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post #1 of 28 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 5:40 pm Thread Starter
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Blown Away

I will begin by admitting I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew. With that said.

Beautiful Sunday in Colorado's front range. Temps in the high 50s, so I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. After a nice 45 miles to have lunch with my daughter, I headed west toward the foothills.

Started gaining elevations just after Lyons, Colorado. First five miles from Lyons was great. Could not have been better. But then the wind started to pick up. I mean serious sustained winds. It got so bad at one point while following the curve of the road to the right, the wind was so strong I could not make the curve. I straightened the bike and applied the break to slow down. There was no traffic thank goodness.

Can folks offer tips to riding in strong winds? I ride a 2006 R1200RT.

Other than a couple of pucker moments at about 9000ft, the ride was great.

Thanks,

LL
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post #2 of 28 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 5:54 pm
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Tips? ......SURE!

... put your head between your legs and kiss your sweet ass goodbye!

I got hit by a wind gust literally out of the blue in Wyoming a few years ago with Mom on the back - it blew us into the opposite lane before I could recover. If there was another vehicle in the other lane we would have been grill badges.

The saying up yonder is that there is "nothin' to stop the wind but a three wire fence."


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post #3 of 28 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 6:37 pm
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I had a similar experience getting caught in a Spring snow storm in March. I used to live out in Firestone off of HWY 119 just East of I-5. My wife and I went up to US 72 (peak-to-peak highway) via Lyons for a pizza lunch at the Millsite Inn. Gorgeous day, upper 50's.

Returing down Left Hand Canyon the sky was looking ugly-mean out over the plains. There was the forecast of a big upslope storm coming that night, but I guess it was in a bigger hurry than usual as it was only about 1:00 in the afternoon. As soon as we touched down out of the foothills onto HWY 93 the big flakes started to fall. No biggie, they melt on contact, we'll just get through Longmont and we're home free. The snow starts falling thicker and thicker. We're still on track. All of the sudden, just leaving the city limits it hits like a freight train. We're headed due West on 119. The wind is attacking from the Northwest maybe 40 knots and snow is piling up FAST! Thankfully for the last 5 miles or so a guy in a big SUV, a Suburban or something, slows down, waves and drives along-side and forward in the next lane to help shield me from the wind. That helped considerably as the storm was getting worse by the minute. The last leg was a Southern tack for a mile and I had most of the wind at my back, so we made it home safely.

And the wife still rides with me!

Colorado can have some extreme-assed weather!

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post #4 of 28 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 6:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llanda9
I will begin by admitting I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew. With that said.

Beautiful Sunday in Colorado's front range. Temps in the high 50s, so I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. After a nice 45 miles to have lunch with my daughter, I headed west toward the foothills.

Started gaining elevations just after Lyons, Colorado. First five miles from Lyons was great. Could not have been better. But then the wind started to pick up. I mean serious sustained winds. It got so bad at one point while following the curve of the road to the right, the wind was so strong I could not make the curve. I straightened the bike and applied the break to slow down. There was no traffic thank goodness.

Can folks offer tips to riding in strong winds? I ride a 2006 R1200RT.

Other than a couple of pucker moments at about 9000ft, the ride was great.

Thanks,

LL
You may want to check either CDOT or weather conditions before you start. Today a downslope was evident. If you stayed on the east side, you probably would have had a much better ride. I have had some really nasty rides on C470... One day a big gust literally blew me to the side of the road.

If you find yourself in big winds, my recommendation would be to not stiffen up. If it gets too strong, slow down.

Just the nature of the beast here near Denver...
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post #5 of 28 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 7:56 pm
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We were in WY riding from Steamboat, CO, to the Tetons. Noticed something a mile or so ahead blowing around - looked like one of those plastic bags. Got up to it, and it was a large cardboard box. Just as we noted what it was, the wind caught us, whipped the LT in a left yaw (dampened by the Bushtec, we think), and lifted my helmet so the chin bar was at my eyes. We were out of it as suddenly as it hit. Somehow, we stayed upright, and on the road (momentum?) and continued our ride. Never mind the seat. Weather channel that evening mentioned serious wind shear.

First serious wind- pucker for us. Usually we just tack accordingly (the LT seems to know what it needs, so I give him his head), slowing if appropriate, and keep riding, as the LT is the best bike in wind we've ever ridden.

