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Old 05-24-2013, 10:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by seralat View Post
Also, definitely _don't_ slow down. Speed is your friend in high winds. A fast moving bike wants to stay upright because of the rotation of the wheels.
Exactly....also keep a gear or two down so you can steer with throttle.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:35 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Misery Goat View Post
I don't have this problem on my SE.
Hmmm, while the SE has a finer figure always and in the wind, I remember a day in Patagonia where we couldn't keep them on the road. In the dirt, with knobbies, it didn't matter how far you leaned it over, there wasn't enough traction and we just slipped sideways. That was some wind.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by seralat View Post
also, definitely _don't_ slow down. Speed is your friend in high winds. A fast moving bike wants to stay upright because of the rotation of the wheels.

2010 KTM 990 Adventure
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by seralat View Post

Also, definitely _don't_ slow down. Speed is your friend in high winds. A fast moving bike wants to stay upright because of the rotation of the wheels.
Just because you are upright doesn't mean that you aren't being blown off the road.

The reason you need slow down is so that you have more reaction time to deal with the gusts. I'm not talking about slowing down to a walking pace, but travelling at high speeds with heavy side winds is crazy.
"Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon." (Honda rider manual, 1962)
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:40 PM   #20
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I just did 8k miles coast to coast and back, and was passing through Illinois the day of the OK tornado, much further north, but very windy out there - thousands of miles of 30-45mph cross winds.

I'll echo the earlier comment about using the dirt technique to let the bike move under you - I ended up with the bike at a pretty good angle leaning into the wind but with my body more or less upright, and angling my head into the wind to help with the neck cramping. This led me to actually be able to hold a line much better, even though the wheels of the bike would move a good foot in the gusts, the top of the bike basically stayed in the same place.

I've got a crazy wear pattern on the front tire though (severe scalloping)

Getting passed by triple-trailer semis in New Mexico at night in a high wind advisory was just not cool though.

(990 adventure S-Spec suspension BTW)
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:15 PM   #21
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Between Grangeville, ID and Lewiston, ID I hit a severe side wind that had me leaned over almost as far as I have in some tight corners. Kind of spooky when it hits you out of the blue.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:36 PM   #22
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A 950 with Gobi's catches a lot of wind, I'm not a fan of riding it in high winds. Rode back from the Black Hills last year and it was nuts, it took everything I had to keep it on the road at times.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #23
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Hell if I know. I rode two up on a 5 hour ride out and a 6 hour ride back with 20-45mph side winds the whole way. We were loaded down with both side gobis and top gobi loaded to the brim and 2 roto-pax. Theres times where your leaned over at a 45 degree angle then the wind dies and you gotta react quickly.

I was also passed by harleys and goldwings all day. pissed me off. I just figured that it was like the sail boat of the motorcycling world.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #24
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I just did 1,000 miles back forth across Western Minnesota and North Dakota. 35-45 mph cross winds, sometimes with driving rain. I can vouch for the uneaziness in high side winds, and I sympathize with those who have dealt with this as well. It's super simple:

  • The bike is TALL! This puts the bike up higher and more prone to tip-over leverage from the wind.
  • The side of this bike is one solid huge flat surface. This acts like a sail. Combined with the bike's height off the ground the wind has a greater effect on this bike than other bikes.
I'm not sure about the "going faster is better due to wheels rotating" theory. I can say, however, that the main goal is to maintain traction - a good connection to the road. For me the stock MT90 Scorpions gripped the road well on dry pavement and wet. Here are some tips:

  • Power to the rear wheel equals traction. You don't have to accelerate (doesn't help), but keep constant power on, and don't let off the throttle. This stabilizes the bike in two ways:
    • Maintains traction
    • Keeps the suspension loaded
  • When you let off the throttle the bike's suspension is unloaded and therefore the bike destabilizes. Test this out yourself (especially when cornering) and you'll see what I mean.
  • Always make smooth adjustments. Smooth on and off the throttle, smooth direction changes, smooth balance shifts, etc. Abrupt adjustment equal abrupt consequences in these types of conditions and at these speeds.
  • Lean the bike into the wind as needed. When leaning your body and the bike should be parallel. Your head can stay level with the ground, but your torso should lean with the bike.
  • DO NOT let off the throttle when it gusts and when you have to lean in! This will destabilize the bike in you'll be in for an "OH SHIT!!" moment.
Hope this helps those of us who have to ride in this type of weather.
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