Twitchy handling on sharp turns on gravel
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Thread: Twitchy handling on sharp turns on gravel

  1. #1
    Senior Member docjekyll2002's Avatar
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    Twitchy handling on sharp turns on gravel

    I rode with some bigger dual sport bike riders today on gravel roads and I was having so much trouble trying to turn smoothly on sharp gravel turns. My TW200 still has the original tires (at 10,000 mi now). I also weigh only 123 lb and don't have the best offroad riding skill. The tail end of my TW200 would try to swing around even with light acceleration. It's like my bike wanted to throw me off. I wonder if the short wheelbase of the TW makes it difficult for anyone else during sharp gravel turns. I wonder how much new tires would help or having a longer wheelbase bike would help more. How do u guys position your body when riding on gravel turns? I was standing straight up with foot pressure on pegs but i am wondering if i should lean my body forward or back.

  2. #2
    rbm
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    Senior Member rbm's Avatar
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    At 10k mikes your tires are probably pretty worn. I'd for sure at least replace the front with a more aggressive tire, the rear should probably be changed due to age and mileage anyway. Replacing the front on mine with a Shinko 244 greatly improved handling both on and especially off road.
    goldenhtr, Fred and Gerry like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member stephenmarklay's Avatar
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    Gravel can be tricky. One thing to watch is tire pressures. Having a bit lower pressures than spec can help.
    goldenhtr likes this.
    2011 TW200: Protaper Fat Bars, IMS Pegs, Cyclerack, Moose Racing Tail Bag, Cyrca Handguards, VStrom Mirrors, Jimbo Shield, Oxford Heated Grips, ProCycle 15k spring, 2x2cycles rack, seat concepts, Cyclops Adventure Sports LED conversion

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  5. #4
    Senior Member JS5owner's Avatar
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    Do a search on Shinko 241... I put one on and it is amazing. Lizrdbth was the one that turned me on to it.
    2007 TW "Muley": Cyclerack rear, 55 tooth rear sprocket, Duro Power Grip & Shinko SR241, Clarke tank, Ricochet bash plate, Mule hitch pin quick seat removal, Trail Tech Vapor w/ Dashboard, hardwired Garmin 60csx & 205w, 12vdc adaptor, independent high beam off/on and signal beeper, modified seat.

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  6. #5
    Senior Member indika666's Avatar
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    I ride a Shinko SR428 front & Bridgestone TW204 rear with 14/45 stock gearing. Mostly on gravel or paved tarmac roads..! I ride with 25 psi rear and 22 psi front..!
    Riding experience is smooth so far..! And i only weigh 65 kg and that hasn't been an issue..!
    When i encounter sharp turns on paved tarmac i position myself the sportbike way..! Leaning to the side of the turn with both foot up on the pegs..! I've found myself leaning way better than most of the dual sports i've seen..!
    But on loose gravel i choose the trail riding way..! Lean to the opposite with foot out...!

    TW is the easiest handling bike i've ever ridden..!
    2006 TW200E (JDM) -> 100% stock, Shinko SR428 front, Bridgestone TW204 rear, 14/45 stock gearing

  7. #6
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    As stephenmarklay has mentioned, lowered tire pressure will help a lot when riding on gravel. Good tires mentioned by the others is very sound advice as well.

    Body position is also very important. Basically when cornering on gravel, you want to keep your body in an upright position while leaning or pushing the motorcyle towards the turn.

    Here are some very good sources to read and view which will probably describe and show you in better detail than I ever could:

    Basic Off-Road Riding Techniques for Adventure Bikes » ADV Pulse

    11 Tips for Riding Off-Road

    Riding a Dirtbike - Prep Your Motorcycle for the Dirt

    There are many other great sites as well.

    Take Care!
    bananachunks and Fred like this.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  8. #7
    Senior Member 66roadkill66's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with mine, with normal tire pressures, I run my front down to 9psi and the rear at 11psi and it was a lot better for me anyway. I carry a compressor so I can air back up when I get back to the pavement. I have stock tires right now ant I am going to replace the front soon cause it is still twitchy even with the low pressures, they don't call um deathwings for nothing the stock front tire is horrible. I just put new tires on it 10 month ago before joining the forum or I would not have run the stock front. I now have 1800 miles on them and dammit they still look new and the cheap part of me wants to run them a little longer but I don't know how much longer I can stand it.
    87tw,08 klr650,00dr200,76tl250,73cl175 scrambler,75tl250,76tl125,1960 cushman trailster,

  9. #8
    Senior Member greenbomb's Avatar
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    I vote for the 241

    Quote Originally Posted by JS5owner View Post
    Do a search on Shinko 241... I put one on and it is amazing. Lizrdbth was the one that turned me on to it.
    Look at the bottom of this page under SIMILAR THREADS
    Norm in Arkansas
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  10. #9
    Senior Member fielding's Avatar
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    A sticker on the front fender of my TW indicates for your weight the tire pressure should be 18 pounds front and rear. Tire pressure is a significant factor when riding on gravel. My neighbor lowers his pressure to 12 pounds on the front and 15 on the back when he is going to do a lot of gravel roads.

  11. #10
    Senior Member small's's Avatar
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    I run a 5.10 sr244 golden boy and I can usually run with about anyone on gravel especially in the corners. If im riding fast in gravel corners I tend to sit towards the front/ and or lean forward a bit to keep some weight on the front tire. Once you lean over so far you will feel the front end starting to slide/washout and thats when you get on the throttle. It feels weird but once you get it down right you can scoot along pretty fast clip. My buddy just got the sr241 on his tw and it looks really good. I havent had a chance to ride it yet but I want to. I would ditch that worn out front tire and go with a sr244 or sr241.
    Last edited by small's; 07-15-2014 at 08:19 PM.
    goldenhtr likes this.

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