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Discussion Starter #1
So I would really like to extend my cold weather commuting tolerance and have a lil question. Now the second option is kind of pipe dream but it would be nice.
1. Invest in some serious base layers
2. Invest in a serious 4 season jacket

Currently I just throw on 2 or 3 sets of long johns and my rain to cut the wind and that works pretty well for the most part. But are the $500+ jackets really worth it? Seams like for that kind of money you might be paying for more brand name than product.
 

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If you can invest in the proper gear you won't regret it. Do your research, and read the reviews. I have mid-grade gear and I'll save my pennies for top quality the nest time around. It is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've got a light Icon mesh jacket and I'm pretty happy with it. Layering up is just kind of in my nature so it's usually not too bad. But man, some of those top of the line jackets are sweeeeeet.
 

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I'm all about layering. Not sure how cold you're looking to be prepared for but I got a Fly Racing Terra Trek waterproof touring jacket that's got a zip out liner. It stops the wind real well. If I wear long johns, thick pants, and a few layers under the jacket, a neck warmer and warm gloves, I can take a 20 mile or so ride in sunny 35 degree weather. I'm thinking this fall I will invest in a pair of flannel or fleece lined jeans from Cabelas or Beans, because with with this outfit the first thing that gets cold are my legs. Also a sled helmet will probably keep my face warmer. I have one kicking around somewhere.
 

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I'm all about layering. Not sure how cold you're looking to be prepared for but I got a Fly Racing Terra Trek waterproof touring jacket that's got a zip out liner. It stops the wind real well. If I wear long johns, thick pants, and a few layers under the jacket, a neck warmer and warm gloves, I can take a 20 mile or so ride in sunny 35 degree weather. I'm thinking this fall I will invest in a pair of flannel or fleece lined jeans from Cabelas or Beans, because with with this outfit the first thing that gets cold are my legs. Also a sled helmet will probably keep my face warmer. I have one kicking around somewhere.
I thought you were talking about -35*. Gee, at +35* I'm still in a t-shirt and flip flops....:D
 

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I think a great jacket and pants like Rukka, Klim, BMW, Aerostitch, Spidi, Rev-it and some others are a great investment along with an electric jacket liner and gloves. Gerbing's Motorcycle Heated Clothing - CoreHeat 12 - The Warming Store I've had a Gerbing jacket liner and G3 gloves for many years and both still work great. My legs and feet don't get cold so I don't have the need for heated pants and socks.

Key is to keep the cold air and water off of you. I'll never have a bike without hand guards, heated grips and some sort of windshield. Gore-Windstopper layering stuff is very good especially for your neck.

My favorite jacket has been the BMW Rallye 2 Pro which I've been wearing for almost 10 years and many miles in all weather conditions. It was expensive, but after 10 years, not really !!
 

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...... But are the $500+ jackets really worth it? Seams like for that kind of money you might be paying for more brand name than product.
I really like Olympia gear. Very versatile and not that expensive. After five years I still have not found a reason to change to the more expensive brands. (even when I'm riding the BMW....;))

I do have a Tourmaster electric vest and below 50 I will use it. The TW has enough power for it on the one or two setting, but just barely. I pulled the third wire from the always on rear turn signals, saves about three amps. With this set-up, along with Icebreaker base layers and good gloves, I'm comfortable down to about 40 for a couple of hours.
 

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I can be a bit thrifty and have tried lots of gear the past few years. Last summer I finally invested in Klim (got a killer deal at the Toura Tech Rally) and am not sorry. Wish I had done it sooner but I had to work my way up. I still layer, some days I use Freeze Out base layers (Cycle Gear) other days I use my Gerbing's heated liner and gloves or combinations of both along with various jackets and sweatshirts. Although, I probably won't invest in anymore Gerbing's brand because the new owner's will NOT honor the lifetime warranty that was promised to me and I have had issues with the liner/glove wiring. In fact, I have one of their vests right now that needs attention. I am told by one of our forum members that Gordon's (Gordon Gerbing) will provide the same quality and lifetime warranty the previous Gerbing's provided. I probably just need to learn how to fix that liner myself and not worry about buying yet more expensive gear.

