Blown off road - totaled GSA

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

  1. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Sep 20, 2008
    backwoods Alabama
    The other day we had a Winter storm front move through with moderate gusty winds (I'd guesstimate 30-40 mph). I took the opportunity to go out on the Interstate for 30-40 miles to practice and evaluate how the bike took the wind. I'd rather practice under mild conditions and when I'm not under pressure to make time. I find that I'm going to need to work on that nervous instant when I cross an 18-wheeler's wake in winds.

    As they say, practice makes perfect.

  2. chrish4ku

    chrish4ku Been here awhile

    Jul 30, 2009
    San Leandro, CA
  3. strom thingie

    strom thingie Lost and Proud!

    Jul 4, 2006
    Sumter, SC
    Wind can definitely be a bitch. Having lived in OK and KS, I have had some white-knuckle experiences myself but none ended up catastropichally as yours. Thankfully. Glad you walked away and good luck with the new bike.
  4. huntly2

    huntly2 Adventurer

    May 30, 2008
    Many years ago, I was riding in Maine with a pile of camping gear hanging on my KZ1000 behind a Windjammer fairing. I was crossing a bridge when the wind began pushing me back and forth across both lanes. I was fighting it desperately and there was no place to pull off. I almost lost it when I looked to the side and saw a guy on the walkway who had lashed his canoe to the rail and himself to the canoe. At that point I really lost it and thinking I had entered a nightmare, put my feet down and pussyfooted my way across that bridge. All traffic lined up behind me and were polite noticing my plight. I was so thoroughly shaken that once on the other side, I immediately got a room and went to bed.
    bmwannnabee likes this.
  5. hugemoth

    hugemoth Big Brother is watching you!

    Sep 6, 2007
    I've been riding for 44 years and didn't even know it was possible to get blown off the road.

    Strongest wind I've been in on a bike was 30+ years ago riding 2 up with camping gear on a Vespa 200 near Butte Montana. I watched a semi truck get blown over some distance in front of us and at times I was scraping the edge of the floorboard on the road going straight.

    At Stovepipe Wells Death Valley last year we had winds clocked at 82 mph. I saw a tent fly by with people still in it ;-). Thought about taking the bike for a ride but it would have been impossible to see through the blowing sand.
  6. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    May 14, 2005
    MS. Gulf Coast and Puerto Vallarta, MX
    A few years ago I was riding from San Miguel de Allende MX to Zacatecas MX on my R1150R. The winds were blowing strongly from the left and I was in what seemed to be a semi permanent lean. As I went through an underpass the wind unexpectedly slammed me from the right just as hard. It was pretty unsettling. Wind sucks.
  7. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Sep 1, 2010
    I remember crossing west Texas once when the speed limit was still 55. I was being passed by tumbleweeds. The car was really quiet, too.
  8. SiouxsieCat

    SiouxsieCat Been here awhile

    Mar 22, 2010
    I was in the middle lane of 3.
    Lessons learned: I should have picked a different route trough town instead of taking the interstate; slow down even more.
    My legs were hugging the tank and I was tucked up close to the front to keep the buffeting off of my helmet. Not a whole lot of time to react, except scoot back on the seat.

    Picked up the new ride today :clap
  9. themenz

    themenz Long timer

    Aug 25, 2003
    Green Valley, California
    Nice ride and glad you are OK.

    Worst wind I have ever had was riding my R1150R on Highway 50 across Nevada. Wind was probably 30 to 40 mph from my right with some serious gusting. I got gas whenever I could as mileage went to hell.

    Hundreds of small and dozens of giant tumbleweeds would tear loose unexpectedly and roll across the road.

    Fought this for nearly 300 miles without let up.

    I had put on brand new tires for this trip of about 2,000 miles up to Utah and back. When I got back home I had to replace both tires as the tread on the right side was completely gone.
  10. luckygrownup

    luckygrownup Been here awhile

    Apr 22, 2011
    the suburban wasteland of Maryland.
    I have noticed the GSA does get blown around a little more than other heavier bikes. Did you get a speed wobble before getting pushed over ? I have had speed wobbles at 60-70MPH in 25-35MPH crosswinds on my GSA. Changing the ESA suspension to 1 up with luggage, increasing the preload, on the suspension helped reduced the wobbling. However, on windy days, I prefer to be on my heavier RTP. The RTP stays firmly planted with 40MPH winds. I ridden the RTP at 70MPH in a the last tropical storm we had and it was fine. The RTP is also is fine in thunderstorms. It would have been a different story on the GSA.
  11. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Been here awhile

    Jul 5, 2009
    Glad to hear you are o.k.

