May 6, 2014

Riding In The Wind

Riding a motorcycle in the wind has never been much of an issue for me. I've ridden enough wind to be pretty comfortable with it. Today was one of those days in which I rode most of the day at either a 70 degree angle or a 110 degree angle, depending upon which way the wind was blowing. It seemed that I couldn't catch a break with a tailwind; only crosswinds, and for a short time of the 304 miles across New Mexico, headwinds.

Couple that with a migraine for 150 miles and I come out pretty tired at the end of the day.

So it makes sense that the entire day I thought about Laura Klock and her Klock Werks FLARE™ Windshield.

"They are designed to use the wind to create down force on the front wheel, giving you more traction. This is one of the things we learned racing bikes. . . about keeping the front wheel down. Most windshields just block the wind. These use the wind to make your motorcycle ride better and get better gas mileage. They are flexible too, more than any other windshield available," Laura told my hubs Steve and me as she bent a windshield in her hands in her booth at the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit last weekend.

I was so impressed, I probably would have ordered one right then, but they don't make them for the Yamaha V*Star; at least not yet.

"We are still adding windshields for different makes and models of motorcycles."

Today, I really wished for a windshield that would cut down on the fatigue of the wind. It's funny how I hadn't thought about it until I was educated about how much a particular windshield could help. Once I was put into a situation where I could have benefited from it, then I really missed it. For 304 miles of riding in the wind today, I certainly longed for a windshield that would make my day easier.

Not to mention my migraine.

Given the situation, I wanted to put Laura's logic to the test. As we rolled from Sante Fe, NM to Albuquerque, we went from 7,260 ft to 4,900 ft in elevation in only 62 miles. The decline is gradual in most places, but noticeable. The wind shifted quite a bit, but was mostly blowing as a headwind, so I leaned forward on the handlebars, using my body weight to press the front wheel down.

I found that this exhausted me by the time we arrived in Albuquerque, but it made a significant difference in the performance of my ride. I got much better gas mileage on the second tank of the day and I fought with the wind much less. This only further sold me on the idea of ordering a FLARE™ Windshield once they are available.

Listening to Laura explain the dynamics of air flow has only peaked my interest in what other products I can buy and modifications I can make to my V*Star to get the best bike possible. I'm always open to new information because I love learning.

As for the wind, I don't dislike riding in the wind. I think of it as God reminding me he is around, even when I can't see him. But I like Arizona Harley Dude Paul's reasoning best.

"Every time I get on my motorcycle the wind blows at least 70 mph."


  1. That is the windshield I am running and I love it! Side winds do wear a person out. I was riding in Cali once and the winds were so strong I turned around and came home.

  2. I've read in several places to hitch a knee out when you are experiencing cross winds, but I can never remember which knee when I need to. I just tuck over the tank and try to make myself a little smaller.

    Sure hope the migraine went away after you were settled for the night.

  3. Sash, I bought a windshield for my bike, unfortunately with it being vintage there is not a lot of choice for me, but I have noticed the tremendous difference it makes and I am not as tired after a long day of riding. As for the migraine, I get them too with a vengeance, I feel your pain.


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