» Winter’s Hidden Challenges


We spent an eventful day wrenching within the CRM storage this week with Adam Bowser, the hardworking proprietor of PGH Moto, an area cafe racer customized store. Adam’s two-wheeled creations have been featured a number of occasions in problems with the magazine as his workforce’s capacity to find, rebuild and sell-off some 500- sure, that’s 500- customized bikes prior to now eight years is solely superb. He got here to our place to be filmed for an upcoming episode of Ton-Up Television which is able to air subsequent month, and to lend his experience to a few our classic Honda undertaking bikes. Whereas chatting with Adam in regards to the latest spate of gentle winter weathers the Pittsburgh area has skilled, he eagerly recounted a 200-mile round-trip experience he and a pal took simply final Friday to Erie, PA. I don’t blame him for hitting the street because the skies have been partially blue and temperatures reached an unseasonable 66 levels and the sound of bike engines might be heard echoing off the pavement all afternoon. Adam’s journey took him alongside backroads between Pittsburgh and Lake Erie, as he was driving a Honda CB350 which isn’t precisely designed for sustained freeway driving. I requested in regards to the situations of the roads and he mentioned there was loads of salt laid down by street upkeep crews throughout earlier snowstorms and there have been plentiful potholes alongside the best way. I admitted to Adam that I’d spent that and one other heat December day engaged on storage tasks and making ready the subsequent situation of Cafe Racer journal as I’ve realized from a few years of expertise that driving this time of yr can show extra hassle than it’s price.

Few riders I’ve shared the roads with personal correct cold-weather driving gear which is a must0have on days like these because the temperature can drop a number of levels simply by the solar disappearing behind the clouds or an early sundown. Bundle up and put money into a pair of electrical gloves or grips if impulsive winter rides are in your future.

Additionally understand that the ambient temperatures might attain the 60s a number of days throughout our typical Northeast winter, however the street floor seldom receives sufficient direct daylight to match the air above it. Meaning most motorbike tires, regardless of the compound, take a substantial time to succeed in a very good, secure working temperature. The salt that Adam experience by can deliver all types of issues for bikes because the grainy, gravel-like substance tends to pile up within the middle of roadway lanes the place our tires will cross over it when turning inside lanes. This will simply trigger a slide of lack of management, to not point out how corrosive street salt and different chemical compounds will be to our shiny, pristine bikes.

Potholes, that are attributable to the frequent freeze-thaw-freeze cycle that winter climate brings, are one other hazard; after they’re hidden round blind corners or over the crests of hills, potholes will be particularly troublesome to keep away from. I’ve bent mushy aluminum wheel rims on among the native potholes that an previous driving buddy of mine used to joke have been so huge, they usually maintained their very own Zip Codes.

After which there’s the chore of cleansing all of the mud, slat residue and muck that gathers on bikes from wintertime driving on the finish of any chilly climate journey. It’s vital to dampen your machine simply after a experience as leaning winter street residue in place is an invite to surface-eroding gremlins of all types, although when chilly, drained and pondering of a heat beverage by the hearth, it’s usually the very last thing we need to do that time of yr.

Don’t get me wrong- I understand how exhilarating, liberating and pleasant a winter experience will be, particularly after the climate has pressured us to park our machines for a number of months. However if you happen to can’t wait till spring the rev up these engines once more, take additional care to be sure to’re not subjected to extra than simply chilly arms and muddy wheels after a mid-winter experience.