Knobbies? Meh. A supermoto in Utah.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by oldoval, May 7, 2017.

  1. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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    About a month ago I picked up a DRZ400SM. I'd been wanting another dual sport for some time, and spent way too much time deciding what bike to get. I went back and forth between the DRZ400S and the DR650, and a few European models that were out of my price range. The Tonya Harding to my kneecap of thought was the 400SM. I've always wanted a supermoto, and you get some cool parts with the SM version. Inverted forks, better shock, nicer looking tapered swingarm, Fat bars, and those bitchin 17 inch Excel wheels. But would it suck offroad as is? Would I have to immediately buy some knobbies or even a set of dirt wheels to leave the asphalt? Would the suspension be all wrong?

    Of course not, it's pretty badass as is.

    My first full day ride was on some local ATV trail systems I've ridden in the past including the Paunsaugunt trail system, the Freemont trail, and the Casto Canyon trail. Total for the day was about 170 miles with half being in the dirt. Some images from my trip.....

    Navajo lake off Hwy 14. Still snowy on top, but thawing quickly.

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    Climbing up Proctor canyon out of Hatch, UT to reach the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

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    The Paunsaugunt Plateau is best known for Bryce Canyon on it's eastern face. On the west side of the plateau are similar pink cliffs if a bit less dramatic. The trail system goes right to the edge of these cliffs in a few spots.

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    Poser shot.... You can spot Hwy 89 in the valley.

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    All the trails in the Paunsaugunt system go to and from the rim of the plateau to a large valley.
    On the way down...

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    Some fool really loves big grassy valleys.

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    In the bottom of the valley is Tropic Res.

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    More to come....

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    #1
  2. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Great stuff! Enjoy the new tard!
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  3. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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    Leaving the north end of the lake is the Freemont ATV Trail. The trail goes all the way to Circleville UT. This is a good way to connect to the Paiute ATV trail in the north. It's easy to travel most of Utah on dirt. Some views on my way north...

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    After traveling the Freemont for awhile, we turn off onto the Casto Canyon trail. Casto is behind the well known Red Canyon, the first sight you see on the famous Hwy 12.

    The Casto is 50 inch ATV trail, although over the years it has gotten wider. Likely due to assholes with super-wide RZRs who ride around the gates. It still has it's charm with a few roller coaster sections as it drops into the canyon.

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    Casto is quite gorgeous. The moto trail going right through the middle is just a bonus.

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    A turn or two out of Casto and I'm back on pavement and civilization. Time for a late lunch and a quick ride home.

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    I'll probably use this thread to post a few more street-tire adventures. I'll likely spoon on some TKC80s as my next tires now that they come in supermoto sizes.

    .
    #3
  4. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the great shots! My wife and I were visiting Bryce last weekend, and when we saw all the riding possibilities... we were wondering...
    #4
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  5. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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    A few pics from right after I picked her up.

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    Steep, loose, and off camber are the Kryptonite of slick street tires. Coming down this hill about did me in. On previous bikes with knobbies, this was cake.

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    .
    #5
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  6. tigger004

    tigger004 n00b

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    Looks lovely, such a nice place to ride, glad you had fun and shared it

    Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk
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  7. radbrad511

    radbrad511 Incurable

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    Wow! Hoping to visit in the near future!
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  8. mrstarks2001

    mrstarks2001 Ohh, not bad you?

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    Ill be taking my SM out there someday. Excellent photos. Try the Avon Distanzia Tire. It still gives the SM that slick look instead of mad max, does a great job on dry dirt (mud, not so much), and corners amazing on the blacktop.
    #8
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  9. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

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    Not too shocked you can *get* to places... pretty damn impressed you can get back down! Street tires on rocks/dirt going down hill.... not something I'm fond of!

    Nice pics!
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  10. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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    Coming down sometimes feels like riding on marbles.

    We got about 10 hours of rain last night so all the dirt should be nice and tacky for the next few days. :nod

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  11. c1skout

    c1skout Been here awhile

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    Wow! That's some fine property. Thanks for posting.
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  12. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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    Did a little exploring with my buddy on his DR650.....

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    Did enough offroad to get a nice coating of mud on my already slick street tires. Got back on the pavement and tried to go a little too hard before cleaning the mud off my tires. Slip, slide, bam! A nice little low side that resulted in a few scuffs on the bike and a broken rib for me. Ouch. When I feel like hitting the dirt again in a few weeks, I'll be spooning on those TKC80s I was talking about. :lol3

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  13. zwild

    zwild Adventurer

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    Yes please.:-)
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  14. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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  15. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    Great shots! And nice breath of fresh air while we're stuck in a heat wave. I'd better not let my wife see them or she'll try to drag me back to Utah :D
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  16. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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    It's been crazy hot here too. We we're hitting 100 in June... way too early. Quite honestly I haven't had much desire to get out in the dirt with as dry and hot as it's been. Just this last week we started getting some afternoon showers which cooled things down and helped with the dust. Our monsoon season should start next month which makes for some nice riding in the mountains.

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  17. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    Triple digit temperates inland here in NoCal this weekend. I was going to go hang gliding in Sierras, but the thought of baking on top of the mountain while I set up and waited for conditions to build was a bit too grim. Let's hope we both get better weather in a few weeks!
    #17
  18. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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    A little riding from the last few days.

    Got a set of TKC80s spooned on, thought I'd try them out on a few types of dirt. Conclusion: Not impressed. On the dry gravel and coarse sand we have here the rear is very loose. It feels like a hard 60/40 dual sport tire. I'm thinking because this tire is a radial and designed for heavy bikes, the knobs just aren't flexing enough under the little DRZ to get any bite. In the slick mud I rode in yesterday they also performed pretty poorly. A shame really...these things cost a lot.

    Some pics...

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    So, I definitely see a set of dedicated dirt wheels in my future. These TKC80s just aren't worth the money given their performance.

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    #18
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  19. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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    Any chance you can run lower air pressure to see if it improves the grip? maybe 10 psi or even less? Liking all those ATV trails. Can you ride all of them in UT with a street legal dirt bike?
    #19
  20. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

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    I started with 15 pounds which is what I usually run in my regular dualsport tires. I might try lower, but my gut feeling is that these tires are just too rigid for a lightweight bike.

    Utah is a really easy state to ride in, not uncommon to see ATVs or MX bikes riding down the blacktop. For the most part you can ride anything anywhere with a few exceptions.
    #20