|07-11-2010, 07:28 PM||#1|
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: BNE AU
DL650A and gravel roads
I'm the proud owner of a 2nd hand DL650A that I have treated to some nice suspension (Wilbers and Ractech) and some TKC80's in preperation for a long trip with lots of gravel roads.
I'm a road rider and have only ridden plenty of crap farm bikes on dirt (no brakes, no idle, no seat, you know the type)
I'm 6'3" tall and standing on the pegs of the DL in stock form is out, the bars are too low. I can't raise them due to the ABS brake hose lengths. I'm looking at lowering the pegs atm (Rick's).
So - what do need to know about gravel roads with the odd bit of sand (western qld au)?
Steering Damper needed?
Can't stand up - will I die?
ABS - is the Suzuki version ok on gravel?
Weight (gear on back, fuel etc)
Any tips appreciated.
I have ridden my old GPX250 on sandy gravel roads near Roma for about 100km with road tyres. That was what I would call "not fun". Even in 1st it wanted to fall over.
|07-11-2010, 07:56 PM||#2|
Finding my way home
Joined: Jun 2005
2. Can't stand up - Same as above or if you're not going to do any single track.
3. Tire pressure - You might want to drop it to 20-25# in the gravel.
4. Weight - Don't worry about it. Just don't forget it's back there if you pick up the speed in the gravel.
Hth and good luck.
|07-11-2010, 07:59 PM||#3|
Red Clay Halo
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Richmond, Va
Could always raise the bars and get a longer brake line hose. If you haven't raised the bars at all, there is a little bit of room for raising. Plus changing the bars to something with a bit less sweep will also allow you to raise the bars, and will feel better when standing.
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
You can be Han Solo, and I can be another Han Solo...
|07-11-2010, 08:39 PM||#4|
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Clarinda, Iowa, USA
The DL with TKC's is something i have a lot of experience with. Lower the tire pressures if your going to run gravel for extended periods of time. It makes a huge difference!
What pressure is just something you'll have to experiment with to see what you like best for your weight, etc.... don't go to low as you may run a risk of bending a rim if you hit a sharp rock etc..
If i'm going to run some on and some off road etc.. i run 25lbs front and rear.
I'll go down to 20lbs if i'm just going to run nearly all gravel.
I have ROX risers on mine so if i'm going to be doing a lot of dirt/gravel riding a quick adjustment of the risers to move the bars up makes it a lot more comfortable for standing on the pegs etc....
2005 BMW 1200GS
|07-12-2010, 05:07 AM||#5|
Big Bike, Slow Rider
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Frankston, Australia
Here's my $0.02 worth.
I rode my wee-strom from Menindee to Birdsville and back. I hadn't ridden on dirt for 20 years and had only been on road for 6 months.
Don't go to low on tyre pressures. Rocks bad enough to dent rims can be anywhere (even in sand). The Strom is a heavy bike and this amplifies any rocks the front wheel hits. I had a spare 19" tube (will fit back and front) and some tyre levers just in case. I scored two dents, but the tyres still held air.
Get a bash plate. Yes you lose some ground clearance, but I'd hate to think of the damage if I didn't have the bash plate.
I actually think (contrary to popular belief on advrider), that for me, the ABS saved me from locking the front wheel (with its resultant disaster) several times. If you want to turn it off, head over to here: http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,8792.0.html for some hints.
If you are on gravel, you have to turn the strom like a dirt bike. The technique for dirt is different than on the road. If you try and turn on the dirt, like you ride bitumen you are in for some truly terrifying moments
Get something (contact etc) to cover the plastics, just in case. Autozone sell a really thick head light protector stuff that is a PITA to apply, but will protect against scratches, rock etc.
You can get different bars on the ABS model (Pro Taper ATV HI will fit with no change to hoses) and Barkbusters will protect your levers (and hands).
Hope some of this helps,
2005 KTM 640A
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