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I race harescrambles, hard enduros and GNCCs off road in the super senior division and silver masters. I am a former Midwest championship in the over 50 class. I ride on seriously challenging and at times frightening courses and have had some very serious injuries. That said,

There is no way in heck I am riding the wing on anything but hard pack and dry grass for very short distances and will be standing the entire time. Even then it is very unnerving to have the front sliding away from you. I have always been able to recover with throttle but dang it is sketchy. Not recommended.

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I have recently gotten a wing and I have taken it down a very short gravel road that had washboard in it.. the destination was compelling, so I did it, but I didnt like doing it. Im the same way with my Ford Explorer.. although its probably capable of some off roading, I prefer not to take it.. I hate squeeks and rattles and Im sure that the more you go on those kind of roads the more you risk something starting to rattle on you.
 

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I race harescrambles, hard enduros and GNCCs off road in the super senior division and silver masters. I am a former Midwest championship in the over 50 class. I ride on seriously challenging and at times frightening courses and have had some very serious injuries. That said,

There is no way in heck I am riding the wing on anything but hard pack and dry grass for very short distances and will be standing the entire time. Even then it is very unnerving to have the front sliding away from you. I have always been able to recover with throttle but dang it is sketchy. Not recommended.

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Thanks, i needed to hear that. It ain’t just me.
 

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goldwing

If your bike doesn't already have one, buy a belly pan. You will scratch and ding your plastic parts. If you feel comfortable on that road, then by all means go for it. I have lots of dirt bike experience so gravel does not freak me out as bad as others. I would ride it, but not by myself. If you do happen to fall it's nice to have someone with you for all the obvious reasons.

The problem is it may not be that smooth all the way. Be very careful about getting out of the tire tracks where it's packed down. Loose gravel is interesting to ride. Kinda like riding on marbles. Keep your speed down (under 30mph) and look further down the road for washes and large rocks.

You will see things on gravel roads that people who confine themselves to pavement will never see.


It's your bike to enjoy as you see fit!


Rayjoe
 

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For the record, this is the type of road I’m referring to
That road looks better than some paved roads I've been on. I'd have no problem taking my Wings down that road. I've been on much worse...:serious:
 

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For the record, this is the type of road I’m referring to



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Lived on, and road the wings on, a road surface similar to that for many years.

Riding on it is fine.

Bike will get really dirty if road is wet.

If it's a freeze/thaw area, be careful if/when the frost is going out.
 

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Looks like the roads in Alaska that are under construction and can last several miles. In Alaska most construction zones are marked with a red flag, but I hit one at about 60 mph that wasn't marked. It was an oh sh*t moment.
 

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I think this is a personal comfort issue. I have ridden with guys that won't ride down an alley that is completely smooth dirt. I will ride unpaved roads as long as it is looks reasonable. The thing I'm cautious of is getting in a place that I can't turn around and the road ahead is either muddy or has such bad ruts I don't think I can navigate them. If the road is questionable, I do tend to keep most of my weight on the foot pegs.
 

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Buy a Kawasaki KLR 650. You can buy 2 or 3 of them new for the price of a BMW or other "super" adv. bikes. It will go almost anywhere you would want to go but can be a hand full in mud or serious single track.
 

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For the record, this is the type of road I’m referring to



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Take a look at the Trans Labrador Highway. Did it 3 years ago and it make the road in the pic look like a super highway. Also did the Haul Road in Alaska . The wing handled both roads just fine. Did have to replace the driveshaft after the Alaska trip.
 

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The Wing is the perfect off-road adventure bike. Go off-road and it will be an adventure! Truth is, however, that numerous Gold Wings and similar bikes have been up the Haul Road and even around the world in some very hairy conditions. Those riders were obviously skilled and somewhat insane but it also illustrates that you don't have to turn around every time you encounter a bit of gravel.
 

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Sometimes a road like that pictured, or worse, connects a couple of paved roads on a route I'm traveling and it's part of the day's ride. I don't go seeking them out but once in a while touring is handling the unexpected. Any somewhat maintained packed dirt or gravel road you could take with a car or light truck you can take with any street bike. I grew up riding dirt bikes though and not everyone has dirt experience. I used to ride alot with this guy that was among the best riders I've known but he had no dirt experience yet he wanted some at age 65 after 50 years of riding. We bought a couple of Suzuki DRs to ride together and he found that dirt freaked him out. He literally could not accept a bike moving around under him like bikes do in the dirt. He fell down once and while not injured he immediately sold the bike.
 

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Following this thread, I’m reminded of a solo trip in Kentucky, I think, and saw a sign to a civil war battlefield. So I followed the signs. It turned into a walking trail fording a small stream, and climbing 15-20 degree ruts. Did I say I had my Bushtec behind me? It became one of those...don’t stop or you won’t get moving again...things. The back wheel would spin over rocks being spit out. True dirt bike-ing on a wing (1500). It was a very memorable trip to survive. Battlefield was interesting too! I still had red clay in spots when I got back home. I laughed cleaning everything up. Thinking what goof would run this rig up a dirt hiking trail. But no, I stay on paved roads.??
 

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About 4 or 5 years ago, I made a trip from DFW to Grand Canyon to Phoenix then back home. Wife and I were in Williams, AZ eating breakfast and I was looking for a back road to get to Phoenix. Saw what looked like a nice road from Williams to Jerome. First 10 miles or so was paved. Next 20 or so was rock/gravel and much of it on mountain passes. Goldwing performed flawlessly. Then again, I had a CT on the rear and I believe that helped tremendously with the stability. Would I do something like that again? Maybe.
 

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Heading to Lake Tahoe with my wife from Susanville CA. I took a paved road shortcut shown on my Garmin GPS. As I progressed I began to notice plants growing out of cracks in the pavement. It became clear to me that this was not a very well used road. We continued over this mountain pass and it turned to gravel. The gravel continued for about 5 miles before turning back to pavement. We rode into the most awesome mountain valley ranch land. I'm so glad we didn't avoid the gravel because it was one of the best memories of the ride. I had experience riding in dirt as a young person so it wasn't a big deal on the Wing.
 
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