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I got my first taste of gravel, washboards and such in the wine country last weekend... I didn't like it.
I am running 607 tires and the front end felt lose... I was not comfortable.
Maybe it would have been better if I had let some air out of the tires?
I grew up on dirt bikes and have ridden all my life, though never anything as heavy as my wee on a loose surface.
When I was powering into it it felt better but you always have to let off and then the problems start.
I was also riding 2 up and neither of us are petite.
I do not have stock suspension and have never bottomed my bike out, ever.
What are some things you guys have done to make the bike more stable in loose conditions?
I really would like to do some single tracking or at least enjoy some fire roads.
Maybe I just need to take the bags off and go for it for a day to get used to it? Kind of like a canoe... it leans a lot before you tip one over... taking it out and tipping it over will let you know what one is capable of...
Thanks in advance...

Oh, I do have crash bars but no skid plate or guards for the radiator or oil cooler...
 

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Having grown up in the PNW riding logging roads (I live close to Washougal, WA), I noticed right off that the tires on the V-Strom are not the best for gravel roads with washboards. More aggressive tires would be a must if I did more of this. If you let out some air and run the tires at around 25 psi, it will handle better on those roads. I carry around a small compressor to air up the tires when I get back on pavement.

My next set of tires will probably be the Avon Distanzia. Not sure if I want anything more aggressive than that.



IMO, the most important accessory when going on gravel roads is the Extenda Fenda (or something similar). This would do a good job in keeping the rocks from hitting the oil cooler.

Doug
 

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+1.
I'm running stock tires and keep 37psi in the front. I do 98% paved.
It gets way squirrelly in the gravel, especially 2-up.
Lowering front tire pressure to 20 or 25 helps a lot.
If I was going to do much gravel, I would definitely go with a more aggresive tire.
You might also raise your front forks a little.
Best,
Jim
 

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I don't know how this would work 2 up but if you stand up on the pegs it lowers your center of gravity a lot and the looseness is managable and aftre a time actually fun, you can steer the bike with your body. I run Tourance tires, not very agressive, and have had my strom up to 100 mph in gravel.
 
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