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Thread: Riding in the wind

  1. #1
    iscream-stop
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    Exclamation Riding in the wind

    I would like to know how the rest of you guys feel about riding in higher winds 15 mph and up. I would rather ride in the rain and 35 degrees than rid in high winds, the gusts are so unpredictable and push you all over the road that I would rather sit and watch trees blow.

  2. #2
    Registered User sit's Avatar
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    Riding in Oregon around the gorge one really does not have much choice about the wind. If it gets windy, or when it gets windy, I just stay on my toes and keep the bike in the center of the lane to allow for as much room on each side of me so I can react to the changing wind direction and gusts as they blow through.
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  3. #3
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Whittle View Post
    I would like to know how the rest of you guys feel about riding in higher winds 15 mph and up. I would rather ride in the rain and 35 degrees than rid in high winds, the gusts are so unpredictable and push you all over the road that I would rather sit and watch trees blow.
    I have to agree that riding in a stiff wind can be nasty. A couple of the more miserable rides I've done have been in stiff side winds. You can dress for cold and rain, but you have to fight the wind.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  4. #4
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    Wind can be a pain indeed. I once crossed the Alpes in a 30degree angle, which is not very nice. But worse is gusts. A steady wind is not nice, but as long as it stays constant, you adapt. Gusts, especially stong ones are very dangerous.

    When the wind and/or gusts are not too strong, I always keep the speed high. My limited physics knowledge tells me that as long as the power that pushes the bike forwards is greater than the power that tries to push me aside, I'm safe... Overtaking busses and trucks when there's a strong side wind is also a pain...
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  5. #5
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    get over 50 mph winds from the side and we can start talking about 'how to'. However, that's an experienced rider's answer. It can be quite challenging if you are new to the the experience though. A 30 degree lean can be a bit of fun - especially when the wind direction shifts around. I always liken it to landing a small plane in a crosswind and taxiing onward. Can be like a quick video game at times I suppose. I have faith in the machine as well as my own skills ( somewhat modest skills though I must admit). My most challenging was on Route 1 coastal in California with winds/fog rising up from the ocean on our left and winds/fog cascading down from the hills on our right just south of Monteray. YIKES! My approach tends to be like that on a grated bridge: keep light on the controls and let it wander a bit as needed; don't 'pucker up'; be firm but not overbearing...... .... sounds somewhat like a good relationship eh? - Bob
    Last edited by tourunigo; 04-04-2011 at 01:52 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    No hard and fast rule - with experience and technique (lean), many can ride out some pretty awesome wind velocities.

    Despite having been 'put down' by straight-line winds in S. Dakota a few years back (50 + MPH), I still tolerate some rather intense breezes before I'll yield.

    That being said, don't hesitate to operate in anything up to gusts of 35 MPH, in order to gain confidence.

    Beyond that, it really becomes an individual assessment of ability, experience and risk management - to each their own.

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  7. #7
    From MARS
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    In Kansas, if we don't ride on windy days, we don't get too ride much. I'm pretty used to it, but windy rides can still be challenging.

    But it can be fun, too. Down in NM, it was so windy one time, I had to enter lefthand curves still leaning to the right! And then correct as my angle off the wind increased. That was fun!

    Tom

  8. #8
    RK Ryder
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    Back in '07, I was riding the interstate going east in S. Dakota. Speed limit was 75 mph. After passing a number of trucks and motor homes, I cut my speed to 60 mph just so that I wouldn't have to pass anything. The turbulence from passing each of the larger vehicles was much too interesting for me. Figured it was only a matter of time before being tossed to the ground. I later found out that there was either a hurricane or tornado system north of me.

    Ridden the Dakotas since and even though the bike was ridden at a good angle, nothing like that day in June of '07.
    Paul
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  9. #9
    Motorradfahrer
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    If you are not on a ride where you need the top case then ditch it! It will make all the difference in the world. Also windshield angle is huge. The higher up you move it the more it is like a sail. You are better off taking it in the helmet. Even better use the opportunity to tell your wife if she lost some weight she would not make such a large profile and reduce drag. In my experience all but one of these really works.

