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Struggling With Headwinds/Crosswinds


125cc
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Hey folks. Looking for some advice.


I'm finding I'm really struggling with riding in moderate headwinds or crosswinds at A-road speeds. By "moderate" winds I mean anything around 20mph upwards when travelling at 45mph plus on A-roads. Directional control is difficult and I'm finding the bike very squirrelly and it's very off putting. Additionally I'm finding the 125's lack of grunt really noticeable when facing anything more than 15mph of headwind; I'm finding that I have the throttle wide open and unable to get more than 50mph at a struggle. Sometimes 40 is all the poor thing can manage, not good when you have aggressive car drivers and lorries up your chuff whilst trying to wrestle the bike. My confidence isn't good.


Granted it's only a 125 so it's lightweight and barely enough torque to pull the bedsheets off so I'm not expecting much, but I'm struggling with my confidence in these conditions and don't want an accident. Live out in the sticks so using another road isn't an option. Just wondering if anyone can help me with any tips on riding in windy conditions. Thanks very much.


125cc

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What bike do you have? .....Not all 125's are the same - although they all suffer the effects you describe to some degree.

I had a kmx125 about 17 years ago, crosswinds would sometimes pick the front wheel up and move the whole bike a metre or so sideways, which scared the b'jesus out of me.

I found that in strong crosswinds shifting my weight (arse) to the windward side helped with stability.


Most car drivers don't understand how much bikes are wind affected - sometimes moving about within your lane helps them take the hint, or can dissuade impatient years from doing close/same lane overtakes.


Be safe out there - it's about getting there, not getting there 2 minutes quicker, so back off the gas if that feels safer.

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Thanks 👍

I'm not familiar with that....is it a restyled, rebadged ybr?


Is it just me, or are 4T 125's getting slower n slower? I keep seeing posts all over with complaints that they struggle to make or keep nsl.

I know 2T is frowned upon for being dirty and polluting, but at least they had enough ooomph to get learner's out of a tricky situation (sorry, off topic)

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That's just one of the issues with tiddly bikes OP.


I'm out in the sticks with only NSL roads leading out of the place - I get blustered all over the place when it's blowy and almost come to a halt in decent head winds!


Like Bender said, try and relax your arms and shoulders as much as you can as fighting it makes it more of a chore.

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Just to put this issue into perspective , it's worth remembering that Chinese 125,s are probably not built with British roads and foul weather uppermost in the minds of the designers and manufacturers . A huge proportion are more likely to spend their working lives in an environment more like this . Speed and power wouldn't be much use here .

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A common thing with 125s is to drop the front sprocket by one tooth. It means that in higher gears the engine revs are higher which on a low torque engine enables it to hold speed better.


Granted your theoretical top speed is reduced, but as you have discovered, that's never going to be an issue since the engine won't hold top gear into any kind of headwind without losing speed anyway.


My Suzuki VanVan 125 used to struggle on more open roads into any kind of headwind or slight gradient. I'd rev the nuts of it in 5th, get up to about 55mph, go into 6th and then gradually slow down again until I was back into 5th. By fitting a one tooth smaller front cog the gears all seemed to work better. It would cruise quite easily at 65mph and hit the rev limiter at an indicated 68. But it would hold 6th at 60+ into headwind or moderate gradients.


In terms of the buffeting that's something that smaller bikes will always be prone to so you learn to adapt or play safe. Avoid high sided vehicles, watch out for gaps in hedges or building where sudden wind blast can knock of off course. Check your riding gear for anything that flaps or is loose fitting - that won't help at all. If you're feeling uncomfortable slow down - it's safer to be in control that trying to keep up with traffic at speeds you haven't got full control. Motorists can try to bully smaller bikes - hold your ground, ride in the middle of your lane and take control of the road you are using.


