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About SnowMule

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    snowmobiling, rodeo, wreckin dirt bikes, radio, internet, IRC, nerd stuff
  1. MX helmet with a breath deflector, good dual-pane snow goggles, balaclava underneath. Breath deflector's the critical part in that setup. Good winter gloves. Some snowmo gloves have an inside "divider" - you can put that divider to the back of your hand to give you more wind protection as you're riding and get your hands closer to the grip warmers, or put the divider on the front of your hand if you're off the bike (or don't have grip warmers) and want more full-hand insulation. Jacket/pants, insulated/waterproof moto stuff. Layer underneath as needed. Sled pants/jacket work a lot better on a sled than they do on a bike, but moto stuff works pretty well on a snowmo. Haven't found a real awesome pair of boots for cold-weather moto'n. Sled boots are decent weather-wise, offer good snow/ice traction, but kind of suck on moto footpegs. Moto boots offer good protection and stay on the pegs, but aren't as well insulated and can be real slippery on snow/ice (The ATV ones aren't as bad as the MX stuff with the smooth sole). Work boots are about the best i've found, but they could use a lot more ankle protection to be really good. Haven't tried any of the adventure/touring gear yet, there might be something in that realm that'd work. Leave yourself pleeeeeeeeeenty of room to stop or turn. Always watch your 6 when you're stopped or slowing, in case the guy behind you can't stop.
  2. Increasing the torque value a few steps before you get to the spec is a good process to follow anyways. Ensures everything gets compressed evenly.
  3. Use a torque wrench. It's not as important to get all the bolts exactly "accurate", to a traceable standard... it's important to get them all the same torque within the specs. (Repeatability.) I have a couple HFT torque wrenches. They're like $30/ea. No, they're not as accurate as a high-end calibrated/traceable tool. But they're more than repeatable enough for rebuilding snowmobile/motorcycle engines. TBH my biggest complaint with those torque wrenches is the oddball units they use on them, vs. something standard like N-M or ft-lbs.
  4. Snowmobile/Snowbike. Studded tires are legit on hardpack snow/ice. It's a lot of fun terrorizing soccer moms in 4WD SUVs on a dirt bike in the winter. Good gear + heated grips. Grip warmers are worth the money - I ended up using snowmobile grip heaters on mine, wired to a simple on/off switch. My adventure jacket has a liner I can zip in for colder days. Zip the vents closed, put the liner in, and click on the grip warmers. I have a pair of touring overpants that's nice for commuting. Helps keep legs a little warmer, "waterproof", and has built-in knee pads (which helps insulate knees from the wind). Dualsport helmet is nice to keep the wind/snow/rain off your face. Fogging can be a problem, snowmobile gear works well to fix that. Coldest I've ridden in is -16°F - toughest part about that was having to stop every 5 minutes to scrape ice off my visor. Remember to let the bike warm up before you go ripping on it in cold temps. Carry a few pairs of gloves in case you soak one pair. Stash a few handwarmers in your pack too, in case your grips shit out.
  5. What are you really trying to accomplish? I've "doubled up" on some occasions... dualsport's hard to protect for, since you want abrasion resistance in a street accident and impact protection in the dirt/offroad. I have a tekvest that's thin/light but still offers excellent impact protection. I've pulled the back armor out of my adventure jacket and worn a Tekvest or my old rodeo vest under that... get a little bit of both worlds, but as mentioned above, it does get warm. I've tried some hockey padded shirts before, under other armor... it kinda works. Now I just wear good gear to begin with and don't really worry about it.
  6. .... you mean AliExpress?
  7. Dual sport best sport! I haven't been out in the dirt at all this year.
  8. Looks familiar. Cut out a little patch, shove it in the hole. set the machine for zig-zag stitch and tack down the edges of the hole to the patch. That $100 sewing machine has fixed a lot of my gear. Definitely among the best tools i've purchased.
  9. Phone's only going to have a little teensy chip or trace antenna on the PCBA. A "real" QFH or patch antenna found in a typical GPS receiver is going to offer significantly better performance in an impaired environment like under tree cover. An even better option is a high-performance external antenna. Yes, a newer model will provide a little more performance over an older receiver. Some of it may also be receiver settings - like power-saving modes. Make sure all that is turned off, and that your track logging interval is turned up a click or two. Or ride the trail a few times (or even out and back) then average the track log(s). QFH antenna (the barrel-shaped thing on the top-right) on my 76Cx
  10. yeah, biiiiiiiiiig +1 for a fire extinguisher, stereo system or not. A little RV Class B/C (flammable liquids/electrical equipment) is cheap and can easily mount out of the way.
  11. is that solid-core, like what you use in a house? yeah ... I can almost guarantee there's other gremlins waiting to show themselves. Fire hazard too. Something like that ... start over. Rip everything out the previous owner put in ... do it right. A "car stereo amp install" kit is pretty cheap at auto parts stores. Comes with some 4AWG red wire, small length of black, some other lengths of wire for remote turn-on, handful of connectors, usually some audio cables, and a fuse/holder. Make it look more like this.
  12. Yes. The newer models are all built for a neck brace. There's a spot at the top of the chest where the shoulders come together where it's just a thin foam pad under there, for the neck brace tab. Some guys don't care for that, since the actual UHMW protective element doesn't cover that area. I don't typically have a problem with injuries that high up, and the chest plate covers everything I've hit. The Crossover vest is what I wear on dirt, it's too well ventilated for snow use in my opinion. Know what else is expensive? Hospital visits. Protective gear is cheap. I've tried/worn a lot of different chest protectors. Tekvest is the only one that's comfortable enough to wear all day long, that actually protects your chest. And they're very well built - built to last, they're not "cheap" products. Try one on, wear it, play with it a bit; it's high quality gear. I've had this vest (SnoX race vest) for about 8 years now. Wear it all day, every day I ride. Couple good dents in the chest plate, some of the fabric on the inside of the vest is wearing where it rubs against a buckle/velcro on my pants.
  13. Tekvest for me .... Real protection vs. the junk they pass off as "motorcycle armor". These stand up to 400+lb snowmobiles on the race track, they'll take anything a dirt bike can throw at it. Because I crash a lot.
  14. Pavement/highway's a lot easier on the tires than the rocks/scree that I ride in offroad. That shit shreds tires real quick.
  15. Dualsport tires are designed for that application. They're going to be a compromise somewhere though. The ones that perform well on the street don't do so awesome in teh dirt, and vice-versa. I run D606 rear, MT21 front on my 525. Good life, and they're consistent/predictable in every condition I ride.