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Highway riding

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Superunknown, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. I've been riding for a little over a week now and i have just worked up the confidence to venture out onto the highways. I have been up and down the local freeway a few times and i have a few questions.

    1. The bike (hyosung gt250) feels unstable. At below 90km/hr she feels alright. At 90 she feels alright-ish... a little skittish and squermy. But once i get into the 100-110 sorta speed the bike feels all jittery and loose. It's controlable but slightly alarming at the same time. The second and third points are probably related/causing this.

    2. The bloody buffeting. I've never ridden a faired bike, but on my naked the amount of buffeting i get in the chest and head is unnerving, the first 110 stint i did i thought i was gonna fly off the back. I'm so glad i'm wearing close-fitting leather not some lose cordura or mesh stuff. Is there anyway of dealing with this... hunch over, tense your stomach and hold on with your knees, or use he handlebars to help you stay on. I suspect i'm holding on to the handle bars too tightly and the buffeting is upsetting the bike.

    3. Lane position. Now i gather you are always ment to ride in the car wheel tracks. so either on the left or right side of the lane, away from the oil and muck in the centre. This applies generally on any road right? On the highway i don't feel safe on the inside wheel track (ie, right side of the left lane or vice versa.) Common sense tells me i should ride there so i can see around the cars and stop people only "half overtaing" me and cutting into my personal space. I never see any of the other riders on the outside wheel tracks. Not even the postie bike doing 10km/hr under the limit. Basically where should i be riding im my lane?


  2. 1. loosen up
    2. you'll get use to it.
    3. ride anywhere in your lane for highways they should be pretty clean and your traveling in a straight line anyway.
  3. When riding on the freeway i ride in the center of the lane and in the right hand lane if i can.
    Reasons being (as i see it), the traffic is always moving on freeways so there isnt much oil build up in the center of lanes as there would be at traffic lights for example. Cars wont be tempted to try and take over your lane or space if you are also in the center of the lane. I sit in the right hand lane because it offers me an escape route if needed (the emergency lane).

  4. :shock: I'm going to agree with Cleverlie.. :? :p

    1. Relax. Don't grip the bars so tight. Let the bike do its thing underneath you.

    2. Buffeting is something you'll have to get used to on a naked.

    3. Dual lane, dual carriageway? IN GENERAL, ride in the wheel track closest to the centre of the road, for the lane you are in (ie, right wheel track for left lane, left wheel track for right lane).
  5. The handlebars are for operating the controls, not holding onto the bike. Always grip with your knees. And you can reduce the effects of the wind on you by crouching down a bit more.

    But always remembering to grip with your knees not your hands. Take it from someone who crashed because of it!
  6. You say it like its bad.
  7. i've clocked up 300k's on the freeway, sittong on 100/110 at first was scary as!!! but after 20 minutes i calmed down and its great and i don't have a worry at all.. just in the wet on the free way i think will always be alarming.

    i get thrown around a bit on my bike (cbx250) but i'm use to it now and it doesn't worry me at all :) ... when coming in to wind the bike struggles to stay above 100, but after 20 seconds of full throttle it decides to speed up lol.
  8. Well done! It can be a bit scarey the first time.

    Yeah - most likely you're holding on too tight. Also check your tyre pressures. Mine feels kinda doughey when it's out.

    I've only ever ridden a naked bike once. I took it on the freeway, got blasted to bits, then decided I'm glad I own a faired bike! I'm guessing though, that if you change your attitude - "fantastic to feel the wind" it might help. A lot of naked bikes can also have a screen attached if you find it too much. I know the VTR250 has that option.

    That's a general guideline - a place to start. Right wheel track of left lane, left wheel track of right lane... However, as with any road, you need to override that if you're affected by road conditions, visibility "Can they see me". etc.

    Some riders will sway a little when there's no apparent condition to avoid. I've certainly done this and usually it's because there's a cross wind and no reason to fight it by keeping it in a perfectly straight line - let the bike sway if it wants - if it's safe. Generally you'll end up back in the wheel track you started.

