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 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 General Discussion
 Windy riding
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Wolfie
Starting Member
3 Posts


USA

Peer Review:

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  7:44 AM                       Like
Hi everybody!

I was on a 120 mile freeway ride last Sunday. On the way out.. all was fine....a bit windy but the bike handled great. On the way home though.. the front end started to shake a bit...kinda side to side ...which was very annoying in the curves. Is this normal? I have an 800 Intruder and this was the first freeway ride on her. I will say, it was windier on the way home. Any advice would be appreciated.

Edited by - Wolfie on 05/17/2005 7:58 AM

River
Male Advanced Member
506 Posts
[Mentor]


Chippewa Falls, WI
USA

Kawasaki

Concours

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  8:32 AM
Heya Wolfie
Wind is a fact of riding. If you have a windscreen (as I do) its just going to take some getting used to. The wind hits windscrens and luggage/passengers like a sail. Just countersteer into the wind, and you'll be fine. You will learn how much pressure to apply to keep yourself steady.

Practice will give you a feel for how to keep your bike upright and in your lane. You may want to find a straight road or just cruise up and down a scenic highway... Remember you have an entire lane to play with. On really windy rides on the interstate I stay near the middle of the lane so I have time to adjust to gusts of wind without blowing into another lane.

Remember that wind eats up your mileage too- you'll need to refill your tank sooner if you're dealing with a lot of it. You'll get tired sooner too, from wrestling with the wind, so watch your fatigue as the day gets on. Don't be afraid to stop and refresh yourself if you do get tired.
^o^
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Phil R
Junior Member
35 Posts


Albany, New York
USA

Harley-Davidson

'05 XL1200R

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  8:46 AM
I would suggest that you have the front end checked out by a bike mechanic. The wind can push you around pretty good, but the wind should not cause the front ened to shake from side to side.
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OldTbone
Male Senior Member
273 Posts


The Coastal Bend Area, TX
USA

Harley-Davidson

FLTR Road Glide '02

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  10:11 AM
One thing to be especially careful of is when you encounter some kind of obstruction, i.e. stand of trees, concrete barrier, bridge, etc. that suddenly blocks the heavy wind off of you...be prepared for it, and then be prepared for when you suddenly are back into the wind. It can catch you off guard! Don't ask me how I know aobut this!

Tom
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Victory
Advanced Member
633 Posts
[Mentor]


Pawcatuck, CT
USA

Victory

10th Anny Vision

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  10:37 AM
I think the worse "wind" I haveencountered is behind a trailer truck with wire cables reels on the back that are standing up. Darn, the wind wind comes in about 4 different directions it seems.

OldTBone,
That wouldn't be the grain silos along the flats in New Mexico or Texas? The newbies on the base would freak out. I was stationed at Canon AFB, NM back in the early '70's.
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kiddal
Male Advanced Member
1561 Posts
[Mentor]


SE, Indiana
USA

Kawasaki

KLR650

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  11:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Wolfie

.. the front end started to shake a bit...kinda side to side ...



I don't really have that many freeway miles under my belt, but it seems I get alot of this on the freeway as opposed to the same speeds on a 2 lane highway. My opinion is it's turbulance from trucks as opposed to straight line wind.

Anyone else agree or disagree?
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OldTbone
Male Senior Member
273 Posts


The Coastal Bend Area, TX
USA

Harley-Davidson

FLTR Road Glide '02

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  11:51 AM
quote:
Originally posted by kiddal
My opinion is it's turbulance from trucks as opposed to straight line wind.

Anyone else agree or disagree?


Depends on what part of the country you're riding in, I suppose. Down here on the coast, we rival Chicago for straight line wind. That's why they have the world championship wind surfing competition here every year! But yes, even on a calm wind day, the trucks will try to suck you in as they pass you, then whip you around after they pass. When I'm meeting one on a two-lane, I try to get in the right track, 'cause they'll blast you soundly. I've even had to show them the top of my helmet so as not to get blasted in the face with rocks, grain, or whatever else they might be stirring up!

