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Dealing with wind.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Rolkus, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. Hey guys,

    So I've been riding for about 9 months now, loving every second of it, although on my second bike.

    Over the last week, there has been an increase in WIND in Melbourne. I ride on the Freeway down to Werribee and outbound, there's a lot of flat open area where the wind cruises across and smacks me.

    Last week, I had tremendous trouble keeping my bike in my lane due to the wind blowing left. I really had to drop speed down to 80k's and jump in the left most lane. I was leaning probably as much as I ever had on my bike, trying to keep it up.

    I've read a few things on body position and wasn't to sure especially when I've gotten two different bits of advice contradicting each other.

    1) Lean over the petrol tank, elbows in and lean as per needed.

    2) Let the wind flow through you, ride normally.

    Tried both, but still get pushed to the side like a St Kilda hooker after the jobs done.

    Would happily take any advice and guidance!
  2. I thought this was going to be a Fart thread...

    2) Let the wind flow through you ..

    Hang on.. theres hope!!
  3. I've been riding today in the fierce wind....and although there were times it got a bit intense - everything was fine....

    I suppose the best tip would be to ride normally - IE don't grip the bars like your hanging on for dear life, don't lock your body position (whether that be on the tank or upright)

    If a gust of wind hits you - keep the bike tracking straight and push your body into the gust - this will keep the bike straight without leaning it (y)
  4. From GreyBM via a recent wind thread;

    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.
  5. That's good advice chicken, the best thing I've found for me was this:

    1 - Try to remember that the wind will push you a lot more than it will push the bike, so if you are (as was said above), hanging on for dear life you will steer the bike away from the wind. So the wind pushes you, and you automatically steer the bike with you.

    2 - Ride along flapping your elbows like a chicken. This will force your arms to be less rigid on the bars, thus stopping you from steering the bike when you don't mean to (This technique is handy in cornering too ;) ).

    I ride the section of the freeway you're talking about all the time as I live in Point Cook so I know where you're coming from, doing these 2 things definitely helped me.

  6. Rode back from Apollo Bay in it yesterday. Got pushed across my lane by a gust once in the whole trip. Geelong Rd was fierce. I slowed down, tucked in and kept a loose grip. Hard work as I couldn't relax.
  7. Also try searching This has been covered many, many times and I am beginning to sound like a really old fart giving the same advice over and over
  8. I went searching for it too BM, thts why I quoted your advice from only 2 weeks ago that you gave ;)
  9. If the wind is blowing from the left, point your arse to the right and drop your guts to counter it.
  10. Eh!??
  11. Fart joke me thinks.
  12. Just relax completely. Your bike IS going to move around in generally windy conditions.
    If it's blustery, the bike will seem to move around alot more as it reacts to differing wind speeds. The higher the wind the more the bike is effected.

    It will invoke a countersteer, which you will need control. Smaller wind speeds require little to no action, but higher speeds will definitely requir some control input. In blustery conditions it's harder to manage, but you soon get the hang of it.

    If the wind is consistant, then it's an easy fix. The bike will lean in the direction of the wind. Just sit there, perhaps tuck down a bit as you lean into the crosswind, relax and apply a steady amount of pressure on the bar to negate it. ( just try to help things along. You cannot prevent it.

    Yep, sudden and strong gusts of wind, need to be 'managed'. You can't just sit there. :)
    So you need to be quick and alert to their presence. The bike is always going to move around under you, but let it happen and don't fight it with an expectation of preventing all motion of the bike. Counter the big ones, to reduce their effect though.

    Beyond that...enjoy the challenge of it all :)
    • Like Like x 2
  13. I believe he is referring to creating a "counter wind" :) Reverse thrust you might call it... A "strong southerly"...
  14. Thanks to Dionikin & GreBM I now have this image of you flying down the f/way with your knees stuck out flapping your arms like a chicken! :LOL:

    Not sure about the knee thing (am hoping Grey might expand on the idea) but loose on the bars is good.

    Rolkus, the way I read it I don't think those two ideas really contradict each other ... seems to me they might be suggesting to position your body so it streamlines with the bike to reduce wind resistance.
    (Always happy to be corrected if I've got this wrong).

    And this is going to be a bit bike dependant I'd have thought.
    Traveled that road on Mon & Tues and was reasonably windy, but was on 230+kg cruiser - just planted and stayed loose on the bars.

    On 140+kg sportie it's a lot different. 8-[
    I do tuck in over tank to try and streamline profile with bike, grip tank with knees and if it's blowing really hard lean into the wind. Actually, tbh I feel a bit more like ballast hanging off side of a boat leaning into the wind, positioned forward and slightly off to one side. Loose on bars.

    Was reading a little of Tony Foale's "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design" recently, he also touches on this in chapter 5-24, "steady state directional stability" in case that may be of interest too.

    Here's some pics:

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  15. Thanks for all this guys! I got caught on the Nepean Hwy yesterday afternoon and that was the hardest ride of life...
  16. Doh! I get it now. Ta mate! :)
  17. In a creaky voice- "back when I was a boy.........living in a paper bad in a septic tank...........":bolt:
  18. Septic tank? Luxury!!!

    Some people advocate stiking a knee out on the windward side. The theory as I understand it is that it acts slightly like a weather cock and the bike swings countering the affect of the wind.

    Some people swear by it but it has never done anything for me.
  19. ... loogsury! Loogsury!
  20. Turns outt, I was holding the handle bars, FAR too tightly.

    This morning I work up and heard the wind, and wasn't too impressed. It wasn't an issue riding down the freeway, just relaxing my grip a bit, seems to work, so it was fine!