Tips for riding when your traction is reduced!
We all face riding in gravel on our street motorcycle at one point or another in the history of riding our bikes, AMERiders offers our brothers and sisters these tips to ride safely in reduced traction areas. Roads that are not paved, and under construction are some of the most likely places you will find loose rocks, dirt as well as sand. Gravel happens, and although we street bike riders often choose to not ride in gravel there are times when it is unavoidable.
Riding in gravel and making it safely to your destination is important. (Rider tip: when making reservations, it is important to always ask if there is any gravel on which you must travel to get there.) Regardless of whether it is gravel, dirt, sand, grass, or any slick surface, the same rules apply. Minimizing the motorcycle’s lean and abstaining from any sudden input such as braking, accelerating, or swerving is crucial.
Tip: Minimize the motorcycle’s lean and abstain from any sudden input such as braking, accelerating, or swerving when riding in gravel or reduced traction areas.
When traction is lost the tire loses its grip on the road, it is easy to lose control of the bike. However, it is important to remember to keep a cool head and not freak out as you might want to do. When the bike is already in motion and a patch of gravel appears, there’s no need to panic. Gradually slow down, while keeping up momentum, as well as keeping slight pressure applied to both brakes. Motorcycle tires can slide easily on light gravel, so breaking too hard or too fast you will more than likely skid, lose control and possibly drop the bike.
If the road ahead promises miles of gravel, you can either turn around and take another route or utilize these techniques to continue your ride. Doing so can help you get to the other side without incident and injury.
- Keep your body relaxed, and steer the bike without fighting against it.
- Use a gradual throttle roll-on to accelerate and maintain a slow constant speed. Try not to stop. But if you have to, start by using very light, gradual acceleration, so your tires don’t spin out.
- Keep the motorcycle as straight up as possible, this minimizes lean, which may mean turning wide and using more of the road than usual.
- Keep plenty of distance between you and other vehicles to allow yourself a lot of extra room to gradually slow down to a stop.
- Remember the rule that you go where you’re looking, so avoid looking down.
- Stay focused whole riding on gravel, but continually scanning, checking the road surface conditions so you’re aware of any big rocks or potholes to avoid.
- Breathe slowly with controlled breaths to keep your body calm so you don’t tense up.
- Tell yourself you can and will get through this.
- Listen to your inner voice. If you’re feeling confident then go for it, if not then don’t.
- Don’t think negative thoughts like how bad it is to ride through gravel or that you will fall.
Using these tips can help you get through the most daunting gravel, dirt, sand, grass, or other slick surfaces while you ride. But above all when riding in gravel be confident in yourself and your bike and you’ll be fine. Also always remember when riding in gravel or any other reduced traction surface to wear a great pair of gloves, as well as boots with great traction.
And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
AMERiders offers our brothers and sisters these tips to ride on gravel safely as well as any other road surface.
And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.
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