road riding

So I have never road a motorcycle on the road for any distance other then to cross it on a dirt bike. well i recently got me a dr650 a 93 model. well that thing when on a main road gets blown all over the place. I started wonderin how do people go on ling trips on these things? I can ride a backroad all day long but a major road going 55 surrounded by cars it beats me up. It reminds me of drigin a jeep on a windy day with the top down. It dosent help that I have a MX helmet. that thing catches wind like no other.

So I have never road a motorcycle on the road for any distance other then to cross it on a dirt bike. well i recently got me a dr650 a 93 model. well that thing when on a main road gets blown all over the place. I started wonderin how do people go on ling trips on these things? I can ride a backroad all day long but a major road going 55 surrounded by cars it beats me up. It reminds me of drigin a jeep on a windy day with the top down. It dosent help that I have a MX helmet. that thing catches wind like no other.

Yes, a light machine (compared to most street bikes) will get blown around a bit. Lots of things can/will contribute. The taller MX style suspension is a factor. The high/long front fender does not help. Having a machine that is worn or poorly maintained will also contribute... loose wheel bearings, loose, (or too tight) steering head bearings, loose swing arm bearings, suspension not properly set for your weight or unbalanced in the way that it is set-up. Worn, unbalanced or improperly inflated tires will also cause stability problems. My 99 DR650 is amazingly stable at speed for a dual sport bike. I think that is one of the positives about the 96 and up machines. I don't know the reputation of the older machines as far as stability goes but if any of the items listed above are issues on your machine it/they will certainly contribute to the problem.

If you think this is bad try a DRZ 400. The DR650 is actually one of the better dirt oriented dual sports out there. The seat is lower putting you lower behind the headlight cowling. Just keep riding it. Its more pleasent than the others that are more dirt like. The interstate sucks when its windy but still doable. Then again, most bike riding sucks when it real windy. If you add a wind screen to to keep the wind off you're chest it will make a long distance trip much easier.

I ride my 650 10 miles to work, about 8.5 are freeway at 70-75mph, and yup, even a little wind will throw me around also. When the wind is at 15-20mph or higher, it gets kinda scary! No windscreen either. Knees against the tank, elbows down, slouch down and lean a bit forward. And a VERY tight hold on the grips!:thumbsup:

rc

If you think this is bad try a DRZ 400. The DR650 is actually one of the better dirt oriented dual sports out there. The seat is lower putting you lower behind the headlight cowling. Just keep riding it. Its more pleasent than the others that are more dirt like. The interstate sucks when its windy but still doable. Then again, most bike riding sucks when it real windy. If you add a wind screen to to keep the wind off you're chest it will make a long distance trip much easier.

+1 Got a DRZ400 in my garage (son's machine) Yeah, the DR650 is like my Gold Wing compared to skittering down the highway on the DRZ. :thumbsup:

when I first started riding down the back roads I was like this is nice. very comfortable and relaxing. then I turned down that main road and then a dodge ram monster truck came flying past me and it blew me around and scared me for a second. It also was a little windy today. As soon as I could I got back on the narest back road and began to enjoy the journey again.

I wanted to post a picture of mine since I have not done so yet. its a 93 so dont expect much and i played with some spray paint. The spray paint is coming off though as soon as i stop being lazy and start stripping it.dr650.jpg

Ditch the MX helmet, get a small windscreen, big knobs aren't good. And no death grip on the bars, hold on to the tank some but the death grip can magnify the problem. I just rode 2800 miles through the tornado zone, of course on my Kaw 1400:p But I did ride a DR across Australia, not bad really:ride:

The nearest interstate hwy is 2 1/2 hours from my place. So it's mostly back roads which the DR does great on. I have noticed some weird steering issues with the wind gusts. I could swear the front fender was cupping to the left or right sometimes, so I added a fender brace from Pro Cycle.

