Blown off road - totaled GSA

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by SiouxsieCat, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. SiouxsieCat

    SiouxsieCat Been here awhile

    Mar 22, 2010
    Northbound I-435, between Cabelas and Parkville. Whole lot of nothing up there. Missouri side right after crossing the river. (Google maps) You can see the emergency vehicle crossover right after the bridge. That's what I hit. Wind was from ESE.

    Thank you everyone for the kind thoughts. Sore ankle and right thumb on Monday; right as rain today.
  2. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Sep 1, 2010
    For those of you with not much Great Plains experience, subtle changes in terrain can make a big difference in felt crosswind. If the wind is particularly brutal, pay attention to the undulations ahead of you on the windward side. If you're in an area of relative calm because of a parallel rise upwind of you, beware if you see a perpendicular road cut coming up, especially for an underpass. When you get to it, you'll get a concentrated wind blast that can mess up your whole day. The same holds true for breaks in hedgerows, Jersey barriers, and other things you normally might not think about in less windy areas. The Flint Hills can be especially unpredictable, because there are curves and elevation changes that cause felt wind to vary substantially from one mile to the next.
  3. hajime

    hajime Been here awhile

    Feb 8, 2010
    Las Vegas, NV
    Great thread. Gusts are the most difficult to deal with, so I appreciate the comments. It is especially nice to read that slowing down is a good idea. Another problem I have is with head winds. They can be very tiring. I have found that my neck just can't take that for a full day.
  4. Danjal

    Danjal Insert wit here.

    Oct 9, 2011
    She's definitely a keeper if that's the case.

    Glad you're ok.
  5. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Oct 30, 2004
    West is the Best
    As far as crazy gusty winds, I've never experienced a worse section of road than along the Columbia Gorge on the Washington State side of the Columbia River, between Umatilla and The Dalles. The afternoons are worst, when heat driven updrafts play along the cliff walls.
    It's no wonder this is the windsurfing capital of North America.
  6. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

    Oct 26, 2008
    Alaska, Mazatlan. sometimes seattle!
    Like the OP said I love this bike, 12GSA.. it is also the biggest SAIL boat/bike I have ever ridden in the wind,
    at the end of the day riding through NM, AZ, UT, I am whipped...
    and in need of a traffic :slurp:slurp:...
  7. SocalRob

    SocalRob Long timer

    May 23, 2006
    Los Angeles @ base of Angeles Crest Hwy
    I have a Scott's damper on my GSA and it has totally calmed the bike down on windy days. I will try the trick of lowering my windshield all the way the next time I am on a windy ride.
  8. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

    Sep 29, 2008
    High Point, NC
    Wow, SiouxsieCat, I'm so sorry about your machine but glad you walked away! Troidus said a "mouthful" about Great Plains riding and I got a real lesson out there a couple of times. On May 7, 2007, I left Denver, CO on my '07 K12 GT heading fo Hays, KS. The wind was really blowing out of the SSW and, after crossing Pena Blvd, it really picked up. I found out from a trucker at a rest area, it was gusting to 65 mph. Frankly, I was terrified. By the time I got to Hays around 5:30 PM, it had died down. About 4 hours later, Greensburg, KS, some 90 miles south, was devastated by an F5 tornado.

    Two years ago, I left Van Horn, TX heading west with a 30-35 mph (my estimate) wind out of the SW. The temp was 70°. Crossing the mountains just west of town, I saw this:

    There was no rain, just wind. When I entered that cloud of dust, the temperature plummeted to 40° in less than five miles and I had to slow to 35 mph as the winds gusted to 70 mph (El Paso weather report that evening). My '09 GSA didn't like that and neither did I!

  9. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    Man, I'm glad you walked away from that. Bummer about the GS.

    We have a mountain (foothill) pass here with bad gusty winds. The danger comes when passing 18-wheelers who are slowly climbing hills. I almost rear ended one when I was blown into his lane just before overtaking him doing 3 times his speed. I nearly lifted the rear tire getting on the brakes.

    That was on a Ninja. My Honda XL600R didn't do any better loaded with gear, but my Aprilia Dorsoduro is noticeably better, especially with saddlebags and top box mounted. I suppose the 410 lb supermoto has the advantage over the 320 lb Honda dual sport, but can't figure out why the bags help. The Ninja was just a sail.