Tom
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Wolfie
Starting Member
3 Posts


USA

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  11:57 AM
........Hmm So Phil, you think somethings wrong with the bike? Kiddal....you said this has happened to you......Well, I guess it can't hurt to have it checked. But it seemed ok most of the ride. OldTBone& Victory......yeah I try to outrun those semi's coming up on me LOL River thanks for the tips.
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Phil R
Junior Member
35 Posts


Albany, New York
USA

Harley-Davidson

'05 XL1200R

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  1:25 PM
Wolfie,
May be nothing, but I've owned a lot of bikes over the years and never had the wind cause that kind of problem. Better be safe.....
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6950 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  4:31 PM
I only have to go about 10 miles to get to this area:


We have regular afternoon winds around here from around March to September. For most of the roads in the area, the wind comes from the side. I've ridden in the area with several different fairing configurations. When I used to have a Ducati Monster I tried it with and without the stock minifairing as well as with a plexiglass windshield. With nothing on the front the wind didn't move the bike around much at all, but it was unpleasant for me the rider. With a bar mounted plexiglass windshield the wind would cause oscillations in the front end. Nothing to cause me to worry about it, but annoying nonetheless. With the stock handlebar mounted minifairing it offered a little more rider protection with only a little more oscillations in the wind.

With my full fairing ST2, the rider protection is much better than anything I ever tried on the Monster and it doesn't really oscillate either, since the fairing is not attached to the forks or handlebars. However, sudden gusts will cause that bike to move around in the lane, so I need to be careful when passing the small hills or ravines where the wind will be stronger or weaker. You also have to watch it when passing big trucks, of course.

Personally, I would rather have a side wind than a headwind. Headwinds can really be tiring since they'll move the bike around a bit and really buffet the rider. It's really annoying to be coming back from Yosemite or some other Sierra destination after a few hundred miles of riding and have 30-50 miles of headwinds to get back home.

The only advice I can offer is to pay attention and anticipate the gusts so you can stay in your lane. Otherwise just accept that the wind will blow you around a bit.
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Wolfie
Starting Member
3 Posts


USA

Posted - 05/17/2005 :  11:16 PM
Thanks Scott..I have a handlebar mounted mini windshield ..that may be the culprit. I took Phils advice and had the bike looked at this afternoon ....front tire had lost 5 pds of air but other than that nothing wrong. They suggested it could have just been the wind at a certain angle playing havoc with the windshield. Thanks for all the replys. At least now I feel better about the whole thing and won't let it freak me out, out there!

Wolfie
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timbo
Advanced Member
594 Posts


Uxbridge
United Kingdom

BMW

R1100S

Posted - 05/18/2005 :  4:12 AM
It sounds like what you were experiencing was vortex shedding, either from your own windshield or from a vehicle in front of you.
As it was in windy conditions, i would put my money on the former. Handlebar mounted screens are notorious for this - here in the UK the general advice is to not fit them.
Having the front tyre 5 psi low would not help - that is quite a loss of pressure

Tim
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CookieMonster
Male Standard Member
107 Posts


Saskatoon, SK
Canada

Yamaha

XS850SG

Posted - 05/18/2005 :  5:00 PM
Speaking of wind.......I just finished a sunday - tuesday outing....on tuesday I rode the Transcanada Hwy #1 to Swift Current, Saskatchewan...(the standing joke is that the swift current airport doesn;t have a wind sock..they have a logging chain tied to a telephone pole...) wellllllllllll wind...... it was nuts... out of the southeast and was a beast to ride in.....add a little rain just for fun.... and every truck knocked you around ........ but you hold on tight and watch the road and enjoy the trip...... actually I wasn't bouncing around as much as some of the small cars were......

Out here on the canadian praire wind is a fact of life..... you learn to deal with it just like you do cool weather and rain...... if you are going to ride then you are going to ride in wind and rain and cool / cold weather...... but a lot of great bright sunny warm days make it worth while.....

Besides you meet a lot of great riders as you are all huddled in the coffee shop putting on rain gear.....(on Sunday there were 6 of us in one cafe suitting up....the waitress thought it was very funny to see)

Loved doing the ride and can't wait for the next one

CookieMonster
1981 Yamaha XS850SF
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