Dual Sport, Really? - 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 47 Old 06-04-2010, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Dual Sport, Really?

You know, I've been wondering as of late something about these bikes, vee or wee. Seems to me the only thing that makes this "dual sport" classification for the bike is two things. The tires and ground clearance. I've read numerous times how it bottoms out most of the time on trails, etc..., and how many people have to redo their fork springs and rear shocks for it to be acceptable. Persons also do this for the asphalt. To me, yes, I know this has been mentioned numerous times, the stock tires stink for traction. They're slippery in the rain and worse on gravel. I know some will say lower the tire pressure for gravel (it's at the recommended pressure now) but I never had to do that with other bikes. Plus I don't want to stop the bike, lower the pressure for the occasional gravel road, then stop the bike and air the tires back up. I've had regular street bikes, with street tires that work better for both situations.

Seems to me that what's wrong with the tires in the rain is the tread. Most street tires have a direct way for the water to slip through so the actual tire touches the road more. These stock tires have the big flat spots right in the middle, of course, so, to me, the tires "ride" on the water instead. As for the suspension, as it's been said before, it's really set up for the street, not heavy trail riding. Guess if I wanted to jump, go through mud, etc..., I'd buy a real dual purpose bike for that. I'm not into spending hundreds, or thousands, to make this bike something it's not.

Having said all that I do love the wee. The primary reason I purchased one was for the upright seating position (because it wasn't looks, but it grows on you) and recommendations from browsing this site beforehand.

Oh ya, the third thing that might make this classification a dual sport would be marketing.

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post #2 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 12:06 PM
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The only thing, IMHO, that makes these bikes "dual sport" is the owners. Having said that, I don't think there is a bike on the market that is perfect for all people in any one let alone two sports. Add to that the fact that people do like to farkle, and you are going to see lots of talk of modding bikes on forums.

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post #3 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 12:18 PM
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I see where you are coming from. I've always thought of the bike as a brilliant allrounder. It tours, goes off road, commutes, and is great just blasting around the twisties. I use mine all the time every day wet or dry, rain or snow. But there are better tourers, better off roaders, and commuters, and sportsbikes to blast around corners on etc etc. In truth, in standard form going off road should be a not too vigorous experience...as it isn't it's primary roll in life. But all the same it's a useful tool. You can alter the tires for wet roads to something with a bit more wet grip. Personally I haven't had any problems with the standard Trailwings...and I ride pretty hard. Worth a go!

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post #4 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 12:25 PM
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19" - ergo's

The strom has about 6 inches of wheel travel. A typical street-specific motorcycle has 4-5, so that's not a lot of difference. Plus, our stock suspension is not particularly plush or high quality. So an extra inch of travel does not a DS make... BMW Gs's have about 8. New Duc Multi has more than us; 7. Lets not even get started talking about the Katoooms - say what you want about them, but they have Sweeet suspension.

The strom doesn't have a lot of ground clearance either, and no frame downtube to rigidly mount a skidplate to. When you mount a skidplate on a strom, it gets mounted on the engine case- not ideal. We also get an oil cooler mounted in maybe the most vulnerable location imaginable for getting smacked. Hmmm...strike two.

The tires, while officially adventure touring tires, don't really do that good offroad. I submit that you wouldn't be giving up much by using a street tire offroad, and airing it down to the mid 20's. Durability might be suspect - DS tires are beefier. But traction? Probably not much difference.

So what makes it an Adventure touring bike? I think two things in particular:

The first is that it has a 19" front wheel. The ducati Multistrada, Kaw Versys, (new)Tiger ARE NOT adv. bikes in my opinion because they have a 17" front wheel. Can they gravel travel as well as a Strom when all bikes are equiped in stock clothing? Probably - right up to the point where you mount a set of Shinko 705's, TKC80's, or Heidy K60's on the Strom (which they can't) and then there's no contest - the performance in the dirt takes a quantum leap. So wheel size and resulting tire selection is a big part of it.

