wee + bridge + wind = wow - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 27 Old 04-02-2015, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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wee + bridge + wind = wow

i'm still under a year and maybe 4k miles on my 2009 wee.

i mostly commute and take morning rides on the weekend.

today i needed to go out further and since there is a breath of spring in the air, i figured i would take le grande orange.

i crossed the geo washington bridge which links manhattan to new jersey and headed west.

man, i was really surprised how on the bridge the wind just caught me full sail and pushed me around. i managed to keep in my lane but it did take a moment's thought and a wee bit of effort to feel like i was still in control.

i do have a front fork brace that i should have already installed and maybe it was a windy day on a high and very spacious bridge, but i was a little surprised by the how the wee handled the gusts.

think the front fork brace will accomplish anything?

thanks to those who care to share.

be well.

rob

2013 Yamaha FJR1300 - Stone Grey
2009 Suzuki DL650 Wee-Strom - Le Grande Orange
2006 Kawasaki Z750S black
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-02-2015, 04:14 PM
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A little counter steering takes care of holding your line in crosswinds.
MSF course?

Last edited by scootin1000; 04-02-2015 at 04:15 PM. Reason: incomplete thought
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post #3 of 27 Old 04-02-2015, 04:18 PM
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A fork brace does help. What is more important though is a light grip on the handlebars. If you fight the wind, it will beat you every time. You need to have the bike lean into the wind gusts. You can't keep it completely vertical. You can input steering so that the bike and rider combination's center of gravity stays in the section of the lane you want it to. The tire tracks will do some weaving as you adjust to variances in the wind. Think of it as dancing. It's actually a bit of fun once you get the hang of it. Like I said, a fork brace helps by keeping the relationship between the tire and handlebars steady, but you still need to provide steering inputs to increase the lean into the wind as the wind increases and ease off when gusts diminish or change direction. Push on the side of the bar that is on the side of the increasing wind to counter.

Some people even like to stand on the pegs because they only have to change the bike angle instead of the bike and rider but that is not necessary and can be scary to a rider who hasn't mastered the moves.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #4 of 27 Old 04-02-2015, 05:05 PM
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I find that clinching the tank with your knees adds weight/mass to the bike making it less prone to shifting wind gusts. It also helps with the turbulence from tractor/trailers.

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post #5 of 27 Old 04-02-2015, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
A fork brace does help. What is more important though is a light grip on the handlebars. If you fight the wind, it will beat you every time. You need to have the bike lean into the wind gusts. You can't keep it completely vertical. You can input steering so that the bike and rider combination's center of gravity stays in the section of the lane you want it to. The tire tracks will do some weaving as you adjust to variances in the wind. Think of it as dancing. It's actually a bit of fun once you get the hang of it. Like I said, a fork brace helps by keeping the relationship between the tire and handlebars steady, but you still need to provide steering inputs to increase the lean into the wind as the wind increases and ease off when gusts diminish or change direction. Push on the side of the bar that is on the side of the increasing wind to counter.

Some people even like to stand on the pegs because they only have to change the bike angle instead of the bike and rider but that is not necessary and can be scary to a rider who hasn't mastered the moves.
gw-

that was EXACTLY what i ended up doing, leaning in.

i didn't mind what was going on and i was more than able to stay in my lane.

but i was just surprised by how quick le grande orange sailed.



someone below was talking about hugging the tank and you even suggested standing on the pegs.

both interesting thoughts the next time i cross the bridge.

funny enough, on the way back home crossing the same bridge but 2 hours later, the gusts were evident but nowhere near what i has earlier experienced.

every ride is a learning lesson is something.



ymmv

be well.

rob

2013 Yamaha FJR1300 - Stone Grey
2009 Suzuki DL650 Wee-Strom - Le Grande Orange
2006 Kawasaki Z750S black
1974 Yamaha RD350 maroon with a white racing stripe!
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post #6 of 27 Old 04-02-2015, 05:17 PM
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Gripping the tank with the knees makes the rider and bike more like a unit. The plus side is it take more wind force to move it and the the movement of the combination is slower. The negative sides include: the body is higher and acts like a sail but leaning the body forward helps with that, increasing the effect of the wind, it takes more force on the bars to move the body and bike than just the bike and the effects of corrections are slower.

The energy drain for either seems to be a wash. The gripping uses energy and requires more exertion. Loose involves more movement and quicker actions. Larger riders may do well with the former and lighter riders the latter. Try each and you'll develop a preference. I like loose and I'm not light, but I learned loose when I was light and have stuck with it.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at https://www.stromtrooper.com/informat...-you-have.html
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-02-2015, 05:21 PM
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I feel your pain. Riding home yesterday we had 60MPH wind gusts, not only was I getting blown around so were the cars around me.

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post #8 of 27 Old 04-02-2015, 10:32 PM
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I have recently started testing DIY windscreen #8 and found that there is a huge improvement in stability, especially in cross winds, due to a much more slippery shape. Turbulence from trucks is barely noticeable and the buffeting is gone. I hope I'm not just imagining it.
The only down side is a slight increase in wind noise due to higher air speed over the helmet. Still working to mitigate that.
So far this one looks like it will be a keeper with the addition of a camera bubble just above the headlights.
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-03-2015, 12:21 AM
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Cool faster control response to side-wind

I regularly cross Lake Washington on one of its floating bridges, across which wind can blow which has been unobstructed over a few miles of water. Early in my experience with the tallish V-Strom, it seemed to respond more to the wind than what I was used to. Now, I hardly notice it, except when paying close attention to it and my reactions. What I think I'm doing now [1] is gauging the side force on my head and pre-correcting with close to the right amount of handlebar force change to counter the wind change. The reason this ought to work better is that it is a response available long before [2] the uncorrected effect of wind side-force has altered the direction (or turning radius) of the bike. Anymore, the wind hardly affects my path at all, even when quite strong and gusty. I kind of like the gustier ride. Under those conditions, it is easier to perceive the corrections I'm making.

[1. To some, it may seem strange to be uncertain of what one does when controlling something. It gets to be an unconscious reaction, not amenable to study, (at least not with the attention I am willing to spare while riding.) ]

[2. Those with experience in feedback control systems will recognize this as a feed-forward compensation, a control enhancement which does not affect stability. ]

Last edited by Trepidator; 04-03-2015 at 12:22 AM. Reason: grammar and spelling fixes
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post #10 of 27 Old 04-03-2015, 10:25 AM
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I throw my knee out on the windward side. Have ridden in some massive cross winds a lot in Florida on a Vee and it really helped. Point your knee out toward the wind, no energy required, cools you leg (a nice thing in hot riding weather), and I guess the added drag on that side helps to counter the wind effects. Probably the same as scooting your center of mass off that side of the bike.

What about using another vehicle as a shield? I know we generally don't like to ghost another vehicle, especially a truck, but if you let them know you are there, stay in their mirror view, a panel truck or SUV should alleviate the wind issue for the crossing.

Welcome to MC riding! Dealing with the elements is part of the ride. Especially on an upright, tall and relatively light bike.

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