Jim Taylor
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post #6 of 28 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 8:26 pm
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I dunno what you all is talk'n 'bout. That kinda thing is pretty normal here 'bouts.

Something about Nebraska, they tell me.

Tate

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post #7 of 28 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 10:09 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llanda9
I will begin by admitting I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew. With that said.

Beautiful Sunday in Colorado's front range. Temps in the high 50s, so I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. After a nice 45 miles to have lunch with my daughter, I headed west toward the foothills.

Started gaining elevations just after Lyons, Colorado. First five miles from Lyons was great. Could not have been better. But then the wind started to pick up. I mean serious sustained winds. It got so bad at one point while following the curve of the road to the right, the wind was so strong I could not make the curve. I straightened the bike and applied the break to slow down. There was no traffic thank goodness.

Can folks offer tips to riding in strong winds? I ride a 2006 R1200RT.

Other than a couple of pucker moments at about 9000ft, the ride was great.

Thanks,

LL
Lower the windshield to reduce the sail area. I even found it better to lean on the gas tank at the winds on I-10 at AZ-CA border. Moving the luggage (Kathy's bag) from the top box rack to the rear seat helped too.

Matt Kas

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post #8 of 28 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 11:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
I heard that same thing about Nebraska and how it creates a massive vacuum!
Well, I weren't going to go into too much detail - there're a few of this place's fine upstanding membership with addresses in NE. But, since ya brought it up.....

At 4:30 it was 44.3f outside. By 5:00 it was 1f - 30 minutes to loose 43.5 degrees f

Then the wind kicked it up a notch. They're talk'n upto 3" and gusts to 70mph by midnight. Guess I'd better be sure the snow blade is on the Ramcharger.... That much wind with any snow - drifts can be HUGE.

Tate

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post #9 of 28 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 12:33 am
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A lot of stories about wind, but not many suggestions for how to ride in it, probably because there isn't much you can do.

Last year for Laguna Seca I was heading up the 101 when I got into a strong headwind about 45 degrees to the right. It kept blowing me around. I lowered the windshield, leaned on the tank, and hoped that the laminar flow plate, which was wobbling like mad, wouldn't blow off and hit me in the face. I really fought it for about 20 miles. Traffic around me didn't seem to notice. I'm guessing it's windy there a lot, or I'm just a bad driver.

I think the DOT suggestion is a good one. Accuweather has wind advisories, but I cannot find a way to really zoom in and see the location. I've also found accuweather temperatures to not be very accurate. weather.com doesn't really show wind maps to good detail either. I wish there was a better source of information for this, with more scalable maps, but hey, we don't want to become too dependent on technology.

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post #10 of 28 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 6:51 pm
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The scariest ride of my life was in the extraordinary high winds during the firestorms in Southern California last October. I thought I had experienced high winds before, and knew how to handle them. It was mostly luck that I made it; I could have easily been blown over, blown into a fixed object or another vehicle, or had another vehicle blown into me.

Here are my suggestions for riding in high winds:

1. Ask yourself if you really must be out in the first place. (In my case, I was caught by surprise, and stopping in the path of the fire didn't make much sense.) Pull over where you can.

2. Keep your profile low. Drop the windscreen down as far as you can to decrease its air resistance. Keep your body low and streamlined.

3. If you can leave your cases behind, do it, especially the top case. Can you go back another time to pick them up? The top case adds a lot to your wind cross-section, especially side winds. Removing the side cases allows side winds to blow through your wheels. To repeat: Those big top cases really catch the wind.

4. Keep your arms relaxed on the bars to give yourself the flexibility to make smooth steering corrections as needed.

5. Give yourself an extra large buffer on all sides. When you are side by side with another vehicle, it may block the wind and "suck" you toward it, or it may push you away, depending on conditions. Be ready.
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post #11 of 28 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 7:01 pm
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Things you can do.
1. Lower windshield.
2. Rest your chest on the gas tank.
3. If possible change direction.
4. Slow down.
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post #12 of 28 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 7:13 pm
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xmagnariders advice is good, Pretty much exactly what I do. I hate wind with a passion!!!!! It brings me back to my early years of boating. I would head out reguardless of sea conditions. My boat could handle the 8-10 foot steep seas without a problem but it would beat the heck out of me. Then on one 3 week trip up into BC I got beat up on for hours in Johnstone strait and decided I was boating for fun not to get the crap beat out of me. So when its to nasty out the boat and bike stay in port. Last time I hit high winds in Nevada I pulled over into a deserted truck stop and found 2 large rocks to prop up the LT. As I waited the police and fire trucks came flying by with sirens and lights going. They were picking up a harley rider who was blown off the road. Swallow the pride and find a safe place for awhile if the wind exceed 50mph.

