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Old 11-24-2012, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, the state
Posts: 5,898

I like to keep a relaxed stable upper body and let the bike move around a bit under me. Knees lightly against the tank helps with the feeling of connection to the bike. Relaxed loose hands and arms. Countersteer into the gusts.

My '04 strom was really vague and scary, especially running downhill in gusts. Correctly tightening the steering stem bearings fixed that. The fork brace makes the bike track better but is not a panacea if something else is wrong...low tire inflation, loose steering bearings, tense rider.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:35 PM
Keith Falkner's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sarasota FL
Posts: 2,180
Default Wind can be a big hassle.

Barry22, I have fought wind for a few decades, sometimes winning
and sometimes losing, and I remember a few of the battles.

I lost one a couple of years ago, after battling weather all the way across New Mexico. When I reached Arizona, near the Four Corners, the wind found another gear, and scared me sincerely.

Understand, I don't lose all these battles. In 1964 I struggled through a storm against crosswinds so severe that I could go faster in third gear than in top (that was fourth). Wearing nothing above my neck, I squinted against the rain and made it home. I would not have bet even money on my survival, yet here I am.

However, we ride top-heavy machines. I recall discussing the issue with a Harley rider at a motel in northern Idaho. I had spent a couple of days leaning right against winds from the north, as I rode I-80 westbound. My load was heavy and high, and my Wee-Strom was new, but I persevered and enjoyed my ride. The Harley rider carried his (much smaller) load low in saddle-bags. On I-90, he faced the same winds that met me farther south, and apparently his tribulations were similar to mine, despite the significant difference in the cross-sections that he and I presented to the winds.

What did I do in Arizona, when the winds scared me? Well, I turned tail and fled for home, and that was the right action. Ahead of me, had I survived Arizona, was the higher and windier plateau of Nevada. Winds in Nevada overturned a semi-trailer. A friend of mine was blown from one lane to another in Nevada, and she was riding a Cadillac.

You have received some good advice, about the brace, and about crouching down, and about carrying loads low down. Probably all that is good, but your best safety equipment is, as always, between your ears. When you feel scared, stop and assess the situation. If you think you should stop for a few minutes or hours, or even days, heed that thought.

There are lots of worthwhile things to do while you wait for better weather.

Good luck on your rides.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,029

I don't have a lot of miles either but found riding it tucked in like a crotch rocket helped for the gusty areas. As did removing the safety vest which seemingly acted like a sail tossing me about. For regular crosswinds (whatever that means) I'm certainly not fond of them, even with a fork brace.

Did a bridge in Alaska with a windsock going full-tilt perpendicular... tossed me about five feet over into the oncoming lane about mid span. Was riding at 55mph tucked in due to all the gusty winds, with luggage and a sky high pucker factor. There was a motorcycle warning sign prior to this. I thought I was riding cautiously, but apparently not enough.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:35 PM
heffy's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 246

Fork brace. Then calm down. One of my first long trips was from PA home to Indy. It was 30-40 mph constant winds with 50-60 mph gusts every 15 minutes or so all accross PA, OH and IN. I had no idea what the heck I was doing, but I stopped, collected myself and continued on much calmer and relaxed and made it home. I did done research and was told that a fork brace would make a big difference. I got one, rode in similar conditions and was surprised by how much more stable the bike was. It still moved but not into the other lane. Part of that was the brace and a little of it was from learning from the prior experience.

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Old 11-25-2012, 04:01 PM
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Sachse, TX
Posts: 13

Thanks everyone for your advice. I will look into getting a fork brace and learn to ride strategically in the wind.
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