. Ice screws, which I bought at the yamaha dealer in Palenville (wasilla) work ok on pavement, but do wear off. I seem to replace them every 5 weeks or so, or every 150 -200 miles probably. People seem to get multi year use out of actual studded up tires. I run agressive studs on my toyota pick up certainly.



I have one of those receiver carriers and pack the bike around. One of the spring things to do is to haul it up turnagain arm past the whittier turnoff to one of the drainages that come down from a variety of glaciers of the coast range. Generally there are a bunch of young guys on snow machines blasting around up there. They are always supprised to see some white haired geek show up on a motorcycle. There are more agressive spike things if you are serious about ice, but the ice screws are OK on a 14hp bike. It is probably accurate to say the deal with traction addendums on ice / packed snow is if they are working properly, you ride very straight w/o melodrama. rw


Sounds like it would be alot of fun. Maybe someday. Thanks for telling me what's involved. Imay try it on a frozen lake down here next winter.
 

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I wanna see the Jetski windshield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wanna see the Jetski windshield.
In general I don't post much anywhere, and I do not know how to post pictures. However, after riding for about a month this is s report on current conditions.



As stated earlier, we have had a lot of snow here in anchorage, which was plowed / bladed up in big berms along the roads. My 5:30 am ride to work is now in the upper (+) twenties, rather than zero. During the day it has been in the (+) mid 40's which is melting the snow handily. Much of the run off either evenly coats the road surface or makes puddles as drainage is still blocked by frozen stuff. In the mornings, it is much more icy than it was when it was colder. Once it is no longer below freezing overnight perhaps that will change. We will have dew point issues way into the summer.



I will do a refresh on the ice screws this weekend which should get me to non-frozen pavement, when ever that is. rw
 

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We are a few inches shy of the all time record snow fall here in anchorage. My TW is more or less set up for winter, I rode up until christmas last year. I am running tempered ice screws (mostly used on snow machine tracks) in the outside lugs of stock tires, in previous years I had ice screws in all of the lugs but have found I like leaving the center of the tire free better. I mounted a windscreen off of a jet ski last fall, a big improvemet over previous years winter riding with no windscreen. I did install plug ins and temp controls for heated clothing, and bought the heated gear, but have not used it yet. It is a 3 mile ride to work and has not seemed necessary, plus I am a bit skptical of the amount of available power from a 1994 TW.



The ice screws index well on icy roads, hard packed snow. Piled up loose snow is pretty scary, especially if you are in heavy traffic. I have ridden down to (-)12F , it was (+) 12F this morning, piece of cake. rw




Impressive how many conditions the TW shines when you really need it most. This is great to read. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Impressive how many conditions the TW shines when you really need it most. This is great to read. Thanks for sharing.


We have had a couple nights of (marginally) above freezing temperatures with mid (+) 40's in the day time. Consequently the run off from the melting snow was not an ice rink, water was in this odd liquid state. Alaska has exceptional weather reporting detail. The complex interaction of the jet stream, warm currents in the Gulf of Alaska, weirdess in Russia etc. makes for a complex prediction environment. Technically we are a Temperate Marine climate, with arctic influences. As soon as I hit the road this morning (still dark for a few hours) it was a white out blizzard of blowing snow. The roads thmselves were above freezing from recent warmish trends so it was just sloppy. Next winter I am going to buy a winter helmet with a heated visor.



As per the prediction, it mellowed out, blue sky and mostly dry roads for the ride home. I refreshed the ice screws last weekend, which should get me through until it is warmer and water is mostly liquid. rw
 

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I am curious about the heated visors as well.



When I was looking into heated visors awhile ago, there were a few odd things that came across. As far as I know, most are designed for snowmobile helmets but some are compatible between different helmets for the same brand (e.g. HJC). The weird thing is, some carry the DOT approval marking, but also are marked "For snowmobile use only". Some also have an element line within your vision. I couldn't get a clear response of whether its legal or not here for highway/street use here but there were concerns listed about them not being as clear, especially the multiple layered ones.



It certainly would be nice to drive with the visor/vents closed on a freezing/wet winter day while being able to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Amazingly enough I'm living in Anchorage right now. Epic winter at its finest!


I live between Lake Otis and elmore off 80th and work for the school district off south Huffman, a 3 mile trip to work. It seems there are two things a winter helmet has. A means of deflecting your breath away from the shield, and a double layer / heated shield. I am not sure exactly how the heated shield works yet. My intent is to hit the snow machine places for their spring sales (if it ever stops snowing).



