Sportbike World banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was in a hard right-hander today, and almost panicked when I saw a six-foot wide patch of thick gravel completely covering the road in front of me.

The way I saw it I had three options.

1. I could straighten out the bike, brake and slow, and cross the gravel as upright as possible.

2. I could keep my lean angle, stay toward the inside of the turn, then straighten the bike out to cross the gravel, and immediately go back into my lean to avoid crossing centerline.

3. I could do nothing and cross the gravel leaned over and hope I didn't wipe out. I'm not sure what the chanced were here, but they didn't look good.:eek:

Anyway, I went with option 1. I straightened out, braked and slowed to the point where I didn't have to lean much to cross the gravel, and the bike didn't slide out.

I wanted to know what you all thought, if you had other techniques, suggestions, experience, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
If you went through that gravel at a nice lean angle you would have lowsided for sure. You gotta straighten that bitch up and slow down as much as you can before contact with the gravel. You did exactly what I've done many times. That should always been the first option if you have the space and time to accomplish the maneuver. I would have gone around if it were a small patch, but as you said it was fairly large.

P.S. I had my head turned about nintey degrees in a tight right hander and didn't even notice the patch of sand until I slid right through it. Good thing the tire regained traction. These kind of incidents keep you feeling alive.

I was reading this article in fastbikes about this Irish roadrace. I forget the name. Maybe I'll post it up. One of the editors went for a lap with the winner. The winner was Finnegan. He won all three classes. Anyways, The editor.... Actually I'll go find the page and post it. It was vintage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ice: thanks for the reply. I agree. I guess this shows the importance of not outrunning your visibility, b/c if I had I wouldn't have been able to do anything but hit the gravel at a good lean, and probably lowsided. BTW, what is your technique if you do accidentally get into a slide? Do you try to straighten it out a bit? Add throttle?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,820 Posts
Sometimes, you can't tell or don't even know the shit that goes under your tires. Today, it felt like the bike jerked and jumped over this bump, couldn't even tell. Then I'm riding in the dark in a narrow road with cars front of me and behind me, I was going upright and suddenly, I felt something made rear tire move sideway for a bit, knocked it out of line.

I believe in a slide, you should keep the throttle constant, although depending on situation, chopping off or adding too much will cause it to highside.

I think in all sort of situations on the bike, the key is smooth throttle and smooth control over the bars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
The track is a LOT different than the road. No gravel, leaves, gravel, pot holes, gravel, animals, gravel, or cages to worry about, so you can run at 90-100 percent of your abilities. On the road ya gotta leave about 20 percent just for dodging and bobbing.

Anytime you stay upright and don't hit somtin you've done the right thing. I like to turn, go straight, then turn and stay in the tire tracks through the corner when there's any gravel on the road. Stay off the throttle and kinda coast through the corner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I like to turn, go straight, then turn and stay in the tire tracks through the corner when there's any gravel on the road. Stay off the throttle and kinda coast through the corner.
:confused:

I'm confused by the turn, then straight, then turn thing. And I thought coasting through corners was bad b/c you're unloading the suspension.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Guess it depends on how fast you are going. Try to stay out of the gravel and keep the rear from sliding out due to tire slip from too much acceleration/deceleration. Smoooth. I really don't mean coast. Just no torque on back tire. Again track is a LOT different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
mac020-

so it is possible to keep the bike upright in a turn through gravel, as long as you're smooth? Best case scenario anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Makes yer heart pump though doesn't it? Smooth is the answer to most riding situations. Traction, balance and staying relaxed is what it's all about. Soon as you tense up every thing goes away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,904 Posts
gravel sucks

Def have to drive like your playing chess. You have to think in advance of where you can move next to reduce the risk and avoid any road obstacles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,170 Posts
When I come up on gravel midcorner, I aim for either the least amount of gravel, or the inside part of the spill, leaning harder before I hit it, and right before I hit it, I stand the bike up, and take a line that leads toward the ouside of the turn, instead of trying to hold a constant radius. This puts the least amount of lateral pressure on the tire, and if the bike does start to drift in the gravel, you're kind of psychologically prepared for it because you're already moving in an increasing radius, so adding a little more isn't as intense as sliding from a constant radius.
Once you're clear, then you can make any necessary course corrections.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Here's that ariticle. Its a shorty but a goody. This is like the closing statement. There was about a 6 page piece on the race. Its was Performance Bikes Magazine not Fast Bikes. I guess deciding wheather or not to dodge the gravel depends on how skilled you are in the craft.

If its to big of an image get a LCD screen. And I want you to see the words easily.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
ESanders2 said:
BTW, what is your technique if you do accidentally get into a slide? Do you try to straighten it out a bit? Add throttle?
I'm certainly not qualified to be answering these types of questions but here goes.

I have been in many slides and what you what to do is let off throttle slightly if at all. If you chop the throttle you have no chance. The tire will regain far to quickly and toss you into the hedges. If you apply more throttle you'll assist the rear wheel in a more immediate slide. Stay steady,ride it out, and it should regain traction and off you go again.

The tire has always regained traction for me(knock on wood). Actually, it didn't regain traction in those two lowsides. I've heard theres no gaurantee for the wheel regaining. You just gotta stay calm and be smooth.

If you havn't yet, it's a must you get Twist of the Wrist Volume I & II By Keith Code. They are must reads if you want to improve your riding.

P.S. Check out this clip. Just scroll down to the Kawi Sliding vid. Slidings no biggie. However, I wish I could do it like this .

http://www.uponone.com/listvideos-track-date-20-10.php
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,400 Posts
You did the correct thing in my way of thinking. Straightening up & going through it with no extra power on.

If it was still clean before the gravel then you could apply the brakes.

For some of my 59yr we rode gravel & dirt to cindar roads more then paved roads while even the latter had a lot of gravel spilled on them.

Also when you accidetly come across a road broken up with pot holes, patches & a lot of gravel/dirt THEN you start to ride like on a dirt bike in basically using the rear brake pedal rather then the front for you can stand the rear end sliding around a bit, but not the front wheel locking up & taking you down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Sounds like you did exactly the right thing. What set you up for success though was riding with a fair amount in reserve. It gave you some options and you were able to pick the best for the situation.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top