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  1. #1
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    Default Will gravel road harm the tires?

    Good evening all. New user here.

    I have a question. Will the tires suffer damage from being driven, very slowly, on a gravel driveway? Before you answer, the gravel driveway is 1.3 miles one way (Texas is a big place...)

    Opinions?

    Much obliged,

    Joe

  2. #2
    Very Active Member JayBros's Avatar
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    No. Check Spyderpops web site and order a missing belt guard. It protects the belt from gravel being kicked up into the belt from the right side. Simple installation.
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  3. #3
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    I live on a gravel road and Ive had no problem with my Spyder RT

    Ride safe!

  4. #4
    Very Active Member spacetiger's Avatar
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    Marvin,

    I think you meant, you have not experienced this problem yet. When the rock-in-the-rear-drive happens, its expensive to fix. After paying to fix it, you will also then buy the protective cover JayBros references in his post because you do not want it to happen again..

    Or, you can just get the protective cover now, and be $$'s ahead not having to replace the rear drive (and possibly the belt).

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  5. #5
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    Spyderpops Missing Belt Guard - Check.

    I should have mentioned, I have a 2015 F3S (bought new, it was a leftover). The site looks like there are guards for 2008-2014 "all models" and one for 2016 and up. Which one should I choose?

    Thanks for the replies!

    Joe

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeA View Post
    Spyderpops Missing Belt Guard - Check.

    I should have mentioned, I have a 2015 F3S (bought new, it was a leftover). The site looks like there are guards for 2008-2014 "all models" and one for 2016 and up. Which one should I choose?

    Thanks for the replies!

    Joe

    What model F3 do you have

  7. #7
    Very Active Member billybovine's Avatar
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    Certainly gravel can damage the belt. But I don't really worry about it. Out of the 23,500 members on this board maybe 4 or 5 a year will post that have had a problem. I likely put a 100 miles a year or more on gravel. I don't try and dry slow. Never had a problem. That said if you think that an extra belt guard would be a good idea. Spyderpops is a great vendor. Now what to avoid at all cost is fresh tar and chip coating. Small stones with glue on them is deadly for the belt.

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  8. #8
    Consumer Advocate akspyderman's Avatar
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    With 1.3 miles of gravel each way, you are probably a good candidate for the belt guard. A new drive belt will cost you $350 installed, plus tow. I have replaced two. Both gravel roads, one was my forty foot driveway.

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  9. #9
    Very Active Member Chupaca's Avatar
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    Default There you have it....

    No problem for the tires....now the belt is another story... but then it depends on the road ...
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  10. #10
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    Default F3 Belt Guard

    I don't see a belt guard listed for the F3 at Spyderpops.

  11. #11
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    Default Depends!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeA View Post
    Good evening all. New user here.

    I have a question. Will the tires suffer damage from being driven, very slowly, on a gravel driveway? Before you answer, the gravel driveway is 1.3 miles one way (Texas is a big place...)

    Opinions?

    Much obliged,

    Joe
    I regularly ride on gravel roads here in Oregon, county and National Forest and have not had a problem yet! Last weekend did over 100 miles on gravel, I keep the rear wheel in the track and avoid spinning the tire. I often shift as far to the rear as possible to place more weight on the rear tire. Certainly sharp gravel will wear the tires faster than a smooth road surface. As others have said avoid fresh sticky tar (chip seal) as the stones may stick to the belt. Pea gravel is more prone to being picked up by the rear tire, but large gravel not so likely. Kind of like being hit by lightning, might go your whole life without being struck. If it happens with the gravel on the belt then it will be expensive. I had a belt guard on my 2008 GS and wiped it out with a stick that didn't go through the belt and sprocket. Life's a gamble!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybovine View Post
    ..... I likely put a 100 miles a year or more on gravel. I don't try and dry slow. Never had a problem. .....
    Gravel roads won't 'hurt' the tires any more than the tiny amount of 'extra wear' the rougher surfaces will bring... but I'll update what billy posted above from my experience - and I really don't try to drive slow!!

    My version: I likely put 2500 miles a year or more on gravel. I don't try and drive slow. Never had a problem.

    I should also say that I never actively avoid gravel roads, but if I ride on them for any significant distance during any day's riding, I do tend to check the belt once I stop riding for the day. I don't have an extra belt guard either, but I do try to avoid spinning the rear tire needlessly or drifting the Spyder thru the corners sideways too often on the gravel - hard as it may be to avoid the temptation, I only rarely succumb!

  13. #13
    Very Active Member JayBros's Avatar
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    Didn't see an F3 belt guard on Harvey's site either. Give him a call; he's super responsive.
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  14. #14
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    Thanks so much for the replies. Now I feel a lot better about the road.

    Just for added insurance, I'll send Spyderpops an email and see what he says.

