While some fortunate souls who live south of the Mason-Dixon line are able to ride their beloved beasts all year long, some are forced to put their hogs into hibernation by mother nature come winter time. Although most motorcyclists have little use for wintry weather, autumn is a truly beautiful time of year to ride. Granted, the days become shorter and the wind colder, but navigating your way through winding roads amid the vibrant colors of changing leaves is enough of a reward within itself. Another bonus is that you won’t have to worry about getting stuck behind caravans of RV’s and boat trailers either.
Not that I would consider myself a strictly fair weather rider, but up until recently, I never went out of my way to brave unfavorable riding conditions. On a recent ride through southern Ontario I recently had the chance to test the BMW F650GS over a few days. While the days were sunny and warm, the mercury began to plummet at dusk as soon as the sun began to set. As temperatures began to dip down, I utilized an option I had never previously had any use for until now – grip warmers. I tried to prepare for the conditions as best I could with a neck warmer, layered shirts and long johns. One thing I didn’t have however, were the proper cold weather gloves to protect my hands, which are always the first part of my body to get cold.
While I admittedly had little faith in the warming grips, I was officially converted immediately. Offering two settings which range from toasty to roasty, the little grips heated up quickly. Much like searching for that pesky beer at the bottom of a cooler, the dexterity of your digits drops significantly while riding in cold weather. With the help from the heated grips of the F650GS, my hands were comfortable and my reflexes were quick. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I am on board with anything that allows me to have a longer, safer riding season.