So, this past Saturday I went out for a ride with some locals from advrider (great group of guys) and got to experience some awesome dirt and gravel roads that I never new existed.
While I'm quite confident on paved roads, I have very little experience riding on surfaces other than tarmac. In fact, this was only the second or third time I've been on an unpaved surface and this was by far the longest so this was quite an adventure for me. Things went well for the better part of the day including a fun water crossing that must have been at least 18" deep if not closer to 24" so my confidence level was rising quickly.
Unfortunately my inexperience did catch up with me and I went down, low sided, coming out of a slight S at ~30mph. It wasn't even a particularly sharp turn or anything and perhaps that had something to do with it. I likely would have slowed down more for more of a turn. I'd love to be able to blame the stock tires or something like that but really the cause was my lack of experience on mixed surfaces. I'm still not sure what the best technique for turning in gravel on a big heavy bike like the Strom is so if anyone would like to offer advice / tips I'm all ears. So far, best I can figure is I'm just going to have to slow to a crawl for turns.
The good news is, all of my gear/equipment functioned as designed. The bike went down on it's left side with the SW Motech crashbar taking the brunt of it as seen in the pic below. There's some small scratches on the fairing behind the bars, and another small scratch on the back left plastic.
At first I thought that was the extent of the damage but later, at home, I realized the the left side passenger's foot peg was bent outward pretty far. This put one of the mounting points for my side racks out of position. Fortunately it was easy to bend it back.
My Olympia jacket and pants, Teknic gloves and A* boots performed their job as well. Other than a toe slider that is pretty chewed up and some very slight scuff marks on my jacket, that mostly wiped off when I cleaned the dust off, there's hardly a mark on any of my gear. I am positive that had I not been wearing proper gear my left foot, leg and arm would have been in bad shape.
Also, while this was not related to my get off, I've learned that if you're going to leave the tarmac with a Strom that has ABS you really need to be hyper aware of the fact that you're not going to have brakes going down steep hills. With that in mind you need to make appropriate decisions about the path you choose. Either that or you need to pull the fuse or install a switch.
Anyway, just thought I'd share my experience.