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Discussion Starter #1
Decided to go for a ride today on my 400 since we finally had a nice day up here in OH. It was about 65 degrees out but very, very windy and at times it seemed difficult to control the scooter (it probably didn't help leaving the top box and side cases on). When I arrived at my location I checked the weather channel and it had listed winds at 25 mph. To be honest, I didn't feel 100% comfortable riding during some of the trip with these winds, especially when there was big gusts and I was being pushed quite a bit.

I was just wondering if other riders out there use a rule of thumb with regards to a certain wind mph when you won't ride? Also, does everyone check the weather channel or some other weather resource before they head out each time? Thanks for any input.
 

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Beautiful riding weather today in northern Ohio. A buddy on his VStrom and I rode approx 70 miles today. I had a ball! What better way to spend the day? My buddy didn't like it as much, said he was really getting hammered by the wind so after he got home I took off by myself and had a great ride, over 120 miles total.

I enjoyed the gusts of wind from the side. Let me get my counter steer back closer to perfection. The land is nice and flat with an occasional house or trees close to the road which breaks the wind and then it hits again with a renewed fury. I'm amazed at how well the 650 takes winds to 30+mph and now I know that not only can I do it but that it is fun! Twice the wind tried taking my modular helmet off, a strange sensation. Found keeping the eye guard down lessened it a bit. Never, ever had that happen before. Made me light in the seat trying to get me off the opposite direction the bike was leaning. The first time caught me by surprise! A real blast in more ways then one!

Let's ride!!!
 

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From Personal Experience

I've been caught in 50+ mph cross-winds and headwinds. NOT FUN! The headwinds made it hard to go over 50 mph when the speed limit was 70. The cross-winds caused NM DOT to shut down the freeway and my old 400 and I were all over the lane - never knowing from one moment or the next if we were going to blow in to the other lane, etc.

Now, as to what wind speed is safe - whenever it starts to feel unsafe to you, that's when you should have already shut it down.
 

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I don't have any particular limit. It is more about how relaxed I can be. You have to stay relaxed at the handlebars to handle strong cross blasts. If you tense up, the natural reaction, you can't control your path as well. Sometimes I can stay loose and sometimes I just need to take a coffee break under the worst conditions. More of a mental issue than just a wind limit. The other issue is how many big trucks are on the road. Passing them, or vice versa, makes for the worst moments as the cross wind gets blocked or unblocked.
 

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Well, let me tell you about 530 miles of riding my 650 along the cliff highway 1 and US-101 in northern California & Oregon a few weeks ago with gale-force (up to 50mph) winds (headwinds) on the coast and higher winds (storm-force, 50mph+) just offshore. There's nothing worse for an acrophobic than coming around a blind curve on a road that's cut out of a sheer cliff 300 feet above the ocean and not knowing whether the next monster wind gust will blow you into the opposite lane or into the cliff (or across the opposite lane and over the cliff!). I survived but it was an extremely tiring long day (southern San Jose to the redwoods). The gales followed me north into Oregon the next day although 101 isn't as treacherous as hwy 1. My 650's mileage went to h**l too, down to 42mpg (back to 50mpg last week with summer-blend fuel and no headwinds). After those 2 days I took 2 days off in Yachats, Oregon (highly recommended) and sat in a lovely motel and watched the ocean.

It convinced me not to ride to Ohio and back next month as I had planned, no way I'm going to ride west into the prevailing winds across the plains, midwest, Rockies, etc. especially during tornado season. I'll take my nice big comfortable Ram pickup instead.
 

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I don't really have a cut off max wind speed. Around here, especially in the springtime, if you don't ride in high winds you don't ride. It's not unusual for us to ride all day in sustained winds of 20 to 25 with gust in the 30 to 40+ range. I have ridden in gust of 50+. You get use to it. Best strategy is to relax and not fight the wind. Keep you upper body and especially your arms loose so your body movements as the wind hits you don't get translated to the bike.
 

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I've ridden with 62+MPH wind gusts crossing the Andes mountains, it's pretty tricky to control the bike under these conditions and the ride gets more fun but dangerous as well, if you dont feel confortable with the wind, just turn back and go home, if possible.

Time ago, I went for 200 miles ride I rode 30 and didn't like the wind, turned back parked the bike and took a bus.
 

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It strictly experience & confort factor situation.
 

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Out here in the desert I've ridden in wind gust of 50+ also. What I have found out is my 09 650 takes them much better than my 07 400 did. 25 mph is normal around this time of year. Problem is when it starts kicking up dust & sand and you can't see over a couple hundred feet in front of you. :(
 

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It convinced me not to ride to Ohio and back next month as I had planned, no way I'm going to ride west into the prevailing winds across the plains, midwest, Rockies, etc. especially during tornado season. I'll take my nice big comfortable Ram pickup instead.
I've crossed the country a couple of times on my 650 and you just have let your arms hang loose and not tense up your hands.
I've ridden in cross winds so strong that if I turned my head to look over my shoulder for traffic, it was a fight to get my head facing back forward again.

