Cape Town is known for the “Cape Doctor” and I’ve seen many motorcycles fall victim to a strong gust of wind ever so often. We had a chat with Max from TwoWheels Rider training academy. Max did some main circuit racing in the late ’90s through to the early 2000s. In the midst of this, he discovered his passion for teaching others to ride. Max still assists WPMC track schools as an instructor and occasionally he helps out with lectures.
I asked Max a few specific questions on issues I’ve experienced and also for some general guidelines on how to stay safe on the roads during these windy months.
UltimateVelocity (UV): Whenever I overtake a large vehicle, like a bus, I am momentarily shielded from the wind, during that brief moment I tense myself in anticipation for the wind that will hit me again as soon as I go past the nose of the vehicle. How do I prepare for this?
Max: The trick to riding in the wind is both anticipation and being as relaxed as possible. Sometimes, perhaps in your case you anticipate whats to come, and rather than remaining relaxed you tense slightly and then get caught out. With relaxed riding when the bike is pushed in either direction use counter steer to regain your path. Any tension has a negative feedback.
UV: If you’re on a three-lane highway with a bus in the center lane, which side is best to overtake the bus? On the windy side, or the shielded side?
Max: As far left or as far right as possible, because it offers and escape route. Passing any vehicle should by law only happen on the right. There is no right or wrong answer, the side you believe the driver of the vehicle has seen you… that’s far more important, after that the 1st paragraph holds true. Relax and counter steer.
UV: How does carrying luggage affect your ability to ride in windy conditions?
Max: Carrying luggage, although it does affect the ride its not significant, more in the head. More importantly make sure luggage is properly secured.
UV: Any tips for lane-splitting in the wind?
Max: Riders struggle with lane splitting, irrespective of weather conditions because they are not looking up. Without looking up you do not have the horizon and therefore you lose balance, do you find it easier at night – because you will look to the end of the light beam.
Max also shared with us some general guidelines for riding in the wind:
- Most important aspect of all riding is to relax and allow the bike to work
- If you are tense a gust of wind that hits you will be transferred to the bike
- Being loose on the bike prevents these movements transferring to the bike
- Use counter steer to counteract movement caused by the wind
- Rather than sitting on the edge of the seat, just “put your knee out” on the side facing the wind.
- All riders slow or fast, young and old should consider doing a riding school at a circuit near them. It’s not about the speed, but about honing your abilities and begin to understand the bikes limits, which in most cases is way beyond ours.
TwoWheels provides the following training:
Level 1 training:
- Understand and use motorcycle controls
- Basic motorcycle maintenance
- Slow speed control
- Basic gearing
- Braking techniques
- Emergency braking
- Basic cornering
- Survival on the road
- Maneuvering a non-running motorcycle
- Recovering a dropped bike
Level 2 training:
- Advanced braking
- Avoidance techniques
- Riding over obstacles
- Advanced Cornering
- Riding position and technique
- Slow speed control
- Braking, rear and front brake
- Cornering techniques
|Name||TwoWheels Motorcycle Rider Training Academy|
|Contact Person||Max Lange|
|Telephone||084 800 9292|