Brian Ley
WA State of mindless sheep
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post #13 of 28 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 8:55 pm
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Well, as a self proclaimed 'Wind Rider' - best I can say is plan and be loose. Go with the flow.

You can't anticipate a gust - trying to do so will only make you tense. Make sure you've got 'wiggle' room - don't get boxed in. When it hits - let the bike 'go with it' a bit - firmly and easily 'nudge' her back into your desired trail. Do NOT fight it!

Wind is a thin form of moving water - let it flow. Use it. Don't fight it - it'll win, every time.

I find my LT 'spills' air very nicely. Wind from the right, let 'er tip a tad to the right - don't lean like a turn! Wind can slow or stop and you find yourself going in a different direction. Let the air 'spill' under the bike Lots of the moving stuff will go right under you if you let it.

Tail winds are nice - and deceptive. They move and swirl.

Head winds are no fun at all. Eats gas, slows ya down and make everything feel like you're ride'n in the mud. Still - gotta let the mud flow.

Worst bit is head wind on a 2 lane and a semi or other large vehicle comes at you. Can be a VERY impressive bow wave! Again - go with the flow and stay in control. If you have to make stronger moves to stay on track - do them intentionaly. Do NOT jerk! Smooth and firm. Let it flow.

So all that and a buck 'n a half will get ya a cup o coffee. Wait a bit and you'll likely flow anyway.

Tate

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post #14 of 28 Old Jan 30th, 2008, 1:09 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llanda9
I will begin by admitting I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew. With that said.

Beautiful Sunday in Colorado's front range. Temps in the high 50s, so I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. After a nice 45 miles to have lunch with my daughter, I headed west toward the foothills.

Started gaining elevations just after Lyons, Colorado. First five miles from Lyons was great. Could not have been better. But then the wind started to pick up. I mean serious sustained winds. It got so bad at one point while following the curve of the road to the right, the wind was so strong I could not make the curve. I straightened the bike and applied the break to slow down. There was no traffic thank goodness.

Can folks offer tips to riding in strong winds? I ride a 2006 R1200RT.

Other than a couple of pucker moments at about 9000ft, the ride was great.

Thanks,

LL
I remember my first high desert wind gust (80 MPH) on my first bike! Almost blew me one entire lane to the left!

After I pulled the bike out of my ass....I found that I either needed to speed up (over 70 MPH) or slow down (approx 50 MPH). Top boxes and tall windshields, etc, sure don't help, either. Hugging the tank helped a bit.

Much like extreme cold or extreme heat, I do my best to avoid high winds....or even not so high winds.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #15 of 28 Old Jan 30th, 2008, 9:03 pm
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I remember in 1977 when I rode from Virginia to D.C. during the fall season. Being from the Southwest the colors were amazingly beautiful.

While cruising along I remember thinking how nice and relaxing it was just as I was crossing a bridge between two hills , mountains or whatever.

About the time I got to the middle of the bridge a "gust' or should I say a "Wind Tsunami" hit me and moved be over one full lane. It took a second.

Scared the living bejabers out of me !!

Had a few other incidents through the years, but that one really took the cake.

P.S. Anybody know what bejabers are ?

PROUD FATHER OF A MILITARY DAUGHTER !.
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post #16 of 28 Old Jan 30th, 2008, 9:27 pm
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i kan answer dat thatz when u $h!t your paints and keep a goin!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #17 of 28 Old Jan 30th, 2008, 11:37 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIC
....Anybody know what bejabers are?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLIM
i kan answer dat thatz when u $h!t your paints and keep a goin!!!!!!!!!!!
Not exactly! Impossible to keep going cause you need to pull the m/c out of your ass....then change your underwear! Some would refer to it as the "pucker factor."

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #18 of 28 Old Feb 1st, 2008, 12:27 am
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OK - today may well have been more challenge that I'd want on an LT.

40mph sustained winds
gusts to near 80

So far we've lost one home roof, a light pole at the Wally World parking lot, a WY-DOT highway sign and a couple trucks blown off the roads.