    It must have been really bad to blow the GS around. :eek1
  10. yellow 1150GS

    yellow 1150GS Been here awhile

    Nov 28, 2003
    Last summer my wife and I rode home on an 1150 GS to Cleveland, Tennessee from Clarksville, Tennessee during a "high wind advisory" where the winds were gusting up to 65 mph. Found the only way to make decent progress was to ride the back roads. Interstate was impossible. Winds were steadily over 40 mph and you were forced to ride leaned into the wind. It was tough going through road cuts and underpasses and coming out into the open and back into the wind. Near Lynchburg, Tennessee we stopped at a gas station and met an older couple on a new Goldwing. The wife was hysterical and refused to get back on anymore that day. Seems they had several near misses of almost getting blown off the road. She even threatened to ride the bus instead of getting back on the bike.
    I didn't realize how much work it had been trying to stay on the road until I woke up the next morning. My back and shoulders were so sore and tight from fighting the wind. Thank goodness for the wide handlebars on the GS. Can't imagine what it would have been like trying to ride a sportbike with the narrow bars.
  11. kag

    kag Wander Lust

    May 29, 2012

    I live about 100 miles west of you and the wind does howl at times. I ride 300+ days a year to work and back (50 mile r/t) and can certainly relate. However when the winds are really up I switch from my Buell Ulysses to my Harley Ultra with full fairing and it slices right through it. But out on the interstate it does get very tough even then sometimes
  12. stromsurfer

    stromsurfer Stromsurfer

    Oct 26, 2009
    Too friggin funny.:lol3
  13. longwayaround

    longwayaround Female Adventurer

    Apr 3, 2011
    oot and aboot
    I live just east of the rockies and ride in 50-100k/hr wind almost daily in the spring and would think practice makes things easer but not the case. Gusting wind is the worst, you have to prepare for the bike to lean, jump and skid around, which is not always predictable and is exhausting trying to manage. Glad you are ok and I admire your spirit. Get back on and ride another day. Cheers.
  14. revmaaatin

    revmaaatin Sioux Empire Iron Horse

    Aug 22, 2004
    Two seasons: winter and road repair
    I feel your pain.
    I too have been blown from one side of the road to the other by 'gust'...but never into the ditch.

    After reading the entire thread, I have one Q.

    What did you learn from all this?
    If you could have one do-over, what would you do differently?

    ie, would your ride further to the R/L side of the road?
    (it is unclear to me which lane you were in, which side of the lane you were in, ie Right side of the left lane, and which side of the road you departed.)
    Would you go faster, go slower?
    Would you have used a parallel road/route to I-435? ( I see you have given that some thought, perphaps with more trees nearby? A road with a 55mph speed limit; going slow on the interstate has its own dangers = rear-ended. yikes.)

    Did you stand up on the pegs as the bike departed the highway?

    any Comment about your riding gear?
    and lastly,
    If you are a MSF graduate, did you find any of the training useful for surviving this faceplant?
  15. t6pilot

    t6pilot Been here awhile

    Feb 15, 2011
    huntington beach
    Glad your ok
    Had the same experience with my 1200gs, didn't like cross winds or gusts at all traded for super pig k1600gt it doesn't know if winds are blowing or not, not affected at all
  16. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

    Nov 27, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Wow, glad you're okay!

    My '05 R1200GS was terrible in the wind, and central Texas has a lot of wind. I was never able to sort it out and ended up getting rid of the bike because of it.

    Yesterday it got pretty gusty on the way home from our ride, and I was on my Multistrada. I've noticed that when I switch that bike into Touring mode it handles the wind far better than Sport mode, so softening the suspension helps. It also helps to lower the windscreen all the way.
  17. lrgart

    lrgart Adventurer

    Jul 22, 2012
    St. Louis MO
    Pecan is best for this!
  18. lineareagle

    lineareagle philomath

    Jan 27, 2007
    Sunshine Coast, BC
    In addition strong winds can create a vortex effect as they pass over an object. In other words you will feel the wind coming from the other side, then when you pass out of the shadowed area you will be slammed from the prevailing wind.

    You get a similar effect when passing trucks in windy conditions.

    I totally agree riding in wind sucks, riding on an interstate in wind sucks even more. I never ride interstate in strong cross wind, well I seldom ride interstate period, hate them.
  19. mr. matteeanne

    mr. matteeanne Bender can pass him

    May 24, 2004
    Dualsport Paradise, Olympics
    It is easy to be fooled into over correcting. Knees against the tank, light grip on the bars and remember the centrifugal force wants to keep the tires going strait is the best you can do. But once the wind is so strong it slides the tires out from underneath you all bets are off.
    We get some great storms in the PNW, and at least once a year a Harley rider bites it and says "The wind".
  20. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Aug 19, 2008
    New(er) Mexico
    Glad you are OK. Sorry about the bike. We have frequent high wind warnings in NM where the gusts are pushing 60MPH. Today is going to be such a day :baldy

    I will not ride on days like that. Way too dangerous. Having a bike as your only vehicle though sort of cancels that option. Have you ridden in high winds before?