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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.
 

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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.
 

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Gravel can be tricky. One thing to watch is tire pressures. Having a bit lower pressures than spec can help.
 

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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.
 

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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..!
 

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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!:)
 

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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.
 

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I vote for the 241

Do a search on Shinko 241... I put one on and it is amazing. Lizrdbth was the one that turned me on to it.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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I've been riding the Shinko 241 for 80 miles on mostly gravel for 2 weeks. Anyone want a stock tire with 400 miles on it? I can run any line I want and no washout. Great tire. Stock tire off 2010 for free!
Dave
 

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Nice of you bro, that's what makes this such a good forum! Bless you bro!
 

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Very admirable of you to offer the tire but we all know, as you've found out, what a turd it is... It could help someone out though.
 

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Orbit came with a worn stock front tire. I rode it a bit and then swapped to a Shinko 244 in the widest 5.10 size. It wore in a very odd scallop pattern, caused to some degree by the chip seal paved roads in Okanogan county, and also caused by very low tire pressures. Was running it everywhere at perhaps 8 lbs. I actually wasn't all that thrilled with it. Seemed to me to wash out on soft gravel corners. Rode it hundreds of miles through Baja, Mexico. The flotation of the huge tire was fantastic in soft sand, nothing wrong with it on the highway, and standing on the pegs calmed the washy feeling down in deep soft gravel- somewhat.

Right after I got back to the US I replaced it with the Shinko 241 trials tire that Lizrdbrth reviewed some time ago. Seems to have all the good characteristics of the 244 but none of the bad. Doesn't squirm around on gravel.

R.
 

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Lowering the pressure in the front tire makes a significant difference. It should not be more than 18 pounds, some riders prefer as low as 12 pounds when riding on gravel. I have tried several pressures with the TW and lowering the front tire down to 16 pounds really made mine grab the road. If your tire tread is about gone only a new tire will solve that.
 

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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.
Any good suggestions on where to learn to do this? Around here, learning to slide on the farm-to-market roads is a poor idea, since if one goes off a too close encounter with a barb-wire fence is likely.
 
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