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Does counter steering change from 18 MPH to 25MPH when you get on gravel roads? I went to Great Basin two weeks ago and the bike handled real strange wether or not I was pulling a 150 pound trailer behind me. Some of their hard surface roads had small gravel on them, and steering there was almost as dicey. :shock:
 

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I am the Hobo
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Can't help on the gravel roads as I avoid them like the plague. When you can't avoid them its a case of slow right down, as you indicated.

Riding something so heavy on a loose surface is worrying to say the least.
 

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well, from what I've read, countersteering comes into play at about 10mph and over, however i think this would be on a hard surface, where you can induce lean to corner.

the amount of lean is controlled by speed, and traction.

travelling in gravel, is a lot different, you really dont want to induce too much lean, because traction is reduced, far less traction than hard top, and its prudent to select a higher gear than normal, as our wings produce a lot of torgue and you really dont want a lot of that on gravel, as it could induce a rear wheel skid or spin.

I have a freind on a 1500, who one day dropped bit too quickly from hard top to gravel, and it instantly through the rear wheel around trying to meet the front.

he did some wonderful riding to bring it out of the skid.

the bike will wander naturally, relax, let it, keep out of thick shingle and keep it upright which means cornering, is more a light steer, with not much of a lean, the bike will naturally induce countersteer as it needs it. use the brakes very lightly.

standing up on the pegs will help stabilty too.

riding gravel is not my favorite pastime, but I've been happilly surprised at the stability of the wing in that situation.

I keep my speed at about about as you say, 20 to 25mph.

good luck,
 

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oldishwinger wrote:
travelling in gravel, is a lot different, you really dont want to induce too much lean, because traction is reduced, far less traction than hard top, and its prudent to select a higher gear than normal, as our wings produce a lot of torgue and you really dont want a lot of that on gravel, as it could induce a rear wheel skid or spin.
I have found this to be a life saver on the occasions I've had to ride on gravel:action:
 

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I agree, on gravel I restrict the leaning, and stay in as high a gear as the bike will handle without shuddering.

Leaning in gravel is an invitation to going down. No counter steer there for me.
 

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Yep it's kinda like driving on an old shell road that has bumps for about the last 1/4 mile before that "t" in the road and you have to stop. Feels like it's gonna swap ends. Let her go and be easy with the braking and steering.
 

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Gravel roads = slow speed (10MPH). If you are going fast enough to counter steer perhaps you should not be on gravel or you may be going too fast.
 

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Just another ORF!
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I've done my fair share of 'back roadin' on gravel/sandy roads. You more or less 'steer'/guide it along the roads, while you are 'relaxed' and letting the bike 'drift' a bit if it wants to drift. Relax, go with it and don't fight it or lean in the corners.

Try and ride along the more cleared section of the road, where there is less gravel(usually where car/truck tires travel) Keep the bikeout of the sections of road where the gravel/sand is deep or'built up'(centre, sides, freshly filled pot holes). If you findit unavoidable to travel through deep sections of gravel/sand, give hersome gas to bring the front wheel up out of/on top ofthe deep stuff, or you'll most likely go down. Most of your braking is done with the rear, using only light front brake pressure on the staights/downhillsand never use the front brake in a corner/turning.

Look 'down the road', where you want to go. If there is a large rock, don't fixate on it, or you will hit it! Make note of where it is and look past it and ride around it.If a section gets really rough, standing on the pegs and gripping the 'tank' with your knees adds a lot to low speedcontrol/stability. Dirt bike experience helps out a lot here.



Dusty
 

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The more you ride gravel the better you get at it. Still not as comfortable on gravel with the heavy Goldwing as I was on lighter bikes. My first bike (a Honda 150cc Dream) was amazing on gravel but the "wing" don't give the same comfort level. Still the more gravel I ride on the "wing" the less I stress over it.
 

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Dusty Boots:
Just reminded me of "fixating on a rock". On my first trip on my wing was travelling home and the middle of Oklahoma highway I see something in the road that looks like a huge ball. Like
a football or something someone had hit. I was looking at it and realized I was drifting toward it. Well I changed the area the bike was traveling in and passed it. The object was a dead box turtle someone else had hit. It was aobut 15 inches in diameter and about 8 inches tall. WHEW!!! that would have made a mess of me too!
 

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Here in Pa. they got a method sure to please ever motorcyclist out there. They take a perfectly good road, dump down a nice thick coating of tar and then add about a half-inch of gravel. After about a month of use the gravel will be displaced out of the 4 wheeler's tracks to the side and middle of the road. And when you are riding and looking at the road surface you can't tell where the packed gravel begins and the loose gravel starts, all looks alike. When you are riding and come upon one of these you say, @%!*#, this road was great just a week ago. Anyhow the claim is that they can get about 5 more years out of a road by doing this. This state has ruined many of good riding roads with this tar/gravel procedure.
 

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AZgl1500 wrote:
I agree, on gravel I restrict the leaning, and stay in as high a gear as the bike will handle without shuddering.

Leaning in gravel is an invitation to going down. No counter steer there for me.
+++



I used to ride a dirt/gravel road on my CB900 with no problems. Once I got a goldwing I avoid them. I am not comfortable riding them,especially two up.



I have a riding buddy with and Interstate 1100. He is alwaystrying to drag me off road for camping. He is looking to get an 1800, so he may change his ways. I think that he thinks his 1100 has 4 wheel peel because some of the roads we've been on called for it.
 

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We live on a dirt and gravel road. I believe the man driving the road grader waits for me to leave the house then commence his grading activity. Nice little berms of sand and loose rock have made me pinch the seat more than once. It seems to me it is a little easier to drive a 1200 than the 1500 on gravel. I agree with oldishwinger. Relax, let it wander a bit. Don't use a lot of pressure on the grips, use a light touch. We were traveling on a dirt road and when it hit gravel, she wiggled a bit and the wife tried to use my ribs as a grab handle. I said loosen up and just hold still. Easy slow motion on the brakes, and throttle. Do not try to turn and brake at the same time. Especially the front brake. Moderate speed works best for me, too slow and it will follow every rut. Never very fast, and always a higher gear than on a hard surface. I often think about installing enduro style knobbies on the 500, but I am on the freeway most of the time.
 

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Buzzmoe2, they like to do that tar and gravel thing here in OK as well. Bet they don't consider bikers when they plan them jobs.
 

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johnnymac wrote:
Buzzmoe2, they like to do that tar and gravel thing here in OK as well. Bet they don't consider bikers when they plan them jobs.
I'm sure they don't. When they tar and pea gravel my road I ride the bike on the grass shoulder for 1/2 mile to the corner. Mostly becauseI don't want to have to clean off the tar.
 
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