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

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

  1. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    Something happened the other day - for the first time in over 48 years on the road, a car passed me on a gravel road. Well, there was a ute behind me, I pulled over to let them by. I have excuses...haven't ridden much lately, there was logging, warning signs about trucks, road in a mess, but still, to get reeled in and have them sit behind me was a bit embarassing. A couple of weeks after getting the pension, and I suddenly slow down....
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  2. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    I'd have done the same....hate riding in front of cars. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.....pride goes before destruction!
  3. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    drz250, check, trail rides, did that a couple of times....and if falling off is how you learn then I may be wasting my money on further training. I have learnt how to fall off the bike, now I'd like to learn more about staying upright.

    Seriously, I don't doubt you are right, but I'm hoping that a bit of experienced input will shorten the trail (and error) period.
  4. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    Ridden trail bikes, enduros, trials bikes for years on all sorts of terrain. I hadn't done a huge amount of road riding on big adv bikes until about 12yrs ago. The dirt skills are transferable but learning to manipulate 200kg bikes like a 100kg bike at speed on a loose surface takes some getting used to.

    There isn't any advice given so far that I haven't known, tired and practiced. Looking through the corner, target fixation, weighting, rider positioning, smooth throttle, balancing, tires, tire pressures, I've even tried counter steering to get round gravel corners better. The interesting thing to me of this thread is understanding what works for the rest of you....or doesn't. I can actually get around very happily on gravel and keep up with most guys I ride with but I know I could do it better, smoother, which has to be safer.

    I'm thinking I most likely have a fundamental flaw in my technique that is inhibiting my progress. The advantage of taking a Birchy class is his ability to look at what I'm doing and point me in the right direction. The comment I made in the opening post about @Phreaky Phil 's sagely advice to "practice practice practice" is very relevant - Birchy or even Phil for that matter - could probably spot a flaw and I would then be able to practice the right thing to overcome it. I'm probably overthinking it way too much....it's a known problem for me....but sometimes you just need someone to give a bit of expert coaching to get to the next level.
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  5. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

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    Ha, you mistake me for someone who knows what they are doing. :jack
    But something to remember. Even with a LOT of gravel miles under your belt, it still often not easy.
    There probably won't be a light switch moment where all of a sudden it's easy, but I'm sure some tutoring would make a difference.
    I have no doubt I would learn a thing or two on one of Birchy's courses.
    I'm not so sure about the two up riding as my technique is different two up to solo. No sliding or spinning the rear wheel, but it works :ricky

    The other weekend I was out by myself and was having a think about how I was riding on gravel. Still sitting down by moving my body around over the bike heaps.
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  6. Muzz67

    Muzz67 Unadventurous

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    Why the need for speed anyway?
    i dawdle most non-sealed places coz I may only travel them once and want to have a bloody good look around.
    Was behind a much much faster rider once, I was looking around but going way quicker than normal,, when a bloody great helicopter buzzed low overhead and did a hellish turn in front of us and shot back over us again.
    Met other bloke at gate and said 'Wonder what that chopper was up to??'
    His reply, 'What chopper?' Guess he didn't see much of the scenery either.
  7. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    smoother, being smoother....this thread is/was supposed to be about being smoother going round cornerzzz :baldy
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  8. Oscar

    Oscar Master of the Universe! Supporter

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    I remember my light bulb moment well.
    I was riding a twisty gravel road following someone who shall remain nameless and admiring their style, big slides off the apex with a shower of gravel, and thinking "I wish I could ride as well as that...".
    In the meantime I was just looking for the best line with the least gravel and changing up out of the corner to avoid losing traction.
    10 minutes later I realised I was still admiring this gentlemen, from the same distance.
    Sometimes, what looks fast, isn't.
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  9. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    You do know you can edit the thread title, dont you??
  10. Flap Jack

    Flap Jack A man is what a man does

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    Steve Kamrad is great rider and makes most things off road look easy!
  11. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    :evil do now :lol3
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  12. Lifestyle

    Lifestyle Been here awhile

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    Practice yes, But if you practice going slow, slow you will go :)
    I'm always afraid of that but sometimes the Scenery is worth looking at
  13. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    Gravel riding seems to be a fickle skill. Some days I can do no wrong and some days I can't do. I've decided that the more I think about it the worse it gets. Trying to be that little bit faster completely stuffs up everything for me and tires me out in no time. I also feel that I have to relearn it every time I do it. So clearly, I am not riding enough.
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  14. EVLED

    EVLED Bike riding nutter!

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    More riding is always better than less :)
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  15. wairau

    wairau get in behind!

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    living in oz, i had it described to me by another rider that it took him the first half hour or so to "get his dirt legs back" before really getting on with it.

    i can completely relate.
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  16. Lifestyle

    Lifestyle Been here awhile

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    Though I have never thought of it before, yes its a bit like pool, the first game is really bad, then after that just bad :)
    I notice this a lot more on a dirt bike as you don't get much lead in and your heads isn't working properly for awhile
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  17. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    I can be the same with dirt bikes, taking one loop to get my head straight before I start looking less like a muppet. However this is really about getting your head into the right place, if I spend 5 minutes getting my race face on then I'm good from the outset and adapting to different road conditions is the same. Transitioning from seal or hard pack to a loose surface my riding position changes (move forward and onto the tank) and I remind myself to steer with the rear more and to hold the bike into the turn. I reset my thinking all the time as the surface and hazards change, constantly talking to myself about what to expect, this seems to get me mentally and consequently physically prepared for the bike squirming or sliding and the odd farmer on a quad bike.

    YMMV.....
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  18. innathyzit

    innathyzit AKA Woodman

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    Was out yesterday and just could not get into the groove. The front wheel was skipping and sliding all over the place in a scary way. I stopped and fecked about with the fork adjustments and voila' instantly better. May have been a placebo effect? Not sure, but the rest of the ride was great.
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  19. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    don't have any front fork adjustment on the Tiger, no placebo's or otherwise for me ......or maybe I could try letting some air out of the tire :scratch
  20. Lifestyle

    Lifestyle Been here awhile

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    Tire pressures do make a difference, especially in the front, will get the effect Woodman was describing if to high, on the tiger would think you could go down to about 18 PSI or less to get some grip and decent ride