Grr... Gravel - TwoWheelForum: Motorcycle and Sportbike forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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Grr... Gravel

So as I barely my gravel driveway which happens to be also a steep slope, I creep down it at three seconds a mile... I'd be in trouble if it was actually a event in the road. My hestitation- I dropped my bike twice on the gravel... so as I talked to local riders, I have asked them how they go over gravel-- and if it is combined with a slope. Then a few days ago, a rider came into my job and I easily got distracted talking about this and he asked me what my tires are. They are dunlop and they are fairly new with good thread. He said that and my lack of experience contribute greatly to my fear of gravel. So my question is their a certain type of tire that everyone prefers? Do you think that could be the problem? I still account for the problem to be 99% of my lack of inexperience...

I have the ninja 250... if that makes a difference... Danase- what type of tire do you have?

Last edited by The Bandit Gurl; 06-19-2007 at 07:35 AM.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 07:43 AM
 
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Personally I have Avons on mine, cus a lot of my riding is (straight line) commuting (we don't have twisties here), so the extended mileage you can get out of Avons is great.

The crowd favorite here seems to be Pilot Powers, though 1.) I'm not sure if they make them for the 250, and 2.) I'm not sure how the recent recalls will affect the long-term love affair most sportbike riders have had with the PP's.

That said, gravel can get ANYONE, even longtime, experienced riders. I don't have much experience with it myself, so I don't know if the tires would make a huge difference in how it handles on gravel. I'd just say be careful and your confidence with contending with gravel with grow over time and with experience.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:10 AM
 
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Bandit Gurl, are they Dunlop UKs? Or American Dunlops?
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:19 AM
 
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Are you using your front brake on the gravel? If so, don't. Always use the rear brake on gravel.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by fpzx10 View Post
Are you using your front brake on the gravel? If so, don't. Always use the rear brake on gravel.
Are you using the friction zone as you creep up your drive?
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:43 AM
 
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Tires shouldn't make a bit of difference on gravel just don't use the front brake and be careful....
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Are you using your front brake on the gravel? If so, don't. Always use the rear brake on gravel.
I know that is the reason for my drops... but I want to elimate any other possible reasons for future problems because I have to deal with riding in my driveway on a daily basis.

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Are you using the friction zone as you creep up your drive?
That is how I have been able to get down to the bottom of the driveway but all of the other riders take it at higher speeds (10-15mph) not the 5mph that I have been doing up/down it and if they can do it, why can't I?? I know that I dropped it because I was using the front brake but a few times after that I had to caugh the bike because it wanted to go down, and i know that I had not used the front brake those times...

So you guys agree with me, its the inexperience not the tires right??
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:45 AM
 
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I just can't see why it would be the tires.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:48 AM
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Are you using your front brake on the gravel? If so, don't. Always use the rear brake on gravel.
so true

2005 Honda CRF88RR - 2007 Honda CBR600RR
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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I just can't see why it would be the tires.
That is what I said to the guy that I was talking to-- but he was a Harley rider and also ranted about how crotch rocks bikes- especially for a beginner like myself- are bad to begin with....
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:49 AM
 
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I have the stock Dunlops on my 250. I actually road it for the first time on gravel because I bought it on my way up to our fishing vacation and the cottages have a gravel lot. I didn't have any troubles but it wasn't all that steep either. I'll let you know what tires I end up with and how they are.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 09:12 AM
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at low speeds one tire is bout good as any. Only tire made for gravel is knobs which look like **** on a sportbike I think your biggest thing is inexperience and your fear of your drive way. Do you happen to have a old beater bike or one of your friends? Basically go out n conquer your fear by goin up n down your drive until you have it down. . I have a DVD I find very useful name "Ride Like a Pro IV". Now they use mostly dressers and cruisers in it and one BMW sportbike, but the techniques are the same for all bikes.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have the stock Dunlops on my 250. I actually road it for the first time on gravel because I bought it on my way up to our fishing vacation and the cottages have a gravel lot. I didn't have any troubles but it wasn't all that steep either. I'll let you know what tires I end up with and how they are.
Thanks for keeping me in mind

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at low speeds one tire is bout good as any. Only tire made for gravel is knobs which look like **** on a sportbike I think your biggest thing is inexperience and your fear of your drive way. Do you happen to have a old beater bike or one of your friends? Basically go out n conquer your fear by goin up n down your drive until you have it down. . I have a DVD I find very useful name "Ride Like a Pro IV". Now they use mostly dressers and cruisers in it and one BMW sportbike, but the techniques are the same for all bikes.
No unfortunalty all I have is my 250 and I am no so eager to let that go down. Everyone else has big bikes (compared to me anyways). I know that I am just going to have to do it and that the inexperience is part of the problem, but by the end of the summer, that will have to be behind me. I picked up Twist of the wrist and also the sequel of that book last week and it was mostly about track racing and I only took out a little. I will look into getting that- I am eager to do anything (well... not anything) to enhance my skills!!
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Bandit Gurl, are they Dunlop UKs? Or American Dunlops?
How would you tell and are they constructed differently??
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 10:33 AM
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How would you tell and are they constructed differently??
one has an accent??
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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That is what I said to the guy that I was talking to-- but he was a Harley rider and also ranted about how crotch rocks bikes- especially for a beginner like myself- are bad to begin with....
Yeah, instead you should be using an 800 lb bike that handles like chit...

