Riding on Gravel Roads? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Riding on Gravel Roads?

Hey guys, I'm new to the site and new to bike and New to RIDING so I was wondering if you guys ride on gravel roads or if you avoid them and if you do ride on gravel what precautions do you take?

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 03:18 PM
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Not many gravel roads around me, but they were repaving one of the roads I used to ride quite a bit and they had put down gravel while they were resurfacing it. The things I noticed most were how unstable it felt transitioning from pavement to gravel and of course how I gave myself more time to stop and took it slower in the turns. Also, I have heard that you need to be more careful when stopping and putting your feet down because there is a higher chance for your foot slip out from under you.

I wouldn't say I avoid them at all costs, but I definitely take it slower.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 03:55 PM
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new rider + gravel road = busted bike + road rash

stay off the gravel until you are more experienced.....JMO
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 04:05 PM
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i have travel down a lot of them , i dont care much for any loose surface on my bike. slow and easy on real loose stuff specially when making any kind of turns. kinda like a bigger dirt bike to me i guess

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 05:23 PM
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Slow and easy is the rule on a street bike. Don't use the front brake more than the rear....I actually just use the rear. Try to pick out the flattest sections. If a car tire has made a rut, stick to that. If you have to "pull out" of that rut slow way the hell down or even stop.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 05:57 PM
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Gravel roads by themselves aint too bad, since theyre usually packed by cars and trucks. Try staying in the same tire path as their tires do. Loose gravel's another story. I live in the sticks, and they still use tar and chip here. The first few days is rough, slow it down 20%, and dont make any sharp turns. Once the tar and chip gets driven over a bit, its ok, but there'll still be "pockets" of gravel, usually on curves, unless the DPW cleans it up (rarely). But again then, try to stay in the same tracks as cars and trucks.

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:11 PM
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/\ All of the above and figure on wiggling the tail and wrestling the bars, and as said before stay in the more packed tracks, the thick gravel will eat your lunch even if you have tons of dirt bike experience, and forget you even have a front brake... Then there is the clean up after...lol...
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:52 PM
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...ditto the front brake...forgot that...thanks Dawg...

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Everyone Thats really helpful!
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 10:15 AM
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Hardpacked dirt is easier than gravel. If you're going to be on dirt/gravel a lot, well, the vn750 isn't the best choice. It can do it though!

For longer sections (more than a few miles), drop tire pressure to 25 or so, pump back up when you reach pavement. (It helps to have a small battery-powered pump; lacking that, use a hose at the next gas station.) Lower pressure really helps the tire "feel" dirt and gravel.

Main thing: Ride. A lot. When you get done riding, ride again. It's the only way to get better.

Edit to add: The above posters are right. On dirt/gravel, your front brake has ceased to exist. That means of course, that slowing down will take longer than usual; plan ahead and avoid having to make sudden stops.

On pavement of course, the front brake does 80%+ of the work. Barely use the rear brake at all, on pavement.

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Last edited by EQPlayer; 10-16-2012 at 10:19 AM.
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