High winds made me tap out...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by HOFNAR, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Discretion si the better part of survival. However, when it has been windy I've gotten out and "practiced", just to see how the bike reacts.

    Back in the '70's we'd make many weekend trips to Atlanta from Birmingham. Coming back in a VW Beetle (front gas tank, low on fuel with a light front end) on Interstate 20 there was one mountain pass that was particularly treacherous with winds. We learned to slow down and tippy-toe thru there.

    --Bill
    #21
  2. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    The news said it was gusting to 75 mph on Monday, I believe it. :deal

    Yesterday it less gusty, just steady...slightly better.

    I've ridden two-up on my GS in 75 mph steady with gusts over 100 mph, exhausting day. First turn into a cross wind that day blew my magnetic tank bag off the tank, caught it between my elbow and side. :eek1
    #22
  3. dwestly

    dwestly Refuses to Grow Up!

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    My wife and I own the company that manages and operates (under contract) the street motorcycle and ATV demo teams for a major OEM's U.S. motorcycle division.
    #23
  4. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    I have been riding since 1980 often in all weathers and thought I had experienced strong winds until a trip on 2008. Crossing the Severn suspension bridge between England and Wales on my old R80RT, with strong gusts from the side was an "interesting" experience but I realized that if I kept a light grip on the bars, she would self-correct and only move about 3 or 4 feet sideways with each gust. The RT's fairing didn't catch as much wind as I'd expected coz Dewnmoon was with me on a weestrom and was having just as much "fun".

    Thought that was bad until a week later when we rode around the NW tip of Scotand with similar cross-winds for several hours. Got used to it fairly quickly and just slowed down a bit and tried to predict when the terrain would direct the strongest blasts at us (and from which side). Still had to slow waaaay down when vehicles were coming toward us as it was a single-track road and we were occasionally using the whole width. Followed a guy on a 650GS single for a while but he bottled-out after getting blown onto the verge a couple of times.

    Thought THAT was bad but then spent the whole of the next day battling gusty winds (up to 60mph according to the weather man) and belts of rain for nearly 900 miles from John-O-groats to Land's End. At least it was mostly headwind so while it shook us about badly, we were only blown across the lane occasionally. At one point in N. Cornwall, the headwind was so strong I had the throttle pinned but she was managing only 77mph. My shoulders hurt for two weeks afterwards from being pushed and rattled about for 16+ hours.

    Also got to ride through a storm cell with freak winds and tornadoes one time - out in mid North Louisiana where there was no shelter for miles. I was with a group heading for Arkansas and we could barely hold the bikes up when stopped so just plodded on for about 15 to 30 min, in torrential rain, riding over/through fallen branches and getting plastered in blown wet leaves and grass. Had to work our way around several fallen trees and downed power-lines, including a mile or two of dirt road "detour" through the woods. That trip was known thereafter as the "Wizard-of-Oz tour".

    Did someone say 100mph gusts???? Hmmmmm. Have experienced genuine 100mph winds offshore in N. Sea and there is no freakin' way! If you laid the bike on its side in the road it would probably get blown into the ditch and you with it.
    #24
  5. Balootraveler

    Balootraveler Been here awhile

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    WIND does suck not blow. I live in a windy place, Snake river plane in ID, thus the plethora of windmills. There is nothing wrong with bagging a ride due to wind, I think you were smart.
    #25
  6. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

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    My worst day on 2 wheels was 4 years ago heading West from Iowa City to Rapid City with my riding buddy. The last 500 miles on I-90 is something I never want to repeat! When we stopped at Wall for gas, I told Doug I would only leave there if he led the last 50-60 miles!
    #26
  7. the Pheasant

    the Pheasant Been here awhile

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    Yep, use it often. Still prefer it to the new bridge. It often gets shut due to high winds. I was crossing it once with my wife riding pillion on a GPZ900 in a crosswind that obliged me to lean hard. Bad bit was passing the pillars, which cut the wind. It pays to be ready to correct the over-lean or down you can go.

    Similar experience riding back through northern France on BM 1100RT with a friend on pillion. On the E42 between Lille and Dunkirk the crosswind from the east was savage. There are always lots of big articulated trucks on that road; coming up to each one I'd prepare to correct the lean as I reached the wind shadow and then have to 'pre-lean' as I came out of it. My pillion was not happy when we reached Calais.
    #27
  8. 1911fan

    1911fan Master of the Obvious

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    Scariest 45 minutes of my life was on I84, in Oregon along the Columbia River. I was riding a loaded 990Adventure. The highway winds along the river, and the wind bounces and swirls off the randomly shaped cliffs and valleys, so it hits you from different directions. Constantly. I had to slow to 45mph to stay in my lane, and when trucks blasted by in the left lane at 85 or so the wash was bad. Since there are no offramps to speak of, there was no way to escape the interstate.
    Found out later they had hurricane force or above winds- 70mph and higher- that day. Would have been a good day to stay home.
    Last year, coming home from the Hell's Canyon Rally in Oregon, my then girlfriend (now fiancee) and I were fighting wind and rain for a couple hundred miles. Going through rolling wheat fields in the Palouse, as the road cut through hills the wind would drop as you were protected, then resume as you left the hill, so it was lean/straighten up/prelean/lean. Seemed to be a lot of semis going the other way, so similar drill at higher speeds. She was in front of me, and i watched her get blown all the way across her lane at a 30* angle, to the fog line. I realized I was doing the same thing, only on knobby tires. It got so bad we pulled off in Pullman and spent the night. Wound up renting a UHaul to get home, through some scary winds and torrential rain. Best money I ever spent.
    One guy headed home from the rally did get blown off the highway, fortunately into a wheatfield so he wasn't too hurt. Bike was munched though.

