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 Wind Effect on Swing

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crahar
john grinsel
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madcatta
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madcatta
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PostSubject: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 17, 2010 8:17 am

Hi All

I took my Swing for a quick run up to Sydney from my home in Canberra this past weekend. The trip is along dual carriageway for all of the journey which is about a 600 kilometre round trip. It is a major highway so there are lots of trucks and general car traffic. It's not the ideal road trip just the most direct route

As I'm a relatively inexperienced rider I did check the weather forecast before departure and so had anticipated stable weather conditions - ah well I should have known better!

The trip up was uneventful the Swing ran sweetly and I covered the trip in about 4 hours including navigating through Friday night peak traffic in Australia's largest city, Sydney - the trip across the famous harbour bridge or the "coathanger" as it's known was good fun!

The Swing has a Laminar lip and ears fitted as well as the largest Givi box (55 litre I think?)

The trip back to Canberra a couple of days later was an entirely different matter, the first 100 k was okay but I could see the weather closing in and feel the wind building. The next 200 k was an education as the Swing really shifted around in the strong cross wind which gusted uncomfortably across the freeway. I managed to take shelter as the rain hit but the wind was bloody scary and once the rain passed I just had to push on before the weather really closed in on me.

I figure that the Givi box probably added to my problems by catching more of the side wind but it hasn't been an issue previously - just a really strong wind I guess?

I obviously slowed the speed from my usual highway rate of 110-120k to between 80 - 100k and I gather that's the obvious measure to employ (as well as more experience) but I'd welcome any feedback on how more experienced riders counter or manage riding in strong winds - maybe just don't do it is the best method?

Regards

Scottie
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 17, 2010 8:42 am

Don't do it is the safest method .Having said that if I didn't ride in the wind I would never be riding as it is always windy here . I have found that keeping your elbows down helps .When the wind pushes on your arms it causes you to counter steer and the bikes moves over . If I just relax and do nothing the bike seems to do better . I hope this helps ,I find it difficult to explain.
Slowing down is definitely good .
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 17, 2010 9:01 am

In truth I don't think there's a motorcycle which won't be affected by gusty cross-winds and turbulance.
I noticed it particularly when I travelled to Belgium on my X9s for the first few times - West Flanders borders the coast, is flat as a pancake, and is subject to winds from the North Sea, almost always blowing across the motorways (I check the Met Office site for Gale Warnings if I have to ride that route).

I'm used to it now but don't like it very much.

One of the ways to negotiate such conditions is to ride with 'soft hands' (a cricketing term); in other words don't grip the handlebars too hard or keep arms and shoulders rigid.
The bike will dart about but the rider's relaxed body will allow it to compensate for itself.
I know it's easier said than done; the tendency is to hang on for dear life but one must force oneself to relax.

Here, the turbulance is compounded by the wind hitting the concrete 'wall' centre barriers and bouncing back - even more exciting when mixed with the bow-waves of the 40-tonne trucks hacking along.
On which point.....and I don't know if it's relevant in your cirtcumstances.....if the wind is very strong I avoid overtaking them on bends (I'm talking motorways/freeways) and wait for the straights of which there are many.

I must say I think you were very wise to follow the 'discretion is the better part of valour' path if you felt the need but I'm sure you'll overcome your anxiety in time if you can persuade yourself to physically relax a bit.

*Edited for spelling*


Last edited by MikeO on Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 17, 2010 10:44 am

Two things already covered

#1 Soft Hands----relax hands not death grip.

#2 Slow down


My added points----feet and legs can do a lot to steady bike----put your feet in forward position---push right will go right, etc. Using this method ride will be steady

Last----always carry professional quality rain gear and rubber boots. Makes ride more pleasant.....I know there are a lot of fair weather riders out there.....but even they get caught---being wet on bike sucks. The glove problem=hard to solve. I always carry several pair of gloves --just change them out as they get wet. Also have pair of HD rain gloves, they work pretty good, if you can get them on before hands get wet. I have ridden only once with heated grips, but I feel they might feel fine when you are wet.

All bikes solo seem to be affected by cross winds----I used to think my Helix as bad in cross winds until I was passed by GoldWings in the US west, leaning over much more than me to counter winds. I have owned everything from HD Big Twin down to Travis Bike motor---cross winds mess with them all.

John Grinsel
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crahar
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 17, 2010 12:00 pm

Only had a problem with cross winds once so far, that was on I-10 coming from LA. back to TX. about 150 miles of riding with winds coming from first the south then swapping back to out of the north it was a nightmare. The big rigs were unable to stay in there lanes cars had the same problem. I didn't pass any body I let them pass me fortunately no rain just wind, I learned a lot that day started out with a death grip then after a while just eased up on the grip did I enjoy the ride no, would I make it again? yep I would! You find you can ride in all kinds of conditions if you give yourself the chance.
Craig
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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 18, 2010 2:21 pm

madcatta, what kind of windshield do you have? I have had the GIVI shield on, and the stock (with Laminar Lip), and find the stock/LL much easier to handle on windy days. I think the ears (that protect your hands) affect it negatively in the cross winds.
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 18, 2010 3:25 pm

All very valid points.

I live on an exposed piece of the UK and all I would add to the already good advice is anticipate breaks in the wind due to geography. Housing, solid objects, )including buses and HGV's.)
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Skippy
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeThu Aug 19, 2010 11:08 am

All pretty much relevant here, but I would like to add that learning to read the road and terrain ahead can really help with this sort of thing. Here in the UK the geography is very variable so a journey of any reasonable distance will take you through all sorts of areas.

Blipping along a motorway can really catch you out, esp over here where they tend to have the borders banked up, its when you hit a flyover bridge etc, that all of a sudden you become exposed to a very strong side wind. As I said, recognising when this is about to happen and anticpating it can make the ride seem a lot less fraught.

The best thing about this is now you've experienced it and capably dealt with it, tuck it away as another piece of hard won riding experience - something you can only learn on your own, out on the open road Smile

One other thing, having a big top box is a huge temptation to fill it - Don't! Its surprising how little weight, suspended up high it actually takes to really foul up the handling of a bike. I had a decent security chain and lock in my box on the other SWing and it made the bike weave horribly, at even moderately higher speeds.

The faster I went (thinking I could ride through it) the worse the weave got, until the point the bike was actually going from one side of the carriage way lane to the other, then I hit a bump and the bike went into the most awful tank slapper that dam nearly through me off - I hate to think what would be the end result if the same thing happend on a Scoot????

As my dear Dad said to me once, many years ago when I first started riding on the road: 'There are old bikers, and there are bold bikers, but there are no old, bold bikers' - Your careful, sensible approach indicates to me that you have plenty time to gather more 'hard won nuggets' - Enjoy the ride Smile

All the best.
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dspevack
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeThu Aug 19, 2010 11:34 am

If you've ever looked at the plastic see thru food service gloves, they are light weight cheap disposable and can go over regular gloves to take care of moisture.
Another glove solution is hippo hands
http://www.hippohands.com/HHMedium%20WM.htm

As far as crosswinds themselves, its all been discussed, with the exception of "crosssection".
Your bike acts like a wind barrier to winds coming across, so reducing crossection can help reduce wind problems. For instance, If you have a pack that goes on top of the gas tank, and you have room in your GIVI put it inside and reduce your crosssection. Another way is gear. Wearing a jacket that is too big for you, rain gear that billows, Items on your belt that you can stow inside the bike, all add cross section.
Also, GIVI trunks are removeable, so don't take them on trips where you
don't need the extra space, and when you can, move weight from the trunk to the boot.

Good luck.

Dan
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madcatta
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Number of posts : 14
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Location : Canberra, Australia
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeFri Aug 20, 2010 8:54 pm

Thanks Guys for the helpful feedback

I will certainly try to relax a little more and anticipate conditions both road and environment. Whilst I didn't enjoy the moment much I appreciate the value in experiencing it and I've subsequently learnt a bit more about riding
Philip, my LamLip is on a standard Swing screen and I've been very happy with it but I take your point on the ears which I don't think have added much if any value in wind protection and as you say might be causing some added problems in cross winds - I think I'll take those off!

Cheers
Scottie
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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Effect on Swing   Wind Effect on Swing I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 21, 2010 10:44 pm

madcatta, those ears on the GIVI actually do a fair amount for you during the cold weather. I can really feel the difference with the stock screen on there - lots more airflow on my hands and arms. Some protection from the cold is why I anticipate putting my GIVI back on when the temps drop enough (even though I think some handling quirks will come with it).
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