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You know, I've been wondering as of late something about these bikes, vee or wee. Seems to me the only thing that makes this "dual sport" classification for the bike is two things. The tires and ground clearance. I've read numerous times how it bottoms out most of the time on trails, etc..., and how many people have to redo their fork springs and rear shocks for it to be acceptable. Persons also do this for the asphalt. To me, yes, I know this has been mentioned numerous times, the stock tires stink for traction. They're slippery in the rain and worse on gravel. I know some will say lower the tire pressure for gravel (it's at the recommended pressure now) but I never had to do that with other bikes. Plus I don't want to stop the bike, lower the pressure for the occasional gravel road, then stop the bike and air the tires back up. I've had regular street bikes, with street tires that work better for both situations.

Seems to me that what's wrong with the tires in the rain is the tread. Most street tires have a direct way for the water to slip through so the actual tire touches the road more. These stock tires have the big flat spots right in the middle, of course, so, to me, the tires "ride" on the water instead. As for the suspension, as it's been said before, it's really set up for the street, not heavy trail riding. Guess if I wanted to jump, go through mud, etc..., I'd buy a real dual purpose bike for that. I'm not into spending hundreds, or thousands, to make this bike something it's not.

Having said all that I do love the wee. The primary reason I purchased one was for the upright seating position (because it wasn't looks, but it grows on you) and recommendations from browsing this site beforehand.

Oh ya, the third thing that might make this classification a dual sport would be marketing.:yesnod:
 

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The only thing, IMHO, that makes these bikes "dual sport" is the owners.:argue: Having said that, I don't think there is a bike on the market that is perfect for all people in any one let alone two sports. Add to that the fact that people do like to farkle, and you are going to see lots of talk of modding bikes on forums.:hurray:
 

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I see where you are coming from. I've always thought of the bike as a brilliant allrounder. It tours, goes off road, commutes, and is great just blasting around the twisties. I use mine all the time every day wet or dry, rain or snow. But there are better tourers, better off roaders, and commuters, and sportsbikes to blast around corners on etc etc. In truth, in standard form going off road should be a not too vigorous experience...as it isn't it's primary roll in life. But all the same it's a useful tool. You can alter the tires for wet roads to something with a bit more wet grip. Personally I haven't had any problems with the standard Trailwings...and I ride pretty hard. Worth a go!
 

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19" - ergo's

The strom has about 6 inches of wheel travel. A typical street-specific motorcycle has 4-5, so that's not a lot of difference. Plus, our stock suspension is not particularly plush or high quality. So an extra inch of travel does not a DS make... BMW Gs's have about 8. New Duc Multi has more than us; 7. Lets not even get started talking about the Katoooms - say what you want about them, but they have Sweeet suspension.

The strom doesn't have a lot of ground clearance either, and no frame downtube to rigidly mount a skidplate to. When you mount a skidplate on a strom, it gets mounted on the engine case- not ideal. We also get an oil cooler mounted in maybe the most vulnerable location imaginable for getting smacked. Hmmm...strike two.

The tires, while officially adventure touring tires, don't really do that good offroad. I submit that you wouldn't be giving up much by using a street tire offroad, and airing it down to the mid 20's. Durability might be suspect - DS tires are beefier. But traction? Probably not much difference.

So what makes it an Adventure touring bike? I think two things in particular:

The first is that it has a 19" front wheel. The ducati Multistrada, Kaw Versys, (new)Tiger ARE NOT adv. bikes in my opinion because they have a 17" front wheel. Can they gravel travel as well as a Strom when all bikes are equiped in stock clothing? Probably - right up to the point where you mount a set of Shinko 705's, TKC80's, or Heidy K60's on the Strom (which they can't) and then there's no contest - the performance in the dirt takes a quantum leap. So wheel size and resulting tire selection is a big part of it.

The other thing is that the ergo's of the strom are set up so that a rider can STAND UP!
Off road, this is a big deal. When I ride my Wee on FS roads, I spend at least 50% if my time standing. It's good for visibility, it's comfortable, it helps with giving the suspension a hand through rough sections, and you can get your weight back so you can get the front end light through potholes, g-outs, and the like - it's a much more dynamic riding position than flat on your butt.


It's also why we deal with so much buffeting BS - the windshield is waaaay forward so that it's out of a standing riders way, which also makes our officespace more turbulent environment. But there is an entire thread dedicated to THAT subject.....
 

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I recently bought a Yamaha WR250R. That bike is a true dual-sport. Coming off of that, my Wee, with a taller DL1000 seat, feels like a cruiser. I hate to think what a real cruiser feels like after riding a bike with 36" seat height. After a few miles on my commute, the V-Strom starts feeling perfect again, which it absolutely is for weekday commuting and 500-mile weekend touring. I've ridden my Wee on dirt roads, ATV trails, and sand washes. Now I own the WRR, get it? I'm not giving up the V-Strom though because it's such an all-rounder.
 

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A Kawaski KLR650 is a "dual-sport". Our Stroms are rock-solid street bikes suffering from a slight DS delusion of grandeur. :yesnod:
 

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True DS bikes I find uncomfortable and lack a lot of the items I like. I look at all bikes as a platform, that you tweak to make it yours. Change the suspension , add engine guards, skid plate beef up the suspension and tires and it is a decent DS. If you tour highway pegs , custom seat, lots of electronic farkles and a big screen ,suspension modified for the road and maybe ABS. I like it better than the way BMW does it. They make a lot of decisions for me a really high price point.
 

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Seems to me that what's wrong with the tires in the rain is the tread. Most street tires have a direct way for the water to slip through so the actual tire touches the road more. These stock tires have the big flat spots right in the middle, of course, so, to me, the tires "ride" on the water instead.
At the risk of threadjack: While tread does impact wet traction, the degree to which it does in a motorcycle tire is actually minimal. The round profile of a MC tire contact patch will keep it from hydroplaning much more than a car tire, and a lot of tread that creates small blocks will create extremely unwelcome "squirm" under cornering loads.

