Advice on High Winds - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on High Winds

Looking for advice on riding in high winds. I'm a new rider (2 months under my belt). Yesterday while riding, was hit with high cross winds blowing me into adjacent lane on highway, along with extreme turbulence. Experience was very unsettling. Any advice on dealing with this for future rides would be helpful.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 11:11 AM
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2 things

1) lean the bike into the wind so it can't blow you over or around. Takes getting used to so you don't feel as if you are going to fall and realise it is all part of the counter-balancing of the bike.

2) When you run into those winds and they blow you into adjacent lanes, it is time to get off the road. Nothing wrong with stopping and waiting it out, or not going out at all, then riding in conditions you feel unsafe.

FYI when caught in those winds and you have to continue, get off the highway and find a slower route - as your speed is less you are less likely to be blown into an adjacent lane, or off the road.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 11:28 AM
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Don't fight it and stay relaxed.
Most of the time I ride in the left 1/3 of the lane, close to the yellow lines, except in high winds I tend to move more toward the center 1/3 of my lane so I don't inadvertantly get blown into oncoming traffic.
When a gust hits you, relax your arms and torso. I know this doesn't seem right but what it does is lets the bike kind of do it's thing under you but lets you stay vertical, you can use your weight to counter the effects the wind is having on the motorcycle.

Last edited by ray h; 11-17-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 12:20 PM
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Don't fight it and stay relaxed....When a gust hits you, relax your arms and torso. I know this doesn't seem right but what it does is lets the bike kind of do it's thing under you but lets you stay vertical, you can use your weight to counter the effects the wind is having on the motorcycle.
Do NOT tighten your grip on the bars - that just sets you up to fall over.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 01:33 PM
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I have never had a cross wind blow me into another lane. If that happens you shouldn't be riding in gusty winds. On sporty styled bikes I keep my legs locked onto the tank and my eyes focused far down the road. I let the bike move underneath me to counteract the wind. My body is going straight down the road, but the bike is moving around underneath me. If the wind gust hits from the left the bike leans to the left to counteract. I keep a light touch on the grips.

I also know that if it is windy out that passing trucks and going under overpasses will result in a blast of air and I prepare for it prior to it happening so that it doesn't have a chance to move me.

Riding in gusty conditions will physically wear you out faster than riding in no wind. Sometimes you just have to get off the fast roads and find some slower back roads to reduce your risk.

On my touring bikes I will extend my windward knee out away from the bike to channel some wind and keep the bike going straight.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 03:32 PM
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Also got tip to lean into the wind...press knees into tank and be relaxed in upper body to not disturb the bike so much while it compensates itself. Just use light countersteering to compensate changes in course.

I dont like sudden strong side winds, but the comfort zone has expanded from roughly 60kmph to 90kmph in same type of stormy weather, when following the advice. But one day, while driving on a 110kmph road...open plains terrain. From nowhere there was a wind gust, bike felt like it would take off like a plane, got pushed close to the middle fences. Had to slow down into the comfort zone again and search for an exit ramp and then use the smaller roads. Compared to other bikes I've tried versys 650 seem a bit sensitive to strong wind gusts from the sides. Still dont trust it completely on roads above 90kmph when there are strong wind gusts going on.



Postion on the road to get margins is important and that part is more difficult when the bike is randomly pushed hard to the sides.

Last edited by hjortronet; 11-17-2013 at 03:50 PM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thanks for the advice, everyone--always appreciated. I think next time I will try and avoid. If not, I have new techniques to try.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 05:04 PM
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Winds can kick some a$$! Lean into the SOB but be careful. I have been leaned in and had the wind not only stop but reverse its self.

HOLY SHE-ITE!





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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 05:10 PM
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if it's crazy windy, stay in the far right lane, lean in a bit as noted, and keep your speed reasonable......follow these three tips and you should be fine short of pretty much anything but a tornado




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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 05:12 PM
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Extremly important to stay loose up top. What i was always told when learning to ride some years ago was that you should be able to flap your elbows like a chicken while ridng. Sounds funny, but to this day, that always stays in my mind, and has helped me remember to stay loose up top. The extra input you feed the bike while your upper body is being blown around in the wind if you are too tense up top fights the bikes natural momentum and "want" to stay upright. It takes time and some miles of expierience before one gains comfort in letting the bike do it's thing so to speak, but it will come with time, and you will get used to it.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 06:23 PM
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The faster you ride in a side wind, the more you lean into it. Rideable speed is reduced in strong cross winds. The lean is pretty much automatic, as you concentrate on keeping a straight line or following intended path... Be aware that a motorcycle's direction is always controlled by countersteer. Lean angle is a result of steering input as well as cross wind forces.

When you're suddenly hit by a side wind blowing from your right and pushing you to the left, you react automatically right away by actually applying steering force to the left in the same direction as the wind. Bike immediately leans to the right against the force of the wind, thus maintaining desired direction.

Last edited by invader; 11-17-2013 at 06:39 PM.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 12:01 PM
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Also think of how you place feet on fotpegs. Your knees get best grip/pressure against tank when pegs are under the feets front pads.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 05:53 PM
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I really think that you guys are making things unnecessarily complicated for the OP.....go back and read my initial reply for 3 simple tips.


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 06:19 PM
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I really think that you guys are making things unnecessarily complicated for the OP.....go back and read my initial reply for 3 simple tips.


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Only problem I have with staying far right is the oncoming traffic

The other week I was following my wife on ninja 1000 and she was on the versys in very strong wind riding through a area called wind whistle for obvious reasons and she was fighting the bike and complained after of a sore back, the versys is a tall bike and does get knocked around more in the wind.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 06:19 PM
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I really think that you guys are making things unnecessarily complicated for the OP.....go back and read my initial reply for 3 simple tips.
Sometimes...

Gusty winds can be a pain. I was riding my KLR on a East West road in open Ohio and got nailed by a nasty crosswind gust, I learned later they were up to 65+mph. I got blown into the oncoming lane, luckily no one was coming, before I even knew what was happening. Now the KLR is a known sail bike but sometimes you are just along for the ride. I slowed way down and moved all the way to the side south side of the road to have a bit more room. I knew it was bad when I came on a bike off the road and the police on scene. When H-D are getting blown off the road it's time to park it

Check your suspension setup and tire pressure if those are set wrong it makes things even worse. Hand guards and tall windshields don't help

I bailed for smaller roads to get home.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 01:01 PM
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I really think that you guys are making things unnecessarily complicated for the OP.....go back and read my initial reply for 3 simple tips.


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If u are positioned far to the right in your lane when road makes a right turn, the exit position from the curve comes closer to the middle. You and oncoming traffic detect each other later in time. Plus things, animal and people can jump up on road from the right also. The 50 ways to save your life thread in this forum is good continued reading.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 06:53 PM
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Wind is a constant in the high country of Colorado. The high valleys are specially problematic. When riding on constant cross winds, relax and lean into the wind. Keep an eye on road level indicators of wind speed and direction. That high flying flag is not a good indicator of what winds will affect you. Keep an eye on the grass on the median and on the side of the road. Increase your safety bubble. That mean position yourself correctly in the lane as well as allowing more distance between you and the other things moving around you. Pay attention to the landscape. You can be surprised by how hard the wind is blowing when you take that 90 degree turn and you get hit by that sudden side gust. The same one you did not noticed when it was hitting you dead ahead or from behind. Same thing with the big wind gust that hit you immedately after you pass that hill on your right side that was blocking the wind for you.

There are a few more tricks to make the ride a bit more comfortable. In clear roads I sometimes stick a knee out to help counter the wind coming at an angle on front. Any time you feel uncomfortable with the weather, find a place to take a break and wait out. However, sometimes you might not have a choice therefore from time to time take a chance to ride in not so good weather conditions and learn what to do. When you do, do it in your terms not someone else's.

Better be late or lose a night on the way somewhere than losing your life trying to get there.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 03:03 PM
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better be late or lose a night on the way somewhere than losing your life trying to get there.
amen!!!

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 03:32 PM
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didn't read all the replies but in high winds I typically focus on two items

1) very slightly countersteering into the wind to counteract being pushed across my lane...so if high wind hits me hard from the right...slight press against the right hand grip to counteract then straighten as the gust eases up

2) lightly squeezing the tank with my knees to avoid any more drag/surface area than my body produces already...helps make you one with the bike

3) your eyes should be focused well ahead of your trajectory anyway but I'll include it here since you mentioned being a new rider...look where you want to go, or more crucially, where you'll be in a just a few more seconds

if I'm hit with gusts while already in a turn (such as on a fast moving freeway), well I'm already in the turn so it becomes a matter of micro changes to my trajectory and/or speed

as a new rider, most of all try to maintain composure, a state of relaxed alertness...sounds contradictory but what I mean is this - if you get spooked and your breathing and heart rate have increased sharply and suddenly, then you are more prone to panic or possibly making abrupt control movements when smooth calm adjustments are what's needed most

simple solution? try a series of moderately deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth as a deliberate calming exercise - sounds corny but it works, and more importantly it helps keep your head focused on everything that's going right instead of dwelling on something that almost went wrong - things that are simple are easiest to recall and apply on demand

stay safe out there and welcome to riding =)
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