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While higher speeds are easier to keep your balance, I don't recommend it as you really aren't in control.
Well put.

Looking at @Damirio's photos, he has a lot more sight distance than I typically do in my environment, so YMMV (or I guess YSMV) and all that.
 

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I agree speed helps.. but 70mph.. thats a bit fast for me on loose gravel. I agree with the hydroplaning analogy. I'm not sure I'll ever have the nuggets for that.
But think it's cool you can do it. Just be careful.
 

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Your description of how you ride gravel exactly matches how I was taught to ride deep sand on a dirtbike.

But sand is soft....

Larry
and dirt bikes weigh half of what a Strom weighs!
 
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Yes, not the best picture, but trust me if I slow down, the bike is all over the place, and lots of "washboard" sections, they properly rattle the bike, so I have to slow down a bit for those too.

I like Motortreck videos, but nothing better then actually doing it on your own bike. Although it would have been much easier on the Quad :)

And yes I had TKC80'S and now my rear is Mitas E07
View attachment 292742
I thought you were an Alberta Rider!! Nice.
I have found there to be a fundamental shift in the gravel roads here, beginning in 2019. Instead of having two one foot wide smooth "lanes" form from the car/truck tires packing the surface down, there is now a uniform surface of "marbles" over the entire surface. The gov't has changed the "formula" for what they put on the roads. Instead of rocks under two inches big, mixed with clay and sand, they now use rocks 2+" big, with sand mixed in. This way, it doesn't pack down as quickly, if ever. Then, they only have to grader the roads spring and fall, adding less material. It saves them lots of money! But, the downside is more accidents and scary moments for all road users. Especially motorcyclists, who are in the minority. A fellow Rider crashed hard in 2020, ending his riding days. He lost control of his KLR650. Went down hard.
 

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Why are animals any more dangerous on dirt roads than they are on the black stuff.

Coming over any hill or around any corner is dangerous no matter the surface or the vehicle.

And lets not forget we rely heavily on total strangers coming in the opposite staying on their side of the road as defined by paint or sometimes nothing.

I ride motorcycles for the thrill I can give myself not to get home safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
I thought you were an Alberta Rider!! Nice.
I have found there to be a fundamental shift in the gravel roads here, beginning in 2019. Instead of having two one foot wide smooth "lanes" form from the car/truck tires packing the surface down, there is now a uniform surface of "marbles" over the entire surface. The gov't has changed the "formula" for what they put on the roads. Instead of rocks under two inches big, mixed with clay and sand, they now use rocks 2+" big, with sand mixed in. This way, it doesn't pack down as quickly, if ever. Then, they only have to grader the roads spring and fall, adding less material. It saves them lots of money! But, the downside is more accidents and scary moments for all road users. Especially motorcyclists, who are in the minority. A fellow Rider crashed hard in 2020, ending his riding days. He lost control of his KLR650. Went down hard.
In McLean Creek off road area I notice fresh grading at least twice per week, and the big CAT grader is always parked somewhere along that main gravel road.

And he never levels the washboard, so many times on a long steep hill I ride in between the car wheels tracks, where there is less washboard but a pile of loose gravel.

Also we get some paved roads "repaired" just by pouring hot melted tar (tar snakes) and then sprinkled with some loose sand on the top, both things very dangerous for us motorcycles

Also when some paved roads get bumpy they just bring a big scraping machine, and leave all those deep grooves for months, obviously nobody is concerned about bikers safety.

I thought the washboards are created by trucks going uphill, but I see them on level grounds, in corners and on straights, they are everywhere and I hate them 😂

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the four primary causes of washboarding are driving habits, lack of moisture, poor gravel quality, and lack of crown on the road surface. ... Water will then accumulate in depressions and ripples in the road, which will in turn be deepened by passing traffic.
 

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Why are animals any more dangerous on dirt roads than they are on the black stuff.
Because stopping distances are worse and very unpredictable ?.

That's the point some of us were trying to make, sure the bike will feel better at higher speeds but if you have to stop or slow in a hurry that's extremely hard to do on ball bearing gravel. It's not even a matter of not outriding your sightlines on gravel - on sealed surfaces not outriding sightlines is normally enough because bikes stop REALLY well on seal.

