When are winds too strong for riding motorcycles? The answer depends on many factors, including aerodynamics of motorcycle/rider, speed, motorcycle weight, road condition, crosswind direction, rider’s skill, and wind consistency.
The wind consistency may be constant direction, gusty, steady, or altitude. Regarding motorcycle weight, a lighter motorcycle with lousy aero riding wouldn’t balance; traction is insufficient.
So, what wind is too high to ride a motorcycle in? Let’s find out.
Is it safe to ride a motorcycle when it’s windy?
Riding safety depends on the windy condition. While some windy levels are ridable, some are disastrous, and a flying object could hit you. So, it is safe to ride when it’s lowly windy and not gusty. You can ride low behind your front fairing and windscreen to be safe when it’s windy. Make sure to tuck your legs and arms tight or loosely to the motorcycle too. Also, streamline your posture on the bike to reduce wind friction and maintain balance. Note that headwind decreases the motorcycle speed, which is not safe, especially when it’s excessively windy.
When Are Winds Too Strong for Riding Motorcycles?
Following surveys and social experiments, winds are too strong for riding a motorcycle when it reaches 50-60 mph. Most bikers consider 50-60 mph their cut-off point, having ridden in several windy conditions. Nonetheless, although 50mph (80km/h in real units) is a bit high wind level, it is far from dangerous, but riders dislike it because it makes riding a disaster.
What wind is too windy to ride a motorcycle also depends on many factors.
Motorcycle size factors in when the wind is too strong to ride in. A 250cc motorcycle will be blown around, but the pressure is lees on a 600cc. Suppose you are riding a 125cc bike; 70kph constant or gust up to 90kph is difficult, especially if the wind is head-on on the highway.
Headwind, crosswind, or tailwind determines when it is too windy to ride your motorcycle. Some time ago, on a highway with 25 mph crosswind with gusts, I had one of the most difficult riding experiences. At 40 mph, I could not control the motorbike, despite just a 25 mph crosswind. When I switched from highways, I experienced a tailwind, which was not bothering me again. 65 mph gust is my wind limit to ride in, though.
The rider factors in whether they can accommodate particular windy conditions, especially if you are a newbie. Make sure not to ride with no license, though; the cop can still pull you over. Generally, gusty wind is problematic than steady wind. Moreover, gusts at 20-30 knots will toss a rider or fall a motorcycle.
For most riders, when traveling interstate, hurricane or near tornado conditions becomes a problem. If you have luggage on your motorcycle and everything weighs around 700 lb, only strong gust can push you out of the lane at 75 mph. But it depends on the rider you are, though. Your state matters, too; winds in Wyoming can be insane.
If you can’t tell when it is too windy and the wind tosses you like a rag doll, do not ride your motorcycle. Also, if the wind tosses other motor vehicles into a different lane, it’s bad for riding.
Poll Result: When does wind MPH start to concern you?
I surveyed Total Motorcycle featuring 21 respondents. The pool shows that from 20 mph, the winds are too high to ride a motorcycle. From 30 mph, the wind force is higher, and it will depend on your motorcycle whether you can ride in the wind or not.
Typically, heavier motorcycles are easier to ride in 30+ mph. Some respondents voted 21 to 30 and claimed they can ride in but won’t enjoy the experience. So, if you do not enjoy the experience, it is not a good wind to ride in.
Most riders can ride in 30+ mph, following the pool result, but from 40mph and 65 gusts is too windy to ride a motorcycle.
Is 15 mph wind too strong to ride a motorcycle?
15 mph wind is not too much to ride a motorcycle unless you’re a beginner. Between 15 and 20 mph can be annoying but tolerable. From 25+ mph, riding is no fun again, and at 40-60 mph wind, the experience is terrible but adventurous.
15-20 mph winds are conditions I ride in often. A headwind will slow you down, and you want to ensure that you can lay on a more aerodynamic position on your motorcycle to be safer.
Gust is quite worrisome than wind speed, especially in cities with small hills and big buildings. Strong gust can, of course, push you into the center of the road, which is common on intersections since wind funnels between buildings.
In essence, if there is no significant difference between wind speed and gusts, you can ride your motorcycle in 15 mph winds. Make sure you can deal with crosswinds and headwinds before putting your motorcycle on the road.
How Can You Deal with Strong Winds When Riding a Motorcycle?
You can deal with strong winds when riding a motorcycle. However, if many trucks pass in the opposite direction, it makes riding challenging. Trucks will block the high wind momentarily, and your motorcycle will move towards the oncoming traffic on the opposite roadside. If you have a passenger riding on the motorcycle, you will experience a rigid sail to push against.
How do you deal with the wind? First, prepare to be tilted into the wind. Make sure to keep your upper body loose and do not fight it when the motorcycle is tossed. When riding becomes difficult, slow down until you are in control.
In essence, relax because the motorcycle reacts to your control. When you become tense and stiff, you are fighting the motorcycle from remaining upright at speed. Just relax your grip, but slow down when the wind tosses you to another lane.
Cold, gust, and wind are bad combinations that make riding a motorcycle challenging. It becomes tensed when the wind exceeds 20 mph and gusts strongly. Of course, it is usually exhausting too.
If you are a beginner rider with poor grip, you should not ride under winds over 20 mph. If you must, get your riding gear and heated stuff to ensure safety and fight the cold.