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Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA
That night on the news they talked about the wind gusting over 60mph along Hwy 72 in Scottsboro & all the destruction along the TN river. I rode 850 miles that day in storms with heavy winds & rain.
2004 Black LT
2000 Canyon Red LT
V.P. BMWMOA Club 220
I was riding 2up on a RT in Nova Scotia on my way to the Digby ferry. There is a bridge that is horse shoe shaped right on the sound, just before Digby, the posted speed is 100km per hour. This bridge had a stoplight for construction, thank God. I was first to the light and when it turned green and just getting rolling onto the bridge we were hit with a wind strong enough to put us to the other side of the bridge. There is no way we would have survived that curved bridge at speed. Its one thing to be responsible for yourself but to hurt the one who trusts their life to you is another thing altogether. So for me rain over gusty wind.
Picking up on what you posted, how would your riding style have changed crossing the Mac Bridge if it had also been wet/raining?
"What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
Currently bikeless, but looking hard! "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "
My riding style.... 2up speed limit +/- 20% depending on conditions, so if it was raining & wet riding near the center line - we would have been fine - throw a harsh cross wind in and we would have been cooked.
Not long ago I rode from southern MD to Culpeper, VA. It started out as a little windy (weather channel was reporting 10-15 with gusts to 20), but it wasn't that bad. By the time I got to the 301 bridge the winds had picked up. But as I was approaching the bridge I seen another rider on a 1200RT, so that eased my mind that he had just crossed it. Crossing the bridge the bike was buffeting both directions quite a bit, and I assume this was attributed to turbulence as the wind past over the side of the bridge. I let the bike do pretty much what it wanted to do as I stayed focused on the license plate of the car ahead of me, and wishing he would go a bit faster (I really wanted off that bridge). The winds picked up as the day went on. Through VA as I would pass large fields, I would be at a constant right lean. At this point a stronger gust would hit the side of the bike and I would lean harder, but the front end felt like it was getting light, so I would ride the rear brake a bit to settle it down. Was this necessary? I have no idea, but it worked for me. When I got to Culpeper and got into a hotel room, I turned on the Weather Channel again and they were issuing severe wind warning with 40-45 sustained with gusts to 60. I don't know if I got hit was a 60mph gust or not, but...well....it was windy. By the time I reached the worst of the wind, I was well too far to turn back, and my destination was the first place I could really stop, so I pressed on.
I learned a lot about riding in the wind that day. I have no idea if what I did was "correct" or not. But, it worked for me, so I'm going with it. A few things that helped me:
1. Lowered the windshield all the way down. This cut the buffeting of the bike exponentially.
2. I got my torso down to almost laying on the tank. I think this helped by lowering wind resistance, AND lowering the COG.
3. The tighter I tried to hold the bars straight, the more abrupt the changes were to the bike during a gust. I would lean the bike as fast as I could, but would also let the bike wander around in my lane. Not from side line to center line, but a few feet off the center of my lane.
4. A little pressure on the rear brake during a gust seemed to settle the bike out. Keeping the RPMs up a little seemed to produce better results when I used the rear brake. If the RPMs were lower, say below 3K, the bike would significantly slow down when I applied the brake (lol, that's what it's for, right?) but if I kept the torque up and applied the brake, it seemed to tighten the bike up. Similar to the feeling of applying brake and throttle at the same time in slow speed maneuvers. But my speed was generally over 50mph.
Again, this is what worked for me. If there are things that work for others, I'd love to hear them as well.
FWIW, the next day was a rather cold, but beautiful ride down Skyline Drive, with nearly zero wind. The best part of the trip was at the end of Skyline Drive I met up with this cute lil gal that brought along a great lasagna dinner. That was well worth battling the wind the day prior. And for some unknown reason she seems to like me. I hope she don't go see an optometrist any time soon.
This is from an article in the Wichita Eagle.
The powerful winds that buffeted the Wichita area and much of the rest of Kansas on Sunday are being blamed for a three-motorcycle crash in Cowley County that killed one man and critically injured two others, authorities said.
All three victims were stationed at McConnell Air Force Base and were out for a Sunday ride, Cowley County Undersheriff Bill Mueller said.
