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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys, with the recent snowpocalpse all around the country, and the bad ice-storm we got here in Oregon taking out power for one-third of its residents in the Willamette Valley, it's got me wondering if our bikes can ever be ridden in deep snow and/or sheets of ice (like a frozen lake). I know studded tires work for ATVs and some motorcycles, but I don't want to screw sharp metal spikes into my stock tires. I also don't want to remove the wheels for this. I was thinking about snow chains or some other easily-installed traction device for this purpose. There's a guy on You Tube who used climbing rope on his Africa Twin to good result (see below). Ideally, I'd like something that could be ridden on icy streets up to 20 mph as well. Maybe too tall an order.

What do you experienced guys above the sun-belt think? Would our larger tires make the TW a better candidate (i.e., superior traction) for this type of temporary mod? Remind me again, what are the benefits of our larger tires in general???? Thanks all for your considered thoughts.

 

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I have a set of chains given to me modified from car chains to fit the rear TrailWing but I've never used them so cannot comment on their effectiveness other than it can be done.
I do like to ride in some snow conditions. The stock tire founders much quicker in the deep stuff than the ATV tire equipped TW. Both tires have enough lugs to cut through snow pack so chains might not give a big edge there. On ice steel does tend to bight better but I doubt my set of chains have enough steel on ice contact area to afford much control.
 

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I’ve got some of these
I may try them out on the TDub tomorrow
211756

The ones I have are old made for 13 inch tires and rims.
Could be the ticket because it won’t go in this stuff like it is
211759
 

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Hey Guys, with the recent snowpocalpse all around the country, and the bad ice-storm we got here in Oregon taking out power for one-third of its residents in the Willamette Valley, it's got me wondering if our bikes can ever be ridden in deep snow and/or sheets of ice (like a frozen lake). I know studded tires work for ATVs and some motorcycles, but I don't want to screw sharp metal spikes into my stock tires. I also don't want to remove the wheels for this. I was thinking about snow chains or some other easily-installed traction device for this purpose. There's a guy on You Tube who used climbing rope on his Africa Twin to good result (see below). Ideally, I'd like something that could be ridden on icy streets up to 20 mph as well. Maybe too tall an order.

What do you experienced guys above the sun-belt think? Would our larger tires make the TW a better candidate (i.e., superior traction) for this type of temporary mod? Remind me again, what are the benefits of our larger tires in general???? Thanks all for your considered thoughts.

I have experimented with both sheet metal screws into the tires and tire chains. The sheet metal screws were marginal in hard-pack snow but almost worthless on ice. Still slipped on the ice. I can't find any of my old pictures but I had the sheet metal screws on both front and rear tires.

I had more success with tire chains...on the rear only. Tire chains gave pretty good traction in snow and better than sheet metal screws on ice but still had to be careful on the ice. The problem with the chains on the rear tire is it now made the front tire without chains the weak point. So, I added chains to the front. It didn't work out nearly as well as I had hoped for.

I used the chains on the rear tire quite extensively on the rear tire for a couple of winter seasons but only for off-road riding. I never felt comfortable with any traction devices on the motorcycle on slippery snowy/icy pavement.

211760


211764


After a couple of seasons, I discovered wear on the chains. I used a second set of chains for subsequent years but ultimately quit riding in the winter with or without traction devices.
211761


Front chains turned out to be worthless in my case. I never felt any helpful traction on the front tire with the chains. (edit: you can actually see some of the sheet metal screws in this front tire. Again, the sheet metal screws didn't do much good).
211762


I also dabbled with using a ski on the front but this didn't work out on the one time I tried it. The ski wanted to "tuck under" or "roll under" and kept plowing with no steering control.
211763


I've never tried the "rope chains" so can't really elaborate on those other than to say they probably would work for an emergency or short need situation. With the wear I experienced with the chains I don't think the nylon rope chains would last too long. Interesting for sure though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a set of chains given to me modified from car chains to fit the rear TrailWing but I've never used them so cannot comment on their effectiveness other than it can be done.
I do like to ride in some snow conditions. The stock tire founders much quicker in the deep stuff than the ATV tire equipped TW. Both tires have enough lugs to cut through snow pack so chains might not give a big edge there. On ice steel does tend to bight better but I doubt my set of chains have enough steel on ice contact area to afford much control.
Another super cool (literally) Fred video! Looks like the TW can handle light - medium snow on trails. I've only been in light snow on a trail with the TW and it did fine. Hey Fred, do you listen to that music WHILE you are riding? Also, I've tried to get one of those great Jimbo shields, but I think I have only an old email address. No response. Thanks man!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’ve got some of these
I may try them out on the TDub tomorrow View attachment 211756
The ones I have are old made for 13 inch tires and rims.
Could be the ticket because it won’t go in this stuff like it is
View attachment 211759
Thanks Gully! Please keep us posted on how they work. That front fairing is just plain baaaad! (bad meaning good) Dare I ask, you made it, right? Have a spare? It's really cool. P
 

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Another super cool (literally) Fred video! Looks like the TW can handle light - medium snow on trails. I've only been in light snow on a trail with the TW and it did fine. Hey Fred, do you listen to that music WHILE you are riding? Also, I've tried to get one of those great Jimbo shields, but I think I have only an old email address. No response. Thanks man!
I just texted Jimbo for you. He will see it sooner or later. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have experimented with both sheet metal screws into the tires and tire chains. The sheet metal screws were marginal in hard-pack snow but almost worthless on ice. Still slipped on the ice. I can't find any of my old pictures but I had the sheet metal screws on both front and rear tires.

I had more success with tire chains...on the rear only. Tire chains gave pretty good traction in snow and better than sheet metal screws on ice but still had to be careful on the ice. The problem with the chains on the rear tire is it now made the front tire without chains the weak point. So, I added chains to the front. It didn't work out nearly as well as I had hoped for.

I used the chains on the rear tire quite extensively on the rear tire for a couple of winter seasons but only for off-road riding. I never felt comfortable with any traction devices on the motorcycle on slippery snowy/icy pavement.

View attachment 211760

View attachment 211764

After a couple of seasons, I discovered wear on the chains. I used a second set of chains for subsequent years but ultimately quit riding in the winter with or without traction devices.
View attachment 211761

Front chains turned out to be worthless in my case. I never felt any helpful traction on the front tire with the chains. (edit: you can actually see some of the sheet metal screws in this front tire. Again, the sheet metal screws didn't do much good).
View attachment 211762

I also dabbled with using a ski on the front but this didn't work out on the one time I tried it. The ski wanted to "tuck under" or "roll under" and kept plowing with no steering control.
View attachment 211763

I've never tried the "rope chains" so can't really elaborate on those other than to say they probably would work for an emergency or short need situation. With the wear I experienced with the chains I don't think the nylon rope chains would last too long. Interesting for sure though.
As always Admiral, thank you so much for sharing your experience. You guys try all avenues, so we don't have to! P
 

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Hey Guys, with the recent snowpocalpse all around the country, and the bad ice-storm we got here in Oregon taking out power for one-third of its residents in the Willamette Valley, it's got me wondering if our bikes can ever be ridden in deep snow and/or sheets of ice (like a frozen lake). I know studded tires work for ATVs and some motorcycles, but I don't want to screw sharp metal spikes into my stock tires. I also don't want to remove the wheels for this. I was thinking about snow chains or some other easily-installed traction device for this purpose. There's a guy on You Tube who used climbing rope on his Africa Twin to good result (see below). Ideally, I'd like something that could be ridden on icy streets up to 20 mph as well. Maybe too tall an order.

What do you experienced guys above the sun-belt think? Would our larger tires make the TW a better candidate (i.e., superior traction) for this type of temporary mod? Remind me again, what are the benefits of our larger tires in general???? Thanks all for your considered thoughts.

not sure where on the willamette valley you reside, I spend most of my time in salem, my tw lives in marcola. We have bad weather so infrequently don’t even plan for it. This year, I just missed work and stayed at home.
 

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Thanks Gully! Please keep us posted on how they work. That front fairing is just plain baaaad! (bad meaning good) Dare I ask, you made it, right? Have a spare? It's really cool. P
 

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I've used the rope through the spokes on a sedan once in a self-rescue.
25 ft of 1/2 inch diameter rope per side made effective traction bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I little love with a tire groover makes a big difference. I widened the gap between the big lugs as well as dividing them. Went from being helpless in all snow to being able to ride up to 6-8" deep.
Wait, Maverick, you can do that to a bike? It seems like it's violating all kinds of natural motorcycle laws. I'm intrigued. What are the downsides, if any? Nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
not sure where on the willamette valley you reside, I spend most of my time in salem, my tw lives in marcola. We have bad weather so infrequently don’t even plan for it. This year, I just missed work and stayed at home.
Hi Eralov, I sit at what I consider the Northern terminus of the Willamette Valley, SE Portland Industrial area. The outages were bad here. I work in Keizer once a week and was told it was even worse there. We should go riding sometime. P
 

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Thanks Gully! Please keep us posted on how they work. That front fairing is just plain baaaad! (bad meaning good) Dare I ask, you made it, right? Have a spare? It's really cool. P
Took me a little while but I found them
211785

211786

211788

they look like they would clear OK but there’s a pretty black rim underneath all that mud. I really don’t want to scratch it up.
They look like they would work better if they were shortened a few links some of them have cleats and some of them don’t.
 

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Wait, Maverick, you can do that to a bike? It seems like it's violating all kinds of natural motorcycle laws. I'm intrigued. What are the downsides, if any? Nice.
I haven't noticed any down side. Possibly on wet roads, i tend not to push my luck when it's wet so I haven't had any problems. I only did it for the snow but it made such a decent improvement in dirt I'm half tempted not to put the Ceros on now...
 

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I have experimented with both sheet metal screws into the tires and tire chains. The sheet metal screws were marginal in hard-pack snow but almost worthless on ice. Still slipped on the ice. I can't find any of my old pictures but I had the sheet metal screws on both front and rear tires.

I had more success with tire chains...on the rear only. Tire chains gave pretty good traction in snow and better than sheet metal screws on ice but still had to be careful on the ice. The problem with the chains on the rear tire is it now made the front tire without chains the weak point. So, I added chains to the front. It didn't work out nearly as well as I had hoped for.

I used the chains on the rear tire quite extensively on the rear tire for a couple of winter seasons but only for off-road riding. I never felt comfortable with any traction devices on the motorcycle on slippery snowy/icy pavement.

View attachment 211760

View attachment 211764

After a couple of seasons, I discovered wear on the chains. I used a second set of chains for subsequent years but ultimately quit riding in the winter with or without traction devices.
View attachment 211761

Front chains turned out to be worthless in my case. I never felt any helpful traction on the front tire with the chains. (edit: you can actually see some of the sheet metal screws in this front tire. Again, the sheet metal screws didn't do much good).
View attachment 211762

I also dabbled with using a ski on the front but this didn't work out on the one time I tried it. The ski wanted to "tuck under" or "roll under" and kept plowing with no steering control.
View attachment 211763

I've never tried the "rope chains" so can't really elaborate on those other than to say they probably would work for an emergency or short need situation. With the wear I experienced with the chains I don't think the nylon rope chains would last too long. Interesting for sure though.
So I guess you need to try the snow ski on a TW with a chopper front end. Maybe it won't try tucking under.
I rode with the TW203 and TW204 through the snow and ice the other day. These are the street version tires. I was not pushing it but they actually did a lot better than I thought they would and I didn't deflate them any. I came to an intersection and a truck was spinning to get through it so the roads were pretty slick.
 
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