When we think of a list of dangerous conditions while riding a motorcycle, windy conditions are usually not featured on that list. Yet, it can be as dangerous as other conditions like rain, snow, and debris. The great thing though is that you can ride through winds of moderate speed safely by keeping a few things in mind and following a few tips. We have compiled a list of things you should do while riding a motorcycle through windy conditions.
1.) Wear the right clothes: We cannot stress this enough but accidents mostly occur in windy conditions because something either blows into your face or your clothes get blown around which distracts you. Wear things that are tightly fitting. A neck tube and head wear are great at keeping your hair in place while also protecting you from anything that the wind might blow towards you. Wear a long sleeve T-shirt or a jacket that fits you nicely to keep it from flapping around in the wind which at the very least can be very distracting. Check out these great headbands and neck tubes. Finally wear proper shoes preferably a pair of high-ankle leather boots. You can find some really great option by clicking right here.
2.) Stay alert: Unlike other forms of hazardous conditions, wind is very subtle in nature and it can almost be undetected if you are observant and become aware of it only when it is too late. It is this surprise element that wind comes with that makes it so dangerous. One of the biggest clue is the reduction of visibility all of a sudden due to the dust and dirt being blown around. If you see leaves being blown around and thing flapping about in the distance then it is a good indicator that you are about to encounter windy conditions that you have to brace yourself for. It is also important not to panic as you can react effectively to the wind once you have spotted it.
3.) Keep both hands on the handlebar at all times: What wind does is exert forces on the bike in directions that are not in your control and that can keep changing. You have to be ready to counter-steer against the direction of the wind and for that it is absolutely imperative have both your hands on the handlebars at all times. This will also allow you to gauge how the bike is reacting to wind quite accurately allowing you to take action accordingly. This will also keep the motorcycle stable and stop it from wobbling when the wind changes directions suddenly. Most importantly, it will make you feel confident and in control of the situation which is absolutely vital.
4.) Try to predict the direction of the wind and react accordingly: You might be wondering “how on earth am I supposed to predict the direction of the wind?” DO not worry as all you have to do is worry. Look at anything that the wind is blowing around like leaves or the cover of a pickup truck in front of you. If the wind is blowing in a direction that is exactly in line with you then you can ride normally with keeping debris out of your eyes being your only worry. If on the other hand, the wind is blowing at an angle to you then that is where some clever riding is needed. Shift your weight in the opposite direction of the wind to counteract it and keep the motorcycle upright. All you need are slight adjustments.
5.) Maintain a regular speed: Your immediate instinct would be to slow down the motorcycle. Do this but do not slow down too much as the wind can really wreak havoc at low speeds. A speed of between 20 mph and 40 mph is a good range to stay in. What is more important is to keep the speed a constant. If you keep changing the speed as and when the wind changes, you will subject the motorcycle to more instability which is the last thing you want. Maintaining a regular speed will give you and the motorcycle a stable base from which to react effectively to the wind.
6.) Lean into the wind: This for really string gusts of wind. If you suddenly feel the motorcycle beginning to turn on its own then it is because the wind is exerting enough force to push the bike in a particular direction making it lean and turn. You have to lean into the wind to counteract this force. This way the bike won’t experience any lateral movement and will stay upright and travel in the path you want to. The last thing you want to do is panic and brake with all you might as that will almost always lead to a crash. Instead, keep a cool head and gently lean into the wind till you feel that you have complete control of the motorcycle.
7.) Secure bags and any other loose items: As we have mentioned time and again that distractions are the biggest enemies when riding in windy conditions. If you are carrying bags or have hung anything from the motorcycle then make sure that it is tied down securely and that there is no room for them being blown around. Anything that is loosely fastened to the motorcycle can be highly detrimental to your safety. This is because of two reasons. It is highly distracting as we mentioned earlier. It will also keep the weight shifting around the motorcycle which can really unsettle it. Tie everything down neatly with cords before setting off. Check out our hip purses that can attach to your jeans.
8.) Protect your eyes: The number one reason people crash in windy conditions is because they are temporarily blinded by something going into their eyes. This is the biggest precaution you can take to keep yourself safe. Invest in a nice pair of motorcycle goggles that do not get scratched easily. Not only do they look good but they can help immensely in helping you to come out unscathed when riding in windy conditions. Never go for a ride without carrying one of these.