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Yesterdays ride was so nice and easy that I woke up early ready to ride some more. Just intending to go out for a couple of hours. I was ridding a country road near me and it was very windy. I felt like I was being blown around like a rag doll. My initial reaction was to slow down (the road was marked for 50 mph and I slowed to 35) with the idea that I would have more time to react to the effects of a gust. Any suggestions on the best way to handle the wind? Also, I was riding next to a full-dress Harley for some time and it seemed as if he was less effected by the wind. Any ideas on why?
 

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He was probably less affected because the wind could blow through the Harley. They don't have all the Plastic on the sides that the Wing has.

Rode through 45 MPH side gust in Kansas several years ago. It was brutal trying to maintain my lane. Even worse when coming up on an 18 wheeler and getting turbulance from two directions.

Slowing down, and keeping the Bike stable, is all you can do, as far as I know.

Like you, I would like some experienced Wing riders to share their views.
 

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That makes sense regarding the Harley, I guess the GW's are more like a sail in the wind. When I was ridding in it as I stated above my first inclination was to slow down but in my mind I was wondering if I should speed up to "cut through" the wind cleaner and quicker. I did not do that but wondered . . .
 

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Gary,

I've found that speeding up(rather than slowing down), and loosening(relax) the grip on the bars(rather than white-knuckle) is the best approach. That big shield can really cause issues in a cross wind. Keeping the shield in the lowest position, and use your lane position to keep from being pushed into another lane. Give the trucks wide berth, and just accept that your bike will continue to track forward even though the bike gets pushed around a bit. I rode with a tall shield to Las Vegas a few years ago and there were 40-60 MPH gusts coming directly across the freeway. I was using the entire lane. Setting up in the left track so that with the gust pushing me to the right I could stay in the lane. Sometimes it's just time to pull over, but practice in lighter winds will get you more experience and comfort.
 

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Thanks Gary for sharing, I like your insight.

And Harry that is one good looking bike in your profile photo!
 

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Gary,

I've found that speeding up(rather than slowing down), and loosening(relax) the grip on the bars(rather than white-knuckle) is the best approach. That big shield can really cause issues in a cross wind. Keeping the shield in the lowest position, and use your lane position to keep from being pushed into another lane. Give the trucks wide berth, and just accept that your bike will continue to track forward even though the bike gets pushed around a bit. I rode with a tall shield to Las Vegas a few years ago and there were 40-60 MPH gusts coming directly across the freeway. I was using the entire lane. Setting up in the left track so that with the gust pushing me to the right I could stay in the lane. Sometimes it's just time to pull over, but practice in lighter winds will get you more experience and comfort.
+1. Don't overcompensate. Relax grip and countersteer as necessary. Use the width of the lane. Don't slow down. Anticipate the blast when passing trucks and going under overpasses.
 

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The theroy behind speeding up ? Would like to hear more on this.

The worst wind I was in (see above) was on the Interstate. It was tough to maintain 70 MPH, and if I had sped up much I would have been risking getting a ticket. (I was already convinced I was going to be killed)

I agree with trying to relax, but gusty side wind is hard to relax in, since you don't know when the next big one is coming.

I guess you have to play it by fear. Uh, I mean ear.

One guy with us, had his wife holding his helmet, so it didn't blow sideways.

I had a front speaker grille blow off the bike, and lost a flag pole off the luggage rack.

05nwl probably sumed it up best...sometime it is best to just pull over.
Sounds like his Vegas trip was about what we experienced.

Thanks Gary, my bike looks a lot like yours doesn't it..
 

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The theroy behind speeding up ? Would like to hear more on this.

The worst wind I was in (see above) was on the Interstate. It was tough to maintain 70 MPH, and if I had sped up much I would have been risking getting a ticket. (I was already convinced I was going to be killed)

I agree with trying to relax, but gusty side wind is hard to relax in, since you don't know when the next big one is coming.

I guess you have to play it by fear. Uh, I mean ear.

One guy with us, had his wife holding his helmet, so it didn't blow sideways.

I had a front speaker grille blow off the bike, and lost a flag pole off the luggage rack.

05nwl probably sumed it up best...sometime it is best to just pull over.
Sounds like his Vegas trip was about what we experienced.

Thanks Gary, my bike looks a lot like yours doesn't it..
I don't necessarily speed up, I just don't slow down. I don't think it helps.
 

