How off-road can V-Strom sensibly go? - Page 10 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #91 of 98 Old 01-29-2019, 01:19 AM
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Seeing that video from @VSrider makes me glad I'm taking an off-road course. Even the simple stuff can be a surprise. Clearly a little puddle can still be big trouble if you don't know what you're doing.

2017 DL 650 and maybe another Vespa?

I'm having an adventure- so, its an adventure bike.
Now that summer is here, I'm retiring so I can ride full time.
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post #92 of 98 Old 01-29-2019, 05:00 PM
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I just yesterday got back from a weekend of ADV training in the dirt (BlackSwanMoto, highly recommended! so I'll add my two cents.

I was the only Vstrom (2016 Wee) in a class with Tigers, R1250GS, F800GS, a couple of Africa Twins, a KTM 1290. We spent a bunch of time on flat dirt, and also time in sand, mud, uphills, downhills, some wacky stuff. I'm not experienced in that milieu by any means.

I was definitely the most ground-clearance challenged of the group. There was general merriment on how regularly they'd hear the "bong" of my skid plate hitting things.

I had a TKC 80 on the front, but a Heidenau K-60 Scout on the back, and I was definitely wishing I had a TKC 80 on the back as well, but I managed.

I felt like I was power-challenged in bunny-hopping over obstacles, but maybe that was just my skill level.

Standing up was rarely comfortable for me (I'm 6'4"), though I seemed to be figuring it out by the end. The instructor suggested that I'd do better in a different cockpit.

I think the smaller 19" front tire compared to the 21" on the other bikes other bikes was a drawback, but not having ridden the others I can't say myself.

Where I did have an advantage was the low seat height. Sitting down and practicing power skids was a blast. And when standing up on the harder stuff when I panicked and needed to sit down I could put out my outriggers and then nothing was going to make me fall over.

My conclusion was that it just barely fits into that class of motorcycles. Off-pavement, definitely. Off-road, only the light stuff.
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post #93 of 98 Old 01-29-2019, 07:57 PM
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I can jump a log about a foot and a half off the ground if I have to on my YZ250X. It might end in a wipeout. A good rider can probably go over 4 feet quite reliably (Check out cross training enduro videos) The YZX weighs 229 pounds and has close to 50 HP. I would never ever ever think I could even come close to jumping a log on a Vstrom. Most times I am off road I come across a tree fallen across the trail.
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Bob S.
2017 Vstrom 650 Base model (White)
2017 Yamaha YZ250X (Sold)....Hopefully WR250R soon
Previous loves:
1982 Yamaha 650 Seca
1978 Honda CB550
1975 Suzuki GT380
1977 Yamaha RD400
1973 Can Am MX1 125 (bought while Mom out of town)
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post #94 of 98 Old 01-30-2019, 02:04 PM
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I have a similar situation to OP in that I live in the city and there are ample off-road opportunities in the neighborhood, but they are all at least an hour away, more like 2 hours. I personally would not want to ride a dual sport (DR, XR, etc.) for 150+ miles. (I was uncomfortable sitting on the XR in the showroom.)

I don't normally just disappear into the wilderness, but if you plan to visit established camping areas (including primitive camping) and places where others generally visit I find that the V-Strom (and likely many of the other large adventure touring bikes available) are an excellent solution. Once you properly sort out the ergonomics to YOUR body and preferences, you can ride the pavement for many hours in comfort and confidence that you won't have to give up and go back (or move on) once the pavement ends.

I think the best terminology that has been defined and used here that sums it up is "off-pavement" vs "off-road". The term "off-road" has an extremely broad meaning to different people, "off-pavement" is a little more narrow and better suited to describe the large adventure touring class of motorcycles. I generally try to stay on an existing road or 2-track whenever possible, as I simply have no interest in leaving new permanent marks on the landscape. However, I have ridden my Vee2 across sagebrush infested meadows, or even "foothills" without roads to gain access to camp sites or roads. Is it fantastic? No. Possible? Yes. Stand up, and take it easy. (By the way, you can gain a significant increase in comfort and balance when standing up over rough terrain, so part of your "ergonomic setup" should include being able to ride and work the controls while standing. Also, don't forget to practice in a controlled environment.)

I think Brockie's post above is a pretty good start for a list of conditions and terrain that should not be considered V-Strom territory. General rule of thumb... avoid the extremes - the bike has it's limitations.
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post #95 of 98 Old 01-30-2019, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kgoess View Post
I just yesterday got back from a weekend of ADV training in the dirt (BlackSwanMoto, highly recommended! so I'll add my two cents.

I applaud you for taking the time and $ to get some off pavement training. Last Sept, I spent a long weekend chasing a outstanding rider and off road instructor over 5 Mtn passes near Ouray Co. He was on a BMW R1200GS, and all the others in the group were on similar machines down to a DRZ. Some could clearly out run me in the really rough boulder fields, but I would catch them when the trail got a little tamer. I had a absolute blast, never high centered, and didn't crash(oh there were some close calls). Anyway, my point is that as you have found out, that if we desire it, we can learn how to ride a big bike on roads or trails that would be considered very "rough" ....and have fun doing it.
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post #96 of 98 Old 01-31-2019, 08:52 PM
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Just got back from 1000 k ride in the Gibraltar Range.
Firetrail and pretty remote tracks were navigated at 30 - 40 kmh.
Unless I came to a stop for BIG Sharp rock.
Half decent gravely roads 60 - 70 kmh
Fine fresh graded dirt roads 70 - 90 kmh.
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post #97 of 98 Old 02-01-2019, 09:52 AM
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I certainly bought this bike for the fact that i take a lot of dirt or not maintained roads, and so far its been good for that. Off road, for me, no chance. My ninja, i would try to ride around my grassy yard and almost took spills. I can comfortable ride around grass and dirt without fear of taking a spill on the V. Ive been riding 20 years, but only been on a dirt bike once. They just seem much more nimble, and obviously lighter. Built for a purpose. I wouldnt wan to take long trips on a dirt bike, and i wouldnt want to take the V into the woods. But, the V is better at that dirt/bumpy road shortcut when needed. Just my 0.02

This thread reminds of that Tacoma commercial where the mall crawlers go over a speed bump "Uh Oh" haha

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post #98 of 98 Old 03-31-2019, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RichDesmond View Post
A LOT depends on how good a dirt rider you are. Also on how the bike is setup, and how much you care about it getting dinged up in a drop.

Personally, I don't consider the Stroms to be any sort of dirt bike. Yes, there are guys who can get one through some pretty gnarly bits, but I'm not one of them.
I've got a DR-Z400S for true dual-sport type riding.
Agreed. Tires and skill will determine where you can go.

I've driven on sand/gravel roads for hours at a time and loved it. Would I go actual off-roading with my DL650? No.
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