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High Wind Areas - eg: Westgate Bridge

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Knightrider, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Anyone got any advice on how to ride through high wind areas?

    Picture this:

    Motorbike, rider, and bag - a total of 200kgs. High cross wind on the Westgate Bridge (Melbourne). Wind socks at both ends of bridge horizontal and full. Rider packing shyte cos getting blown towards the guard rail. Petrified of kissing guard rail with body. OMG!! Can't pull over!! Truck coming up behind me!! Holy freaking crapola daddy!! 8-[

    Some serious counter-steering and stooping down low onto tank just to get through the ordeal!! [-o<

    So, any tips?? :|

  2. Have encountered that same problem time and time again.

    66kg biker and 150kg, i just ride slow and lean against the wind. Oh and also keep the bike in the cnetre-lan to allow for any unforseen swaying :wink:
  3. lean into the wind and be prepared for any sudden windshifts or a truck that may block the wind.
    I also sometimes stick out my knee into the wind and it acts like a sail and helps stabilise an otherwise treacherous situation.
    Take it slowly and don't panic and you'll be fine.
  4. Be alert not alarmed.

    You can ride through it quite easily, just dont panic.
    Duck in under the screen and be prepared for a sudden forced lane change.

    The knee/s out trick works well too.
  5. The wind can be tough. Some things you can try
    - keep the revs up, go down a gear if necessary.
    - relax your grip on the bars (no white knuckles) Doesn't sound right but the logic in this is that you do not introduce as many small corrections in your steering by directly feeding back what the bike is feeling on the road.
    - accept that the bike is going to move so you cannot maintain a perfect line, try to keep in about half a lane of where you want to be, the left hand side, right hand side or middle.
    - when the bike does move 1 metre left quickly, take your time to get that metre back, no drastic and sudden course changes to recover

    The chances of the wind blowing you over or knocking you too far off course are reasonably slim. Ride in the wind often enough and you will find you hardly even notice it. Just a matter of time and confidence to overcome this.
  6. What Vic says is correct... minimise the amount of area by keeping low and that also minimises the leverage of the wind on your upper body.

    Light bike with full fairings tend to suffer this problem the worst, so if you are looking at doing the West Gate bridge commute every day you might consider that as a factor when you purchase your next bike.

    Heavy unfaired bikes suffer least... cruisers and retros.
  7. ABC news reported that a motorcyclist was thrown 10 metres off of the Westgate last night. :cry:

    Catapulted over the barrier onto Kings Way

  8. Condolences to family & friends. Didn't say what the cause was eg car etc!

    When I had probs with riding in the wind Michael from MTA advised me that velocity overcomes graviity! keep the bike moving forward allow enough room in your lane to compensate for movement eg ride in the right if wind in coming from the right to give you room to blown left. Try to take a route that is more wind protected, or try to ride beside a wind brake such as a truck or a bus if on a dual carriageway!

    Just heard on the radio that we lost anoother rider last night in Cheltenham condolences there also!
  9. I definately don't agree with the advice to ride along side a large vehicle. Yes it may provide some wind protection but be aware that these vechicles due to their size can move as well but most importantly they may not know you are there.
    If you are riding with no vehicles to the left or right of you then if the wind moves you into another lane, no drama.
  10. Going up beside a large vehicle is a BAD IDEA.....

    I was leading Knightrider at the time. Thought pulling up beside a semi and trailer might act as a bit of a wind break for Robyn but as I got closer the turbulance around the truck buffeted me around like a rag doll. Backed off pretty quick there.......not the best place to be and especially not for someone who si still coming to grips with dealing with the wind.

    Probably the worst part about last night the same large semi trailer came hammering up the middle lane as we merged into the left lane from the williamstown onramp. Carrying a huge gust of wind with it that slammed into us. My guess is that is what caused the alarm initally.

    To her credit Robyn held it together and came out on top of the situation.

    Best to try and give youreself as much room from other vehicles as possible, so if you are blown around you have a much bigger safety margin to compensate for the wind and then gradually correct.

    Also be aware of any breaks in wind breaks at the side of the road, such as a gap in trees or gap between buildings like an intersection. These can act as wind tunnels and focus more wind down a small corridor. Usually they are easy to pick and prepare for. Also the fans and air intakes in the citylink tunnels can be a surprise if you aren't expecting them for the same reason.
  11. when u feel you bike being pushed sideways by the wind just turn into it..
  12. You mean lean into it.
    I can't imagine turning into a crosswind on the westgate bridge without tragic consequences.
    :) :?
  13. Turning into to wind felt like the most natural thing to do, so I did. Was still scared to death though....
  14. Seems you ended up doing 3 new things on the bike last night rather than just to two we planed, Westgate Bridge, Citylink Tunnel and Westgate with a fairly stiff beeze. Adding that to your first time lanesplitting earlier that day, I'd say you had a pretty successful day on the bike.
  15. Go faster :)

    in all seriousness, i find it more comfortable to be doing 160km/h in 100km/h crosswinds, compared to riding at 100km/h.. I did that out on open country road a few years ago, riding back from Drouin one night. I found i was not been pushed across the lane quite as easy compared to riding at 100km/h, unfortunately, you cannot do 160 over the westgate. Just need to relax and dont worry too much about it and just lean a lil into the wind.
  16. I don't beleive you [-( . All those ads on TV indicate that speed kills. Speed equals less safe and death. Certainly you must be jesting! :^o

    On this advice though also a warning - speed cameras do operate on the west gate bridge and they do take pics from behind.
  17. Yer 2 sets of cameras only take pics from behind one on the east side the other on the west.
    They stand out like dog's balls.
    What you can do is go fast till you reach the camera then slow down to the posted limit just before you go over the strips then you can speed up again.
    If you get caught by those cameras then you deserve to be fined.

  18. Yer me too, I'm taking that with a grain of salt.
  19. I have been travelling over the West Gate bridge for the past 7 weeks.
    I commute from Wheelers Hill to Williamstown. 5 to 6 or even 7 days a week. The wind can be strong, fortunately my bike alone weights 220kg.
    But I believe that it is true that speed helps.
    I encounter minor problems trvelling at 40 or 50 km per hour, over that speed, I have no problems at all. Remember that a speeding ticket is better than not seeing the "postie" at all the next day!!!.
    Watch out for cameras if you can, but otherwise, keep your speed up and revs. down.