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Discussion Starter #1
I've only been riding just over a month; put in almost 500 miles riding two lane roads to build up my experience. This week I decided to try a short 2mile stretch on I-40 between two exits. I've slowly gotten adjusted to the head on impact of a truck passing from the other direction on a two lane road, but this was a whole other story. The turbulence was much less predicable (and came from all sides) and at one point the rear tire felt a little squirmy(to me). I had to reduce speed and couldn't wait for that exit to come. I think there was a cross wind because I tried again another day and it wasn't quite so bad.

Is this just something you get adjusted to in time, like riding two lane roads was? Is there anything you can do to improve your stability? -like move over to the right side of your lane or crouch down behind the windscreen to improve your aerodynamics? Any advice on the best way to ride through the turbulence? Beyond the uncomfortable feel, is there any real danger as long as you keep the bike on the road?

Thanks :)
 

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I've found that tucking in a little bit to be quite helpful in both interstate travel and blasts of wind from other motorists. as far as cross winds go... that's kind of a tricky one. I don't like to get tossed around a lot either. when i first started out riding i thought that the wind was going to wash the tires out from under me and i didn't venture out again until i read a post on EX500Riders.com that the bike, while as light as it is, isn't going anywhere. It'll push you all over the road, but the tires will stay planted. It's uncomfortable, and requires a lot of body/lane adjustment throughout the ride, but i soon worked the fear out of myself. Later i just decided not to ride when it's windy! LOL! really, you've got to ride within your comfort zone. If you're not comfortable riding in high winds (and there aren't a lot of people who are), don't. It's that simple. work up your confidence and you'll improve little by little.

but I'm just speaking for myself...
 

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Staying loose is definitely the key in my mind. It'll come as second nature once you get a little seat time. When I first started out I was stiff as a board and would get pushed all over the place - it seemed more like work than anything. Now I get blown around a little if there's a lot of wind or something big passes by, but it's not more than a few inches because it's easy enough to just roll with it.

Just work on relaxing for the most part, and get out of situations that make you nervous. Of course you seem to have that under control since you slowed it down. I usually just go full tuck and grab some throttle ;D.
 

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Would the crosswind effect be any less if the lower fairing was off & the rear fender reduced?

Maybe with a lesser area hit by buffeting side wind it'd help a bit.
Anyone have any experience w/ this?

Would the extra weight of a full fuel tank be helpful?
 

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I have found that a heavier bike gets pushed around less. As far as the bike catching the wind, it always seems like my body has more effect than the bike.

Seems to me like the bike in stock form isn't going to lose much resistant force with just the plastics off, since there are others parts and pieces underneath. ChopperCharles' bike may be the exception, though, I doubt it catches much wind with that completely naked frame out back :p.
 

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I'll offer this : lighten up on your grip on the bars and let the bike have it's head (to use an equine parlance) a death grip will cause the bike to wander more as you desperately try to keep it from doing so. Just keep a light touch on the bars. Stay away from the back of the big 18 wheelers. They're slip stream is a turbulent mess.

FOG
 
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Once you've ridden the freeway a few times, it'll be just as easy as...any residentail street or country road, at least it was for me. As many people said, keeping lose on the handlebars is key.

And don't forget your proper blocking position, it'll keep you alive on the highway. After awhile you'll be up to doing lunatic things like me - riding on Canada's busiest highway after dark in a heavy rain through Toronto!
 

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As people are staying, stay loose on the grip. Each little gust of turbulence tends to catch your shoulders, resulting in handlebar input that really moves you somewhere. Let the arms relax and absorb those little pushes, and it makes a world of difference.
 

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Riding loose is the key (as others have stated). Don't lock your elbows, don't lock your wrists, relax your grip, relax your legs and let the bike flow with you. You're gonna get blown around at freeway speeds, the key is to stay loose and maintain control. This is the same with rain grooves, gravel, open steel bridge decks, etc. Stay relaxed and let the bike wander a bit.

It also helps to take semi's on the far side of the lane away from the rig, whether you're passing or it is. Once you're clear, tuck back into the appropriate side of your lane.

Good luck!
 

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Should be obvious but I'll say it anyway: Always leave yourself an out. If you don't think ahead it can be easy to find yourself boxed in next to a semi that decides he has to come over a lane when a cop has someone pulled over up ahead. I would not say that I'm aggressive when riding on an interstate but I am definitely aggressive about keeping out of tight spots and gladly use the acceleration and maneuverability of the bike to stay away from packs, tailgaters and people on cell phones.

Turbulence is frightening at first but I think that the only way to overcome the discomfort is to build up time riding on the interstate.
 

