Gravel Cornering....How do you do it?

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Night Falcon, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    Muzz67 has a good point. Testing the surface is worthy. I actually found the gravel surface on the morning loop really fun to ride on and tacky.

    Weight kept low helps too. I've found with the Tenere, a full tank of gas, 25 litres, is very tippy. Once the tank has 100km out of it, the bike is starting to handle a lot better and is much easier to ride. Try the Tiger with a full tank and then with half a tank on the same road and see if it makes a difference?
    #21
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  2. Kiwigber

    Kiwigber Been here awhile

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    What causes the front to wash out without warning,often when I am riding upright.This has happened to me several times now and it gets a bit disconcerting (read scary)-seems to be when I hit a patch of deepish gravel.
    #22
  3. innathyzit

    innathyzit AKA Woodman

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    On tight gravel I generally point and squirt, it can be messy but its fun. On sweeping corners I tend to lean into the corner, dunno if its faster but it feels cool if the rear slides.
    It also depends on the bike, my r00gs was almost like driving a car on gravel, very stable and planted and not a lot of effort required while the SWM requires a lot of rider input. I think I prefer heavy bikes on gravel.
    #23
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  4. N8

    N8 I prefer my pumpkin with a blue & white mask. Supporter

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    I'd call my fast grabel technique "flirting with traction". I wouldn't know how else to describe it.
    #24
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  5. Manakau.KTM

    Manakau.KTM Been here awhile

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    Lots of good observations.

    Don't forget how much your ride of choice matters. I've set up both my 640E and 950SMR for gravel riding and the difference is huge. One is overweight with silly small fat wheels and the other vibrates like a compactor but feels like a mountain bike. Shedding momentum on the 950 in gravel can be a mission at times but it's smooth and comfy. The 21 inch wheel on the 640 means that it tracks in gravel way better and the single cylinder pulses help with traction. I only use my bar risers on knarly stuff. Perhaps years of lambing beats have ingrained the habit of sitting.

    I've noticed that during a day on gravel I think that I'm getting better as the day goes on. Also as the day goes on, there are times when my concentration wavers and my speed drops off. Often it takes a downhill off camber right hander to jolt me back to reality.

    In group rides there usually seems to be someone else who happens to have their mojo at various times during the day. I think that adds to the feeling that everyone else is blasting off into the sunset.

    When I ride solo I return to my lambing beat days and take in the sights more.
    #25
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  6. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    Silly boy.........You have to lay er down.
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  7. Whale Rider

    Whale Rider Been here awhile

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    Brake on the straight before its to late.
    #27
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  8. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Structural Failure

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    looked at this a couple of weeks ago......
    IMG_1204.JPG IMG_1206.JPG

    VERY tempting but my 12 is still a great bike and I'm not sure I want traction control.....cruise control might be handy though!
    #28
  9. Manakau.KTM

    Manakau.KTM Been here awhile

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    You'd have got a much better shot of the ktm without that other big thing in the way.
    #29
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  10. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    I'm sure not fast, but if I want to elevate the pace around corners from slow to medium, or if I'm feeling a bit unstable on a sketchy surface/bad cambers etc, what I find helps is to really get into an attack position on the bike; elbows up, sit right forward, tip it in as per outty's drawing above, elbows up, lean high & forward so your chin bar is almost touching the outside mirror. Also look well around the corner, everyone knows to look where you want to go, but don't concentrate too close in front, look way ahead.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #30
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  11. diabolik37

    diabolik37 Deadly Gubba

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    Reason for asking is that we are creature of habit and only really learn when we hurt ourself... without going into personal and body skills level limitations, there is a mental factor that need to be understood..

    There are three kind of people.. The ones that hurt themself and get back on the horse like it never happened, the ones that hurt themself and become more aware of the pain and therefore wont do it ever again and the ones that wont even try to get out of their comport zone.. Which one of the three you belong is something only you and possibly your closest friends may know, and there is no shame or harm in belonging of any of the three groups as they all serve a perfect function for the survival of our species.. But it obvious that if you belong to the second or the third group you have just created a physical limitation to yourself...

    Your sentence "since my last big crash I'm not worried about being fast" seem to push you towards group number 2..

    It is all about comfort zone really.. Some people love the adrenaline rush to the extreme, while others not so much and get scare a lot quicker...
    #31
  12. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Structural Failure

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    Interesting the amount of riders who reckon they ain't "fast". I guess its a pretty subjective term as there is always someone "faster" than you for comparison ....having said that, most of the group rides I've been on I've been able to keep up with most of the riders on it but I don't think I'm fast by any stretch.

    The word itself is an interesting one in the motorcycle context as it's meaning seems to always head towards FAST! as in Birchy FAST rather than being able to maintain a reasonable speed for the road your on....lets say the legal speed without abruptly having to stop or see your life flash in front of you at every 3rd corner. We don't drive cars like that. We're not talking novice riding skills/ability here, nearly everyone we ride with has plenty of experience. It just appears that some seem to be way more settled, confident, smother than others riding at what are perfectly reasonable speeds on gravel.


