Tire Pressure when Off-Road? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 36 Old 05-05-2014, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Tire Pressure when Off-Road?

I searched and didn't find much on this. On my other, lighter dual sports, I always found it much better to air down for "off-road" (OK, rougher dirt road) riding. My DR650 liked ~18, the WRR a bit less. I'm not experienced with a heavier adventure-type bike-what pressures do you guys and gals run when in the dirt? I'd expect the street pressures to have the bike bouncing and slipping all over when the going gets rough.
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post #2 of 36 Old 05-05-2014, 07:50 PM
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Unless you have wire spoked wheels, I would recommend against airing down.

I didn't find it particularly helpful, plus if you hit one good rock you've got a bent aluminum wheel.

Run street pressures.

If not for it's 500 lb. weight, limited ground clearance, spindly handlebars, close fender fit, short suspention travel, exposed oil filter and forward weigh bias, it would make a great dirt bike.

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post #3 of 36 Old 05-05-2014, 09:43 PM
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I haven't reduced, not intentionally. I have the WABCDR DVD and when they made the vid, Touratech took along a moto tech (and a chef). On the first segment, the tech changed a tire on a BMW and noted that the rider had lowered pressure to 20 ( I think) and that the tire hit a sharp rock and opened a hole so big it could not be plugged so the tech installed a tube.
The tech then said he wouldn't lower pressure anymore than 5 PSI. Very recently we did a quite knarly, rocky, crappy series of roads north of Ellensburg WA, discussed lowering, but did not do it. That AM before launch I checked and both my tires were down to 20 psi and I had probably done a bank run at those pressures a few days before and thought the bike was a little sluggish. I run M Anakee 3 and it has a high sidewall that is really stiff at OEM pressure and I think it would resist rocks. I cringed every time I could not avoid triangular rocks on the above run but it was not a problem, nor were 4-6 in ruts on Colockum RD.
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post #4 of 36 Old 05-06-2014, 01:51 AM
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I generally don't air down but a mate road my Vee on gravel the other day and he preferred the feel of the E-07's at around 30psi. I wouldn't go any lower (and will be pumping them back up before I head out this weekend) as I got a puncture on a near new K60 when riding over rocky terrain on the one occasion I did experiment with lower pressures. These bikes ain't light...

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post #5 of 36 Old 05-06-2014, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromin'Nroman View Post
Unless you have wire spoked wheels, I would recommend against airing down.

I didn't find it particularly helpful, plus if you hit one good rock you've got a bent aluminum wheel.

Run street pressures.
Or worse, broken wheel. That said, if I knew I was going through sand and/or mud, and knew that rocks weren't an issue, then I'd go down to 25psi or so.
Quote:
If not for it's 500 lb. weight, limited ground clearance, spindly handlebars, close fender fit, short suspention travel, exposed oil filter and forward weigh bias, it would make a great dirt bike.
LOL, that's really well put...

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post #6 of 36 Old 05-07-2014, 06:40 AM
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I have an opinion on this one.

First the Strom is not an off road bike. I have tried, even to the point of removing the whole fairing to lighten it up. I took it onto some serious trails in the past. I also do ride a lot of off road on my CRF250X enduro bike. I started my 40 years of riding as an MX racer. I traveled around OZ for a year in 1982 on a GL550E and all of the top was all dirt and dust back then. So I have some experience with riding dirt.

The Strom is a good bike to take on fire access roads, and gravel roads. I have toured on the Trans Lab Hyw which is mostly gravel. On these types of roads it is not likely that you will hit large enough rocks to dent a rim.

Yes I air down. 25 on the front and 27 on the rear. Fully inflated ties on a loose gravel surface creates a very skittish feeling ride. The tires will roll off the gravel sideways and if there is a camber it moves you in that direction.

Airing down stabilizes the bike considerably. Much more control and comfort. If I am doing over 80% gravel backroads in my riding area then yes I do air down. I also turn my ABS off with the switch I installed. (Eastern Beaver).

I have never dented a rim, I have bottomed out a few times even with Emulator valves in the forks and a heavier oil.

Give it a try for yourself. My Stromtropper ball cap says

"Pavement + Dirt = Adventure" Get off the pavement where the caggers are far less frequent. Stand up on the pegs, Give Er Eh!!!

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post #7 of 36 Old 05-07-2014, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstrompaul View Post
Airing down stabilizes the bike considerably.
Turns your tires into 'darkside' meats temporarily

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post #8 of 36 Old 05-08-2014, 02:19 AM
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I run about 28PSI if I know I'm doing significant amounts of dirt.

The K60's I run get a lot more comfortable on gravel at about that point.

I've only bent a rim once, running 22PSI and being chased by a KTM 990. We both hit a washed out culvert. (~4" of concrete edge) @~80kph.

I got a barely visible ding, we had to beat his rim back into shape with the back end of an axe, and a chunk fell out the next week.

So ... the cast rims are plenty strong, not arguing risk goes up as pressure goes down, but 28PSI seems plenty safe with K60's.

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post #9 of 36 Old 05-08-2014, 03:54 AM
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How much you air down and how comfortable the bike feels when back on tar at the lower pressures depends partially on whether you're running radials or cross/bias ply tyres (which have stiffer sidewalls). You don't air down a radial as much - and you'll notice that lower pressure more on a radial when back on tar.

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post #10 of 36 Old 05-23-2014, 03:38 AM
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I don't ride the rock strewn trails like I would on a real dirt bike so I am not worried about the rim, so I feel safe to go as low as 22 front and 25 rear. You will feel much more planted with lower TP. Experiment and see how different pressures feel.
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