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New Riders Q & A For the the newer riders to ask the questions, and the older/wiser to help out.

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Old 02-01-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Riding In Windy Conditions

Riders face many problems and hazards some directly related to beng 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 rideen 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 loosly 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 realx 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 immediatly 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 becouse you are steering into the wind gust that is no longer occuring.

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 tence and trying to prepare for the gusts while I stayed relaxed and delt with them when they came. Not only do you need to stay relaxed but you also need to not focuse 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 realx and handle the situation if all of your attention is not fucused 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 becouse 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 02-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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Re: Riding In Windy Conditions

Riding here in Hawaii with the tradewinds and mountain passes has educated me quite quickly on the wind. I do tense up and tend to lean into the wind. Also when passing large objects I have to relax the lean and re-engage after passing. All in all you have to pay attention to what's going on.

So I'll try relaxing on the way home today
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: Riding In Windy Conditions

There is some sort of self-righting effect related to countersteering if you get hit by a gust from the side. It pushes you over, but the lean it induces causes the bike to come back to where it was. That's described in Proficient Motorcycling, although I can't remember exactly how it works now.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Riding In Windy Conditions

I'm experiencing that a lot lately!!!! Can anyone tell me what is the best thing to do when the wind pushes me so hard that I've come close to hitting the soft shoulder. I've just let up on the throttle to slow down quite a bit and what seems like fighting with the wind to get back. Sometimes I've even started praying!!!
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