What do you call the rush of air you experience when riding on a motorcycle or in a speed boat?

I want to say breeze, but that is caused by the wind, not the movement of the vehicle.

Update: I am not looking for a technical term. I want to express this:

Riding my Harley, I felt the NOUN in my hair.

  • 1
    Intended context might be helpful. Is this something techncial, something where poetic license could be taken, etc.?
    – Dusty
    Feb 24, 2011 at 20:43
  • I can't come up with the exact expression form, so might I suggest a reformulation, along the lines of: "I felt my hair blown back|around|up from the speed of riding my Harley.
    – Jace
    Aug 29, 2017 at 19:54

6 Answers 6


As far as I know, there is no distinction made between air motion caused by natural means, air motion caused by mechanical means, and air motion experienced due to the observer being in motion while the air stands still; they're all "wind" or "breeze" or "gale" or "gust" or "zephyr" or "scirocco" or whatever other word suits the velocity of the air.

I stuck my head out the window to feel the cool breeze.

I relaxed in the gentle breeze from the fan.

I hate riding my motorcycle with a helmet on because it means I can't feel the wind in my hair.


In aerodynamic and aeronautics, it is called the relative wind. I don't know if there exist a non-technical to describe it.


I'd prefer rush of wind...

I know you are looking for one word, but I don't see a perfect one-word alternative, and rush of wind (not air) fits perfectly in poetic/emotional terms.


Riding my Harley, I could feel the wind whipping in my hair.


Certainly with airplanes you have the term "slipstream" to refer to the air coming from the propeller(s) and following the craft.

  • Slipstream is "the low pressure zone immediately following a rapidly moving object", rather than "the air coming from the propeller". Feb 3, 2012 at 16:17

I would suggest the word "gust".

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