Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Best way to get comfy at freeway speeds?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by arc, May 29, 2009.

  1. Feeling OK at 80-100 in daytime or night time with *good* vis/freeway lights but still feeling like I'm making indents in my bars at 100 in the dark on freeways (evidenced by Tuesday's VIC L night trip back from Mornington).

    What has worked for you in getting comfy at freeway speeds?

  2. hugging the tank keeps the wind off me and i stay warmer. :) (my bike has a shield and fairings though)

    i don't get much comfort though :(
  3. You talking physical comfort - back strain, weight on wrists etc or feeling mentally at ease with the reduced visibility at night?
  4. I find myself slightly too big for the little VTR250 at times, which means my back gets a bit sore and my legs get cramped and then i start getting cold from riding at 10pm which makes me stiffen up even more.

    A couple of nights ago I tried hugging right over my tank bag, up on the toes, resting the elbows on my knees and shrugging the shoulders a bit to keep the cold off my neck. I must have looked like a complete twat and I didn't exactly have the best reaction time in this position but it took the strain off my back and arms and streamlined me a bit more, was comfortable for a while...

    My favourite is to find a large semi or b-double and tuck in behind his trailer, especially the ones with a lot of bulk towards the ground so they make a damn good slipstream. This keeps the cold off your front, let's you relax on the throttle and quiets down the wind noise A SHITLOAD! Granted it's not the safest option but I do try to keep as close as possible to the wheeltracks just in-case something is in the middle of the road.

    Just remembered, semi's can keep a fair whack of rain off you as long as their mudflaps are stopping their wheelspray :)
  5. Lay down and have a nap on the tank. Vic will pick on you, but he rides a BMW.

  6. They can also stop a metric shitload than most people realise.
  7. it may sound silly but winter gloves and stay as warm as possible. ive been riding late at night of late (to and from work). ive been wearing a hoodie under the jacket to keep the air off my neck and keep me warm. for short rides its ok to get down close to the tank. for long rides its best to stay with good posture to take the strain off your back. toes down and arms loose i find most comfortable
  8. Another thing i have found helps with legs and back is sitting on the pillion section of your seat for periods.

    Helps stretch the back out and changes the angle of your knees to give them some variation.

    Another good method is simply pull over have a solid stretch and windmill your arms.... 30 secs of that means you'll be comyfy again for a fair while afterwards!??
  9. Practice.

    First time I went on the freeway with a bike it was the most uncomfortable experience ever on my zzr250. Some bikes work out great to lean right over the tank and be comfy, or sometimes oggy knob position lets you stick your legs up cruiser style. Arms shouldn't be completely straight, neither should your back, keep your weight off your wrists/bars - instead hold on with your legs.
  10. Practise, and depending on your body/back, tuck more.

    I go full tuck pretty much at anything over 100kph, only side effect is for some reason my Shoei XR-1000 makes more noise when it is under the airflow from the windscreen....? Like a deep throbbing wind noise. I untuck where my face is getting blasted by wind head on and it is better??!

    If wind blast is getting you down... maybe a double bubble screen could help?

    Otherwise rug up and just keep doing it, loosen your grip, and drop your elbows (keeping them loose). Also try and rest on your tank tho I believe on a Ninja that's not too easy as it isn't high up or very large.

    Don't be afraid to shake out your legs/hands from time to time while riding either as long as you can keep control easily enough (and not in close proximity to a car I suppose). You may have seen me doing that a fair bit on Tues though I can't remember when I was at the back of the pack...
  11. Same here Ahri, first extended ventures up around 100kph were very uncomfortable but after a while you adjust and it becomes normal.

