Ride it like a sportbike? Ride it like a dirtbike? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Ride it like a sportbike? Ride it like a dirtbike?

...Ride it like something in between?

Hi everybody, I'm new to the v-strom....just picked up a 2004 Vee a couple weeks ago, and I'm really enjoying the bike.

Having spent the last 10+ years on a sport bike though has me experimenting with riding style a little. On my sport bike I've always leaned into the turn essentially leading with my head and inside shoulder....sometimes hanging off, sometimes not, but always leaning my body into the turn.

I've only ever ridden a dirt bike a couple times but my understanding is with those your body stays more upright and you lean the bike underneath you.

Since hoping on the Vee, I've been mostly just staying straight up and down with the bike, but have been experimenting a bit the last few days with more of a dirt bike style, and it sure feels like the bike likes it although its completely unnatural for me.

So I'm kinda curious what do you guys do and why?

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post #2 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 10:02 AM
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I came from a cruiser to the Vee, so i am sticking with the more upright position. I like being able to stand on the pegs now to go over a bump or to adjust my seating position, that wasn't possible to do with my cruiser.

The bars on the Vee are just slightly forward, but not annoyingly so. I contemplated some pull back risers, but think i will just not bother with it.

My left hand does tend to ache after a while on the Vee, not sure if it's because the grip is smaller, or it's just in a perfect position to pinch a nerve someplace. I thought maybe it was the tension on the clutch, but after messing with it a bit that doesn't seem to be the problem.
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post #3 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 10:09 AM
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Well I do both lol. Blue ridge parkway for example I was at edge of tires and leaning off the seat idea. Remember the lean angle of a wee is less then a pure sport bike (tire design idea). but then this summer I will be on the Labrador highway and there it will be standing on pegs, leaning over the bike when in turns and all the dirt bike style. But remember this is a lot heaver then a dirt bike. so I may recommend picking up a book on how to ride a adventure touring bike or even read up a lot here and on adv.

here is the book I have
http://www.amazon.ca/Adventure-Ridin...6851012&sr=8-3

one day I will finish reading it lol
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 10:14 AM
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If you lean the opposite way, you just have to lean the bike more to make the corner, so you're getting the bike further over than necessary. Maybe a good idea, until you start dragging hard parts.

The reason you do this in the dirt is so that your body can be more upright when the bike starts sliding, rather than instantly finding yourself on the ground.

So, on pavement, lean into the turn.
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post #5 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 11:03 AM
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I do both. I have been practicing both and have the DVD from the Adventure Riders web site for instruction that explains these techniques. I enjoy both and am thirsty for knowledge/experience in both areas to become a more rounded driver/rider. I have never ridden dirt but am really enjoying the off road experiences when I can find them. I realize that the Wee is not a true dirt bike because of it's weight and other factors, but I can expand my abilities while aware of it's limitations. I look forward to having a smaller dirt bike some day, but until then, my Wee is my baby. I've already dropped her in a very large mud puddle and that's was another experience that I've filed away, not wishing to repeat so I am more careful about my limitations. I have been amazed by the similarities as well as the differences between the two riding styles and have benefited from both. I look forward to continuing to learn and I love this bike.

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post #6 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 11:45 AM
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How to lean on pavement depends on what you are doing. At higher speeds, you may need more ground clearance which leaning into a turn would provide. Lower speed turns like doing a U-Turn or quick maneuvers like a slalom between potholes will benefit from keeping the body upright and leaning the bike. Dirt riding is about maintaining traction. Dirt does not provide enough traction to make leaning into a turn useful.

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Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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Last edited by greywolf; 05-31-2011 at 11:48 AM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 12:02 PM
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There are so many variables you just have to see what works for you. Tall bikes feel like your standing on a ladder that's about to topple. Sport bikes fell like they turn themselves with a little weight shift. Big heavy sport touring bikes will sometimes start to turn but then you have shift your weight. Tires, shock settings, road conditions, your weight/ height, on and on and on. Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.
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post #8 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Ah yes....the dreaded, it really all depends

That makes a lot of sense though. For instance, I can't imagine not leaning with the bike in a high speed sweeper. I wouldn't think you'd have any control over the bike. But in tighter 90 degree (making a right onto Oak St.) it really does feel like everything seems more balanced staying more upright.

I might pick up that book. Thanks for the link GT. Twist of the Wrist II completely changed the way I ride a sport bike and with amazing results. So I can only imagine that these big adventure bikes have an art and science completely their own.

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post #9 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 01:25 PM
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I am an avowed asphalt-weenie with the only dirt I ever ride being the driveway. I ride my Vee like a sports-bike, leaning with the machine into the curves rather than trying to stay upright and just leaning the bike. It just feels more natural to me. YMMV.

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post #10 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 01:47 PM
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On pavement, ride it like a sport bike. On dirt, ride it like a dirt bike.

As greywolf said, on pavement the only time leaning your body against the turn is helpful is in very low-speed maneuvers, like in a parking lot. At road speeds, despite the strom's different COG and setup from your sport bike, you still ride it the same way. And in fact, leaning your upper body into the turn at high speeds might be even more important on the strom than on a sport bike, since it has less available lean angle to work with.

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I think we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday's fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem." - R. Buckminster Fuller

Last edited by The Golden Monkey; 05-31-2011 at 11:51 PM.
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