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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen lots of reference here to scary wind moments on the Wee. I only have 3K miles on my 2011 Wee and have not experienced those conditions yet. I have, however, spent a lot of time on my 09 KLR on long, sometimes windy trips and I've had my share of scary pucker moments on the KLR.

My question is probably aimed at those people who own and have extensive experience with both the Wee and the KLR. Would you say the Wee is worse than the KLR in high wind, better or about the same?

I'm taking a trip from Kansas City to the Overland Expo (Overland Expo - Home :thumbup:) which is in Flagstaff, AZ in May. I'll be two up on the second half of the trip and I'm strongly contemplating a Scotts stabilizer for the trip. My last trip out to California on the KLR definitely had some lively wind moments in Nevada and the Mojave Desert in California.
 

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I have owned the KLR650 and the Wee.
For me, the KLR was too scary in the wind because the bike seemed to get very light, like I was a human sail. I especially hated crossing bridges on the KLR.
Poor crosswind handling was one of the main reasons that I sold my KLR650.

I have never had any problems with my DL650. The crosswinds will push around sometimes but nothing that makes me feel like I am losing control of the bike.

Hands down, the DL650 is a better road handling bike, especially in the wind.
 

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I had a '99 KLR for a while that I did a TAT trip on from TN to OK with full hard luggage. I've also owned 5 Vstrom's and from my map you can see I've been all over the US & Canada on various Stroms.

I don't remember ever having any scary moments in the wind with the KLR even loaded down, but I also never usually rode it that fast. Compared to the Strom, I hated the KLR on the road and I just didn't like to take it any kind of distance. The Strom was always my choice.

The only time I've gotten into one of those scary type weaves on the Vstrom was when I was seriously breaking the speed limit and knew I was pushing the bikes limits. Usually even 80-85mph, the Strom is rock solid with no issues. I think the only time the Strom really becomes a handfull in the wind is when you are really pushing it and have some wide hard luggage on it that is also catching the wind.

Now there was a pretty scary moment back in 2010 coming across the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan with 50+ mph winds and gusts even higher. That was one helluva scary bridge crossing, but I won't blame that on the strom as it would have been scary on any bike with a steel grated lane on the inside and some serious wind pushing you around. I think that was one time I was more scared then my wife in a situation on a bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input. This sounds like something that isn't a big deal now that I've cut my teeth on the KLR.

Once, just leaving Barstow, CA I got hit with a right angle gust that blew me within 2 inches of the soft sand shoulder at 70mph. That woke me up.
 

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its not a fork brace

Put a fork brace on the Wee. Makes it a whole differant bike in the wind. Should be required OEM equipment.
it spans between both forks - it does not BRACE to anything

from all the comments I'm beginning to think that the thing is way over-rated
 

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its better than my EX250

its better than my EX250 :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My GF has an EX250 and I'm seriously contemplating making some Happy Trail SU style side racks for it. Nobody manufactures anything like it and it would be a fun project.
 

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Well, everyone calls it a fork brace. You may call it a fork span or a fork bridge. They work well. Forks under load flex. When they flex, they stick-slip-stick-slip, etc. The fork whatchamacallit greatly reduces fork flex.

My '04 and some others have had loose steering stem bearings that made riding in a wind a new thrill. Correctly tightening the bearings stabilized the bike.

In winds up to a certain point, you countersteer into the gust. Beyond that point, you park the bike and relax until the weather moderates.
 

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Have both in the garage. My 06 wee. Bro's '00 KLR. They're about the same in crosswinds IMO, but the KLR in a strong headwind (30mph+) at a decent speed (60mph+) is pretty scary because of the way the fender catches the air and seems to lift the front substantially. All in all the wee is a much more stable bike on pavement, probably due mostly to weight. I'm not sure why people complain about wind with the wee. I've ridden the thing through supercells (because I'm dumb like that and don't have a nexrad radar on my bike to tell me how bad the storm is) with 60mph crosswinds and not had any real problems except the lightning scaring the bejeezus out of me and the (probably unfounded) fear of running out of lean angle. Riding in the wind requires constant inputs to the bars and awareness of wind blocks to maintain control. I've never ridden a bike that didn't get moved a bit by the wind, be it the ninja 250 I started on or dad's behemoth 1150rt. KLR is awful in headwind though IMO. You can add me to the fork brace skeptics club as well. Anyone that wants to let me ride their brace equipped wee on a windy oklahoma day, feel free to alleviate my skepticism.
 

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The klr and the wee are probably the same in wind. Every bike is pretty much the same in the wind.

The "wind" problem is usually with the rider getting scared, tensing up on the bars and slowing down.

If you do get blown around by wind, the first thing to do is to increase your throttle opening (gear down if you don't want to go too fast).

The fact that the wind is a rider problem can be easily proven: just let go of the handlebars for a second (I mean you're "being blown" all over the lane anyways, letting go for one second ain't going to kill you).
 

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I commute through coastal high-rises. In strong onshore winds it gets funneled between buildings and gets very strong.

So strong that I've had the Wee blown into the concrete median strip at low speed, that was the same day a wall mounted A/C unit got ripped loose and dropped on a car ;) .

