Went up to a ride in Finland yesterday for a little known ADV ralley called the Shindig, about 30 riders, many of whom where riding KLRs, DR/DRZs and KTM 990/950s. The outliers were me on my V-strom 650 with Deathwing tires, a close second was a KTM 1190 Non "R" version with similar tires. A distant third was a Ulysses with the widest very aggressive knobbies. Another interesting bike was a FZ1 with equally aggressive tires and a crash cage surrounding the motor. I didn't feel real confident going since the forcast was for rain and most of the ride would take place on graded gravel and double track roads. I choose what I consider a moderate category of riding for heavy bikes which included a handful of KLRs, DRs, KTM 990 and the 1190, Ulysses and me. Honestly the bike felt pretty good even on wet slick gravel getting loose occasionally and was able to power out. The pace felt very fast (50mph) and low visibility with the rain. Some of the road bed was washed out and we were unaware until right on top of it. The double track I felt very confident standing on the pegs in 2nd and 3rd gear, even bottomed out on my skid plate 6 times overcoming rocks and ruts. I guess the take home points for me were would my bike felt more confident with better dirt worthy tires? Even the KTM 1190 rider felt loose and unnerved. A friend of mine on a KLR nearly came off a few time due to the conditions. Although heavy, the V-strom felt generally planted, needed more ground clearance, considering returning back to stock height. Everyone looked suprised to see my bike there even among some GSAs. Here is a couple of pics, first coming off of double track, the second a happy dirty V-strom sitting in my drivway waiting for her bath. Tough to get her clean. Dirt is everywhere. This is my first real long range dirt ride. A good trial for trips to come.