How off-road can V-Strom sensibly go? - Page 3 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #21 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 08:13 PM
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Off pavement is NOT off road.
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post #22 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Big B View Post
So here is another argument/debate......what is a touring motorcycle?
A touring motorcycle is a motorcycle suitable for touring. i.e. going distances - which is NOT a dirtbikes forte.
Then again, if comfort and range were not priorities, you could also tour on a dirt bike - but it would never be as relaxed a ride as if you were on a V-Strom.

And there you have it. The actual capabilities of most motorcycles overlap into different classes of motorcycles. However, bikes designed specifically for a particular scenario will always excel there where others will struggle.

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post #23 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 09:26 PM Sponsor
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You guys didn't wait for my pics. Now my feelings are hurt, but I updated my post on the last page anyway.

I couldn't find my favorite photo. Me and three of my riding buddies on a high trail between Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, and Mt Rainier. This as before Trailtech and AdvenetureTech were even thoughts.
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post #24 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 09:36 PM
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"Hell I don't think the average rider can even ride very well on pavement,"

Oh, you've heard of my dirt exploits, eh? I admit when forced off the road in Utah it didn't go well. But that was in dirt on the side of the road.
Just phooey! I've got to stop admitting to adventures.
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post #25 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 09:53 PM
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In the hands of a capable rider, the Vstrom can easily handle all kinds of rough terrain.

Including steep gravely hill climbs....

Deep, sandy water crossings.....

Nasty, sticky mud.....

And even sandy desert washes.....

Hmmm maybe I need a dirtbike....
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post #26 of 98 Old 01-21-2019, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Macdoc View Post
Off pavement is NOT off road.
Adv bike, dual sport, dirt bike....what’s what for what, off pavement can mean many different things, did you specify single track or MX track? I’ve been on many “so called roads” on my Strom, they weren’t pavement or gravel, but at times they did appear to be some kind of road or trail, so that doesn’t mean off road in your opinion? Know a guy/friend here who regularly rides the hell out of his 1000 Strom in Wayne National Forest trails and single track here in Ohio, is that not off road enough? The bikes are plenty capable and I stand by my opinion and observations, most dual purpose machines need smart mods to make them more appropriate and easier going, so the Stroms are no different. Well of course they are a handful off the beaten path, and oh boy when you drop it......but many do it all the time all over the world. So for average rider it’s gonna be a serious handful and likely not sensible, but those with skill and experience can make it look almost easy. One persons sensible, is another persons nightmare.
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Last edited by Big B; 01-21-2019 at 12:19 AM.
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post #27 of 98 Old 01-21-2019, 01:07 AM
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I agree that skill levels can make a huge difference in a V-Strom's off road potential, but one thing that isn't going to be affected by skill level is physics. There's no getting around the fact that it's a 500 pound motorcycle (or more, depending on accessories) with only 6 inches of ground clearance (less, with a skid plate), almost forty pounds of fuel sitting on top to make it top heavy, and only about 6 inches of suspension travel in the front and rear. It's perfectly fine for gravel and dirt fire roads, and even smooth singletrack, but in even marginally sketchy conditions you're going to have to work about 10 times harder to ride it than you would an actual dirt bike. In terrain that you could just power up and "float" a dirt bike, you're going to have to crawl over obstacles and hope those roots and babyheads aren't too much for your skidplate and short travel shocks. And woe unto you if you're out on a trail alone and your V-Strom falls over on an off camber hill. Even a TT250 could be a pain to recover in that sort of situation; imagine trying it with a 500 plus pound bike.

If your idea of off road is rough gravel and dirt roads like you find in a national forest, then the V-Strom will do just fine. Even a dirt, non technical singletrack through the woods wouldn't be off limits. If "off-road" means really off road, with deep mud, sand, slickrock, rocks, logs, etc, and especially if you don't have any off-road experience, then I think you're going to end up hating the V-Strom. It's a terrible bike to learn off road techniques on, because off road riding techniques that actually do work on an actual dirtbike could be disastrous if you tried them on the Suzuki.

I don't doubt for a second that a pro MX rider could take a V-Strom and make it do amazing things on some pretty rough terrain. I'm also fairly certain that, if you asked that rider once he was done whether he'd choose to do the ride again on the V-Strom or a YZ450, his answer wouldn't be "pass me the Suzuki, please".
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post #28 of 98 Old 01-21-2019, 02:40 AM
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I disagree with the "harder than a dirt bike" comment. There are SOME situations where a DL outperforms a dirt bike. Climbs where you'd have to wring the neck of a dirt bike are relatively easy on a DL, as are sketchy downhills on the ABS models. Sloppy conditions (NOT sticky mud) are easier on a DL than on a dirt bike. Long miles on relatively good dirt roads are also easier on a DL.

Even ground clearance is less of an issue that you'd expect as I've usually had enough torque and power to be able to pick my way through. Admitted slower than a bike with 10" of clearance but in some ways easier as well. Just using some common sense and slowing down or turning around when it gets really sketchy is a lifesaver.

Where the DL excels is long days on relatively good dirt roads or seal, or long distances to the dirt without the dirt being too nasty. I've ridden riders on real dirt bikes into the ground with long days on unsealed roads.

If you don't have dirt experience, buy a cheap 250cc dirt bike and get that first. And no, bigger is not better there.
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post #29 of 98 Old 01-21-2019, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Some truly helpful advice.

Can’t thank you all enough for helping reset my expectations.

So while I take from all this that a V-Strom is certainly not a 4x4 replacement, it would allow me to join a really incredible group of likeminded adventure riders. I’m sold - although maybe I should buy a cheaper dirt bike first just to get my skills up.

Looking forward to picking your brains in the future and hopefully helping out myself.

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post #30 of 98 Old 01-21-2019, 04:51 AM
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Vstroms are fine offroad. So long as it's not mud. I hate mud.
Major advantage they have over a bmw or a ktm is parts would be usually cheaper if you dropped a suzuki.
My advice would be, get 50/50 tires for sand and deep gravel. I use my sport tires for dirt roads.
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