Gen I KLR 650 vs The Wind - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-14-2011, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Gen I KLR 650 vs The Wind

Today in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, we are under a severe weather alert / warning:

Wind Advisory for Northern Fauquier, VA

Issued by The National Weather Service
Baltimore/Washington, MD

2:56 pm EST, Mon., Feb. 14, 2011

... WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM EST THIS EVENING...

* WINDS... NORTHWESTERLY 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS 45 TO 55 MPH.

Not a good day to out there with a Semi truck or a motorcycle. I live in a natural chimney, a product of water erosion over centuries, known as Manassas Gap, a wind gap of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the border of Fauquier County and Warren County in Virginia. On a still day, winds will take out trees and shove trucks off of the road without warning. When we get wind alerts, we pay attention.

So. Whaz 'dis got to do with KLR 650's?

One of the common complaints about our bike is that riding it in breezy conditions is akin to carrying a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood into the wind. I'll go as far as saying the wind can make it a handful. I was a bit surprised to see someone not only braved riding a bike today right into the eastern mouth of the the Manassas Gap wind tunnel with 50 MPH cross winds, they did it on a KLR 650. I guess what the bike lacks, the rider makes up for.



Be interesting to hear what would possess a otherwise rational person to go out into that weather. Kind of like launching your row boat into the sea. During a Hurricane.

******
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
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[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-14-2011, 04:10 PM
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If it weren't for the opportunity to capture MINIATURE POLAR BEARS (notice the fine specimen posed on the excellent top case shown in the picture), few KLR riders, even intrepid ones, would venture out at all in weather like this!

Here's a somewhat closer view of the bear:



This particular bear, shown outside a decorative gate at a house of worship, has a keen interest in eastern spirituality and philosophy.

Last edited by Damocles; 02-14-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-14-2011, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader View Post

Be interesting to hear what would possess a otherwise rational person to go out into that weather. Kind of like launching your row boat into the sea. During a Hurricane.

I commute so wind is something I've learned how to ride in. Not that big of a deal really if you don't fight it.

Is the KLR worse than other bikes? My last bike was a DRZ 400 and I didn't notice any inherrant stabilty problems with the wind. Those 2 bikes are the extent of my on road experience for the most part. Seems to me that bigger bikes with full farings, saddle bags, etc. would get blown around more than the relatively svelte KLR (in comparison of course!).

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-14-2011, 06:56 PM
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wind

I've gotten on my 08 KLR to ride in the wind after just having gotten off my 84 GoldWing GL1200.

The 4x8 plywood analogy sounds about right to me
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-14-2011, 07:58 PM
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I find the sudden gusts to be worse than sustained winds. But all in all the KLR has not disappointed me in windy conditions. Being 6'4" just means I have to duck down further.

*** KLR650, Tweeting long before your kids thought it was cool.

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post #6 of 14 Old 02-14-2011, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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The black / silver KLR 650 in the original post in this thread belongs to our Damocles. This is some carry over banter from another motorcycle forum involving mental obsession and the art of "tag". I put on 84 miles in the same wind on a KLR 650 today. Just like every other day the road is clear of ice and snow enough to come down out of the mountains.

******
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
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[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-14-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twohawks View Post
I've gotten on my 08 KLR to ride in the wind after just having gotten off my 84 GoldWing GL1200.

The 4x8 plywood analogy sounds about right to me
Well. Looky here. 'Nother hillbilly. This one's smart though. Welcome to the forum twohawks! Lives in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Rabid tag player, skilled traveler / outdoorsman, historian and gunsmith. There is a wealth of information coming on board with this one.

Let me clean a spot off down in the off topic lounge, and we kin sit 'n spit 'n talk 'bout things that go "bang". Or bangbangbangbangbang. Or "BOOM". 50 caliber "boom". I'd rather get banned for having a meltdown over which barrel bushing on a 1911 is the "right one" than get booted for a tire thread fiasco. It's mid February, we're about due one of those.

