Riding in strong wind

All other motorcycle related topics go in here." However, DO NOT post ANY messages that are related to politics or religion in here. They will be erased. Thanks!

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
garr2
Triple Lifer
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Donating Member #: 781
Location: Vincentia, Australia

Riding in strong wind

Postby garr2 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:59 am

In 20 odd years of riding, on 3 occasions I've had to interrupt a trip (ranging from 3 hours to 2 days) because of very strong wind. On each occasion the bike was laden for a trip, travelling on roads outside built up areas, the winds were strong to very strong and variable in direction and strength.
After another recent encounter with masses of moving & swirling air I found I couldn't remember ever reading any discussion of riding tips & techniques for windy conditions.
I'd like to offer some random observations & tips, and invite any other contributions.
1) the lean of the grasses beside the road is a good indication of wind direction.

2) the movement of trees is a good indication of wind strength and gustiness.

3) tall vegetation on the windward side of the road dampens wind speed.

4) look ahead for cuttings and lower/gaps in vegetation to predict when you might be hit by a gust.

5) don't tense up but be ready for gusts.

6) ride in the middle of the lane if the wind is so flukey you can't tell which direction you'll be hit from next.

7) pay attention to "High wind area" signs and weather forecasts predicting 'Extreme weather events'

8) if overtaking or being overtaken by trucks be ready for the change in turbulence (and possibly an 'eye' of the storm)

9) the dirty-air turbulence created by a truck combined with strong flukey winds can be very scary to ride in.

10) swirling leaves & dust on the road up ahead don't necessarily indicate much stronger winds up ahead. You may just be seeing the same strong wind you're already riding in.

11) don't be scared to pull over and wait it out.
60% of the art of conversation is knowing when to say nothing

User avatar
sjbmw
Moderator
Posts: 2954
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:03 am
Donating Member #: 263
Location: Gloucester County, NJ

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby sjbmw » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:13 am

If you are riding in a strong cross wind stick your knee out on the side the wind is coming from.
Your knee will act like a sail and create a counter force to the wind on the bike and keep you straight and upright.
Freedom is dangerous. Those in power that steal freedom are more dangerous.

User avatar
garr2
Triple Lifer
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Donating Member #: 781
Location: Vincentia, Australia

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby garr2 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:03 pm

12) when approaching a bridge over a body of water across which a crosswind is blowing (look at the direction of the wind waves) be ready.
13) when riding on a road with trees close alongside watch out for fallen/falling debris.

** I've just arrived back from a quick 100 km local ride during which it was blowing a gale again. Little wonder this topic has my undivided attention. That and the fact that years ago I was blown off the road - by blown off I mean cross the centre line, across the lane going in the opposite direction and onto the gravel shoulder where my wife and I ended up lying with the bike on top of us. After getting out from underneath it we then had to lift it upright ..... into the wind!
60% of the art of conversation is knowing when to say nothing

User avatar
Boxer
Lifer
Posts: 3355
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:16 am
Donating Member #: 2
Location: Atmore, Alabama

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby Boxer » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:28 am

And don't ride along beside a tractor trailer to let the trailer block the wind off you. Those things have been known to blow over. :shock:

User avatar
garr2
Triple Lifer
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Donating Member #: 781
Location: Vincentia, Australia

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby garr2 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:06 am

Yet another ride in strong winds. I've obviously offended the wind gods.
Today's observations-
14) While generally the wind direction remains pretty constant, this doesn't seem to apply when riding through a cutting.
The solid walls appear to make the wind swirl, forming eddies that can collide and leave you guessing where it's coming from next.
Then when you emerge from the cutting you'll be hit by a gust coming from the same direction as before you entered the cutting.
15) If after a longish straight there is a sweeping corner remember that as you change direction through the corner the relative wind direction will change.
This could put you off line in the middle of the corner.
16) After all this talk about strong winds I still can't put a number to 'strong'. To me as a motorcyclist a strong wind is one that moves my bike around the road. But Is that 25kph or 40 or 75? Knowing that number would help me interpret weather forecasts before planning a ride.
And don't confuse me as our Bureau of Meteorology does with forecasts in knots.

