What do you do when you hit gravel covered asphalt?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Ocky, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Ocky

    Ocky Adventurer

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    Something that has always been a problem for me is riding over gravel covered asphalt. Where I live doesn't snow a lot but a couple weeks ago it did and there is still significant gravel covering less traveled roads. I have had a couple unfortunate experiences going through a turn and having my rear tire slip(this is after I have already slowed down and am going 20mph or less).

    Apparently increasing the traction of 4 wheeled vehicles for a couple days is an Ok trade off for making the roads hazardous for 2 wheeled vehicles for a month or more.
    #1
  2. Jacl-Kampuchea

    Jacl-Kampuchea Booze Merchant

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    I keep going, I may give it more gas and enjoy the bike's drift.
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  3. EltonAvenue

    EltonAvenue Banned

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    Loose gravel & tight sphincters go together like beer & brats, or beer & nuts, or even beer & more beer!:freaky
    You can either continue to be afraid of it or get used to it by "testing" just how far you can go with your slides, better still, join a local off road club,
    OR, sell the bike & buy a 4WD!!!!:lol3
    #3
  4. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    Cross your fingers?
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  5. filmfan

    filmfan Long timer

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    Be aware that you are likely to find gravel and sand and ride accordingly.

    We get plenty of snow here, and by the time spring rolls around you can't tell that some roads are actually paved, for all the gravel and sand on them. Gravel on pavement is like riding on ball bearings.

    Staying away from the inside on turns helps, as what's left seems to stay the longest there.

    Based on my experience on the bicycle in these conditions, a tire with a deep open tread helps a lot. Though on the moto I run regular pavement tires, and I just ride with extreme caution for the first couple of months.
    #5
  6. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, JACKWAD!

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    Stay alert, stay loose
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  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    what do you do when you hit gravel covered asphalt?

    lots of things !!!

    sometimes its a hoot to spin up the back
    slide the rear
    feel the front drift back to traction
    sometimes I fall down.

    no big deal, the bike knows what pavement, dirt, trees, grass, mud, gravel, and lots of other surfaces look like from many different angles. hell it doesn't even close its eyes or tense up anymore.
    #7
  8. Skyshadow

    Skyshadow Banned

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    Suck it up and get used to it, learn where it occurs and anticipate it. Some bikes handle better than others on the stuff. Just don't go in with too much lean or too hot. With climate change you are going to be dealing with a lot more than before.
    #8
  9. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll

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    The head of our town's highway department (in N.H. their title is "Road Agent") explains that the possibility of a traction related accident has his department laying down LOTS of sand and salt. They do sweep the roads once it looks like winter is finally over.


    But on a MC especially with a heavier bike- IF POSSIBLE- I try to stand it up to very near vertical and let up partially, if not fully, on the brakes and glide through the crap....providing the gravel section is short and I can still get through the corner after that.

    Barring that, some lean angle might be OK and the rear might hang out a bit but stay off that front brake as much as possible until the gravel/sand ends. Front end lockup is NOT your friend.
    #9
  10. tvpierce

    tvpierce Been here awhile

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    Lay 'er down! :rofl

    (Somebody had to say it!)
    #10
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Ya beat me too it.

    If you don't lay'er down, you might crash:rofl
    #11
  12. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

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    :nod This man knows what he's talking about. The thing that will knock you down is lean angle - so long as the bike is generally upright you can slide or skid without any issues, but get the center of gravity off-line and you may be asking more of the tires than they can provide in that situation. Stay within the bounds of traction and you'll be fine. As others have stated, once you get familiar with it you can have some fun with spins, power slides, drifts, etc. but I save that stuff for my little dirt bike and not the ($$$) Big Pig.


    Please export this excellent behavior to Virginia! The VDOT sands & gravels the roads here to the point the look like dirt roads by the end of the Winter and then that's it. Yer on yer own until the rain or traffic washes or wears it off. We've had on again - off again winter here so they've put down huge amounts of sand everywhere, to the point that riding a bicycle will shake your fillings out of your teeth. I saw where a car flew off the road on the grit just last weekend; it's a sharp turn, but he would have been fine except for all the sand. The deer like the salt, too, they come down out of the woods to lick it up from the roadsides.

    As if sanding during Winter weren't bad enough, last summer the VDOT came around and chip-sealed the road near our house. I was DISMAYED :cry. It was a crappy job to begin with and has haunted my bicycling and motorcycling since:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The windrows got so deep I took a flat blade shovel and wheelbarrow out and collected a bunch of gravel to patch my driveway :lol3, thanks VDOT. It's been 8 months since they did this and it still SUCKS, but it is what it is and I just ride accordingly.

    Take care, be safe, end enjoy the ride! As a geologist I love it when the leaves are off and the snow/ice highlights the local structure:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Happy New Year!

    Doug
    #12
  13. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Don't look at the gravel. Look at a clean line between the gravel. Your tires go where you look.

    Get off the brake before you get to the gravel. Tires can go over some gravel without slipping, the soft tire rubber just wraps around each individual rock and grips the pavement just fine. Too many rocks too close together, they will slip. Some tires are much better than others at this. Being on the brake makes any tire much more likely to slip, and makes it harder to hook up again once it finds clean pavement.

    Generally dual sport tires or knobbies are much better than street tires. New soft tires are better than old hard ones.


    How far will the tires slip? Depends on the orientation of the bike to the gravel. Gravel tends to end up in lines roughly parallel to the road. Just like paint stripes or train tracks, if you put your bike where a tire slipping will take you across the stripe or track, if it slips it's no big deal. When the tires gets to the other side of the stripe, it will hook up again. If on the other hand, the tire slips along the stripe, it will never get to clean surface, never will hook up again. Down you go.

    Consider every corner to have gravel until you can see it doesn't, that way you won't be surprised.
    #13
  14. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    My thoughts exactlyÂ….. beaten to posting!

    Gravel and sand are out there; expect it and get used to it.
    #14
  15. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Why?

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    Try not to crash?
    #15
  16. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    Good one.
    Seriously, ride some gravel roads to get some practice in.
    #16
  17. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    on the Speed Triple; butt pucker and scream like a little girl

    on the 525; gas it and grin
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  18. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    not all towns in NH have street sweepers, and some towns that do sweep (mine for instance) only sweeps the village roads and none in the rural areas

    sand, salt, loose graded gravel, chip n seal, or even snow & ice don't bother me, I just ride according to conditions

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    IF you have low enough speed when you hit the gravel do not clamp down tight on the bars, let her slide and wander a bit. Look where you want to go.

    Of course if you have too much speed, I suggest tucking your arms in and rolling, fetal position if you have time.

    Rod
    #19
  20. motorat

    motorat TBD

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    in cazadero, ca, the gravel is the road.
    easy with the front brake and enjoy the ride.

    take a riding class like www.americansupercamp.com and have fun
    #20