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How to ride in high wind area? seek advices

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by ericgao, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Hi, all. i just got my license and bike a month ago. I frequently travel from wollgong to sydney for uni staff. On the freeway to sydney, wind is horrible. Sometimes it blows me off 30-50 cm away from original track. It is really scarry. Just imagine that it blows me to another lane, while another car is side by side at 100k/per hour. Sometimes i had to slow down to 80km/hour in 110 limit zone. Is zzr 250 too light? will bigger mikes handle much better in high wind area? Any ride tips to tackle riding in the high wind area? Thanks

  2. Some suggestions:
    * Change down a gear - higher rpm will tend to make your bike stand up more and resist laying down
    * Speed up (a bit) - again this seems to make the wind have less impact as your forward momentum increases
    * If its gusty, be careful lane splitting or passing other vehicles :wink: the other vehicles can temporarily mask you from the effect of the wind so be prepared for it to come on and off as you pass.

    When I had the 250, I felt that the wind pushed the top of the bike with the wheels fixed to the ground. It was worst when stationary at the lights with a cross wind, full fairings in a cross wind could be tricky.
    Now with the 1000 (which is a bit heavier), I feel that the whole bike slips sideways - I blame the stock tyres for that. It does certainly feel more planted at the lights though.

    Now high wind and rain, there is a fun combo...
  3. One of the considerations buying a naked bike was the fact that I was out on a zzr250 & the wind from a passing truck moved me way of track :eek: but in saying that, probably isn't a huge difference with or without a faring.

    I find I get blown around quite a bit being light, on a lightish bike (I too hope a bigger bike will help - even considered putting a brick in my pillion pack :wink: )

    On the 100kmph streches huddling down behind the biniki faring helps a little. On the straights I change my line a little to compensate incase I get moved across the white line (has happened :cry:). Also coming in & out between shelters (hillsides etc) just have to be braced for the wind on/wind off effect. Cornering when I'm trying to lean & the wind is standing me upright just have to be more forceful.

    But I'm no expert - thats just what I do :)
  4. PS - my experience only relates to country road riding too ........

    pps - standing at traffic lights (not flat footed) is interesting when the wind catches you too :shock:
  5. An other thing to concider is that a sports bike ZZR, CBR, Accross (Especially Accross) presents a larger cross section to side winds, than a lower slung turing bike (Varago) it also has a higer CoG which means that as you get tipped by the wind you start having to fight gravity as well.

    So in high wind low slung is better.
  6. Strong winds may seem bad now but with enough practice/experience you'll find they're not that bad, even on a 250. One tip I was given which seemed to work was to stick a knee out in the direction the wind is coming from. I think this works by teaching you to shift your weight on the pegs rather than rely on the bars (which tends to make you over-correct). You should find that it won't take long before you can keep the bike stable without moving your knee at all (it worked for me).
  7. Im not keen on riding in the wind, on a 250 i get blown all over the place.
    I always cock my head towards the wind, must looked weird :oops:
  8. aight, next fine non windy day, while riding along a fair long straight road.

    i want you to (seriously) get to the centre of your lane, then gently (i said gently) push (or maybe put a little bit of pressure on) your right handlebar then let it ease off. you will notice that your bike will want to lean right. do the same thing push a little on the left and feel the bike lean left .. you are experiencing counter stearing. wind wont bother you too much again.

    same applies with throwing your bike through twisties.
  9. Thanks, lotus 7, blackbetty, faclon-lord, jd and sen ney.
    i will try to stick my knees towards the wind to see whether it works for me tonight.
    ANother thing pussled me is that i can not see far enough at night. When i drive my car on the same route at night, there is no problem for me to handle all the curve at 120 kph. But i found the visibility of curves of road is sigfinacntly dereased when i ride on the freeway at night. i have to turn on high beam to get a better vision and slow down of course. DOes it happen to you guys. THanks for all warm reply.
  10. I find the light on the bike is not as bright as the car, thay with a visor aswell does make it a llittle bit harder to see further into the distance.
  11. There's nothing you can really do about it :(
    I'm pretty light myself and on the baby cbr i get blown around a bit expecially on the freeways but eventually you learn to lean into the wind and pretty soon it becomes fun when you're getting some good lean angles in a straight line :grin:
  12. The biggest thing you can do is....relax.

