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skill level has nothing to do with it. You simply cannot sensibly take the V-Strom offroad at all. Gravel roads are still roads, forest access roads, they are fine too. The Strom is great on those roads.

It makes no sense to take it offroad, NONE. It's not safe, it's expensive to fix, etc. Sure it will do offroad, but not sensibly. It's not the right tool for the job. I can walk through snow in my bare feet, socks, boots, snow shoes are not required... but a sensible person would have them.
I think allot of the problem is the Bazillion promotional videos of "professional" riders taking big bikes and wringing their necks in the dirt. Lots of slow mo photography, dirt flying, bikes hanging in the air and power slides. People watch that and think it's real. The rider has more experience than 99% of us and given the choice it would be the last bike he'd do it with. The bike's been modified to the hilt to survive the beating and if it doesn't so what the manufacturer throws new stuff on it for free. To top it off there's mechanics and medical staff standing right behind the camera man.

Real world, bikes broke, your broke and wallets empty.
 

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G’day,

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

Cheers for any advice.

I find the V-Strom to be a super fun, comfortable all around big "adventure" bike that can handle much more "Off-Pavement" or "Fast on Pavement" than most care to explore.

I know we have video's and reports somewhere on this site that can help you with your
practical dilemma. Good Luck and remember ride everything like you stole it and when in doubt, gas it. :)

B.
 

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I find the V-Strom to be a super fun, comfortable all around big "adventure" bike that can handle much more "Off-Pavement" or "Fast on Pavement" than most care to explore.

I know we have video's and reports somewhere on this site that can help you with your
practical dilemma. Good Luck and remember ride everything like you stole it and when in doubt, gas it. :)

B.
There's my man.....most here would be flabbergasted with where/how you ride that 1000!!! :wink2:
 

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I know virtually nothing about the capabilities of the Strom 'off'road', but it is something I'm trying to learn about. I will, in fact, be taking a two-day off road, or off pavement, training course this spring. May as well learn with the least damage to bike and rider possible.

Anyhow, I had saved this tube link, and while this vid and the others could be half the length they are, it does show the kind of roads and terrain that I personally have in mind for my riding. I'm posting it here so that we have a reference for comments. I did go through all the posts in this thread and did not see any other links to this vid, but I'm sure I'm not the first to find it.

It is interesting also as he has alloy wheels, and tires that look to me to be the stock 90/10 type. (intending that to be 90% street oriented tires)

 

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FWIW, the DL's alloy wheels are seriously tough. Better than some manufacturers spoked wheels. (Not mentioning a certain Austrian manufacturer here as an example). Certainly not a dirt bike - jumping and lofting the front wheel over obstacles isn't really a good option for example.

Comfort zone is roads even if they are unsealed and impassable by a 2WD car, but it'll go pretty much anywhere any of the big pigs could go if a little more slowly on occasions. And unlike the other big pigs it still gets decent fuel economy under those conditions.
 

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Seeing that video from @VSrider makes me glad I'm taking an off-road course. Even the simple stuff can be a surprise. Clearly a little puddle can still be big trouble if you don't know what you're doing.
 

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I just yesterday got back from a weekend of ADV training in the dirt (BlackSwanMoto, highly recommended! https://blackswanmoto.com/training/) so I'll add my two cents.

I was the only Vstrom (2016 Wee) in a class with Tigers, R1250GS, F800GS, a couple of Africa Twins, a KTM 1290. We spent a bunch of time on flat dirt, and also time in sand, mud, uphills, downhills, some wacky stuff. I'm not experienced in that milieu by any means.

I was definitely the most ground-clearance challenged of the group. There was general merriment on how regularly they'd hear the "bong" of my skid plate hitting things.

I had a TKC 80 on the front, but a Heidenau K-60 Scout on the back, and I was definitely wishing I had a TKC 80 on the back as well, but I managed.

I felt like I was power-challenged in bunny-hopping over obstacles, but maybe that was just my skill level.

Standing up was rarely comfortable for me (I'm 6'4"), though I seemed to be figuring it out by the end. The instructor suggested that I'd do better in a different cockpit.

I think the smaller 19" front tire compared to the 21" on the other bikes other bikes was a drawback, but not having ridden the others I can't say myself.

