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Wind Wobble on the Freeway

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Asura, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Last weekend I did my first longish ride (Melbourne down to Rosebud on the Penninsula) and also had my first taste of 80kmh on the freeway.

    Even though it wasn't a very windy day I noticed a significant amount of increaced wind pressure when travelling at 80 when compared to my normal commuting speed. It seemed to be pulling the bike around a bit. It maybe only shifted me a foot or so inside my lane, but it was a bit un-nerving.

    I ride a VTR250 so no faring and relatively lightweight. I suspect that I'm holding on too tight and letting wind gusts on my torso transmit through the handlebars. Does that sound right or is a bit of buffetting at higher speeds to be expected?

    Any advice appreciated folks.
  2. tis normal. Wait til you ride on a really windy day and you get pushed all over the road.
  3. You are correct. Holding on too tight on a windy day will mean that every wind gust results in a steering input.

    As hard as it is, relax and keep up a reasonable pace. You will find that the slower you go, the worse (to an extent) it will feel.

    Just ride at neither extreme of the lane, be prepared for the gust but don't anticipate it by holding on tighter. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if you hold on too tight.

    Riding in the wind can actually be fun as you gain a certain amount of satisfaction at overcoming yet another obstacle.
  4. Do the small bikes wobble like that even at 80 km/h? Hmmm .... it's been a while, I forget.

    yes but certainly it's best to relax, just like when driving you shouldn't grip the steering wheel too tightly also when riding. In the latter, make sure your elbows are not rigid ... in fact, it's good practice to flex them now and then, to remind you to not have them tight.
  5. Yeah, I thought rain was bad but strong wind is worse IMHO.

    Grip with your knees and lean against the wind. I try and tuck in as much as I can as well.

  6. Another really bad feeling is when you are passing a semi on the freeway at 100kph on a windy day. As you poke your nose out past the front of the truck you get one hell of a gust.
  7. You do 80 on the freeway, what are you trying to do get killed?
  8. Eventhough I'm on a bike the same size I dont find that my bike wobbled that much on light wind day.

    As other riders said before, dont hold on too tight to the handle bars.

    I have ridden on days where it's like horizontal tropical rain. I was drenched afterwards.
  9. Is there a difference in the degree of wind impact if you're on a big bike vs small bike?

    What about a large body mass+big bike vs the opposite, and naked vs faired?
  10. You will notice on the big touring bikes a la BMW, they are quite heavily faired with big screens this helps them cruise on freeways easier.

    Fairings help divert air around the bike.
    Same with ducking down behind the screen (think motoGP riders when they hammer down the straights trying to get as aerodynamic as possible).

    Body mass has less to do with it, if your relaxed and not steering the bike by getting blown by the wind...in any case it will come with experience and hopefully you don't encounter really strong cross winds. I heard its really bad up in the Northern Territory.
  11. Ok, 80kph, the wind buffeting isnt that great. Try going faster and see how much buffetting exists.

    The best place for buffetting on a bike is coming out of the Burnley or Domain tunnels. The bike always shudders then.

    Try to lean slightly into the wind, relax your arms, tuck in slightly and hope ofr hte best.

    You can always look at getting a windscreen (I have one) or a bikini fairing (Nibor has one) and they both reduce the amount of buffeting you receive.

    I test rode an Aprilia Tuono a couple of weeks ago and there was less buffeting on it at $1.40 than there is on my VTR250 at $1.20.
  12. RELAX is the key, become one with the bike don't fight the bike. Sounds a bit wanky but having ridden from the city to mornington for over two years every type of weather this was the best advice given to me very early on by Grobs.

    When it is really windy I also sometimes point my knee into the wind, that seems to help.

    But yep get used to it mate, it's half the fun of riding on a nice day! :LOL:
  13. [​IMG]
    Pete! you DICK! that's the second time this week I've almost choked.
    Asura - as others have said, relax your grip, grip the tank, lean into the wind, make your footprint smaller ( crouch ) .. and pray :wink:
  14. I had one weird experience with cross-winds. I was on the freeway heading to Ballarat. I had strong crosswind from the right so I had to lean into the wind to keep going straight. Then the freeway had a left sweeping turn. I was still leaning right to go left. I was like WTF!!!! I'm still leaning abit to the right and I'm going left........
  15. Try riding to Geelong from the City... hit the Western Ring Road interchange and lean left, more so as you go past the "Laverton Grass Lands".

    On a 250 you'll get pushed around a bit, on the bigger bikes you'll generally feel the wind but not move around so much. On the Strom it can get warm in summer as you don't have that much airflow over you.
  16. Mate, I remember when I first started riding (April last year) I had the same feeling. I remember riding home doing 100 and crossing the river at Murrumba Downs and near shitting myself because of the buffeting.

    Now I ride over that bridge twice a day (to and from work) without a worry. It's a new rider thing, and only k's on the clock will cure it.

    The advice given about not gripping too tightly with your hands and gripping the tank with your knees tucked in is valid though. Helped me anyway.

    Not sure about the ducking advice, where the f**k are you gonna duck on a VTR250? Behing the speedo? :p
  17. The faster you go, the higher the wind pressure, so the more likely you are to feel the effects of that wind or airflow.
    It's all perfectly normal...you just have to get used to it, and RELAAAAAX. :)

    The effect can different for every bike, and rider combination.

  18. Yeah! That's what I did! Didn't work terribly well, wrapping m'self 'round the fueltank like that, but it helps a bit when you're riding into really strong headwinds at speed.

    Adding a small windshield/"flyscreen"/bikini fairing to hide behind really really helps with that though.
  19. Same same. On Nepean Hwy coming from the city, just as you go past the car dealerships before the train overpass at Gardenvale, I used to get blown around so badly (my bike weighs nothing) and it was really unnerving. I ride that was every day to and from work, and now i am more relaxed, I barley notice it.

    I think it's a double effect - I'm used to the feeling, so I don't freak out, plus it means I am more relaxed so the effect isn't so bad anyway. Happy days.
  20. Yeay there is a difference, my last bike was a gs 500, i noticed wind was less of a problem when i got my new bike, also i just been riding my brothers cbr125, and it feels like im riding a kite, the wind moves it around so much :shock: