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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been riding 1.5 years now and feel pretty confident and safe except for riding when it's pretty windy out. I'm not sure of the best way to ride in it. Should I tuck down a bit and speed up trying to just cut thru it? Maybe it's better to go slower instead? I am talking about when the wind is all over the place, it's not bad when coming from one general direction.

Is it just one of those things that feels weird, but it's actually safe and you just need to get use to it? It's hard to describe the feeling, but it feels fine and then a big gust of wind hits on an overpass at 50mph and I feel the bike kind of go right and then left real quick. I don't deal with it often except during hurrican season with all of these winds.

I am mostly going short distances when it's like this, a few miles at a time to work and back. There is this one overpass that is loves to mess with me. Maybe 1 mile stretch at 50mph. The bike is a Suzuki GW-250. It weighs only 400lb, but it's not short or a smaller design like you see on many 125cc and 250cc.
 

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I'd say that you want to create a small an obstacle as possible to give the wind less to push against. Both of my bikes have been sport bikes but the best mod I did for either of them was to get a double bubble windscreen, as it made riding at high speeds much less turbulent and noticeably cut down on "lane push" when riding near large trucks or in windy conditions.
 

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The first thing to do -- as in ALL motorcycle riding situations -- is to RELAX. Now, I don't mean that you should not tuck in if that's more comfortable, but whatever you do don't let the situation tense you up. The motorcycle wants to stay upright and go straight and for the most part will do so if you let it. When we tense up we begin to fight the bike, and it's better to a good extent to let it do its thing. Yes, every heavy buffet of wind is going to move you around a bit, regardless of whether you're riding a 1000-pound giant or a light trail bike, and you cannot fight it completely. So, better to learn to cope with it. You have to stay in control, but you also want to give yourself and the bike room to do what needs doing. It may mean slowing down a bit; it might mean speeding up a bit to clear away from other traffic. It just depends on the situation.

With me, it always helps in tense or difficult riding situations to just tell myself, "Relax. Relax." I ride smoother and react quicker and more effectively.
 

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Ride the bike, don't fight it. Gusty wind conditions will naturally move the bike around. You got a whole lane, use it. Let the bike wonder but gently counter-steer to stay within your lane. You are counter-steering aren't you? What are you talking about hurricane winds anyway, the 50mph winds or what? If you get caught in those that's one thing but you really shouldn't be riding in those kind of winds anyway. Like I've got room to talk. Learn to go with the flow. Some say relax but I'll be danged if I can. I don't however tense up. When you do that everything becomes more exaggerated. If you are getting hit from all directions, just try to stay in the middle of your lane. Don't worry about it if you cross over as long as there is no traffic. Just don't fight it is basically what I'm saying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, both post are very helpful. Leaning forward tends make me a little tense. It's tough to describe, but I'm 6'2 and it feels odd how much my arm bends and makes moving L or R feel a little off.

Good to know it will happen a bit regardless. Will try to just relax and ride the most comfortable way for me. I don't like slowing down in the wind because I worry about maybe trying to put my foot down if it was bad, but moving faster than about 10mph is not going to end well unless my shoes can slide across the ground. More likely it catches and breaks my ankle.
 

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Don't ever put that foot down unless you're (a) stopped or (b) sliding around the corner on a dirt track. Relax and just roll with the changes (sorry, didn't mean to make a song reference). oldenslow and hogcowboy both gave good advice. Riding in strong winds, especially crosswinds, requires a different touch on the handlebars. You get sort of a gentle sway going and just be prepared to do a counter to each gust, gently, not abruptly. It's like passing an 18-wheeler in the wind. When you're beside the truck, you're leaning one way. When you're about to pass, you get pushed in the opposite direction. An abrupt reaction can send you under the front wheels. Use just enough force to keep yourself in a relatively straight line.

Ever ridden over wind grates in tall bridges? Or roads that are in the process of being resurfaced (pavement milling, where wavy grooves are etched in road surface)? Both require that same light touch. It can be unnerving, but once you get used to it, you find that the bike will generally find a line that works. You just sort of let it wander (not too far) and find its way. Same with the winds. A slightly firmer control on the grips, but not too much.

