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

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

  1. Takataka

    Takataka Been here awhile

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    Air build up in the forks can have a huge effect.
    Racing Motocross as a kid at one event I kept losing the front. The father of one of the top riders noticed my troubles and after the first race he wandered over and asked if I had bled my forks recently. A decent hiss was emitted from each bleed valve and the handling was transformed!
    It really opened my eyes to the importance of correct setup.
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  2. RowBust

    RowBust Been here awhile

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    When I was much younger and racing mx my epiphany moment came when I saw Ivan Miller ,it was wet and the track was oiled hard pack and like ice. Ivan was smooth and didn't hardly back off with the back going from hanging out full lock to the left on a rh corner to full lock to the right on the next lh corner, I was mesmerised so luckily for me there were some mud flats near where I lived and I would practice every spare moment I got at emulating my hero. After many weeks and many crashes I gained the skills and confidence which I have been using successfully in the decades since. So practice, practice, and practice, you can read all you like, others can make suggestions, but it all takes practice. Couple of suggestions, make sure you are in the right gear so that you are in the meaty part of the power band, don't look where you are going but focus on where you want to go, you should be countersteering with the back sliding slightly and power on this way the front won't break away.
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  3. RowBust

    RowBust Been here awhile

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    Suggestion, not advice but has worked for me for decades, ride it like a dirt bike, sitting upright and pushing the bike down into the corner, if it's a rh bend your right arm should be pushing the rh end of the bar away from you lnitiating counter steering and allowing the back to step out, in this position you will be able to feed the power on and keep control, and make sure your bum crack is sitting on the edge of the seat
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  4. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    Have been sort of curious to see if anyone would mention counter-steering and now its been touched on in two subsequent posts :scratch

    I was practising power sliding the Tiger at the beach on the weekend, sand being more forgiving than gravel, but its not the same as gravel because its way easier to get the rear to spin and there's less inconsistencies in the surface (usually). It was enormous fun but you certainly notice the Tigers 200kg weight and size at higher speeds. I reckon I could slide the Tiger round on the sand pretty good with more practice but doubt I'd be game to try it on a gravel road.

    Was also practising braking hard into a corner and power steering out of it. Locking up the rear brake while shifting my weight to steer was easy enough but using the throttle to complete the turn was less straight forward; couldn't get the timing right or the gear selections. The Tiger has almost zero bottom end at low rpm so the revs have to be kept high and the right gear is crucial, with loads of clutch. Needless to say the exercise was a dismal failure. I was thinking about a 790KTM all the way home. :ear

    My old 690 was awesome to slide around, on sand (Ivan Major eat ya heart out....not :fpalm). It involved a degree of counter-steering to get the rear end to step out but was made much easier by the 690's light weight and 65hp :evil Steeping the rear out on a 990 is almost compulsory on gravel although rear tire consumption is a noticeable deterrent. Then again, everything is easier on a KTM :D
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  5. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    They do some good vids, been watching a few lately. Their tool kit one is particularly interesting, quite a contrast to a similar vid from a BMW guy with a kit 3 or 4 times the size (which is more typical adv advice).
  6. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    And I suppose this is also relevant:

  7. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    Watched those a while back, great videos. The bit about using too much power to commence a power slide is valid but also bike dependant. I bet that GS could turn a mill wheel in 2nd gear at 2k rpm. The equivalent on an 800xc would require 4k rpm.

    1st gear powerslides are not conducive to distance which means you have to add in a gear change mid slide. I've practised changing from 2nd to 3rd mid slide with some success but its way easier to use the clutch and be in 3rd to start with.

    The problem the tiger has is there is zero torque low down. So while ya brake skidding into the turn you also have to be chopping down the gears (which the Tiger box don't like doing) while keeping the revs up or there's no ponies ready to maintain momentum when ya want them. I have no doubt it can be done on a tiger (I've seen it on videos) but it will take loads of practice. It would be way easier on a bike better suited to it .... hummm, like a 790 maybe :bubba
  8. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Greg Power use to teach that in his courses. He built up to it via clutch control exercises doing slow-speed figure eights, then same in rough, uneven terrain. Then proper straight-line braking, then 90° brake slides (to a stop) as for obstacle avoidance, and then finally 90° brake slides with power out.

    Along with lofting wheelies and all sorts of things. His bikes were mostly kids bikes, through to 250cc enduros (as well as customer bikes).

    It's not about the bike... ;-)

    I use the clutch heaps.
  9. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    do you think it's easier to learn it on 250 or an 1190?
  10. Whale Rider

    Whale Rider Been here awhile

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    You know you want one. Just bite the bullet. It will grow on you a R1200GS that is.:rofl:clap :imaposer
    Good ride today in the rain just easy off and on the throttle.
    WR
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  11. ExtraJ

    ExtraJ Dork

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    I find that 90% of it is: relaxed/loose, line selection, everything smooth. Everything else is small potatoes, including body position.

    1. Frequently ask yourself if your grip is loose -- if your shoulders are loose. It's easy to get tense when you're sliding around. The bike wants to track smoothly and the bars need to be able to wiggle some in order for the bike to do this. If you're tense and don't let it wiggle then everything gets a lot harder.
    2. On dirt roads in this part of the world, there can be a lot of camber. It's way easier to corner when you have positive camber, so that means being in the right-side tire track in right turns and in the left-side tire track in left turns (when visibility allows).
    3. Everybody "knows" this but we can all always be smoother. It's tempting to try to chuck the bike in to turns like a racer but it's not a sustainable strategy and (personally) I'm much faster over a long section of dirt roads when I'm focusing on smoothness first.
    4. (bonus) Push the bike under you and stay on top of it. It's easier to deal with inevitable slides.
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