Stopped at a light on the way home. I coulda sworn some one was on the back bumper jumping around - the ol Ramcharger was rock'n and rolling at a dead stop so bad.

Tad breezish. And it's not considered 'abnormal' - yet.

Tate

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post #19 of 28 Old Feb 1st, 2008, 12:53 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotter
....So far we've lost one home roof, a light pole at the Wally World parking lot....
Wonder if the same shit, lowest bidder, contractor that W-M used also installed the home roof?

Not so long ago, the plastic pieces of the local "Sam's Club" sign blew out, also.

Imagine how much lower prices could be if W-M decided to do things right the FIRST TIME!? But, of course, that's not the W-M way.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #20 of 28 Old Feb 1st, 2008, 8:46 am
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Just to try and reply to your question.... (a novel concept)....

IMO, Maintain Speed. Lower windshield, tuck down and have passenger do the same, tack into it if you can but may be impossible if it is gusty... and now the one tip not previously mentioned- hike your up-wind knee out into the slip stream on that side only.

This means if the wind is from the left- put that left knee out as far as you can and v.v.

This is standard wisdom as taught in various advanced rider schools....

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“As Woody Guthrie says, ‘Left wing, right wing, chicken wing.’I keep my mind open. Whatever you believe, it’s all a mystery in the end.”
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post #21 of 28 Old Feb 1st, 2008, 3:52 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopz
Just to try and reply to your question.... (a novel concept)....
?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????

Question? What question?

Who am I? Where am I? What am I doing here?(to quote a once popular Amerikan)

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #22 of 28 Old May 8th, 2009, 11:15 pm
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Re: Blown Away

Dont slow down! Better to speed up. It's called apperant wind where you change the direction of the wind. Very mportant concept in sailing. Since I call riding my bike "Land sailing" the technique works.

Used it today going accross NM and AZ on my K1200lt

Headed to LA, then DC and back to TX
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post #23 of 28 Old May 10th, 2009, 10:52 am
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Re: Blown Away

“Wind Farm Ahead” may be the highway warning sign that motorcyclists dread as much as any. Last year while heading into Palm Springs just past the wind farms a friend and I (he on an RT and I on a GT) were following a Frito Lay truck when it was suddenly blown off the road and onto its side. The high winds continued for 3 days and there was no possible way to wait it out. Here are the tips that helped us survive that and many other strong wind encounters:
• Stay relaxed. If you have a death grip on the handlebars you cannot react and as the wind strikes your stiff arms, it transfers the force into the handlebars, which is just what you do not want.
• There have been comments in prior posts to slow down and comments to speed up. I suggest maintaining a steady speed close to the speed of the other traffic so you are not being constantly passed, especially by big rigs. Maintain a steady throttle pressure. Do not roll off when a gust hits. Rolling off the throttle changes the balance of the bike and surrenders to the wind.
• Watch for changes in elevation such as at road cuts, coming down from between sheltering hills sides to an open valley and be especially alert on elevated bridges and overpasses. Expect gusts in these locations.
• Watch ahead for the direction trees, grasses, dust and tumble weeds are blowing. Do not try to avoid a blowing tumble weed. The evasive action is more hazardous than striking it.
• Lean into the wind. I have spent hundreds of miles riding at a 30-45 degree angle. Also hanging your knee out into the wind does have a beneficial effect.
• If the wind is from the right side ride to the right of your lane, if from the left ride to the left side of your lane. If it is gusting and swirling ride in the center of your lane. The idea is to give yourself as much room to be suddenly blown about by an unsuspected gust as possible without leaving you lane.
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post #24 of 28 Old May 10th, 2009, 5:44 pm
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Re: Blown Away

I always make sure I don't overcorrect until I'm nearing the edge of my lane. When i'm near the edge of my lane I correct hard which gives me a whole lane to correct again if the next wind gust comes from the other direction.

My worst ever was this past good friday in north east AL. Riding near Scottsboro for 30min. I had tornado sirens all around me & hail. The wind gusts were from both directions & I don't think I could have held the bike up if I had stopped.

On monday I read the local paper & the road along the river was still closed from the floating docks that had been blown onto the road plus the downed power lines & trees.

When I rode across northern Minn. last labor day I had wind gusts of 30 to 40mph across the whole state. Up until then I was worried about the wind gust crossing the mackinaw bridge. By the time I crossed the bridge I was able to ride with one hand & take pictures.

