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Old 05-22-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
rpmwfo OP
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Advice for riding in the wind

What advice is there for riding in the wind?

The GF wanted to learn to ride last year, so I got her a Suzuki Gladius after she took rider classes and got her endorsement. . She took the MSF basic and advanced courses. We started out slow with her riding my KTM with sumo setup around the parking lots for a while. Then I got her the SFV650.

Last year she probably logged 1000+ miles riding highway, twisties, around town, etc. No problems. As the riding season wound down last year, her confidence had grown a ton.

We are thinking of taking a bike trip this Memorial weekend, but she is (and always has been) nervous about riding in the wind on the interstate along the front range in Colorado(there can be heavy gusting winds).

She has no problem commuting to work in Denver(20-30 miles) but the wind on interstate scares her. Go figure. Her commute would scare me more than the high winds any day...

I haven't really been able to come up with any advice on how to deal with the wind while riding. For several years, a bike was my only transportation, so I just dealt with whatever conditions were present. I told her to not tense up and just keep the bike pointed where she wants it to go.

Any other advice for a relatively new rider when it comes to riding in high crosswinds?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
Walterxr650l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpmwfo View Post
What advice is there for riding in the wind?

The GF wanted to learn to ride last year, so I got her a Suzuki Gladius after she took rider classes and got her endorsement. . She took the MSF basic and advanced courses. We started out slow with her riding my KTM with sumo setup around the parking lots for a while. Then I got her the SFV650.

Last year she probably logged 1000+ miles riding highway, twisties, around town, etc. No problems. As the riding season wound down last year, her confidence had grown a ton.

We are thinking of taking a bike trip this Memorial weekend, but she is (and always has been) nervous about riding in the wind on the interstate along the front range in Colorado(there can be heavy gusting winds).

She has no problem commuting to work in Denver(20-30 miles) but the wind on interstate scares her. Go figure. Her commute would scare me more than the high winds any day...

I haven't really been able to come up with any advice on how to deal with the wind while riding. For several years, a bike was my only transportation, so I just dealt with whatever conditions were present. I told her to not tense up and just keep the bike pointed where she wants it to go.

Any other advice for a relatively new rider when it comes to riding in high crosswinds?

Thanks in advance.
Sounds like you already told her the most important thing, RELAX. When you tense up the force of the wind is transmitted directly to the handle bars, and the bike responds in ways you don't like. "One needs to stay relaxed so the body can take some buffeting without transmitting that to the handle bars. Keep the arms/elbows loose.

Why does a bike trip over memorial day weekend need to include travel on the interstate? Bike trips are more fun on the back roads away from the interstates.

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Old 05-22-2013, 08:55 PM   #3
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1. relax your grip on the bars.

2. let the bike do it's thing and lean into the wind a bit.

3. relax your grip on the bars.


Wind hardly ever puts a bike down or makes it shift lanes. Wind on the rider who has a death grip on the bike can put a bike down and cause it to shift lanes.

Experience is everything, and relaxing while being buffeted is easier said than done.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Walterxr650l View Post

Why does a bike trip over memorial day weekend need to include travel on the interstate? Bike trips are more fun on the back roads away from the interstates.

Walter
First half of the trip doesn't have any interstate. It's part of the ride home where the fastest way home is freeway. She has to be at work on Tues, so she isn't interested in taking the long way round on the way home. Me, I'm off all week so doesn't matter how long it takes to get home....
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:39 PM   #5
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WEAVING AROUND IN YOUR LANE,is caused by rider inputs.
All the wind will do is lean you over..RELAX.
Take one hand off the bars,and let it lean.
Wind can be FUN, Wow that was a good one.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:19 AM   #6
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last tip to all previous, wearing a tight leather jacket helps as well, therefor(e)?, there will be less input from your arms into the handdlebars.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:44 AM   #7
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Have You Tried Googling "Motorcycle Wind Gusts"?

There have been several threads on this topic with quite a bit of good information.

My KLR650 gets blown around more in strong crosswinds than any bike I've owned.

One tip that I found helpful was sticking a knee out into the wind - the knee on the windward side.

I did a quick internet search & one of the better articles I found was by David Hough who comes highly recommended by many people here at the ADVRider:

http://www.soundrider.com/archive/sa.../dang_wind.htm

Here's a quote from "Dang Wind" - "Even if the machinery, loading, and ergonomics are perfect, a rider's balancing/steering technique has a lot to do with accurate control. Riders who consciously countersteer have better control and less frustration in windy situations than riders who merely think "lean", or who try to steer by shifting body weight.

Here's a few links to previous ADVRider threads on the subject:

Riding in the wind... January 2006
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112241

GS1150 control problem in high wind ? March 2002
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2450

Riding in High-winds -- Thanks ADV Riders... July 2006
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149883

High winds made me tap out... April 2013
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=877504


If you enter "Riding a Motocycle in High Winds" into Google or Bing you'll see a lot more links:
https://www.google.com/search?q=ridi...hrome&ie=UTF-8

If you are amused by bad amateur instructional videos - here's an example:
(not all of his advice is bad but the stream of consciousness narration is pretty bad : )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDwR_TSBPI0
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:21 AM   #8
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Riders face many problems and hazards some directly related to being on a motorcycle others that effect all road users. Riding in the wind is a problem for everyone but being on a bike you feel the effects and sometimes this in itself can be a problem. We have seen or heard of truck getting blown over or off the road in high wind conditions and if you have ridden for any amount of time you probably have friends who have talked about being swept across the road while riding. The wind is a problem and can be difficult to deal with if you do not react correctly.
There are some things you can do to help make your ride on a windy day a little easier to handle. The first would be in how you dress for the ride. You should never wear loose fitting clothing, when clothes fit loosely they tend to catch more wind and can act like a sail. Make sure you clothing is snug and all zippers and snaps are secure.

