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Freeway riding

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by outtalive, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. Been on the road for a few weeks now and quite comfortable on main roads, kicking along at 80 but only been hitting the freeway the past few days and I tell ya I don't feel entirely comfortable with it.

    Last night for instance I was heading down the South Eastern to Oakleigh to pay a vist to a few mates. Was about 10/10:30 so barely any cars around but two things were making me uncomfortable, 1) It seemed like i was riding into the wind the whole way - felt like I was being buffeted from side to side in my lane and 2)On some of those stretches between burke rd and warrigul rd you really have to go the lean which normally I'd like cept for the fact that there are heaps of tyre sized gouges in the road that felt bad to ride over, gave me the impression they might slide the bike out from under me or send me into a wobble then highside.

    So my question is did a lot of you guys feel the same way the first few times on the freeway? Or is it a symptom of having a bike that's not strictly speaking fully-faired (GPX250), has bad suspension etc?
  2. I know exactly what you mean they're scary if you get into them, secret is treat them like tram tracks! Try to avoid them & remeber where they are. Best thing is to ring vicroads & report them to get them to fix them. I did with the one between the overpass for the FTG Rd on ramp & the overpass for Springy Rd & they've since filled it!
  3. Having the GPX and bad suspensions would have a lot to do with it. It wasn't especially windy last night (if my memory is correct?) and most of that section of the Monash is quite protected on the sides.

    Have you ridden out in the country area's at 100km/h and experienced this also, or was this the first time at that speed.

    The wind speed force on you can be quite substantially more at 100km/h than 80km/h so if it's your first time at that speed perhaps it was more that is was a strange sensation to you other than the buffeting.

    As a tip on the buffeting factor - don't fight it. You will get moved around slightly in your lane (quite a lot when it is windy) and fighting it will make your riding style suffer. Allow the bike to shift in the lane when a gust takes you, and then adjust appropriately. Ride in the right-hand side of lane if wind is coming from the right, left side if wind coming from left to allow for space in movement. I'm on a heavy 800, and it's not uncommon for me and bike to be blown/pushed half way across a lane on windy days when gusts hit.
  4. You do get moved around a heap on a faired or semi faired 250. I found the same thing on the Across when I first rode it at 100kmh on the freeway in even a reasonably light wind, I hated it. In a heavy wind it moves heaps. I'm looking forward to a bigger bike but still expecting it to move a fair bit. On the weekend 4 of us went on the "Easy ride out west.." in a reasonably strong wind. The two faired 250's were leaning 5-10% in the sidewind in order to go straight. You do get used to it but it takes some time. My first few rides in the wind I got sore arms and wrists from gripping too tight, relax a bit and correct your position as Jason described.
  5. I often suffer from buffeting, being of the tall and slightly built variety of rider. I must admit, I don't notice the wind through that particulr section of the freeway, however, further out the wind can be a problem at times. When I'm riding in metro areas and the wind is a problem, I just tuck in as low as I can behind the screen. I also pay attention to where cars around me are so that if a gust does catch me unawares I can take the appropriate action.

    There are other times (and most of the other Hall's Gap riders can attest to this, I think, after Saturday!) where I will tend to take the whole road to adjust to the buffets. The wind was soooo bad for me at a few stages on Saturday, that I had to back right off the speed cos I was having trouble keeping rubber on the road (very frustrating, I can promise you....the boys were getting too far away :evil: ).

    When its windy, you need to allow for the turbulence created by other vehicles as well. Think of trucks, buses and even some 4WDs.

    :D :D :D
  6. I love it.

    The buffeting wind tends to push the bike around underneath me, so all of a sudden I'm leaning over, then the gust backs off and i'm up straight again.

    I don't know whether it's me doing it instinctively or if it happens automatically.

    I hate the wind buffeting on my head though... that gets tedious.

    I ride an unfaired 250 Sports bike...
  7. You stated you had a GPX and bad suspension thats a shocking and dangerous mix on that bike for a beginner. If your suspension needs work get it fixed real soon.

    Highway, high speed, open road riding becomes easier with time. It hurts to think back to my first experience 20+years ago :cry: but even now i still have problems. Last weekend 3000km the worst wind was 80kph with gust up to 120kph now thats fun at the best of times, but try it with a pillion at 130kph.
    My tyres are chewed on one side from the wind, my lower back is in agony (from holding the bike in place) and my neck hurts from the wind beating me up all the time. Thats normal stuff though.

    your two points (1) feeling like a head wind and buffeted side to side that's normal at that speed, plus the GPX windscreen throws the wind right at your helmet for added fun.
    (2) Riding on a lean and hitting gouges, the idea is to miss the gouges but if you cant have faith in the bike, it will ride over the gouges normally with just a thud and slight motion.

    The GPX is a good bike, it wont do you to wrong but as i said above they get dangerous with dodgy suspension so if it has then get it fixed.
  8. I'm with Rodez, first thing I did when I got my bike was get on the nearest Freeway and fang it. Your going to cop winds from time to time anywhere you go so theres no point stressing about it, best thing is to ge used to it (try wearing earplugs, as I just discovered they really help a lot).
    Oh yeah and I've never owned a faired bike in my life
  9. Sorry shabby, I didn't mean that the suspension is damaged on my bike or anything but just that GPXs as a model of bike have generally hard suspension - from reviews I've read and from more experienced riders telling me their thoughts on on GPXs.

    It is a problem tho that the windcreen does throw the wind straight into my face, earplugs might help, or I've seen some helmets have an tachment at the chin to keep wind out (Arais I recall but I might be able to get an accessory for my KBC VR1.

    I suppose any future freeway riding I do will involve staying low behind the windscreen and letting the bike right itself a bit more with the wind. Trying to control it too much did tire my arms and made me a bit tense - wouldn't have helped my cornering at all.
  10. The wind really worried me the first 10 or so times I rode that section of the Monash - and believe me, it's much worse coming over the Bolte - but with a bit more experience I've learned to relax and enjoy those sorts of speeds and the wind that comes with them.

    As for those cracks in the road, keep them in mind when choosing your cornering line, but don't stress too much; even when leaned a fair way over I've never felt one make me slip.
  11. Hey the GPX is a great alrounder bike, not the most powerfull out there but still a good bike. The suspension on the GPX is notorious for failing though and when that happens there a bad bike.

    Earplugs are a good idea on any bike, an average helmet from memory at around 120kph produces 120db of noise, there's a good reason for ear protection to be worn. MRA windscreens do a doog aftermarket windscreen for all the GPX series not to badly priced that aims the wind a bit higher so it does'nt slam your helmet around to.

    As most of us said it will come with time, fighting it to much does end in a sore body :LOL: relax, get used to the feel of being blown around and in a short while you will think nothing to much about it