Kawasaki VN750 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
RamblinRingo
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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?



Sent from my iPad using MO Free
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
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.
 

·
gun slinger
Joined
·
1,110 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,860 Posts
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.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,354 Posts
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.
 

·
Old Twistie Sticks Rider
Joined
·
5,072 Posts
/\ 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...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,354 Posts
...ditto the front brake...forgot that...thanks Dawg...
 

·
Straight roads are evil
Joined
·
580 Posts
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,860 Posts
I was with you all the way until you wrote this.


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


Sorry. But you should use both brakes all the time. Stopping distances for not using the rear are still longer than using both brakes. Shame on you for suggesting to a NEW rider NOT to use the rear brake on pavement. :doh:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,354 Posts
I just use engine braking until in 2nd, then the brakes. That way KC2 cant see my brake light until the last few seconds, lol. Drives him nuts. Not recommended for beginners, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
I was with you all the way until you wrote this.


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


Sorry. But you should use both brakes all the time. Stopping distances for not using the rear are still longer than using both brakes. Shame on you for suggesting to a NEW rider NOT to use the rear brake on pavement. :doh:
Was he referring to braking affect or control pressure though?

-Robert
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,354 Posts
Ya know, its interesting...on the older Harleys, drum front and rear, ya started with the rear brake combined with downshifting, and only occasionally pumped the front. My guess there was 50/50%. Much has to do with having disc brakes, and weight config of the bike itself. So, bikes that have a lower and more rearward C/G, the 80% efficiency doesnt apply anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,353 Posts
I just use engine braking until in 2nd, then the brakes. That way KC2 cant see my brake light until the last few seconds, lol. Drives him nuts. Not recommended for beginners, lol.
which is why you are going to help me change my tires next season...:smiley_th
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,860 Posts
Was he referring to braking affect or control pressure though?

-Robert
Doesn't matter....."barely" is too subjective. You should use ALL the rear brake you can.

There's many instances when even on pavement you want to use much more rear brake than front and some times no front at all.


I went through this with my neighbor way back. He said he was just "afraid" to use the rear... Thinking the bike would slide out under him.

I had him ride down the street at a constant speed.....then brake as hard as he could with just the front when he crossed a specific point. He did this three times and I placed my beer bottle where he stopped.

I then had him do it again but said to use the rear too...(after letting him get a feel for using it just by itself)


His next run using both brakes had him stopping a good 12 feet sooner.... I then pointed out how wide his rear tire was compared to the front. (He had a HD Sportster) "You got a lot of rubber there touching the road....be a shame not to use it." I told him;)

A few more runs like this and he stopped even quicker. This is why I always suggest to new and even "experienced" riders to practice braking....and to do so using both brakes. (And why I sing the praises of ABS equipped bikes)

Granted you need to learn how much rear to use....especially in a "panic stop" situation. That's why practice is needed.;)
 

·
ass hole extaordinaire
Joined
·
3,780 Posts
personally and this is not for everyone but if i have to stop quick i hit the back break until i can hear the tire scream just at the point of locking it it took me a few tries to master this and if it does lock i have gotten real good at keeping the rear in the rear old black betty might wag the hell out of her tail but she never gets to far out of shape
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
I agree km, you need to be able to use the brakes as effeciently as possible. And the only way to truly do that is to ride. A lot. I have been riding since I was 12, and I'm still learning. I use my front brake quite a bit on my bike, but I use it with the rear. I start braking with the rear, and use it as much as possible, and then use the front to help me come to a stop.
IMHO as for letting air out on a road bike on gravel roads, I wouldn't advise it at all, especially to a new rider. That one I have never heard of on a bike. For starters it will ruin the tires. Secondly, it will make the bike handle a lot worse especially on gravel because the sidewalls are a lot more flexible. Granted it will have more contact area with the road, but not a good idea. ATV's would benefit from that because the tires are made to vary the pressure for different riding conditions. Not saying you are wrong by any means. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
I wish mine was like that new_rider, I can stand on my rear brake pedal and she won't lock up. Been that way since I have owned her. The shoes are in good shape, no contamination on them either. I have sanded and cleaned the drum, and still the same.
The brake pedal and cable is in good shape and adjusted properly, so I'm not sure what's going on with her.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,354 Posts
On my VN, I actually have my rear adjusted so's I CAN'T lock it up. Saves one sometimes during a panic stop, much like the ABS Knife mentioned.

which is why you are going to help me change my tires next season.
I got the irons, the soap and the know how brother...you just bring a 6pk of tallboys...bring an angled valve stem too. May as well.....:smiley_th
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top