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Old 04-13-2014, 07:07 PM   #1
DesertTortoise OP
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200 miles of crosswind

Rode back to Indy from Central IL today. Ride out there was perfect, finally 70* after the long winter, hardly anybody tried to kill me, and clear skies. However today's ride home turned out to be an adventure. 20-30 mph constant crosswinds with gusts the entire way back on I 74.
This ranged from fun to annoying to terrifying. The worst gust happened during a sweeping left hand curve where I was leaned to the right the whole way. That felt wrong!

What worked for me was lower speeds, knees against the tank, chest down on the tank bag, helmet low, elbows bent and a relaxed grip on the bars. Uncomfortable on a GS, but the bike leans and holds its line without much drama. (mostly)

Questions:
What else works?

Crosswinds seem have less effect with a passenger, have you noticed this? why do you think? Seems like it should be worse.

I read in another thread about sticking a knee out into the wind. I haven't tried it, yet. Has this worked for you?

Hoping to learn something new for next time I get stuck out there in the wind.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:18 PM   #2
No False Enthusiasm
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Yep... upwind knee out in the air flow acts as a trim tab to heal the bike into the wind. That tends to offset the crosswind's effect.

West Texas crosswinds proved this technique to me.

Also, a fork brace added to my Wee made it more stable.

NFE
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No False Enthusiasm View Post

West Texas crosswinds proved this technique to me.


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I learned to ride with the MSF course in El Paso and those 60 mph gusts were crazy! Guess I moved before I learned the tricks...
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:39 PM   #4
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTortoise View Post
Rode back to Indy from Central IL today. Ride out there was perfect, finally 70* after the long winter, hardly anybody tried to kill me, and clear skies. However today's ride home turned out to be an adventure. 20-30 mph constant crosswinds with gusts the entire way back on I 74.
This ranged from fun to annoying to terrifying. The worst gust happened during a sweeping left hand curve where I was leaned to the right the whole way. That felt wrong!

What worked for me was lower speeds, knees against the tank, chest down on the tank bag, helmet low, elbows bent and a relaxed grip on the bars. Uncomfortable on a GS, but the bike leans and holds its line without much drama. (mostly)

Questions:
What else works?

Crosswinds seem have less effect with a passenger, have you noticed this? why do you think? Seems like it should be worse.

I read in another thread about sticking a knee out into the wind. I haven't tried it, yet. Has this worked for you?

Hoping to learn something new for next time I get stuck out there in the wind.
Lol Welcome to Indiana, Try doing that on a DR650, Well not 200 miles. I only had to go 80. But I did 75+ mph the whole time on I 74 with a backpack and just fought through it. I'm used to Indiana wind :)
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:05 PM   #5
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20-30 mph is tough but doable. 40-50 with gusts well into the 60's and even 70 + scares the bejeezus out of me. Knee to the wind helps but only so much.

I have many times over the years gotten caught in the wide open inter mountain west dealing with high winds. Sometimes with 100 or more miles to go in either direction before there's even a rock to hide behind. Serious pucker factor when the bike needs to lean 40 degrees all at once and cross 2 lanes of traffic uncontrolled. Just have to ride it out. Been stuck and holed up in many a podunk town for a day or so till the winds passed. NV, AZ, NM, the WY front range, West TX and Eastern MT seem to be the most prone. More than once I've hidden the bike behind a building. Even tied bikes down a couple of times to the poles in front of the hotels.

Several years back in Death Valley winds were 60-75+ sustained. Freaking insanity. Was ever so grateful to get to the hotel. Tied my bike to a tree and it was fine. Came out a few hours later to see a couple dozen or so rented hogs that the Euro tourists had all tied together with the big cables that they give them from the rental shops for theft...toppled like Smokey and the Bandit!

I've definitely learned to pay more attention to the weather man and avoid wind as much as possible. The older I get the more that when I know it's going to be that bad I just stay put and let it pass. Just too damn dangerous and my nerves don't deal well.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DesertTortoise View Post
I learned to ride with the MSF course in El Paso and those 60 mph gusts were crazy! Guess I moved before I learned the tricks...
You aren't joking! Yesterday we had sustained wins of +30 and gusts over 50. It does blow me around a bit, but only time it made me nervous was when i got stuck in the rain with the wind.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:14 PM   #7
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You aren't joking! Yesterday we had sustained wins of +30 and gusts over 50. It does blow me around a bit, but only time it made me nervous was when i got stuck in the rain with the wind.
You must be new.

Wait a couple months till the straight-line winds are 50mph ......now ride across the Organ Pass daily to get home from work.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No False Enthusiasm View Post
Yep... upwind knee out in the air flow acts as a trim tab to heal the bike into the wind. That tends to offset the crosswind's effect.

West Texas crosswinds proved this technique to me.

Also, a fork brace added to my Wee made it more stable.

NFE
Thank you for the tip on pointing a knee into the wind. I wish I had know that on my last ride on my VFR. The winds were gusting up to 40 mph according to the news but at least were coming from one general direction as the front moved in, so that little trick might have made the bike a little less active. I really did not have as much of an issue once underway as I did when stopped at intersection, when the bike felt like it was liable to be blown out from under me.

I did not have the long distance to ride that some of you do, and I was mighty glad of it.
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PalePhase screwed with this post 04-13-2014 at 11:20 PM
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:28 PM   #9
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Feel for ya man. Did a Denver-Paraumph (outside Vegas) ride in the fall ~900 miles. Wind blew a constant 30mph left to right for around 350 miles then right to left for 350 miles, finally dying down for the last couple hundo.

Worst was where the road "cut" through the hills, wind was left to rigth, but when you hit the cut, the wind would hit the leeward side of the hill and reverse direction from L to R, to R to L for the 40 or so yards of the cut.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:26 AM   #10
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I notice it more on my Dakar, since its taller. We have alot of long bridges over water. One knee into the wind seems to help with crosswinds or when passing a semi. When it gets really bad, I put my feet back on the passenger pegs, and lean down like Im on a crotch rocket.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:23 AM   #11
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Crosswinds are the reason I will forever refer to the state west of me as "fucking Oklahoma."
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:10 PM   #12
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Crosswinds are the reason I will forever refer to the state west of me as "fucking Oklahoma."
I thought that was the official name
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:12 PM   #13
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I thought that was the official name
It probably is. I haven't looked at a map recently.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
Crosswinds are the reason I will forever refer to the state west of me as "fucking Oklahoma."
Welcome to my world.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:34 PM   #15
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20-30 mph? Are you serious? That's a calm day in West TX!
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