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How to handle gravel

  #1  
Old 03-17-2011, 04:08 PM
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Default How to handle gravel

Seems like a lot of people are hitting gravel... then asphalt. So who's got tips on how to handle the situation besides "Don't ride through gravel".

Not sure the way I've handled it is the best, but it has worked so far: don't do anything. Don't change speed, lean, turn... nada. If I'm already in it, it's too late and I just muscle through hoping she sticks. I figure anything I do will further upset the bike's stability, which in a variable traction situation is the last thing I want to do.
 
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:14 PM
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Me , gently roll off the throttle in sand or gravel helps at speed - to mitigate a tendency to high side...... just my way of going about things because right now
there's tons of left over sand from winter
 
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:36 PM
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Are you talking about in a straight or in a turn?

I'd think easing off the throttle in a turn while on gravel would be pretty dangerous. Wouldn't the bike fall deeper into the turn as you slow, requiring more traction while on a surface that may not be able to give it?
 
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:54 PM
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what speeds are we talking about????


on intersections i just slow down as much as possible and make my turn. people in the cars get ticked off at me.
 
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:00 PM
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I don't think throttle or brakes can help much on a turn with gravel. Too much throttle or braking could cause an instant lowside or, once your bike drifts outside the gravel and suddenly hits pavement again, could cause a highside. It really doesn't matter if it's gravel, ice, or oil; when traction is lost there's going to be varying degrees of trouble.

So in my view the plan is to minimize loss of traction. I usually just try to let my momentum take me through the corner while trying to bring the bike out of the lean without abandoning the turn. If there's only a tiny strip of gravel this usually results in the bike skipping over to pavement rather rapidly. It also results in my heart skipping a beat.
 

Last edited by Timr; 03-17-2011 at 08:03 PM.
  #6  
Old 03-17-2011, 10:00 PM
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When in doubt, give it gas! If you have a chance to avoid it, then do so. But if not, stay on the gas. When your bikes tires slide around and you decide to come off the gas or hit the brakes, then your tires hit asphalt and instantly grip. If momentum doesn't match the direction both tires are facing when they grip, you high side. However, on the gas will do 1 of 2 things, both better than high siding. 1 is your rear comes out from under you and you low side. 2 is that you hit asphalt with your rear tiring slipping, and if you stay light on the bars, good body positioning and on the gas, your bike will correct itself and pull out of the fish tail into a straight line.
 
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by scorpionvmu View Post
what speeds are we talking about????


on intersections i just slow down as much as possible and make my turn. people in the cars get ticked off at me.
Gravel / sand / debris is a game changer. It's not like anyone plans to take a turn at 60 through the middle of a sand patch. It just kinda happens

Btw, how slow are you going thru turns to tick off cagers? Slow enough to direct steer?
 
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Dissevered View Post
When in doubt, give it gas! If you have a chance to avoid it, then do so. But if not, stay on the gas. When your bikes tires slide around and you decide to come off the gas or hit the brakes, then your tires hit asphalt and instantly grip. If momentum doesn't match the direction both tires are facing when they grip, you high side. However, on the gas will do 1 of 2 things, both better than high siding. 1 is your rear comes out from under you and you low side. 2 is that you hit asphalt with your rear tiring slipping, and if you stay light on the bars, good body positioning and on the gas, your bike will correct itself and pull out of the fish tail into a straight line.
Your first sentence is a little misguiding. Like Kuroshio said, the best thing to do is to just keep doing whatever you're doing. Also to keep a STEADY throttle. Hold your speed, don't go faster or slower.

I've tipped over in the middle of an intersection because of a giant patch of pea gravel. And I was barely turning. I lost the front wheel and that was that. Really sucks.
 
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:53 AM
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I know you said not just "avoid" it...but knowing WHERE gravel and sand/salt from winter usually accumulates will stop most gravel/sand/salt crashes. Pay attention, and you will generally be in the clear.

If not, what Dissevered is saying is probably your best bet...almost like a controlled power slide.
 
  #10  
Old 03-18-2011, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Aken View Post
Your first sentence is a little misguiding. Like Kuroshio said, the best thing to do is to just keep doing whatever you're doing. Also to keep a STEADY throttle. Hold your speed, don't go faster or slower.

I've tipped over in the middle of an intersection because of a giant patch of pea gravel. And I was barely turning. I lost the front wheel and that was that. Really sucks.
But what Kuro said wouldn't have helped you in your situation, would it have?

I charge that if you were paying attention to where you were going, you wouldn't have had to do what Kuro or Dissevered said...you would have missed it all together.
 

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