Posted on Sep 24, 2020

Staying Safe During Windy Rides

With the unpredictable weather that autumn can bring, it is important for riders to refresh themselves on how exactly to safely approach riding in trying conditions, specifically high winds. Motorcycle riding leaves individuals especially exposed to the elements and the presence of only two wheels makes motorcycles much more vulnerable to the threat posed by high winds.

The most important thing to consider with extreme wind conditions is eye protection. Heavy wind can blow up dust and debris that obscure your vision and cause injury to your eyes. Whether it is in the form of a full-face helmet, or just a quality pair of protective glasses, adequate eye protection will not only keep your eyes safe, but also allow you to see clearly and maintain proper visibility.

Generally, high winds can be easily navigated by simply leaning into the wind to counteract its effect on you. When leaning into the wind, it is important to understand that this strategy can negatively affect your ability to properly lean into turns and they should be approached at speeds that are more manageable. However, this strategy only works when experiencing constant wind, so it is important not to overcorrect and potentially throw yourself off-balance while trying to counteract the wind

Should riders experience strong gusting winds of inconsistent intensity, they should pay extra attention to how they react and lean into the gusts. Tensing up can prove to be extremely detrimental to maintaining proper control in high winds, so riders are advised to relax and allow the bike to move with the wind within reason. We encourage holding onto the bike with your knees and letting your upper body stay loose to ensure you keep proper control while reacting appropriately to the wind.

Finally, it is essential that riders are aware of their surroundings. Riding past buildings or large groups of trees in high winds can temporarily shield riders from the wind, but cause them to encounter strong gusts once they ride past. Additionally, keeping an eye on trees to judge the direction and intensity of the wind before it hits you can help riders better prepare for and react to incoming gusts.

If conditions get too extreme to safely continue, we advise that riders pull off the road and wait for the situation to improve before riding on.

For more news and tips for motorcycle enthusiasts, check out the other articles on the Current News for Riders page on

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.