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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I didn't know this, but I was told that basically I need to be very careful when I ride these days and it's cold like right now (~32F in MD), because apparently tires lose traction when it's cold. Of course when it's below freezing and there's water on the road I expect ice :p and in fact I do not plan on riding when it's like this, I just didn't know it was a concern even if the road is perfectly dry. Is this just a concern right after you start and the tires haven't had time to properly warm up? And maybe if you stop at red lights for too long? How much of a concern is it, truly, considering I ride a relatively low-powered bike on a mostly urban commute where my average speed is basically 30 mph (if that matters, I sense that powerful accelerations and jerky braking in corners might be more of an issue)?

Also - and it probably matters quite a bit - my tires are getting a bit old, like ~6 years old I think. I plan on replacing them relatively soon, but frankly I was shooting for the Spring because they still have enough tread on them. Thanks.
 

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The first time I noticed any loss of traction was on my 750 Nighthawk after 50 miles of highway on a 45 degree morning. I'm sure my tires were as warm as they were going to get. I slowed and took my off ramp, dropped one gear lower and must have let the clutch out too fast for the engine RPM because the rear tire let out a chirp and left a deceleration skid a foot or so long. The pavement was dry and I felt no loss of control, but it was memorable.
At 30mph in urban traffic I'm sure you'll be fine, but remember that as warm as your tires get... they still won't stick well to cold pavement, so be a little extra careful of the cagers and avoid the potential need for sudden maneuvers.

And I'm sure you mean 32F, not 32C (which is about 90F)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And I'm sure you mean 32F, not 32C (which is about 90F)
Oops :-D Yes, fixed. OK, thanks.

Sometimes I reach ~60 mph but it's rare (towards the end too) and straight as an arrow... I do need to change the tires this Spring though for sure...
 

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Ever watch an Indy 500 on a cool day? #4 turn wall gets a workout after every restart with people coming out of the turn under hard acceleration on cold tires. Ok, we don't have that kind of HP, but six year old tires are already very hard. Also watch the tire pressures. They can drop over ten psi if the bike sets outdoors. I see a 5 psi drop just moving my GL1800 from heated garage to 40 degree outdoors for ten minutes. If you are already low, it could get ugly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yup, I check and inflate every week-end. Bike sits in the garage - unheated, but it had dropped ~5 psi in a week.
 
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Get some of these ... https://www.asphaltandrubber.com/products/anlas-winter-traction-snow-tires/

I used to ride my CL160 in the Canadian winter, actually wore out boots using my feet as outriggers. I do not recommend it. But a couple lessons learned was to drop the tire air pressure, more contact area and softens the sidewall. The other was to use what we call gas line antifreeze. Prevents carb icing .... you don't want a stuck wide open throttle.

Your six year old tires are hard on a warm day. Never heard any one riding on new motorcycle tires say they regretted their decision.

I can even comment on the GL1800 ... I had the upgraded forks and rear shock from traxxion dynamics on my 04 Wing. Turned the wing into a pretty good dancer but I also learned that dropping the front tire pressure down to between 28 and 30 psi improved braking and handling even more. Downside is tire life suffers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I 100% agree about the new motorcycle tires - but, it's not in the budget right now, partly because although they are getting a bit old, they still have quite a good bit of tread left in them, they're nowhere near low, so changing them this Spring seems reasonable. Obviously if the tread wear was significant that wouldn't even be up for discussion, but as it is they don't look like they need to be replaced like right now. Definitely on the horizon though, I've started looking and I plan on splurging a bit because obviously it's important :-D
 

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I think he said they were dated a little over 6 years ago. That's borderline for me, although individual tire condition will vary based on environment.
 
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