Safety Tips for Riding Your Motorcycle in Windy Conditions

In the winter, windy conditions can be a hazard for motorcycle riders. With strong gusts of wind blowing at you and pushing your bike back, it is difficult to maintain control over your vehicle. Wind is unpredictable and can make it hard for you to balance and maintain a straight line of travel. To avoid any serious accidents caused by windy conditions, be sure to follow our windy day safety tips. 

Riding in Crosswind

Crosswind is wind that blows from the left or right of your bike. This direction of wind against you is probably the most dangerous because it can easily push you out of your lane or cause you to wobble. When this happens, don’t panic (we know, easier said than done) but try to stay relaxed and loosen your body. This is the best way to handle riding through crosswind.

Another tip for riding through crosswind is to stick your knee out in the direction where the wind is coming from. That way, your knee catches some of that oncoming wind that would have otherwise hit your bike.

Riding in Headwind

Headwind describes wind that is blowing from directly in front of the motorcycle. Riding through headwind is definitely easier to deal with than crosswind, but it still does not make for great riding conditions. Headwind usually slows you down, as it is pushing directly against you. The trick to riding in headwind is to minimize the amount of push back from the wind. To do this, you have to minimize your own frontal area because that is where the wind pushes against you.

In headwind, we recommend riding low, behind your windscreen if possible. Keep your arms and legs close to you and try to make yourself smaller so that there is less of your body space for the wind to push against.

Riding in Tailwind

Tailwind is wind that blows from behind your motorcycle. This type of wind is probably the easiest to ride in, but can still be dangerous. Since it is hitting the back of your motorcycle, it usually causes you to speed up without realizing. Riding at high speeds with the wind making you go faster is extremely dangerous. We never recommend speeding on your motorcycle, as it is one of the top causes of motorcycle accidents. When riding with tailwind, keep an eye on your speed, and stay on the brakes!

General Safety Tips For Riding Your Motorcycle Through Wind

Regardless of what direction the wind is hitting you from, following some general safety tips will help you ride as safely as possible.

Avoid extra cargo: Having things like saddle bags or tank bags on your bike just add more areas for wind to catch on to. Having such cargo attached to your bike can cause extra drag and extra wobble while you ride. If you must have a bag with you, make sure it is properly closed and zipped up!

Keep your distance: Give yourself enough room in your lane so that even if you wobble a little, you won’t risk hitting or bumping into a car

Avoid wind tunnels: When you are riding behind or alongside a large truck, they can create strong wind tunnels. Being too close to a wind tunnel from a truck can give your bike a strong push, and really freak you out.

Read the wind: Identify which direction the wind is hitting you from and ride accordingly. If there is wind from behind you, slow down. If the wind is in front of you, crouch down a little! And if you are stuck in crosswinds, stick out your knee in the direction of the wind