The other thing is that the ergo's of the strom are set up so that a rider can STAND UP!
Off road, this is a big deal. When I ride my Wee on FS roads, I spend at least 50% if my time standing. It's good for visibility, it's comfortable, it helps with giving the suspension a hand through rough sections, and you can get your weight back so you can get the front end light through potholes, g-outs, and the like - it's a much more dynamic riding position than flat on your butt.


It's also why we deal with so much buffeting BS - the windshield is waaaay forward so that it's out of a standing riders way, which also makes our officespace more turbulent environment. But there is an entire thread dedicated to THAT subject.....

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Last edited by Spork Rider; 06-04-2010 at 04:07 PM. Reason: my spelling sucks!
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post #5 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 03:32 PM
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I recently bought a Yamaha WR250R. That bike is a true dual-sport. Coming off of that, my Wee, with a taller DL1000 seat, feels like a cruiser. I hate to think what a real cruiser feels like after riding a bike with 36" seat height. After a few miles on my commute, the V-Strom starts feeling perfect again, which it absolutely is for weekday commuting and 500-mile weekend touring. I've ridden my Wee on dirt roads, ATV trails, and sand washes. Now I own the WRR, get it? I'm not giving up the V-Strom though because it's such an all-rounder.

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post #6 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 04:13 PM
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A Kawaski KLR650 is a "dual-sport". Our Stroms are rock-solid street bikes suffering from a slight DS delusion of grandeur.

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post #7 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 04:28 PM
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True DS bikes I find uncomfortable and lack a lot of the items I like. I look at all bikes as a platform, that you tweak to make it yours. Change the suspension , add engine guards, skid plate beef up the suspension and tires and it is a decent DS. If you tour highway pegs , custom seat, lots of electronic farkles and a big screen ,suspension modified for the road and maybe ABS. I like it better than the way BMW does it. They make a lot of decisions for me a really high price point.
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post #8 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzzer View Post

Seems to me that what's wrong with the tires in the rain is the tread. Most street tires have a direct way for the water to slip through so the actual tire touches the road more. These stock tires have the big flat spots right in the middle, of course, so, to me, the tires "ride" on the water instead.
At the risk of threadjack: While tread does impact wet traction, the degree to which it does in a motorcycle tire is actually minimal. The round profile of a MC tire contact patch will keep it from hydroplaning much more than a car tire, and a lot of tread that creates small blocks will create extremely unwelcome "squirm" under cornering loads.

The thing that affects wet traction more than any other factor is rubber compound, and not neccessarily just "softer is better".

In GP racing the formulation of the rubber in the rain tires is very different than the dry, and chasing that perfect mix is important because the tire performance-good or bad- is magnified in the wet, and track conditions constantly change. We don't change tires with conditions, so ours have to be "master of nothing." As with anything, it's an excersize in compromises, the specific details of which is somewhat of a mystery to me.

I do know that when riding normally in wet weather, I don't even approach the traction limits of my tires - I don't have a clue where they are, and I'm just too chickenshit to find out. That being said, I am running Battlewings, and they seem to do OK in the wet, the caveat being the previous statement.

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[B][FONT=Tahoma][I]It doesn't stab worth a crap, and the milk dribbles out, but otherwise it works great...[/I][/FONT][/B][B][FONT=Tahoma] [/FONT][/B]
[FONT=Tahoma][B]-Drew[/B][/FONT]

Last edited by Spork Rider; 06-04-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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post #9 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 05:22 PM
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The degree to which it can be classified as "dual-sport" is not determined so much by the suspension, tires and ergonomics than by the operator.

For most folk, myself included, the V-Strom is a dual surface street bike.

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post #10 of 47 Old 06-04-2010, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honest bob View Post
The only thing, IMHO, that makes these bikes "dual sport" is the owners.
Yup! People take all kinds of bikes all kinds of places. Your bike is what you make it.

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