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post #1 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 9:10 am Thread Starter
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battling wind, thoughts?

OK, so I finally sorted out the tracking issues on the bike. What I thought was the tread design on the front tire that was causing the tracking was actually my over-inflation of the front. I have an official looking sticker in the little glove box/radio compartment that says 41psi front - and thats what I ran - but then flippling through the manual revealed that I should be at 36-ish. That completely solved my tracking problem.

So my new problem I have now is when I get in traffic at highway speeds, anywhere near any vehicle, I get a lot of being pushed around, seemingly from the wind. I have an aero-somethingoranother large windscreen on the bike. When the screen is fully down, the pushing is less but it gets REALLY bad with the screen full up. Up or down it is still there though. Really bad when following larger vehicles like semis and large trucks. This is in the 70-80mph indicated speed range. not tailgating or anything. I would say a safe distance from trucks.

Is this just the nature of the beast or is this a consequence of perhaps another problem like steering damper (I know it needs a little help) or suspension?

Just looking for others experience.

If the road is wide open and no traffic, shes smooth as glass up into triple digits on both smooth asphalt and rain-grooved concrete.

- Justin

Last edited by That Guy; May 26th, 2015 at 11:01 am.
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post #2 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 9:29 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

The wind buffeting is normal. If you were on a lighter bike it would push you around even more. It is something if you are not use to riding around trucks at high speed is a little un-nerving but you will get use to it with time. Best advice is to not fight it as the buffeting usually will not move you out of your line.

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post #3 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 9:35 am Thread Starter
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by norton View Post
The wind buffeting is normal. If you were on a lighter bike it would push you around even more. It is something if you are not use to riding around trucks at high speed is a little un-nerving but you will get use to it with time. Best advice is to not fight it as the buffeting usually will not move you out of your line.
Well I only bring it up as I regularly ride lighter bike, but of a different flavor. I am a sport bike guy at heart so i have my RC51, and also my cruisers, but never anything full faired this big. My RC is rock solid in any wind / wake turbulence and my cruisers didnt seem to mind as much either, although a little bit.

This one just feels like Im driving a billboard in the wind. If this is normal, than I will get used to it I am sure, just want to be sure I am not chasing ghosts looking for other problems that dont exist.

- Justin
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post #4 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 9:55 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

I experience the same buffeting and appreciate the question and answer. I am also interested in what your tracking problem was and how it felt. I have always felt the bike was "crabbing" a little when I ride. Like the rear was tracking to the left while the front was tracking to the right. Did it feel like that?

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post #5 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 10:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

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Originally Posted by rugguy View Post
I experience the same buffeting and appreciate the question and answer. I am also interested in what your tracking problem was and how it felt. I have always felt the bike was "crabbing" a little when I ride. Like the rear was tracking to the left while the front was tracking to the right. Did it feel like that?
no, mine was more of an issue of the crap roads here in vegas. The rain grooves they cut in the freeway was deep and the front tire kept trying to follow the grooves real bad instead of just rolling over them. once i dropped the tire pressure down, the bike tracks straight again. It almost felt like someone was lightly jerking the the handlebars slightly in either direction randomly, if that makes sense.

The issue you describe may be from a rear wheel spacer/shim and the back wheel actually being physically out of track / offset with the front. This is fairly common on several bikes though. I remember the old Kawi ZRX bikes... the 1100 used a 180 rear tire and the wheel was center, but when they moved to the 1200, they gave the rear wheel another 1/2" with a 190 tire and instead of re-engineering the output of the transmission to move the chain over, they just offset the wheel to the right. This could be your thing with the wheel spacers perhaps?

- Justin
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post #6 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 10:52 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Thanks for the reply. And I'll put OUR crap roads in Detroit up against YOUR crap roads in Vegas any day brother. I don't even know why they pave some of them.

I will have the dealer that does the maintenance on the bike check the rear spacer and alignment. Any changes would have been done by them. I have done all types of work on other bikes but have never laid a wrench on this beast. Too much Tupperware....

Thanks again for the response....

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post #7 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 10:57 am Thread Starter
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

people still live in detroit?

- Justin
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post #8 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 10:58 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Yes and it's a very cool city. I have lived all over the country and it is one of my favorites. It's not all what you see on TV or in an Eminem video....but there is that too.

