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G’day,

I’m sure this has been addressed before but I just can’t find your wonderful answers.

I’m days away from pulling the trigger on a VStrom 650xt as my first adventure bike. Ridden road bikes until now.

I’ve always 4x4ed but having moved to a big city I’m now looking for a way to downsize and still get to similar off-road spots.

How much can I achieve safely and sensibly on a VStrom 650? I’ve read reviews where they warn not to stray from well graded dirt roads. That would be a pity if true but understandable. Have also seen owners shy away from the Simpson Desert, Top End etc.

With some decent tyres and a few accessories how far off-road would you go?

Cheers for any advice.
 

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A LOT depends on how good a dirt rider you are. Also on how the bike is setup, and how much you care about it getting dinged up in a drop.

Personally, I don't consider the Stroms to be any sort of dirt bike. Yes, there are guys who can get one through some pretty gnarly bits, but I'm not one of them.
I've got a DR-Z400S for true dual-sport type riding.
 

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If you have some dirt bike experience - if it looks like a road the DL is generally fine. Doesn't have the be graded, I've worked my way past the groups of 4x4's towing one another through several times. I've taken mine far worse places than that but it was out of the comfort zone for me and the bike.

And unless you put real dirt tires on it'll be painful and a DL burns those up quickly on the seal.

They certainly aren't a real dirt bike but provided you can remember that you should be fine. They handle bad roads quite well, less work in fact than the singles, just keep the speeds down if you are planning on taking on those bulldust roads - hitting a large dust filled pothole at speed is painful on any bike. Camerons corner has been done by guys on DL's numerous times but again, make sure you have suitable tires and know how to patch them.
 

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Based in UK, 20 years off road trials, enduro motocross, as previous depends on how much dinging, terrain, quality of tracks and your size. I am 1.73m and 80 kg, found mine too low, too heavy and too big for me in the UK. So kept it for road use and bought a H...a 250 much more ground clearance, lighter lack of range a pain in the arse oh and also much easier for whizzing around London

Geoff
 

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I am on my third V strom and will not venture anywhere I could not go in a two wheel drive pickup truck. Sure with the right armour, tires and willing participant they can be pushed anywhere. But remember they are a big, heavy, low ground clearance, poorly suspended chunk of metal that is more like a Scud missile than a motorcycle when the going gets tough. Been there, got the bruises and T-shirt. Far from enjoyable.
 

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The key word in this thread is "sensible"!

Which limits the V Stroms to gravel roads, dirt roads that are not heavily rutted and/or muddy. Fire roads that are not rutted out.

The thing that limits the V Strom off road are its soft short travel suspension, ground clearance, and most of all weight.

I am sure I could put a V Strom across some trails that would bring smiles to anyone watching the video. But I know better from growing up riding true off road conditions. I have owned bikes that are built to do that. So with that in mind anyone that thinks the V Strom is a sensible off road machine is fooling themselves.

Where they excel is in riding long distances to get somewhere you want to be. Somewhere that has unmarked paved roads you have never been on. That lead to dirt and gravel roads where you want to go out a few miles to simply see where they go. Unpack the camping gear, catch dinner in the stream, build a fire to cook it. Then pack up and head out in the morning for another 400-500 miles to see what is waiting to see there!
 

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Everyone has summed it up here quite nicely. All of the things that make it a decent handling on road bike, make it a challenge off road. Think of it as a car-based SUV, as opposed to a Toyota Land Cruiser or Jeep and you’ll be happier.
 

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Hola, Brothergilbert,
At the turn of the century, like a long time ago, there were few paved roads and guys on motorcycles ventured forth and crossed the continents on bikes that had little or no air filters and few fuel stations to rely on. The suspensions were spring steel plates in front and negligible or non existent in the rear.
As others have noted, your skill level and common sense is what will make doing the outback possible. Take a shovel for digging out and a flask of petrol so you can light the damn thing on fire for a smoke signal when the situation gets dire!:surprise:
 

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I've done fire roads, gravel roads, and forest roads at fast pace with my Vee2. Stream crossings about 16" deep and horse trails in the woods wide enough for a golf cart. Aggressive tires help, but the weight becomes an issue even on a lawn when things get slippery. It took me three runs before I could get the beast into my shop on a rainy day here in SC. Really buggered up the yard too.