On gravel you might have plenty of sightline and still be unable to stop or dodge when shit happens. In those conditions you can see hazards an extremely long way away and still crash, I've done it, seen it happen even more. (I did learn ...).

Riding on ice is even worse because you may not be able to stop at all and hitting something at near whatever speed you first saw it is going to happen no matter what you do. Even laying the bike down won't change the outcome there.
 

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That's what makes riding a motorcycle so enjoyable.

If spend all your time worried about your safety your not truly enjoying the ride, there is so much more.

I broke my collarbone a 5kph and walked away from a couple of 100kph crashes, what will be will be.
 
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That's what makes riding a motorcycle so enjoyable.

If spend all your time worried about your safety your not truly enjoying the ride, there is so much more.

I broke my collarbone a 5kph and walked away from a couple of 100kph crashes, what will be will be.
Not worrying about safety isn't enjoyable, IMHO. Doing something that's potentially dangerous (riding, handing firearms, using a knife) is only enjoyable when you have enough skill and attentiveness to MAKE it relatively safe. Certainly there remains some risk, but minimizing it while still riding how you want to is the real challenge, and the real enjoyment.
Larry
 

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That's what makes riding a motorcycle so enjoyable.

If spend all your time worried about your safety your not truly enjoying the ride, there is so much more.
No one (well, not I anyway) is questioning your own risk appetite; that's up to you. The point is that there is objectively a huge difference in your control and ability to affect outcomes between 70mph on slab vs the same speed on an unstable surface.
 
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Stand up
Speed up
Smooth on throttle
Light grip
Plan ahead...
Trust your tires

I'm still working on these and they're getting easier.
Almost wound up in a hole of misery a couple days ago, trusted my tires and some throttle and missed my pre dug grave by inches... nothing left of my undies but the elastic band.
 

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I ride motorcycles for the thrill I can give myself not to get home safely.
Which is fine if you're the only guy on the road and don't have any dependents. If you're at the track, or out in the middle of nowhere go nuts.

When you're driving around other people you have a responsibility to be in control of your vehicle, that includes gravel roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Stand up
Speed up
Smooth on throttle
Light grip
Plan ahead...
Trust your tires

I'm still working on these and they're getting easier.
Almost wound up in a hole of misery a couple days ago, trusted my tires and some throttle and missed my pre dug grave by inches... nothing left of my undies but the elastic band.
Stand up...✊✌
Speed up
Smooth on throttle
Light grip
Plan ahead...

Trust your tires

Ha,ha lyrics for next Bob Marley "revolution" song ..."Stand up...for freedom..." ✊

missed my pre dug grave by inches... nothing left of my undies but the elastic band ... Hilarious 😂
 

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Any comments about street tires vs knobbies or semi-knobbies on gravel?Obviously knobbies are.better.Should bikes with street tires just turn around?
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Any comments about street tires vs knobbies or semi-knobbies on gravel?Obviously knobbies are.better.Should bikes with street tires just turn around?
I got caught once on a very short section of gravel, on my FJR1300 and I hope I never have to do it again :oops: 😬
"Street tires" = they are probably designed for "street and nothin' but"
 

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Any comments about street tires vs knobbies or semi-knobbies on gravel?Obviously knobbies are.better.Should bikes with street tires just turn around?
Depends very much on the type of gravel and how deep. Larger and deeper makes it harder on street tires. That being said, I found Anakee 3's (not entirely street but close) on my Vstrom to cope with gravel fairly well. Nothing compared to knobbies though.
 

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Pilot Road 4's were really bad on gravel, even with low pressure they were horrible. Road 5's are passable, not pleasant but the bike steers and the brakes sortof work.

Both pure road tires, so just saying "don't use road tires on gravel" isn't entirely correct, neither is "road tires are fine". A really skilled rider can do it anyway, us mere mortals it depends on a lot of details.

Knobs are far better but again it's compromises on seal. TKC-80's were great on gravel, I hated them on seal. K60's weren't as good as TKC-80's on gravel but were so much less likely to kill me on the road that I ran those when I was going to be riding dirt instead of the 'better' tire.
 
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