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Was sitting here, at some fru-fru coffee shop in Barrie Ontario, wondering what the handling of the ?Strom 1000 on trails with purpose built tires is like. I have not done any real trail riding ever on two wheels. Did a lot of rock crawling in jeeps, but nothing on two wheels. Was thinking of looking for an off-road course to learn how to do it.
 

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It doesn't matter what tires you put on a DL650/1000 they will never make up for the weight, and width of the bike. Sure in capable hands a select few can do amazing things on "big" hefty adventure bikes but for the masses lighter is better.

A while back I took my DR650 that is easily 100lbs lighter than the DL650/1000 on a 8-1/2 miles section of B+ class single track by mistake. About 2 miles in ounces felt like pounds and pounds felt like tons. If I was on the DL I would have just left the bike in the woods to rot because there is no way I could have muscled it through this section of the course. Actually everybody that came by on their lightweight Austrian/Euro bikes looked at me and cringed at what I was undertaking.

The DL isn't a "do all" bike its a "do a lot of things" bike.
 

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I would recommend that you initially restrict yourself to formed roads and tracks. You will find that the rougher parts are sufficient challenge for most. Avoid loose sand or mud. The only way to conquer them is at max speed which can end up badly.
I have Mitas E-07's fitted which are adequate on seal and far more stable than OEM on loose surfaces and by that I mean a loose surface with a firm base beneath.
 

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wondering what the handling of the ?Strom 1000 on trails with purpose built tires is like. Was thinking of looking for an off-road course to learn how to do it.
Dwayneh, if you are interested in an off-road course, I'd keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of Camp 'N Ride in Romney, WV, for 2018. I attended my first Camp n Ride this year (2017). As part of the agenda, they offered an off-road class. Take the class if they offer it for 2018. Instruction was provided by Alain of Xplor-Int. He was an excellent instructor!! The rainy weather washed out (yes, pun intended) 70% of the registered attendees for the Friday class. So three of us had excellent personalized attention and instruction for the day. I had my Vee and the other two guys had bikes at least as big as the Vee. While we didn't get into "trail riding" we did spend the day on forest fire roads/trails that were slick mud. Some of those roads were in pretty rough condition from the +2" of rain that fell, so it was an intense class. Since you've not done trail riding, this would have taxed your limits. It did mine. At the end of the day I was exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally. I learned a ton of info and had a great day. I can't say enough good stuff about Alain for teaching it -- nor about Dirt-Dad for setting it all up as part of Camp N Ride. I was running Shinko 705s on the Vee and they handled quite well in the gravel and mud (rated as an 80% pavement 20% off-road tire). Where it was really sticky slick mud, they did fill up but usually not for long. So keep yer peepers peeled for any announcement of Camp N Ride, and take the class if they offer it again.
 

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Get a KTM 1090 for that or an Africa Twin. ?
 

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A vstrom is out of it's element on anything more than a rough dirt road or wide flat singletrack. Weight and no ground clearance are real problems that no amount of skill can address. Sure, you'll see a few youtube vids of some skilled rider whipping his vstrom over challenging (for a vstrom) terrain, but in reality, best pick another bike. You mention zero off road skills? I'd suggest getting novice skills on a much lighter bike that you don't need hulk-power to pick up (the vstrom is a biotch to pick up sometimes), because you will be doing that a-lot when learning the ropes off road - even a simple foot slip tipover is a groan inducing realization with a heavy vstrom. That said, I absolutely love riding on dirt/gravel roads (and into the occasional Pumpkin patch) with my semi-knobbies (Fullbore M40/M41 radials) - very good grip in the dry and in the damp too. Aside from the knob-hum at certain speeds, they're terrific do-it-all tires.

 

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Get a KTM 1090 for that or an Africa Twin. ?
That needs some justification. When I did my research before buying the V Strom, I found the numbers for weight, engine performance, and quality of the suspension to be so similar to the Africa Twin, (which was on my short-list); to be so close that the Africa Twin would be no better a machine in any given situation then the ?Strom.
 
