Cleveland Dirt

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by exovaria, May 7, 2020.

  1. exovaria

    exovaria Adventurer

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    It's that time of year again when I realize I still haven't taken my F800GS off-road, wonder why, and then remember I live in Cleveland and that just about everything I've ever read about is 3 hours away.

    Does anyone have any leads on dirt roads that won't take an entire day to get there and back from? The goal is to find an area that's close enough so that I can get out somewhere regularly without having to make tons of arrangements due to work, kid, etc.

    I'm a fairly experienced street rider on this thing but still running the stock tires and have zero experience on dirt so, uh, not sure if I'm ready for singletrack.

    Thanks for any help/advice you can offer.
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  2. SlipChip

    SlipChip Adventure Commuter

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    #2
  3. exovaria

    exovaria Adventurer

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    I live in Shaker Heights and am back and forth between there and the airport daily. I keep riding further east trying to get out of civilization but haven't made it that far yet. Will comb through Gravelmap and see what I can find. Thanks for this.
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  4. Maxwell00

    Maxwell00 Adventurer

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    There’s plenty of dirt/gravel roads down near Loudonville, OH. It’s probably 90min from Shaker Heights?
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  5. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried Supporter

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    post this same question in the "Adventure in Ohio?" thread in this same forum and sit back and watch the replies fly. Honestly, you're several hours from decent dirt and gravel roads, being in CLE. If you don't care about scenery, there are some cool unpaved tracks along the many RR areas right around downtown CLE. Not "technically" legal, but I rode many of them years ago w/out issue (aside from strange looks from homeless people living amongst the various bridges and tunnels)
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  6. FatherX

    FatherX Essential Rider Supporter

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    If you just want experience on gravel and crap roads , head east. Ashtabula Co, Geauga, toward PA. Mostly straight but if you have no experience it could be a good way to dip a toe.

    If you want more, join me and @2a2gtis next time we head south.
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  7. 2a2gtis

    2a2gtis Been here awhile

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    @exovaria
    There is some fun stuff like @FatherX mentioned. he knows all the cool spots.
    For sure some fun stuff in wine country.
    A half day or less of riding out there will have you smiling.
    The southern stuff is more fun but- if you just want to roll out to lake/geauga sometime for a few hours we would roll with you.
    Were always going south also.
    let us know- pm or whatever. Mid week stuff is a possibility.
    I can be on my bike geared up at 5:30ish during the week.
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  8. exovaria

    exovaria Adventurer

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    @2a2gtis @FatherX That would be pretty awesome to go putter around The Far East sometime, I really appreciate the offer. I could also be ready around that time most days of the week when I'm not on baby duty. What do you guys ride? I've also been looking at going to Wayne or Perry but, never having done this before, I'm pretty cautious about riding 3 hours to get to a completely unfamiliar area, probably eat shit a few times, and then try and then either ride back or find a hotel for the night. That's more or less the motivation for more local excursions: test myself (and these Tourance Nexts) against relatively simple terrain and then say "oh ok, I at least have some idea of what I'm getting into."

    So yeah, let me take a look at the schedule and I'll let you know what evenings work if you guys wanna roll around. Genuinely appreciate it.
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  9. FatherX

    FatherX Essential Rider Supporter

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    I like the attitude.

    We have options. V-Stroms for long road days with gravel and hopes of making it home, although we have done overnight trips.

    Smaller bikes via trailer/van for dirty days with possibility of smashing stuff.


    Feel free to message me or Chris for contact info. Maybe grab a coffee and see if we gel.

    Apparently I'm eXcentric.
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  10. exovaria

    exovaria Adventurer

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    Thank you. Probably V-Stroms make more sense unless I stumble across a dual sport in the next week or two. I'll PM you both and we can probably bullshit in a gas station parking lot for a bit.
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  11. FatherX

    FatherX Essential Rider Supporter

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    You're welcome to ride my dr650 or drz400 if you want to try small(er) bike stuff. Also have a dr350 but it's being weird lately.

    I'll be riding tomorrow

    Chris and I hit Wellsville a couple weekends ago.

    A13203BA-198F-4434-BE3E-F3EC99976D7E.jpeg

    V-Stroms
    70245.jpeg

    70256.jpeg
    #11
  12. SlipChip

    SlipChip Adventure Commuter

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    Lol. Just figured that out, did ya? :Wink
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  13. 2a2gtis

    2a2gtis Been here awhile

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    @exovaria anytime.
    Any evening during the week, its a strong possiblity i will go out for an hour or 2.
    Those days I stick to a pavement route pretty much.
    Im in Mentor at 306/84. I'll head southish along the chagrin river or towards the lake county parks to the east.
    Both areas/ rides have easy freeway access for the most part for returning home quick.
    see you soon!
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  14. kraesheo

    kraesheo Adventurer

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    Hey guys - a bit late to this thread, but I just posted a thread and would love to get some feedback from any of you if possible. I'm from CLE area and trying to decide on a first bike, sounds like you guys would be able to give some good advice based on what I'm looking for. Thanks!
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  15. exovaria

    exovaria Adventurer

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    @FatherX @2a2gtis This week is shaping up to be pretty dumb on my end as I'm on baby duty tonight and tomorrow. Thursday or Friday are still looking possible so I'll let you know tomorrow probably what the deal is. Also really appreciate the ride offer, @FatherX , that could be helpful. I had a WR250R and a XR650L and definitely miss lighter bikes a lot.

    @kraesheo Sure, let me try and find your other post. Whereabout in Cleveland? First bike ever or first adv(ish) bike?
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  16. kraesheo

    kraesheo Adventurer

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    @exovaria I'm in Lorain. This will be my first bike, no stranger to mountain biking so I can dig off-roading but I'm not 100% sure if it's better to get a more dirt-oriented dual sport or a good street bike that can do some light off-roading, but my other post will explain. Shouldn't be hard to find, it's my only one :rofl
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  17. FatherX

    FatherX Essential Rider Supporter

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    https://advrider.com/why-an-adventure-motorcycle-is-the-best-first-bike/

    Take the MSF class.

    Start smallish . You can get confidence and technique then dish it off and adjust.
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  18. exovaria

    exovaria Adventurer

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  19. kraesheo

    kraesheo Adventurer

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    @exovaria @FatherX Just saw this article earlier today and read it, it was a good read. The top 2 picks I had were between a DR and V-strom, but am starting to lean towards a V since I think it can handle what off-roading actually exists in Ohio, and will be much better on the road which will likely be a lot more often than off-road. Are either of those not "smallish"? I know they're on the heavier side, but I've seen lots of people saying that isn't really an issue as long as you don't ride stupid or push the bike outside it's limits.
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  20. exovaria

    exovaria Adventurer

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    A DR650 weighs somewhere around 366 lbs with fuel, a V-Strom 650 weighs somewhere around 490 lbs with fuel, and a V-Strom 1000 weighs about 520 with fuel. It's difficult to define "smallish" because, well, bikes are all over the place. A "small" Harley like the Softtail Standard weighs 690 lbs with fuel and doesn't have gobs more power than the big V. Still, those 690 lbs are going to feel very different than any of the bikes mentioned here.

    In context, though, picking a 220 lb KTM 250 EXC-F up is going to be significantly easier than a 500 lb V-Strom which is probably what others meant by saying they are heavy. But, compared to other members of their class, a 500 lb V-Strom is right in the middle of the midweight ADV bikes (F800GS is around 500, new KTM 790 R is probably the class leader at around 420 lbs, Triumph Tiger XC 800 is 475, etc.)
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