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Discussion Starter #1
Haven't been riding long, 3 months. Now that the weather is getting better I have been riding alot...bike odo has 700 miles, looking forward to 1k so per yamaha its "broken in" Had an fz07 before but quickly traded for an 09. So on corners Im scared to death, as soon as I start to lean I can just mentally visualize gravel in the 2nd position at the apex causing me to slow down (not break) just feather off the throttle, and worst yet get fixated on the road in front of me going through a corner which is bad shit...they dump gravel/sand on the roads here during winter and I've almost wanted to park the ****ing bike on the side of the road to actually see If there's any there. I've even had cars tailgate me which is embarrassing as ****. When I calm down and look through the corner it's all so much easier, but then that voice in my head "hey ******* your a newbie and all it takes is a small pile and low side your punk ass and your new bike into a mountain. Even a 35mph corner...I'm doing 30. For roads I've been on I'll stretch that way out..of course its black top and can easily see if there's gravel in between. All my riding up to now has been straight stretches, minor corners on highways. But moved to a new town and it's full of "twisties'. Is this normal? And with experience will the fear get replaced with confidence? It's all but consuming, I've even been really sweet to my wife before a ride because I'm going to the twisties...and she may have to feed me through a straw and wipe my ass...after ya boi hits gravel lmao!.
 

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It can be a bit unsettling if you haven't done much dirt riding when you feel the rear slip or push the front in a corner. Most of the time it is no big deal if your throttle input is neutral and you are looking through the corner. Are you feeling a loss of traction or are you just fixated on the possibility?

It will get better with more experience. You'd be surprised how much grip these tires have, even in a bit of sand and gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No, I've never felt a loss of traction. I've heard that before in having more trust in your tires. Hopefully over time I can learn to trust the bike more. Thx
 

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my advice to you is do some trackdays. but DO NOT get cocky once you get faster, always ride 50% of YOUR limit outside the track. riding in the streets should be an easy and relaxing ride and as safe as possible. trust me it happened to me. crashed my bike in the country side twistes because i did some trackdays and i thought i was fast and i hit water at the bottom of a hill and wiped out. luckily no other people were involved and i came out okay because at least i was smart enough to wear full leather track suit but my r6 was messed up but i could fix it up for $2k. dont worry about the money you spent on the bike, it is the cheapest aspect in a crash. your health and the health and property of others is were the expensive aspects are aside from dying. medical bills and people suing you because you were being reckless on your bike will make you possibly go bankrupt if you do not have good insurance. like i said do some track days, it is fun and you can go balls out testing your limits. it can possibly save your life from the things you will learn on trackdays. but always always ALWAYS check your ego anytime you are riding your motorcycle. ride save.
 

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Gravel is tough, my general rule is that if you can count it, not really, but figurative , verses not count it ,literally your fine. So a little gravel your ok, a lot of gravel not so much. As a newer rider I would recommend Keith Houghton's safe riding series of books, and to understand turning and traction of your motorcycle the Keith Codes books. Ignore the racing parts. Welcome and enjoy your new bike.
 

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Bad fish has the right idea... You have to be smooth on the controls..... Abruptness and gravel is dangerous, but smoothness and gravel is manageable. You may lose traction but if you ride through it smooth it will reconnect. I was scared of downhill curves for a long time until I learned that trust in the loading of the tires process.
 

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I've just had 10 years of dealing with gritted roads in winter, f'n hated it. Especially when they don't put the sweepers through and the roads are dangerous right into spring.
Things you can do are follow tyre tracks, don't outride your visibility, and keep a neutral throttle or slight power on.
Don't panic brake or back off the throttle suddenly when the bike starts feeling squirmy, that's normal on loose surfaces.
 

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Very seldom if ever will you run into gravel in a left corner...not saying its impossible but very unlikely, unless some gravel hauler dumped some. Right hand corners gravel gets kicked up from car and trailer tires running off the tarmac and onto the gravel. If you use a late apex in a right corner you go deeper into the corner, giving you better visibility of road condition and less likely to be caught off guard. Unless you are railing at track speeds, which you really shouldnt be while on a road, things may get a bit squirrely for a moment...but unless the amount of gravel or sand is excessive and you are not at an extreme lean angle, you will likely be just fine. Always ride within your limits and comfort zone...the more saddle time you get the more your comfort zone will expand.

As some of the others have mentioned...do a track day if you can! Not a free for all but one with instruction. You will learn in one day things that some riders never learn! And its a blast!
 

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Keep your eyes moving, side to side, far ahead to near. You don't want to fixate, that's when bad things happen. The more you 'see', the less likely something will surprise you. The more you 'see' the more it will slow down what is happening in front of you. Much of riding is in your eyes and where they are looking. It takes training, the more you train your eyes, the more you'll trust.

Another thing to consider is to always stay relaxed and loose. If you tighten up, you will wind up making inadvertent inputs whether it's through the handlebars or the pegs or even pressure on the side of the tank.
 

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Righto, as a new rider you need to ease up on yourself. Its still a new skill and you are getting overloaded.

So I would highly recommend a MSF course or the likes if you can find one locally.

Oldschlpunk above is on it, try to look as far as you can see then move your eye's back. The more you see, the more you know and it all slows down.

On the mental side as you enter a turn, say out loud "relax". Do this over and over. This will help stop your subconscious from screaming at you. The more you relax, the more the bike and you will calm down.
 

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i'm 63 and live on a gravel sand road. Pulling out onto the pavement on my 1 month old MT 10, i gassed it too hard and spun the rear loose and the rear started to wash. Traction control kicked in and bike over corrected and I highsided. Fractured a rib and scraped up the side pretty good. My fault....too aggressive. Cost me $500 in parts. Bike looks like brand again. It's 2 months later and my rib still hurts but I was back on the bike within a week. I put on about 2000 miles since. You ride, you fall, you get up, you keep riding. Motorcycles can be dangerous. Reconcile yourself to it or go back to your non motorcycle life.
 

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Fear of sand/gravel whilst on a motorcycle is sane and the sign of a smart rider. Ride at the pace you feel comfortable at. If someone is behind you, wave them around. Over time your confidence level will increase and you will have avoided a needless accident.

As a young rider on my new '72 XS650, I was on a road near the shore of Lake Michigan. My girlfriend was on the back when I came upon a 90 degree left that was drifted with sand. The rear tire broke loose but somehow I managed to keep it upright. I've been cautious with sandy corners ever since.
 

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With time you will get better at "reading the road". When in doubt slow down! If you have a particularly challenging fun stretch of twisties do a slow pass scouting run then you will know the road condition for your second pass. As others have said grabbing a bunch of brakes when on slippery stuff is a big no no.
 

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I used to be afraid of gravel, and then SliderR1 called me a millennial and said I was soft, and now I just try to find a clean line through it and keep the throttle steady.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I appreciate everyone taking some time to help me out. There isnt any tracks in my area. It was my first experience with curvy 55 mph riding, but plan on doing it atleast once a day to hopefully get the jitters out. Mayne after a couple weeks I'll learn to relax. Thx all
 

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I always think if you can count the gravel, ride through. If more than that, get vertical as much as possible, ride through.

Agreed, stay calm
 
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