Weather ad­vice for mo­tor­cy­clists


WITH more cold weather on the way, the IAM’s chief ex­am­iner, Peter Rodger, is ad­vis­ing mo­tor­cy­clists on rid­ing in high winds.

Here are his top 12 tips to see you through the gusty, windy weather:

1. Make sure you wrap up warmly. And don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the ef­fects of wind chill.

2. If you have lug­gage at­tached and are not us­ing it then it would be wise to leave it in the garage. Re­mov­ing side mass will make your bike eas­ier to ride.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. When you are buf­fet­ing and mov­ing around take some speed off to aid sta­bil­ity and safety.

7. While some rid­ers find that slow­ing down helps, other rid­ers pre­fer to keep their ma­chine un­der slight ac­cel­er­a­tion – be pre­pared to try both.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.


Peter Rodger

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