Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA



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Thread: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

  1. #1

    Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

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    Short Introduction:
    Being posted in the new rider section and as you may have guessed, I am a new riderwith no prior experience.
    I will (hopefully) be completing my M1 exit via a motorcycle training course next week and want to start riding right away.

    The Situation:
    I'm on a fairly stringent budget, being a full-time student with a near full-time job. Currently, I'm a commuter bicyclist that bikes even when temperatures drop fairly low -- in fact, the only time I switch to the TTC is when I see a light dusting of snow on the ground or there is an extreme cold warning issued. I've been told several times that I am late to the game and should wait until early next year to purchase my first bikebecause:

    1.
    I would likely only have the opportunity to ride it up until, at most, late October (two months??), before sending it to a storage facility (and wasting ~4-5 months of insurance??) and effectively blue-balling me.
    2. It'll be easier finding used bikes with cheaper/more reasonable prices on Kijiji early next year as opposed to now.(I'm looking at the CBR300R, Ninja 300 or if I'm lucky, the R3)

    Concerns:
    Having not traveled over ~15km/h+ in cold weather and exposed, I need some perspective to what to expect this coming winter. (In terms of clothing/gear, I have a riding jacket with an inside liner, gloves, boots and helmet)
    Additionally, I would like some guidance as to whether I should be patient with my purchase or not being this late into the summer -- my over-excitement of taking on this new experience is definitely making me reconsider what I've been advised to do and simply pull the trigger instead.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    I was later than you, I purchased around the second week of September 2017. It's true that you will loose out when it comes to expenses such as insurance, but on the upside the prices in the used market might be lower as people try to unload unwanted bikes.

    Keep in mind the season is only about half (well, okay, 60%) over. I rode into November last year with no issues. It's only when it gets below 12 degrees or so when you need winter riding gloves.
    Last edited by TorontoListener; 08-08-2018 at 05:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Robbo's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Since you bicycle until the first snow, you most likely already have some cold weather gear that will be useable.

    I generally layer up under my leather jacket and add a neck warmer and balaclava. Also wear a winter coat that fits over the leather jacket and switch to a pair of winter gloves.

    On the bottom it is long johns, running (full length) pants, jeans, and eventually wind-breaker pants. Good socks inside the boots to keep your feet warm.

    There is nothing I wear that I hadnít already purchased for another purpose.

    The key is layers and being comfortable.


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  4. #4
    sburns's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    I was riding up and until Dec 5 last year. 5 degrees was my cut off, and not much riding after the sun went down.


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  5. #5
    Riceburner's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    If you are commuting just around downtown, you can almost go year round. I used to go for about 10 months....and that's before I got heated grips. With heated grips and dressed properly I commuted down the 404/DVP to at least -10C. Needed to get heated socks or similar though.

    Buying in the fall might get you a deal, but not sure about the 300cc range. If you see one at a good price, get it now. The spring will definitely be more as the new riders will all be looking to buy.

    Insurance premium is weighted toward the summer months even if you pay all year. You're not wasting $$$.

  6. #6
    kruzuki's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Why wait? You'll be paying insurance year-round for the rest of your riding career. May as well get used to it!

    I dress for cold like I dress for skiing; high quality thermal layers, seal yourself off from any wind entry.

  7. #7
    thePashupatee's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Better to have patience and buy you first motorcycle next season. That way you can enjoy the entire season. I did my M1 Exit test this July and will be getting my M2 in September. Trust me if your are for the Passion - the patience will add more excitement and joy when you buy you first bike and ride it for the whole season - even go to Cayuga for some drag.


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  8. #8
    Riceburner's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    That's silly. There's still half the season to enjoy a bike and then you get all of next season too. If you wait, you miss out on the rest of the year. Abstinence doesn't make the wait more enjoyable, it makes you desperate. lol

  9. #9
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Completely disagree with @RiceBurner. If you would buy it now then you would start loving riding and suddenly MFing Winter - Boom - Kaput - all excitement and joy and Enthusiasm in the drain. Itís like you ejaculate when you are horny - Control your Horniness(Not literally) and reap the Fruits Next season.


