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Ok Guys...Here it is.....Ive got a 97 Goldwing 1500...had it for almost 3 years..and have put approximately 40,000 miles on it so far....all on paved surfaces except for one or two short mistakes....this coming Spring...Im going to a rally in Florida and staying in a cabin and the road to it is gravel.....I dont like to ride on gravel..Period..!!....the last trip down there ..I was on a short sand road....dropped the bike before I knew it .!!..no damage ..either to me or the bike.........so.....Im looking for some advice on riding on gravel.....Ive already been told to stay off the front brake.....but i really appreciate any and all advice......gravel just breaks me out in a sweat..........Thanks..and MERRY CHRISTMAS:baffled:
 

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No sharp turns. Keep your weight over the wheels, don't lean too much. Stay off the brakes. Go slow.

I live down a 1/4 mile gravel drive. No problem once you learn how to do it, but remember, its got to be packed gravel. Deep gravel is like ice, you don't want to try it ever on a Goldwing!:cheeky1:
 

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It has been my experience that most people go to slow on gravel. A little more speed helps keep you up in the gravel. You don't sink down so much.

Like everyone said, go at a nice steady pace. Don't make any sudden direction changes.

On our Alaska trip we hit a lot of the stuff. Keeping this in mind we never had a problem.

Burt
 

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Stay in the middle of the car track ruts.
Don't cross over the center at all unless it is necessary and then only where no gravel has a hump to it.
Keep a stead rate. Not fast and not slow.

Also depends on the composition of the gravel and the road.
Chipped marble or calcium is usually no problem at all. Especially if it has been mashed down flat and not loose.
Round river pea gravel is another animal altogether.

I ride gravel like I used to ride dirt/mud/snow county roads like I did as a kid.
Pretend you are on ice and watch ahead for the best, most level path while you have time to choose what part of the road to use before you get to it. Avoid loose piles of gravel, including the centers and sides and watch the potholes if any.

Ignore the sound of the insides of the fenders and the plastics being beat up with rocks (if you can).
 

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Florida and South Carolina, sand roads with sugar sand,like what dumped you, no solution on a Wing. That loose sand makes these bikes wallow like a buffalo.

Gravel is like most have said, take it easy , avoid loose patches of gravel, stay on the packed parts, do not be cutting across the middle , that is where the loose stuff is .

Once you gain a bit of confidence you will find a bit faster is better and you will learn to just relax and not fight the front end, let it walk the walk, do its thing, and not fight it .

But at first, just go slow, stay on the packed parts and use the linked brakes, leave the front one alone.

Sugar Sand, both feet down, slow go, little at a time, easy does it. A big bike is helpless in sugar sand.

Kit
 

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Keep your center of gravity low by putting the majority of your weight on the pegs or floorboards. Don't go too slow and no sudden moves.

If you stay there long enough you will feel more comfortable about it.
 

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Be very careful with front brake - particularly whenever turning on slick surfaces. Main reason I don't like the linked systems! Don't go too slow or too fast. Wear leather!

Remember - in the early years most roads were unpaved. Probably why Harley used 16" wheels.
 

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Monkey with a Football
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Drink heavily. The ride won't be much different feeling and it won't hurt so much when you go down.
 

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As already said, sugar sand is a critter all of its own. I learned to ride on gravel roads but that was on a 150 Dream and was entirely different from about half a ton of GoldWing. One thing that helps me immensely is when I focus further ahead than my instincts dictate. Trying to control the bike while watching the road immediately ahead of the bike just doesn't work. And as others have said, let the bike do what it is going to do because you just ain't gonna win fighting the 800 lb. gorilla.
 

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I have found besides disliking gravel roads :) is if I run 1 gear higher than normal you will ride better imho.

Ride Safe, Ray

:waving:
 

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Speaking as someone with many years of off-road experience,standing on the pegs keeps the centre of gravity much lower than sitting in the seat,making control of the bike much more easier. Watch any motoX rider and you'll see what I mean.
Keep focused well ahead,not at the bit of ground immediately in front of you.
Hold the 'bars lightly,just as you would if riding on any normal road surface.Let the bike go where it wants to go,don't try to fight it by using a white-knuckle grip,you will end in a heap! Leave the brakes well alone!! Control any de-celleration by throttle only.Its difficult to advise on speed without seeing the gravel in question,but 20-30mph would be about right for the in-experienced.
Hope this helps
 

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If you had an 1800 you could put a _ _ _ tire on it and ride gravel like it was a paved road. It's the rear trying to pass you more than anything else that makes it difficult to hold a straight line on gravel. With the _ _ _ tire it doesn't do that.
:)
 

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I have a 97 Goldwing SE and I hate gravel....but some gravel roads are hard-packed & they are doable if you relax & don't over-correct the bike's every movement.

I've dropped my bike a couple times; always at 2 mph or less.

The 1500s don't do well under 5 mph, even on pavement.

One thing about a wing is, if you start to go over, all you have to do is accelerate & it'll straighten up.

Thick, moving gravel, sand on smooth pavement, icy, muddy, or greased roads, WILL leave you sitting on the ground. If you're not comfortable with a road, stay off of it.
 

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Where is the rally at? Have you seen the road or had someone describe it to you? Most of our roads down here that people describe as gravel are actually "shell, or even something we call marrel". I think I got that spelled right.

Shell can be washed shell that is totally free of any sand or clay binders. The other, Marrel is the shell straight from the bottom of the bay and can be over 50% clay. It will pack as hard as asphalt and unless graded with a tractor on a regular basis will get to be really washboarded.

Very few of our county roads are sand anymore and as far as a shelled county road, it's not too bad. 'Cept for the dust!

Now some private roads will be sand and if it's sugar sand, beware.
 

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Like ever one else said. I might add, i treat gravel like i would treat them grated bridges, relax its not as bad as it initially feels.
 

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The only thing I might add is to watch out for steeply cambered curves/corners. If the surface is at all loose that Wing will just want to sideslip down the camber. I've visited the ditch on the way to my cabin a couple of times, always upright, and just drove the ditch until I was past the curve.

Nowadays I take the ditch from choice when they have been putting fresh gravel down.

The gravel I am talking about is from glacial eskers, so it is much like river gravel. Crushed rock is way easier.
 

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all great advice, the wing will naturally wander a bit on gravel, dont fight it, relax, keep your arms loose, and gently point her where you want to go. look ahead.

use a high gear, say 3rd at about 20 - 50 kph, wings have a lot of torgue and you dont really want that on gravel, the higher gear will keep it things softly softly.

if you must brake, use rear only, very gently, the wing has excellent engine braking, use this too. I have never found the linked brakes to be a problem in the loose stuff.


good luck,
 

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I don't like riding on gravel all that much but mainly because of rock chips in the paint. As everyone has already mentioned don't try to go too slow, the 'Wing will be more stable at 15-20mph and don't fight her, keep your arms and shoulders loose and let the bike find its own way on the tire track.
 
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