A fork brace made that bearable, a steering damper and I'm moving around less than the 4WD's. Still scary, but at least I have enough control to dodge ;)

Pete
 

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I regularly ride over the 175 foot high Tobin bridge over Boston Harbor, so stability in cross winds is very important.

V-Strom is significantly better, even stock. Upgrade the suspension and it's a non-issue.

One thing I tried on the KLR was to switch from the stock sail to a cafe' style front fender. It was about $25. AMC "Grabber Green" is the same color as Kawasaki green, so you can buy it as a rattle can. But the brakes still sucked and it still got tossed around on the slab.

 

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I own an old KLR an an 09 Wee, 156kg v 200kg means the Wee sits heavier on the road and is more stable in winds.

Try to relax and let your body reflexes take care of the bikes movements in the wind.

I've ridden in cross winds that have almost had the bike leaning enough to wear off any chicken strips [well it felt like that anyway, the scary bit was when the wind dropped suddenly and resulted in an "instant" lane change or excursion along the dirt verge of the road :yikes:].

These days I don't worry about it and just let my subconscious reflexes handle it.

The Wee is very stable, a fork brace does help stability on bumpy sections of road by reducing fork flex [I have one on my bike and can vouch for the improvement, but it does nothing for windy conditions from my personal experience].

I think what previous poster was meaning was a steering damper [which will help in the wind and also helps in soft sand riding].

I'd take the Wee every time for long trips, especially two up and loaded, before I'd take the KLR.
 

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It IS a fork brace

it spans between both forks - it does not BRACE to anything

from all the comments I'm beginning to think that the thing is way over-rated
FYI, it is a fork brace, it braces the two fork legs thus reducing the twist that sometimes happens between the two legs.

Try going online or to any bike shop and ask for a fork "span", you won't get one.

They are marketed as a fork brace by any retailer, genuine or after market.

You are right though, it does span the gap between the fork legs.

Welcome to the world of us pedants. :biggrinjester::biggrinjester:
:green_lol::green_lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to all of you for the replies.

I think for now I'll run it as is and see how it goes. I've never had any real concerns about the KLR on long trips and never hesitated to challenge the wind. I was just making sure that the Strom was not somehow "worse".
 

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My comments may not be germane because I like riding in the wind. I think it's a hoot.

My last bike was a 2008 KLR650. I put 60,000 miles on it. My current road bike is a 2011 DL650. I only have about 17,500 miles on it.

I find both bikes similar in the wind with one exception. The DL650 makes "corrections" a little slower than the KLR did, but neither have any wind issues in my opinion.

When I had my first KLR650 back in 2001, the fork brace controversy was identical to the one here and just as prevalent. Many raved about how the brace improved the handling of the bike everywhere, including in wind. Others weren't so enthusiastic. I decided to try one. I could discern absolutely no difference with or without it, so I took it off and sold it. I don't know if the DL650 handling would be improved with a fork brace or not, but I doubt if I will buy one.

Ron :mrgreen:
 

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The klr and the wee are probably the same in wind. Every bike is pretty much the same in the wind.
LOL, you just can't help yourself.
Let's ride across west Texas, you on your wee, me on my valk. We'll see who gets affected by the 40 mph gusty side winds the most. :green_lol:
 

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Ozart: I get your point: the heavier bike will be blown about less.

What moves a bike in a crosswind is that the sideways force of the wind changes the direction of the total forward force.

The solution in every case is to increase the initial forward force. There are only two ways of doing this: change the bike's acceleration (open the throttle) or increase the bike's mass (buy a valk).

Most riders' reaction is to back off the throttle. Of course, this makes the crosswind problem worse as its vector is now larger compared to the forward vector.
 

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The klr and the wee are probably the same in wind. Every bike is pretty much the same in the wind.

The "wind" problem is usually with the rider getting scared, tensing up on the bars and slowing down.

If you do get blown around by wind, the first thing to do is to increase your throttle opening (gear down if you don't want to go too fast).

The fact that the wind is a rider problem can be easily proven: just let go of the handlebars for a second (I mean you're "being blown" all over the lane anyways, letting go for one second ain't going to kill you).

The Wee and the KLR are most definitely NOT the same in the wind.

Stock Wee is far better in the wind than a stock KLR.

KLR can be made much, much better by doing the following:
1) fork brace
2) replace stock hand guards with aftermarket hand guards. The stock guards only attach on the inboard side, and they flap about in heavy wind and cause the bars to shimmy back and forth.
3) replace the stock front fender with an aftermarket "KTM-style" front fender. The stock fender has a beak that, besides looking like a pelican, catches wind and causes the front end to shimmy.
4) upgrade the suspension.

Between these four mods, I was able to take my '09 KLR from downright scary in high crosswinds to not even noticing winds.

Wee can be made better in crosswinds also, primarily through lowering the front end a little, fork brace, and suspension upgrades. For me, it was never scary in winds like the KLR was, but with these mods I can ride in a steady 40 mph crosswind and not even notice it.

Sittingduck - I get your point to some extent, but the stupid handguard and front fender design on the KLR, for example, make that bike far worse in crosswinds than a 400+ lb bike should be.
 
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