Where I did have an advantage was the low seat height. Sitting down and practicing power skids was a blast. And when standing up on the harder stuff when I panicked and needed to sit down I could put out my outriggers and then nothing was going to make me fall over.

My conclusion was that it just barely fits into that class of motorcycles. Off-pavement, definitely. Off-road, only the light stuff.
 

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I can jump a log about a foot and a half off the ground if I have to on my YZ250X. It might end in a wipeout. A good rider can probably go over 4 feet quite reliably (Check out cross training enduro videos) The YZX weighs 229 pounds and has close to 50 HP. I would never ever ever think I could even come close to jumping a log on a Vstrom. Most times I am off road I come across a tree fallen across the trail.
 

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I have a similar situation to OP in that I live in the city and there are ample off-road opportunities in the neighborhood, but they are all at least an hour away, more like 2 hours. I personally would not want to ride a dual sport (DR, XR, etc.) for 150+ miles. (I was uncomfortable sitting on the XR in the showroom.)

I don't normally just disappear into the wilderness, but if you plan to visit established camping areas (including primitive camping) and places where others generally visit I find that the V-Strom (and likely many of the other large adventure touring bikes available) are an excellent solution. Once you properly sort out the ergonomics to YOUR body and preferences, you can ride the pavement for many hours in comfort and confidence that you won't have to give up and go back (or move on) once the pavement ends.

I think the best terminology that has been defined and used here that sums it up is "off-pavement" vs "off-road". The term "off-road" has an extremely broad meaning to different people, "off-pavement" is a little more narrow and better suited to describe the large adventure touring class of motorcycles. I generally try to stay on an existing road or 2-track whenever possible, as I simply have no interest in leaving new permanent marks on the landscape. However, I have ridden my Vee2 across sagebrush infested meadows, or even "foothills" without roads to gain access to camp sites or roads. Is it fantastic? No. Possible? Yes. Stand up, and take it easy. (By the way, you can gain a significant increase in comfort and balance when standing up over rough terrain, so part of your "ergonomic setup" should include being able to ride and work the controls while standing. Also, don't forget to practice in a controlled environment.)

I think Brockie's post above is a pretty good start for a list of conditions and terrain that should not be considered V-Strom territory. General rule of thumb... avoid the extremes - the bike has it's limitations.
 

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I just yesterday got back from a weekend of ADV training in the dirt (BlackSwanMoto, highly recommended! https://blackswanmoto.com/training/) so I'll add my two cents.

I applaud you for taking the time and $ to get some off pavement training. Last Sept, I spent a long weekend chasing a outstanding rider and off road instructor over 5 Mtn passes near Ouray Co. He was on a BMW R1200GS, and all the others in the group were on similar machines down to a DRZ. Some could clearly out run me in the really rough boulder fields, but I would catch them when the trail got a little tamer. I had a absolute blast, never high centered, and didn't crash(oh there were some close calls). Anyway, my point is that as you have found out, that if we desire it, we can learn how to ride a big bike on roads or trails that would be considered very "rough" ....and have fun doing it. :yesnod:
 

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I certainly bought this bike for the fact that i take a lot of dirt or not maintained roads, and so far its been good for that. Off road, for me, no chance. My ninja, i would try to ride around my grassy yard and almost took spills. I can comfortable ride around grass and dirt without fear of taking a spill on the V. Ive been riding 20 years, but only been on a dirt bike once. They just seem much more nimble, and obviously lighter. Built for a purpose. I wouldnt wan to take long trips on a dirt bike, and i wouldnt want to take the V into the woods. But, the V is better at that dirt/bumpy road shortcut when needed. Just my 0.02

This thread reminds of that Tacoma commercial where the mall crawlers go over a speed bump "Uh Oh" haha
 

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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.
Agreed. Tires and skill will determine where you can go.

I've driven on sand/gravel roads for hours at a time and loved it. Would I go actual off-roading with my DL650? No.
 

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Yes, a lot depends on your skills and how much dirt you've done before. I come from a dirt background and found I had no problem doing most of what I used to do on my DRZ on the 1000. And perversely enjoy the 'bigness' of the thing offroad - soooo different to the usual dirt bike rig. Love the looks you get as you pound your way thru the terrain pretty much as fast as the 300s and 500s.

Tyres - mine are 90/10 road dirt, and found that works fine - along with help from traction control and ABS. Best improvement was improved forks and shock, so don't bottom out everywhere.
 
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