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Meaning that neither are particularly capable off road bikes....

By all means take some dirt courses but these heavy twins simply are not off road machines....especially to someone new.

This is



https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2016/09/13/2016-honda-xr650l-review-dual-sport-classic/

Medium dual track is fine for the stroms .....maybe very light single track.
The AF is a bit more dirt oriented
with 9.5 inches of clearance ...the Vee with 6.5 is very vulnerable.....that Honda XLR650 with 13" and only 346 lb....that's for the rough stuff.

The AT is a decent attempt at an off road twin you can also ride for distance. No Strom is, tho with good tires they will take you places street bikes shouldn't tackle. They are a cost effective compromise.
 
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Was sitting here, at some fru-fru coffee shop in Barrie Ontario, wondering what the handling of the ?Strom 1000 on trails with purpose built tires is like. I have not done any real trail riding ever on two wheels. Did a lot of rock crawling in jeeps, but nothing on two wheels. Was thinking of looking for an off-road course to learn how to do it.
Well, you haven't gotten the bike repainted yet to match that fru fru coffee shop, so at least there's that! :)

I pretty much agree with most of the opinions here, but just wanted to add that even with the *not* completely right tires (I've got trailwings on my '04 Vee and @karlos has Shinko 705's) you can still have a lot of fun off road on some fairly challenging stuff.


Even an occasional creek crossing! :grin2:

@wilddoktor
and

@karlos
 
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Uh...didn't realize those would come across so big! Apologies...
 

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I have a very offroad-ish tire on the rear (Heidenau K60 Scout) of my DL1000, with a more road-oriented tire (Shinko 705) on the front.

The bike is still very scary in sand. Rather than any delusions of riding in sand or mud, I bought the Heidenau more so I wouldn't be changing my rear tire again in just 5000-6000 miles. That was as long as my last rear tire, a Shinko 705, lasted, and is about all you can expect out of that tire.

That said, a more experienced rider has opined that your front tire can have significant influence on the feel of the bike in sand. I don't know whether that's the case, but I might put something a little more offroad-oriented on the front once the Shinko is used up.
 

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That looks fun! It was hard to tell from the video: did you feel like the front was going to slide out from under you, when you were going through the water?

I feel pretty good about rocky trails, great about packed dirt, and OK even on hard dirt with a scattering of gravel. It's deep gravel, or any and all sand, that gives me the willies.
 

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No issues at all going thru the water. Of course the rocks under the water are all slippery and uneven so there's no way to drive a straight line, but the bike is so heavy that it worked nicely. Too, I've gone thru stuff like that many, many times on a CR500 with full-on knobbies, and even that would slip around.

That said, I need to process some of the other videos I've taken that will show some more sketchy stuff that I've been on. @Karlos has drug me all over the place in the last month, and we've logged close to 200 miles on all kinds of dirt roads (but not wet or sandy). For sure the most scary have been hard dirt roads with loose stuff on top; I'm *really* concentrating on those. Of course, I haven't been on a "dirt" bike for about 10 years, but I grew up on dirt bikes, so I know how to ride in the dirt. @Karlos is an "A" rider on dirtbikes and is current on them (rides them all the time), so it looks like he has no issues at all on the same roads. A little bit of experience goes a long way!

Deep sand, mud. Somebody here posted some experiences with some new shinko big bloks in that stuff, and it looked very do-able. Goat trails / single trac? No thanks. So to get back to the OP, I think dirt-oriented tires will certainly *help*, but as others have said, the bike itself is a bit limited when it comes to the "rough" stuff.
 