  10. #10
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    wind gusts

    A few years ago there was a thread on this topic, and at the National in West Bend (2007?) David Hough spoke on it.

    IMO, 15mph is not an overwhelming cross wind. But now having said that, practice, practice, practice counter leaning and counter steering and stay in the middle of the lane. When the wind momentarily subsides it will be come quite sporting if you are not careful.
    Stay away from trucks and guard rails.
    Slow down.
    Find road that you can practice on that has low traffic.

    Riding in crosswinds can actually be a lot of fun!
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Currently bikeless, but looking hard! "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  11. #11
    Nickname: Droid
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    David Hough, as usual makes some very good points.

    But Mike_P also makes a very good point. In higher crosswinds it is better to maintain a higher speed if possible, or at least a speed you are comfortable with. It has to do with stability and physics. A motorcycle at higher speeds is inherently more stable, corsswind or not. But with a crosswind, if the forward force vector of your speed is higher, so too is the side force vector needed to balance against a side wind influence.

    Last Sept 2010 I crossed the Mackinaw bridge at night, in a gusty 40 mph crosswind. Not too comfortable to say the least. I stayed on the paved side, kept looking well ahead and maintained a steady 35 mph and got across fine.

  12. #12
    iscream-stop
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    When posting, I understated the wind speeds for the day, I was just throwing out a number. It was one of the first really nice warm days of the year (upper 70s) so I was itching to ride but the winds were high and gusts were 35 to 40. I could hardly open the door on my house. All I could think of was all those rides I have made were high wind gusts pushed me into different lane or once right off the road, so I hit the internet to see if anyone else liked it.
    by the way, I am pretty new to this forum and MOA, I like it already. You guys are great.

  13. #13
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    I once had some terrible gusts when driving home late at night. It was a storm that came out of nowhere and lasted only for some 15 minutes, but I was thinking about stopping. Unfortunately, I was on the highway and stopping at the side of the road in those conditions may be even more dangerous.
    I was blown halfway to the other lane every now and then. That's when it's getting scary for me. A bit of a gust I can take, but when I can't control my direction, it's getting hazardous. When I got home (safely) I heard on the radio that there were gusts of 75km/h (46mi), so I guess I was lucky it didn't last too long and that there wasn't much traffic.

    Usually with bad conditions, it's best to be loose on the handlebars and let the bike 'play' a bit. But with winds like that it's next to impossible to be loose as you lose control over your direction. I tried to be a loose as I can get away with. Gripping the handlebars too tight and cramping up is no good either. The RT is a good sailingboat...unfortunately... all that Tupperware catches all the wind.
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  14. #14
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    the folks that stayed on through some of the bad weather that we got hit with on the Salty Fog Riders Rally can tell some tales about the 60 mph cross wind in unrelenting rain as we sought breakfast and shelter in Cheticamp (on the west side of the Cabot Trail). Most often we have sunshine and no fog but last year even washed out the bridge to Meat Cove! It was an adventure with the very best of comrades participating. The Highlands can be challenging at times if the winds pick up....... especially if you are riding the ridge side. I think that periodically the situation demands that you keep riding. Trying to stop and finding a bit of shelter can sometimes be more of a challenge than forging onward. - Bob
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  15. #15
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    The wind doesn't seem to bother the LT much at all. I had 60mph plus winds 2 years ago riding in Scottsboro AL. A tornado touched down one mile to the east of me & lifted the floating docks from the TN river & tossed them on the road. Three years ago I rode from Fargo ND to Duluth MN with 30 to 40mph gusts the whole way. For the most part I don't even notice it any more.
    Last edited by saddleman; 04-05-2011 at 12:58 AM.
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