Have fun!
 

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10mph riding in the wind? That's a pretty big no-no, Amigo. I never took a MSC (been riding long before that came out), but I'm sure your teachers must have mentioned that a motorcycle is like a gyroscope. It wants to stay upright, but if you go too slow it becomes 'wobbly' like a gyroscope. Especially in a cross wind. Find a speed that you and the bike feel comfortable with, relax and let the bike pretty much do what it wants. Sometimes it's a little scary getting pushed around, but it really isn't that big a deal.

I hit a strong cross wind years ago in the Mojave Desert. I didn't see it, and it hit hard. So hard I actually ended up in another lane! But the bike did its job and stayed upright. You'll be fine, just consider it part of your learning experience for riding motorcycles.
 

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I hit a strong cross wind years ago in the Mojave Desert. I didn't see it, and it hit hard. So hard I actually ended up in another lane! But the bike did its job and stayed upright. You'll be fine, just consider it part of your learning experience for riding motorcycles.
Yep, it happens. Dust-devils happen here all the time but sometimes there is no dust. It will wake you up for sure. Not to mention scare the heck out of you. Skivvies changing time!!! :surprise::devil::wink2:
 

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Just relax and ride, don't go really fast but keep the power and speed on for control. The bike will move around in the wind so keep yourself in the center of the lane with plenty of wiggle room. Don't fight the bike, just guide it gently back on course and you'll be fine.

This technique has gotten me across the WINDY great plains a few times and through more windy storms locally than I can count.
 

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Some bikes suffer more from buffeting than others. By buffeting I am referring to riding in traffic, with a few semis.
The same bikes will move around a bit more in cross winds. Most wind related problems, due to large fairings, flapping clothes, watering eyes, happen at about 90 mph. You should be able to run with the slower traffic. Over time you will run with the faster traffic. I stay in the center of my lane. That gives me room to wander. The center of the lane used to be slippery from oil leaks from cages. Not so these days, at least in dry weather. Always an important rule: Ride at your own speed, the one you are comfortable with. This will change over time.

Bon chance. UK
 

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On my Moto Guzzi Breva 750, once, somewhere, out west, on an interstate, I was in my own lane, no worries, then, it was as if the hand of Odin just slapped me.
Suddenly I had about 1.5 cm of free space, between my handlebar & the semi trailer, on the inside lane !
It was exciting for a few seconds, but I dropped a gear & hit the throttle.
That worked.
The only other times I have had wind problems, have been in the corn belt, where you can only get that 85 stuff.
With a tank full of that, I couldnt get up to 50 mph, against a headwind !
The Guzzi needed the max octane available, 95 - 98 to perform.
Take Care,Out There
 

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I think you're getting lots of good advice here, but the choice to ride or not is ultimately up to you. Experience will make you a better rider and you'll feel safer in more conditions as you gain experience, but don't think you're chickening out or anything like that if you decide to park it.
 

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The scariest time I ever rode was in a storm in Montana, straight line winds and pouring rain desperately seeking out shelter from the storm. I was in the middle of nowhere and felt like the bike was going to be blown out from under me I was leaning into it so hard. Sometimes you just have to stop. Luckily I did when I finally got going again a roof was blown off of what might have been a shelter I might have gotten too. Although can never look at what might have been only what you feel is best at that time.
 

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Was riding across the Oklahoma panhandle a couple years ago when a storm hit. Kept checking the mirrors because I was afraid there was going to be a tornado. Strong gusts blowing me across both lanes.

Was riding close to the center lines because I didn't know from which direction the next gust of wind was coming from. There was a big truck following me and he backed way off. Seemed like we were the only ones out there.

Finally come to a small town. Found a place where I was semi sheltered, covered the bike and climbed into my trailer. Just got comfortable when the rain and hail started coming down.

Wind can be a booger! :)
 

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I swear Oklahoma hates me. Almost every time I enter that state it is either raining, sleeting, hailing, snowing, freezing rain or the wind is blowing in the 45 - 65mph range or all of them at once. It is so rare that it's nice when I have to go into that state.:sad:
 
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