Pay attention to loose gravel. - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Pay attention to loose gravel.

I have never ridden on the road at this time of year up north. There is A LOT more gravel than normal in certain areas.

2 errors were made:

1.) I failed to adjust my front brake lever on my vulcan 900, coupled with super thick gloves, I chose to have my fingers UNDER the lever instead of over. This delayed the reponse time making stopping too late. I corrected by changing the dial on the brake lever to be on highest setting thus making the lever closer to the grip, making it impossible to put my fingers under it.....

2.) I had been riding on this road long enough to observe gravel, and decreased speed properly around prior turns, but failed to decrease speed properly on approach to this 4 way intersection. Thankfully there was no other cars on the road, and the intersection could be seen very far away. The back tire skidded and the lazyness of not grabbing the front brake together with the rear brake could be been disasterous.

Per our motorcycle safety course, they instuct the use of BOTH brakes together every single time. I usually do this with exception to having frozen fingers inside thick gloves. I tend to favor the rear brake. BAD idea......

Friends of mine with over 30 yrs of riding also get tripped up over gravel. I have sure learned my lesson..............

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 10:57 AM
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You need to ride many surfaces,you never know when the road is going to go to gravel or sand.I try to ride several gravel roads,dirt roads and some sand during the summer,about 100 miles.Keeps you on top of what surfaces are going to do and how to brake.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Fordiesel69 View Post
I have never ridden on the road at this time of year up north. There is A LOT more gravel than normal in certain areas.

2 errors were made:

1.) I failed to adjust my front brake lever on my vulcan 900, coupled with super thick gloves, I chose to have my fingers UNDER the lever instead of over. This delayed the reponse time making stopping too late. I corrected by changing the dial on the brake lever to be on highest setting thus making the lever closer to the grip, making it impossible to put my fingers under it.....

2.) I had been riding on this road long enough to observe gravel, and decreased speed properly around prior turns, but failed to decrease speed properly on approach to this 4 way intersection. Thankfully there was no other cars on the road, and the intersection could be seen very far away. The back tire skidded and the lazyness of not grabbing the front brake together with the rear brake could be been disasterous.

Per our motorcycle safety course, they instuct the use of BOTH brakes together every single time. I usually do this with exception to having frozen fingers inside thick gloves. I tend to favor the rear brake. BAD idea......

Friends of mine with over 30 yrs of riding also get tripped up over gravel. I have sure learned my lesson..............
I ride mostly on our secondary roads around Nova Scotia one sunny Sunday I had a young lad go cruising by me probably doing 110kmh in a speed zone of 70, on a very twisty road, a lot of very tight turns and very bad shoulders. This lad was on a sport bike. I stopped at a local coffee spot and he was there drinking a coffee. I approached him and said young man if you don't slow down on this road it will come up and bite you especially if you don't know the road. I was quickly told to eff off and mind my own business you old fart. I giggled and walked away I left the coffee shop twenty minutes later rode about 15 kms only to find mister eff off picking himself up out of the ditch. He hit a turn doing 30km above the speed limit only to find gravel and a large pot hole mid turn. He veered only to hit the gravel then dropped off an eight inch shoulder. Bike was totalled rider was taken away in an ambulance severely banged and bruised. You never know what could be in the middle of a turn if you don't know, caution and both breaks are the best prevention.

Last edited by 1property1; 01-30-2017 at 11:38 AM.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 10:14 AM
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I've had my own experience with gravel. I've still got a good looking line in my shin for it as well. Wasn't going more than about 10-15 mph with both feet down and out... My girl was on the back as well. The road had just had fresh gravel put down (I found out that day)... And I decided to chance the mile and a half... Needless to say I dropped us... I don't really know how, but the custom has a thin front tire, so that probably bit in and in trying to correct, I pulled us off balance. Still couldn't tell you what chewed my leg, but I'm assuming it was one of the pegs... I'm whole, though, and she listened the night before when I told her to get clear of the bike if we go down. She was unscathed, and the bike was just fine, excepting my license plate light, which stopped working. I have an led lit frame on the left side rear axle... What side do you think I dropped? Lol. At least it wasn't the pipes.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 02:28 PM
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Riding a road bike on gravel can be nearly as dangerous as riding on ice - I avoid it unless absolutely necessary, ride slowly but still fast enough to maintain balance and don't use the front brake unless there seems to be a reasonably firm layer underneath the gravel.

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