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The theroy behind speeding up ? Would like to hear more on this.

The worst wind I was in (see above) was on the Interstate. It was tough to maintain 70 MPH, and if I had sped up much I would have been risking getting a ticket. (I was already convinced I was going to be killed)

I agree with trying to relax, but gusty side wind is hard to relax in, since you don't know when the next big one is coming.

I guess you have to play it by fear. Uh, I mean ear.

One guy with us, had his wife holding his helmet, so it didn't blow sideways.

I had a front speaker grille blow off the bike, and lost a flag pole off the luggage rack.

05nwl probably sumed it up best...sometime it is best to just pull over.
Sounds like his Vegas trip was about what we experienced.

Thanks Gary, my bike looks a lot like yours doesn't it..
If you're not comfortable in it, it's always best to pull over. A scared rider is not a safe driver.

As far as increasing/maintaining speed I'm referring to centrifugal force. As long as you have forward momentum your ability to be pushed to the sides decreases, unless you think that wind can blow your wheels out from under you(such as when there is sand being blown across the road). You're probably more likely to allow your forward motion to keep you up. Similar to when you are in a turn, and you feel your bike is going to fall down. You can give it throttle, and the bike will stand up.

As for loosening the grip. It is more of an effort to make sure you are not gripping as if trying to hold a heavy item(white knuckles), rather than trying to hold something steady in your hand. You can hold onto it, but not necessarily be gripping it tightly. And if it were to move you could still grip it. It's hard to explain...

Gusting side winds are my least favorite because you can't predict, just prepare. A steady wind you can just adjust your lean and move ahead. Our Santa Ana winds can make a tough trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here is an idea from the GWRRA Facebook page where I posed the same question: "if you have highway pegs to push into the wind. If the wind is coming from the right, then keep your right foot only on the highway peg and push." Interesting idea. Also the idea of keeping rpms high enough to have good throttle response about 3000 rpm. I guess that suggestion would be applicable to more then just windy conditions.
 

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Gary, if a little bit of wind slowed you from 50 down to 35 then I think you need to get out and get more experience riding in the wind. It is common out here in the desert to have the wind trying to rip the helmet off your head. Your Wing can handle it but you can't - yet. Just get some more wind time and you'll find that the wind ain't no big deal.
 

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I made a run nobody wanted to go on because of the wind. Wasn't comfortable riding wing (had just got it) in the wind. I saddled up and went out. Got pushed around alot. After 6 hours I got home exhausted, but knew how to ride in nasty crosswinds.
 

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Relax and Focus

My experience has taught me to just relax the grip some but don't relax your mind and anticipate the wind as best you can allowing for variations of strong gusts that you can't predict to move you across the lane within the acceptable boundaries. Not a fun ride but you can do it. I don' speed up but I do try to maintain speed and the direction of travel.

Donnie
 

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You just gotta relax in the wind and let the Wing do its thing. You won't lose control or crash or anything - just let 'er lean and go with it. We've been 2-up with our tent trailer in tow with 40 mph cross-winds hitting us. The Wing is great in the wind. I just let it lean and then let it lean some more when a gust hits. What's fun is to have the cruise on and have only one hand on the bars when she's in the leans. It's a confidence builder.
 

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I ride in some pretty nasty winds quite often. In the worst of them this year the winds were howling down the mountainside off a glacier. I don't know how fast the sustained winds were blowing but I had to continuously counter steer on the left bar as if I were going to lay her into a corner, just to go straight. Then I would be intermittently hit with vicious gusts that would try to blow the bike off the road and turn my head around backward like in the exorcist :shock:

I think the wing does pretty good in the wind, better than any other bike I`ve had. How I deal with it (on any bike) is I grip the tank with my knees but keep my upper body very relaxed with a light touch on the bars. Then I just kind of go with it in a relaxed sort of way letting the wind blow the bike around a little but correcting in a very relaxed manner when needed.(if that makes any sense) I don't think I can adequately describe just how violent those gusts really were in sustained winds that were easily 60mph, but I didn't really have a problem staying on the road with this technique. I thought it was kind of funny every time one of those mega gusts hit and snapped my head back and I was just kind of laughing out loud the whole time.:wrong:Luckily it only lasted about 8 miles.
One thing is certain, if you are all tensed up on the bike you are going to get blown around all over the place. Just my .02
 
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