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Discussion Starter #1
Gents:
After spending all my riding career on the road, I have acquired a 2015 VStrom 650 set up for light off road riding. My cousin has a NC700 and rides on/off and loves it. I watched BDR videos and decided I would love it too. It could be my 20 year old mind telling my 60 year old body it's OK. We shall see. I have seen some folks here have 650's too. My question is about riding them. Are you doing a lot of dirt/gravel riding? Do you use different equipment, helmets, etc? We have the MABDR here in Virginia, running up into PA, so we plan on doing part of that in southern VA. It will be my introduction to what looks like a cool alternative riding adventure. There are other BDR's in the western states, too. I hope I will be able to continue and not have to sell my new bike and just watch videos. Cheers!
 

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My good riding friend has a V-Strom and rides it on (mostly 80%) street/pavement, BUT not afraid to take it on hard packed dirt roads now and then...(he sold both his Harleys and just loves the V-strom better...)

Ronnie
 
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Congrats on the Vstrom nice bike I also do mostly gravel roads light trials on my KLR for equipment I use my Kevlar jeans with knee shin amour with off road boots at the moment just using my road helmets yeah just take it easy enjoy the trails bones don t heal quick at our age :thumbup:
 

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I had a 2012 DL1K for about a year. I really liked taking it on forest service roads. Wasn't comfy for the wife, so it got traded on my new Wing.

Bike was FAST and quick. I didn't care for the chain mx every 2 fill-ups. Yes, a VERY minor thing, but after almost 30 yrs of shaft drive bikes, chain was a pain.

Had to put quite a bit of $$ into it (Madstad windshield and bracket, bash plate, custom saddle, etc) to make it more of a mile eater and lost much of that investment when selling the parts pre-trade in on the Wing. But, it is what it is.
 
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I have a 2012 DL1000
Bought it new, and it has been super reliable and comfortable.
Off road, doable, but your asking for punishment.
Dirt roads are easy and fun.
Paved roads, that's where I am 90% of the time. Just a really great motorcycle.
As comfortable on long rides as anything I ever road, besides the wing, and if it had fairing like a wing, it would probably be more comfortable than the wing.
 
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I have a DL650 that's wears street tires. I do dirk roads on occasion, and a few gravel roads. The bike does pretty well on hard dirt roads, and OK on gravel. If I was going to do more off paved roads, I would do knobbies or semi-knobbies. I wear the same stuff no matter which bike I'm on (Wing, Wee, Ninja, Fat Bob) - armored jacket, FF helmet, armored gloves, dedicated motorcycle boots with shin protection, etc.
 

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Bought my first Adventure bike back in 2016, a used 2013 Yamaha Tenere 1200, it had 8,000 miles on it when I bought it fully equipped and very reasonably priced.
The reason I bought it was to ride it to Prudehoe Bay Alaska which we did. Originally the plan was to try and sell it after the trip was over but I never attempted to sell it, after 50,000 miles I traded it for a brand-new 2018 with electronic suspension and cruise control, the main reason for the trade was to get cruise control, factory cruise control was not available in 2013. I managed to make a deal transferring all the accessories from the 2013 to the new 2018, ended up being an expensive trade but I’m happy.
Actual off road riding I have done almost none but I have ridden it quite a bit on gravel roads, since I bought it the end of October 2018 I have put 5,500 trouble free miles on it.
Honda ,Yamaha ,KTM ,BMW all seem in love with building these adventure bike with twin cylinder engines, I would love to try a three cylinder about 800cc with shaft drive but no manufacturer is building that.
Gear I wear pretty much the same gear on both the Goldwing and the Tenere, but now days I have two Arai XD helmets, one helmet has a Sena headset so I can listen to the GPS while riding the Tenere.
 

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Heres a clip of my buddy and I riding our V-Stroms preparing to head to Prudhoe Bay in June. I have a DL 1000 and he has the 650. I gotta say they are a blast to ride.


We came up with a ridiculous plan to buy 3 cheap bikes for less than $2500 and head out on a 12,000 mile ride. Should be interesting to say the least. So far we have got them all serviced up and feel confident that they will serve us well. Enjoy the new toy and don't worry about the dirt she'll take whatever you can.
 

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I have an old 650 Strom. Fun bike. I just put a Kenda knobby on the front (now that the GL is my tour bike :) and plan to do some more exploring.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everybody for checking in. I got back from my trip to Douthat State Park, Clifton Forge, VA. Rode with my cousin (NC700) and his buddy (2009VStrom). We rode a bunch of back roads through the mountains and valleys. Beautiful country. Got off road through the national forest fire roads for about 50 total miles. My VStrom did good over the packed dirt but was a little wobbly in the gravel. I actually ran off the road once through some loose gravel. It was my first off road adventure. Pretty lite but good enough for me. Looking forward to more. The VStrom is a great smaller bike, smooth on the interstate and nimble in the twisties. With it and the Gold Wing, the best of both worlds.
 
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Cycledude, I have been looking for the same kind of bike you want and I haven't found one either. I would love to buy a little 650cc or even up to a 900CC bike with a shaft drive. At this stage of my life, I don't want to be annoyed with Chain clean and lube every two tanks of gas.

Much less the replacement of sprockets at very low mileage intervals. Heck, if saving weight is the idea behind chAINS, just use a belt drive. They have a 100,000 mile longevity.
 

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My next bike will be an adventure type bike. I won't be selling my Wing, the ADV will be a second bike. So often I come across gravel or dirt roads when I'm out exploring, and sometimes I try them in my touring bike but usually I don't. A few times I've had to stop and turn around because the road just got too hairy for my touring bike. I'd like to actually ride and explore the less traveled unimproved stuff, and for that I'll need the proper bike. Besides, I'd love to ride up to Prudhoe Bay someday and I'll need the proper bike for that anyway!

I'll be interested to see how the Harley Pan America turns out next year, but I'm certain it will be too expensive and too heavy. More likely I'll get a used Africa Twin in a few years, maybe even a small Vstrom or a Tenere.
 
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