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Discussion Starter #1
has anyone done much offroad riding with a passenger? does your passenger stand up at all? is the stock suspension up for that kind of abuse?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
we are planning a trip to South America, so i anticipate some gravel, mud, water crossings. but you never know what's around the bend, i imagine the way might turn rocky on occasion. we won't be looking for singletrack or hero hill climbs .
 

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In my 30s, I used to take other rider's girlfriends on the back of my SL 350 a lot. They had racing bikes, not set up for two. Mine was modified for dirt only but still a 4-stroke with double seat and pegs. My advice: Take it easy. Fast is really uncomfortable on the back seat in the rough going. If faced with a steep hill that's too long for your pillion to walk comfortably, have her ride on the tank. I had to do it on steep terrain to keep the front wheel down. And we could stand with her in either position in case of a surprise bump or hole. I used cross-bar handlebars so she had something to hang onto and she stood on the engine cases on the steep, bumpy stuff. I would think a 'Strom would be easier to two-up in the dirt. Much better suspension and seat.
 

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The Vstrom suspension is not really well suited to two up off pavement. Spring rates way to soft. Having said that, my wife and I did a fair bit off pavement last summer with stock suspension. We had a great time. Just slow down your pace and pick your lines carefully.

Better yet - upgrade the suspension. Ground clearance is low on a stock Vstrom let alone one loaded up two up with luggage squatting down even lower. Higher spring rates will help with that - plus consider raising links if your inseam can deal with a taller seat height. I have not (yet) ridden with my new springs and gold valves but am hoping they will help.
 

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I've pushed mine through some rough driveable trails with my wife on the back. I'll put it in the "doable" category, but it wasn't enjoyable. The suspension and skid plate were bottoming out way to much. For two-up riding offroad a KTM Adventure, or a BMW GS, will be much better.
 

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2up off road & loaded

Not much fun.
If you've got some enduro or motocross and trail riding experience you can probably make passage ok along dry rough roads. The suspension will restrict you to slow speed and you will need long legs so you don't do a lot of tip-overs. If it's a wet slippery 4X4 trail, forget it.
 

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It's O.K., no worse than a GS provided you aren't deliberately looking for nasty dirt roads to ride down.

Suspension being right will help a LOT, as will having no shame. i.e. if there's a short nasty section where you aren't sure, get her to walk across.

No bike is good 2-up off road, but the DL's it is doable with an experienced rider.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Suspension being right will help a LOT, as will having no shame. i.e. if there's a short nasty section where you aren't sure, get her to walk across.
i expect that will happen more than once, no shame here. not looking for excitement in the dirt, just trying to go places.
 

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Hello Kev, and greetings from Ecuador; which places in South America do you intend to ride through?
I can help with some advice and connections
Regards

Patrick
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello Kev, and greetings from Ecuador; which places in South America do you intend to ride through?
I can help with some advice and connections
that'd be great! we're going down the west coast, more or less, and back up the east. i'll send a PM....
 

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has anyone done much offroad riding with a passenger? does your passenger stand up at all? is the stock suspension up for that kind of abuse?
Off road and dirt is not a good idea with a passenger. In particular on unfamiliar roads. You would both be far better off with two bikes.

If you hit something unexpected it's the passenger than goes flying first.

I personally stopped riding two up back when I was just over 20. I have however made quite a few girls become great riders.... on there own machine.
They put a lot of boys to shame.
 

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Roads are paved in South America too, you know?
 

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2 times I dropped my Vee with the wife on the back-
Both times we were stopped off pavement on loose surfaces.
Both times I could not get good footing and my foot started sliding out.
Try holding up a 500lb + bike topped by a 130lb+ passenger with one foot on a slanted slippery surface.

No damage either time but I can tell you a passenger dumped on her side from the higher up pillion is definitely not happy!
 

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My wife and I ride unmaintained roads, gravel roads, sand washes, forest roads, cross country, etc. It's a matter of understanding limits and time spend on the bike understanding how it responds.

As far as shocks... 2 OEM, 1 Elka (pos) and now an Ohlin (so far so good). With the weight of the bike, you need an external reservoir or the shock fluid will over heat. I have spend too much time and money working this out! Just as important, make sure the front end is doing its job, new fluid, new springs, etc. help.

I prefer this over the BMW as parts are cheaper and it is easier to pick up.
 

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I've done quite a bit on my Vee with my wife on the back. We vary how it goes down, depending on my opinion of the terrain. Often I have her sit neutral and hang on to the grab bars (never me), and I treat her like dead weight. That's for milder or normal trail....but understand I ride knowing she's back there and taking the terrain as smooth and predictable as I can.

When it gets hairy and a drop is very likely, I'll have her get off and walk the bad section and I'll either ride it or walk my bike through by the handlebars.

There's been times we both got the bike through some gnarly section.

She's also good at "getting off"....she knows not to "stay with the bike" and to jump, clear and roll her way off it.

It's a skill, and a partnership, but it can be a lot of fun. You gotta practice it.

We did it all on stock rear shock and progressive fronts, never a problem but we're not big people.
 

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Swingset is spot on. Riding 2-up on a pig pig means knowing when it is time to get off. My wife is more than happy to get off and hike a portion if there is a need. She is also good at letting me know when it is time, before it is to late!

As far as rear shocks go, it depends on the road surface, speed of travel and weight. Excluding boxes and gear, my wife and I are about 320 combined. Add some speed and a washboard road and the shock has to work overtime and heats up quickly. Even riding solo, that shaft can darn near glow when you are counting on speed to get you through a rough patch.
 

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Crazy ruts around here from all the rain. Tucker's a person out right quick! Tried going truly off-road to by-pass the steep rutted jeep trails, but the cheat grass has started to turn and we didn't want to cause a fire.

Bad year to be a mouse, as the trails and roads were littered with rattlers and bull snakes.

Anyhow, if you want to enjoy off pavement, and your s.o. would rather ride with you than on their own bike, then the V-Strom will do everything the other big bikes will do. I enjoy it more than my last BMW for that task.
 

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has anyone done much offroad riding with a passenger? does your passenger stand up at all? is the stock suspension up for that kind of abuse?
Have done lots of organized DS rides 2 up. Probably wouldn't do again now as I taught her to ride off road.

Two things passenger can't do is stand up, or fall asleep.

Suspension depends on bike. Stock suspension on last KLR wore down for the 2 up stuff at around 4-5k miles. Went with progressive shock/fork springs after that.

Key to successful 2 up off road stuff is lots of practice off road (and on) 2 up.

And loads of practice prior to that while solo.
 
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