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Old 01-21-2013, 02:55 PM   #1
Hawk62cj5 OP
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Question How fast do you run on gravel roads ?

Im a newb and ride alone so I have nothing to gauge myself on . I spend alot of my time riding /exploring state maintained gravel roads and just wonder how fast do most people run . Ive noticed to me the bike feels good between 30-45 mph , slower or faster the handling feels like it degrades to me. Is this normal ? Im in no hurry when I ride so I doubt I really change but I was curious.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk62cj5 View Post
Im a newb and ride alone so I have nothing to gauge myself on . I spend alot of my time riding /exploring state maintained gravel roads and just wonder how fast do most people run . Ive noticed to me the bike feels good between 30-45 mph , slower or faster the handling feels like it degrades to me. Is this normal ? Im in no hurry when I ride so I doubt I really change but I was curious.
Only ever run at what you are comfortable. Pushing your comfort zone can end badly. Push when it's safe and others can't be hurt if you go down.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #3
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I run about 6 MPH. I can go faster, but only for about 10 minutes.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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Oh wait, are talking motorcycles? I have been offroad on mine once. I hope to not have to again. My bike is a Ninja 500 with its horribly bad shocks. NOT made for gravel.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:06 PM   #5
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Oh wait, are talking motorcycles? I have been offroad on mine once.
if you were on a gravel ROAD, you were not off road. You were merely off PAVEMENT. NOT the same thing at all.

Our house is located along a gravel road. Cars go by all the time. They are not off roading.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by viverrid View Post
if you were on a gravel ROAD, you were not off road. You were merely off PAVEMENT. NOT the same thing at all.

Our house is located along a gravel road. Cars go by all the time. They are not off roading.
I'll give you that it was in fact a road, and yes it was a mixture of washboard clay chunks and gravel. I was not offroading either, but even going 5 mph I was getting jarred all over the place. On my father in laws KLR250 I could have easily maintained 40-45 mph or so. Different tools for different jobs and all that...
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hawk62cj5 View Post
Im a newb and ride alone so I have nothing to gauge myself on . I spend alot of my time riding /exploring state maintained gravel roads and just wonder how fast do most people run . Ive noticed to me the bike feels good between 30-45 mph , slower or faster the handling feels like it degrades to me. Is this normal ? Im in no hurry when I ride so I doubt I really change but I was curious.
I'd agree with you, for my tastes 30-45 is about right on a gravel road. I like to sightsee and that seems to be a happy speed to do it. Fast enough to get somewhere but slow enough to enjoy the ride and not worry about hitting a giant pothole or some other hazard.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:11 PM   #8
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I'd agree with you, for my tastes 30-45 is about right on a gravel road....
Depends on the road conditions. There is no one answer. Could be 9 MPH (mud season with soft conditions and criss-crossing ruts), could be 90 MPH (hard packed, smooth, dry to slightly damp to keep the dust down and the fines stuck together)..
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
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It depends on the surface, Generally, speed is my friend and I count on a bit of throttle to get me out of a drift. That said opposing forces such as road crown, Loosely packed or lopsided luggage, and Marbles (loose stone on packed dirt) can easily change that. I would say as fast as I can comfortably go knowing that I wont over drift the road and land in the ditch or worse. I rarely run at over 60 though.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #10
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It depends on the surface, Generally, speed is my friend and I count on a bit of throttle to get me out of a drift. That said opposing forces such as road crown, Loosely packed or lopsided luggage, and Marbles (loose stone on packed dirt) can easily change that. I would say as fast as I can comfortably go knowing that I wont over drift the road and land in the ditch or worse. I rarely run at over 60 though.

Or a out bridge complete with dukes of hazzard jump ramps like I ran into yesterday , which to be fair they had road closed signs up


I know thats the tricky part of the question , a gravel road is a ever changing surface so I know it can vary road to road day to day . I grew up at the end of a 6 mile dirt road and I could run it up to the 70s end to end when it was right , semi packed soft dirt with the gravel packed in after a rain but let it get hard with slushy gravel on top I would have back off a bit or worst of all let it washboard and you would have to poke along under 40 . Then every state does their gravel roads a bit different so all of that factors in .
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:42 PM   #11
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I got onto some gravel that I had to take at abut 10 mph could never get up to a speed when I floated on top. One mile and I was soaked wit sweat. I have been on gravel at 60 mph. Most time 35 to 40. The bike can tell you what it likes, listen.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:53 PM   #12
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I've managed 80 before....crank up the stabilizer and stand on the pegs. It was pry stupid though. Felt ok.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:09 PM   #13
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As fast as I feel like...

Like others have said, as fast as you feel comfortable. Though now a sidecar hangs off of my 650 so its now a bit slower.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:20 PM   #14
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Several answers to this one:

Front tire size (19" would be harder than a 21")
Tire type - Knobby easier than street
Bike type - Vstrom would be much slower than on my 990

And there is gravel type.

When I ride along the railroad tracks they use 1.5"-2.5" gravel, the big stuff which is kinda deep. It moves all over the place. The smaller stuff kinda packs down so is easier to ride on.

In a nutshell there is no single answer. The best one is ride at the pace you are comfortable at. There is a speed at which stability and comfort meet, usually it is fast enough to get you on top of the gravel. kind of like riding on sand. Weight placement on the bike, standing etc etc all play a part.

Maybe not an answer you looking for but the question your asking doesn't really have a single response either.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:09 PM   #15
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As fast as I feel like...

Like others have said, as fast as you feel comfortable. Though now a sidecar hangs off of my 650 so its now a bit slower.
Yer gonna hafta define a "bit" slower. I've followed you on dirt roads!
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