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I saw a similar video for the Tenere 660 and since that bike isn't sold in the US and the GS/GSA is and have sold quite a few, I thought I'd do a similar video.  The things I go over in this video really apply to just about any adventure bike.

 

The key issue here for a lot of riders is what exactly do I need to do to my bike to outfit it for off-road riding?  When I started out I had absolutely no clue and unfortunately wasted some time and even more money figuring all this out.  I figure I can use my experience to save you money  :)

 

I have to say though that I honestly didn't know how much I'd enjoy riding my bike off-road when I first bought it.  I figured it was just a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.

 

However, these bikes don't exactly come dirt-ready off the showroom floor.  There are some things you should do right away, some things before others given their importance and of course some things you really don't need to do.  We've all seen that shiny sparkly bike at Starbucks all farkled up and you just know that thing has never seen anything more adventurous than a gutter in front of its driveway.  Don't be that guy!

 

The other thread here "Post your gear questions here" is more for the apparel side.  This is the bike part of that same set of questions.

 

I know it's long but if you're new to adventure riding or an experienced rider looking to explore more dirt, I think you'll find it helpful.

 

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IMO, the very most important thing is tire choice. Full blown knobbies for anything that involves off the pavement. You can live with knobbies on the pavement but not smooth tires on the dirt!!

 

I have first hand experience unfortunately.

 

Shortly after this shot was taken at Old Willies Grave I had a horrible get off. No warning whatsoever. Front in tucked in a deep sand wash and spit me off doing over 40 mph.

 

100_4073_zps131edfc6.jpg

 

I was able to lift my bike using my one good leg. It sucked! My buddy said the whole time riding behind me my bike looked like a snake.

 

The outcome was a stretched hamstring and over two months limping around. I drive a tanker truck delivering gas and went to work the very next day. With every painful step I promised myself to not ever compromise on tire choice in the dirt. 

 

100_4094_zpsa78b12a3.jpg

 

Hope this advice helps.

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Some people like to boast of their off road prowess and how they don't need a knobby or will do dirt with more of a 50/50 tire.  Jimmy Lewis says it's just dumb and unsafe to ride a motorcycle off road without the proper knobbies.

 

I guess if you commute and have a dirt road or two in your town then it would make sense, but not if you plan to do a lot of off roading.

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Some people like to boast of their off road prowess and how they don't need a knobby or will do dirt with more of a 50/50 tire.  Jimmy Lewis says it's just dumb and unsafe to ride a motorcycle off road without the proper knobbies.

 

I guess if you commute and have a dirt road or two in your town then it would make sense, but not if you plan to do a lot of off roading.

 

You got that right Eric! I noticed the pic of you catching air on you big beast in the dirt. Those were knobbies!! BTW, I'm watching your video in small spurts. Great great tips and solid advice.

Edited by Ballisticexchris
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You got that right Eric! I noticed the pic of you catching air on you big beast in the dirt. Those were knobbies!! BTW, I'm watching your video in small spurts. Great great tips and solid advice.

What picture was that?  If it was the blog post, that's a different guy doing LAB2V on the new LC GS.

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What picture was that?  If it was the blog post, that's a different guy doing LAB2V on the new LC GS.

 

It was the article in "size matters". Whoever it was he is in perfect form!!

 

http://xladv.com/blog/4/entry-11-size-matters/

 

Hope you don't mind me posting on your blog. The video you posted is really interesting. You're my kind of rider. I can tell by looking at that beast it's no pavement queen! 

Edited by Ballisticexchris

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Thanks!  A lot of the same people we know over a aolrider showed me how much fun the dirt is and I just always wanted more and preferred that to street.

 

I will have to ask Landon who that guy is.  I hear he is a really good rider.  When he posted that on fb, I commented "yeah not a good idea to ride w/hard panniers off road" and he said "don't worry, this guy is pro level."  I get the front wheel up on occasion but not like this guy :)

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Nice video! Lot's of good hints and tips in there! I have to agree, knobbies or at least a good 50/50 tire should be way at the top of the list. Also, a good electric pump for airing tires back up when you hit the pavement again, or for refilling after fixing a flat. I think you mentioned a hand pump in there which would do the job as well. Sounds like your bike is pretty well set up!

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I would prefer a good knobbie for riding off road but unfortunately I commute. 280 miles or so per week. Is there a compromise out there? Say a tkc 80 up front and a Heidenau in the back? What's peoples experience with this issue. I currently can not afford 2 sets of wheels.

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