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Discussion Starter #1
Part of the reason I went with the Versys when I bought a new bike three months ago is the alleged capability of riding the bike off-pavement (not off-road), say on a reasonably graded dirt road, as several reviews I read affirmed. However, the header on this Forum states that the Versys is not really capable of off-pavement riding.
Which is true?
If you have experience (positive or negative) with off-pavement riding, could you say a few words about it?
Thanks!
 

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I just got back from a trip across Labrador, almost 1000 kms of gravel. The bike handled it with equal aplomb to my brother's V-strom. Obviously not as well as a dirt bike would have, but then the other 5k kms were all on pavement. I have absolutely no qualms about taking the Versys on dirt or gravel roads, but everyone's comfort level is different.
 

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Thanks, Mt Versuvius! Glad to hear your news.
Did you use tires different from the stock ones?
I have no intention of doing 500 miles of gravel (wow!), but the occasional few to a campsite would be nice.
Sounds like an awesome trip!
 

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I ride gravel all the time. Get some decent tires and raise the front fender and off you go. You won't be ripping it up like a dirtbike but it will handle gravel and dirt fine.

The hardest part for me is remembering that it weighs twice as much as my dirtbike.
 

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I currently have Scorpion Sync Trail tires which are 95% on road/5% off road tires. What they offer is a significant improvement in traction on dirt or gravel without significantly compromising the on pavement performance as more aggressive dual sport tires do. Think these suit the personality of the bike well. They are compatible in on pavement grip to a typical sport tour tire and off pavement grip is 5X better.

IMO on road and off road performance is a trade off and the Versys is better on road than off road. You can improve the off road ride by reducing preload and rebound damping which will soften the ride and make it better on the bumps but also make the bike wallow a bit and just feel less stable at speed on the the pavement.

I find the bars a bit low to stand on the pegs but handle bar risers may help with this.

Another suggestion for dirt and gravel is SW-Motech engine bars. Dropping the bike on dirt and gravel is par for the course. This will pay for themselves many times over with prevented damage. I would recommend hand guards with a back bone that attaches to both sides of the grip for the same reason.
 

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I ride gravel all the time. Take your time, upgrade to a tire like the "trail" or "distanzia", and don't expect the bike to handle like a true dual-sport, and you'll be fine.
 

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Yeah it doesn't have much to do with the bike, I rode to the arctic ocean which is 500 miles of dirt one way and I was being followed by 2 Harley's one with a trailer. I like the versys I would hope on with no thought and ride it for a 1000 miles in 24 hours. So learn the feeling and response and never look back.


Sent from my iPhone using MO Free
 

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Thanks, Mt Versuvius! Glad to hear your news.
Did you use tires different from the stock ones?
I have no intention of doing 500 miles of gravel (wow!), but the occasional few to a campsite would be nice.
Sounds like an awesome trip!
I used an MT60 front and scorpion trail rear (both Pirellis). The MT60 is a supermoto tire and sticks like glue on pavement and very good on dirt. Loose gravel was an adventure, but I knew I was making a compromise. I love that tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks folks for the great feedback!
I've seen the Motech crash bars recommended here so many times that I will definitely get them (or the equivalent). And it sounds like the Scorpion Trail tires will be another option to look at.
Ouch on the video! Another one bites the dust (literally).
 

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I just got back from a trip across Labrador, almost 1000 kms of gravel. The bike handled it with equal aplomb to my brother's V-strom. Obviously not as well as a dirt bike would have, but then the other 5k kms were all on pavement. I have absolutely no qualms about taking the Versys on dirt or gravel roads, but everyone's comfort level is different.
I've probably ridden AT LEAST 2,000 MILES on dirt, gravel and mud on my TWO Vs on street-type tires, tho' the AZ one now wears Metzler Tourance rubber, and there's another set on 'stand-by' for the BC one's next tire change.

I'm also waiting on an S-W Motech engine guard ('skid-plate') already ordered for the BC one, and will get a set for the AZ one later.
 
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