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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks,

So I've had my '05 Wee since Monday, and one of the first things I've been wanting to do is try a bit of off-roading. Couldn't really do it with the Ninja, but I know these bikes can manage a bit.

I currently have Metzler Tourance EXP tires on her; I've read these aren't the greatest for offroading so I know I need to take it easy.

That said, I took an unmaintained dirt/gravel road today while exploring and wound up being stopped by a downed log. Not quite up to trying to jump it (haha!) I turned back. This is where I really got stuck. The trail was too narrow to turn around at that point, so I found myself trying to pull the bike back. There was mud/sand and otherwise unstable ground here so it took me quite a while to get out. I almost dumped the bike on a few occasions since the rear was spinning in the sand, and also due to the ruts in the ground.

Wow, what a mouthfull. So all that said: what advice would help me to better myself for such adventures? I definitely intend to try dirtbiking next year which I'm betting would help; any other general tips though in the meantime?

And has anyone else here used the Tourance EXP's for offroading, that can share their experience?
 

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I have Tourance EXP on my 650. To tell you the truth I stay off of anything but the best packed gravel roads. I'm 6'4" and 250 lb and strong, but the wee can out muscle me in a second. That 500 lb with high center of gravity is too much for me in tight situations like you described. I have an XT225 that I take off roads. Much more fun for me. Just take your time and figure out what your limits are.
 

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I run the regular tourance tires on my wee and it does great on your standard fire road type gravel. I have had it in the woods on dual track before but I would not take into anything too tight to turn around on. It is just too massive and too high for that kind of work. Especially solo. These things are a bit beastly to pick up on your own on unstable ground.

Have fun and leave the tight stuff to the more capable lighter bikes :thumbup:
 

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EXP vs regulars

Neither tires on a Vstrom will get me down a road like the one you described. They are both good tires but you are limited by the bike. Many years ago I rode a Kawasaki 250cc Enduro and it would goes anywhere except waist deep swamps. So, been there done that ... now I ride on roads wide enough and with a surface that's ok to turn my Vee around. More than once, when riding solo, I've gotten myself someplace where I know I was lucky to get out.
I've used both on my Vee and the regular Metzler Tourance tires seem to go more miles and perform just as well as the EXP.
Unless your are a very skilled off-road rider enjoy your Vstrom on roads.
 

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I have tourances on my V-strom which seem fine on good gravel roads (should let some air out, but I don't bother) however 5 weeks ago I decided to try a local fire trail and my front wheel hit a patch of wet clay at low speed and dropped the bike on my leg. Sustained a fractured tib and fib for my trouble and now have a metal rod in my tibia. Off work for at least 3 to 4 months. I believe that you actually fall quicker at lower speeds, as a rapidly spinning rear wheel at higher speeds provides a significant amount of centrifigul force that gives added stability and more time to react (see page28 of the "riding bible" http://members.iinet.net.au/~kelly/ridingBible.pdf
 

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yeah I had regular tourances and I agree with everyone else that it does fine on hard pack, fire road gravel, or light mud, but once you get into really sloppy stuff, sand, ruts it gets rough. Turning around in tight spots or with ruts around is a PITA, its just too big, too heavy to muscle around, plus its far too pretty to be bashing it into rocks tumbling down a hill :jawdrop:
 

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I have been exploring dirt roads in NH and have found myself down some roads I felt were rougher then I was up to trying or that just end. Depending on the terrain I find it easier to turn the bike while standing next to it. I lean the bike against my hip while pushing forward or back to move it around. While on the bike I did try the locking the front brake lean it over an gas it "u" the bike is to big for me to handle that way. I was on sand and the front wheel pushed and the rear dug down. There was a thread on this not to long ago about this and a video on the kick stand pivot. Try different ways (on/off the bike) of pushing and moving it around on hard level ground to get use to it before you get stuck out some place. Good luck.
 

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I use the Tourances and like them, but I no to avoid anything that is wet unless it is pavement.

Offroading for my DL1000 is nothing more than gravel roads or easy hard packed trails. I avoid the rest.
 

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This makes a good case for boots that are good for walking as well as riding. When my instincts tell me I may be getting in over my head, I've learned to park the bike and walk up the road/trail. The next 100 yards can tell you a lot.
 

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Tourance?? In the MUD??? Are you masochistic or what??

I've run the Tourance tires on my BMW 1150 GS bikes, and they got great life on the hiway, handled well in the rain on the hiway, and were decent in the DRY gravel and dirt.

But when you get into the mud, the Tourance tires clog up immmmmediately, and become slipperier than the rails to hell!!!

A few weeks ago I mounted a Heidenau Scout tire on the front of my DL 650 which had a near new Tourance on the rear. I aired both tires down to 16 PSI, and my Wee and I did a half day of some pretty GNARLY off road. MUD, rain, potholes, washed out stream beds [ with water still flowing ], blasted slate and shale, woopdeedoos, horse trails, etc.

NON-CLUB event: All Day Enduro Sept. 18
The All Day Dual Sport 2011 on Vimeo

My Weeestrom and I survived,
and the Heidy front tire did surprisingly well at going where I pointed it
BUT,
it would have been a lot better if I had ditched the rear Tourance, and mounted a Heideau on the back as well.

