Wind Riding Tactics for Motorcycles
October 27, 2017
Tips & Advice
Even on a calm day, riding a motorcycle can feel like being in a wind tunnel. When air speeds reach cyclone limits, your ride can become dangerous if you're not prepared. Midwest Traction compiled a few things to keep in mind.
Balance and Compensation
High-wind causes wobbling, which can lead to skids. They also increase the debris in the air, resulting in cuts and abrasions if you're not properly attired. At high speeds, wind behaves much like water; it's more forceful and dangerous than you anticipate.
Steady cross-currents make it easy to lean-in and maintain corse. However, unexpected gusts can throw your balance. Windscreens are available, though they limit your protection to headlong winds. Be mindful that windscreens can detach when hit with gale-force side winds.
Control Your Bike
Prepare for cross-wind, which usually occurs over bridges, when emerging from underpasses, or when passed by other vehicles.
To reduce the odds of toppling, take a crouching stance by lowering your body nearer to the fuel tank. Maintain vertical tension by gripping the bike with your knees and push inward. Stay calm and avoid any jerking motions or sudden movements. Avoid overcorrecting; don't tighten your grip as that stiffens your body. Maintain speed and adjust your center as needed.
No Loose Clothing
A closed helmet with a visor is crucial on windy rides. It will protect your face from flying grit, small stones, and insects. Scarves are useful preventative measures, but be sure to take them in your jacket securely or you'll deal with flapping ends, which poses a visual danger to you and other riders on the road.
Practice makes perfect; take it slow and learn to get your bearings on less busy roads when possible. Be safe, and keep rolling.