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post #25 of 28 Old May 12th, 2009, 10:00 am
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Talking Re: Blown Away

Quote:
Originally Posted by llanda9
I will begin by admitting I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew. With that said.

Beautiful Sunday in Colorado's front range. Temps in the high 50s, so I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. After a nice 45 miles to have lunch with my daughter, I headed west toward the foothills.

Started gaining elevations just after Lyons, Colorado. First five miles from Lyons was great. Could not have been better. But then the wind started to pick up. I mean serious sustained winds. It got so bad at one point while following the curve of the road to the right, the wind was so strong I could not make the curve. I straightened the bike and applied the break to slow down. There was no traffic thank goodness.

Can folks offer tips to riding in strong winds? I ride a 2006 R1200RT.

Other than a couple of pucker moments at about 9000ft, the ride was great.

Thanks,

LL
Louis,

We all tackle wind issues differently. I try to be the bird and use it to my advantage. The angle of attack can make a big diference IF YOU CAN select a new direction. It's like sailing. If the wind becomes too unpredictable and/or violent, I try to park as sooon as possible. I always check the weather now using the computer or cell. If wind is predicted to be over 30 MPH I may decide to avoid 2 wheels and jump in the Porsche. I ride for pleasure, not danger.

Rob Nelson

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2006 K1200GT [now lives in Wisconsin]
Grey Goose
2002 K1200LTC [now lives in Georgia]
Toscana Temptress

More than 132,000 (recently corrected higher) motorcycle riders have died in traffic crashes since the enactment of the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. Be careful out there.
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post #26 of 28 Old May 12th, 2009, 1:01 pm
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Re: Blown Away

Wildoming; where you can fight a head wind most of the morning; stop, do U turn in the middle of the road..................and still have a head wind....................

Oh yeah, 5:00 this morning ...........calm
9:30................dead stop to 27 mph
At this writing.........................47mph and gaining................
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post #27 of 28 Old May 12th, 2009, 7:15 pm
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Re: Blown Away

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palerider
Wildoming; where you can fight a head wind most of the morning; stop, do U turn in the middle of the road..................and still have a head wind....................

Oh yeah, 5:00 this morning ...........calm
9:30................dead stop to 27 mph
At this writing.........................47mph and gaining................
I had a roommate in college from Big Piney. He said he never knew that snow came straight down, he had only ever seen it arrive from the side until he left Wyoming.
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post #28 of 28 Old May 16th, 2009, 10:20 pm
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Re: Blown Away

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moot
“Wind Farm Ahead” may be the highway warning sign that motorcyclists dread as much as any. Last year while heading into Palm Springs just past the wind farms a friend and I (he on an RT and I on a GT) were following a Frito Lay truck when it was suddenly blown off the road and onto its side. The high winds continued for 3 days and there was no possible way to wait it out. Here are the tips that helped us survive that and many other strong wind encounters:
• Stay relaxed. If you have a death grip on the handlebars you cannot react and as the wind strikes your stiff arms, it transfers the force into the handlebars, which is just what you do not want.
• There have been comments in prior posts to slow down and comments to speed up. I suggest maintaining a steady speed close to the speed of the other traffic so you are not being constantly passed, especially by big rigs. Maintain a steady throttle pressure. Do not roll off when a gust hits. Rolling off the throttle changes the balance of the bike and surrenders to the wind.
• Watch for changes in elevation such as at road cuts, coming down from between sheltering hills sides to an open valley and be especially alert on elevated bridges and overpasses. Expect gusts in these locations.
• Watch ahead for the direction trees, grasses, dust and tumble weeds are blowing. Do not try to avoid a blowing tumble weed. The evasive action is more hazardous than striking it.
• Lean into the wind. I have spent hundreds of miles riding at a 30-45 degree angle. Also hanging your knee out into the wind does have a beneficial effect.
• If the wind is from the right side ride to the right of your lane, if from the left ride to the left side of your lane. If it is gusting and swirling ride in the center of your lane. The idea is to give yourself as much room to be suddenly blown about by an unsuspected gust as possible without leaving you lane.
It's true that you can anticipate the wind by looking at the terrain. Relaxing your body is key. My RT doesn't get blown around very much, I live in the high desert of California, I'm used to wind. You can ride in it without leaving your lane.

2006 R1200RT
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