Off-road Questions.... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sykesville, MD
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Off-road Questions....

I know on "dirt bikes" you can really push them and they tend to bounce right back darting over ruts in dirt, trudging through mud, etc. This is my first "dual sport" and although it's not ment for jumping, and real hardcore off road stuff, I know it's capable going in the dirt and pretty decent stuff at that (I've seen the pics and vids too). So this brings me to some questions about the vee and doing offroad stuff.

Without modifications - what is the most you would recommend putting your v through? Meaning, not upgrading the shocks, using stock tires, etc. I've got engine guards and intend on the skidplate here soon as well. Had thought bout getting clear lenses for the current stock turn signals, but am most likely going to get shorter signals altogether so I don't have to worry bout breaking the current ones. Just cutting out that step before it happens.

When you talk about riding dirt paths with a vee, is this dirt with large rocky bumps along the way, or just smoothed dirt trails, fire roads and gravel stuff?

How much abuse do you think the cast tire really can take? (we've got railroads near by with paths through the large rocks by the'll hit an occasional large rock, bad idea?)

Generally speaking...about what do you average on technical trails speed wise? Same question but for less technical trails?

Would you / have you stream crossed a vee? Seek it out for fun? Good idea? Bad Idea? Wouldn't do it unless you really had to? No way?

What do you usually set your preload and damper settings at for offroad?

I ask some of this because I've found myself spotting trails on the way to and from work non-stop and the "want" to go back on them is growing intensely. I just got my wee though and don't want to kill it for obvious reasons. Have already taken it back on some of the trails for really short jaunts, and the bike handles great, but some of the stuff is pretty rough and technical so I haven't really hit over 10mph. Plus the fact that I'm probably more scared of bending or breaking a cast wheel then I am worried about dropping it.

Any and all advise is greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 11:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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A dirt bike it is not!

It is a street bike with a skosh more suspension travel and clearance then a typical street ride. If you take it on a dirt path that has any signs of a damp, muddy surface with stock tires, be prepared for the front end to wash out on you.

The bottom line is, any bike is only as capable as its pilot.

That said, ride the bike, ease it into the dirt, Learn what your own personal limitations are on the Strom as compared to riding your dirt ride. And most importantly, when your gut feeling tells you not to go, then don't.

Good luck and enjoy the ride.

Last edited by yz2klr; 04-12-2008 at 11:30 PM.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by yz2klr View Post
That said, ride the bike, ease it into the dirt, Learn what your own personal limitations are on the Strom as compared to riding your dirt ride. And most importantly, when your gut feeling tells you not to go, then don't.
+1000 to that bit of advice.

The two times that I have gotten myself into trouble, I knew I shouldn't do it and I tried anyways. Last screw up....took me over an hour to dig the bike out of the snow and mud and get it back up on the fire road.

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post #4 of 19 Old 04-13-2008, 12:37 AM
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The Wee is no DRZ

I have a DRZ400S and bought a Wee so I could go farther.

The Wee is a big bike. Any tire that you would like on the road probably is NOT going to work well in mud or sand. The stock tire is a slick in mud or sand.

That said, I've found the Wee to be very light feeling when you're up on the pegs and moving around. The suspension will handle rough dirt roads OK, but I think crossing a rail road track would prove too much. The Wee has a long wheelbase and a heavy front end that is not easy to lighten with just a throttle twist.

I've found that getting up on the pegs and keeping the revs up near 6k makes it feel better. That means you're moving along at a good clip. A known dirt road should provide enough room for that kind of speed in the lower gears. But a tight woods trail probably would not allow you to carry enough speed.

The Strom is a great adventure tourer. That means it can be comfortably ridden just beyond where a car could go. My DRZ is much more capable offroad, it's just to darn uncomfortable to ride to anything much more than an hours ride on the road. A number of times I've take the Strom down a dirt road beyond where car traffic dares, only to chicken out at the first mud-hole. If it was located close enough to home I return on the DRZ to fully explore it.

IMHO the Wee is perfect for a touring trip to Meat Cove on the Norther tip of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. It's comfortable enough to drive a couple thousand miles of paved road needed to get there, as well as the 17 miles of dirt to get to the end.

The prior posts contain sage advice. Do what feels comfortable, and work your way up to more difficult terrain. I've seen pictures of Strom's in places they probably shouldn't have been, and many of the riders would probably say the same thing.

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post #5 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 08:39 AM
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Wheels and tires

The cast wheels are probably as durable as most spoke rims, but street tires lack the sidewall stiffness and thickness to protect the rims in the event of a hard sharp-edged impact. Lowering the tire pressure, as some do to enhance traction, only makes it worse. I consider myself a better than average dirt bike rider and I don't consider any bike over 400 pounds to be a dirt bike, especially if it doesn't have full knobby tires. I've had my Vee on dirt and gravel roads, and up a few cow trails. But circumstances that would be no challenge on a real dirt bike, such as deep ruts, steep hills, fallen trees, and rocks are problematic at best for a Vee. Of course, your mileage may vary. But whenever I went dirt-biking, I could count on going down a couple of times. I'm not sure I could get a Vee up by myself in mud or on the side of a hill, even assuming it didn't land on me.
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post #6 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 10:02 AM
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I had my Vee off road -some logging roads - no mud that I couldn't avoid mostly. My impressions (and I have been on these same roads with a KLR-650 doing 40-50 mph). The Vee doesn't have nearly enough suspension 10-20mph was about max for limited stretches, too much breakable plastic, and a bit too porky overall. The other thing is the torque will break away the stock rear tire in NY minute, on dry dirt and gravel embedded dirt.

It does handle well crawling along picking your way while standing on the pegs. But I suspect like everyone has said already - putting it near mud would be a big mistake without some real tires or a winch.

It's a wonderful road/gravel road bike though.


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post #7 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 10:25 AM
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I spent a few days in Baja following a 1150 gs and a 950 Adventure, we went off road, for 2 days, I was able to follow them wherever they went, I had stock tires, stock suspension and sw motech centerstand. The centerstand hit on everything, now Suzuiki doesn't hit ever. Stock suspension compressed too much, now Sonic springs, gold valves and Wilbers shock, like a different bike rarely hits. Stock tires ok, now either Tourance or TKC's (two sets of rims) much better. Whatever you do get a skid plate, the oil cooler lines are vulnerable.
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 11:41 AM
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This bike is designed, at most, for fire trails, dirt roads, and hard packed dirt. And on those surfaces, it is great. Slowly checking out wide trails that are well packed are fun, too. With more agressive tires, it is even better.

Throw it in the sand, tight singletrack, or mud, and you will have a smashed up, dropped, filthy road bike on your hands.

I ride a YZ450F when I wander off road. The speeds, obstacles, ruts, logs, jumps, whoops, that a true dirt bike can take would make the V-Strom look like a jet plane trying to cruise an aisle in Wal Mart.

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post #9 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 05:25 PM
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Fun Stuff !!!
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by maxrates View Post
Fun Stuff !!!

I hope you don't consider that "off road"

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