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Old 6 Apr 2012
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Offroad on ER5?

Hi, i'm new here. I've been riding for almost a year now(7.000km hurray) on my trusted ER5. I'm wondering if it's possible to ride offroad with it. Anyone experience with that? And if so, any modifications needed to ride offroad? I don't want to ruin my bike.
Thanks a lot! Karolien
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Old 7 Apr 2012
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The short answer is yes, of course you can ride off road with your bike. But the degree of off-roaring that you'll be safely capable of will depend on the level of off-road experience you have. If I were you I'd get some training on a dedicated enduro or trail bike and then transfer that knowledge to your bike, adjusting where necessary to make up for differences in weight, tyres and suspension.
More malformed, irrelevant opinions here.
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Old 7 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Karolien78 View Post
Hi, i'm new here. I've been riding for almost a year now(7.000km hurray) on my trusted ER5. I'm wondering if it's possible to ride offroad with it. Anyone experience with that? And if so, any modifications needed to ride offroad? I don't want to ruin my bike.
Thanks a lot! Karolien
I love your question, not least because offroad is not defined here, or anywhere; to some folks it means disappearing into the bundooks searching out the most difficult terrain, on wheels, that they can find. To others, it means going off bitumen surfaces, such as riding a gravel track for a few hundred metres as the entrance to a campsite.
And, to others, off roading is riding competitively.
And long may that continue; no one owns the terminology.

So, as muppix says, you can do it, whatever it is that is within your own comfort zone and, sometimes, you will exceed that.

"I don't want to ruin my bike"
Your right, take care of your ER5, try it out doing whatever you are contemplating, be prepared to pick it up when it goes over and learn from that ............................... usually it's only the plastics that break, and some of the bits that stick out, like mirrors and levers.
BTW, you have been riding for a year -- have you dropped the bike yet? If so, how many times/what circumstances (there used to be a website, "100 ways to drop your bike", or something like that).
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Old 8 Apr 2012
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If you mean gravel and hard packed dirt then yes. Normal road tyres are fine on these surfaces. I've done 100's of K's on 020's and pilot roads on gravel with no issues at all. Mud and snow are a different story altogether but for summer in scandinavia, for instance, perfect.

There are issues with road bikes on loose surfaces though as they have steeper steering angles than trail orientated bikes and tend to feel quite unstable. This isn't helped by the forward biased weight distribution. Having said that, I've seen Buell's on gravel in Sweden and nothing has a steeper steering angle than one of those. Anything is possible.

Just don't expect to keep up with guys on KTM's!
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Old 8 Apr 2012
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Hi muppix, dave and flyingdoctor! I have zero experience riding offroad, unless you take into account a small stroke of grass and indeed a gravel road to a campsite (can you read my mind or what?). The tip of taking an offroad course on a proper offroad bike, and especially taking what I can learn there back home to my own bike is great thank you!
I've dropped my bike twice, fortunately I also can read my own mind so I was smart enough to have crash bars installed on it. First time: trying to turn from standstill, not enough gas/traction. Second time: rain, standstill, trying to pick up my backpack while still sitting on the bike: lost balance, bike goes down. Stupid mistakes but I've learned from them. No harm done!
I definitely don't expect to keep up with experienced guys on KTM's. But it's good to know that experienced guys don't think I'm crazy for at least thinking about offroading with my little bike. My mom however does believe I'm crazy...
Thanks guys, Karolien
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Old 9 Apr 2012
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Hi Karolien, yes you can take your ER5 of road. General trail riding will be possible and a lot of fun. Off road bikes are a recent invention, up until the 60's they didn't really exist. Riders used to modify road bikes to meet their requirements. You may want to start with a pair of wider bars and go from there. Ride within the limitations of the bike, learn and enjoy.
Have a look at the Some Assembly Required forum on advrider.com to see what some have done with your bike.
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Old 9 Apr 2012
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The off road courses are very useful even if you only ever have to get home on snowy days.

I'd also take a look on e-bay. Are ER-5 plastics and exhausts cheap and readily available? Can you fit your own? I ride a Triumph Bonneville on anything you could roughly call a road, be it dirt gravel etc. This will trash things like silencers but there are plenty of guys who buy style items for Bonnevilles and sell the standard items online, so I buy their cast offs. My Dad had an ER5 a few years back and I did think it had go anywhere do anything potential.

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