    Points raised about being in the zone are so true......some times when I feel "in the Zone" its move over Birch and eat my dust.....until Wade or Ali come flying past me :fpalm
    #32
  13. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Structural Failure

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    Take your point and I have no doubt a riders "history" forms a big part in setting their comfort levels. Lucky for me I have no recollection of my last crash :D

    We all have a fear gauge, some activate sooner than others, I'm not suggesting riders should be "slaying the dragon" to learn how to ride betterer.

    Having the right skill set to ride at a safe reasonable speed on a bike on gravel shouldn't be akin to competing on a Japanese game show.....or should it :yikes
    #33
  14. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Structural Failure

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    the British racing green stole my affection :raabia
    #34
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  15. gonefirefighting

    gonefirefighting Surrounded by Police

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    I am going to assume you are referring to getting a rear power slide in corners. It is a bit unnerving to start but it simply can be practiced in a pit or even a wide open spot that has the same amount of sand/loose dirt or gravel. You dont have to start whipping your bike on corners to get the experience. start in a stopped position and try and power slide the rear end around, you only have to it a bit to get the hang of it. usually, your inside leg is planted on the ground and you will use it to pivot as the rear tire powers around. once you have burned off one side of the tire doing this then work on the offside. eventually, you will be able to slide the bike around in a 45-90 degree fashion and then will not need to stab your foot down as much. From this point, you start getting into the role of doing it rolling and only pitching it out just a smidge to find the balance point and making bigger circles or even a square on your confidence level. Once you have felt you have obtained the right amount of throttle, lean and bar input to establish solid power slides you can head out on the gravel to give it a go. the smaller tighter corners work best for this as you don't need a great amount of speed like you do in the bigger sweeping corners. The main reason folks talk about the front washing out in a corner like this is typically due to understeer and throttle. if you grab traction rather than sliding it will unweight the front and fell as if you are washing out, simply scrub some rear brake and you will track right back up. Once you get into bigger faster corners you will notice that the oversteer will become very minimal but the key to your cornering with gradual throttle input. I too agree with a previous poster that had mentioned to find a gravel loop to practice your turns, make sure they have both right and left turns and it is a place free of traffic. You want your posture to be standing and keep your center of gravity over the contact patch of your tire so the most amount of weight is on the tread that is engaging the ground. If you are sitting your weight will be pushing out on the tires and thus will also cause your tires to wash out and low slide. If you only have one bike to practice this on it will be essential that you get some good crash protection as you will more than likely go down a few times. if you have the money go out and get yourself and cheap 500cc or smaller bike and through some anakee 3's or something mild on it and get used to the rear moving around behind you. The bottom line is confidence and experience, my old race coach told me often, "If you are not crashing, you are not progressing" I still think about that often and how true it rings.
    #35
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  16. diabolik37

    diabolik37 Deadly Gubba

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    You see right there.. you are thinking about a safe reasonable speed on gravel.. I'm betting, that the other guy that goes a lot faster on gravel is actually enjoy the adrenaline or simply enjoy the view and not thinking at all at what kind of material is under his wheels..

    I can only talk from personal experience, and I have friends that when on gravel or mud do change their style completely (and do go a lot slower), while I got other friends where the speed just stay the same, no matter what's under the wheels.. I found myself actually looking for that extra bit of adrenaline and taking often what most people call unnecessary risk... It is different for everybody...

    I guess what I'm saying is that just because you have a friend that is faster than you on gravel, it doen't make him a better rider than you.. I'm more than sure than if you did a long trip with him you would eventually find his weakest link... We all have them..

    For example I got another friend that is easy the fastest guy I ride with, when around corners... Then at night on the same road, he becomes a completely different rider..
    #36
  17. diabolik37

    diabolik37 Deadly Gubba

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    Hence my original question about crashing when the front wheel goes away in the gravel...

    It is the only way to find out the limits...
    #37
  18. ztaj

    ztaj jatz

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    Rosie once said to me "ride your own ride" after a dumb manouver on the Takaka hill. From that day to this I have stuck with that philosophy.
    If someone's faster it just means they'll have a longer wait while I catch up. But I will catch up... eventually.
    #38
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  19. EVLED

    EVLED Bike riding nutter!

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    Yep, and there's normally not a lot of time between first and last...On one of the longer legs last weekend I was surprised at how soon the TEC showed up :ricky

    A couple of people have mentioned mojo and yep, I reckon that is another good point - sometimes you've got it and sometimes you ain't. And sometimes it comes and goes during the ride...If only you could buy it...
    #39
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  20. PT boy

    PT boy n00b

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    Hi Guys I'm a long time lurker here and finally thought I would put pen to paper on this stand up sit down topic. Speed way guys go fast around corners motor cross guys go fast around corners all siting down if they can enduro guys mostly stand up because they are riding on rough Unknown terrane . So my thoughts are if its smooth sit down not muchweight on the pegs so as you can plant a foot if nessary ,standing up I have caught my foot on the pegs an been unable to plant a foot in time . If you have a trials back ground like Birchy and his talent/balance standing then go for it not that easy for us mere mortals . If you get a chance ride a trails bike when you start all you want to do is sit down in the tricky parts until the confidence is there
    #40
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