How off-road can V-Strom sensibly go? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 98 Old 01-19-2019, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Sydney, Australia
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How off-road can V-Strom sensibly go?


Iím sure this has been addressed before but I just canít find your wonderful answers.

Iím days away from pulling the trigger on a VStrom 650xt as my first adventure bike. Ridden road bikes until now.

Iíve always 4x4ed but having moved to a big city Iím now looking for a way to downsize and still get to similar off-road spots.

How much can I achieve safely and sensibly on a VStrom 650? Iíve read reviews where they warn not to stray from well graded dirt roads. That would be a pity if true but understandable. Have also seen owners shy away from the Simpson Desert, Top End etc.

With some decent tyres and a few accessories how far off-road would you go?

Cheers for any advice.
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post #2 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 03:47 AM
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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.

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'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #3 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 03:58 AM
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If you have some dirt bike experience - if it looks like a road the DL is generally fine. Doesn't have the be graded, I've worked my way past the groups of 4x4's towing one another through several times. I've taken mine far worse places than that but it was out of the comfort zone for me and the bike.

And unless you put real dirt tires on it'll be painful and a DL burns those up quickly on the seal.

They certainly aren't a real dirt bike but provided you can remember that you should be fine. They handle bad roads quite well, less work in fact than the singles, just keep the speeds down if you are planning on taking on those bulldust roads - hitting a large dust filled pothole at speed is painful on any bike. Camerons corner has been done by guys on DL's numerous times but again, make sure you have suitable tires and know how to patch them.
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post #4 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 04:29 AM
Junior Trooper
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Based in UK, 20 years off road trials, enduro motocross, as previous depends on how much dinging, terrain, quality of tracks and your size. I am 1.73m and 80 kg, found mine too low, too heavy and too big for me in the UK. So kept it for road use and bought a H...a 250 much more ground clearance, lighter lack of range a pain in the arse oh and also much easier for whizzing around London

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post #5 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I am on my third V strom and will not venture anywhere I could not go in a two wheel drive pickup truck. Sure with the right armour, tires and willing participant they can be pushed anywhere. But remember they are a big, heavy, low ground clearance, poorly suspended chunk of metal that is more like a Scud missile than a motorcycle when the going gets tough. Been there, got the bruises and T-shirt. Far from enjoyable.
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post #6 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 07:27 AM
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The key word in this thread is "sensible"!

Which limits the V Stroms to gravel roads, dirt roads that are not heavily rutted and/or muddy. Fire roads that are not rutted out.

The thing that limits the V Strom off road are its soft short travel suspension, ground clearance, and most of all weight.

I am sure I could put a V Strom across some trails that would bring smiles to anyone watching the video. But I know better from growing up riding true off road conditions. I have owned bikes that are built to do that. So with that in mind anyone that thinks the V Strom is a sensible off road machine is fooling themselves.

Where they excel is in riding long distances to get somewhere you want to be. Somewhere that has unmarked paved roads you have never been on. That lead to dirt and gravel roads where you want to go out a few miles to simply see where they go. Unpack the camping gear, catch dinner in the stream, build a fire to cook it. Then pack up and head out in the morning for another 400-500 miles to see what is waiting to see there!

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post #7 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 08:10 AM
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Everyone has summed it up here quite nicely. All of the things that make it a decent handling on road bike, make it a challenge off road. Think of it as a car-based SUV, as opposed to a Toyota Land Cruiser or Jeep and youíll be happier.

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post #8 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 09:14 AM
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Just how "sensible" are you? Zack Gagnon from Revzilla came out with this story. He rides a HD Sportster on two enduro rides. I'm not saying it is advisable or that I would do it. Just throwing it out there. FYI, I think the Sporty and the DL1000 are pretty close on weight.
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post #9 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 10:08 AM
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Hola, Brothergilbert,
At the turn of the century, like a long time ago, there were few paved roads and guys on motorcycles ventured forth and crossed the continents on bikes that had little or no air filters and few fuel stations to rely on. The suspensions were spring steel plates in front and negligible or non existent in the rear.
As others have noted, your skill level and common sense is what will make doing the outback possible. Take a shovel for digging out and a flask of petrol so you can light the damn thing on fire for a smoke signal when the situation gets dire!
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post #10 of 98 Old 01-20-2019, 11:32 AM
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I'm sorry all, when I think of off road motorcycle, only one comes to mind, ROKON
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