    I'll also move over while a vehicle (especially truck) is right beside me, either overtaking or coming from the opposite direction. I'll claim my lane so they're encouraged to stick to their own lane, then move to the other side of my lane incase they sway.
  9. Try leaning forward as much as you can to reduce the amount of body area the wind can hit, this should help stabilise you a bit, well i know it does on my bike.
  10. Having ridden the exact bike you are, get used to it. The Hyosung is exactly as described, and it didn't matter what I did as the rider, it was always unstable and didn't feel like I was totally in control. Buffeting resulted in massive position changes on the road, and you just need to get used to the characteristics of your bike and you will learn how to ride it as best it can be. "You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear"!
  11. Just be happy you QLD L-platers aren't restricted to 80 like we are here :)
  12. i have the faired version of that bike and i can say that i feel rock solid at 100k's, and i see being buffeted by the wind as a bit of a challenge, something to learn to anticipate if possible, and its just a bit more fun i can have on my bike that the cagers miss out on.
  13. As everybody else has said, just relax your grip on the bars. A light touch is all that's needed. As you get a few more k's under your belt you'll get more comfortable and understand how to make the bike do what you want without using big inputs grabbing the bars like grim death.

    As for buffeting and movement, first ride home after getting my first bike (GPX250) included a 15min section on a 100kmh road, my biggest memory of which was going "Jesus H. Christ!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:) The wind was incredible. But after a short amount of time I got used to it, relaxed and had a ball. :twisted:

    Seriously, the best advice is just to relax on the bike, and just flow with it. Helped me no end.
  14. :LOL:
    Now that's out of the way,
    Thanks a heap everyone. You've all given some things to ponder. I'll try to relax more and keep reminding myself to grip with the knees and steer with arms.

    Never considered the quality of the bike... but it is a factor i suppose. I'm glad the problem is possibly not all my fault.

    I will get used to the buffeting but i was wondering if there are any way's to reduce it... Apart from hunching it dosn't look like it. OK, I'll deal.

    And the lane position thing... I will try to stick to the "inside" tyre track on two lane roads... and on the highway as Jamie said there is probably not alot of oil around so i can have a little more space toward the centre of the lane if i need it.

    Heh, fiddling with tyre and suspension set ups... I'm no where near that level. I just make sure they have enough tyre tred and are inflated to the correct pressure.

    Thanks a heap for all the replies. I'm sure i'll come up with a few more Q's sooner or later. For the moment I'll plan some more riding and try to contrubte some more to the forums.
  15. Grip tank with legs, let body relax so its not a sail. Loose grip. Lean on tank as necessary.
  16. Yep, as said before you just need to relax and loosen up. The wind and speed is causing you to tense up and hold the bars too tight which is causing your handling problems. Grip with your knees and keep your arms and hands loose and limp (like a well cooked piece of asparagus). Gripping with your knees will also reduce the feeling that the wind will blow you off. Remember, there's no way the wind will blow you off the bike anyway so don't stress about it. If the wind is annoying you, you can always get down low and lean over the tank. You'll feel like a dork but it does help. :)

    As for lane position, the oil is only a problem at intersections where cars are stopped and leaking for extended periods. On the freeway it's not an issue. :)
  17. It's all been said. Follow the advice given and all will be well.

    Stay in the wheel ruts though if you can, what Seany says about oil is pretty much correct, but I would just add that in the wet even the highway can be slippery in the middle of the lane.
  18. If at any time the bike feels 'strange'

    check the tire pressures!

    The cause of most 'strange feelings' and many crashes!
  19. earplugs are a must! especially on highways.
  20. I havn't been out on the highway long enough to realise that it's deafening, i'm too focused on other things. But the idea of riding around with earplugs creeps me out, the same way riding or driving with earbud speakers does. I know in my car i always drive with the window down and the sound helps me keep track of where other traffic is (mainly when it's in my blind spot). i know you can't hear as well in a helmet but still... i'd like to use all my senses when i'm riding.

    Valid reasoning?