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Wind on Eastern Freeway and East Link

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Eddo, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Gidday all

    First post.....really pleased to find this site.

    Just got my licence after being on the L's for 6 months and commute daily from Ringwood to Parkville via Eastlink and the Eastern freeway on my VTR 250.

    Love the bike but I wonder how many others have an issue with cross winds and being able to maintain a safe speed to keep up with the traffic on the freeway.

    I find the wind to be so bad heading home that I often find myself in the left hand lane doing around 80k hanging on for grim death with cars constantly cutting me off as I'm being overtaken. Often its damm unpleasant paticularly rounding the bend near the Doncaster Rd Exit. I'm a biggish bloke 90kg 6'2 etc and have tried to use a more lean forward riding position etc, which does help but feels rather unstable etc.

    I'm thinking the problem is mainly due to the light weight of the bike and perhaps an upgrade to a heavier LAMS approved bike such as the GS500 or CB 400 is the answer. Would the extra weight make that much of a difference? I read somewhere on the forums that the light weight of the VTR makes it more suited to twisties and general commuting rather than freeway stuff. Perhaps a fairing or screen would assist although I doubt it.

    Any tips or comments... would be most welcome.

    Regards to all

  2. Re: Eastern Freeway and East Link

    Relax your death grip on the handlebars is the number one thing.

    Crosswinds are a bugger but you do get a feel for them after a while, sometimes I found sticking my knee out helped!

    Oh and g'day
  3. ^^ As above mate... i know it goes against everything you feel like you should do, perhaps try it on a quieter day like a Sunday but if you're nice and relaxed on the bars you'll find crosswinds aren't nearly as butt-clenching. I can sympathise entirely, the first time i rode in a strong cross wind i was crapping myself, getting blown around, but then remembered to relax and they really aren't as bad as you think.
  4. you need to reeelax.
    i love the wind on my VTR, makes it interesting :grin:
    lets assume u have a crosswind, blowing from you left.
    gust hits you, and pushes the bike to the right.
    if your stiff on the bars, you will swerve right, and probably keep heading a bit right.
    reeeelax, and when the gusy hits you, the bike will kick out to the right underneath you, while you lean into the wind a bit.
    the end result is the bike is leaning to the left, but actually going straight ahead as the wind is counterbalancing the lean.
    as the gust stops, the bike should straighten up underneath you.
    maintain your speed if you can, it will make u alot safer from other vehicles, and just relax in the wind.
    expect a bit of travel with the bike, but adjust for it if need be, dont let other cars in your lane, keep a safe distance etc.
    another handy tip, is if its a crosswind from the left, get on the right side of a truck, and use it for wind protection. works wonders.
    just be careful that the driver is aware of you, and doesnt change lanes into you.
    be ready to accelerate away to get out of harms way if need be.

    just incase u havent picked it up yet, RELAX on the bars is the key feature here.
    you should be able to flap your elbows about like a chicken, without doing anything to the steering :p

    stay loose :wink:
  5. I think we need to add the topic "VTR250's and riding in the wind" on to the massive pile of oft repeated topics... :LOL:

    Plenty of tips about this sort of thing in the forums and you got some decent advice above. :)

    Oh and hi, welcome, you do have quite a decent bike there and please do go introduce yourself in the welcome lounge.


  6. Hi Eddo and welcome :grin:

    I've had my VTR for two and a half years. I've only ever been close to being blown off the road once on a trip through gippsland where I feared the worst.

    I'm only 55 kgs and tend to get blown around alot. Some days it's just tiring hanging on.

    As everyone else said here.. relax your arms and grip with your knees. Try not to stress too much. You've got a great learner bike there.
  7. Hi, I rode on the eastlink for the first time on my vtr over the weekend, I find that the more time I spent on it the more comfortable I got, and having read a few threads before the trip I tried to keep relaxed, I would be lying if I said I wasnt a little nervours about the whole thing, but by the end of the trip I was getting more comfortable, Im going to make myself get out on the freeway next weekend, just for practice!! Maybe a learner freeway/twisties ride might be on the cards?
  8. I have found that the wind is one of the hardest things to get used to.
    Apart from doing the things above, one of the things that has made the most difference is changing the jacket that I wear.
    The original jacket I got was a textile one that was a bit bulky and really caught the wind.
    Now I have bought an Alpine Star leather jacket which is a tighter fitting jacket and the wind just goes around me. Probably that and the better quality of this jacket has given me a lot more confidence.
  9. Hi Eddo,

    I commute to parkville each day aswell, via the eastern freeway and agree, the doncaster road corner on the way home is a killer.
    Im fairly new to riding aswell, and also struggled/still struggle with the wind on the freeway. I've read a number of threads on this site about riding in the wind and always keep a concious mind about keeping my death grip on the bars and loose as possible and i find gripping the tank with my legs helps. Sometimes, depending on the wind, i crouch down over the tank too during that particular corner.

    See you out there.


  11. I ignore the wind and find the bike leans but i keep going straight, if you get scared or stress out because of it your going to over steer compensating and go allover the road. just as everyone says RELAX and go limp'ish.

  12. Wind again...what is it with wind!...

    For those of you that are experiencing wind for the first few times, you are reacting to it too much...It might feel like it's going to blow you over, but actually it won't (unless it's alot stronger thatn your regular VERY windy day)

    You just are'nt used to the bike moving around under you...it 'feels' unstable, maybe even like you don't have control...but you do, and it's ok for the bike to move around - it's normal.
    So let it happen...stay loose in the arms and spine, and just go with the flow...feel free to move around a bit IN YOUR LANE if that's what happens. It's not necessary to ride a knife-straight line everywhere.

    Another week of experience in the wind and it's history...you'll know it by then, I reckon.

  13. Yeah just give it some time. I found the more you ride, the more you get used to the bike moving underneath you. It helps alot when you loosen yourself up on the bike, and let it do its thing.
  14. Gday Eddo and Welcome!!

    ok, so what everyone said so far is 101% spot on.. Take it from the worlds biggest worry wart Noob who travells to Doncaster heaps on that same stretch of road..(that was then this is now, sort of...), I posted a similar thread one day after crossing the Westgate Bridge when the speed was dropped to 40km/h due to wind and I honestly thought I was going to die (blown over the side as I was stuck in the far left hand lane - was thinknig about whether or not having a helmet on would keep me alive when I hit the water etc.. was farking stressfull at the time, but as Raven Said "whats with all the fuss etc")

    I took all the advice given to me on the various replies etc and sure enough, the bike stays up and after a while you almost enjoy it (if you can stay loose and avoid the SR's kicking in).. I still struggle with that sometimes if I get a gust of unexepcted wind etc)
  15. Kermit, think of that unexpected gust that catches you off guard sometimes, as just like an unexpected bump in the road...
    It unsettles the bike, and may grab your attention etc, but just keep on riding and it's fine mate. :)

  16. I ride the Monash/Eastlink a lot and I know what you mean about wind, those roads can be nasty wind tunnel.

    Everyone has given great advise and the most important point is to RELAX your grip on the bars.
    I like to make a mental effort to relax my hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders then back in a sort of meditation like thing... it works for me ;P

    Also you might find that gripping the tank with your knees a little tighter while relaxing your handlebar input helps you feel more in control when the bike starts to move around under you in the wind.

    Take it easy, relax and enjoy

  17. I ride a 220 kg, Blackbird XX, You should have been on the toy run.
    1st and 2nd gear across the West Gate Brige, Screaming cross wind,
    My bike was all over the road, At very low speeds like that, the bird is very top heavy and unstable. Out on the highway, at speed, I can be leaning at nearly 45 degrees and still riding in a straight line,
    Just relax and let the bike move under you, after a while you will get the hang of it, It will come to you naturally,
    But, do not fight it,
    Just be carefull when riding through trees and buildings, a cross street or when the trees end, will give you a blast of cross wind that you might not expect, and can move you sideways quite a bit, always keep a fair bit of room between you and what ever else is beside you, just in case,
  18. yup wot they say.... relax,

    I dont think getting a bigger lams bike will help all that much in fact if you get the GS500F, all that fairing adds to the 'sail area' of your bike and will probably make the problem worse.

    you'll be ok on the VTR

  19. It's pretty much all been said. Unless it's Cyclone Tracy wind is more a state of mind and the main danger is if you over react to it.

    However until you are comfortable with it, there is a few things you can do to either lessen the effect or give yourself more room to woble.

    Be aware that as you pass large objects e.g. bridge pylons, walls, hedges, trucks etc you will pass from being in the wind, to in a wind shadow and back in the wind again. If you are aware and anticipate you will not be surprised and not be as sh!t scared when it happens.

    If you are on a freeway with a safety lane, you can use that to give you more room around you. Ride in the lane next to the safety lane and within your lane ride in the wheel track closest to the safety lane. That way if you do wobble you will have all of the safety lane on one side and three quarters of your lane on the other as a buffer from hitting solid objects. Just don't ride so close to the safety lane that some cager thinks he can split your lane with you.

    Obviously only do that if it is safe to do so and as always if there is a safer position to be in, go there.

    With time and experience you will get used to wind. It may still be a nuisance but it won't be a worry.
  20. I used to commute using Eastlink and some days are worse than others. I think the biggest problem with that road is because it is new and built on a lot of open farmland you don't get any windbreaks which can cause any crosswinds to whip across the freeway. Other freeways like the Monash are built up on both sides with high soundproof fences so the wind is more likely to be disturbed.