If you like to do it in the dirt, try this - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-13-2006, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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If you like to do it in the dirt, try this

Do you like off-pavement challenges? I have been doing a number of longer off-pavement rides this season since I got my V-Strom 650 in April. I have no dirt bike experience and donít have a skid plate so Iím not doing any single track dirt bike stuff but there are lots of very scenic dirt roads and some unmaintained roads around south central Ontario that are within the capabilities of V-Strom street riders on the TrailWings.

Some of the nice ones include Lines 3 or 4 running north out of Hockley Valley and also around the Forks of the Credit (i.e. Creditview, Grange, etc.). For a bigger challenge there are some unmaintained roads leading into or out of the Pine River Valley south of Creemore such as Sideroad 15 leading to the 2nd Line. For sure you will want to have engine guards and hand guards just in case you drop your bike on the loose stuff. Itís best to do these roads with a buddy in case you have a problem because they tend to be very low traffic roads. If you fall and canít get up, you could be there for a very long time before someone comes along! :cry:

One that I really enjoyed last week is called the Swift Rapids road which leads north up to the Swift Rapids Lock 43 on the Severn River. This road is about 15 kms long and I had to do over half of it in first gear. You can find it on a detailed South Central Ontario Backroads Map. The start of it can be found by drawing a line from Coldwater on Hwy. 12 over to Port Stanton on Sparrow Lake. About halfway in between is the hamlet of Burnside. The road leading north at this point is called Carlyon Line but soon becomes the Swift Rapids Road. From Hwy 400 take exit 136, go along Stage Coach Road, pick up Foxmead Road over to Carlyon then turn left at the intersection of Foxmead and Carlyon. The first few kilometers are pretty smooth. After you pass Jermey Road, you will reach a ďstaging areaĒ for ATVs and dirt bikes. From here the road is unmaintained. It narrows to a single lane and twists and turns for about 10 kms through bush, scenic swampy areas, and ponds. There are a few single lane bridges over the swampy bits. The key thing about the road is that it is filled with about a half million pot holes big enough to swallow your front wheel. A car would be at serious risk of ripping out the underside here. I did catch up to a car trying to go up this road. The driver indicated that he was heading to the end of it, but after I passed him, I never saw him again. I assume he gave up and turned around. There is no other way out but to go back.

The day I did it was just after a heavy rain. Thus every pot hole (millions of Ďem!), were filled with muddy water. The challenge was to find the correct line through them on the high spots so I didnít drop down into them. Sometimes the low areas of the road were almost completely covered in water, but there was always a couple inches of room at the edge to skirt around without getting right into the water. I was impressed with the bikeís ability to hold a line on the combination of mud and stones around the sloped edges of these pot holes. More challenging for me is the steep little downhill pitches where the ďroadĒ is all torn up with deep ruts and loose rocks and stones from the ATVís and 4x4s. But I only had to stop the bike once to walk down a hill to find an appropriate line. If you go when it has not rained for a few days, you will probably make better time and be able go right through a lot of the bigger pot holes.

The big pay off is at the end of this road. There is a locked gate at the end about a half km from the lock where youíll have to leave the bike and walk in. I wonít spoil the surprise but the lock itself is the biggest on the Severn River and the view from the top of it is spectacular. I was lucky to see a beautiful Cruisers 415 power yacht go through the lock when I was there. Take your camera.

The ability to do these roads on the virtually stock V-Strom really highlights its great versatility. If you are thinking about getting a V-Strom in hopes of doing some off-pavement riding, I think you will be very pleased with this bikeís ability. Of course you do have to go slower than you would on a true dual sport, but with patience and persistence you can go to a lot places that they can and lot of places that cruisers canít.
I would post pictures if I had a digital camera but I donít. Thatís definitely on the list for next season!

2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 (My newest - boosted to 688 cc)
2005 Blue DL650 (sold with regret - hurt the knees)
2007 Boulevard C50 (Wife's bike)

If your nose is close to the grindstone and you hold it here long enough, in time youíll say thereís no such thing as brooks that babble and birds that sing. These three will all your world compose: just you, the stone, and your poor old nose.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-14-2006, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for posting your routes Throttlehound. I spent allot of time riding my little Xl250 along some of those roads several years ago. You are ideally located for some great riding.

I can relate to the riding by yourself point. I recently went for a ride through Limerick forest south of Ottawa and got stuck in a mud hole that went right up to the bottom of the seat. It wasn't that deep going through the other way . I spent about an hour trying to pull the bike out but 415 lb of bike buried in mud gets a little heavy. Fortunately someone came by on their dirt bike and helped pull me out. I ended up breaking off my shift lever trying to pull it to the shallow spots. I also wrecked one of the oil seals but it is all back together now.

