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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I used to ride a Kaw Vulcan 800, 56rwhp in the middle of Pennsylvania. So I'm not used to these S3 speeds in Cali!

I live in SF, CA so the highways around the city move pretty fast, at least 70mph and up to 85mph and are around 4 lanes wide. Without the wind protection I used to have, I'm having confidence issues keeping up with traffic. The roads are bumpy and rutted, the drivers are crazy and agressive, and at 90mph I feel like I'm going to blow off the bike. I would love to take the bike on a long ride, but I just don't find highway riding very enjoyable right now.

Anyone have some tips on how to overcome the highway speed issue?

Thanks,
burr


[ This message was edited by: Burrben on 2007-03-09 09:10 ]
 

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I just try to avoid highways as much as possible and take backroads/surface streets. Usually doesn't take me any longer. Nothing will make you more comfortable than acclimation - keep at it until it seems normal.
I also wear all the gear - long pants, boots, riding jacket, leather gloves, helmet - EVERY TIME I go out. It really makes me feel less vulnerable.

As an aside, I shortened my bars by 3/4" each side from stock, and it seems to make a huge difference in my wind exposure.
 

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I'm with kartstar, avoid the highway! :-D No, you will come to find out it's not that bad once ya git used to it. But seriously, what fun is a long trip on the highway? Take all backroads! :-D
 

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I also wear all the gear - long pants, boots, riding jacket, leather gloves, helmet - EVERY TIME I go out. It really makes me feel less vulnerable.
:hammer:

also, i lay on my tank, the chin of my helmet almost touches my handlebars, pull in my elbows, put my feet on the passenger pegs when they were there. it feels weird at first, but i got used to it. that way, i'm good for well over 100 on the highway.
 

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Just relax. That's all there is to it. There's no point trying to fight the wind blasts. Let them rock you and adjust only if the bike moves sideways. Anything less than a hurricane can't push you off the road. Lean into the wind blast coming from the front.
 

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The screen helps a bit. A tiny bit but it helps. I manage 100MPH without much fuss. But then again I'm 1.7 meters and somewhat skinny so the the wind doesn't have much to grab on to!

:-D
 

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ive ridden in san fran, its not the bike, its the wackos. cali highways are just plain bad and like a roller coaster. i was splitting lanes on a bridge into san fran from oakland and it was scary as hell. i still hate riding around LA. everyone is on a phone and doesnt care but luckily the lanes seem a bit wider. you can ride speedy at 100mph in the standard riding position without leaning down. maybe you could adjust your suspension to help the way the highways are? id ask a cali rider on here what they do to combat the road conditions and make it more comfy.
 

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On 2007-03-09 09:39, premier wrote:
Just relax. That's all there is to it. There's no point trying to fight the wind blasts. Let them rock you and adjust only if the bike moves sideways. Anything less than a hurricane can't push you off the road. Lean into the wind blast coming from the front.
+1. For each speed, there's a point where the mass of your upper body will balance the wind force if you lean forward.

As for the crazy drivers, there's not much you can do about that. Just try to keep as much empty space around your bike as possible and ride like no one can see you.
 

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I find the worst part of the wind is my "neck extension". It seems at over about 70-75, my helmet tries to lift off. I have found that opening the visor about 1/2 click alleviates much of this effect. I do have the small fairing on the bike with a laminar lip, so I am thinking about taking the lip off. I am wondering if it is directing the wind right at my head. I would think it would be more comfortable at my chest and rolling off my shoulders then hitting my helmet right underneath it. But you do get used to the wind, except when you have 20-30 mph winds from the side. Then it gets exciting!!!

Shawn
 

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sounds like maybe the s3 is a little more bike than you should handle, not that you shouldn't,, but if your uncomfortable with something, don't do it untill you can practice early on sunday mornings, that's the best time i've found. highway speed's happen in second gear on these babies.
 

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JRussel is right about being comfortable with the equipment...

I ride in socal and the avg speed indicated is 85-90 anywhere on the freeway (vice rush hours!) hereabouts. The wind doesn't bother me and I am tall enough that I catch it all, even with the flyscreen. You just need to relax and that is a function of getting used to the bike and how it is going to act.

Spend some practice time and you will get used to where you need to position yourself. Once you are there, you forget about it and focus on avoiding the nutjobs in the cages.

:-D
 
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As others have mentioned, you will get more comfortable w/ the bike over time. However, an upright riding position will make it feel like you're about to be blown off the bike above 80-90mph. Just bend your elbows and lean forward a little.
 

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Leaning over the tank or laying on it is okay for a few miles, but who wants to do an entire ride like that? :???: If that's how I had to ride all the time in order to be comfortable, I'd sell the bike and get something different. Luckily, that's not the case for me. I can pretty much ride mine in normal sitting position up to about triple digits, then I have to tuck.

I've noticed that wind direction plays a factor on my comfort. If I have a tail wind, I can ride at faster speeds without discomfort. OTOH, if I'm riding into the wind, I find that I am less comfortable even at lower speeds.
 

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I know this sounds crazy but I ride straight up with one hand on the throttle other on tank at about 85 speedo (so like 78-80 in real life) wih no probs and this is through I-35's windy, flat lands. I'm thinking that once you get used to it it won't be a problem, my first highway jaunt I thought that I'd fly off too but, once you relax and get in the comfort zone you'll be in heaven. Take jrussell's advice though, practice riding early sunday mornings to get the feel of it, just cause you've ridden bikes on the highway before doesn't necessarily mean you can hop right into the saddle with your new one. I'm a firm believer in the "courting" phase of owner/bike relationships, where you learn the bikes quarks. I mean you wouldn't just sleep with a complete stranger the first time you meet them wouldya?... wait, that was a bad example :-D
 

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i find that having another rider helps because it somehow balances the bike against the wind blast. something about riding with a heavier load and your inertia. i ususally take my girl with me but when she can't come along for rides I'll just pay a smallish homless man $5 to come along. They ususally appreciate the ride anyway.
 

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.
I also wear all the gear - long pants, boots, riding jacket, leather gloves, helmet - EVERY TIME I go out. It really makes me feel less vulnerable.

As an aside, I shortened my bars by 3/4" each side from stock, and it seems to make a huge difference in my wind exposure.
Good fitting gear, I prefer leather, that doesn't flap in the wind is essential.
Try a pair of ear plugs. They lower the preception of speed.
 

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On 2007-03-09 09:44, drainbamage wrote:
The screen helps a bit. A tiny bit but it helps. I manage 100MPH without much fuss. But then again I'm 1.7 meters and somewhat skinny so the the wind doesn't have much to grab on to!

:-D
I find the screen helpful only when I'm tucked, not as much windblast to the helmet.
 

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I thoroughly enjoy pacing people who are tucked and can't see their mirrors. I love the look on their faces when they finally look around and no one is in sight but them and yours truly. The looks are priceless. Be careful in the tuck Hooligans. Don't give the cagers the pleasure of seeing you being stalked by "the man".
+1 to situps. Make your core muscles hold you against the wind. Don't be white knuckling it at high speed. All the tension in your arms translates to the front end. Bend your elbows and loosen your grip. Helmet style is very important, obviously.
 

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Another thing is to make sure your helmet fits correctly. A buffeting helmet will make you feel like shite and tire you out. If your helmet is lifting or some such, it's too big. Other than that, good gear and getting used to it... Once you do 130+ a few times, 80 feels like walking.
 
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