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 Post subject: Rebel 250 - seems unsatable on highway - is it safe?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Oct 15, 2014
Motorcycle: 2001 Honda Rebel 250
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
State/Province: MN
City: Maplewood
Hi gang,

I just went motorcycle camping with my sons. They have larger bikes (Honda Magna, Kawasaki Vulcan) than I do. None of us have windshields. I felt very buffeted, and at times I felt like I was gong to be lifted off the road and moved. It wasn't a fun sensation. I was nerve-wracking actually. This is my first year of riding at 57 years old.

They think I may be over-reacting due to my inexperience, but I wonder if riding this bike on the highway while wearing a backpack is a very smart idea.

Thoughts?

Gary

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2001 Honda Rebel 250 (blue)


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 Post subject: Re: Rebel 250 - seems unsatable on highway - is it safe?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Jul 25, 2003
Motorcycle: 98 Valkyrie
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
State/Province: GA
City: Vidalia
Wearing a backpack on any bike isn't the best idea; it negative affects your balance, raises your center of gravity considerably, and greatly increases your sail area. Making matters worse, it's not particularly stable: it will move a bit and shift a bit with each lean and gust.

As far as whether or not a Rebel is highway safe, there's a bunch of us who have been highway riding on them for years; some of us for a couple of decades.

Contrary to the ever-present noise to the contrary, bike size in absolutely _no_ way affects the stability of a bike. After all, it's still all that weight propped up on two wheels. There's a much, much longer post here that delves into taking apart the myth, but suffice it to say that the only thing a larger bike does is fool you a bit; it's no more stable.

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Duke
"Skills must be Learned"
------ Herb Christian


"Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for _you_."


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 Post subject: Re: Rebel 250 - seems unsatable on highway - is it safe?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Motorcycle: Rebel 250 plus a few others
Rebel: 250
Country: Canada
State/Province: NB
City: Fredericton
horngary wrote:
Hi gang,

I just went motorcycle camping with my sons. They have larger bikes (Honda Magna, Kawasaki Vulcan) than I do. None of us have windshields. I felt very buffeted, and at times I felt like I was gong to be lifted off the road and moved. It wasn't a fun sensation. I was nerve-wracking actually. This is my first year of riding at 57 years old.

They think I may be over-reacting due to my inexperience, but I wonder if riding this bike on the highway while wearing a backpack is a very smart idea.

Thoughts?

Gary


One of the most common faults of new riders, car drivers, or airplane pilots is a tendency to overcontrol.

You've seen people nervously twitching the steering wheel back and forth to stay in their lane when an experienced driver would be moving the wheel slowly only in response to a change in the road direction.

Inexperienced riders react far too much to crosswinds on a bike by forcing the handlebars sideways, and the resulting "instability" can be downright terrifying.
When a wind blast hits any motorcycle.. not just a lightweight, it will momentarily be blown and lean toward the downwind side . The fork geometry of the bike will cause it to then automatically steer the front wheel toward the direction of the wind induced lean, (a countersteer) which in turn will force the bike to lean into the wind and counter the wind force. Simlarly, when the windblast ends, the bike will momentarily drop into a deeper lean into the wind (countersteer) which will cause it to stand up out of the lean.
A motorcycle will do this completely unaided by the rider. A few years back I was experimenting on my k1200 while riding in extremely nasty crosswinds in North Dakota. I put it on full cruise control and took my hands off the bars. Since the road was straight, and there was little traffic, I could steer well enough to hold my lane just by shifting my body weight.
I watched as one windblast after another hit me, and the bars would twitch and the bike would aggressively lean into the wind and maintain its straight course as set by my weight on the bike. The total sideways movement might have been a couple of feet.
So the lesson is to relax and let the wind happen. Aggressively fighting the wind induced lean will upset the bike and rider both. Just relax and concentrate on maintaining your basic course.

_________________
2004 Honda Rebel 250
2003 BMW K1200GT
2004 BMW R1200GS
1996 Ducati 900SS
1973 Norton 850 Interstate


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 Post subject: Re: Rebel 250 - seems unsatable on highway - is it safe?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Jul 25, 2003
Motorcycle: 98 Valkyrie
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
State/Province: GA
City: Vidalia
Here's the thread I was looking for:


viewtopic.php?t=13594

It's lengthy, as it was intended to be the go-to repository for one of the more oft-asked questions. It's also extremely informative; I hope it helps:

viewtopic.php?t=13594

(bring snacks :D )

_________________

Duke
"Skills must be Learned"
------ Herb Christian


"Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for _you_."


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 Post subject: Re: Rebel 250 - seems unsatable on highway - is it safe?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Motorcycle: Rebel 250 plus a few others
Rebel: 250
Country: Canada
State/Province: NB
City: Fredericton
I read through much of those old posts Duke. The recommendation to relax comes through a lot of them. the whole issue boils down to the self steering fork geometry of all bikes.
The LESS the rider does to try to fight the wind, the better things will be for him. Once you have seen a bike correcting for wind all by itself you learn to leave it alone and just enjoy the ride.

_________________
2004 Honda Rebel 250
2003 BMW K1200GT
2004 BMW R1200GS
1996 Ducati 900SS
1973 Norton 850 Interstate


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 Post subject: Re: Rebel 250 - seems unsatable on highway - is it safe?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Jul 25, 2003
Motorcycle: 98 Valkyrie
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
State/Province: GA
City: Vidalia
Pretty much, yep. :)

_________________

Duke
"Skills must be Learned"
------ Herb Christian


"Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for _you_."


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 Post subject: Re: Rebel 250 - seems unsatable on highway - is it safe?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Jun 18, 2009
Motorcycle: 1999 Rebel CMX
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
State/Province: FL
City: Summerfield
Greetings horngary,

I use to ride with no windshield and with a back pack. To keep from fighting the buffeting, I install a small windshield. Makes Interstate riding, much more pleasureable. To get ride of the backpack, I built a rear carrier from material that I had laying around. To see the Rebel with the carrier, follow the link. Scroll down to see.

Link : viewtopic.php?f=2&t=23477&p=274128&hilit=canopy#p274128

5th post. Link : viewtopic.php?f=13&t=26971&hilit=canopy

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If you're Waiting on me, you're Late.



1999 Honda Rebel VQR234se
. . . . . 43,000+ Miles . . . . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Rebel 250 - seems unsatable on highway - is it safe?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:49 am 
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Joined: Oct 15, 2014
Motorcycle: 2001 Honda Rebel 250
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
State/Province: MN
City: Maplewood
Thanks everyone for these helpful posts. I feel encouraged to spend more time on the highways and get more comfortable with the experience. You have me (nearly) convinced that all that buffeting isn't dangerous.

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2001 Honda Rebel 250 (blue)


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