    Like riding in the rain, relaxing is important. When wind hits you, you will be forced a little offline. If you are solid as a rock, that wind deflection might result in a steering input, further adding to a a forced change of direction.

    Try to maintain a steady speed. Probably back off a little, but ride at the sort of speed you would normally. Bikes, even nakeds (and small ones) do work well at speed. The natural stability created by gyroscopic effects mean that it really would take a strong gust to move you a large distance. It feels much worse than it is. The slower you go, the more unstable you will become.

    Lane position is common sense. Although you might only get moved a few inches, if you ride at either extreme, those inches might make a difference.

    On another point, aerodynamic forces can be more of a problem with faired bikes than nakeds, mainly due to the wind sticking to the smooth fairing.

    Of all the inclement conditions, I prefer riding in strong winds than hard, cold, nasty wet rain.
  13. the light on my VTR was hopeless on low beam :( have had riders behind me use their high beam just so I can see the road! Having said that - I have checked its position (was facing downwards too much) checked the lamp (is fairly strong) & now ride on high beam at night 'cos there's no street lamps on my way home ........

    Also - now always change my tinted visor to clear at night :)
  14. Definately had that problem before - probably has much to do with the fact that headlights on most 250s are designed for the Japanese market, where the maximum speed limit is 80kph. I have no trouble riding at 100-110 with high-beam, but on remote rural roads where streetlighting is nonexistent I've found that it's just not safe to try and ride faster than 80kph on low-beam (since there's just not enough time to react to potholes, gravel etc.). I usually find in such situations it's easier to just follow a car.
  15. As has been said previously, relax! It may seem difficult at first with a gusty wind, but you will find that by relaxing and going with it rather than fighting it, it will feel a lot smoother.

    For a constant wind you need to lean into it a little bit. Feels funny on a corner when you are still upright but making the bend :grin:

    I have had both naked and faired bikes, and the naked one were much better in the wind.
  16. just be calm and relax. Just take your time and dont fight the wind. you will find once you get on the bigger bikes it isnt as bad.. Good luck and stay safe !! :grin:
  17. Mate i rode 37000ks last year and i seemed to pick every windy gusty and rainy day ! Obviousley ride with a greater distance to any side traffic, i find that a slighty higher gear and a bit more speed help use more body input and less steering that helps (i think it does anyway) some one said hang your leg , yep give it a shot , tuck in to reduce surface area and for sure watch when overtaking for the increase in cross wind.
    Good luck as i know maddens plains very well and fark it can get windy !!
  18. My experience was different. I went from a semi-faired bike to a fully faired one, and the effect of cross-winds increased dramatically.
    To the extent that this was one factor in choosing the S3.
    I'm sure this varies from model to model, but in general I think unfaired bikes are more stable in relation to cross-winds. (head-winds, that's another story).
    Weight probably makes a bigger difference, tho'.
    I've seen chookchasers at a 20 degree lean just to try and stay straight :shock:
  19. Yeah, relax. If you are stiff, the wind will move you around a lot more. If I relax, I find the wind pushes the bike across under me, causing it to lean into the wind and self-correct.

    On country roads, keep an eye out for things beside the road (trees, buildings) that block the wind. Often what seems to be gusty conditions is simply the result of riding past windbreaks that interrupt the prevailing wind, so that you are riding from relatively low wind areas into higher wind areas. With a bit of practice you can often anticipate the changes in windstrength. The bass Highway to Phillip island is particularly so in parts.
  20. Well I have been learning the hard way, just get out there and do it. I have no choice as the bike is now my sole form of transport.

    The first time I rode in strong winds was along Beach Road with a 20 - 30 knot wind straight of the bay :shock: I held on for dear life and when I got home felt like I had gone ten rounds with Sugar Ray Leonard.

    Read some tips on here and spoke to a few riders at work, key things I changed grip with my legs and relax on the bars.

    Also made sure that I rode on the edges of the lane rather than over the oil also as the wind was coming from my left I stayed in the left lane on the left side of it so if I was pushed across it was only back into the centre of the lane.

    Now whilst wind still pushes me around a fair bit I am a lot more comfortable with it. So simple message relax and enjoy your'e on a bike :grin: