- This topic has 10 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 9 months ago by TrialsRider.
Riding in Windy Weather
June 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm #4017Sunny123Participant
Only have about a month under my belt….but I was riding home last night on the highway….I could see the heat lightning in the sky….my bike was getting pushed around no rain but it was pretty scary for me between the cars flying by and being night time ya get the picture….would it make a difference to put a shield on the front I know it can’t hurt…i have a honda shadow 600, during the day going the same route of course wasn’t as bad but boy coming home was a whole different story….i ended up pulling off at the nearest exit and taking Main St… all the way home … to play it safe…my question is also are there some particular tips for riding in this weather etc……something we never learned in class ….tks everyone…trying to absorb everything like a sponge….this site has been great for that !!!!!June 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm #26850LongRangerParticipant
A wind shield would not help much in the conditions you described. They are good to keep the wind off your body when it is blowing straight at you but they do not make a difference in a cross-wind. In my experience crosswinds can be unnerving but are not likely to cause you to lose control or push you into other traffic. The more you ride the more you will get used to the winds. I think the best option for riding in winds like that are to do what you did, get off the highway, where you are unshielded from the winds, and ride on side streets where the wind is likely to be blocked by buildings or trees.June 1, 2010 at 2:52 pm #26855JackTradeParticipant
It’s unnerving at first, but the more you ride, the more you’ll get used to it. Kinda like riding on uneven pavement or on metal grates…not pleasant, but once you’re used to it and know what to expect, it’s not a problem.
Be glad you don’t have a faired sportbike…those fairings are like sails, and pick up even more wind.June 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm #26859CBBaronParticipant
Additional fairings will only make the problem worse, especially any fairing mounted to the handlebar/fork.
One of my early rides was a long ride through north central Ohio on a windy day. The winds and gusts were unnerving at first but I quickly adapted to them and soon it was no problem. It helps that I was riding straight empty roads, meaning I could learn how to deal with wind without adding additional complications.
CraigJune 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm #26865madjak30Participant
I have only been riding about the same time as you, but where I live (Alberta, Canada) it is windy almost all of the time in the spring and fall (and quite frequently in the summer…lol). I have found it is best to just not panic…if you get the death grip on your bars it will make it worse, just relax and like Gary said “the bike moves a couple of feet sideways while the bike automatically leans against the wind pressure”…I think the bike only moves a few inches, but it feels like it is feet…but you will automatically lean into the wind. The only time I find I swerve, is in gusty winds, or when there is a lot of traffic that blocks and unblocks the wind…but like I said, I think it is only a 4 to 8 inch swerve. After you ride in the wind a few times, you will recognize the feeling and it won’t panic you…you kinda get used to it.
Good luck.June 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm #26864Gary856Participant
Heavy crosswind is not pleasant during the day, and it can get tense at night. The sensation I get is swinging side to side like a pendelum – suspended at the top (head/shoulder/arms), while the bottom (tires) swung sideways in an arc. Quite a few people told me this sensation is normal. What’s really happening is the path of the bike moves a couple of feet sideways while the bike automatically leans against the wind pressure. The technique is to stay loose, isolate your body from your arms/hands. It’s ok to let your upperbody move around a bit; just keep the arms/hands loose and steady to avoid unintended steering input.
I had this discussion in another forum and got some good feedback; below is the link:
http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=333388June 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm #26875RabParticipant
I’ve endured this quite often when coming across the San Francisco / Oakland Bay Bridge and often in pouring rain. I had much more of a problem on my naked bike than on my fully-faired one (contrary to what some have written above). Both bikes have traditional double-cradle heavy steel frames.
If it gets scary (which it can in a storm), slow down. Stay towards the side of your lane that the wind is blowing from so that if/when a gust hits you, you’ll still be in your lane as you get blown off your path (and it can be by feet, not just inches). Try to ride alongside an SUV or van which can shield you from the wind; just be sure they know you’re there though.June 4, 2010 at 6:16 am #26900madjak30Participant
Rode to work this morning (4C) nice and clear…around 11am, it started to rain and was looking bad…I don’t have rain gear yet…but luckily it cleared early enough for the roads to dry up, but it was windier than usual (80kph and gusty)…I got blown around a lot and the wind was strong enough to limit the speed of my bike (unless I down shifted)…and you were right, it was a couple of feet that I wandered, but that wasn’t the part that surprised me the most…it was the lean angle…wow, heading straight down the hiway and having to lean the bike like I was taking a corner. I figured the lean would be much less, but I guess it was pretty windy…
Just though I would eat some crow…definitely more than a couple of inches…it was enough that the vehicles around me were nervous and gave me a wide berth when they passed…
I took Rab’s advice and rode further toward the wind in my lane, ended up riding most of the way in the center of my lane…better safe than sorry.
A couple of other things too…yesterday I rode to work with my windshield removed, and I put it on this morning to see if there was much difference…all I can say is the windshield is not coming off. The bike may look better without it, but the ride is more calm with it. And there is noticable fatigue after just 30 mins of commute time. In the wind, I think the bike tracks straighter with the windshield. My next bike will have farings!June 4, 2010 at 11:20 am #26901redcromwellParticipant
Rode in to work today and winds were a little gusty on the Interstate this morning.
Leaning into the wind is natural to counteract the force of it trying to blow us over. But, what wasn’t natural for me was staying loose on the handlebars. But, I remembered what I read from the forums and relaxed. Not to say that I went slack, but I did relax my shoulders and elbows instead of keeping a “death grip” on things.
Thanks!June 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm #26903Gary856Participant
My naked GS500 would normally cruise easily at 85 mph (indicated) and go over 100 mph, but one time going against a stiff headwind, it topped out at a steady 6,500 rpm in 6th gear, 75 mph, with the throttle wide open. Wouldn’t go any faster. That gave me a real lesson on aerodynamics, wind resistance and horsepower. I never expected or experienced drag-limited top speed at only 75 mph before that. But think of it this way – if the headwind was blowing at 30 mph, my effective air speed was 105 mph.
It felt so weird to top out at 75 mph w/ WOT I didn’t even think of down shifting to go faster. A guy at work told me he thought he had engine trouble that day when his cruiser (Honda VTX 1300) reacted very sluggishly to the throttle but it was the strong wind.June 4, 2010 at 8:21 pm #26907TrialsRiderParticipant
Wind pressure increases with the wind speed or the motorcycle speeding through it and the motorcycle least affected by wind is the one that is designed wind slippery, hopefully with a rider on board and sitting fairly upright.
As noted by others already, wind gusts present a far greater challenge and require the most skill and attention to counter measure. Ultimately, the only way to deal with wind that you aren’t cutting through is to slow down, which in turn reduces the wind pressure but does not preclude your need to deal with it. With experience you learn to limit the time spent in the draught of transport trucks, as they create tremendous buffeting wind turbulence from unpredictable directions.
Another thing I find very useful is to lean the bike into the wind more than your body, this keeps the wind blast off your chest and causes less swerve, particularly from oncoming truck traffic on 2 lane highways. People riding with and behind me have even commented on how little the wind seems to affect me, compared to what they are experiencing.
…although I do have a full fairing on a very wind slippery bike.
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