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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be taking a very long trip on my r3 the last week of August into Labor Day weekend and had a question for any of you guys local or experienced in riding the Rockies. I'm going to be riding through Colorado on roads that go up to 10kft, at that time of year do you think id need a heated vest or will I be alright with standard ballistic removable liner textiles? I will be at altitude for a few days, camping etc. I've looked at climate charts but the deviations are huge so it's hard to say from them. I'm a lifetime 800fter, so any guidance will be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Late summer tends to be pretty warm in Denver (90s), but around 10,000ft it should be about 15-20 degrees cooler - perfect riding weather.

That being said, I'd be careful about a couple of things:

Weather changes very quickly, in the late summer it's almost certain that there will be a fast-moving afternoon storm, often bringing hail and lightning. Most hikers get below tree-line after 2-3pm. They usually pass quickly (like 30m) but can be dangerous. Layers are good.

A lot of Colorado is the "high desert" - it's real dry, and the sun is a lot more powerful when you get up into the mountains. Staying hydrated can help fight off dehydration and help with the altitude stuff as well.

I was up at the top of the Mt Evans road today at 14,130' - it was pretty cold in my textile jacket and liner. Riding around 10,000ft was a nice 75 degrees or so. Denver (5200') was hot - 91 degrees today.

 

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As someone who lives at sea level, I feel your pain. Just piggy backing on what he said above, be very aware of how you feel at altitude. Any headaches, nausea, etc are a big warning sign to pay attention to. Symptoms of altitude sickness could come on as early as 6 or 7000 feet, and only gets worse as you go up. I doubt it'll much of an issue on the bikes since it isn't too physical, but keep it in mind. If anything, try to get a campground/area that is at a relatively low elevation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like the highest pass on my route is 10,800' with most of the trip well below that. Inithefu, how is the power at highway speeds 7-10k? Im 200lbs and will be loaded to the gills.
 

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Well, the general consensus is you lose about 3% hp per 1,000 feet of elevation. Which I know seems like a lot, but it kind of works out - there aren't a lot of folks doing 85mph on high mountain passes, so it's sort of not a huge deal. I can definitely feel the power loss going uphill at altitude - but the R3 still easily does 80+ in the mountains - maybe the thinner air has less resistance. I would think even loaded down you'd be fine keeping up with traffic.

Just think - the R3 makes about 42hp, losing 30% of that power to 10,000' is about 29hp, about the same as a stock CBR300.

And it is a valid point that sometimes altitude affects folks differently - monitoring your health is sound advice.
 

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Old Colorado expression: You don't like the weather? Wait 20 minutes..... it changes that fast in the Rockies.


Bring an additional sweater, hoodie or heated vest....better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.


I've seen it Snow mid June with a foot accumulation and experienced + 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the dead of winter.


Chance Favors the prepared mind..... and the prepared motorcyclist! Don't forget to run Independence Pass from Leadville to Aspen!


Cheers
 
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