While some days might be filled with sunny clear skies and calm weather, others are characterized by strong gusts of winds.
Winds are one of the many factors that can cause danger to a motorcycle rider, especially beginners.
Riders should be keen on how winds can affect their ride.
So, How Windy is too Windy to Ride a Motorcycle?
Different wind gusts are ideal for various kinds of motorcycles. The ideal wind speed for a motorcycle is 15 mph. When riding a heavy motorcycle, the rider should avoid riding at winds above 40mph. Winds between 20 and 30 mph are considered too much for small and lightweight motorcycles, hence not the best condition for riding. Below, we explore more useful information on wind and the ideal conditions for a motorcycle rider.
How Wind Affects Motorcycle Riding
One of the most important factors to note is that the ideal wind gusts depend highly on the rider and motorcycle.
A lightweight motorcycle will not perform that great at higher winds.
This is because those with a high center of gravity tend to be more stable than those with a low center of gravity.
In addition, the experience and skillset of the rider also determine how stable they can ride a motorcycle at different wind speeds.
The Four Types of Winds
There are several types of winds depending on the direction they come from.
The body positioning matters as it can counteract strong wind forces, making it less dangerous when you ride your motorcycle.
Maintaining stability can reduce the possibility of being pushed around the road by the wind.
Besides, learning how to maneuver different types of winds is essential in ensuring your safety.
Some of the winds you encounter include;
Crosswinds are winds that blow across the direction of your motorcycle.
Strong crosswinds are potentially dangerous as they make it difficult to balance on a motorcycle.
They can also be exceptionally tiring to a rider after a while.
Headwinds are winds that blow against the rider as you move forward.
The secret to riding in headlines is to minimize the load on the frontal area that the wind can push against and be as streamlined as possible.
This reduces friction levels against your body.
Tailwinds are winds that blow from behind the motorcycle.
They push the rider’s speed a little faster than they may intend.
4. Gusty Winds
Gusty winds are the most dangerous winds to ride in. They are unpredictable and often catch the rider off guard.
The Different Speeds Of Winds
1. Wind Speeds above 50 mph
As stated above, motorcycle riders should avoid riding at wind speeds above 50 mph.
Wind speeds between 50 and 60 mph don’t allow the rider to have enough control over the motorcycle.
These winds are categorized under Damaging winds as they damage ground structures.
2. Wind Speeds Between 40 to 45 mph
Wind speeds of around 40 to 45 mph are not recommended for small and light motorcycles.
Riding at these speeds is quite dangerous and challenging.
Heavy motorcycles that weigh above 700 lbs have a low center of gravity and thus perform relatively well at these speeds.
3. Wind Speeds Around 30 mph
Light motorcycles may face difficulty at these speeds.
It is not advisable to ride your motorcycle in these winds, especially if it weighs below 400 pounds.
4. Wind speeds Around 20 mph
20 mph winds pose a challenge to smaller and light motorcycles; however, heavier motorcycles don’t experience that much difficulty at these speeds.
If your motorcycle is tall and lightweight, you may want to ride during slower winds.
5. Wind speeds Around 15 mph
The ideal speed to ride a motorcycle is 15 mph wind.
These winds may be challenging to maneuver; however, they are not extremely dangerous for both kinds of motorcycles.
Lighter motorcycles may be slightly affected but heavy motorcycles will cruise through with not much trouble.
Seven Tips on How to Ride your Motorcycle in Windy Conditions
Major wind gusts can create a dangerous environment for you and your motorcycle.
However, once you have the necessary information on how to deal with the wind when riding a motorcycle, you will be more confident in handling any situation that comes your way.
1. Always Check The Weather Report
Make a point to check reports on the local weather to be prepared in case of rain or strong wind gusts.
You can use weather forecast apps to make an informed decision.
It is best to avoid conditions that predict gale-force winds that present difficulties to a rider.
You should also constantly check the weather reports as you are on the road in case severe winds strike.
2. Loosen Your Grip
When riding in strong winds, beginners tend to clutch onto their handlebars quite strongly in fear that they may be blown away.
However, using an overly strong grip is not the answer.
Instead, grip your handlebar in a loose and relaxed manner.
This gives the rider freedom of motion and mobility.
These two factors will help you navigate the roads, especially in terrible weather conditions.
3. Grip Your Gas Tank Tighter
A strong grip on the gas tank is essential in maintaining the stability of the motorcycle.
To do this, bring your legs closer to the motorcycle.
This creates lesser wind resistance and allows you to navigate through strong winds.
4. Don’t Be Afraid Of Crosswinds
It is only natural for a rider to be afraid of crosswinds.
The rider will probably feel their body and motorcycle lose control and be pushed to the side.
However, as scary as it sounds, you will learn that crosswinds don’t cause any major issues.
The best way to handle crosswinds is to loosen up and to trust that the combined weight of the motorcycle and your body is more than ideal to maintain a great state of stability.
5. Keep An Eye Out
Ensure that you keep your eyes peeled for different conditions you may experience on the road.
Observe how the bushes and trees are moving to get a sense of how strong the winds are.
It is also advisable to keep your eye out for debris flying on the road due to gusty winds.
6. Unload Extra Weight
When there is an extra load at the frontal area, this can lag the motorcycle as air moves around it.
7. Protect Your Eyes
Make sure to always wear eye protection, especially on windy days.
Strong wind gusts often carry small debris such as rocks and sand that can be blinding while riding at high speeds.
For extra safety and security, you can use a full-face helmet or wrap in addition to your motorcycle eyewear.
Riding on windy days often poses extra challenges to a motorcycle and the rider.
All you need to do is prepare for any factors that may affect your ride, learn how to position your body optimally, and maintain composure while on the road.