I get tired of people telling me all the things my bike (a 650 V-Strom) can’t do. How it’s too heavy, not a real off road bike, blah, blah, blah. Are there things my bike can’t do? Absolutely.
But I think much of these type of comments are more geared towards, where the commenting person’s comfort zone lies. Would I like a lighter bike, say a DRZ 400 for mucking about on some of the more gnarly trails and unmaintained roads? I sure would but I simply don’t have the room or the money to keep a two bike stable.
And as far as weight goes, the majority of popular adventure bikes are pushing the upper limits in the four hundred and five hundred plus range and that’s not going to go away anytime soon as long as the bigger brands insist that 1000cc to 1200cc is what you need. So are there tracks I wouldn’t take my Strom down? Yes there are but I wouldn’t take a BMW R1200GS down them either. If I break something on my Strom, it’s going to cost me a lot less to fix than the Beemer. Though it makes me wonder if the BMW guys get the same amount of flack about the weight and size of their machines or do they have a much better PR machine working for them?
But back to the confidence issue.
I’ve been riding since I was seventeen and today I turned fifty. A good chunk of my riding has been off road and I’ve come up through a good number of Enduro bikes. So going from street to dirt or gravel feels natural to me. I’m not the guy who can drag a peg round a corner (nor do I want to) or get my knee down to get through a corner. I prefer to go fast enough as opposed to trying to set a land speed record on public roads. On the other hand I can maintain a high rate of speed on an uneven surface be it gravel, dirt or sand and my slower dirt track skills are fine. Would I have even better results on a lighter more task dedicated type of motorcycle? I’ll bet I would but I don’t have the extreme bank to drop on a KTM 450 Dakar.
Though, who needs a house, really?
I could get into all kinds of trouble with a bike like that but it’s a dream. What I do have is my Strom and she’s taken me pretty much wherever I’ve wanted to go and there’s still plenty left to explore. I’ll just have to do what I always do when the cries of, “You can’t do that on your bike,” start. I just twist the throttle and let the rushing sound of the wind in my ears drown them out while I focus on the track in front of me.
Thanks for reading this. As always, my thriller, Devil’s Gambit is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.