Cruisers and gravel roads

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vito
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Cruisers and gravel roads

#1 Unread post by vito » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:07 am

Riding with my new GPS device has given me the confidence to turn onto smaller roads that I have never ridden before, knowing that even if I get really lost I can always hit the "Go Home" button and find my way back. But it has also led me to end up on some really squirrely gravel roads. I am finding that my cruiser, especially when riding two up, does not like these roads very much. I wonder if is the tires that I have on my bike but riding gravel roads is not something that I plan to do if I can avoid them. I might miss some interesting rides but the feeling of instability on gravel and dirt is not my idea of a fun ride.

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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#2 Unread post by MmeMagpie » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:18 am

That's just motorcycles on gravel, dude. Ride slow and mark it on your mental map as a road to avoid in the future :)
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#3 Unread post by ceemes » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:43 am

MmeMagpie wrote:That's just motorcycles on gravel, dude. Ride slow and mark it on your mental map as a road to avoid in the future :)
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#4 Unread post by sapaul » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:28 am

How often do you do it ? Most guys that get out of their comfort zone get all stiff and tense and that just makes the problem worse, and I hear you about the 2 up thing. When I did Namibia 2 up with The Goose, fully loaded, I hit some real powdery stuff that I had never ridden on before. I had to make a conscious effort to relax. Once I got my head right, everything was fine.
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#5 Unread post by MmeMagpie » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:31 am

I rode all sorts of hellish roads by accident in Georgia because it's impossible to judge a road surface from a satellite image. The worst were the roads that were covered in 3" or so of tired, old, powdery dirt. Not only did I blow all manner of nastiness out of my nose later (and I probably could have cultivated potatoes in my ears), it was mushy and super slick feeling under the tires.
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#6 Unread post by dr_bar » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:38 pm

Yup, gotta loosen up and relax, let the bike find it's own way and slow down...
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#7 Unread post by IntoTheWind » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:31 am

Your tires have a lot to do with it. Most (if not all) MC road tires are nothing more than racing slicks with just enough grooving, on them, to make them street legal. Rely mostly on friction to counter the forces of gravity ... compound material of the tire. Look at off road - dirt bike - tires, you'll get the idea. Still, gravel roads are not the best place for the big road bikes.

We have a lot of logging roads here, with pot holes that would swallow a small car. On the better logging roads there is always some jackass coming at you at 50+, in one of those big 4x4 trucks. This means your gonna get a face full of rocks and dust during the dry weather and mud and rocks during the wet weather.

There are enough paved roads, I don't need to hit gravel. The oil and gravel is a different thing. I never know where or when this is going to happen.

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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#8 Unread post by perrypogue » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:15 pm

I wasn't expecting the 'Road Work Ahead' to mean 12 miles of gravel road...but there I was with no option but to ride the gravel. I just slowed down but still ran at about 40 mph and the bike never scared me.

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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#9 Unread post by Ram » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:33 pm

Don't fear the gravel, not many of us go looking for it but you never know what might be around the next corner. The more you ride the better you comfort zone will expand.

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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#10 Unread post by jmillheiser » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:37 pm

I think its low center of gravity bikes in general. There is a reason why dirt bikes have a high center of gravity.

The wrecked sportster I came across a couple of months ago is probably good testament that harleys dont belong on dirt (dirt track bikes excepted of course). I was coming back to my car after a hike and saw a pretty new sporty 1200 on its side and the rider walking around with a nice cut on his lip and some rash on his arm (thankfully he had a helmet on), he was trying to turn his sportster around on a dirt road and gave it a little too much throttle and lowsided it hard.

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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#11 Unread post by Wrider » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:39 am

jmillheiser wrote:I think its low center of gravity bikes in general. There is a reason why dirt bikes have a high center of gravity.

The wrecked sportster I came across a couple of months ago is probably good testament that harleys dont belong on dirt (dirt track bikes excepted of course). I was coming back to my car after a hike and saw a pretty new sporty 1200 on its side and the rider walking around with a nice cut on his lip and some rash on his arm (thankfully he had a helmet on), he was trying to turn his sportster around on a dirt road and gave it a little too much throttle and lowsided it hard.
SlimColo would disagree with you here. I've met him in person and he's a ton of miles on a Sportster with dual sport tires cruising the dirt roads of CO.
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#12 Unread post by dr_bar » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:39 am

A lot of people don't know what their doing in gravel and use that front brake at the most inopportune time... :o)
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#13 Unread post by MmeMagpie » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:32 am

dr_bar wrote:A lot of people don't know what their doing in gravel and use that front brake at the most inopportune time... :o)
Engine braking, baby. Love it.
Come to think of it, riding on gravel is not unlike driving on ice. Small, deliberate moves and know your machine.
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#14 Unread post by vito » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:37 am

Riding on gravel is something only done when there is no way to avoid it. I ride for pleasure, and gravel, sand, ice, mud, snow riding do not bring me pleasure.

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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#15 Unread post by dr_bar » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:39 am

A ride isn't official unless:

a) You have to make at least one U-Turn.
b) Made at least one wrong turn.
c) Stopped at least once for icecream.
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#16 Unread post by BobK » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:28 am

dr_bar wrote:A ride isn't official unless:

a) You have to make at least one U-Turn.
b) Made at least one wrong turn.
c) Stopped at least once for icecream.
+1

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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#17 Unread post by HYPERR » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:38 pm

jmillheiser wrote:I think its low center of gravity bikes in general. There is a reason why dirt bikes have a high center of gravity.

The wrecked sportster I came across a couple of months ago is probably good testament that harleys dont belong on dirt (dirt track bikes excepted of course). I was coming back to my car after a hike and saw a pretty new sporty 1200 on its side and the rider walking around with a nice cut on his lip and some rash on his arm (thankfully he had a helmet on), he was trying to turn his sportster around on a dirt road and gave it a little too much throttle and lowsided it hard.
The reason the center of gravity is higher on dirbikes is because dirtbikes need to be tall for ground clearance and lots of suspension travel. A low center of gravity is much more desirable than a high center of gravity on gravel roads.

Clearly the guy on the Sportster crashed because he didn't know how to ride, it had nothing to do with the bike.
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#18 Unread post by freebird73 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:32 am

[quote="dr_bar"]A ride isn't official unless:

a) You have to make at least one U-Turn.
b) Made at least one wrong turn.
c) Stopped at least once for icecream.[/quote

a) and b) describe me but since i dont stop for ice cream i guess i have never had an official ride :P

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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#19 Unread post by MmeMagpie » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:22 am

I think french fries fried in peanut oil and a root beer float are a suitable substitution for ice cream.
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Re: Cruisers and gravel roads

#20 Unread post by BobK » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:31 am

I'm a very considerate rider. I stop for ice cream, french fries, cheeseburgers, donuts, and/or coffee.

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