Looking for tips on riding on gravel

Mgajohnson

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Hi everyone, I am new to riding and am looking for tips or advice for riding on loose gravel, example through the many construction zones where the road has been torn up for 15km. I have in the past done very little off road with a motocross( honda 250). Should I get new tires or stick to the stock tires for now?.
Thanks for anyone's help.
 

Bullseye

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Living in Whitehorse I would suggest maybe a little more "off-road" tire would be good. You could look at TKC 80's or even Shinko 705's . The TKC's are a bit more dirt than street but might work if you have to run gravel like you are saying. The reviews on Shinko 705's are decent to !! The are a little less dirt but work for light off-road from what I have read !!
Ohhh and when riding gravel..... remember to stay loose !! When you get nervous...a person tightens up and you tend to fight the bike. Just go a constant speed and relax. Some people like to stand too as this helps with the centre of gravity. The NC700x already has a very low centre of gravity so this may not help tremulously.
Hope my 2 cents helps !!
 

HONDABIKEPRO

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I always stand up in the dirt, as you get more experience you will stand even in the fast corners. The bike will handle much better standing, you can not get the center of gravity to low. I even stand up on the pegs on my goldwing on the dirt roads. Dale
 

bamamate

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I had the stock Z8s and they were bad on gravel. Switched to PR3s and they were a good bit better. Now running the Shinko 705 and they are great on gravel. Standing does help. Allows the bike to dance around without you feeling every movement.
 

Old Can Ride

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I have taken this course from this instructor. I hope it helps.

[video=youtube;Re2A9UJzSBw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re2A9UJzSBw[/video]
 

Mgajohnson

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I have taken this course from this instructor. I hope it helps.

[video=youtube;Re2A9UJzSBw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re2A9UJzSBw[/video]
What a great video. I haven't had the time to watch it all but so far I have learned quite a bit. Wish there was somewhere a little closer to get a lesson like this. Thanks again for your help.
 

showkey

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I had the stock Z8s and they were bad on gravel. Switched to PR3s and they were a good bit better. Now running the Shinko 705 and they are great on gravel. Standing does help. Allows the bike to dance around without you feeling every movement.
Agree.........I switched to Avon Distanzia.......... night and day difference from stock road tire.........but as others have stated there is a technique and learned confidence level.........let the bike float, don't fight the slight wonder as the bike finds its "groove". Sitting back helps to but hard on a twin saddle seat, keep on the gas........with every decel the bike sinks in the sand and gravel and tends to wallow .......this is where the confidence gain comes in.
 
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Brillot2000

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I'd recommend that you watch this video.

[video=youtube;jLUP46btGn4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLUP46btGn4&list=PL6XiKFXsFxro-q41br7Fq0W1XoO1yDWlo&index=47[/video]

Reuben from Competition Accessories does a really nice series of weekly videos and bike reviews. I also recommend that you follow him weekly, you might find something useful from one of his videos.
 

itlives

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What a great thread for me! I will finish watching OCR's entry tonight. Then, go on to the next one.
 

ThumperX

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One of the biggest things I can contribute is this:

Stay loose on the bars, weight on the pegs, allow the bike to move underneath you. It will "hunt" for its track, let it.
 

Mgajohnson

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I'd recommend that you watch this video.

[video=youtube;jLUP46btGn4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLUP46btGn4&list=PL6XiKFXsFxro-q41br7Fq0W1XoO1yDWlo&index=47[/video]

Reuben from Competition Accessories does a really nice series of weekly videos and bike reviews. I also recommend that you follow him weekly, you might find something useful from one of his videos.
Thanks for the info and I will start to follow him every week, This is exactly what I was looking for.
 

netizen

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ThumperX stated the biggest and most common mistake... when people get into gravel and panic they lock their arms on the bars... that is the biggest cause of going down on gravel.

As he stated "Stay loose on the bars, weight on the pegs, allow the bike to move underneath you. It will "hunt" for its track, let it" If you learn to do that by instinct you have half the battle won.
 

670cc

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As was already said, but something I find very important on a loose surface is this. Contrary to pavement riding, on loose gravel the front brake is not always your friend. Front brake use needs to be light and controlled. If you have no ABS and lock the front wheel, you will go down probably before you know how to correct. Not saying an expert can't do it, but a novice will probably dump it.

I can't say how the ABS will react, but I'd still refrain from grabbing a big handful.
 

ThumperX

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ahhhemmmm,
For the record, ThumperX is a middle aged Marin housewife. I am woman hear me roar!
Now, back to regularly scheduled thread.

Riding dirt is like any other sport, best learned on something cheap, light, and small. The skills will transfer to street riding much more smoothly than street skills to dirt. The biggest thing is don't give up until there is NO hope, then for God's sake get your legs out of the way. If you find yourself in a patch of gravel on the NC, use your entire body and the throttle to get it right. The bike is so long that you can recover the front end by getting control of the back end. In the event the back end slides out (good luck getting the NC to break loose) have fun it will hook up with some traction before you even know what happened.
 

Griff

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There is a lot of good info on this thread. I can add nothing. Now I am off to watch those two clips. I have no doubt I will learn from them.

So Thumper X is from Marin. I once bought a Marin Mountain bike. It was a "state of the art" piece of kit at the time and seriously expensive. Must be all of 25 years ago. I still have it and will be off out on it again shortly when I recover from TKR surgery. Can't wait.
 

netizen

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ahhhemmmm,
For the record, ThumperX is a middle aged Marin housewife. I am woman hear me roar!
Now, back to regularly scheduled thread.
My apologies, my daughter rides, so I should know better than to make assumptions on gender. :O
I believe you probably have more dirt riding experience than I do (I only rode dirt about 5 years), I thought your post was spot on, about the biggest error riders make in gravel or dirt that have never ridden off road before. At least it's been the biggest I've witnessed.


Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 
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pahondafan

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I always stand up in the dirt, as you get more experience you will stand even in the fast corners. The bike will handle much better standing, you can not get the center of gravity to low. I even stand up on the pegs on my gold wing on the dirt roads. Dale
After reading this thread I feel less guilty about being nervous on gravel. I tried the standing trick and it works great. My biggest issue is suddenly coming upon a gravel covered portion of the road, especially on turns. Lot's of road work going on here and the first step in repaving is to dump stones across the road. The cage traffic behind be does not like me slowing for those areas and rides my tail as a result. I shoot away from them on the straight areas only to have them catch up at the next turn. I can see that contributing to people not wanting to share the road with bikes.
 
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