I was also riding in the Cleveland area yesterday, but on my Victory Vision.
It was windy, but not anything that would discourage me from riding.
 

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I have ridden over bridges in STRONG cross winds - not fun, but exciting. I find myself doing a lot of leaning into the wind. When possible I will ride the more protected roads in the strong winds. The real fun is when there is some sort of wind block such as a house or tall bushes/trees. As long as you are aware and ready it makes for a fun ride. It reminds me to keep aware of my surroundings.
 

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One of worst condition to ride is 1.5 mile open-grate steel deck bridge, the St. Lawrence & Seaway Skyway suspension bridge connecting Johnstown, Ontario Canada to Ogdensburg, NY with extreme crosswind for 1.5 mile.

Now that one he!! adrenaline fill intimidating exciting ride, you really relax and feather handlebar in such condition because crosswind trying blow you everywhere.

Steel grate deck for 1.5 mile is so different than ride on normal bridge or road surface in bad crosswind.


As post before, this strictly experience & confort factor situation, definitely not place for newbie.
 

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It is good practice to ride on windy days. Look at it like this, it is an education. If you get caught out somewhere and find yourself being battered about by a force 10 Gale/hurricane/tornado/Sharknado you will be able to better handle your bike, taking experience from the practice rides you did.

Like "Dirty Harry" said "A mans got to know his limitations". It applies when riding in elements that you are not comfortable with. It is important to know what you can do and what you cannot. I am comfortable with a 30mph cross wind on my Victory CCT, but not my Burgman 400. I have been caught out near Manhattan Kansas with a 40mph crosswind that kicked my a** all the way across he state! Was I comfortable. NO!!!! Was I practiced... Yes... I had practice riding with crosswinds, but not at this level. All went well and uneventful and I spent the night in a motel in Denver....
 

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One of worst condition to ride is 1.5 mile open-grate steel deck bridge, the St. Lawrence & Seaway Skyway suspension bridge connecting Johnstown, Ontario Canada to Ogdensburg, NY with extreme crosswind for 1.5 mile.

Now that one he!! adrenaline fill intimidating exciting ride, you really relax and feather handlebar in such condition because crosswind trying blow you everywhere.

Steel grate deck for 1.5 mile is so different than ride on normal bridge or road surface in bad crosswind.


As post before, this strictly experience & confort factor situation, definitely not place for newbie.
I've rode over many grated deck bridges - and one north of Darrington Washington that crosses the Sauk river - seems like there is always a side wind. The bridge is only about 500' long but thats enough for me! Best thing you can do is relax and let the bike work itself over the gratings.

As for wind we get wind just about daily where I live. I'm used to riding in 20mph winds with gusts to 35 or more.

The worst I've ever rode in a side wind was coming back from Sturgis in 1995. We took all the state routes going home - we stopped in at Greybull Wyoming to relax and get something to eat - we had reservations in Cody and since it was only about 4PM we figured that 60 miles would be an easy ride. We didn't know a north wind warning was forecast for the late afternoon - we hit a tavern and had a few beers and some eats and shot some pool. We decided about 6 that it was time to head out. The door damned near tore off the hinges when we opened it to head out to the bikes! There was very little wind only a few hours earlier! I was fine with the ~40mph side wind (with higher gusts) at 60mph but a couple of riders were a bit inexperienced so we all slowed down to about 40-45 to help them be more comfortable. The guy that was towing a trailer got the biggest workout.
 

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Cdeptola1 we must have been out on the same day! For me it depends on where I am going. Local runs up to 35 not a problem. However I do a lot of highway driving to Westlake. Here if the winds are above 35 I will take my car. With the highways and crossing the Valley View bridge can be dangerous with the cross winds in the valley.
 

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Having owned both the 400 and 650, the bigger brother is heavier and more planted. I've ridden with Buffalo through the Texas Panhandle and in Big Bend in very high wind gusts. Gets pretty exciting when the wind moves you over a lane before you knew it happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Mao... Wouldn't want to be going across the Valley View bridge during really high winds, that is a long way down! Were you on Rt 306 today (Sunday). Thought I saw a Burgman turning left into a residential subdivision?
 

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My experience so far with my 650 in crosswinds has been very good. The motorcycle is very stable and for me doesn't seem to require much lean angle. I just came off of a 1000 Vstrom which I thoroughly enjoyed but is was not much fun in a crosswind. I'm sure the difference was in the higher center of gravity and taller side area of the Vee that made it more susceptible to the cross winds we get in in New Mexico and Texas Panhandle that I primarily ride in.
Greg
 

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I would agree with the rest. It is where the 'pucker factor' comes in as to whether you ride or stay home on any particular weather conditions.
 
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