How fast do you run on gravel roads ?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Hawk62cj5, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    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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  2. EZ300

    EZ300 Long timer

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    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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  3. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    I run about 6 MPH. I can go faster, but only for about 10 minutes. :1drink
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  4. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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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. :nah
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  5. ADW

    ADW 'tard bike restos

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    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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  6. gmk999

    gmk999 ____ as a Rotax

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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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  7. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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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.

    Rod
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  8. avocadofarmer

    avocadofarmer Fruit Coot

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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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  9. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    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
    [​IMG]

    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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  10. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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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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  11. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

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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.
    #11
  12. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    Really depends on the surface, bike, experience and boldness. At the age of 15/16/17 on my 125ccm Varadero I drove up to ~55mph on firm dirt with nearly no gravel. Nowadays with my VFR 1200 I don't dare going over 40mph and still the fairing around the exhaust manifold touched the ground at ~30mph at one point.
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  13. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Going faster usually smooths things out, and 9 times out of 10 'more throttle' will also help stabilize the bike if you hit a soft spot.

    There are a couple of gotcha's - first going fast is great once you get there but there's quite often an unstable speed range before you get there. O.K. you can just blast through that going up in speed - the catch is that if you have to slow down, you have to pass through that unstable speed range again. (I don't do that anymore :eek1).

    You need to be slow enough in the first place that 'more throttle' has survivable consequences in the 1 case in 10 where it doesn't work.

    FWIW, your speeds seem pretty close to mine riding solo, maybe a bit faster but a lot depends on road condition. I'll go a bit faster in company when there's some backup.

    Pete
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  14. jasonmt

    jasonmt Been here awhile

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    As fast as you are comfortable with and the conditions, bikes capability and your skill-set allows.

    For me sometimes it is 30km/h and other times it is 140 km/h.
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  15. KLR04

    KLR04 Been here awhile

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    As slow as slipping the clutch in first all the way to rear wheel spinning like mad at an indicated 170 kmh, man I love my 950!:clap
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  16. Superpacman13

    Superpacman13 Been here awhile

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    I held it wfo for a while a clocked 110 mph on saharas, didn't seem to bother me. But you should go the speed you are comfortable, and pay no attention to those that say otherwise.
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  17. B.Curvin

    B.Curvin Feral Chia tamer

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    This.


    I had my XR650R WFO and tapped out in fifth more than twice. My "usual" speed all varies depending on the bike and the surface though it sounds like you're doing "right".
    #17
  18. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    My DR650 feels like a super bike on gravel roads. Sixty feels like eighty and eighty feels like a hundred. Ya gotta look out for potholes, washouts and animals. You have to focus and look way ahead. Fun!
    #18
  19. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    On the TransLab, one handed?

    About 60 MPH, give or take.

    [​IMG]
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  20. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    Thanks for your responses so far yall , Im not going to push it harder than I think I should but didnt want to be "that guy" if I ever went on some sort of group ride either . I run a jeep club so on trail rides every now and then we get "that guy" who screws up the pace by running too slow or doing off the wall things and makes it hard for everyone to enjoy themselves.
    #20