StromTrooper banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
2008 DL650 here. I’ve been wondering whether to keep it or sell it. I really want to do the Utah BDR next year. In June of this year, I rode a section of it (Lockhart Road over Hurrah Pass down to Chicken Corners). I seriously beat the daylights out of my SW Mocrap skid plate, like as in busting out 6 rivets and bending it right up to almost contact the exhaust pipe under the engine.

Concerned about the bike’s trail-worthiness, I test rode an 05 BMW GS recently, and was amazed that, with an extra inch of clearance, it still has a lower seat height (and feels less top heavy). However, it’d be a good $3000 to upgrade to a GS. My VStrom only has 11k miles, whereas any BMW would likely be in the 50k to 80k range.

I know I can buy a beefier skid plate. I can’t really raise the bike’s height (I am already tippy-toe). I can’t change the terrain. Would a rear shock upgrade help reduce the bashing a bit, or is this just how it’s gonna be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,878 Posts
There is no substitute for ground clearance.

I tip toe on the DL or my DR but the DR has spec'ed ground clearance of 10.4" while the DL has 6.4" that a big difference. Also the 130 lb weight difference is very noticeable.

Light weight and ground clearance are your 2 biggest friends off road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,228 Posts
The back roads and scenic view they provide are tempting but the tales of plate bashings and technical talents needed to get me there and back safely keep me on more hard packed roads.
I'd rather have some little 250 that is light and nimble for attempting fate, not a 500+ pound bike for the rough stuff
Too much ADV for me.
I noticed the obvious difference in ground clearance between the GS and the DL's at a rally. But both are a bit ill suited for somes travel in the wrong hands.
Even the light bikes intended for rough use have the drawback of being way to tall for some of us.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,889 Posts
2008 DL650 here. I’ve been wondering whether to keep it or sell it. I really want to do the Utah BDR next year. In June of this year, I rode a section of it (Lockhart Road over Hurrah Pass down to Chicken Corners). I seriously beat the daylights out of my SW Mocrap skid plate, like as in busting out 6 rivets and bending it right up to almost contact the exhaust pipe under the engine.

Concerned about the bike’s trail-worthiness, I test rode an 05 BMW GS recently, and was amazed that, with an extra inch of clearance, it still has a lower seat height (and feels less top heavy). However, it’d be a good $3000 to upgrade to a GS. My VStrom only has 11k miles, whereas any BMW would likely be in the 50k to 80k range.

I know I can buy a beefier skid plate. I can’t really raise the bike’s height (I am already tippy-toe). I can’t change the terrain. Would a rear shock upgrade help reduce the bashing a bit, or is this just how it’s gonna be?
Better suspension, both front and rear, will help a little with the clearance issues. As noted though, there's no substitute for a bike more suited to the terrain.
I always make a certain contingent here mad when I say this, but IMO the Stroms aren't any sort of dual sport bike. Compared to a standard street bike they have an inch more travel and ground clearance, and some D/S styling cues. The extra travel/clearance isn't enough to make a difference, and the styling doesn't help off-road functionality at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Better suspension, both front and rear, will help a little with the clearance issues. As noted though, there's no substitute for a bike more suited to the terrain.
I always make a certain contingent here mad when I say this, but IMO the Stroms aren't any sort of dual sport bike. Compared to a standard street bike they have an inch more travel and ground clearance, and some D/S styling cues. The extra travel/clearance isn't enough to make a difference, and the styling doesn't help off-road functionality at all.
Yah I have determined it's the Trans Am of adv bikes, LOL (lots of plastic, not so much performance). I go back and forth. It's too small to be a true tourer, it's too too heavy to be a true adv/dual sport. But... My bike is paid for and only has 11k miles. Years of great riding left in her!

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,889 Posts
..It's too small to be a true tourer...
That I'd disagree with, the Strom's a pretty roomy bike. It replaced a Kawasaki Concours for me, and I didn't feel like it was cramped at all when I made the swap. Overall riding position was almost identical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
I have an '06 Vee, a KLX250, and a KLR650. IMO the KLR is the best BDR bike. The 250 is light in the front when loaded up and is less comfortable on paved sections. The Vee carries everything but is too heavy and lacks feel off road. When the rocks get to a certain size, I'm done with the Vee. The KLR is the sweet spot. It tracks great on gravel roads, can be pushed pretty hard on trails, and isn't too heavy. Not a single track bike but a BDR machine. And it can carry quite a bit. I have added Sonic Springs, Gold Valves, and a Cogent Dynamics shock because I'm heavier than average. Eagle Mike #2 links for a shade more clearance. I've ridden the bikes on sections of the WABDR and OBDR.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
It's not DS and not a tourer so you shouldn't be complaining about it.

And why is that exactly? Because it could be so much more of a do-everything bike with just 2” more clearance and travel.

I’m considering an AT or a 1090 mainly because of suspension limitations. The DL650 with E07s is surprisingly good off-road... until you bottom it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I’m considering an AT or a 1090 mainly because of suspension limitations. The DL650 with E07s is surprisingly good off-road... until you bottom it out.
Yup. Exactly. Although I also think it is too heavy, and definitely too top heavy.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
May want 650 Strom. Ground clearance is a big concern. I don't know a whole lot about geometry and what that does to handling. All that said I am interested in all opinions. My thoughts are change the dog bones to raise the rear 1" to 2". Then change front wheel and tire to a 21".
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
658 Posts
I got the shorter dog bones with a 1 inch raised rear end. It helps a little. A very little. It made it better on the dirt roads with a few rocks thrown in. But still not good on the really rough stuff. I had to go slow and pick my lines so as not to get hung up. After adding the ground clearance to the Vstrom 650 I got a DR650. On the DR650 I on can make so much better time with the better suspension. The only way to make the Vstrom compete would be to change the front forks out and the rear shock. It has been done. There are many build threads.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,727 Posts
Start with the basics.
When was the fork oil last changed? Many replace the stock 5 wt with 7.5 wt (50/50 10 and 5).
When was the shock last rebuilt? Anything less than 2 years and you will benefit from new oil, especially if you regularly thrash the suspension. That oil can get really hot and polluted.
Consider approaching a suspension tuner for assistance.

Ensuring that your suspension is working at it's best, or is modified for your particular use, will give you a far greater return than "I need more ground clearance".
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top