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Dirt-riding intro to motorcycles

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by mattb, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. My partner is almost phobic of gravel - won't leave the road when she pulls over, even when it's unsafe NOT to ride onto the gravel. I think she needs a bit of a dirt-bike session to cure her, as her fear extends from the fact that the few times she has ridden in gravel she's always dropped the bike, through braking in ways inappropriate to that kind of surface. I got into bikes by chasing my brother and uncle over muddy dirty hill and gravelly rocky dale on an old postie bike, and so don't have the same problem. Do others who have not ridden dirt-bikes have trouble / issues riding onto gravel (ie onto the side of the road, to a pull-off, etc)?


  2. I haven't been riding for that long, but I must admit I am quite paranoid about riding onto gravel. It doesn't stop me, but it is not something I like doing. And although I know the paranoia is fueled by a fear of dropping it (even though I have been lucky so far), that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.
  3. No trouble here, but then Mrs Tree and I spent a week riding our ZZR in a PADDOCK before taking a Q-Ride course to get licenced.
  4. My experience was similar to yours, starting on the dirt, and I definitely think it stands a rider in good stead in all sorts of ways. Any chance you guys can pick up an old dirt bike (a current motocross machine is not the desired effect!) and find a place to thrash it about?
  5. I grew up on dirt bikes and still hate gravel. :LOL:
  6. Yeh, not saying that I like it on road tyres! :)
  7. Doesn't make much difference. Knobbies through to slicks, it's all pretty crap on gravel. Nothin to be scared of though, so be a supportive boyfriend and tell her to harden the fcuk up. :wink:

    It's just fear, bugger all to do with the bike. Maybe get something cheaper to drop, but you really shouldnt be dropping it at snails pace heading off the road.
  8. Yeah I grew up on dirt bikes, and certainly flinging a dirt bike around on gravel is a completely different kettle of fish to riding a road bike with road tyres on similar surfaces.

    That being said, the dirt bike background most definitely served me well, and has saved my skin on a number of occasions with rear wheel slides and bike handling on different surfaces.

    The only aversion I have to riding my bike on gravel and dirt is the amount of filth I have to clear off afterwards :LOL: I took my cruiser on many interesting looking dirt and gravel roads on a recent 3 day tour through country VIC and NSW and other than the potential for scratches and the additional tyre wear, I didn't have any issues doing so :)
  9. Haven't ridden a lot on the dirt but don't have too much trouble if I turn down an unsealed road. I think it's just from mucking around on BMX as a kid. Once you learn to use the back break and how to steer a skid it's all good fun. :)
  10. Being a farm boy from way back, spent years farting around on gravel, grass, mud, floods and whatever you had.

    I can say that it has taught me respect and confidence in any conditions.

    I have taken the beemer in many a non-sealed condition. And like all things, I think it is practice that makes perfect. I could strongly recommend just having a go at a slow speed down a back road some where.

    Sort of the same as riding in the wet. I don't like to do it, but I will so I have practice at it. That way if I go out on a ride and the heavens open, it is not my first time in the rain.

    Just a thought!


  11. I love to rip up a dirt road on a dirt bike but slick tyres are a bit scetchy off road, plus I don't want a stone chip on my baby let alone gravel rash.