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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Ocky, Jan 14, 2014.
Add a bit more throttle (most of the time)
Purely gravel roads are ok, they are pretty uniform in consistency and tires can dig in, but the gravel ontop of the asphalt acts like marbles on a hard floor. The fact the consistency changes so quickly will result in a high or low side. Avoiding by staying in the line of car tires is good but sometimes you can't or you missed it.
Going slow and staying vertical I guess are the only things to do
This. Learn what it looks like, where it accumulates, and how to avoid it.
They liberally cover the roads with red sand here anytime it snows. It is left everywhere and it is extremely slippery. I've even had cages slide around the stuff when it's piled deep enough.
I find, however, that it only takes a few days for traffic to clear most of it off. I have to adjust my cornering lines to stay in the "tire track" on sweepers and try not to ride on the parts of pavement that car tires don't normally hit, as this as where the sand will be.
I've drifted the rear tire several times on the stuff. I hate it. I've found that if the rear tire goes out under throttle, just holding the throttle steady until you're through it is the best course of action. Chopping the throttle could result in an uncontrolled slide.
or sudden grip and subsequent highside
sand, ice, what ever slick surface, best course of action is usually steady throttle, continue your line, be smooth
You need a lot more seat time. It's not rocket science. It'll come if you ride enough.
Fit knobbies. Ride dirt. Ride wet clay. Ride bottomless pillowy sand. Get used to riding on wet grass too. Gravel on the road will then seem almost like dry and clear interstate.
Just remember three things... Floor it, turn left, don't fuck up... no, wait, that's car racin. Learn to ride on the dirt, a lot. if you don't, you'll never get comfortable with it.
Michigan's DOT chip-seals quite a bit, particularly on rural roads - right where I like to ride! Pretty much kills the buzz of using that road for a whole summer. Really sucks if you live on that road. Happened to me - TWICE!
Doug, you might be surprised by what makes up the "chip" matrix in that crap. Run a magnetic garage floor sweeper over it and you will find a surprising amount of shreded metal among the concrete chips. Apparently not all recycling crushers have magnetic separators, so at least some rerod gets chipped, sized and sorted with the rest of the concrete.
Since the metal is maleable the little bits get beaten into round'ish ball bearings instead of grippy jagged-edged concrete chips. Ok, ok, so maybe the ball bearing analogy is a stretch ... I'll just stop here.
OP, you will get used to gravel. Stay alert for it, especially in the spring, following thunderstorms, and at the apex of tight right hand corners (where cars will often drop a wheel onto the shoulder and drag gravel out onto the paved surface).
Stay loose, keep calm, carry on.
Nice picture Randyo!
Do you use any 'special' to protect your bike (particularly the electrical system) from the salt? For instance, maybe a light spray of WD40 on the wiring harness, connectors, and bare aluminum cases? It would disperse the water (and the salt brine in it) during a ride, at least for a while.
WD40 does pose some risk of fire, so maybe just a post-ride spray and wipe down after cooling? Another product? It looks like you ride year round, AT-weather-ATT, so I'm nominating you as the guru on this subject.
P.S. S'not a hijack .. it is rock salt, after all!
1)Try to not to eat a gravel sandwich
2)Eat a gravel sandwich anyway
3)Pick bike and dignity up off the ground
There are a lot of winding country roads around here 1-1/2 lane seal with gravel edges, occasionally a car will scoop gravel all over a corner - so - plenty of practice.
O.K. DL 650, K60's, so good bike, good tires for this. On the blind ones, or ones where I can see gravel early I'm also turning the bike early - wide in, aim to cut straight across the apex - so the bike isn't leaned over much on the gravel anyway. If it twitches, just relax, ride it out - there's essentially NO input into the controls from me at that point.
It seems to be lean angle as much as sliding that causes serious problems, basically because the bike tends to just fall down when the tires loose grip - hit the ground and it's pretty much all over - so having the turning mostly done before the possible gravel makes it much much easier to cope with.
And as others have said "Ride dirt" - if you were doing 50-60mph on hard packed gravel roads last weekend, then that little scatter on the corner is nothing.
1. Lie there and say shit repeatedly.
2. Wait (usually not more than a few minutes) till old lady in Lincoln pulls up alongside you and says anxiously, "Did you fall?"
3. Say, "No, ma'am, I just grew this way."
I was taken out by chip sealing a couple of years ago.
They had put up ONE warning sign 1½ mile before and the truck had dumped all the chips in the last half of a sloping turn in a thick layer.
It was like riding on a carpet of ball bearings and I found myself sliding on my back, dragged forward by my left ankle wedged under my 600 lbs scooter, until it came to rest at the side of the road.
I kept honking my horn until a man came out of a nearby house and lifted the behemoth off my ankle.
Luckily I was ATGATT including heavy boots, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten away with only burst skin and a nasty wound infection.
originally, I did nothing and learned the hard way, all new wire harness and sensors on my V-strom 1000 cause of the cancer from winter riding
never had an issue with my old nekid 99SV, carbs are not sensitive to minute voltage fluxuations. The new harness on my Vee, all connections are doused in dielectic grease and wrapped with M33
Where I live the paved roads can have sand and gravel across the intersections all year long. There's a tight banked turn very near here with gravel along the tire tracks and rain will always add sand/gravel stripes across the lanes. Riders here have to get used to it.
It kinda sucks that you live where gravel on pavement is so rare that you want to avoid it. Going out and practicing on iffy surfaces can make all riding more enjoyable.
I just ride a little slower and try not to lean the bike as much when gravel is on the road. I've never tried intentionally sliding the rear on a street bike. While I love doing that in the dirt, that just doesn't sound like much fun to me on the street.
Just don't do anything abrupt and the bike does what it normally does. If I see it in time, I will scrub off a little speed but then I release and ride the corner just like I would if nothing was there. If it doesn't work, a lowside happens and hopefully you get up with a scratched bike and no injuries.
Practice, relax, more practice....find a long gravel road you can ride for days like the dalton hwy have an adventure and get use to the feel of a loose surface.
It depends on whether my tires have been properly scuffed or not.
Ouch, expensive lesson :eek1 - thanks for sharing the tip! Nice second picture too. I want to be there.
Many years ago I rode my beater Yamaha IT175 year round. On road, off road, on the frozen lake (after some snow froze to the ice!). There's not much wiring to harm on that bike, and at age 15'ish my grasp of the 'neglect/consequence' curve wasn't real firm anyway.
That juvenile handicap has thankfully faded, replaced by maturity which has unfortunately taken all the salty months of riding off my calender. Unacceptable - I am a man now, time to outsmart the salt and kill some cabin feaver!