Hyper for off-road?!?

Feb 2018
118
2
Scottsdale AZ
Hello All,

We recently moved to the Scottsdale AZ area and I was wondering if anyone on this forum lives close by, and also does some adventure riding. I have this crazy notion (cheap-man syndrome really) in my head about adjusting the suspension (softening it for off road) on my hypermotard sp and trying a set of off-road oriented tires for some trail/adventure riding, I guess enough to get me started, but since I do enjoy dirt riding (on a real dirtbike which I don't own anymore), and I get into it, I'll have to spring for the real deal.

I have to admit, so far I have not ridden a bike better suited for paved twisties, nothing I've ridden comes even close! But I wanted to get some feedback from members that have actually tried the off-road thing with a hyper. I'm not talking about rock climbing or anything insane, dirt trail roads with some rough spots.

If wire rims were more economical, that would put me at ease, and I love the marchesini wheels, so it'll have to be very light duty off-roading. As I'm typing this, I'm starting to answer my own questions lol;).
 
Last edited:
May 2017
328
2
Philadelphia USA
I've tried to do some off-road hijinx with mine and here's my experience.

Trails no. You bottom out on everything. You get stuck alot and you spend alot of effort making 12 point u-turns on soft ground.

Mud no. This bike handles horribly in mud even with knobby tires. Just crossing a tiny muddy stream resulted in a dirt nap.

Rocks no. No protection from smashing and little 17" rims made of cast aluminium. Additionally the suspension isn't up to the task. After a few miles on rocky ground you're in pain.

Hills maybe. I actually enjoy running this bike up dirt hills but since you can't stand up properly its a short lived fun!

Anything rough enough to warrant standing in general should be avoided unless you enjoy being hunched over.

Sand no. Again the bike tries hard to take dirt naps. Wheels too small again. Weight too much.

Dry dirt roads or gravel roads are fine. I've had the bike up to 60 mph on gravel topped dirt roads with knobbies and was alright. Any faster and the back wheel feels like grease on a hot griddle.

The powerband of tbe engine can be troublesome coupled with the tall 1st gear. Starting out on a slippery surface such as snow can be potentially dangerous if you're in close quarters and can't just roost your way forward. Keeping your feet off the pegs at times like this is a good idea.

In technical situations ride it like a 2 stroke dirt bike. Bog and coast your way through with short blips of power where you can gwt away with it.

Set the engine power to the lowest setting. The throttle response in sport mode feels fun but will get you into trouble really quickly.

On downhills keep in mind you cannot lockup the rear wheel and skid steer your way down. And 1st gear is too tall for effective engine braking. It's all up to the front brakes to get you down safely. Use caution.
 
Jul 2014
1,260
1
California
I only did a tiny bit of offroading with my SP and it didn't do so hot. Just too stiff, geometry is all wrong, and most of all the consequences of tipping over is too much.
 
Feb 2018
118
2
Scottsdale AZ
Thank you gents for sharing your experience and detailed information. The other negative side or positive is I would've almost ruined a perfectly good road bike by making it into something it's not.

Boy, those new KTM 690/790 adv R's look amazingly tempting:D.
 
Jul 2014
1,260
1
California
Thank you gents for sharing your experience and detailed information. The other negative side or positive is I would've almost ruined a perfectly good road bike by making it into something it's not.

Boy, those new KTM 690/790 adv R's look amazingly tempting:D.
I just rode the 790 ADV S yesterday which is more road oriented. Nice bike, feels like a big dirtbike. The low slung fuel tank makes sense functionally despite looking a little funny. I bet it's good offroad.
 
Feb 2018
118
2
Scottsdale AZ
That's great! I've heard nothing but good things about them. Things are a bit hectic for us since we just moved, but I would like to take a seat on both, from what I've read, the main differences are suspension, seat, and rally mode??

Was the R not available for a demo?
 
Jul 2014
1,260
1
California
That's great! I've heard nothing but good things about them. Things are a bit hectic for us since we just moved, but I would like to take a seat on both, from what I've read, the main differences are suspension, seat, and rally mode??

Was the R not available for a demo?
My friend just bought it so I only had one choice :D. One of the first S's in the states apparently.

The motor is insanely torquey. The suspension was decent but did feel a bit unbalanced front-to-rear, the rear being much stiffer. I'm not sure about the differences compared to the R.
 
Jan 2017
110
2
Phoenix
I live in the Phoenix area, and do enjoy some off-road riding but not on this bike.

Welcome to the area, although they are not quite right in our backyard, there are very good roads that can be done on day rides.