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Old 11-22-2010, 03:25 PM   #1
ghettoe
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Default Riding on gravel

My first experience on gravel was a bad one and I don't even want to get close to it but it's inevitable. So how exactly do I ride on gravel because it feels really strange and the best I could do was power walk.
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:04 PM   #2
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Default I might be crazy, but I am speaking from experience!

We will probably need some details:

What kind of bike were you riding at the time?

Was it gravel on pavement? or were you on a gravel road.

Did you lose the front and face plant while hitting the brakes in panic mode or did you spin up the rear wheel and get the bike side ways?

Sometimes people get target fixated in a curve with debri at the apex or have the bike leaned over too much.

In general, it helps to deal with gravel on a paved road by getting the bike upright, down shifting instead of braking, scooting your butt back to weight the rear tire AND DON'T STARE at the GRAVEL.

Sounds crazy I know, but don't look at what you are trying to miss because the bike tends to go towards what you get "fixed" on. So, you just have to sort of ignore the gravel (in your mind) and bend those eyes away from the "stuff-on-the-road" and towards the horizon, or "vanishing point" of the road.

Do I sound like I'm crazy?

Probably. But to deal with gravel you have to just kind of ignore it (there is no spoon) or you will most likely over-react to it and make matters worse by instinctlvely stabbeing at (and potentially locking up) the rear wheel.

So just stay loose, don't over compensate, down shift, and keep the bike up right. Dont lean it over and get on the brakes too much. (Just dirt-bike it on through there even if your on a street bike.)


...next.
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Last edited by YamaCat : 11-22-2010 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:56 AM   #3
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What kind of bike are you on? Do you have street tires?

If you're going to ride off-pavement more than once in a blue moon, a set of dual-sport tires is a good investment. There are some great tires like Continental Trail Attack, Pirelli Scorpions, Bridgestone BattleWings or the cheaper TrailWings. They'll make a big difference in your level of control and comfort.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:00 AM   #4
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What kind of bike are you on? Do you have street tires?

If you're going to ride off-pavement more than once in a blue moon, a set of dual-sport tires is a good investment. There are some great tires like Continental Trail Attack, Pirelli Scorpions, Bridgestone BattleWings or the cheaper TrailWings. They'll make a big difference in your level of control and safety on gravel and dirt.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:00 PM   #5
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I will not be riding on gravel often. I ended up sideways and luckily unhurt. I think my bike was out of gas because it started slowing down and I am a noob so I am not yet a pro at switching to reserve. I was surrounded by cornfields an saw this patch of gravel leading up to someone's house and had no choice but to stop there.

Anyway, Reason I'm asking is because I have to go to the dealership which is pretty much gravel and I have to find a way to get in there so they can fix my gear. I have an 05 ninja (250).

@Yamacat- Why do they all sound impossible to do. It's really hard to not stare at the gravel. It's one thing when I'm just riding on pavement but gravel just screams "stare at me"
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettoe View Post
I will not be riding on gravel often. I ended up sideways and luckily unhurt. I think my bike was out of gas because it started slowing down and I am a noob so I am not yet a pro at switching to reserve. I was surrounded by cornfields an saw this patch of gravel leading up to someone's house and had no choice but to stop there.

Anyway, Reason I'm asking is because I have to go to the dealership which is pretty much gravel and I have to find a way to get in there so they can fix my gear. I have an 05 ninja (250).

@Yamacat- Why do they all sound impossible to do. It's really hard to not stare at the gravel. It's one thing when I'm just riding on pavement but gravel just screams "stare at me"
Think "pace". It's not an acronym, it's a concept. Any road that you ride every day can have sections that you are not comfortable with. This is probably because these sections force you to up your skills just a bit more. Take them at a pace that is smooth. Take them at a pace you feel comfortable at. When these sections no longer hold any interest to you, just up the pace.

It's just a way to practice.

For parking lots; Roll across gravel in first gear with your feet down and "power walk" if your not comfortable with keeping your feet on the pegs.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettoe View Post
Anyway, Reason I'm asking is because I have to go to the dealership which is pretty much gravel and I have to find a way to get in there so they can fix my gear. I have an 05 ninja (250).
Slow WAY down and keep a steady pace and don't try to over correct; go with the flow.

If it a REAL gravel road.....most people have never seen a real gravel road.......even after 40+ years of riding, I'm not comfortable going more than 20 MPH.....and with my feet out too part of the time.

If it is an oil and chip road with a little loose sand or pebbles on top, then it's a somewhat different story but the technique is the same.
Slow down, keep it steady and don't panic. Brake easy and early.

Like a lot of riding questions, it's mostly about practice and getting comfortable with what the bike does in each different situation.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettoe View Post
My first experience on gravel was a bad one and I don't even want to get close to it but it's inevitable. So how exactly do I ride on gravel because it feels really strange and the best I could do was power walk.
I felt the same on gravel in the beginning so I did slow practice rides, 10 mph and less for short sessions of a mile or two. After some days of that my nervous started to read the traction changes and I felt more and more comfortable. I still keep speeds on gravel low and relaxed because of longer stopping distances.
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