Bike cover becomes wind sail?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by doc4216, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    At work yesterday talking bikes with a newly arrived Chief who has an R1. He was asking about the lack of motorcycle parking or at least having cover for the multiple bikes on base. I told him of the ongoing fight to get at least a carport but that I generally just use my cover for normal rains or put the bike in the hangar for torrential down pours. Then he tells me that he will never use a cover because he has heard of the wind grabbing them and the bike ends up on its side?

    Anyone had this happen or at least heard of it happen? Very curious now...


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  2. seatec

    seatec Dutch Transplant

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    I used a tailor made cover for the R1 plenty of times when windy and never had a tip over. I think the trick is to not leave it un cinched on the bottom. My cover had Velcro strap and could be pulled taught.
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  3. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    In a howling wind a bike can blow over without a cover so a cover would catch even more wind,the trick would be to have the bike parked so the wind is blowing it onto it's kickstand instead of off.
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  4. Onederer

    Onederer Crunch Nugget

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    I primarily cover mine to delay sun damage. If there is a bad enough storm, I uncover it.

    I have had mine blown over with a cover on, but not witthout. Tornado, hurricane or straight winds will blow over just about anything; I move it to shelter.

    Rain is not something I consider covering it for. Typically would have to remove the cover afterward to let the moisture dry from the bike anyway or bare metal parts will corrode. It is humid after a rain here during the summer.
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  5. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Another thing to consider, a cover may cause more damage than an uncovered bike. I've seen a couple instances where the cover was rubbing on fairings and other plastic, where the wind moved the cover so it was like a high grit sand paper and rubbed some nice dull spots thru the finish.
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  6. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=126834&highlight=wind+knocked

    Bad things:
    -Open space
    -Side stand
    -Cover reaches high due to raised handlebar, mirrors, tail luggage, etc.
    -Light bike
    -Soft surface

    Good things:
    -Shields from wind (walls, trees, higher vehicles, etc.)
    -Center stand
    -No high parts or side areas in the bike
    -Heavy bike
    -Hard surface not soften by rain
    #6
  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    A cover that is not fastened securely, with the bottom closed up snugly, can definitely act like a sail if the wind catches it just right. I rarely use a cover.

    Secondly, and there will be dissenting opinions on this, but a bike is much more stable against the wind on the side stand and not the center stand. Using a sidestand spreads out the triangle much further than a center stand and adds stability.

    Jim :brow
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  8. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

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    I was at the Indy GP a few years ago and saw a bike get blown over due to its cover, It then proceeded to knock over a row of Ducatis it was parked by like dominoes. No other bikes without covers were blown over.
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  9. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    It depends on the bike. There is another factor beside the size of the triangle: the weight on that apex.

    Some of the heavy Harley type bikes lean way over on the sidestand and have a lot of weigh on the stand.
    But my KTM 990 is barely off vertical when on the sidestand. There is very little weight on it and it isn't secure at all. It is very easy to tip in the direction away from the sidestand.

    If the stand stuck out farther there would be even LESS weight on it (think about the math/geometry for a minute) unless the angle of the bike on its wheels was increased. (If you took the existing stand and bent it out further, this would increase the lean angle and thus the weight because you would be raising the tip of the stand, but you wouldn't get that effect if the bike was built with a longer stand that stuck out more but kept the bike itself at the original angle.)

    The KTM feels much more secure on the centerstand. There is a lot of weight on each leg and it would take a lot more effort to get either leg to come up.
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  10. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Sounds like a poor design to me. With the sidestand like that you would never be able to mount the bike without the bike wanting to pitch you over to the right as the suspension compresses if you have the sidestand down. And, of course, it is not very stable on uneven ground.

    Jim :brow
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  11. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    Just shorten the stand! If you know anyone who knows anyone who is competent at welding it's cake to cut the leg and weld the foot a little higher. There are other options too.
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  12. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I have spoken to other 990 owners who also would prefer the stand had more lean. On uneven ground I take care as to which way the ground in that particular spot is pitched. Sometimes it mean moving the bike a matter of inches.

    I don't know why KTM built it like that. The bike is clearly carefully engineered even though any one person may not agree with how any particular feature is engineered. Obviously they must know what the lean angle is. The only rationale that I have come up with is that the bike is intended for use on mixed surface so was intentionally built to NOT have much weight on the sidestand to avoid having it sink into soft ground.

    Or that, the stand being relatively long as it is on a high bike, and the bike being relatively heavy for such a high bike, that they don't want too much pressure on it for structural reasons and would prefer you to use the centerstand that comes with the bike. The sidestand is also unusually far forward. There are aftermarket brackets to relocate them more to the rear.
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  13. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    If they are calculating the ground pressure of the sidestand, I wonder if it wouldn't be much more effective (and possibly cheaper) to use less leg and more foot.
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  14. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I dunno. Anyway, it comes with a centerstand.
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  15. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    So put in some anchor points for tie downs. Rent or borrow a hammer drill, use a concrete bit, and anchor bolts. Look official--no one will bother you.
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  16. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Been here awhile

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    LOL. So true.
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  17. Wlfman

    Wlfman Long timer

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    I've had it happen. On base. Busted both turn signals. And to top it off an SP stopped me on my way home because of the busted signals...
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  18. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    Unfortunately in the military, that doesn't really fly. I always clasp my cover when I use it but honestly, I really don't use it that often. Fortunate for me I can usually leave before the afternoon storms roll in.

    I really had just never been told NOT to use a cover in a storm!


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  19. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    That blows big time! Hopefully he let you out of it.


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  20. RedShark

    RedShark Long timer

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    Carry a clipboard - it's all you need to look like you are SUPPOSED to be doing that.
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