This weekend I'm heading up to the Bancroft area to do some dirt road/double track riding. I'm going with my buddy with his quad. I will slow down on the roads and he will have to wait for me on the trails but it is always nice to have someone who can help push when I get stuck. The best part is he brings all the camping stuff so my little Strom doesn't have to get too loaded down for the trip there.

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-14-2006, 12:41 PM
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Great - thanks for the post! I've been trying to organize and "off road" ride with another stromer here in Toronto and we were wondering where to go. We were tempted by all the dirt roads around the 507 recently....
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-14-2006, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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No problem farmerjoe. Another interesting ride is to start at Terra Cotta north of Georgetown and try to follow the Bruce Trail as closely as possible using both dirt and paved roads all the way up to Collingwood. I have done this a couple of times and you will have options along the way to do the graded dirt roads or the hairy unmaintained roads where only the dirt bikers and ATVs dare to go. :shock:

2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 (My newest - boosted to 688 cc)
2005 Blue DL650 (sold with regret - hurt the knees)
2007 Boulevard C50 (Wife's bike)

If your nose is close to the grindstone and you hold it here long enough, in time youíll say thereís no such thing as brooks that babble and birds that sing. These three will all your world compose: just you, the stone, and your poor old nose.
Inscription on a 200-year old gravestone.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-14-2006, 11:50 PM
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Hi Throttlehound!

By any chance do you have a GPS and if so did you save the tracks? If you have I sure would appreciate it if you can email them to me.

Thanks,

Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 195,000+ km, 121,000 miles.

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-15-2006, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-Tom
Hi Throttlehound!

By any chance do you have a GPS and if so did you save the tracks? If you have I sure would appreciate it if you can email them to me.

Thanks,

Tom
Sorry V-Tom, no GPS. I prefer to get confused, miss my turn, then stop the bike, pull out the map and try to figure out where I am and how to get back on my route. It's more fun that way. :lol:

2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 (My newest - boosted to 688 cc)
2005 Blue DL650 (sold with regret - hurt the knees)
2007 Boulevard C50 (Wife's bike)

If your nose is close to the grindstone and you hold it here long enough, in time youíll say thereís no such thing as brooks that babble and birds that sing. These three will all your world compose: just you, the stone, and your poor old nose.
Inscription on a 200-year old gravestone.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 01:57 AM
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ThrottleHound, I'm with you. If I get lost I pull out the map. If I am really lost the map is kindling for a fire come dark.

05 / 650 in blue
88 / KDX 200 in green
81/82 DT 175 Yamahussies
79/SP 370 Suzuki-bad bike-no keep
78/ GT 750 water pumper
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water warrior
ThrottleHound, I'm with you. If I get lost I pull out the map. If I am really lost the map is kindling for a fire come dark.
That's funny water warrior. The truth is I only have ventured farther than 1 day's ride on the bike just once. I have done about 40,000 km of day riding in the past 4 years so it is pretty hard for me to truly get lost on a ride in Ontario. I have made a point of always trying to go on a different route/road every time I ride so I think I have been on every paved road in South Central Ontario and beyond. Now that I'm getting old (52), I also think it helps my brain if I try to memorize my routes rather than rely on a machine to help me. Plus I'm cheap and I usually need the break anyway by the time I miss a turn and need to consult the map.

2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 (My newest - boosted to 688 cc)
2005 Blue DL650 (sold with regret - hurt the knees)
2007 Boulevard C50 (Wife's bike)

If your nose is close to the grindstone and you hold it here long enough, in time youíll say thereís no such thing as brooks that babble and birds that sing. These three will all your world compose: just you, the stone, and your poor old nose.
Inscription on a 200-year old gravestone.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 11:12 PM
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Throttlehound, maps are also good cause they don't need batteries and don't have buttons on them. As for starting a fire I am a complete failure in that category, even gas and a match won't work for me. Although I have been known to start a fire accidentally on occasion. I do want to do more day trips around here and then venture out for LD rides. I finished my first LD ride a couple weeks ago and gained a tremendous amount of confidence in the bike's ability to go for hours nonstop with nary a hiccup. Because of my location I will probably do more overniters to see more of BC and Washington in the future. I would really love to ride down to New Mexico in the future too.

05 / 650 in blue
88 / KDX 200 in green
81/82 DT 175 Yamahussies
79/SP 370 Suzuki-bad bike-no keep
78/ GT 750 water pumper
75/Suzuki 125 RV
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-23-2006, 02:12 PM
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I've done a decent amount of gravel riding on my 1k, and it really has impressed me. Anyone with a Strom who hasn't gone off the pavement really should give it a try; it's an absolute blast!
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