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i havent been riding all that long, but almost immediatley after i got my licence i was doing interstate driving.

the overall best advice i can give you is be comfortable with your surroundings. you dont seem like your very comfy with getting on the highway very long. my advice is not to push yourself too much. my old tennis coach was scared to go over 60mph and get out on the highway when she first got her shadow. as for me, i had ridden in town a couple days and just blasted right onto the interstate and it didnt bother me a bit. if your really uncomfortable your gonna make your head a wreck and its just as bad as riding drunk or something. you need to have a clear and level head to ride. do practice runs from exit to exit when your ready, and gradually step yourself up.

tips for semi's or other large vehicles. if your meeting them, it dosent hurt to duck down a bit and prepare for a little movement. when your passing them, blow by them. dont hang out behind, pull out, then slowly pass. crack that throttle open and blast by them. if they are passing you in the same direction, put lateral room between you and the semi and prepare to get sucked over a little....slow up as he passes if need be. again, make the overtaking as quick as possible.

as far as wind turbulance, you just gotta roll with the punches. first time i rode in wind i was headed S on tx I-27 from my home in amarillo to school in canyon. of course that W to E wind was blowing and i was scared shitless. all i could hope was that i got home in one peice. the more you ride in it, the more comfortable youll become like anything else. as others said, keep it loose, and dont try to instantly correct yourself. yup, your gonna get blown around and there isnt a thing you can to do prevent it. my advice..ride in the middle of the lane. nobody is gonna try to pass you in your lane, you have room (your saftey cushion) on both sides to do some moving. because you WILL be moving around. if your getting a steady wind, adjust your body weight. if your getting gusts, let the gust take its course then lightly correct yourself back to the middle of the lane. a light touch is key. you cant force anything. you cant force the bike to not move, you cant force the wind not to blow. tucking will help if your meeting wind head on a bit, but if its from the side its no real help. if you put your head down, your making an even larger contact area from the side for the wind to catch. if your up, yeah, your catching wind, but your upright body is gonna tend to slice through the wind a bit more. and if you get a big gust, i find steering MUCH easier when your upright as opposed to tucked.
 

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You really have to pick your lane position based on the situation. As a general rule, you should try to keep a good blocking position - leftmost lane, ride in right tire track; rightmost lane, ride in left tire track. There is no good blocking position in center lanes on an interstate, so if you have to be in these lanes you have to pay more attention to traffic around you. As Lucky#13 said, the left tire track of a lane provides better visibility [to traffic in your lane both ahead and behind you], however traffic and/or wind may dictate that the right tire track, or even the center of the lane, is a better position. Experience and critical thinking (about where to be, and why to be there) will make lane position second nature.

In general I stick to the leftmost lane on interestates and adjust my speed to traffic conditions to do so. Except for left-side merging, which is very rare around here, this is the only lane with a consistent blocking position. The right tire track gives you 2/3 of a lane plus shoulder for evasive action should it be required. Center lanes have no consistent blocking position, and the rightmost lane has to deal with on/off ramps.

When it comes to strong crosswinds and passing large vehicles, or being passed by large vehicles, stay loose. Relax, and be prepared to make the minor corrections needed to resume a safe lane position.
 
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Tuck. Important to note the weight shift will make the bike more sensitive to your movements. Most sport bike's I've seen on the big road are being ridden from a tuck.

Lower fairing doesn't make a big difference in my experience. I've rode with and without in the two months I've had my 500; maybe the bike's a little slicker with the lower fairing. I'll keep it on, goes with my custom bodywork project.
 

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ERC is like BRC, only with your own bike if you so choose. LOL you don't really even get graded. It's kinda like a come out and feck around on the course for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have taken the MSF class and it was fantastic!; it's incredible you can learn so much in one weekend. I had never ridden before and by the end I was doing all kinds of things I never expected(passed w/ flying colors). But ours was in a parking lot and there is only so much they can teach in that time(even of the basics). That's where I really appreciate all the real life experience you all have shared; it helps continue my education.

Thanks again everyone!
 

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Lucky#13 said:
Not exactly KS , its a speed drill on a much larger course. Same course as the BRC but bigger and a whole lot more difficult.I try to take The ERC each year 1)hones my skills 2)you gotta have them to be an instructor 3)it's cheap($80).and you can ONLY use your bike , and yes youdo get graded orelse you fail.
that isn't anything near like what our instructor painted it out to be.  wow, just goes to show how different each instructor can be!
 

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Well looks like I'm exposing my "newby" nakedness here, but when you guys tuck on the freeway how low do you get. I tucked a little bit the other day on the 405, just to the point that i wasn't fighting the wind as much... And with how high the handlebars are and how my Ninja is setup, i feel like a goober. like im hunching my back way over with my arms all in the air. I dont know, I guess I just dont know what i look like while tucking. Anyone?

And please--please no speeches on "you shouldn't care what people think," "if it's functional it shouldn't matter," or anything like that. please. I just want to know if we look like goobers or not
 
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