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Old 05-13-2009, 07:20 PM   #1
DaBrew OP
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Question How do you make a streetbike gravel friendly

I recently when on a road trip and during part of that trip I took a dirt/gravel/sand road about 7 miles long. My bike being a street bike did not handle it so well, but it was sooo much fun I am looking into some mods to make it more gravel friendly. I am totally new to this side of motorcycling, so any help is appreciated. I know tires are the most obvious place to start, but there are not many out there in a 160 size. Any suggestions in general?? Here a pic of the bike as I rode it on the gravel/dirt road
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:28 PM   #2
anonny
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For short stints like 7 miles on a long trip just slow down the pace, grin and bear it.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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Relax and look where you want to go. As on the street, your bike is more capable than you are.

Very nice pic BTW.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
Uncle Ernie
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The only thing I'd change is get rid of the stinky top box. Don't people know that weight up and back screws up your handling? Get the weight down and forward. If you have to, stand on the pegs. Don't white-knuckle the grips.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:37 PM   #5
rhys
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Technique babieeee!

I'm not an off-road kinda guy, but when I was coached to stand on the pegs rather than remain seated, THAT made all the difference in the world! I've now done goat trails, gravel, shell and loose dirt on a Beemer, Bonnie, and FZ1.... even with a top box in place. I had to learn how to allow the bike do it's thing beneath me, roll with the flow/dirt/ruts, and take the upper hand well in advance of when it would be needed. Eyes forward, loose grip, elbows out, think Samarai, think Zen, think Chi!
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:43 PM   #6
Patrick46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBrew
I am looking into some mods to make it more gravel friendly. Here a pic of the bike as I rode it on the gravel/dirt road
Ya need to introduce your motorcycle to the dirt and gravel
...and not some little "how-do-ya-do"..but a real IN YOUR FACE introduction!

I mean...lookit your bike here...it looks scared of the gravel. And you kin almost hear the dirt saying.."come down here with us...we wanna play with you!"
All that shiney paint is screaming "NO...I don't wanna get scratched!!!"
(it's been hanging out with those shiney road-hog types too much!
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:36 AM   #7
ditchbanker
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if you were really wanting to get into it, a larger front wheel would help. maybe a 19" off a v strom. it'd probably take a lot of work to make it fit, if it would fit, but it would probably help. still not as much as technique, though
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:00 AM   #8
DaBrew OP
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Sounds like technique it is!!! Maybe I'll drag my mountain bike outa the shed and right that in the gravel
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:35 AM   #9
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You may want to protect your exhaust pipes, brake discs and some type of crash bars, that way you can relax and enjoy instead of being worried about your bike being thrashed by your mistakes or those nasty little devil stones , at least that works for me.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:31 AM   #10
Hoseman
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How? Like this.......

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Old 05-14-2009, 11:48 AM   #11
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Actually, one of the most simple things to do is just lower your air pressure. Even with street tires, lower pressure in the 20-25 range will greatly help stabalize your bike. If its rocky, go on the upper end of that, but I like 20-22 myself on my vstrom. It makes a big difference on bikes that are more capable to handle gravel roads.

You can't do anything about the suspension, but at a certain pace, you'll tend to float over things more easily. Standing up does help also.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:38 PM   #12
gallinastrips
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Use the rear brake and if you buy another bike make sure it comes without linked brakes too
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:47 PM   #13
VtBlackDog
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its not that dirt is hard to ride, its the condition of the dirt.....

I take my 883 on dirt roads all the time, but I avoid wet conditions. If the road is dry and in decent shape, no worry. Some dirt roads are smoother than than paved! If its wet, just slow down/stand up.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:23 PM   #14
siyeh
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Just ride what you have. Works for me. When things get loosey goosey I just slow down a little. When on The Dalton last summer, where it was dry? I was doing 70-75 on a VTX 1800.



Where it was recently graded I slowed down to bout 35-40.



You get used to it after awhile. Let er rip! Dont death grip the bars tho.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:56 PM   #15
markk53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBrew
I recently when on a road trip and during part of that trip I took a dirt/gravel/sand road about 7 miles long. My bike being a street bike did not handle it so well, but it was sooo much fun I am looking into some mods to make it more gravel friendly. I am totally new to this side of motorcycling, so any help is appreciated. I know tires are the most obvious place to start, but there are not many out there in a 160 size. Any suggestions in general?? Here a pic of the bike as I rode it on the gravel/dirt road
Sell it and buy a dual sport! That was my solution...
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