Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in Wind

Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in Wind

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Wind and Your Motorcycle

One of the first things you’ll need to think about is how well your type of motorcycle is suited for riding in wind. This can vary a lot between motorcycles, but there are some common themes regarding how different types of motorcycles behave.

Lighter motorcycles, like most sport bikes and some nakeds, tend to get pushed around by the wind more than heavier bikes. A fairing, like the kind you’ll find on a touring bike or a sport bike, is often helpful in cutting through the wind. Conversely, the lack of fairing on a naked bike or cafe racer can often mean that you spend more time fighting the wind on the highway. 

Heavier motorcycles such as cruisers and touring bikes are usually a little more stable in the wind, thanks to their chunkier build and lower center of gravity. If you have the choice, it’s better to ride one of these instead of a sport bike when winds are high. 

If high winds are common in your area, consider adding a windscreen to your motorcycle. You may also want to avoid adding large amounts of attachments like saddlebags and panniers, which can cause your bike to behave more unpredictably in the wind. 

Types of Wind: Tailwinds

A tailwind, in which the wind is blowing from behind your motorcycle, is the easiest type to ride in. You might not even notice the tailwind unless it’s fairly strong. The major safety issue of tailwinds is that they can cause your bike to move faster than you’re ready for, which means you need to increase your braking distance and ride more carefully in general. 

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Types of Wind: Headwinds

Headwinds, in which the wind is blowing from the front of the bike, can be more challenging than tailwinds. The key to dealing with headwinds is to “tuck in,” leaning forward and down over your bike’s gas tank to make your body more compact and reduce the amount of surface area that the wind meets. Drop a gear if you feel that you need a little more oomph behind you. 

Types of Wind: Crosswinds

Crosswinds are winds that blow from your left or right side, and they’re usually the most challenging type of wind to ride in. They can be downright scary when they seem like they’re about to blow your bike into a different lane or off the road completely. 

In a crosswind, the best thing to do is loosen up. Keep a relatively relaxed grip on the bars, put your elbows out a little bit like you’re riding a dirt bike and don’t try to correct every time the wind moves you slightly. Stay in the middle of the lane as much as possible to help you avoid being blown into oncoming traffic or onto the shoulder. While it might seem counterintuitive, this will actually improve your stability. 

Other Tips for Riding Safely in Wind

  • Know how the terrain around you changes the wind. Riding through mountains or buildings, for example, can mean wind that changes direction constantly and dramatically. Be especially careful when exiting a tunnel, coming out from behind a mountain or traversing any other area where the wind may come up suddenly after being blocked. 
  • Remember that big trucks and other large vehicles can create their own wind drafts. Know the best practices of riding around trucks and stick to them. 
  • Ride with a good set of Bluetooth motorcycle speakers and an intercom to make sure you’re able to keep in touch with other riders in high winds. A hands-free voice command system like the Cardo Packtalk Bold will also ensure you can keep your hands on the bars at all times when riding in challenging conditions. 
  • Take breaks more frequently and monitor how your body feels. Riding in high winds can be very tiring because it requires a lot of muscle. 
  • Wear a complete set of protective motorcycle riding gear, and remember that you might want insulated gear to block the chilling effects of the wind. 

A New Generation of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Systems

What about the rain? We’ve got that covered, too. See Cardo’s tips for riding a motorcycle in the rain for more. And—wind or not—when it comes to the best Bluetooth motorcycle helmet systems around, Cardo’s full range of motorcycle communication solutions will blow you away.