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Sportsbikes off the beaten track.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by mcbigg, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Yesterday I visited a friend who lives on a farming station which is placed out behind some of the largest pine forests in South Australia which surround Nangwarry and Tarpeena. 37 33'38"S, 140 50'39"E for those interested (Paste into Google Earth)

    The road there was mostly bitumen with a little gravel at the end. No dramas there.

    One the way back, I chose to give myself a little adventure and took the forestry roads back. This meant riding over terrain including slippery clay and limestone, soft sand, long grass, big puddles and fallen branches. It also meant dodging roos and emus.

    And I loved it!

    My little ZXR-250 handled it so well. The soft sand caused the hairiest moments, almost causing me to come off a couple of times, mainly due to the bike 'tramlining' in the deep ruts left by forest trucks. And there were a couple of times I got a little heavy with the throttle (as heavy as you can get with a 250, anyways!) causing the rear to slip around a little, but in general, the bike was quite controllable.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the adrenalin rush I got from trying something new and daring on the bike.

    Does anyone else take their sports bikes to places that you wouldn't normally associate sports bikes with?

    (I know there's a video floating around of a guy who took his R1 all over the world and over terrain most wouldn't dream of.)
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  3. I have a bad habit of taking 'inappropriate' vehicles onto unpaved roads, usually by cartographical error when searching maps for squiggly roads.

    My lowered MR2 (mid-engine sportscar) has been on no-2WD-access-when-wet roads - thank god for adjustable damping rates - and both the VTR250 and now the Tiger have gotten a little muddy.

    Nothing X-treme - especially compared to some of the places people have taken Goldwings (!) - but enough to satisfy me. :p
  4. Yep.. Tried to ride a moto-guzzi from the Daintree rain forest to Cooktown in Far North Qld on the dirt road a few years ago. We made it across 3 creek crossings after walking across first to check the depth. Didn't try the 4th crossing after watching a 4WD struggle. Some of the hills we rode up were 4WD low-range steep and I dropped the bike going up one with the wife on the back. She walked up the rest and was swearing at me... :oops:
  5. why hate people who choose where they ride their machines? There are an equal number of sportsbike riders who never take their bike to a racetrack!


  6. P1030605.
    mine goes off-road all the time.
    this was taken after 50+kms of wet slippery mud riding :)
  7. I did a creek crossing and front wheel whacked a large rock/pothole in the water, damaging the rim a little bit. Dirtbikes have spoked rims which I'm told can absorb the bumps without warping the rim.. :cry:
  8. you'd better let all the riders of the strom's, gs's, varaderos, ulysses and all the other dual sports with cast wheels know.

    Low pressures in any wheel type are a danger where roads aren't smooth (and that includes potholes on asphault roads) but you can easily damage the rim edge on any bike if a rock slides up the side of the tyre - and that has nothing to do with cast or spoked wheels.
  9. Yeah I don't know much (actually anything) about offroad riding. But yeah I know my SV didn't like it so I'll be going slower through there next time, I was way to ambitious for a road bike :wink:
  10. I wouldn't say that - riders never used to have this idea of "this bike is for road only" and "that bike is for dirt only". They took their bmw tourer, harley or whatever where ever the heck they wanted to go - skinny road tread tyres, cast wheels and all.

    If you've ever been to a rally around the country you'll be aware of what people ride to them - mud, dirt, creek crossings or tar - they all get there with what they have. A bike doesn't have the one application that many young people think they do. Sure, we are spoilt for choice now, and bikes focussed on one particular field do better in that field than alternatives, but the point of this thread is really the same thing you are saying. And it ain't true.

  11. Yeah but I was going too fast through there. I'd say it would have been an acceptable speed on a dirtbike through there, but not a roadbike.
  12. Gotta admit that semi-knobbly or knobbly tyres help, though. ;)

    (Says the guy who entered an on-and-offroad mountainbike orienteering competition on totally slick road tyres because the sketchy handling and slower speed offroad was worth the extra speed on the road and hardpack sections)

    Once I told my brain's "getting sideways" detector to STFU and the road surface became a little less loose and rutted, it became quite fun to go zooming along Clarence Way on the Tiger. 70, 80, 100+kph. Afterall, it's got good medium-travel suspension - it's just not crash-hardened like a "real" offroad bike, or wearing tyres with hardpack/gravel tread.
  13. certainly - but even in the pics above, you'll find a difference in pucker factor between those wearing powers or qualifiers compared to those with more 'touring' type tread patterns. I've also found that my blackbird can cross deeper streams than my GS can!
  14. Slicks are fine on pretty much anything hard pack or not TOO loose, as good as knobbys in some cases. Anything else can require extra care or momentum.

    As for the rims, you'll dint any rim hitting a sharp rock or square ledge. Spoked rims come into their own (strength wise) when you're talking about big impacts like landing a jump (plus you're much better off breaking a replaceable spoke).
  15. Yeah... the Pilot Roads on the Tiger reminded me a lot of riding my MTB on loose dirt/gravel with slicks on. Squirmy but managable so long as it wasn't toooooo deep and just let the bike do what it wanted. Gotta have faith!

    Re: the GS... the low-mounted airbox on the GS strikes again? :)
  16. yeah - the snorkle is low and forward on the 12's. On the 11X0 it is higher and under the seat, so they were much better.

    Still - i'm working on a vacuum cleaner hose mod ;)
  17. Hey guys. Careful with extended trips on bumpy roads, just had to shell out for new head stem bearings on my bike cos of this..
  18. the head stem bearings aren't any different to your wheel bearings - if they collapsed, they were made of cheese, poorly lubricated (common, especially on old bikes) or hadn't been adjusted for a long time and once the preload disappeared the rolling elements pounded grooves in the races.

    Just another argument for preventative maintenance, not restricting the roads you ride on. Riding through water in particular has preventative maintenance attached to it, but isn't really any different to washing lubricant out of bearings when washing the bike in the back yard either.

    The head bearings on a dirt bike aren't any different to those on road bikes. They certainly aren't giant megoliths specifically made for dirt bikes.

    If you had a problem with yours, it wasn't with the roads you were on.

    Ask anyone who regularly rides around the country - even the tarred roads here are often worse than the dirt ones in terms of bumps.
  19. I was just saying be careful, not that you can't do it.. Sports bikes are made for road and racetrack not dirt roads.
  20. Ok, Head stem bearings aside, there are 100 other reasons why you should be careful with a sports bike on dirt roads. I didn't say shouldn't do it, just to be careful..

    Hate to think of anyone damaging their bike, that's all..