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That needs some justification. When I did my research before buying the V Strom, I found the numbers for weight, engine performance, and quality of the suspension to be so similar to the Africa Twin, (which was on my short-list); to be so close that the Africa Twin would be no better a machine in any given situation then the ?Strom.
Yes the 1000 is a much better comparison to the AT than the 650, but the 1000 severely lacks the ground clearance of the AT. The 1000 does have overall pretty nice suspension and brakes, but the suspension is still set to be more pavement orientated. Will also be less plastic to break on the AT, and some of the crash bar and bash plate kits for the AT makes it very formidable off road. Either way, all big ADV bikes are going to be a handfull off pavement, and you will be hating life when you drop it......and you "will" drop it. :wink2:
 
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No issues at all going thru the water. Of course the rocks under the water are all slippery and uneven so there's no way to drive a straight line, but the bike is so heavy that it worked nicely. Too, I've gone thru stuff like that many, many times on a CR500 with full-on knobbies, and even that would slip around.

That said, I need to process some of the other videos I've taken that will show some more sketchy stuff that I've been on. @Karlos has drug me all over the place in the last month, and we've logged close to 200 miles on all kinds of dirt roads (but not wet or sandy). For sure the most scary have been hard dirt roads with loose stuff on top; I'm *really* concentrating on those. Of course, I haven't been on a "dirt" bike for about 10 years, but I grew up on dirt bikes, so I know how to ride in the dirt. @Karlos is an "A" rider on dirtbikes and is current on them (rides them all the time), so it looks like he has no issues at all on the same roads. A little bit of experience goes a long way!

Deep sand, mud. Somebody here posted some experiences with some new shinko big bloks in that stuff, and it looked very do-able. Goat trails / single trac? No thanks. So to get back to the OP, I think dirt-oriented tires will certainly *help*, but as others have said, the bike itself is a bit limited when it comes to the "rough" stuff.
That was me, and it sucked!!!! :grin2: The biggest issue was the front fender clearance "I do have the raising kit which no doubt helped", had we taken fender completely off, we all would've had a much easier day. We all wished we were on DR650's or similar, THAT would've been ideal and a blast on that type of road/trail conditions.

Always a trade off, more off road capable means less pavement worthy......and vice versa.
 

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Sand and mud suck. No way around that on a big bike even with big bike knobbies on. I've ran a lot of Shinko 804/805s and they really transform off pavement performance. 705 is a pretty serviceable tire as well off pavement especially if you air down to 18-20 psi. I've ridden my Strom all over SOCAL. There were plenty of trails that I wouldn't take it on but plenty that I would as well. It's capable of goign quite a few places you just won't be getting there nearly as fast as anyone else. It just takes some practice to be able to pick the correct lines especially with the limited ground clearance of the Strom.











Titus Canyon Death Valley





 
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Hang on, your bike seems to be changing color from one photo to the next.

Was it just really, really dirty, or was that some kind of custom wrap?
 

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I have a very offroad-ish tire on the rear (Heidenau K60 Scout) of my DL1000, with a more road-oriented tire (Shinko 705) on the front.

The bike is still very scary in sand. Rather than any delusions of riding in sand or mud, I bought the Heidenau more so I wouldn't be changing my rear tire again in just 5000-6000 miles. That was as long as my last rear tire, a Shinko 705, lasted, and is about all you can expect out of that tire.

That said, a more experienced rider has opined that your front tire can have significant influence on the feel of the bike in sand. I don't know whether that's the case, but I might put something a little more offroad-oriented on the front once the Shinko is used up.
You would be better off with a K60 type tyre on the front. Your confidence will rise when the front wheel is stable, even if the rear moves about a little.

Deep sand will always be an issue and must be taken at speed with the front wheel light and your arms braced behind the bars to prevent the front wheel from veering off your chosen line. When that happens the game is over. I will take on a small stretch of loose sand but if I cannot see firmer track beyond I will simply turn around.
 

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We have a road like that around here. It's reasonably solid dirt for several miles. Then it slowly becomes more sandy until it's nothing but. Not particularly deep sand, but deep enough to cause the front wheel to be squirrely and scary. So far I can't convince myself that going faster is a good idea.

None of this bothers the four-wheelers of course. They don't have to worry about falling over. The most they have to deal with is getting stuck if the sand is particularly deep.
 
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