Anyway, good to see you here twohawks. The "Right Coast" is beginning to get some representation. Most of these people aren't sure there is civilized life east of Barstow.

******
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
[IMG]http://i718.photobucket.com/albums/ww187/vatrader01/KLR%20mechanical/04e28c5e.jpg[/IMG]

[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-14-2011, 08:41 PM
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[QUOTE=vatrader;74968]Today in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, we are under a severe weather alert / warning:

You live in a nice place man
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-15-2011, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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While getting some wind blasts around here isn't all that unusual, and we learn to deal with it, it appears that yesterday's gusts were a little out of the ordinary. A 34' X 75' cinder block wall went down due to wind forces short distance from Damocles's destination yesterday. Not a free standing, under construction incident. An operating business, Off Road Innovations, had it's end wall collapse, taking out a customers Jeep. Marcia Tatum-Spencer and Andrew Spencer of 643 E. Queen St. in Strasburg found a nightmare in their front yard. The heavy winds had pushed over one of the large trees in front of the couple's house where their two cars were parked.

"My grandmother lived in this house and that tree has been here as long as she can remember," Tatum-Spencer said.

The uprooted tree landed squarely on the couple's 2007 Pontiac G6 and 2004 Dodge Neon, crushing the back windshield and caving in the roof of the Neon, and shattering the Pontiac's front windshield and collapsing its hood.

The VADOT I-66 @ Markham recorded gusts of 63 MPH, less than 3 miles from the image of Damocles bike.

Elsewhere in the region:

Wind restrictions at bridge-tunnel
Level 2 wind restrictions


Updated: Monday, 14 Feb 2011, 10:08 PM EST

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Some motorists will not be allowed to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel due to wind restrictions that are in place.

With winds clocking 47 miles per hour and Level 2 wind restrictions, the following vehicles are not allowed to cross: motorcycles, large pick-up campers, camper trailers, house trailers, anything being towed, vehicles with any exterior cargo, empty tractor trailers not including empty tanker trucks, and small six-wheel trucks such as moving vans, rental trucks, and school buses, according to the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel information line.

Maybe an average riding day to some. A bit of an Adventure to the rest of us.

******
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
[IMG]http://i718.photobucket.com/albums/ww187/vatrader01/KLR%20mechanical/04e28c5e.jpg[/IMG]

[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-15-2011, 12:09 PM
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True confession:

I SINCERELY considered turning back, on my quest, yesterday!

As those fierce, unseen vectors assaulted my bike, my first reaction was, STOP IT!!!!!!! QUIT!!!!

As time went by, I realized . . . this merciless buffeting is NOT going to stop, no matter how much I complain.

As I traveled on, ever westward, I asked myself, "Do you REALLY want to be here? Doing THIS?"

The contrasting concept of a recliner, in a draft-free room, set before an active multi-channel cable TV connection tempted me . . . more than once!

So, I shall not pose as a macho, macho man, insensitive to hardships, discomfort and danger . . . that ain't ME!

I continued, because . . . well, I'd started, an once you're INTO an enterprise like this, you tell yourself, "Aw, just a few more miles to The Plains, and . . . only a little farther to Marshall . . . and then Delaplane's not far . . . Such rationalization can be deadly; but--quite seductive.

Further, I wanted to TEST ("non-destructively," preferably) the limits of the KLR in the wind. I've ambitions for some serious road-rides; wanted to see how the machine would behave, and maybe enhance my own proficiency somewhat in this environment.

Bottom line? Well, I ain't completely PROUD of what I did; a fool-hardy component may reside within my actions. Yet, I embrace whatever profit I may from the venture--I now know a KLR650 CAN be handled safely, to some extent, in high winds; it is NOT the death-trap some would insist.

That said, "Many brave hearts are asleep in the deep, so BEWARE." Forces of nature exist, more powerful than anyone's planning, strength, or skill can overcome; "Be careful out there!"
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