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How to survive a crosswind on a motorcycle?

In the previous article, we analyzed what is so terrible with a side gale wind. And since driving in inclement weather causes a lot of polls, then it is logical to talk about driving methods that will allow you to stay on the road longer:

  • Attention
  • Distance and position on the road
  • Speed
  • Center of gravity
  • Seat and body position
  • Motorcycle tilt and counter-steering wind resistance


The driver’s attention is the foundation in any situation. At one time, I pestered experienced pilots with stupid questions, such as: how to drive in an unfamiliar city or how to drive in the rain?

Many people are too lazy to have long conversations and they answered me shortly: just be careful! That is, I am here waiting for secret knowledge, and they give me elementary advice of three words! Not fair.

Only from time to time do you realize that the situation can be absolutely anything, even if you memorize the algorithms of action for all occasions, what good is it if you simply did not notice the beginning or prerequisites for action? You may know everything about emergency braking, but if you did not notice them, you were not attentive to the situation on the road, then this knowledge may be untimely, and the likelihood of events developing from the driver’s reaction and related circumstances will multiply at such a speed that it becomes unbearable to calculate them hard! And where it is impossible to calculate, people cope only intuitively, at the level of reflexes and the happy star of a personal guardian angel.

At the same time, do not forget that your attentiveness is not a guarantee that another person is attentive – you see / hear, it does not mean they see / hear you!

Distance and position on the road

Sidewind has the magic of “rearranging” objects against their will. In other words, you can be chatted along the road from side to side, just like any trailer or large transport. Why, with gusty winds, you are often advised to overtake buses / trucks quickly? And because their body area is such that in a strong wind it will swing much stronger than yours. In addition, there is a risk of the trailer tipping over. Therefore, it is a very bad idea to go in the wind, hiding from the wind behind a large car. The wind can knock it over if it is too strong. Add to this the blind spots of large-sized people, and here no attentiveness, except for common sense, will save.

Lateral spacing also increases with squall winds, for the same reasons. You can be diverted from your lane to the oncoming or to the side of the road, your friend can be diverted in the same way. The distance is increased to a greater extent for room for maneuvering in case of unforeseen circumstances.


Speed ​​helps stabilize the bike when the problem comes from it in the first place. Let’s say you caught a light wobbling and stabilized due to acceleration. In other words: you have calmed your own hesitation.

In a crosswind, the acceleration theme will only be triggered after a short blow of air. When an air wave caused your wobling, but the wind died down just as quickly and now you are clearing up its consequences. A classic example is an air wave from a passing truck.

It is not recommended to drive at high speeds in case of heavy crosswinds. The motorcycle is too susceptible to external force, so wind blowing at high speeds will throw it off balance more than at medium speed.

It is generally accepted that with a side wind, the speed should not exceed 80-100 km / h.

Center of gravity

Motorcycles with a low center of gravity have better stability. Therefore, in heavy winds, motorcyclists often run into the footpegs and sit closer to the gas tank in order to stabilize the bike by all available means. Heavy bikes are less exposed to wind, while lighter bikes have a harder time.

Seat and body position

In addition to the above mentioned landing closer to the tank / engine, you need to add the rider tilt to the motorcycle. All protruding parts, whether it be a bag or a passenger, an unbuttoned jacket – sail godlessly. And in order not to add unnecessary vibrations, the pilot and passenger bend down, reducing the area of ​​wind resistance. Many duck only in the oncoming flow, but in squally winds it will not be superfluous!

Separately, it should be recalled that with a squall wind, as with wobbling, body vibrations will be transmitted to the motorcycle, which means that the body must be under control, but not statically clamped.

Tilt and wind resistance by counter steering

The feeling of a pilot in a gusty wind is a tricky topic. Here, as lectures from the sages of martial arts: you need to be relaxed, but firmly fix your position and hands on the steering wheel; you need to resist the wind, but not harm your own balance by this; you need a left turn – you push the right handle …

Motorcyclists compensate for the force of the wind with a known counter-steering technique. Sometimes they themselves barely bend to the side, meeting the flow, but this is fraught with the feeling of sinking when the wind suddenly subsides.

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