I decided on Friday (Feb, 13th) that I would take my motorcycle down to Dothan in order to help a friend with some Solidworks/CAD tutoring. When I initially looked at the weather it seemed that we would have some rain on Friday and then it would move out early Saturday morning turning clear afterward. This seemed like a good excuse to 1) ride at night with my new HID headlight, 2) get more seat time to prepare for this seasons’ riding, and 3) get a ride up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while in that area.
After work on Friday, I quickly threw some things into my saddle bags and then launched myself onto the road. Seeing as how Alabama Law Enforcement is (apparently) having a sale on speeding tickets lately I made sure to keep my speed at posted limits and settled in for my cursiory trek. Along the way I briefly hit some light showers, but by the time I considered stopping and putting my Frogg toggs on it would stop.
That changed around Prattville, AL, when I hit the storm head on. I managed to get to a convenience store a few minutes after my soaking started (all the while fussing at myself for not stopping and putting on my gear earlier). With the exception of my hands, the Frogg toggs kept me from getting any more damp.
As I plowed through the rain I easily saw how well my new headlight worked. I did notice some “ghosting” at times when I would hit a heavy fog or mist, but I think I can compensate with a yellow bulb in my high beam to act like a fog light. My tires also did a fantastic job in the rain. I didn’t have any issues with the water crossing or puddling in the road and there were several times that I was throwing “rooster tails” over my head height.
A brief ride Sunday afternoon was all I had time for with my friend, but think it was enough since she didn’t really prep for the cool weather (55 degrees at the time).
Once I saddled up my gear I started the long trip back to Decatur. The ride itself was uneventful and the most I had to deal with was the falling temperature. When I checked my local weather on my cellphone, it said the temperature was 37 degrees. Bear in mind that 37 degrees gets much colder at 70 mph plus whatever the wind is blowing.
I really like my Icon Mercs, but they do very little to ward off the cold even with liners. Five hours of riding in the low temps solidified my need to pick up some good cold weather riding gloves.