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  10. #10
    sburns's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Bah, do what works for you, time and budget. I did my course last year in July and bought the bike in August. I of course was looking before I completed the course. Been riding ever since no regrets.



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  11. #11
    Riceburner's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    When I started ages ago, did my course about mid summer and bought my first bike soon after. Enjoyed it as long as I could and had the bike ready to get going as soon as I could in the spring. Waiting till the following year means trying to find a bike to buy and loosing riding time in the spring. If you want to ride, why wait? It's like your girlfriend saying she's ready to have sex now and waiting till the spring to build the anticipation.

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    Last edited by Riceburner; 08-10-2018 at 10:44 PM.

  12. #12

    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    I would just keep looking on Kijiji until what I want comes along. People want to sell in September rather than pay for storage so there's deals. Don't count out the 250 sport bikes either. I commute up until the night temp starts to dip below zero. I have heated grips, snow pants, gauntlets and wear a vest over my leather jacket with a neck warmer. Ice is your enemy, just like on a bicycle. One of the great things about getting set up now is that when the spring thaw comes you're ready, just hop on the bike and go.

  13. #13

    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Since my first year of riding when I too was on a tight budget and a student, I have never parked the bike before December. That's 15 years and counting. The two biggest things to be mindful of when riding in the winter are the loss of traction on the pavement and the impact of the cold on our bodies when moving at speed.

    Buying a bike in the early spring is not necessarily cheaper or a better alternative. Yes there may be a few more bikes available, but there will also be many more people looking to buy and prices are typically higher. Often people are looking to sell their bikes in the late summer and fall so they don't have to store the bike over the winter.

    Also, since insurance policies are pro-rated to premium riding months, you may be able to get a policy covering you fairly cheap for the remainder for this year + winter months. I put my first bike on the road in September and paid $50/month til March 1st of the following year and rode every month that winter anyways, commuting to school when the weather allowed it.

    Why do you need to send your bike to a storage facility? Just buy a $50 cover, lock it up and park it outside.

    Since you already have some moto gear, then Robbo's advice is bang on.
    When trying to keep warm, know that the extremities or anything feeling the brunt of the wind get cold first (fingers, knees, feet).
    Looking ahead, think about saving up for some heated moto gear.

    Lastly, taking the course and then not buying a bike for several months means you will have forgotten many of the important things you were taught in the course. You might as well continue to save up and take the course next spring, when you are actually ready to start riding.
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  14. #14
    The Student Guy's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Quote Originally Posted by Suda View Post
    Short Introduction:
    Being posted in the new rider section and as you may have guessed, I am a new riderwith no prior experience.
    I will (hopefully) be completing my M1 exit via a motorcycle training course next week and want to start riding right away.

    The Situation:
    I'm on a fairly stringent budget, being a full-time student with a near full-time job. Currently, I'm a commuter bicyclist that bikes even when temperatures drop fairly low -- in fact, the only time I switch to the TTC is when I see a light dusting of snow on the ground or there is an extreme cold warning issued. I've been told several times that I am late to the game and should wait until early next year to purchase my first bikebecause:

    1.
    I would likely only have the opportunity to ride it up until, at most, late October (two months??), before sending it to a storage facility (and wasting ~4-5 months of insurance??) and effectively blue-balling me.
    2. It'll be easier finding used bikes with cheaper/more reasonable prices on Kijiji early next year as opposed to now.(I'm looking at the CBR300R, Ninja 300 or if I'm lucky, the R3)

    Concerns:
    Having not traveled over ~15km/h+ in cold weather and exposed, I need some perspective to what to expect this coming winter. (In terms of clothing/gear, I have a riding jacket with an inside liner, gloves, boots and helmet)
    Additionally, I would like some guidance as to whether I should be patient with my purchase or not being this late into the summer -- my over-excitement of taking on this new experience is definitely making me reconsider what I've been advised to do and simply pull the trigger instead.