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post #9 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 10:59 am Thread Starter
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

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Originally Posted by rugguy View Post
Yes and it's a very cool city. I have lived all over the country and it is one of my favorites. It's not all what you see on TV or in an Eminem video....but there is that too.
haha, I know, just bustin balls... thats what I do - reference user name.

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post #10 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 1:38 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

I ask people, "you know how to tell when you've run off the road in Michigan?....the ride gets smoother."

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post #11 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 2:55 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
OK, so I finally sorted out the tracking issues on the bike. What I thought was the tread design on the front tire that was causing the tracking was actually my over-inflation of the front. I have an official looking sticker in the little glove box/radio compartment that says 41psi front - and thats what I ran - but then flippling through the manual revealed that I should be at 36-ish. That completely solved my tracking problem.

So my new problem I have now is when I get in traffic at highway speeds, anywhere near any vehicle, I get a lot of being pushed around, seemingly from the wind. I have an aero-somethingoranother large windscreen on the bike. When the screen is fully down, the pushing is less but it gets REALLY bad with the screen full up. Up or down it is still there though. Really bad when following larger vehicles like semis and large trucks. This is in the 70-80mph indicated speed range. not tailgating or anything. I would say a safe distance from trucks.

Is this just the nature of the beast or is this a consequence of perhaps another problem like steering damper (I know it needs a little help) or suspension?

Just looking for others experience.

If the road is wide open and no traffic, shes smooth as glass up into triple digits on both smooth asphalt and rain-grooved concrete.

- Justin
I run 42 psi in the front and 48 rear and my LT tracks fine.

The wind buffeting is the price paid for a fully faired motorcycle. The worst place behind a semi at 70 is about 200' back. Closer is better, though less safe as you can't see well, as is farther back. Normal following distance at that speed puts you in the worst turbulence.

A key aid is to relax on the bars. The bike will naturally counter steer into crosswinds and you want to allow the bars to move to facilitate that. A death grip will make turbulence and gusty cross winds feel much worse.
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post #12 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 6:16 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Pass the truck or back off.
I also give oncoming trucks a wide berth.

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post #13 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 6:23 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Think of it in terms of an aircraft wing, at ground level approx15 lbs per square inch so if the crosswind creates 1 inch of low pressure on one side that is a lot of pressure, lots of square inches on an LT
I had a very tall parabellum on mine when I got it and it was wicked in crosswinds, huge frigging sail.
I am 5' 9" and I have a cut down windshield on it now, 14 inch, I use it the same way I did the windshield on the K11 - just adjust it to suit mood, it is electric

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post #14 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 8:49 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
.... I have an aero-somethingoranother large windscreen on the bike. When the screen is fully down, the pushing is less but it gets REALLY bad with the screen full up. Up or down it is still there though...
Is that the K1200LT Aeroflow windscreen?

That was one of the early after market designs available for the K1200LT, and while I had previously thought Aeroflow did pretty good designs, their offering for the K1200LT seemed extreme to me. It wasn't all that popular with folks and Aeroflow has discontinued it. Maybe there was a reason for that, I wonder.

There is buffeting and there is buffeting.... If you have the original K1200LT Aeroflow windscreen you might consider trying another.
Got a pic of your bike with the windscreen?

Last edited by CharlieVT; May 26th, 2015 at 8:56 pm.
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post #15 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 8:56 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

I refer to my aeroflow as the pregnant bubble, but it works just fine, it is more for my wife's benefit.

Eric von Laue

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post #16 of 26 Old May 26th, 2015, 9:16 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

I too run 42/f and 48/r and the LT handles like a dream. I've found the stock shield great in all but the most extreme wind conditions. If you want to experience rough roads, try the Bronx.

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post #17 of 26 Old May 27th, 2015, 7:30 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Justin
If you look at turbulence behind a truck you'll find that at about 7 to 15 feet behind you'll be in a doldrum ie an area of a lot less felt turbulence. You can actually back off on the gas if you're within that 7 to 15 distance. It's also rather dangerous if the truck decides to stop.

If you move back a bit say to about 50 to 100 feet that's where the turbulence is worst. So like *MountainMama* said: pass it or back right off to about 200 feet or more

Oncoming trucks punch a large hole in the air and pushes away the air left and right which is why passing an oncoming truck can throw you as well.

A fun thing is that as you pass along side a truck the closer you get to the front end the more you get kind of 'sucked' forward until you pass a point about 8-10 feet behind the cab - the you get hit by the wind pushed to either side. That's cause by the boundry layer and laminar flow

Last edited by Mike DK; May 27th, 2015 at 7:38 am.
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post #18 of 26 Old May 27th, 2015, 9:04 am Thread Starter
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike DK View Post
Justin
If you look at turbulence behind a truck you'll find that at about 7 to 15 feet behind you'll be in a doldrum ie an area of a lot less felt turbulence. You can actually back off on the gas if you're within that 7 to 15 distance. It's also rather dangerous if the truck decides to stop.

If you move back a bit say to about 50 to 100 feet that's where the turbulence is worst. So like *MountainMama* said: pass it or back right off to about 200 feet or more

Oncoming trucks punch a large hole in the air and pushes away the air left and right which is why passing an oncoming truck can throw you as well.

A fun thing is that as you pass along side a truck the closer you get to the front end the more you get kind of 'sucked' forward until you pass a point about 8-10 feet behind the cab - the you get hit by the wind pushed to either side. That's cause by the boundry layer and laminar flow
yeah I know the physics of it all... I am actually a pilot as well, although haven't flown in about 12 years... my question was more so about the fact that my other bikes don't seem to suffer the same getting pushed around. having never been on a bike this large for any considerable amount of time, I just wasn't sure if this was to be expected from this bike or I had some mechanical / handling issue to work out.

It sounds like everyone else, in one way or another, experiences the same thing so I am less concerned that perhaps I have other issues to sort out and that this is just the way things are on this beast.

It is fun to draft on semi trucks though every now and then. Scary for sure, but fun none the less - especially when that fuel light comes on and you aren't real sure where the next gas station might be.........

- Justin

Justin - Las Vegas, NV
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post #19 of 26 Old May 28th, 2015, 12:04 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

I was my mini van two vehicles behind a dump truck recently when it blew out an inner rear tire and the explosion was incredible. You could see the impact pressure radiate a full lane over in the road dust and under the car in front of me. Scared the holy crap out of me as I watched the tire tear in half and pop out the back of the truck. I will never ever hang out anywhere near a truck while on the LT again. Period. It was an unbelievable explosion.

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post #20 of 26 Old May 28th, 2015, 6:18 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

I've always put it down to the fact that the plastic tupperware has no real holes or gaps to speak of and so it acts like more of a sail under certain conditions. My large metric cruiser, which has lots of gaps, is not as affected by wind.

I remember riding through PA one time on the LT across a plain when a storm brought huge gusts of wind blowing directly across the 4 lane highway I was on. I ended up lowering the windshield, hunkering down behind the shield and slowing down. It helped but at one point a 70mph gust blew me and the bike across an entire lane and almost off the road. Luckily there was no other traffic immediately near me - it was quite a scary moment that caused me to consider stopping for the night to wait it out...

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post #21 of 26 Old May 28th, 2015, 8:17 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

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Originally Posted by gary45 View Post
Think of it in terms of an aircraft wing, at ground level approx15 lbs per square inch so if the crosswind creates 1 inch of low pressure on one side that is a lot of pressure, lots of square inches on an LT
I had a very tall parabellum on mine when I got it and it was wicked in crosswinds, huge frigging sail.
I am 5' 9" and I have a cut down windshield on it now, 14 inch, I use it the same way I did the windshield on the K11 - just adjust it to suit mood, it is electric
I hope you meant pounds per square foot. If you have 15 psi wind force, you are in a wind the likes of which I can't imagine! :-)

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post #22 of 26 Old May 28th, 2015, 8:29 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I hope you meant pounds per square foot. If you have 15 psi wind force, you are in a wind the likes of which I can't imagine! :-)
meant to say atmospheric pressure is 15 psi approx at sea level so if the crosswind creates low pressure of only 1 psi lots of pressure on fairing

I had a 1940 Plymouth in the 60s and with the big flat side it would really sail used to crack the windows in strong crosswinds and bleed air from positive to negative pressure even in winter

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post #23 of 26 Old May 28th, 2015, 9:06 am
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

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Originally Posted by gary45 View Post
meant to say atmospheric pressure is 15 psi approx at sea level so if the crosswind creates low pressure of only 1 psi lots of pressure on fairing

I had a 1940 Plymouth in the 60s and with the big flat side it would really sail used to crack the windows in strong crosswinds and bleed air from positive to negative pressure even in winter
Yes, a crosswind well above 200 mph would definitely move an LT around! Keep in mind that 1 psi is 144 psf. 100 psf is a 200 mph wind. I didn't calculate what speed corresponds to 144 psf, but it is probably 250 or so. That is definitely a stiff cross wind. :-)

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post #24 of 26 Old May 28th, 2015, 6:59 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

Since we have strayed toward cross winds, I got this advice a long time ago for dealing with cross winds and it does work. I do not know and can not explain the physics but it works.

When you are on a bike and getting hit from the side with a strong wind, extend your knee on the upwind side (direction the wind is blowing from) away from the bike as far toward 90 degrees as you can and hold it there as you ride. For some reason this helps to reduce the effect of the wind and keeps you more stable and less likely to get blown across into the next lane or off the side of the road. Of course you should also adjust lane position to the upwind side of the lane and try to stay clear of other vehicles to give extra space.

I learned to use this technique extensively in Germany when crossing some very high bridges with terrifyingly low guardrails. Nothing like looking into the abyss as the wind pushes you toward the edge to shrink your manly parts.

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post #25 of 26 Old May 29th, 2015, 11:57 am Thread Starter
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

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Originally Posted by silverlt2002 View Post
Since we have strayed toward cross winds, I got this advice a long time ago for dealing with cross winds and it does work. I do not know and can not explain the physics but it works.

When you are on a bike and getting hit from the side with a strong wind, extend your knee on the upwind side (direction the wind is blowing from) away from the bike as far toward 90 degrees as you can and hold it there as you ride. For some reason this helps to reduce the effect of the wind and keeps you more stable and less likely to get blown across into the next lane or off the side of the road. Of course you should also adjust lane position to the upwind side of the lane and try to stay clear of other vehicles to give extra space.

I learned to use this technique extensively in Germany when crossing some very high bridges with terrifyingly low guardrails. Nothing like looking into the abyss as the wind pushes you toward the edge to shrink your manly parts.
I have seen this... it makes a little bit of a diff because it breaks the wind slightly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogie View Post
I was my mini van two vehicles behind a dump truck recently when it blew out an inner rear tire and the explosion was incredible. You could see the impact pressure radiate a full lane over in the road dust and under the car in front of me. Scared the holy crap out of me as I watched the tire tear in half and pop out the back of the truck. I will never ever hang out anywhere near a truck while on the LT again. Period. It was an unbelievable explosion.
I took a 14" chunk of tire to the chest and face at about 70mph on an old ninja 500 I had about a year ago. Blind luck but I stayed on the bike. Cracked my visor and pretty sure it cracked 2 ribs. Breathing hurt for a good month and had a knarly bruise on my chest and shoulder. Sounded like a bomb went off in front of me and felt, what I would imagine to be, similar as well. I try not to get to close to big rigs either. I just got lucky. A**hole didnt even bother to stop to check on me - and yes he did see me get hit. 2 other motorist chased him down but I just continued home.

- Justin

Justin - Las Vegas, NV
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2002 Honda RC51 "Tia"
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post #26 of 26 Old May 30th, 2015, 3:14 pm
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Re: battling wind, thoughts?

OK, here goes. #1 The LT is a wonderful spirited touring bike, but it is not a sport bike. Comparing the 2 is not fair to either bike. #2 Nationwide, I think most of our roads suck but you have to live with it. I switched to Avon radials and have found much improvement in handling with rain and tar snakes etc. #3 Stay a safe distance behind a truck to avoid the air pressure, sudden stop the truck might make for something that you can not see if you are too close and the danger of a tire blow out. Several years ago I was behind a truck when a rear tire blew and it was like a video game dodging pieces of the tire. I am 68 years old and have been riding motorcycles since the age of 14 and have owned just about every make on the market. I find that the LT is one of finest motorcycles on the road even with her quirks. Last thing and I will be quiet, 36 pounds of air in the front tire is not enough, 42 pounds of air in the front tire should not make it feel as though the wind is pushing you around.
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