Updated July 1, 2017 . AmFam Team
Whether you see a windy weather forecast before riding out, or you’re already on the road when the wind speeds up, you’ll want to be prepared. Here are five tips to keep you safe and balanced during gusts or prevailing winds on your bike.
Gear up. Seasoned riders nickname this rule ATGATT — all the gear, all the time — and it’s especially important in the wind. Eye protection such as a full face shield with your motorcycle helmet is key for making sure you maintain visibility and focus when a gust comes along. Wind chill can affect you even in warm weather. When your body temperature drops, so does your level of focus, so don’t forget to layer up against the wind.
Watch your mirrors. You and your bike will naturally tend to lean into the force of the wind to correct your position and stay straight. What you’ll notice is your rearview mirrors bend with the wind as well. Stay alert, adjust your mirrors accordingly, or do direct sight checks to compensate.
Don’t overcorrect. Say a gust hits you from the left. When the gust is over, it can feel like a second force coming at you from the right. That’s why it’s so important to stay calm, make minor adjustments and drift slowly back so your ride stays safe and smooth.
Use a firm, relaxed grip. White-knuckling never helps any situation on the road. Keep a firm but relaxed grip on your handlebars so you can adjust your movements in the wind without overcorrecting.
Stay in the center of the lane. Even if the wind seems like it’s only coming from one direction, it’s a good idea to stay in the center of your lane. That’s because when the wind hits bigger obstacles like semi-trucks or an overpass, it gets deflected in different directions. When you stay in the center, you can more easily avoid slipping into another lane or a bumpy shoulder.
Want to up your motorcycle game even more? Check out these tips.