Sgt. Harold Young, 30, was killed in the crash that occurred shortly before 2:45 p.m. on Grouse Creek Road about a half-mile south of Dexter, Mueller said.
Jeremy Richardson, 22, and Walter Hall, 38, are both in critical condition at Wesley Medical Center.
"It appears the cross wind caught them" at a curve on Grouse Creek Road, Mueller said. "They had been riding through a relatively protected area in the valley" coming north.
"They got in that corner, got into a wide open area, and the wind caught them."
All three riders went off the north side of the road into a deep ditch, Mueller said.
"The evidence at the scene did not indicate they were going too fast," he said. "I thought I was going to get blown into the ditch just standing there."
Wind gusts of 45 miles an hour were reported in Cowley County at about the time of the accident, National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Kleinsasser said.
Read more: http://www.kansas.com/2011/04/05/179...#ixzz1IpmjYqy6
I like to shift my body in the direction of the wind to reduce the lean angle required and keep more tread on the pavement. Once on gusty day on 81 just outside of Alexandria Bay, NY, I learned that if I glanced at the tree tops ahead of me I could tell which direction the next big gust would come from. That helped me prepare and also reduced that feeling of being blind-sided by the wind.
Surfing the wind
The Oklahoma hang ten
Here in northern Nevada it is more or less a land of eternal wind, so we get lots of practice. It is really the gusts, rather than the steady winds, that can mess you up. There is a local weather station near a particulaerly nasty stretch of US 395 here. When that has shown 50mph, that also seems my limit with the gusts. This is not to say lower winds cannot run you off the road, if unprepared.
Make sure all your steering and suspension components are working well; the sudden forceful shifts of the bike will bring out any weakness.
Don't death-grip; hang on loosely.
Keep your road speed up; the gyro effect of the wheels will help you.
Keep your engine speed up in the power band; probably need to dump a gear or two, so you have that instant power response.
Be aware of, and adapt to, handling quirks in the wind from your fairing. For example, my RT fairing tends to want to dive towards the wind.
Hang your knee out on the windy side. Not sure why this helps but it does.
Don't load bike in a way which makes the front end very light.
will add to previous comments:
if relatively straight roads with fairly consistent wind direction- hedge to the side of your lane that the wind is coming from. that way, when it blows you sideways, you only get pushed into another part of your own lane (hopefully).
if very inconsistent wind directions, shoot for center of own lane.
if on multi-lane roads, avoid allowing yourself to get locked in near other vehicles, especially to either side.
we have had an amazingly windy spring in the Front Range. probably 5 or 6 of any 7 day stretch is windy; meaning above 20-25mph steady. quite a few days of the 40-50+ stuff. don't think we've seen anything over 80mph steady this year. at least not yet, anyway.
sure keeps the tires from wearing flat from the commute.
Ride Safe, Ride Lots
It amazes me how steady the RT rides even in strong and gusty winds. Maybe something to do with the telelever/paralever or whatever they call it suspension?
We came home to the Big Bend from Wichita Falls yesterday in winds 20 to 30, gusting to about 40. And, having lived in Kansas for over 20 years we have ridden in a fair bit of wind.
It has been my awkwardly learned experience that in wind it is often the rider's body that is moving the bike around more than the wind. The wind catches the rider's upper body and the rider's arms transmit into the handlebars. So the bike bobbles a bit and the rider tenses up which makes it worse.
So I keep my elbows loose, occasionally flap my elbows like a chicken (taught by Reg Pridmore in his CLASS school) and let the wind move the bike a little. It moves it a lot less than when I am straight arming the bars with a death grip.
The other key is to eye traffic (trucks) and the terrain and to anticipate where you will hit a sheltered spot and where you are going to get a blast off an embankment or open area.
It still isn't fun!
Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
Last year my SO and I were riding on July 4th north of Steamboat Springs and got caught in a summer storm. This stretch of road was flat and wide open , we were having to ride at a 30 degree angle most of the way back. We got passed by a guy solo on a HD he was riding upright. I think all the plastic cover doesn't help with the crosswinds on the LT. But, I agree with learning what you a comfortable in riding in.