Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:04 am
 Subject: dealing with wind

I have been riding a little bit for a couple seasons now and my biggest problem is when i get up around 55-65 mph, i feel like the wind is blowing me all around. for a while i wondered if it was that the bike was so small and light or if it was just my inexperience.

I had a friend who is a very experienced rider take it out the other day to see if he noticed it at all and he didn't so i guess its just me.

so with that said - i really want to get better - so do you guys have any good tips for dealing with wind?

Usually when i ride at high speeds, its on back country roads with big open fields on either side so i get a lot of cross wind gusts. its tricky when it seems to just come out of nowhere and smack you.

any tips woudl be appreciated.
Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:13 am
 Subject: Same thing that makes for a smooth and confident rider...

Being loose on the controls. You should be Completely relaxed on the bike, only making the smallest of inputs to guide it in the right direction. Most people who have an issue with wind are way too tense on the bike. Death grip on the bars, locked elbows, just ridged, like a plank of wood. This means that any input on You is instantly transmitted to the bike (and the wind is dragging on you, the rider, far more than the bike). If you were to be all loosy-goosy, then when the wind hits you, you move and absorb the impact some before it's transmitted to the bike.

It takes gusts over 60mph before the wind starts to move me around too much, and that's just not a very common occurrence in most places. But I had the fortune of learning to ride where wind was the norm, not the exception.
Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:25 pm
 Subject: i do tend to have the death grip.

yea that makes sense. I am usually pretty loose but i always tense up when i get up to speed or get hit with some wind. its like a reflex that is hard to control. I know i am doing it but cant make myself stop sometimes.

Whenever i get back from a ride with wind i always have the death grip by the time i get back.
Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:17 pm
 Subject: Loose

Like BrianM said, being loose helps a lot. This is my third year riding, and I'm feeling much better in wind now than years past, but it took time. It's better for you to flex and move a bit and allow the bike to stay more or less the same, rather than be rigid. Loose shoulders, elbows, and waist do the trick.

I experience problems going into strong headwinds... I'll often lose a lot of speed during gusts, but I think that's a product of a light bike and my stature (6'3") rather than my riding skill.
Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:42 pm
 Subject: that's because you're afraid to fall off

i rode a waverunner one time that had a trigger style throttle. i was going full throttle on smooth water. i hit some bumpy stuff and had to slow down. it took a lot of mental effort to make me loosen my grip to slow down.
Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:00 pm
 Subject: The same happened to me, but....

.....I kept riding and riding day after day until the feeling of being blown sideways became familiar.

At the same time, I kept increasing the cruising speed progressively.

It is seldom calm when and where I ride, most of the times the flags are fully extended.

I have noticed several things about riding in strong crosswind:

1) Gusts are much more annoying than steady wind; in severe cases, slowing down and tucking do the trick.

2) Eighteen wheeler's are bad things to follow or to pass; especially on the downstream side. Same for open fields and big masses of water next to the road.

3) Tight clothing is a great improvement over flapping one. Same for ear plugs and visors that close properly.

4) As pointed out by others, try to interfere less with the inertia of the bike. If you watch videos of falls, note that bikes can roll in perfect balance with no pilot as long as they have enough speed and a flat road ahead. The rolling effect of the wheels resist the side slide and overturn that the wind tries on you and the bike.

Best luck overcoming that bad feeling, bdee1.
Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:42 pm
 Subject: You can get used to it...

once you figure out that it's very unlikely anything bad will happen, wind becomes more of an annoyance than something to be afraid of. Now one can still be surprised by a strong gust, and if you're leaned over in a corner it can be dangerous. I knew a pretty experienced rider who was leaned over on a ramp, and the wind put him back up and off he went with his nice and shiny new SV650. He was riding a scooter for several months while his knee healed.

But really, you can get used to it. Your tires have a lot of traction, and you'll realize sometime that you're not actually being blown that far. Well, once you ride more loosely as Brian et al have pointed out.

When I sold my Ninja the guy wanted to meet up somewhere half-way between us and there were 30 mph cross winds. I asked if he really wanted to, and I made it there but it was an adventure. I wasn't all that worried, unless I was going to be hit by a tumbleweed or something, and he made it home alive too. But when I tried such a trip after owning the bike for a year, there was one time I couldn't get back into the right lane because I was fighting the wind so much. I'd like to think I could have done it in my more experienced years.

Good luck. (This comes up a lot!)

--Mike D.

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