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Old 01-22-2010, 11:07 PM   #1
Prairie Beemer OP
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Oddometer: 52
Airhead on gravel and dirt

I'd like to get a little more off the beaten path next spring on my R60/7. What can I expect from the bike on gravel, dirt, sand or maybe a little mud?

They seem to do fine in the old war movies.
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:01 AM   #2
SprintSix
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Ohio
Oddometer: 151
For light offroad use as described, they do great. Tires are the main factor. If you really are talking war era BMW they go well on gravel but my experience is limited to 2 rides. Very careful rides, fully restored bikes. Tires again would help enormously.

For more heavy use the big problems are ground clearance and weight. My budget plan for my 81 r100rt. Top brace, 1" over shocks, shallow pan and pickup froma /5, frame mounted bash plate, flip the exhaust, spark arrestor type mufflers, knobbily DOTS. Strip weight.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:28 AM   #3
jtwind
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Location: Madison WI
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Slow, cautious riding on gravel roads and relatively smooth dirt is fine and fun. As mentioned, anything else and you are limited by tires, ground clearance, weight and suspension. Even dual purpose airheads like the g/s aren't great in these situations unless much modified and prepped. But you should give it a try. Heck somewhere I saw a suzuki gsxr with knobbies that some character rode around the world.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:51 AM   #4
tennessee thumper
now in Mt. View, AR
 
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Oddometer: 647
Ride to your ability.

If you have some motocross experience you'll find the rubber cow to be heavy but quite capable in most situations.

Paved roads are the exception here in my neck of the woods and with my /5 I've done a number of ill advised water crossings, traveled many a forest service road and dug out of some pretty deep gravel.
Only thing worse for the wear was the front fender and oil sump.

The most important thing is having dry ground to ride on. Mud is not your friend when off roading on an airhead. My #1 rule is this...

when in doubt, throttle hard.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:02 AM   #5
lkchris
Albuquerque
 
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Wider bars are better than narrow bars.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:03 AM   #6
Ray of Sunshine
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Location: 42deg 40' 3"N 73deg 46' 54"W
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UNlike the street, forget you have a front brake. Even the POS front brake on a BMW airhead will lock the front tire. Not good.

I have ridden lots of dirt/gravel roads on my airhead and it isn't too bad. Not like a dedicated dual sport, but remain calm, let he bike find its way, and you will be okay.

Just how seriuos are you going to ride? Casual use, yes, serious ADV take no prisoners mud plagging, there are much better choices.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:04 AM   #7
Country Doc
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: somwhere north of Kingston, Ontario
Oddometer: 2,650
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtwind
Slow, cautious riding on gravel roads and relatively smooth dirt is fine and fun. As mentioned, anything else and you are limited by tires, ground clearance, weight and suspension. Even dual purpose airheads like the g/s aren't great in these situations unless much modified and prepped. But you should give it a try. Heck somewhere I saw a suzuki gsxr with knobbies that some character rode around the world.
I actually find my /6 and /5 easier to ride on gravel than my R100GS was. The CofG is low, they handle just fine on smooth gravel, and they were more predictable. I never knew what was happening beneath me on the GS.

I wouldn't try anything rough or loose, but I'd explore secondary unpaved roads to my hearts content on an old road-going airhead.

dc
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
motu
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Location: New Zealand
Oddometer: 4,367
They go great on gravel,I think my R65 goes better on gravel than all the adventure bikes I had before.Set up is important though....tyres and bars.


motu screwed with this post 01-23-2010 at 06:29 PM
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
Country Doc
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cool bike!

dc
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:58 PM   #10
Boon Booni
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Location: Richmond, Va
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motu
They go great on gravel,I think my R65 goes better on gravel that all the adventure bikes I had before.Set up is important though....tyres and bars.


What bars are you running?
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:01 PM   #11
chiefrider
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Location: The lovely Willamette Valley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie Beemer
I'd like to get a little more off the beaten path next spring on my R60/7. What can I expect from the bike on gravel, dirt, sand or maybe a little mud?

They seem to do fine in the old war movies.
Airheads work fine on gravel!


Tom in Salem
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