Sunday, April 29, 2007

Gravel Roads

Once in a while you will have the fortune, or misfortune, depending on how you look at it to travel down a gravel road with your motorcycle.
Gravel and street motorcycles are not that compatible but with a little common sense they can be navigated with ease.
Sometimes the only access to your destination is by gravel roads and you will not want to bypass it just because of a little gravel.
The best way to stay upright on a gravel road is to slow down take an ultra light grasp of the bars and let the front end of the motorcycle do its thing.
The loose stones on the road will jerk the front tire around and the worst thing you want to do is jerk back or try to man handle the steering. Usually you can follow in the tire tracks of the cars where the loose stones have been pushed to the side and all that is left is the packed base. It is when the tire tracks cross where you will ride over loose stones and your front tire will skip from side to side and this is where the loose hands on the steering comes in, let the front tire jump around a bit and it will correct itself.
Gravel road graders usually grade the road by bring the gravel, kicked off to the side, back to the middle of the road to form a crown. So riding close to the ditch will keep you out of the really loose stuff and some times all that is left on the sides is hard pack.
At any rate if you are out riding around with no destination try a little patch of gravel riding to practise just in case you find out that you have to challenge a gravel road some day.

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