Off road riding - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL1000 from 2002-2012 DL1000 from 2002-2012 (K2-L2)

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post #1 of 28 Old 10-19-2019, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
Stillfree's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada
Posts: 37
Off road riding

Hi, I have been thinking of possibly doing more off road riding next season but I have read that the V-Strom isn't a true off road bike . Can I get an opinion from anyone on just how off road this 2008 V-Strom 1000 can be . I have been on some hard dirt roads and tight gravel roads but never on thick loose sand , dirt or gravel. I'm guessing I'd need extreme knobby tires for that.

a forward thanks to anyone for their input
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post #2 of 28 Old 10-19-2019, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Tires do make a difference. I just got a set of MotoZ Adventure that I need to mount up for grins.
The 805 Shinko really feels better than the 705 at least on pavement. Haven't had a chance to test in the loose stuff.
If you are going to go gonzo, tread up!
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post #3 of 28 Old 10-19-2019, 11:27 PM
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not having taken my vee on any soft, deep, loose surfaces, i'm not an authority per se. however, it is a beast. i sometimes struggle with my DR on soft sand and when i get home and look at the sheer massiveness of the vee, i simply discard any thought of taking it anywhere but hard-pack.

having said that, and with most bikes, there are experts that can do wonders with the big pig off-road. i guess after all is said and done, it's more about the pilot than the ship.
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post #4 of 28 Old 10-19-2019, 11:55 PM
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If you are not an ex dirt biker with plenty of experience I would be very careful about venturing further off road.
Hardpack roads with a little dirt and gravel are OK, but, any deep loose sand or gravel will quickly become a BIG challenge. The only way to tackle such areas is at speed with the power on and your weight back. Mud or wet clay are also difficult.
They are big heavy bikes.

Formed dirt roads are a challenge and an adventure. No tyre will make a DL1000 easy to ride over deep sand or gravel.
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post #5 of 28 Old 10-20-2019, 03:20 AM
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Have a look here.
The off road review starts at 5 min in. With at least 50/50 tires guys have told me they take it almost everywhere(and it looks it). But it is a heavy bike and if it ends up down a bank with handlebars on the downhill side recovery is difficult.
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post #6 of 28 Old 10-20-2019, 10:49 AM
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I don't do dirt often, except in my 4Runner, but hit some soft stuff in Anza Borrego State Park. there are a lot of metal sculptures located around the community of Borrego Springs. Access to those structures can often be in loose sand. The few approached had me standing on the pegs and looking well ahead and keeping up the speed in 2nd gear. That was on my G650GS which is 70 pounds lighter than the Wee. It wasn't really fun because I'm so out of practice at that sort of riding.
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post #7 of 28 Old 10-21-2019, 02:22 PM
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Location: Montreal, QC
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I would say generally if you are asking, it's fine for your skill level.

This is one of those topics that is just a minefield of opinion. Your vee is a capable offroad machine. It lacks a bit in ground clearance and suspension, it isn't a dirtbike, nor an Africa Twin or KTM, but it's probably fine for what you want to do. I just did the COBDR and most of the IDBDR on my 2003.

Sand, rocks, loose gravel, baby heads, water crossings, whatever, yes it's harder on a vee than an enduro or some of the other big adv bikes, but it is capable of doing it. Any big adventure bike is hard to ride real offroad, 19 inch front is harder than a 21 inch front in the sand and mud and rocks, smaller purpose built bikes are easier to ride around, easier to learn, less costly to dump.
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post #8 of 28 Old 10-21-2019, 06:16 PM
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Off-roading our Vstrom? Good question and some great responses: experience, tires, other upgrades will certainly make a solid difference off road, as well as knowing your own limitations as a rider and the limitations of your Vstrom. I agree with Vanislejay comment "it's harder on a Vee than an enduro or some of the other big adv bikes, but it is capable of doing it".

After two phases of on/off road upgrading this past year, I was pleasantly surprised recently by what my 650 took me over/through-- crazy intense off-road stuff I hadn't attempted up to that point (needed those Mitas e-07 tires btw!). That said, it also revealed some additional upgrades that will probably help make my future off-road journey's a little better, safer, and more fun. Lots of research/input from this excellent forum has helped greatly!

So my phase III ('going gonzo!) of additional off-road upgrades will hopefully get my bike ready to take on several Colorado mountain passes next year (ie: Cinnamon, Imogene, Engineer, Ophir, etc)--passes I have previously only taken on a rented CRF450, not my Vstrom. Plan is to practice more off-roading locally this winter, do the AZBDR in the Spring, and then off to Ouray, CO in July '20 for another adventure of a lifetime!

The dreams of bigger ADV trips makes this heart beat a little faster... Meet you at the top!
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post #9 of 28 Old 10-21-2019, 06:44 PM
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There is opinion and fact. I had a Strom, own a Tenere, and have an older XR400r (real dirt bike). For a dirt bike you need only 3 things. Power is NOT one of them. You need;

- light weight - the Strom and Tenere both suffer here
- ground clearance - the Strom suffers here
- good traction tires - you can put these on any bike

That's all. Nothing more, nothing less. Anything over 400 pounds (under 350 pounds is better) should best be considered an "all roads" bike. Sure, you could take a Strom (or Tenere) places you see some YouTube riders go, but be prepared to get hurt (either picking it up or crawling out from underneath it) and/or tear up your bike.

A Tenere is only marginally better than a Strom off-road and only because it is geared better, has better low speed manners, and about 2 more inches of ground clearance. I consider my Tenere (and the great Strom I loved) to be "all roads" bikes. The 400r is my dirt bike, pure and simple, and we both have the scars to prove it.
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post #10 of 28 Old 10-21-2019, 08:03 PM
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Location: Prescott, Wi. Upper Ms.River bluff country
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The VStrom will get you down a gravel township or forest trail road better than a cruiser or sport bike, and there are some incredible YouTubes of hill climbin', riverbed fishtailin' log hopin' stonking on a Wee, but for mere mortals like me I equate it to how my Ford Escape has some capabilities off road, but it ain't no Raptor. I do have a set of Mitas E-07+'s or Shinko 805's (edit: in mind for replacement tires). The stock Bridgestone Battlax's are an 80/20 tire: 80% for pavement riding 20% off pavement. Not much bite in the dirt. the other two are considered 50/50 tires, sacrificing some milage and outright road burning, for better bite in gravel and, up to a point, sand and grass.
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Last edited by Motorpsychology; 10-22-2019 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Clarification of intent
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