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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few years ago I rode my Suzuki V-Strom 650 on a high, dry, rocky road in the Cascades up above Yakima, WA. It was a bit of a challenge, but by taking it easy, I got the bike through. Wasn't really any big deal at all. Magnificent scenery.

The Strom is really a street bike, but at only 440 - 450 pounds or so, it can be coaxed through mild off-pavement adventures and I've done so many times. Suzuki lists it as a "dual sport" but I think that's really pushing the definition of dual sport...

A few days ago we took two 4x4's on that same road up above Yakima.... Three years, and recent heavy thunderstorms changed the characteristics of the road. Lots of mud holes, and the heavy rains had washed away a LOT of soil, exposing rocks for miles and miles.... I was putting slowly along in my Jeep, no problem, but looked hard at that road and thought to myself that there was no way I could safely ride my Suzuki across it now... I'm just not that good a dirt rider, and it's not that good a dirt bike.

I guess my lesson learned here, or re-learned, is that weather conditions can radically change any dirt road, making it sometimes impassable, or at least unsafe to travel. I know most of you guys are pure street riders and wouldn't risk your chrome & paint on dirt & rock. Take care & be safe. The road can get ya, even if it's not paved.

Regards, Guy
 

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Another example - clay roads that are easy to traverse when dry become too slippery for 2 wheels when wet. Even a little rain can make riding treacherous and can really mess up what began as a nice ride. :eek:

Fair weather riding for me only (but have been caught in rain storms more than a few times ::) ).

Mountainous areas are notorious for rapidly changing weather conditions (my '02 Suzuki DR650 shown here :cool: ) -

 

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Thanks for the reminder Guy.
2 wheels or 4, always ride/drive to the conditions.



Mark.
 
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Another example - clay roads that are easy to traverse when dry become too slippery for 2 wheels when wet. Even a little rain can make riding treacherous and can really mess up what began as a nice ride. :eek:

Fair weather riding for me only (but have been caught in rain storms more than a few times ::) ).

Mountainous areas are notorious for rapidly changing weather conditions (my '02 Suzuki DR650 shown here :cool: ) -

SHOT:biggrin:
Can you beat that GUY:biggrin:

GUS
 

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It can be surprising what kinds of roads a street oriented bike can handle. I'll agree that sand, steep grades or mud can stop the street oriented bike but I've rode many hundreds of miles off pavement with my street bikes - with full fairings too. As long as the grade is easy and you keep your speeds low most gravel roads are traversable on street tires. One of my favorite trips was across the Mendocino National forest on a beautiful summer afternoon at about 10 mph with no helmet. the Suzuki GS 850 with windjammer fairing made it no problem. The large rim size of motorcycles helps immensely over the rough sections. If Slamfire swithches out his tires for a more agressive style he'll have no problems with the mud and his DR. You give up a bit of pavement traction but gain a whole lot in the gravel and mud
. Goosenest 004.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Agree. I used to take my Suzuki 750 on a lot of dirt roads in the Sierras. The Triumph Scrambler was a real joy on Forest Service roads and my current V Strom is pretty capable off-pavement.

Rider confidence and using the ol' noggin help considerably.

Guy
 
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