    1911fan
    #28
  9. dwestly

    dwestly Refuses to Grow Up!

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    You get the same problem between the ranges on US 50 thru NV, between Ely and Fallon. The mountain ranges (several) are all separated by about 8-10 miles of flat valleys, and the wind howls down those valley passes. Every now and then the road will pass between some low hills in the pass and the wind will slack momentarily. You have to be ready to catch the bike both when the wind slacks and then again when you leave the shelter of the low hill. Makes for some focused riding...
    #29
  10. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    Years ago, riding a ZZR 1100 from Sydney to Canberra in OZ, the side wind was blowing that hard, i thought, if it suddenly dies down, the bike will just keel over. The two and half hour ride felt as if i'd been riding the whole day.
    #30
  11. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    You shouldn't call people liars if you're ignorant. :deal


    Wind gusts near 100 mph reported; about 25,500 without power

    November 30, 2011 | 10:37pm




    Genuine 100mph gusts...guessed at the steady 75mph...could have been about 68 mph or so, I was on the road that day.


    :ricky:muutt:ddog:yikes:mad?


    That was the second time that I've seen 100 mph wind gusts, last time was in Oregon during a 100 year storm...wiped out our last drive-in theatre. :cry
    #31
  12. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    The Oklahoma panhandle is another windy place. The last 2 times I rode through there the wind was about 35 mph with gusts over 50 mph, and about 105 degrees. Wife was on back with me once, she said that she NEVER wants to ride through the panhandle again. I have a couple of riding buddies who are seriously considering hauling the bikes ( Goldwings) past the panhandle. Sounds like a good idea to me.

    The panhandle of OK is the quickest way to get to Colorado, but I know people who will go 100 miles south to I40 to avoid the wind through the panhandle. I40 is better, not by much though.
    #32
  13. TeneRay

    TeneRay 2>4

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    I'll take rain, freezing temps, a little snow but I hate wind.

    I was traveling across UT on I-80 and ran out of gas between SLC and Wendover. The winds were so strong, it killed my MPG. I literally ran out of gas in front of the "Wendoner 20 more miles" mark.

    Same thing traveling up I-25 from NM to CO. The crosswinds off the mountains turned over 3 tractors from Pueblo to Colorado Springs. The ride should've been a few hours but turned into half a day because I can only handle riding about 40 MPH on the freeway at a full lean, scraping pegs.
    #33
  14. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    FARK. Forecast to be windy AGAIN tomorrow -- 25-40MPH sustained with gusts to 55-60. And then again on Monday. And it was gusting to 40 most of the afternoon today. Have I ever mentioned I HATE "SPRING" IN NM!!! :pissed

    I'll be stuck inside again tomorrow, after a whole week of being stuck inside due to a stupid cold. Sigh...
    #34
  15. FL_biker

    FL_biker Dakar Withdrawl

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    In June of 2011 while the big AZ fire was burning I was riding from St Louis to Colorado Springs on I-70 and I had my Vstrom at a pretty stead 40* angle to go straight, then it would gust and a couple times blew me onto the shoulder or left lane before I could correct it...twas not a fun time crossing Kansas!!

    I mentioned the AZ fire because there was a pretty good haze in KS and you could definately smell the smoke!!

    Check out my Spotwalla link below for the map of that trip
    #35
  16. InsideThePerimeter

    InsideThePerimeter North GA bound

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    Yea we were going to and coming back from the beach and were in LA (Lower Alabama) and my wife on her light 250 got blown all over the road. In the rain it was scary.
    #36
  17. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    That was a windy day, but at least for the part of the bay area I ride today was windier. Reminded me why I don't commute with a top case on a rear rack.
    #37
  18. DustyRags

    DustyRags Idiot

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    A gang of three of us was coming back to Oakland from Big Sur yesterday (via Paso Robles- we missed a turn) and the wind was so bad it was blowing my petite buddy on her Ninja 250 from the right lane into the middle of the center lane on 101.

    So we cut out east and rode 25 through the hills to Hollister. Great choice- much less wind, and an absolutely gorgeous rolling road down a flat river valley. We even found gas only 14 miles into my reserve! :D
    #38
  19. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    I've done that sort of "tap out" before. Riding north on the Oregon coast, in 2011, the gusts were blowing me around enough that I turned inland on 38 instead of 126 as planned. So nice to get away from the wind. Got good riding and some photo ops I woullda missed otherwise. I was pretty happy with my choice.

    It was on the return home from that trip, refuelling along I5 in northern California, my bike blew off the sidestand twice. The bike landed back on the stand both times, but it was unnerving. The riding itself didn't feel as windy as the Oregon coast stretch on the way north.
    #39
  20. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

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    A great place for Old Men. Incredible blow jobs and still getting there.
    #40