    I saw this post after riding my KLR650 on open roads between 45mph and 60mph today. Sometimes the wind would blow my tires over about 12 inches perhaps. The top of the bike stayed where it was so I was instantly leaned into the wind. The weird thing is the worst movements happened at the lower speeds (40mph). I just (badly) assumed the wind could not knock me over (or blow the wheels out from under me). Was that a bad assumption?
  12. mr. matteeanne

    mr. matteeanne Bender can pass him

    May 24, 2004
    Dualsport Paradise, Olympics
    In irder for a wind to blow you over it would have to create enough energy to overcome the force of the bike plus you plus centrifugal force. Of course a wet or pebbled surface could reduce the energy needed. When the wind hits, the only reason the bike deviates from strait ahead is because of your body movement. Grab the tank with your knees, relax your grip on the handlebars, and relax in general.
  13. SocalRob

    SocalRob Long timer

    May 23, 2006
    Los Angeles @ base of Angeles Crest Hwy
    I agree with this. I think the reason the RT feels like it gets blown around less than the GSA is the better front wind protection the RT offers your body. I think on the GSA your shoulders catch a fair amount of buffeting, which results in bar induced wobbles.

    Since I put a steering damper on my GSA, if I turn it up to max stiffness, even in winds in the 40ish range (I have not had it in windier conditions) the bike is as stable as a rock.

    Now if the bike gets picked up and flung off the road, that is a different animal all together.
  14. HighFructose

    HighFructose Banned

    Sep 29, 2008
    people don't comprehend Kansas winds sometimes. when i get an out-of-state buyer asking about a chicken strip on the side of the tire, i have to explain the power of the rolling plains.

    i once rode at a 45 degree angle for an hour straight, then another hour on the way home

    ......yes the burrito was worth it :lol3
  15. Wyodrill

    Wyodrill Master Chief 1200

    May 29, 2012
    NE Wyoming
    In Wyoming we have a saying, "If the sun sets in the west, the wind will blow in the morning."
    The Dallies are windy but the time I went thru there it was head on or to my back. If you ever travel near Rawlins, Wy you are crossing the continental divide in the Red Desert. Average daily wind it 35 mph, on days with fronts coming thru you can be in 45 mph w/ gusts to 55. I have found the only way to manage a broad reach (45 to 90 deg to direction of travel) is go slow. I have gone down the highway at 35 mph leaning like crazy. At the slower speed I am at least able to react in time to gusts and keep her on the tarmac. Plus I am not creating additional force by driving thru the wind at a higher rate of speed. (I watched the 18 wheelers doing that and I copied them.) They were riding with on one set of tires on the road. I try to find alternate routes that have some terrain to hide in or behind.

    On interstates I have found that the leeward lane is usually more stable. The windward side kicks the wind up off the bank of the road and so you find either quiet air or turbulent air there. Anything but the laminar flow of wind jetting across wide open spaces.

    The best is when you are following the wind, that is, when you are going down wind.
  16. Syphoon

    Syphoon Syphoon

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hermitage, PA.
    I got a new Tiger last spring and noticed a big difference on even slightly windy days too. Not sure if it's the ride height or body work. I guess I'm not the only one experiencing this?
  17. Droptop50

    Droptop50 Been here awhile

    Mar 17, 2012
    Bethlehem, Nuevo Mexico
    The wife and I commute on our R1200RT and can usually count on some pretty bad crosswinds, especially in the spring of New Mexico. Figuring we are in the 800+ pound range all total, we still get tossed quite a bit.

    Glad the OP is ok and the new bike looks awesome! Stay safe!
  18. scrambler73

    scrambler73 Been here awhile

    Feb 7, 2010
    where I am supposed to be.....
    One of my fondest "mental images" of riding was when heading west across Wyoming as the sun was going down....Circa 1994-sh?

    3 of us were crossing the country on overloaded sportbikes (cbr, fzr, zx-7) from Minneapolis to Pheonix.

    On this particular stretch, I was bringing up the rear and watched for what seemed like an hour as both of my buddies bikes were at 45 degree angles, but travelling straight at highway++ speeds.

    Just a really cool image with the setting sun as the backdrop. Wish they had Go-Pro's back them.....
  19. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Sep 20, 2008
    backwoods Alabama
    The chicken strips on the one side of the tires must have been monumental... :eek1

  20. Coachgeo

    Coachgeo Diesel Adventurer

    Mar 2, 2009
    NOW: Dayton OH area recent past WAS: North TX
    nice ride.

    Know the feeling. On a trip many mooooons ago me and my Jeep TJ nearly ended up same as you. Jeep moved a good 5 feet over laterally in seconds. Got blown by wind as I cleared an open space between two semi's on an east bound leg of interstate in OH in winter storm warnings. This was right after I saw a car get steered off into the median for some unknown reason at full speed after clearing front of same trucks . Im slow......just now I see they got pushed by wind same as I did