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Hey people! I want to go on a tour to the forest and back safely, I was wondering if I can go with no skid plate etc no engine guards, if I stay on the forest roads that are in good shape? HEre is a link to the area I was thinking of:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/umatilla/recarea/?recid=56531
If you can restrain yourself while testing pot-holes, there should no reason to even bottom out the suspension, let alone smack the engine against the ground. I've been on a number of crappy forest service roads with my unarmored Wee without any issue or particular concern. That said, it's not too hard to get into trouble with deep gravel and lose verticality. So some frame bars or sliders can be good insurance against scraping the bike badly or bruising a leg caught underneath it.

I've been in that forest land you linked, although not on my Wee. Nothing I've seen there would sway me from taking my unarmored Wee there.
 

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(Adding to Macdoc's point about riding alone.)

If you are going into the forest lands without a companion, you should be prepared to walk out and spend a few days at it. It can be tempting, (as I know from personal experience), to force passage through places the bike/rider combination is not quite certain to handle without incident. For example, a simple lay-down which is otherwise harmless (neglecting ego effects) can tear a coolant hose when the landing is on an irregular surface. On the few occasions I have done such ventures alone, I always carry enough water, food and clothing that hiking out is a viable option should the bike not remain operational. And in such situations, carrying an emergency beacon is prudent unless you are willing to assiduously avoid breaking any critical parts of yourself.

Apologies in advance if this is too obvious for you (or other readers.)
 

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(Adding to Macdoc's point about riding alone.)

If you are going into the forest lands without a companion, you should be prepared to walk out and spend a few days at it. It can be tempting, (as I know from personal experience), to force passage through places the bike/rider combination is not quite certain to handle without incident. For example, a simple lay-down which is otherwise harmless (neglecting ego effects) can tear a coolant hose when the landing is on an irregular surface. On the few occasions I have done such ventures alone, I always carry enough water, food and clothing that hiking out is a viable option should the bike not remain operational. And in such situations, carrying an emergency beacon is prudent unless you are willing to assiduously avoid breaking any critical parts of yourself.

Apologies in advance if this is too obvious for you (or other readers.)
I don't think you can mention this too often especially at the beginning of riding season...we all might think it won't happen to US.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

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Prime example, I went primitive camping this weekend in the national forest down here. I'm a very experienced rider and even pre checked out our intended access roads. one spot was fairly flooded (2 to 2 1/2 foot deep) with all the rain we have been getting and on the pre check out ride I just drove through it, however Dumb Ass me not wanting to get all my gear wet on the camp day in decided to try and skirt the flooded section by going through the weeds. Stupid me didn't realise that happened to be the side most of flood water was coming from and there were hidden ruts in there too. you guessed it, more or less High Centered the Wee. If it wasn't for the help of a camping friend the Wee probably would still be stuck in the mud. I couldn't have got it unstuck by my self.

Just saying be prepared and not sorry.. by the way I do have engine guards, radiator guard and skid plate.

JG
 

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A skid plate also protects the oil filter from rocks thrown by the front wheel. A suitably sized tin can spray painted black works as a temporary guard. The 07 has an oil cooler down there also I believe.
 

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Those trails look OK for the Wee but I would recommend something with bigger knobs than the standard tyres to make life easier and safer. With 50/50 tyres if it looks even a bit like a road the Wee will get you there. Just take it easy and remember disgression is the better part of valour - don't go ahead unless you are confident you can handle it. My 2012 650 has been places I suspect Mr Suzuki never intended. The only time the underside of the exhaust collector has been scratched (no skid plate) was crossing a big log. The only time the crash bars have been tested was entirely due to lack of rider skill (plus bottomless beach sand).
 

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Stock bike yes, stock tires probably not.

My DL's have seen far worse than that seems to be, problem areas are where you have to stop or stop and turn. That's tough on a DL if it's steep uphill or downhill or very narrow.

Be prepared to stop where it's flat/there's room to turn and walk the bits you can't see clearly the first time.
If it gets scary TURN AROUND at that point. You got that far, you can probably get back - ahead may be far far worse.
 

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The answer is you can do anything you want its your bike. If you want to enter a local MX race on the DL go for it.

The risk is damaging the bike. If you stay on groomed fire roads or even a little less maintained two track the bike will be fine.

Do you have an aversion to skid plates. They really aren't that expensive and if you keep you eyes open can find them used for an even greater savings. They are cheap insurance.
 

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Unlikely a skid plate will change the outcome of your trip. Unless having it tempts you to try things you shouldn’t. It sounds like you will try to be cautious and you just want to explore, not pretend you are on a Dakar rally. I have followed deer paths on my Sportster.

Maybe goes without saying but make sure you are safe: Could you walk out to civilization before night fall if something goes wrong with the bike? How cold will it get overnight? What are the chances of people coming along where you are? Are there any water sources in an emergency and how much water do you carry?
 

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Lightweight skid plate...

I've been in the situation you describe for some period of years now...
MY answer was a "Weld 86" skid plate...
Works wonderfully as long as you use some common sense.
I regularly bang it against parking curbs, ledges, small trees fallen on the trail with most satisfactory results.
Good price also.
Tires ... I've used the Avon Trails & 705 Shinko's for this duty with satisfactory results.
Currently on Trail Attack 2's for street duty due to really good handling on the street.
Darn near worthless off pavement tho...
 

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I have. That road and many others in that area. It's easier about three days after a rain, but as long as it is not slimy mushy mud you will be fine. A lot of those forest roads are a mix of dirt and gravel with no rhyme or reason as to when the dirt tops and gravel starts.

That area has some of the best back roads and forest roads in the northwest. Check out the buttercup roads between Ukia and Helix. And the roads south and then east of Ukia. Anything marked Oregon scenic Byway is going to be good but that area south and east of Ukia is just fantastic.
 

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stealing that .. >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah I just want to go explore and stay on the main FS roads. I am thinking of getting a skid plate though; just curious is it really that risky if I stick to the roads that look good.

Also; I road up there back when I was younger, when I was 12 on a Honda Mr50, and also a Honda XR75. But both those dirt bikes had knobby tires and skid plates.

When I was riding up there, once I saw a bear cub crossing the road in front of me! I about peed my pants! I hit the throttle as fast as I could go, didn't want the mama bear to get me! Now I was thinking there might be bears up there. I just checked the map, and it is bear country.

Anyone seen bears, cougars, mountain lions, etc in this neck of the woods?
 

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