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Old 05-08-2018, 09:48 PM   #81
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Lightbulb Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

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Originally Posted by tshelfer View Post
I'm watching the weather. Looks like I'll have 25-35 mph winds across west Texas & NM on Friday, maybe into Saturday. I've done it many times, I can do it again. But man, it's hard work. Not looking forward to that aspect, but it's part of traveling in western states.
Hey Tim,

Here are some of my tips to minimize wind related issues based on riding in the western state wind blast furnace zone...



1. If you zig-zag the route planning it can help dealing with a sustained frontal western wind.

2. Air up your tires to the maximum pressure allowed. This helps stiffen the bike's feel and is less likely to sway.

3. Hold the handlebar very lightly which will not only release tension in the shoulders but also allow the bike sway back and forth less.

4. Consider getting a Laminar Lip or a an extra top screen winglet that helps reduce helmet buffeting.

5. Get a start in the morning as early as possible before the sun's rays increase the wind velocity as the day progresses. I know the V-Strom has very powerful lights, so you could do 60 MPH on the freeway so as to not "outdrive" your lights in the wee hours. If you start at 3:00 AM, you can cover a lot of terrain by lunch time and stop early for the day.

6. Set your suspension settings based on your full luggage weight. This can make a dramatic difference in how the bike feels in heavy winds.

7. I find by not using hard side cases, the bike is less likely to wander in the wind due to less drag coefficient. I prefer soft luggage on the passenger seat.

8. A weird trick but it does seems to work...if the wind is blowing from one side, hang the corresponding knee out. Somehow the wind will blow your leg about rather than the bike.

9. Plan for abrupt wind speed changes when passing a truck and or buildings, bushes, lines of trees, culverts and even passing trucks.

I hope this information is useful.

Cheers,

Fred
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:15 PM   #82
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

The single most important thing I've found about not letting the wind ruin my day is having a helmet that fits properly (see the current helmet thread). For a while I was wearing a Shoei; I didn't realize it, but it was too long for my head, even though the width was fine. I rode through a lot of west Texas windstorms with that helmet, but it yawed back & forth. One day, it tried to corkscrew on my head. Man, that was scary. Also, on that trip, I had a magnetic tank bag that got ripped off the tank. I threw my chest over it & saved the bag (and possibly a camera inside).

The good news is my current VStrom handles the wind much better than my '05 did. Couldn't possibly tell you why. Would a different windscreen make that much difference - who knows. In any case, I've done it a bunch of times. And I will definitely take note of your suggestions.

The only time I've ever been borderline scared in the wind was about 4 years ago out in the great hinterland between Dalhart and Raton. I don't know the windspeed that day, but I held the bike over in a heel to the right to keep from being blown off to the left. Whenever I came up on a truck I very quickly learned I had to be prepared for the bike to suddenly veer right. You know, like toward the truck and those big freakin' wheels. I got good real quickly at timing it. Once I hit Raton Pass, the world was calm again. A couple of hours later I was in a gas station. Two guys on Harley tour bikes saw me pull in. One asked, "Did you come through that wind back toward Clayton?" I acknowledged. The other one said "I've never been so scared in my life on a bike."

Anyhows, Day 1 to beautiful Clovis will probably be a beating - can't be helped. Looks like Day 2 to Farmington will be better. And from Arlington all the way to Williams AZ, the only interstate will be be I-20 to Sweetwater. Interstates are where I most dislike wind riding, partly because it's not as safe to slow down when necessary. Also because there's more traffic, and particularly lots of trucks. You know, with big freakin' wheels.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:45 PM   #83
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

DOT announced this morning that 67 from Jacob Lake to the North Rim will be open on May 15.

Quote:
've learned to linger & soak up a bit of a/c at gas stops
With my LD Comfort helmet liner I've learned to soak it, leave it inside my helmet, and place my helmet inside the big ice boxes outside while I hydrate. When it's time to leave, that COLD helmet liner feels SO good on my head for the first few miles.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:39 PM   #84
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

Brian beat me to it. A head liner under the helmet helps to quite the wind noise and provides some degree of wicking of moisture from the cranium. I like a cottons head rag soaked in water before I put it on. It stays cools for about an hour.