Actually,
it would have been better if I'd ridden a DR 650 instead of the Wee ...
but that is a whole different conversation,
[;{)
LAZ 1
 

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So for anyone interested, I had recorded my (semi-failed) offroading attempt with my GoPro Hero HD cam. Here's the frustrating/funny result. :p

Not tryin to rag on you Bro but from what I saw, with proper tires/ technique, no reason why either of the Stroms couldn't handle that. If you really want to go off-pavement set the scoot up properly, read-up on off-roading technique, and practice. Sounds to me like a lot off folks would be surprised at what you can do with a Strom. :thumbup:
 

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Tek's attempt

We've all been there. Nice of you to video it for all of us. Maybe it will save some new riders from bothering.
 

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So....I have done a bit of off-roading on the Strom for the past four years....I know a thing or two.

Yes, tires make a difference and the right tire for the application really helps.

But I continue to be amazed at how many riders of the beastly dual sport bikes refuse to adjust air pressure. Dropping the air pressure, even on a highway tire makes it 100% better in the dirt. For goodness sakes, I have run single track on Shinko 712's.....because I needed to wear them out. At 20psi....they did pretty good.

Purchase a cheap compressor from walmart and keep it under your seat.

I just purchased a pair of EXP's that only have 1k miles on them and I am eager to try them, as I never have. But I expect them to do well.
 

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So....I have done a bit of off-roading on the Strom for the past four years....I know a thing or two.

Yes, tires make a difference and the right tire for the application really helps.

But I continue to be amazed at how many riders of the beastly dual sport bikes refuse to adjust air pressure.
I agree. Even as a kid with a CB 350 in the 70's I rode on some roads that people would swear you needed a dirt bike on these days. I just let air out of the tires and pumped them back up when on the tarmec.
 

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So all that said: what advice would help me to better myself for such adventures? I definitely intend to try dirtbiking next year which I'm betting would help; any other general tips though in the meantime?

And has anyone else here used the Tourance EXP's for offroading, that can share their experience?
I would use the Tourances for some mildly softer stuff, but as others said, only with the tires aired down. Even dropping them by 10psi will make a noticeable difference. Having a pump under the seat really comes in handy. As for tires, many have used knobby Shinko's and Heidenau's with success. I have used the TKC80's and they are a fantastic tire, but like all knobbies, they are much louder on pavement and offer less lifespan than the Tourance. I really like the combo of having a TKC on the front and a Tourance (non-EXP) on the back.

This bike is awesome at the hard-packed loose stuff, not the soft stuff.

If I was in an unexpected jam like you were, I might think about putting my bike in neutral when I'm trying to back it up - it looked like in the video you were in 1st gear the whole time you were trying to back it up which can make it quite a bit harder (at least on my bike it is). Also, if the ground was hard enough, I would get off the bike and walk it backwards instead of sitting on the seat with my feet backpedaling on uneven ground or trying to rock the bike backwards.
Last of all and again if the ground under you was hard enough in one spot, and if you had a larger portable kickstand plate (I usually keep a plastic 4"x4" one in my top box), you could always spin the bike around on the sidestand, which might require less effort than walking it backwards.

It did however look a bit rutted and maybe difficult at times to get off the bike to attempt any of the above other than putting the bike in Neutral.

That said, good for you for checking the road out, because often that's the way to find some real gems. Good that you didn't drop the bike and your camera takes nice videos... Good choice on your bike:)
 

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I would use the Tourances for some mildly softer stuff, but as others said, only with the tires aired down. Even dropping them by 10psi will make a noticeable difference. Having a pump under the seat really comes in handy. As for tires, many have used knobby Shinko's and Heidenau's with success. I have used the TKC80's and they are a fantastic tire, but like all knobbies, they are much louder on pavement and offer less lifespan than the Tourance. I really like the combo of having a TKC on the front and a Tourance (non-EXP) on the back.

This bike is awesome at the hard-packed loose stuff, not the soft stuff.

If I was in an unexpected jam like you were, I might think about putting my bike in neutral when I'm trying to back it up - it looked like in the video you were in 1st gear the whole time you were trying to back it up which can make it quite a bit harder (at least on my bike it is). Also, if the ground was hard enough, I would get off the bike and walk it backwards instead of sitting on the seat with my feet backpedaling on uneven ground or trying to rock the bike backwards.
Last of all and again if the ground under you was hard enough in one spot, and if you had a larger portable kickstand plate (I usually keep a plastic 4"x4" one in my top box), you could always spin the bike around on the sidestand, which might require less effort than walking it backwards.

It did however look a bit rutted and maybe difficult at times to get off the bike to attempt any of the above other than putting the bike in Neutral.

That said, good for you for checking the road out, because often that's the way to find some real gems. Good that you didn't drop the bike and your camera takes nice videos... Good choice on your bike:)
Be planful ... meaning do not try to U-turn on dual track. Avoid ALL single track.

I used to run TKC80s front and rear but the rears wear super quick. Aside from tire selection, the Wee still has serious limitations mostly due to weight, ground clearance (6.5") that can only be partly made up for with rider skill. Further I almost ruined my cast wheels (small dent) which could have been very expensive. Consequently, I bought a dirt bike (XR400 with 12+" of ground clearance and 200lbs less weight). Since then, I can take it easier on the Wee and have installed a more road biased set-up. Now running front Tourance EXP with rear standard Tourances which is a nice albeit more street biased set up wherein the front and rear should wear evenly.

I have done some off road at slower speeds but would not try mud or downhill sandy sections on the EXP (or standard Tourance for that matter). The Standard Tourance rear with front TKC would also wear evenly and be a medium off road set-up that I almost considered.
 
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