The thing that affects wet traction more than any other factor is rubber compound, and not neccessarily just "softer is better".

In GP racing the formulation of the rubber in the rain tires is very different than the dry, and chasing that perfect mix is important because the tire performance-good or bad- is magnified in the wet, and track conditions constantly change. We don't change tires with conditions, so ours have to be "master of nothing." As with anything, it's an excersize in compromises, the specific details of which is somewhat of a mystery to me.

I do know that when riding normally in wet weather, I don't even approach the traction limits of my tires - I don't have a clue where they are, and I'm just too chickenshit to find out. That being said, I am running Battlewings, and they seem to do OK in the wet, the caveat being the previous statement.
 

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The degree to which it can be classified as "dual-sport" is not determined so much by the suspension, tires and ergonomics than by the operator.

For most folk, myself included, the V-Strom is a dual surface street bike.
 

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The only thing, IMHO, that makes these bikes "dual sport" is the owners.
Yup! People take all kinds of bikes all kinds of places. Your bike is what you make it.
 

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The degree to which it can be classified as "dual-sport" is not determined so much by the suspension, tires and ergonomics than by the operator.

For most folk, myself included, the V-Strom is a dual surface street bike.
I wouldn't even remotely classify it as a DS. The latest incarnation of the KLR is barely a dual sport.

So what is a dual sport? A dirt bike that has been equiped to make it street legal.

So what is an adventure touring bike? A street bike that has been equiped to handle the occasional dirt or gravel road.

Riding a dirt bike on the street is more fun than riding a street bike in the dirt. But the strom is more fun to ride in the dirt than a the typical street bike. Maybe because riding it on the dirt occasionally still falls within it's intended purpose, and it has been (marginally) equiped to do it.

A bunch of Seattle area V-strommers have organizied a group exploration of some forest service roads tomorrow, and it should be fun.

Could a bunch of Versys owners do the same thing? Yes. Would they go everywhere the stromers do? Probably - like you say, it depends on the rider. Would the probability be high that they would organize such a FS road exploration group ride? Tough to say.

Whats my point? Jeez, I dunno. Call me crazy - a bunch of guys like to ride them in the dirt, myself included. But I also like to fish for Steelhead with spinning gear because most people don't. :mrgreen:
 

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The other thing is that the ergo's of the strom are set up so that a rider can STAND UP!
:thumbdown:

I could do the same thing on my K75S, but calling that top-heavy, narrow-barred hunk of crap an adventure touring bike ... well, I can't say I didn't ride it that way, but neither I nor it liked it.
 

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I LOVED my Strom in the rain......and boy did I get caught in allot of rain. I ran the Battlewings, and never once felt any slippage or hydroplaning. I miss not being able to ride standing up, was great for stretching and fun too.:thumbup:
 

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Several weeks ago I took my 6 mo new/old Strom out for some fairly serious dirt- up Silvarado Canyon to Maple Springs road and up to Santiago Peak in OC, Ca. This was 15 miles or so of graded but rocky forest service road. There were whoopdies (Do you still call them that? Back a 100 years ago when I rode some pretty serious motocross and enduro bikes in the dirt, this is what we called them.).

The Wee handled it ok, but it wasn't fun. I had to go slow and the Wee is just too heavy to go fast comfortably. The bike weighs about 475 lbs with full fuel, cases and a crash bar. It is a lot of work to horse around in the dirt. Nothing like a 250 cc. two cycle, air cooled thumper that weighs maybe 200 lbs.

I know the rider makes a lot of difference and if I were better I could go faster with less work and have more fun. But I could do that right now with a light dirt bike.

But it is a great all around tourer, commuter, just get out and ride kind of bike. It just isn't a dirt bike.

David
 

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Dualsport

Someone else on here made the comment that he had a wee and a 400DRZ for dirt. Sounds like the way I may end up. The Wee is not a dirt bike in any way other than dirt or gravel roads. My opinion mind you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Fixed that for ya.
Now that's funny!

One reason I like forums, the many opinions on which others offer. David, I think the same thing as you on the weight. Maybe if I was more of a risk-taker like in my younger days it would be more fun, but..., alas, I'm older and more "responsible" now...:beatnik:
 

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Someone else on here made the comment that he had a wee and a 400DRZ for dirt. Sounds like the way I may end up. The Wee is not a dirt bike in any way other than dirt or gravel roads. My opinion mind you.
Might have been me?? Anywho, that's what I have, it's a good combo. I certainly agree with the consenus, the Strom is no DS. :)
 

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like many members on this forum, I've had a number of different bikes....so for what it's worth...I recently purchased my first V Strom.(1000) all stock....took it for a 600 mile one day ride through Western Mass and up through Vermont..handled great at a fast pace (100+)...dealt with choppy pavement without batting an eye...took it off road and, although soft, was still fun...got caught in heavy rain on the Interstate and blew along at 80 with no loss of handling or feel while the rider on the FJR1300 that I was accompanying grew tired sooner, was less comfortable,and had to putt along in the rain due to a less sure-footed front end that was hydroplaning in the puddles..(got to love that 19 on the front)....and at the end of the ride, I felt great....I don't know what category the bike falls under...but I'm impressed....just wish it had the extra 20 hp....and more low end torque....
...very fun bike.....
 

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IMOP beef up the suspension, add a rock guard / crash bars, swap out the sprocket and handlebars and throw on some TKC 80's and the Strom is a DS/ Adventure Tourer ready for any road (paved or unpaved) your likely to encounter. Dirt bike is a whole nother critter. :mrgreen:
 
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