Some guys ride this bike on single track trails in mud ruts 24" deep. Some people in asia jump off bamboo towers with vines tied to their ankles to see which can get his head closest to the ground before being sprung back up. If you are successful at land diving you can walk away without damage. Not so with taking a V-Strom down miles of heavily rutted single track trail. Plain and simple, you will beat the crap out of it.

 

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The strom is much more capable than many folk say. No, it is not a dirt bike and can't be driven like one.
Paths that a real dirt bike would blaze over, have to be treated as technical routes with the Strom. Low ground clearance, and typically poorer tires, means slow and carefull is often the best plan of attack.
Sensible riding, with the storms shortcomings in mind, you can venture almost anywhere. It is just more challenging on the strom compared to riding a full off road machine.
 

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Just an agreement with the others.
The Wee is a decent adventure bike that handles very well on pavement and will do mild off pavement ( dual track/forest roads in decent condition ).

It's not an off road bike.

Take it to Alaska camping yup.

Single track, mud, bull dust....nah. Too heavy, too low.

But It was superbly stable with 50/50 tires when I wanted to explore some of the back roads but could still do 1000 km days on road.
 

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ROKON

ADV riding at a blisteringly snails pace.
"These are slow-speed off-road motorcycles designed for use in the most rugged terrain. Some are capable of 35mph or more, but typical top speed is about 20 mph. Current models are the Trail-Breaker, Ranger and Scout. When ascending very steep hills speed may be 0.5 mph."
 

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Just an agreement with the others.
The Wee is a decent adventure bike that handles very well on pavement and will do mild off pavement ( dual track/forest roads in decent condition ).

It's not an off road bike.

Take it to Alaska camping yup.

Single track, mud, bull dust....nah. Too heavy, too low.

But It was superbly stable with 50/50 tires when I wanted to explore some of the back roads but could still do 1000 km days on road.

It's all about the RIDER and skill/comfort level, the Stroms are more than capable in most scenarios.
 

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Oh come on ....they are not by any stretch "off road" motorcycles for the average rider.....especially one that hasn't even any off pavement experience on a motorcycle.

from the OP
I’m days away from pulling the trigger on a VStrom 650xt as my first adventure bike. Ridden road bikes until now.
and the others answered him honestly .....you think your advice is sound to this new to Vstrom rider regarding "off road" ????
 

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V-Stroms are touring motorcycles that properly prepared (tyres,tyres,tyres!) and with an experienced rider can venture off-road. I have been to a thousand places on dirt bikes that I would not have been able to ride (and nor would I have even attempted) on an adventure bike.

They are simply too heavy, too vulnerable, too wide, and have limited ground clearance to go places where a dirt bike can get you.

I am not knocking them - just realising that they have their limitations. Formed 4WD tracks, forestry roads, and easy single track are realistically within their capabilities, but steep damp downhills, for example, are out. Likewise, rocky terrain with step ups and drop offs that a dirt bike can easily tackle and conquer.
 

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+1 on what Brockie said. It all depends on your persepctive. people who have ridden dirt bikes (e.g., XRs, KTM EXCs, KDX, etc.) and goldwings and ST1300 know te spectrum.

Hold on while I get photo. Be back shortly.

This is stream crossing. A V-Strom can do this.



This is the side of a mountain in the Cascades and an 18" wide black diamond trail. A Husaberg is good for this trail. V-Strom not so much.



This is a glacier on Mt. St. Helens. This trail is good for your humility even on a KTM EXC. Not good for a V-Strom.

 

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Oh come on ....they are not by any stretch "off road" motorcycles for the average rider.....especially one that hasn't even any off pavement experience on a motorcycle.

from the OP


and the others answered him honestly .....you think your advice is sound to this new to Vstrom rider regarding "off road" ????

I always answer honestly Macdoc, you and I just typically disagree with each other. :wink2: Hell I don't think the average rider can even ride very well on pavement, so of course the average rider won't be that great off pavement on most bikes. The Stroms, Tigers, GS, Tenere, Adventure's.....yes they are ALL capable off pavement for many above average or great riders, but of course as with everything else.....there is always trade off. My advice to any new rider is to stay on pavement until you are a really good pavement rider, same goes for riding 2 up and for eventually venturing off pavement. No bad advice or opinions have been given by anyone, all have merit and experience behind them.


So here is another argument/debate......what is a touring motorcycle?
 
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