I also clean the helmet's rubber shield gasket. I do this by removing the shield and using soap with water. After installing the plastic shield, I put a dab of silicone grease around the rubber gasket. This helps make the helmet a bit less noisy.

When was the last time you washed your helmet? I use Woolite and soak the helmet in a bucket of warm water. The helmet fit much better after it dried and smelled fresh too.

...of course I assume you have good set of air plugs. I suggest lightly dipping them in baby oil before inserting them in your ear. The oil makes the seal in the ear even better thereby reducing the wind noise.

RB
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:53 PM   #85
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

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...of course I assume you have good set of air plugs. I suggest lightly dipping them in baby oil before inserting them in your ear. The oil makes the seal in the ear even better thereby reducing the wind noise.
I think I'm going to try Neosporin the next time to cut down on the soreness, itchiness, etc when I have the plugs in for 12+ hours at a time.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:54 PM   #86
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

FWIW, I just check the fire and road conditions for 191. The Rattlesnake Fire has reached 191 below Hannigan Meadow, but is currently 90% contained. Smoke will be a pretty strong possibility.

DOT is not showing any impact to travel on 191 but I highly recommend a daily check to make sure it stays that way.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:59 PM   #87
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

By the way, I did get confirmation from two riders last weekend that 273/261 that drops south from 260 and then loops back up is a great road.

You hit 273 riding 260 east, and you hit 261 riding 260 west from Eagar. I was in Springerville last weekend but I didn't have the time to go down and check out the road.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:37 PM   #88
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

I'm wishing Tim all the best on his ride. The temps dropped today (only hit 100) but the wind and the dust is pretty terrible. I hope he's sheltered from some of that behind the pines are the far east side of the state.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:52 PM   #89
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

Better. Spending the night with family in Clovis. The worst wind was Abilene to Sweetwater. It was a beating but I've been through worse. The last hour's heat was a bit oppressive. On to Farmington tomorrow. Getting up at the butt crack of dawn.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:13 AM   #90
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

Real early in the morning is good...as long as you can gulp a gallon of coffee too.



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Old 05-14-2018, 09:44 PM   #91
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

Getting close Tim. We are all rooting for ya to have a great adventure
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:53 AM   #92
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

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They have a very good Buffalo Soldier museum on post, as well as a good signals intelligence museum. Hopefully you toured both.

What copper mine did you tour?

Kartchner Caverns near Benson? The largest "living" cave in the country.

The eastern portion of the Saguaro National Monument is located at the base of the Rincons to the SE of Mt Lemmon so maybe that's where you were?
Sorry its taken me so long to respond. Working a new job and very busy.

We did tour all three museums on the base.
The copper mine was called the Queen Mine in Bisbee, AZ. Very cool little town.
We did the tour of Kartchner Caverns.
The road we took north went from Benson, AZ to highway 77. I think it was called Cascabel Road. Mt. Lemmon was to the west of this road. It follows the San Pedro River. About 30-40 miles of very smooth gravel road.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:52 PM   #93
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Re: AZ Trip - Advice Requested

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Sorry its taken me so long to respond. Working a new job and very busy.
It's a good problem to have.

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We did tour all three museums on the base.
The copper mine was called the Queen Mine in Bisbee, AZ. Very cool little town.
We did the tour of Kartchner Caverns.
The road we took north went from Benson, AZ to highway 77. I think it was called Cascabel Road. Mt. Lemmon was to the west of this road. It follows the San Pedro River. About 30-40 miles of very smooth gravel road.
Bisbee almost died in the early 70s when the mine shut down. The hippies saved it by buying houses for $500 and turning the place into an arts/crafts mecca. We love staying down there instead of in Tombstone or Douglas.

I really like Kartchner, but the wife has an issue with dark, confined spaces so she's never been inside. The owners of the property are friends of my sister who lived in Benson for 20+ years.

Dual sports can make it up the backside of Mt Lemmon with no issue. It goes up to 9,000 feet and is the most southern ski valley in the country. Nice and cool up there when Tucson is 100+. When I lived in Tucson I could make it from my house to the ski lodge in an hour. We also used to road race up/down the mountain when we were very young and dumb. I'm lucky I survived.
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