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May be doing a longer stretch of gravel road in the future, interested in building my skills, others have suggested more gravel miles will help.
I have always been apprehensive about riding on gravel. Had a little scooter, gave it the gas on a gravel lot and about lost it once. Nervous since. I have gotten over my fears a bit, my curved gravel drive is now familiar and I barely think about it. Took the Wing down a local gravel road tonight after work. Only a mile or two, but I made a couple of laps. Part of it had been regraded and was soft. I made a game of trying to mash down the raised sections that had not been travelled yet. Did some imaginary slaloms as well, in and out of potholes.

Getting to the point where I can relax a bit. Still have a long way to go skill wise, looking for tips and advice.
 

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Relax your grip and take it easy...
 

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Relax your grip and take it easy...
Plus 1. let the handle bars kind of follow the terrain don't fight it, relax yourself and your grip. Stay off of the front brake, be ready to accelerate if you are going to slow. Maintain speed like you would be in sand.
 

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I used to have to ride quite a distance on dirt/gravel roads. I hated it, but it was ok. I got a car tire on the rear and it is a lot easier to ride on soft/gravel/dirt roads. I feel in a lot better control plus I know I have a much heavier duty tire on the rear to resist those rock edges. I don't mind getting 3 to 4 times as many miles from a CT than a MT, but who's counting.
 

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Gravel

May be doing a longer stretch of gravel road in the future, interested in building my skills, others have suggested more gravel miles will help.
I have always been apprehensive about riding on gravel. Had a little scooter, gave it the gas on a gravel lot and about lost it once. Nervous since. I have gotten over my fears a bit, my curved gravel drive is now familiar and I barely think about it. Took the Wing down a local gravel road tonight after work. Only a mile or two, but I made a couple of laps. Part of it had been regraded and was soft. I made a game of trying to mash down the raised sections that had not been travelled yet. Did some imaginary slaloms as well, in and out of potholes.

Getting to the point where I can relax a bit. Still have a long way to go skill wise, looking for tips and advice.
Put on a car tire!
 

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Lived on a gravel road for many years.

I quite often travelled the packed tire lanes of our gravel road at 50-60mph, and thought nothing of it.

Usually you can just run in the packed down wheel tracks - they're often smoother than asphalt. (as my young daughter asked "How come the gravel roads are smoother than the paved ones?").

Even the loose gravel areas of a gravel road usually just a layer of gravel - cross carefully, but not impossible. As others have said be relaxed rather than rigid.

Deep, loose gravel is a completely different issue. This might occur, for example, in a location where they are spreading new gravel and it has not been packed down yet. You will have to travel slower and more carefully in this situation. I guarantee it will increase the necessary 'pucker power'.
 

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First weekend trip on the wing took me to quite a bit of gravel. I was a bit nervous, but went through some amazing areas.
 

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As others have said, stay relaxed-- but alert. Deep loose gravel can be a problem-- try to stay on more packed areas. Don't make sharp quick steering changes. A car tire makes a HUGE difference! The front brake can bite you quickly in gravel-- pretty much just use rear brake mostly.
 

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Well other than about 3 years that I lived in town, I have ridden gravel since I was a kid.
The biggest tip is when you get up against a ridge(pile of gravel that runs alongside the track you are riding in) and the bike starts to fall to the left (by seat of the pants you know it), you want to throw weight to the left. (yes, throw weight into the direction you are falling. Ya, I know it sounds wrong but so dose counter steering).
What you actually do is set the bike up in a right turn lean and what was you enemy(tipping you over) is now your friend(side boards).
The heavier the bike the more weight you need to throw at it.
The passenger should be relaxed and follow with the bike not the driver.
I always use my front brake, you do however, have to be more gentle with it. It is still 80-90% of your stopping power. It doesn't hurt to practice it. If you are lucky enough to have ABS then just mash the brakes, they are fine.:thumbup:
The tarmac is only a mere 6 miles away from me now.:thumbup:

Other issues that require a special touch include hopping ridges, night riding, heavy rain(mud), and crosswinds.

From my stand point gravel is easy and even across the field isn't that bad but city traffic is scary and gives me a pucker factor of 8.7!
 

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You guys are braver than me. I save the exploring gravel roads to my mini Wing (V-Strom 650 Wee). The big girl stays on paved roads.

Donnie


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Most of the pictures I see here are of hard packed dirt and some gravel which is not anything scary. I recently had to ride over a couple miles of soft 2 or 3 inch deep loose gravel out in the middle of the desert because of a wash out, no way around it unless I wanted to back track a couple hundred miles. I did this riding 2 up and it was not that much fun and there is no way I could have a loose grip on the handle bars either. I ride dirt bikes all the time and this was a challenge but we made it through okay. It all depends on how compact the gravel and base is.
 

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Many of you keeping up with Northwest WA slide may have heard the mention of the Mt Loop Hwy. It's 22 mile stretch of road (old logging road) between the town of Darrington WA and Verlot. I have ridden this route twice. (Thanks Jeff) for showing me this little slice of adventure. I have ridden once in the mud muck and soft gravel and again later in the year a little more hard packed and very dusty. I few people I ride with really don't care for this kind of riding. I am not bothered much and have a sense of what is on the other side kind of character. Relax and keep your feet on the pegs you will be fine.
 

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Born and raised on gravel roads. Had to learn quickly when I got my first MC. Riding on the gravel on a bicycle helped a lot. The packed lanes were no problem, but the road grader would come by about once a month and mess that up quickly. No slow going and NO FRONT BRAKES is the trick to riding on gravel. Had my first wreck on a gravel road when a dog ran out in front of me and I could not avoid hitting him. Picked gravel bits out of my hands, elbows and knees for days afterward. Bought my first helmet and gloves after than and never rode without them again.
 

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I see some have suggested a CT.
Personally that is the last thing that I would want when riding gravel or on an uneven surface because I have found that a CT throws the bike around way more than a MT. just my 2cents worth.
 

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I see some have suggested a CT.
Personally that is the last thing that I would want when riding gravel or on an uneven surface because I have found that a CT throws the bike around way more than a MT. just my 2cents worth.
...and I would counter that by saying 30 miles on a dirt road with a MT was not a fun ride.

Thirty miles on a MT with any improvements possible in suspension - both front and rear makes riding on dirt roads not much of an issue.

p.s. First five years' of riding for me was exclusively dirt roads - or worse. Have the scars to prove it, too!
 

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Gravel

I do believe riding with CT makes riding on gravel easier. I felt comfortable on most of the gravel roads I've ridden on until I went up the Haul road to the Artic Circle. That was a hole new experience. I felt a lot of pride just making it up to the Circle and back without dropping the bike. Good luck. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry
 

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Most of the pictures I see here are of hard packed dirt and some gravel which is not anything scary. I recently had to ride over a couple miles of soft 2 or 3 inch deep loose gravel out in the middle of the desert because of a wash out, no way around it unless I wanted to back track a couple hundred miles. I did this riding 2 up and it was not that much fun and there is no way I could have a loose grip on the handle bars either. I ride dirt bikes all the time and this was a challenge but we made it through okay. It all depends on how compact the gravel and base is.
Not too bad for me riding on a car tire behind you on that gravel road,
Jeff
 

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I have found that lowering the the rear suspension setting to take weight off the front tire helps, otherwise the front tire wants to "plow".
 
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