The advice to move about a bit in wind is good. I've often done that when someone is tailgating me and it makes them back off. I do the same riding on rural roads covered in mud and ice - with traffic behind me I make a point of moving across the road to find surface that is safer. It lets the car behind realise the bike uses the road differently and usually prevents them crowding me. When safe, let them pass.

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Splendid advice there especially the bit about going with the flow and not being afraid to weave and wobble about a bit . Not all car drivers are bast*rds , with the exception of Ronnie Pickering* , so if they can actually see that you are struggling they might give you a wide berth . YouTube it *

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I suspect I'll get better with experience but I think one of the problems is, especially riding at night, I'm too tense. I'll try to relax a bit and "go with the flow" so to speak. And not worry about holding everyone up behind me!


125cc

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Oh yes, plenty practice today. Was gusting to 45mph+ on my morning commute...


Tried to relax much more and it did help, had to drive at full throttle in 4th most of the way as the headwind was so strong and the poor Yammy wouldn't go above 50.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone. Hope you are well in this fine weather. Thought I'd update this post in lieu of quite a stormy fortnight which saw me get plenty practice of riding in inclement conditions.


Have tried putting into practice the advice given above and it has made rather a difference. I'm also learning more and more the bike's limits (there's been a few days up here the past fortnight we've had 60/70mph winds, most of the time its been 30-40mph sustained so I've learned when's a good idea to leave the bike at home when it just gets too blustery - thankfully only two days so far but its been a good learning experience). Just trying to relax and not fight the bike, let it move and accept whatever speed I get and if it holds up the traffic its their problem, they can always pass when safe to do so. So a big BIG thank you to the posters above for your advice, its much appreciated by this less-nervous but still cautious rookie.


Cheers


125cc

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  • 5 weeks later...

Feel yer pain my 125 cbf lucky to hit 60 but in wind it is what it is!!

just chill a bit and just lean into it gently and take it easy.

Sod the bullies.. you as much right as they have to be there..😤😤

Stay safe tho

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Feel yer pain my 125 cbf lucky to hit 60 but in wind it is what it is!!

just chill a bit and just lean into it gently and take it easy.

Sod the bullies.. you as much right as they have to be there..😤😤

Stay safe tho

 

Fit like chief! Yep, the joys of riding 125s up this way. Have gotten on much better in recent weeks after the helpful advice here. Pretty relaxed now about riding in windy conditions (which has been every day this past month more or less :roll: ) and less worried about what other people think.

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  • 2 months later...

Sounds like you're getting used to riding in windy conditions now. I think everyone who started on a 125 probably went through those same experiences.


I think if you're nervous it makes the effect of the wind worse because when you're nervous you tend to tense up your upper body. You grip onto the handlebars tighter and your arms and shoulders get tighter, you become more rigid and that means when the wind blows against your body it causes you to steer the handlebars and that make the bike move around the road even more. If you grip the tank tighter with your legs and relax your upper body when the wind blows it will blow your upper body around but the bike will stay going in a straight line because your not turning the handlebars. That's what works for me anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not tensing up, especially in cross winds is really good advice, relax your arms and shoulders and release the "death grip" on the handle bars, grip with your knees, lean into the wind and practice counter steering. Relaxing in the saddle was something I learnt when I started off roading, accept the fact that the bike is going to move around and don't fight with the bike, because in the end it will win, just move with it. The good thing is, if you practice and can handle high winds on a 125 it'll be a breeze (no pun intended) on a bigger bike. It mostly comes down to experience and practice, have a look at this page, few good tips here, from what you say it sounds like you're picking it up now anyway .... All the best mate and safe riding :thumb:


https://motorbikewriter.com/ride-high-winds/

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i always find cross winds at windy corner(well named )they always get hold of my trail bike front wheel and push like buggery :shock:

 

Yes that corner has caught a few people out, me included, it can be pretty gusty at times. They've taken the gravel trap away as well, seen one or two people end up in that over the years, nice solid brick wall to stop you if it goes wrong now! :shock:

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