    Earplugs can make a big difference to comfort, and thus enjoyment.
  12. Primarily mental comfort: I found that I was completely tensed up on Tuesday night riding back from Mornington on the freeway doing 95-100kmh in the dark with no freeway lights. Last night I went on a solo trip down to Frankston and went onwards to Mt Martha where the zone changed to 80 and it was pitch dark. I was fine until I hit the "dark". The road was also quite wet which probably didn't give me much mental relief. Felt very uncomfortable coming back along that road going downhill around corners on a wet road in the dark with cars all around me. Guess I just need lots and lots of practice and probably not at night when I can't see that well and on a wet road :D

    Physically I've been actively telling myself to relax, moving my body further back towards the backrest on the rear cowl and flexing my arms as much as I can and gripping more with my knees & trying to get a bit lower down. I've also started to use my index and second fingers to cover the front break (I was using my thumb and index finger on the throttle previously), this all seems to be helping a bit, particularly gripping quite firmly with my knees. I do seem to be getting quote tense in the arms and wrists though, guess I just need to grip with my knees more?

    I'm not too bad cold wise, bought some thermal pants from a ski shop and silk glove liners which really help.

    Thanks for all the great responses from everyone, very useful :D

  13. Some ideas…
    Pilates or Situps. Work on your Core stabiliser muscles it takes the load off your arms
    A back protector done up nice and tight. It takes the load off your lower back.
    A Tank bag. You don’t lean on it as such, but it does help position your body on long trips. They do get in the way for twisties and mess up your riding position though.
    So this handles most of the Physical stuff.
    Now for the headspace.
    The only real way to address this is to get some hours in. As you spend more time on the bike you will get used to what it is to ride and relax.
  14. It's all perfectly natural to feel less at ease..
    You are'nt used to it (more exposure to night riding will fix that)
    Your visibility is vastly reduced (below that which would be more ideal)
    And it's cold...(reduced general comfort adding to the stress overall)

    What visiblity you DO have is interrupted by odd reflections etc, and you have almost no peripheral vision which increases the sense of speed.

    Exposure to it and constantly reminding yourself to relax...and looking as far ahead as you can into the darkness (Not getting sucked in to looking at what's in the lights immediately in front of you), all serves to "slow things down" even though your speed has'nt changed.

    If it's just a bit too much, then you ought to slow down a little to where you can be relaxed...If you are that tense, it's not a good thing at all...so beware.


  15. What Raven said: practise will help, in general will make you feel more comfortable controlling the bike and especially at night you'll get used to the lack of extended vision.

    Especially concentrate on not focussing just on what's in your headlights - try to look beyond and around them, that way when you have to look sideways, like going around a corner, your eyes don't have to adjust as drastically to deal with the change in light. You'll also find you can see more in the dark than you thought with just the bounce and refraction of your headlights outside the main beam, which should ease the mind a little.

    Take it as easy as you need to while you're getting used to it, which you will.
  16. When I went from stock shape to double bubble it did make a very noticeable difference, tonnes more comfortable at freeway speed.
  17. Ride lots of twisties then riding the freeway is like having a rest.
  18. ^ Riding twisties at night is nerve racking... I remember coming out of corners not being able to see anything but the armcos and gravel... try NOT having target fixation when its all you can friggn see!

    Luckily I know that road VERY well, but still, one kangaroo in a bad spot and I was a goner.

    If I rode more twisties at night I'd consider playing around with some 'auxilary' lighting, to illuminate the immediate area 45degrees to my front left/right.. no idea how that would be done.
  19. Set today as my 'freeway' familiarisation day, also happened to coincide with what felt like gale force winds - went over the top of the Bolte Bridge northbound from the inbound shell on the Westgate Freeway and felt like I was going to get blown over, damn it was gusty. Just checked the bom site and Laverton had ~40Kmh gusts this arvo.

    Any tips on "getting comfy at freeway speeds when you are getting blown from side to side"?


  20. I hear ya ... we were out on the Western Ring rd ,
    from Bundoora back to Ardeer .

    got blown about out there as well ,

    keep geting told to RELAXXXXXXXXXXX and NOT hold on

    so tight .. LOL .. I'm like yeah right !!!

    Aparently the wind will always be around so WE have no choice
    but to get over it !!!
    It Will take time to get use to , but it WILL happen :)