Ratty's Shack

My 2010 Coast to Coast and Back Canadian Winter Ride into History

Winter Riding











What you might want to know about, Gear, layering for warmth,and prepairing your ride for some fun in the snow and ice. To start with are the esentials and they are as follows and you may in my list that i have NO electrics with an exception to my Visor and for a good reason,

 Electric Jackets,Vests or Long underwear do create moisture on the surface of the skin and the second you unplug, that thin layer will freeze and could cause all kinds of issues to your skin if exposed to below zero conditions.


  • To start with the first layer use a good pair of long johns Made of Polartec® Power Dry® fabric 91% polyester (recycled and heavy metal-free), with 9% spandex for a snug, yet unrestrictive fit.
    Bi-component knit is sparser on the inside, denser on the outside to quickly wick moisture out, where the high surface area spreads it to dry. The construction also traps warm air inside yet remains breathable.
  • The second Layer i use a pair of Helly Hansen Fleece long johns 75 % Wool / 20 % Polyester / 5 % Inox - 400g the product is very expensive but well worth the money







   I wear a long sleave T shirt under the jacket and a Fleece Balaclava over the head.

  The last layer that i use is my Riding Suit that was rather inexspensive called North 49 ATV suit that i purchased at Canadian Tire for about Two Hundred and Fifty dollars. rated to -30 I give it 5 Stars ( No Picture Google it )

  MY Gloves were the BMW Winter Gloves ( Long with inner wrist cord )


  • The Helmet that i use in the winter time is actually an approvedSnowmobile helmet ,BRP BVS2 from Bombadier


 The last and most important part of the gear is the boots,I used the SOREL buckled boots that are rated at -50f .It is very important to make sure you have a good fit leaving enough room for your toes leaving a bit of space that could accomidate a piece of news paper if further insulation is needed.just a tech note : i put 3 self taping tire studs at the toe part of my boots for moving my bike in and around parking lots and gas stations because of the high traffic areas comact the snow into ice and without the added traction in the boots you will find yourself in an embarrassing situation .Your most exposed part of your body on a Motorcycle in the elements are your feet and hands

                           That covers the Personal Gear and now the Bike

  • For my hands i had to call a fellow in the USA to make me a pair of Elephant Ears for my BMW F650,for those that do not know what the hell i'm talking about Google motorcycle elephant ears/ or hippo ears


                                                     Tire Studs




















This is what most of the studs look like after 8,939 miles at 20 lbs. PSI. on the front tire.



  For those that have no idea how to get better traction in the ice and snow try dropping your air pressure in the tires, AVOID using the brakes as much as possible! Slow release of the clutch is both critical and esential.          Riding styles differ from rider to rider but i personally found that standing on my PIVOT foot Pegs  gave me much more control of the bike than riding in the sitting position 



 Parking lots and gas stations gave me total control and balance over the humps and bumps of the ice,In the sitting position i would find that i would have less than half of control and balance.Now like i said it is rider discretion,I was raised with the back of the fathers hand if he saw me sitting or dropping my feet in the dirt but when i was on the frozen lakes of the interior racing around i would be given a pardon.

  I found at night time i would use my PIAA driving lights when the visibility was clear but with snowing and ice rain conditions i found that my PIAA Fog lights worked way better.



  Now i had installed some protection for the bike an upper and lower crash bar setup  



 I made a Custom Carbon Fibre Engine guard to protect the engine from the road sand and salt but i needed to make a mold first.






                                              Fork Guards


                      A Complete Coating of Amsoil Metal Protector


 Now this setup is for a serious journey,not a weekend warrior although i guess you could setup your bike with some of these tried and proven items and methods,it's up to how serious you are for winter riding and what works best for you and you Bike,I hope that this helps you and you enjoyed the build and winter gear information.


 I cannot say enough about the most exciting riding i have ever expierenced, Winter Riding supercedes anything i have ever done and one of the most important things i enjoyed was the fact that there was not one (1) Bug for the whole Ride.

2010 Coast to Coast and Back Canada Winter Ride - Steve Becraft aka Ratty the Frozen Rat