    Thanks again,

    Joe

  15. #15
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    Default

    Just heard back from Spyderpops, they don't have a belt guard for the 2015 F3S.

    Oh well, I'll Use The Force until someone comes out with one for my model.

    Thanks again.

  16. #16
    Very Active Member murphybrown's Avatar
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    Default I live on gravel road

    Never an issue BUT I have Spyderpops gravel guard installed and I drive very slowly in and out....
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  17. #17
    Active Member Hey Yu's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeA View Post
    Good evening all. New user here.

    I have a question. Will the tires suffer damage from being driven, very slowly, on a gravel driveway? Before you answer, the gravel driveway is 1.3 miles one way (Texas is a big place...)

    Opinions?

    Much obliged,

    Joe
    The damage to the tires on the Spyder will be no different to the damage to the tires on the car/truck you drive on the same driveway. Tires are damaged by use, it is commonly called wear!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeA View Post
    ....Oh well, I'll Use The Force until someone comes out with one for my model...
    When it all boils down Joe, if you aren't fanging it up & down your driveway all the time, you probably stand no more chance of causing a belt or tire issue on your Spyder due to the gravel on the driveway than you do from 'normal' road use!!

    In fact, by ryding gently & trying not to spin the drive tire or slide the steer tires as you go up & down your driveway, you probably stand somewhat less chance of copping belt or tire damage than every single ryder in Aust faces pretty much every time they ryde anywhere outside the CBD's of our big cities!! And there's a whole lot of us here who do tens of thousands of miles annually on our 'non city' roads; many of us daily driving/ryding on roads that barely qualify as being called 'sealed', but we rarely hear of or experience belt or tire issues!! I often wonder how many have actually ever had any belt issues?!? (maybe someone should do a poll? Interested PMK?)

    Yes, there's a chance of something bad happening whenever you ride... in your case, maybe a very slightly higher chance of belt damage than for those ryders who never leave the blacktop; but realistically, you probably stand significantly more chance of falling over & breaking something while climbing on/off your Spyder than you do of damaging a tire or belt thru ryding carefully on the gravel driveway! Sure, it won't hurt you to minimise the risk by taking care, keeping your tires at appropriate pressures (going too high increases the risk of puncture exponentially, while going too low risks sidewall damage) &/or maybe even making up a belt guard yourself - but seriously, the best thing you could do for yourself is:

    Ride More & Worry Less!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chupaca View Post
    No problem for the tires....now the belt is another story... but then it depends on the road ...
    I sustained some belt damage somehow, and if you check an earlier post from me, my dealer wanted to replace the belt and both sprockets.. SFSG, with the "damaged drive system" but I will have the belt replaced eventually. Just keeping an eye on the belt, but IMHO they are built to take some road abuse, and live!

  20. #20
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    All good advice. I appreciate your experience on the matter, I also had no idea how the roads are in your country!

    Yes, I worry a lot. When we moved out here, I had to give up sport bikes due to the road. Those soft compound tires would not stand up to the abuse of the gravel road.
    The salesman said the tires would not suffer on the gravel road like sport bike tires, but I always take what a salesman says with a grain of salt...

    The Spyder will allow me to continue to enjoy motorcycling, which of course I love. I just don't want to tear up my new toy

    Thanks again,

    Joe




    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Aawen View Post
    When it all boils down Joe, if you aren't fanging it up & down your driveway all the time, you probably stand no more chance of causing a belt or tire issue on your Spyder due to the gravel on the driveway than you do from 'normal' road use!!

    In fact, by ryding gently & trying not to spin the drive tire or slide the steer tires as you go up & down your driveway, you probably stand somewhat less chance of copping belt or tire damage than every single ryder in Aust faces pretty much every time they ryde anywhere outside the CBD's of our big cities!! And there's a whole lot of us here who do tens of thousands of miles annually on our 'non city' roads; many of us daily driving/ryding on roads that barely qualify as being called 'sealed', but we rarely hear of or experience belt or tire issues!! I often wonder how many have actually ever had any belt issues?!? (maybe someone should do a poll? Interested PMK?)

    Yes, there's a chance of something bad happening whenever you ride... in your case, maybe a very slightly higher chance of belt damage than for those ryders who never leave the blacktop; but realistically, you probably stand significantly more chance of falling over & breaking something while climbing on/off your Spyder than you do of damaging a tire or belt thru ryding carefully on the gravel driveway! Sure, it won't hurt you to minimise the risk by taking care, keeping your tires at appropriate pressures (going too high increases the risk of puncture exponentially, while going too low risks sidewall damage) &/or maybe even making up a belt guard yourself - but seriously, the best thing you could do for yourself is:

    Ride More & Worry Less!

  21. #21
    Active Member hillbillywhisperer's Avatar
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    Default

    Moral of this thread...get the guard. It's cheap insurance.

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