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I took my 2011 Vee of road yesterday, and by off road i merely mean off pavement. HOLY CRAP! it's like the bike wants to jump out from under you! I can't imagine trying to stop the thing in a emergency. I also got my first death wobble going through a patch of deep gravel. (me and the bike are fine) After 20 minutes I seemed to be getting the hang of it, though I don't think I'll be doing it again without someone with me. (I ride alone 99% of the time)

On the bright side the gravel dust in the back rim seemed to suit the machine :thumbup: and I got to see some rare Alberta back road beauty.

So what mods do you have to stabilize you Vee/Wee on dirt/gravel? And what alterations do you make in your driving habits?
 

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TheDraco-the first thing I do if I know I'm going to be going off road, especially for some distance is let some air out of the tires. Best, cheapest mod you can do to gain some traction and control. Of course, you've got to consider "airing up" options with this mod. A 12v outlet and mini air compressor are part of my farkles.
 

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You need to remove all the warning stickers off your bike, makes all the difference.
 

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...and "hold on loosely" is good advice for keeping your bike (as well as your female) from wandering too.
 

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fork brace. better suited tires. stand on the pegs with your weight shifted to the rear of the bike. steer with your weight not the bars...

take a class. or, learn the hard way like i did.
 

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I know others are wondering too. Show us a larger picture of your new avatar.

Is it an evil gnome home? A happy home life?
 

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Yes the old homestead. Really it the oldest school standing in Whitley County. Not used of course in 50 years or more. I like pictures of dilapidated houses, buildings and what not. They are tearing it down this spring.
 

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I live on gravel and ride 60+mph everyday on it. The only time I have trouble is when it has rained. Running bone stock with Metzler tires.
 

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Too cool. On my monitor your avatar looks like a house attempting to suppress a sneeze. Great shot now that i have enough pixels to appreciate it. Cool either way.

Now we return you to the gravel discussion. Speaking of segues, wonder how they do on gravel? Not really!
 

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I thought gravel roads were OK for the Wee until I tried one with my wife as a passenger. THEN I changed my mind. The extra weight on the back (not much -- she weighs hardly over 100 lbs.) unloaded to front to the point where it would barely track at all, wandering all over the place and more or less refusing to return to a straight line as the "loose hands" technique normally encourages.

Never again.
 

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Well, if the Wee stinks at riding on gravel roads, what bike out there would be a better choice (with the same average cost and reliabilty as factors to equal)?
 

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I've ridden dirt bikes for years and have gone really fast on gravel roads many times. The condition of the road and type of gravel can make a big difference.

I got a Wee a couple years ago because everybody said it was the best compromise for touring and also gravel roads. The first few times I took it on gravel it really scared me! I did get more used to it as time went on, but never really got comfortable. Yes, lower air pressure helps.

I recently traded to a Tiger 800 mainly because of the wind buffeting on the wee. As a bonus, it seems the Tiger handles gravel better too! I have street tires fully aired up and the Tiger seems to be a bit more stable than the wee was on loose surfaces. It also handles better on the pavement.

Both bikes weigh about the same and are about the same size. The Tiger might have a little lower c.g. but not much. So it must be the suspension geometry that makes the difference. Or maybe just because I paid so much, it's subconscious...
 

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Well, if the Wee stinks at riding on gravel roads, what bike out there would be a better choice (with the same average cost and reliabilty as factors to equal)
KLR650. DRZ400. TW200. The list is probably pretty long, and most will cost less than the Wee. What do you expect when you ask about riding on gravel? Any bike more off-road oriented will be superior to the Wee because -- WAIT FOR IT -- they are designed for that use.

If you ask if there are other bikes that perform better off-road AND ALSO have the Wee's on-road virtues AND ALSO are in the same price range the answer will be different.
 

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Well, if the Wee stinks at riding on gravel roads, what bike out there would be a better choice (with the same average cost and reliabilty as factors to equal)?
It ain't all the Wee at fault. You don't go to work in a Prom outfit, and taking a Wee set up for hard pavement won't do well in gravel. A knobby front tire helps tracking immensely, lowering air pressure can help but not enough on street tires to be worth it. IMO. Learn to let the bike wander. Try putting the balls of your feet on the footpegs and putting all the weight you can short of standing up. Standing up IS a lot better but impractical for some situations.

Even KLR 650's are not all that good in gravel, sand, loose stuff as most don't have knobbies. I owned one and with similar tires the only advantage it had was that it was lighter and putting a foot down was possible to save it. Not much help if the Wee is plowing the front wheel!

Something like a DRZ 400 is about as big a bike as I can call an off road bike. They have to be light enough to manhandle. A V Strom isn't light so you have to practice technique and hope you don't go past the point of no return.....
 

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