- Make sure you wrap up warmly. And don’t underestimate the effects of wind chill.
- Naturally, your bike will move around in high winds – the severity will depend on the type of machine you are riding. The trick is to try and stay as relaxed as possible – use the throttle and counter steer to balance out the effects.
- Anticipate where you think gusts of wind will be worse; for example, gaps in buildings, gateways and bridges. Predicting where it will be allows you to better prepare for it.
- You should also keep an eye on how trees, bushes and other vehicles on the road are moving to gain a better understanding of how gusty strong winds really are.
- When you are buffeting and moving around take some speed off to aid stability and safety.
- While some riders find that slowing down helps, other riders prefer to keep their machine under slight acceleration – be prepared to try both.
- Depending on the machine, try minimising airflow by lowering your body towards the tank. If a screen is fitted and is adjustable then consider lowering it to reduce the sail effect.
- Keep an eye out for where you will suddenly go from a windy section of the road to a sheltered one. Sudden loss of a strong side wind can be just as unbalancing, so be prepared.
- Sometimes you can get shelter from wind when you are being masked behind a larger vehicle. However, make sure this does not make you vulnerable to another vehicle that is being blown towards you.
- Ensure that you give other road users more room when passing them – especially those vulnerable to side winds, like cyclists and other motorcyclists, large flat-sided vans and buses.
- Keep your eyes peeled for anything flying about on the roads. If it is windy make sure you give anything laying on the ground a wide berth to try and help you avoid it flying up in front of you.
This is an extract from an article written by the IAM
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