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.....
[FONT=Tahoma][B]07' DL650 [/B][/FONT]
[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]
Last edited by Spork Rider; 06-04-2010 at 04:07 PM.
Reason: my spelling sucks!