Now as a rider you must also relax. When you are tense it is much harder to control the motorcycle and respond to the changes the wind brings. As an example take a pen in your hand ready to sign your name. Now get a death grip on the pen, really tense and try to sign your name. Now relax and sign your name normally. See a difference in the signature? See how much faster and easier the relaxed signature came. Riding follows these same principals, if you are tense you will not be as capable to make the necessary corrections to your riding and find yourself in places you do not want to be. Also do not try to immediately counter every movement of the bike. sometimes by the time you counter the action of the wind the gust has already stopped and not you are moving in the wrong direction because you are steering into the wind gust that is no longer occurring.

I have been riding in high wind conditions where my riding partner was blown into the opposite lane while I was not. Why? well he was tense and trying to prepare for the gusts while I stayed relaxed and dealt with them when they came. Not only do you need to stay relaxed but you also need to not focus on just the wind. You still need to be aware of all the other things that you need to think about in your ride and not place all your concentration on that one and only aspect of the ride. If all of your attention is focused on the wind the other problems will get you. It is also easier to relax and handle the situation if all of your attention is not focused on it.

Things to help you prepare would be to adjust your lane position. If the wind is coming from the right, move to the right portion of your lane so that gusts do not move you out of your lane if they move you. Other than that , hold the bike with your knees more and as lightly on the bars as safe. The wind blows the rider more than it blows the bike because you are higher than the bike.

It is also important to be extra careful around trucks as this story taken from the AMA web site shows.
"We were riding home from Colorado, and somewhere west of Salinas a steady wind came up out of the south, pressing hard against the right side of my fully faired Kawasaki Concours. I would say that I was leaning the bike 15 degrees into the wind when I came up on a tractor-trailer in the right lane. There was nothing ahead of me but flat Kansas, so I wound up the throttle to get by the truck quickly. But as I pulled even with the truck, my bike suddenly veered sharply right. The motorcycle shot all the way across my lane before I reacted. I caught it just about a foot from those monster tires. It took me a moment to recognize that I had zoomed into the truck's wind shadow while still heeled over because of the blast coming from my right. In a second or two I was past him, and the Concours immediately pitched left toward the shoulder. It was another high-adrenaline moment. It simply hadn't occurred to me that once out of the shield provided by the truck, I would plunge back into that crosswind. That experience was a clear reminder that you just can't ride on automatic—anytime, anywhere. In fact, when the road lulls you into complacency with flat, straight emptiness, that may be the time when it requires your attention the most.
Leo Cohen
Charlottesville, VA

So prepare for the wind, Do not fight it and you will be able to handle what ever mother nature blows your way!
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:21 AM   #9
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It's true, you can never ride on automatic, ever, anywhere.

Something I haven't see mentioned, while keeping a lose relaxed grip on the bars also consiously weight your footpegs. It feels like you lower the center of gravity and it makes the bike much more stable (it's a good quad workout too).

Some bikes are just better in the wind than others. The late 90s Triumphs I like just suck. They take a lot of concentration and muscle to keep on track in a bad wind. My VFR on the other hand just slices right through about anything without getting upset.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doxiedog View Post
WEAVING AROUND IN YOUR LANE,is caused by rider inputs.
All the wind will do is lean you over..RELAX.
Take one hand off the bars,and let it lean.
Wind can be FUN, Wow that was a good one.
I would tend to disagree. Part of a road I red regularly has been dubbed the wind tunnel. Wind speed there regularly tops out over 50mph and gusts to over 65. All you can do is lean and hold on. Priority is then staying on the road let alone your lane.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:46 AM   #11
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Have a backup plan/route if the wind is too much and she's tiring or riding tensed up, especially in heavy traffic.

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Old 05-23-2013, 10:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rpmwfo View Post
First half of the trip doesn't have any interstate. It's part of the ride home where the fastest way home is freeway. She has to be at work on Tues, so she isn't interested in taking the long way round on the way home. Me, I'm off all week so doesn't matter how long it takes to get home....

Perhaps you should shorten how far out you ride on the back roads so your GF can be home in time for work and not need to use the interstate. Save the longer routes for a time when there is no rush to be home by a certain time. Your GF is already nervous about the wind issue.You don't need to compound it with a time issue as well. That could be a recipe for disaster should unexpected events delay your ride and now you and she are pushing to get home on time, possible pushing beyond her abilities.

Pick a shorter route and save the longer ones for when there isn't a possible time crunch.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #13
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It's been written before.
Let the knee on the windward side stick out. It works like on a sailing vessel. You'll go straight with no effort or extra input whatsoever.
Will also protect you from being surprised by gusts.
Simple, effective.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:08 PM   #14
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Let the bike do its' thing and avoid a death grip on the bars which transmits buffeting from your body into the bars as steering input you don't want.

She can lay on the tank to help reduce the buffeting from the wind. Gear can make a difference: the tighter fitting the gear, the less there is to flap around in the wind and increase buffeting.

I would agree with the poster who said just shorten up the planned trip to a distance reasonably do-able via the back roads rather than so long that you're forced to slab it back. Comfort in the wind comes from experience, but being pressed for time and stressed is a lousy time to get her some experience.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:19 PM   #15
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All of the above..... And when passing semi's or big vehicles. Anticipate the loss and arrival of cross winds. When you begin to pass, if you are leaning into wind, the bike will steer towards the vehicle as you come into its lee side, obversly, when you clear the obstacle, the wind will grab you again, so be ready to resume your previous stance..... Above all relax.... Enjoy.
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