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  #1  
Old 9 Jul 2012
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Question V Strom riders advice wanted

Not sure that this is a 'tech' question but I wondered if anyone who has taken their Strom on sand or gravel with could pass on how the bike handled & what tyres & pressures they used please? Any replies gratefully received
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  #2  
Old 14 Jul 2012
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Sand and mud. Bike did not like it one bit. To help out drop the air down a good bit I do not know how much I droped it but it was much softer. Still the back end will wash out a bit more than I like.

I am told there are two ways to ride in this stuf vary slow and vary fast.
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  #3  
Old 14 Jul 2012
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The bike is a pig in soft sand and mud, for me it is worse as I have short legs

I let the front tyre pressure down to 20psi whenever I have no choice and as I have crashed a few times due to riding fast, next time I will try the slow paddle

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  #4  
Old 15 Jul 2012
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It handles like a greased monkey on ice . I have ridden a fair amount on gravel and mud but sand is a bit scarce in my area of Canada

I found I run about 25 pounds in the front tire and 20-22 in the rear depending on what and where I am riding.

Best thing to do is remember to stand up and get the weight on the foot pegs. It is a top heavy bike and reacts that way when it gets loose. I found on the pegs, body weight nutral to forward and steer with the gas. Lots of fun on packed gravel logging roads and the wet slimy mud we have hear.

As for sand I have not ridden this bike on it much but I would be it would just plough down and sink like a stone.

Contact Mountain Man here on HU. He has ridden his DL1000 through Africa a few times and would have a better idea of how it handles in the sand

Cheers

Dirtpig
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  #5  
Old 19 Jul 2012
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I live in the Kimberley in Australia and do a 40km pindan (dirt and fine sand) road 2-3 times a week two up with gear for work, with no previous time on an actual dirt bike. it's not a bike i would try to ride on the beach, but you can gt down some pretty sandy tracks on it. I ride with 17PSI in the front and 20 in the back for the commute, and keep an air compressor under the seat for when i get back to the tarmac
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  #6  
Old 30 Jul 2012
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i havn't rode mine in sand but i agree with pretty much everyone here, they are a TANK in the mud, i've used ratchet straps twice now to get me out of some thick stuff, but i wouldn't trade my strom for anything!
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  #7  
Old 31 Jul 2012
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Sand, around 20psi front and rear.
Stand up, keep your weight rearward, be prepared to screw on some throttle.
The most important is to keep your weight to the rear, keep your front unloaded in the soft stuff.
If your riding beach, once youré on the hardpack you may as well be riding the highway, just watch for washouts.
Dropping your pressures won't help you in mud, just be careful and look for the best line.
On gravel, as long as it's just normal gravel, (not that round hard pea sized crap around the Kimberley) you should be able to ride as normal.
Have confidence in the bike, it'll do just about anything with the right rider and the right tyres.
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  #8  
Old 1 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormboy View Post
Have confidence in the bike, it'll do just about anything with the right rider and the right tyres.

I´ll agree with that.

But it´s also good to keep in mind, that it is a heavy bike, that is NOT at its best environment, when the surface gets seriously sandy, or muddy. This basic fact will never change, no matter how much you tweak the bike.

It is better than a streetbike in those conditions, but for starters, any ´real´ enduro-bike will be easily 50 kilos, even almost 100 kilos lighter. So far ahead, that the DL650 cannot even be compared to them at all. (And when you hit the highway, with lots of weight on board, then it´s the other way round of course).

The critical question is, what kind of riding do YOU do.
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  #9  
Old 14 Aug 2012
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IS the Vstrom a REAL Adventure Touring bike?

I run Heidenau dual sport tires, and on the hiway run them with VERY HIGH PRESSURE [ 34 - 36 psi ]. THE FIRST TIME I tried the Heidis on the hiway with the recommended tire pressure [ 28 psi ] , I was appalled at how sluggish my Vstrom felt. My short test run up to > 100 MPH was NOT fun. But on the advice of Taylor at Vic BMW, who has a lot of experience with the Heidis on BMW 800 and 1200 GS type bikes, I aired up and now the hiway riding with the HEIDIS is quite nice. The Heidis have a very stiff carcass, and don't flex as much, so you can air them down quite a bit without worrying about the tire bruising. As long as you have enough pressure to keep them from slipping on the rims, you should be OK IF YOU GO SLOW!!

Last year I swapped up from a Weestrom 650 to a VEEstrom 1000.
Before I moved up to the heavier 1000, I decided to test the Wee by signing up for a serious Enduro type event, and because I was interested in how the VEE 1000 would handle in the technical stuff, I added about 40 lbs of gear to the Wee before the ride to simulate a VEE. Then I rode some overgrown decommissioned logging rods, some pretty technical single track, whoop dee doos, and "horse trails", with the Heidi aired down to 16 PSI.
BUT I RODE SLOW!!!!

Didn't fall, but with the very small ground clearance of the Wee, I did end up destroying my expensive Motech alloy skid plate coming down a steep washed out stream bed, where the rocks were bigger than my ground clearance. Some of these rocks were loose, and got under my skid plate and went down the hill with me. Rolling down a steep slope with a big rock as part of the steering equation was "interesting".

Short answer ...
the WEE [ and the VEE ] are not all that great in the the tight, single track, true off road ENDURO type riding. For that type of riding, I would much prefer a DR 650. However, on dirt roads, gravel, and the hiway, the more powerful, smoother Vstroms do very well indeed. And on any long trip, the comfort of the Vstroms is superb compared to most other so called dual Sport type bikes.

So,
IMHO,
for round the world H/U type adventure riding, the Wee and the VEE are definitely viable "Adventure Touring bikes. Much better than the KLR I rode for 6 weeks through the Baja or even the BMW Dakar I rode back.
just like any other opinion on the Internet,
YPMMV,
[;{)
LAZ 1
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  #10  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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Well written and I enjoyed that, Laz. Thanks.

Cheers

Nigel in NZ
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  #11  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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Nice write up Laz

I can say with the WEE and Heidenau K60 Scout at high pressure (33-44) I have managed 25,000km a set, the bike is fine but have damaged my bash plate due to low ground clearance and bottomed out many times

It is still going strong, but Kazakhstan roads win the first bout with the strom down in the dirt

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  #12  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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Can't compete with these blokes, but I just switched to K60's and a few miles of Yorkshire C-road/sheep tracks is telling me to give a big +2 to the above.

Andy
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  #13  
Old 9 Sep 2012
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44?? PSI?? That seems incredibly high. For tarmac I run 33f 36R - with most of my riding 2up and often fairly loaded with luggage. Just rode out to the camp I'm working from tonight - first time down the sandy road at night. Much slower - I normally average around 90Km an hour, but was down to 40 - I couldn't see the deep sand in time at higher speed. Also rode most of the way with the lights dipped - hi beams weren't lighting up the road well enough immediately in front of the bike

Only the one spill up here so far - riding in wheel ruts along a sand road. the sand immediately to either side of the bike was higher than the bottom of the strom. sneezed, moved to the side a bit and had the front dig in. thankfully i was only going 40k and neither of us were very hurt (nice big soft banks of sand to fall in to)
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  #14  
Old 13 Sep 2012
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44psi fully loaded with touring gear, works for me
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  #15  
Old 13 Sep 2012
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Putting some serious tires on a strom changes it from a slipy slidey street bike into a completely different machine that handles gravel much better. I work on bikes for a living and have had the oportunity to do a before and after on several wee stroms. tires change the handling for the better but really soft deep gravel or sand is still tough with a heavy bike and 19 inch front wheel.
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