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Old 09-21-2015, 10:31 PM   #1
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gravel road cornering

hello im new to the focus and have a mostly stock 03 zx3. i love going out for a spirited drive on back roads. i was just wondering on average if you are entering a corner on a gravel road and the sign says 20,30 or 40 kph. Is there a general rule for speed you can usually enter the corner over that? any feed back or stories would be cool thanks.


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Old 09-26-2015, 05:45 PM   #2
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Missed this fun question when posted.

No experience in your locale, but I've learned over time that those signs are fairly consistent within their area of local authority - that means that whatever road authority installed them can be trusted to certain extent to use them in a consistent manner.

So, knowing what areas/road types have different authorities lets you know what to expect.

As a result, you need local info/personal experience to have a good idea what each sign is likely to signify.

Here in the States, most corner signs are about half speed for serious cornering with a car while "10 over" in MPH works for any vehicle. But as noted, there are states where the posted speed is really a max. for general vehicle safety and you can't push it over by much without a clear road and a good car.

So, learn who posts what type of roads then practice to see what rule fits with the car. The signs are still good for a hint, just know how much faster leaves you a margin for variations.
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:09 AM   #3
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one of the biggest things for cornering speed on loose roads (gravel, snow, etc) will be tires. without knowing your tires, i couldn't recommend crazy speeds.

Sailor is right though, the signs are meant for all vehicles, RV,s trucks, etc, so cars can generally take them a bit faster.

1 piece of advice, don't drive faster than you can see. Don't cut blind corners, and don't commit too hard to a corner if you cant see the exit, all it would take is 1 decreasing radius at too high speed and you will quickly run out of road and head down a ditch (or worse).
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:50 AM   #4
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Don't go by signs. Ever. You do NOT know the road surface and how much loose material is there. I've been on gravel roads that might as well have been paved, and gravel roads that felt like driving through a playground with those pebble pits.

Go as fast as your skills and equipment will allow. If you're not sure, start slow and work up to a faster pace.

Also remember that these are public roads and as such other vehicles will be present. Don't hurt anyone else in your quest to go fast.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenorm View Post
one of the biggest things for cornering speed on loose roads (gravel, snow, etc) will be tires. without knowing your tires, i couldn't recommend crazy speeds.

Sailor is right though, the signs are meant for all vehicles, RV,s trucks, etc, so cars can generally take them a bit faster.

1 piece of advice, don't drive faster than you can see. Don't cut blind corners, and don't commit too hard to a corner if you cant see the exit, all it would take is 1 decreasing radius at too high speed and you will quickly run out of road and head down a ditch (or worse).
Some great hints from thenorm & JoeyWhat.


"Slow in & Fast Out" is good for any unknown road, particularly gravel when the surface is constantly changing.

Dive in slower then you think you could, then as you see/feel conditions and the corner exit you can speed it up as you complete the turn & exit it.
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Old 09-27-2015, 03:13 PM   #6
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Also remember that while summer tires are fantastic on pavement, they suck on gravel (especially if there's any precipitation on the ground). You will find that summer tires will offer little grip on any loose surface, and a major issue is that they will grip OK on packed dirt but once you hit gravel it'll be like hitting ice. You must know your equipment and the road conditions well when pushing your vehicle.
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