“Suddenly, my rear wheel began a slight fishtail in the loose gravel road and I calmly increased the throttle in response. Past experiences had always quickly straightened out, but today the oscillations rapidly moved to the handlebars.
Committed to the acceleration strategy, the handlebars violently shook back and forth and I continued to roll on the throttle…”
Many “experienced” riders offer one tip for riding in loose surface conditions: “Add more throttle”.
I can assure you that you were victim to the ‘helpful’ tips of partial myths and half-truths perpetuated by the riding community.
The half-truth is… adding throttle can be true within two specific elements:
1. Adding throttle can lighten the front end of the motorcycle, allowing the front wheel to climb out of the soft stuff and get on top.
2. Adding throttle increases speed and gyroscopic progression that, in turn, increases self-corrective forces along with rake and trail.
The issue with adding throttle as a single response doesn’t take into considerations the specifics of your situation. For the sake of simplicity, I will identify three of the most significant considerations:
The element of momentum and getting the front tire on top of the surface is correct; what was lacking was the knowledge of how to do this without adding speed.
Although there may be many situations where adding throttle will work, not understanding the full dynamics of the situation may cause things to go badly very quickly.