Ian
60% of the art of conversation is knowing when to say nothing

Jed
Basic User
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:06 pm

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby Jed » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:49 am

From Sea Kayaking I learned to pay close attention to the weather in general and the wind in particular. We used something called the Beaufort Wind Scale which was developed for large square-rigged ships but works very well for wind speed / strength estimations. The pdf link below is a land version of the Beaufort Scale that works very well for land-based observations of wind effects and how those effects relate to wind speed / force.

http://www.weather.gov/media/iwx/webpag ... _Chart.pdf

I hope this helps you estimate things.
Cheers,

Jed

Catchina
Lifer
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:21 pm
Donating Member #: 998
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby Catchina » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:36 pm

#9 and the possibility of blown out tire chunks is why I try to never ride behind a truck.
2011 R1200R RED
1996 Virago XV 750

User avatar
garr2
Triple Lifer
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Donating Member #: 781
Location: Vincentia, Australia

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby garr2 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:39 am

The pdf link below is a land version of the Beaufort Scale that works very well for land-based observations of wind effects and how those effects relate to wind speed / force.

http://www.weather.gov/media/iwx/webpag%20...%20_Chart.pdf

Thanks Jed, just what I needed.
From the chart I can now guesstimate that the winds that blow me around the road are Beaufort # 6 and above ie 45+ kph.
These wind speeds are uncomfortable and dangerous. As a bike rider you are used to being buffeted by winds but when it comes to blowing you off the road or across the centre line my advice would be don't go or if you are mid-trip stop and wait it out.

Ian
60% of the art of conversation is knowing when to say nothing

Taidef1972
Basic User
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:48 am

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby Taidef1972 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:58 am

sjbmw wrote:If you are riding in a strong cross wind stick your knee out on the side the wind is coming from.
Your knee will act like a sail and create a counter force to the wind on the bike and keep you straight and upright.


This trick shall always work i once was in trouble and tried it out. Thank God i was reached the destination safely.

MMH
Basic User
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 6:00 am

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby MMH » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:12 am

garr2 wrote:
The pdf link below is a land version of the Beaufort Scale that works very well for land-based observations of wind effects and how those effects relate to wind speed / force.

http://www.weather.gov/media/iwx/webpag%20...%20_Chart.pdf

Thanks Jed, just what I needed.
From the chart I can now guesstimate that the winds that blow me around the road are Beaufort # 6 and above ie 45+ kph.
These wind speeds are uncomfortable and dangerous. As a bike rider you are used to being buffeted by winds but when it comes to blowing you off the road or across the centre line my advice would be don't go or if you are mid-trip stop and wait it out.

Ian

Good Link. More useful for long range shooting!

User avatar
peels
Basic User
Posts: 1117
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:12 am
Location: Southeast Iowa, USA.

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby peels » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:54 pm

sjbmw wrote:If you are riding in a strong cross wind stick your knee out on the side the wind is coming from.
Your knee will act like a sail and create a counter force to the wind on the bike and keep you straight and upright.



this. lean forward and put shoulder same as the knee. basically...pretend your about to take a motogp corner. its not always comfortable, but better then being a barn door in a tornado. :lol:

the gusts are what scare me. come out behind a bluff or a large Building, veer off the road.

I am a weather nut. Its not often I dont know whats coming...
2002 R1150R. Helmets save more lives than loud pipes.

User avatar
deilenberger
Honorary Lifer
Posts: 4209
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 9:21 pm
Donating Member #: 0
Location: New Jersey USA
Contact:

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby deilenberger » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:02 pm

I think we're up to:

10. The knee thingie really works. Ridden many miles with my knee out in winds that were pushing tractor-trailers off the road.

11. A naked bike is better in wind then a full-fairing bike, less stationary sail area

12. A rear mounted trunk can make a big difference, not in a good way, in high wind conditions

13. A working steering-damper can be a huge help, When mine went out near the beginning of a NJ to CA (and back) trip, I didn't realize it, but did notice the bike seemed WAY more sensitive to wind and the blast off trucks. Didn't realize the damper had a small leak until on my way back. Got it changed in Kansas City (Engle Motors - good people) and it made a huge difference.

14. Different trucks have different blast patterns. The very worst are flatbed trucks carrying large components, or construction equipment. The rear wake off these is very turbulent and strong. The best are the regular tractor-trailer with the wind extensions on the back of the trailer. Hardly any rear wake off these. After about 4 days doing the plains states, with a crapped out steering damper in tornado weather I became much too expert on this subject.

15. On a divided highway (ie - interstate) I'm most comfortable in the inside lane (fast lane) going faster then everyone in the other lane(s).. you cut through the wind blasts that way rather quickly instead of being stuck in them, and the truck blasts all are from one side of the bike.

16. Really high winds, and rain are no fun at all, and tornado's aren't either. When that starts happening it's time to look for some shelter. Park the bike on the sidestand, in gear, facing into the wind direction. Hope it's still upright when you come out of the shelter.
Don Eilenberger - NJ Shore
2012 R1200R - I love this bike!

ron prior
Basic User
Posts: 392
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:44 am

Re: Riding in strong wind

Postby ron prior » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:50 pm

I remember riding in high wind condition in Kansas on my 99 RS...allot of 'body' panel [fairing], as compared to my now Roadster. The wind would push me constantly to the right, I'd lean /steer back into it , etc. By the end of the day I wuz plum tarred.....seriously, it like'd to wore me out.

Since then, I have encountered similar situations, on the roadster and not near as bad.


Return to “Off-Topic!!!!!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests