I immediately announce that this topic will be continued with an analysis of riding methods, because the side and gusty winds discourage motorcyclists so much that this issue is no less relevant than the same ride at night or riding in the rain.
“How to ride a motorcycle in the rain?”
“Night bike riding, what do you need to know about it?”
Wind scares motorcyclists with suddenness and force of impact, similar to an air wave from large vehicles. You are driving and everything seems to be in order, when suddenly you are hit in the side with the force of a cannonball and literally rearranged from the lane to the next. Joke? But many are not laughing. Owners of heavy motorbikes will chuckle enough, go move my couch cruiser, but you and I know that it’s about the strength of the wind, its direction and variability.
What to consider when there is a strong crosswind?
- The nature of the terrain
- Duration of the wind
- Direction of the wind
- Additional factors
The nature of the terrain
It would seem elementary, you go to an open area from the wind and be ready for a crosswind, even if there is no special sign. An obvious law of nature. But many do not pay attention to the clues from the environment, and then wonder why they suddenly found themselves from the center of the lane on its shoulder.
Strong winds are to be expected on coastal routes as well. If you know that your path lies along a bay or a large lake, then you need to prepare in advance for the winds.
The urban landscape creates conditions for strong turbulences of air currents. Here, of course, highways and bridges are among the top dangerous places.
Duration of the wind
It is customary to distinguish between constant and gusty wind. You get used to the constant wind and perceive it as an unpleasant hindrance, but squall winds are a serious matter. Pilots are sometimes not ready to start and stop them.
To compensate for motorcycle deflection, riders apply lean reinforcement to resist air pressure. If you get used to it, and then the wind suddenly dies down, there is a feeling of a second failure. Such a “fall” is sometimes unsettling.
Direction of the wind
Well, we have come to terms with the fact that the weather ahead is not the best. The direction of the wind is equally important to its strength. According to the favorite law of physics, the main thing is not with what force to act, but how. The point of application in this case is a motorcycle with a driver (plus a possible passenger).
With a crosswind, the flow hits the body and the larger the side plane of a motorcycle, especially one covered with solid plastic, the stronger the wind acts on it.
With a fair wind, there are fewer problems, except that someone works with gas more easily, and more attention to the brake.
Headwind, as in the saying that any motorcyclist knows. Wind in the … visor, you get the idea. The headwind is so familiar to the pilots that even no questions arise, hiding under the windshield – you are in the house. Engineers, designers, technologists and mechanics have not for nothing worked on the aerodynamics of motorcycles so that the headwind does not become a problem.
“Motorcycle aerodynamics – what is it made of?”
Every time we think that the wind affects only the stability of the motorcycle, but we forget about the auxiliary factors:
- Strong crosswinds affect the transmission of audio signals. Therefore, if someone honks you in a gusty wind, will you hear it? Who knows. Will other drivers hear you approaching when you rely on the forward flow sound?
- Sometimes motorcyclists think they can escape strong crosswinds behind bulky vehicles. But as we said, the larger the area that the wind acts on, the more force is applied to it. Transport with a large-sized body, especially trucks, buses or trailers, are dangerous, as they can tip over or sharply deviate without the will of the driver.
- A squall wind blows various debris onto the roadway. The likelihood that something will fly into the moving parts of the motorcycle increases significantly. By the way, the wind blows out not only debris, branches. The wind picks up all the road dust that has accumulated along the edges of the strips on fine days.
- The last thing to note is that the wind distracts pedestrians. You drive and think about how to correct your trajectory, and the pedestrian walks and thinks that dust is flying in his eyes, that his hat is blown off or that bags are ripping in his hands.
The gusty wind baffles not only motorcycle pilots, but also distracts pedestrians. The driver needs to monitor the trajectory of the motorcycle, as well as the condition of the roadway. Gusty wind is a clue about a possible change in the weather, terrain or city relief indicates more difficult sections of the route, where an increase in air flow can be expected in advance.