    Thanks!
    I don't have experience riding in Toronto on motorbike, but I'm from the country with pretty similar climate. I was riding until it is less than 5C* degree, when the temperature drops lower tires don't work properly anymore. So if you can handle that temperature - you are totally fine. Your bicycle gear will be very useful here, as the idea is pretty similar: you need something that allows to be flexible in movements, but still keeps you warm enough. You would be able to ride till late November / beginning of December (before the temperature drops below 5C*), so you might consider option to buy the motorbike now, but still you will lose some money on insurance during winter. However, in the Autumn bikes cheaper than they will be in February/March, so you might lose not that much.
    So definitely, you could think about an idea to buy a bike right now.
    Last edited by The Student Guy; 09-02-2018 at 12:07 AM.

  15. #15

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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    I’m new to the game as well, I have had my 250r on the road for two weeks now. I was going to wait till spring, but decided that getting some experience this year and being ready for next out weighed the “wasted” insurance money.

  16. #16
    Riceburner's Avatar
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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Ya'll don't get it. It's not wasted ins. $$. The policies are weighted to the summer months and payments are spread over the year. If you were able to only insure for the summer, it would cost you almost the same as year round.

  17. #17

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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Quote Originally Posted by Riceburner View Post
    Ya'll don't get it. It's not wasted ins. $$. The policies are weighted to the summer months and payments are spread over the year. If you were able to only insure for the summer, it would cost you almost the same as year round.
    That why I put it in quotation, as I don't see it as wasted.. just paying this winter instead of next, it's all the same to me

  18. #18

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    Re: Late Season Purchase and Cold Weather Riding in the GTA

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymod View Post
    That why I put it in quotation, as I don't see it as wasted.. just paying this winter instead of next, it's all the same to me
    A couple of suggestions.

    Define what you need out of your bike. If you want to replace a bicycle and have a long riding season, you may want to look at a small enduro type bike. Cheapest to insure and they are more forgiving when it comes to late season riding (tires, power delivery and riding condition).

    When I rode year round in the city, I used a Yamaha TW200 -- not too many winter days that I couldn't ride that thing. They last forever, you can pick them up with 10KM or less for $2500. They hold their value, after a season of experience, you should be able to resell at no loss.

    The reasons I like them are:
    • Cheap. pick them up with 10KM or less for $2500. They hold their value, after a season of experience, you should be able to resell at no loss.
    • Tough. They are durable, need few repairs (Yamaha), and parts are cheap.
    • Easy to handle and forgiving on loose and slippery surfaces like all small dirtbikes.
    • Tires - big nobbies clear snow and don't get super hard and slippy in the cold.
    • Kick start - some older models have them! Bike batteries are not made for the cold, a jick start is handy.


    Clothing. You don't need to worry too much about winter clothing in Toronto - you should be fine with what you have. Urban riding is 60kmh or less, and you're so even at 0C ambient, you will only face 9c windchill even riding at 0C. A $2 belaclava and full face helmet, lined MC jacket, jeans, boots and a set of winter gloves are adequate element protection. The only think you have to worry about is keeping dry -- once you get tiny bit wet, things get cold and uncomfortable fast - make sure your stuff is water repellent at min, waterproof is ideal.

    Riding conditions. If you're gonna ride a small ST or standard (Ninja, R3, CB300 etc), your tires lose grip below 5C (spend $400 on a set of Heidi K66s winter tires and you can go till the road ices). On a small enduro, you can ride until the road ices.

    Price and insurance shouldn't be a factor. For the last few years I have not seen predictable changes in bike prices by season. At most you will save is a few mos of insurance, whether that's worth waiting is up to you.


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