moron
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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So you guys agree with me, its the inexperience not the tires right??
inexperience...
get some momentum going to get up the steep climb. going slow uphill will spin the rear when you give it more throttle. locking either front or rear will stop the gyroscope effect and the bike will want to fall.

msf course provided both front and rear lockup practice. staying balanced is the key. this comes with experience. it's easier to stay balanced with both feet on the pegs and not sitting with feet stretched out to catch a fall.

-a|ex
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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No unfortunalty all I have is my 250 and I am no so eager to let that go down. Everyone else has big bikes (compared to me anyways). I know that I am just going to have to do it and that the inexperience is part of the problem, but by the end of the summer, that will have to be behind me. I picked up Twist of the wrist and also the sequel of that book last week and it was mostly about track racing and I only took out a little. I will look into getting that- I am eager to do anything (well... not anything) to enhance my skills!!
Twist of the Wrist 1 isn't very helpful for street riding, neither is 2, for that matter. Sport Riding Techniques is a little more useful, but if you really want to get some good street riding knowledge from a book, get Proficient Motorcycling. Then read Sport Riding Techniques, then TOTW (2 is a better read than 1).

I think your inexperience and use of the front brake is the problem with the gravel situation. You don't have much traction on gravel anyway, so it makes no difference what tires are on the bike, unless they are knobbies, as someone already said.

Perhaps you are so apprehensive about dropping it, that you panic every time the bike shifts and slides a little in the gravel, and then make matters worse by jumping on the brakes or making sudden movements & unneeded inputs to the bars?

Try to relax and don't attempt to correct every little deviation that the bike makes. Don't grip the bars too tightly, don't stiffen up, use the rear brake only, and very lightly. Try to keep moving, as the bike will be less likely to fall if it's moving.

When you do have to stop, do it as smoothly and gently as possible. You are probably preventing the bike from getting through the gravel by freaking out b/c you are afraid of it.
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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inexperience...
get some momentum going to get up the steep climb. going slow uphill will spin the rear when you give it more throttle. locking either front or rear will stop the gyroscope effect and the bike will want to fall.

msf course provided both front and rear lockup practice. staying balanced is the key. this comes with experience. it's easier to stay balanced with both feet on the pegs and not sitting with feet stretched out to catch a fall.

-a|ex
yeah I am excitably getting to take the course July 5 and 6th. I am very eager to see what I get to learn!! and its hard to put my feet up when in gravel- do u think that it could be considered a survival instinct-(maybe not so extreme but close to it?)

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Twist of the Wrist 1 isn't very helpful for street riding, neither is 2, for that matter. Sport Riding Techniques is a little more useful, but if you really want to get some good street riding knowledge from a book, get Proficient Motorcycling. Then read Sport Riding Techniques, then TOTW (2 is a better read than 1).

I think your inexperience and use of the front brake is the problem with the gravel situation. You don't have much traction on gravel anyway, so it makes no difference what tires are on the bike, unless they are knobbies, as someone already said.

Perhaps you are so apprehensive about dropping it, that you panic every time the bike shifts and slides a little in the gravel, and then make matters worse by jumping on the brakes or making sudden movements & unneeded inputs to the bars?

Try to relax and don't attempt to correct every little deviation that the bike makes. Don't grip the bars too tightly, don't stiffen up, use the rear brake only, and very lightly. Try to keep moving, as the bike will be less likely to fall if it's moving.

When you do have to stop, do it as smoothly and gently as possible. You are probably preventing the bike from getting through the gravel by freaking out b/c you are afraid of it.
yeah, panic hits it dead on... and then I get too over confident that I can do it and then back to panic again...
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 11:40 AM
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yeah I am excitably getting to take the course July 5 and 6th. I am very eager to see what I get to learn!! and its hard to put my feet up when in gravel- do u think that it could be considered a survival instinct-(maybe not so extreme but close to it?)



yeah, panic hits it dead on... and then I get too over confident that I can do it and then back to panic again...
Well when you take the MSF you get to abuse their pos bikes and you will learn what your are lacking now. SO in a few weeks you'll be saying 'dayum I can do this, its not so hard'
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