The first couple years I rode in the wnter I wore an open faced Bell helmet I had bought in a snow machine place with ski goggles (I wear glasses so my ski goggles have a fan in them to keep the glasses from fogging up) and a balaclava type face cover. Many snowmachine racers seem to wear a motocross type helmet and ski goggles and duct tape the exposed areas of their face. I doubt that (duct tape) would be reasonable on a daily basis. rw
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There is a saying here in AK about the 4 seasons being described as almost winter (fall), winter, not quite winter, road building season. We are currently in not quite winter, with some reasons to dread road building season. Outsiders seem to visit during road building season, perhaps to see our large collection of heavy equipment working 24 hrs / day in a frenzy of production. Pretty much every road is torn up. A good opportunity to meet locals, waiting to get through the construction sites. I mention this because I don't actually use my TW200 during road building season very much.



This was my 4th year of riding through most of the winter, the conditions here tend towards having very icy roads, frequently zero or below. For riding on a daily basis, I eventually decided to not ride when it is signficantly below zero, the bike and my barrier clothing works pretty well down to zero. I had some trouble originally with carb mixture, it is hard to modulate your choke setting with the choke knob down on the carb rather up the handle bars. I am now running a bit rich which works well in the winter, but will need to be leaned out a bit for summer. There may also be an issue with carb icing. A kick start option is important, my bike starts down to about 20F with the button, have started it with no more than 2 kicks @ (-) 12F after being outside all day.



We get down to about 4 hours of light in the winter, so I am riding in the dark a lot. I think the stock running lights and signals show up well in the dark, the head light is kind of vague compared to other bikes I have. My opinion after several years of winter riding is a small displacement enduro works very well for winter riding.



I decided to write this up to encourage others to consider late / early season riding. The three main issues, 1. how your bike runs / starts in cold weather, 2. Staying warm 3. Road surface conditions (icy or not) / traction addendums, are not difficult to address.



I figure it takes an extra 10 minutes to dress out before the ride to and from work, ignore nay sayers, when they call you crazy thank them for the compliment (if you are riding a TW200 you likely don't care what others think anyway). One of my co-workers (a hardley rider) was dissing my bike last week, "That thing is nothing but a mo-ped with knobby tires". 65 mpg speaks for its' self. Fuel here is currently $4.30 no doubt heading to $5+ soon. rw
 

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How do you keep the cylnder head warm enough for good fuel cobustion? Did you shroud part of the fins to retain engine heat? I had troubles with mine around freezing and made a carboard heat shield which helped the motor to warm up faster and run better in the cold and my carb didnt freeze up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When I first started winter riding, where I lived I had a carport enclosed on 3 sides, but ambient temp, and I was working downtown for an oil company and parked outside all day. I had some issues with mixture / maybe icing for a while. Once I made it run rich rather than lean, most of those issues went away. Nobody I have seen riding here in the winter shrouds the engine in any way. There are various ways people deflect the warm air off the engine for self warmth. Once the engine starts to work a bit it seems to be fine @ maintaining operating temperature.



In my current iteration, I park in a heated garage, and have (until recently) parked the bike inside @ work in a relatively unused shop with a 4.0 door to the outside (we used to build doors in there, now buy what we need premade as steel doors are mostly used these days). Almost everybody is a rider where I work, including my boss who sanctioned my parking inside. They all ride hardleys of course, but some of the are thinking of getting a real bike.



Last night it was finally slightly above freezing (roads not icy) so I rode my CB750 to work today for the first time this season. I expect we will get one more big snow, frequently it happens the first week of may. I can pull the ice screws out of the TW after that. rw
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have been riding my CB750 to work recently, two days ago I went down my street to 80th, the city had sprayed water and brushed the road earlier and it was (+)27 so the street and the next one were skating rinks. I went back home and put the honda away and got the tw out. The last ride with ice screws as I removed all of them today. My plan is to replace the 1994 original tires in the next couple of weeks and get the bike ready to ride up to deadhorse. Unfortunately it has developed an oil leak on the left side case, it does not appear to be the base gasket. All of the fasteners seem tight, I presume it is a gasket issue.



My original thought was to ride my DR650 up the haul road, but it never happened for various reasons, then I rode to DR to arizona a couple years ago. I will haul the tw to fbx (fairbanks) and ride from there. The local ADV crowd will be @ D2D in Dawson YT towards the end of june, should be a great time to do the haul road. Might even find a room along the way. I will try to figure out how to post pictures by then. rw
 
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