I LOVE MY KLIM GEAR AND DAYTONA BOOTS...... KEEP ME DRY!!!!
 
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What temps do you want to ride at is the biggest question. This am ride into work it was 29F with freezing fog. I wore my kilimanjaro jacket just tee and sweat shirt under. and my rain pants with just jeans under. Heated glove liners inside of unlined leather gloves and my DS Hornet helmet and I was very comfortable. Now when it gets colder I wear the first gear pants to go with the jacket. When it is really cold below 15-20 I will wear a heated jacket liner and that takes me to well to -27f so far. I also use a dual shield helmet (prevents fogging) with the colder temps and a hood under.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Right now around 40 is my cut off for commutes but my goal is a cut off of 30 or so. My commute is roughly half an hour.
 

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Right now around 40 is my cut off for commutes but my goal is a cut off of 30 or so. My commute is roughly half an hour.
Tolerance levels have a lot to do with it I ride year round so what I think is good may not work for you. But I would say a good Jacket similar to the Firstgear Kilimanjaro, and maybe a polar fleece or wool liner under the jacket. Pants need to be wind proof nylon leather with an insulated liner or you would need long johns smart wool of some type. A hood under helmet helps keep the heat loss from you head, good boots, and heated glove liners and I believe you would be comfortable. The warmest suit I have is listed below, a pain to put on and take off compared to two piece setups.

Firstgear Thermo One-Piece Suit - Motorcycle Superstore
 
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I agree with RBM. Quality gear is totally worth it. I have a rev-it sand 2 jacket and pants and if i put the liners in(both thermal and rain/wind) and a good base layer i can ride into the 20's easily and comfortably without heated gear. I have done low 20's on my Ducati at freeway speed before and was fine. I also wear a Klim neck sock and Klim snowmobile gloves.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cool, i really appreciate the input guys. I figure the whole tolerance will come with time somewhat. I'm taking notes of all the gear you guys talked about and will do my own analysis and pick a path. So far all gear has been, Mid level 2 or 3 season i guess you could say. I should probably think of quality gear as more of a long term investment rather than just what looks cool to me know. But really weight the pro's and con's of everything.
 

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For 6 years, I have worn the TourMaster multi-layer jacket for all kind of weather. It was finally time to get a new one and what I did was go to the big box store for motorcycle and tried on every jacket they had. I finally decided on the Olympia Airglide 4 Jacket since it was lighter and more comfortable than the TourMaster. What works for one person may not work for you....I would suggest on trying on as many as you can.
 

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British Motorcycle Gear is also very good. I have found their winter gloves the best for me and the over pants as well.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I'll have to try to find a good shop to check some stuff out. The shop real close to me is pretty small. They're apparel room is maybe 20x20? The only other one I know if is a Harley place and I think I saw more coffee mugs then real gear in there last time I was in. I was there with my daughter and she was pretty set on sitting on every bike rather than letting me really see what they had in that shops defense.
 

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Don't mind the cold in the plains so much as I do here as it is a damp cold. My biggest issue is my hands. With the least bit of cold my finger turn white to the palms. Too many years as a young man working in the wet snow and froze my fingers, plus operating chainsaws with the vibration. Mittens work better for me as they tend to not bind my fingers like a glove. Having larger hands it is very hard to find a pair that fit loose enough to not hinder circulation. I am thinking of getting some heated gloves. My Goldwing has heated grips, but still they get cold. Guess I will have to chase the sun from now on.
 

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30 Years ago I purchased a set of bibs and a jacket from a company in Idaho. At the time it was pricy at 680.00 dollars, but has been the best investment I have ever bought to go with my motorcycles. I can put on a double wrap neck scarf, zip up the tunnel neck on the suit with my full face Shoei, and have a total air seal at my chest/neck area. Additionally, a pair of wool liners inside a pair of large pair of loose fitting leather mittens. I have ridden in excess of 3 hours at below freezing at highway speeds with this combination. The suit is also waterproof. Unfortunately Plumbstraight, I only have the one pair of liners and mittens, but maybe can find some. I will look.
Mel
 

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For those interested, go to Google-"chopper mittens" Be sure you are buying unlined, then purchase the wool insulated mitten liners. They look like hell but they will keep your hands warm.
Mel
 
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