A different helmet and screen will help but as long as you're around vehicles you'll be getting blown around. You need to move and adjust your position on the highway to curb some of the turbulence. You can follow one vehicle and be smooth, put another in the same spot and it'll shake your teeth loose. Mini Vans with roof racks are like tornadoes for me, just another reason to avoid them at all cost

I ride 27 miles each way to work on the DR. Most of it mountain highway and I head home at 1am.

Riding in wind I feel is a skill you can improve on. When the sant anna winds gust to altitiude hit 60-70mph I take a low canyon home. However I have adapted by reacting to and compensating for the winds. What used to scare me before and move me around in a lane is instead nearly automatically corrected for. I steer to correct and I veer from my intended path very little and it is all second nature.

I ride 27 miles each way to work on the DR. Most of it mountain highway and I head home at 1am.

Riding in wind I feel is a skill you can improve on. When the sant anna winds gust to altitiude hit 60-70mph I take a low canyon home. However I have adapted by reacting to and compensating for the winds. What used to scare me before and move me around in a lane is instead nearly automatically corrected for. I steer to correct and I veer from my intended path very little and it is all second nature.

Been riding for 40 years and you make zero sense at all. Sorry, I can't dive into low canyons at 7000 feet....strange very strange.:thumbsup:

When I first started riding my DR a few years ago I had the same problems with wind. I live in Montana and ride I-90 all the time. Big rigs, and vehicles of all sorts to deal with. I was SOOOO nervous on the freeway goinf 75 with all of the those vehicles and the wind we have here that when I got home from a 20 mile each way ride I was exhausted. My hands/forearms hurt, and I felt used up. I knew there had to be a better way.

I put a windscreen on (Turbo city), and adjusted my position a bit on the bike. Then I did what was so counterintuative for me... I relaxed... a LOT. No death grip, loose forearms, and a gentle pressure with my legs on the tank. I no longer fight the bike and while it took some getting used to, having a semi truck blow by me at freeway speeds is not longer a palm sweating adrenaline pumping incident.

The harder you fight to maintain control, the less control you will have. The bike WANTS to stand up and it wants to track in a stright line. Its pure phyisics. You just have to let it. :thumbsup:

Lots of riding is "counter intuative" Get on a long stretch of soft, lose and deep sand. If you hold on hard you're going to be on the edge of your nerves or bust your ass.

Same situation goes for riding at high speeds on the highway. Relax and go, let it wander and apply gentle correction.

Just out having some fun on the back roads!

:thumbsup:

I found that a windscreen made the biggest difference in highway manners for the DR. The lack of that constant pressure on the chest and across the shoulders was the a huge improvement. The lack of fatigue-inducing strain made the ride much more relaxed and enjoyable.

My daily commute to work is around 30km (19mi) and is 80% highway. Lots of big semis, logging trucks, chip haulers, heavy equipment, etc. The windblast from large vehicles like that was ridiculous. For a while, I just took alternate routes, rural backroads, etc. The problem there was that it doubled my commute time, so I added a Slipstreamer Spitfire to the DR and headed back out onto the highway.

It took a little bit of trial and error to find the right height & angle for the screen, but I'm pretty happy with it, now. The wife and I did a 3800km (2375mi) road trip last summer out to the prairies and back. Plenty of wind... no worries. (and she was on a DRZ-SM with a similar screen - National Cycle Deflector Screen)

Me and the DR:

2lnj14j.jpg

And the wife on her DRZ-SM:

210hmxv.jpg

Good advice...think I'll try the Slipstreamer Spitfire.

I had the Spitfire also. I then picked up a Parabellum cheap (for winter riding only) and gave the Spitfire to a freind. I recently borrowed another Spitfire while away from home and rigged it up angled way forward on almost the same plane as the face of the headlight. After that change I'm back in the hunt for another Spitfire. That killed any buffeting and keeps it forward enough for me to be able to lean forward over the bars while in a steep climb off road without worrying about hitting the top edge.

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