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Brown Trousers - windy day

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by tiggers, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Hey Guy's,

    Looking for some tips/advice on getting hit by big gusts of wind after a brown trouser moment yesterday morning.

    Was coming out of Canberra on the federal highway yesterday morning about 7am, was running about 100kph, heading up past the lakes when I got hit by a massive gust.

    The road was slick, just sprinkled with rain and was looking pretty glassy. I was riding in the Lh wheel track in the Lh lane. The gust hit me and pushed my right across the lane.

    I leaned in to it to try and get back to the other side of the lane, felt like I was really fighting, car coming up fast in the rh lane, so I opened up the throttle slightly thinking this would help.

    This is when the rear wheel stepped out, I thought I was going down. Now I've had some time to think on it, I'm guessing the rear wheel touched the white line slide across and gripped again.......:busting:

    This all happened in a couple of seconds but is the closest I've felt to 'OH shit this is gonna hurt' I stayed on the throttle and the bike sorted it self out.

    Still had to pull over for a 10 minute smoke break and let the heart slow down.

    So any input you could give on how to deal with this would be much appreciated.

  2. It is pretty scary. I would rather ride in rain than strong cross winds, especially on the freeway. I have had the same experience of a gust of wind forcing me to unwillingly change lanes... not fun.

    The advice I was given was to lean your body into the wind, not the bike.
    That way if the gust suddenly disappears, you won't find your bike turning into traffic in the next lane.

    It has been pretty windy most nights I have ridden home lately, so like everything else, you kind of just get used to it.

    I'm sure more experienced riders will jump on and give you better suggestions and details as to why.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. I see you have a KLR650 in your avatar, are you still running the original Trailwing tyres?

    If so then I can only recommend changing them for something else as soon as possible. They haven't earned the nickname Deathwings for no reason IMHO.

    Mitas E07 are a good all around tyre that last well and outgrip the Trailwings both on and off road.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure this would have been a brown trousers moment no matter what tyres you're running, It's just that the tyres can change the amount of brown :)
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I had the same trouble last night heading back to Gelong. I just try to realx, lean over the front a bit more and go with the flow and correct the bike when needed.
  5. As said above, lean your body into the gust - not your bike. It's a good thing to try to anticipate possible wind gusts by observing the surrounding landscape as you are riding - i.e. a tree lined stretch of road in a rural area suddenly opens up and there are no wind breaks from the trees, crossing over a hwy bridge etc.
    I would also be riding in the rh wheel track of the road to "own" the lane.
    Not sure what tyres you have on your enduro style bike but I would say that when you had the bike leaned over to compensate for the wind gust and opened the throttle, you simply lost traction because you were trying to put power down on the lean angle in the wet. Maybe you were a bit too heavy on the throttle so next time just ease it on. Touching the white line would not have helped loss of traction either.
    You did well by staying on the throttle though as closing it off is a bad move.

    • Like Like x 1
  6. Cute use of words in the title - "brown trousers" & "windy"... had a dodgy curry recently?

    Gusts of wind are something that you eventually "just get used to". I did a group ride down to Picton a month ago and the wind was strong enough to stand you up in a corner. Look for signs such as tree top moving around or dust being picked up at the side of the road and get ready. Try and stay "loose" allowing the bike to stay tracking correctly.
  7. +1 to this;

    Brace against the tank using thighs/knees/legs to support yourself.
    Keep arms "loose", elbows bent, hands not in a deathgrip.

    Bikes hate to fall over just as much as their riders, if not moreso, and will do everything in their power to stay upright and track straight-ahead by making steering corrections all by themselves - provided the rider's arms are "loose" and not locked/stiff.

    Keeping one's arms a bit loose also helps to prevent the rider's accidental body movement when a gust hits from turning into a forceful steering input. :)
    • Like Like x 4
  8. I'm running a set of pirelli scorpion trials, deathwings have gone!!

    I got better at anticipating when the gust were going to hit, but was the most windy day I've ever ridden in.

    Thanks Blaise :)
  9. +1...
  10. Thanks all - staying loose on the bars is one thing I've worked on. I do a lot of flapping and I find I control the bike best when I have loose grip.
  11. How about slowing down a bit? I usually drop 10km/hr to make it easier to turn and free up some brain power to look for the new hazard (in this case wind tunnels between trees, cuttings or hills).
  12. That sounds like the idea in the comments above. Something that happened to me a year or two ago. Some blokes I was riding with told me something. If you put your knee out (against direction of wind) it still blows you rounda bit but only half as much, very similar to the guys saying lean your body into it but I've found it works even though you look silly. lol
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Biggest thing I found was not to over-react. Most of the problems I've seen in wind is from a rider who gets blown unexpectedly and then over-corrects which creates bigger problems (like you had). I suspect this is part of the problem. If you've already been blown across the road, you have to forget about correcting and just try to maintain your course and ride out the gust. Most of the guys here are correct, know the wind before you get out, watch the trees and watch for gaps in the road which may expose you to strong crosswinds. I.e. side roads, building gaps etc.

    One of the best experiences I found was spending a couple of years off my F650 and on a small scooter. I know people hate small scooters but the light weight exaggerates crosswinds. Fortunately, you're at lower speeds on a small scooter but you're also in busier traffic which means less room for error.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Hang off your handle bars lying flat like you would "planking" with feet straight out the b ack...you can be like Superman and when the gust hits you in one end, lean your body into it so it looks like you're steering!

    On a more serious note...as mentioned before, lean your body into the wind, if the wind is strong such as over large long bridges (ie, Westgate or E.J.Whitten bridge in Melbourne), you might need to hang off your bike GP style while keeping the bike upright...I did that once, but I am light as a feather.
  15. Thanks Phongus, will practice my planking this weekend :)
  16. This. It's more often the rider's upper body unintentionally 'steering' the bike in wind gusts than it is the bike itself moving much.
  17. Occasionally you will encounter a giant gust which will push you right across the road. Personally I don't think you can do much about it, but the are much rarer than noobs think. And if the wind is that strong you probably shouldn't be riding as you will be dodging branches, the occasional cow and Dorothy's farm house flying to Oz.

    Most of the issues new riders have with wind come from the rider panicing, hanging onto the bars tight and causing steering inputs. Mostly the wind will wobble you a bit but not push you around that much. Just relax and go with it and you'll be fine.

    I have heard lots of people recommend the knee out method and have tried it but personally it did nothing for me. But if it works for you give it a go.

    So if you are worried by wind relax your grip, and get some slack in your elbows. If you are still worried, my recommendation in wind is to grip hard with the knees really tight. I don't thinkit does anything in itself but while noobs focus on that they forget to hang on as tight which does help.