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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friends,

I am preparing for a cross-country ride next March on my '15 Roadmaster. One thing that I think makes this type of ride exciting is going "off road". Not into total backcountry but on to dirt roads that may be rural, graded at times, but may be developing a little "washboard" effect. These roads may be suitable for regular cars but pushing it.

The question, how comfortable would you all be taking your Roadmaster on to these type of roads or should I be thinking of a different bike.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Charro
 

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I'm not saying that you are going to go do table tops or whoop-dee-woos, or screaming around dirt banks, but a roadmaster on dirt/gravel roads is not highly recommended. Gravel mixed with a 900 pound bike that is already a little top heavy is a recipe for disaster. Out of all the Indian bikes the only one I would recommend for any off roading would be the Scout. yeah, shock clearance isn't that much, but the handling would be way better. I love my roadmaster, but I don't think I would ever taking it off road ever.
 
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I don't see why it should be a problem. Especially if you have some heavy bike "dirt" time under your belt.

That's just my opinion and not really a valid one I guess since I've never even sat on, much less ridden a Roadmaster.

I would not hesitate to take my Springfield off the pavement and have done so a few times.
 

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Not a chance. Just not made or set up for that. Old settled cobblestone can be very difficult to maneuver at best, let alone a pitted gravel/dirt road.

Let us know when and where you put it up for sale later. We'll all be sure to avoid it.
 

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Friends,

I am preparing for a cross-country ride next March on my '15 Roadmaster. One thing that I think makes this type of ride exciting is going "off road". Not into total backcountry but on to dirt roads that may be rural, graded at times, but may be developing a little "washboard" effect. These roads may be suitable for regular cars but pushing it.

The question, how comfortable would you all be taking your Roadmaster on to these type of roads or should I be thinking of a different bike.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Charro
When I get to the edge of the pavement I stop and call a cab
 

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One end of the road I live on is paved and the other end of the town road is basically dirt and gravel. I have often riden it as a shorter distance to the village but usually don't for two reasons 1st my bike is covered in dirt and dust and usually needs a wash especially if I pass an oncoming vehicle, 2nd with loose stones and ruts I've had the rear kick out and it's just a little heart thumping. I try to stay on state and county roads and plan trips accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not saying that you are going to go do table tops or whoop-dee-woos, or screaming around dirt banks, but a roadmaster on dirt/gravel roads is not highly recommended. Gravel mixed with a 900 pound bike that is already a little top heavy is a recipe for disaster. Out of all the Indian bikes the only one I would recommend for any off roading would be the Scout. yeah, shock clearance isn't that much, but the handling would be way better. I love my roadmaster, but I don't think I would ever taking it off road ever.
So
I'm not saying that you are going to go do table tops or whoop-dee-woos, or screaming around dirt banks, but a roadmaster on dirt/gravel roads is not highly recommended. Gravel mixed with a 900 pound bike that is already a little top heavy is a recipe for disaster. Out of all the Indian bikes the only one I would recommend for any off roading would be the Scout. yeah, shock clearance isn't that much, but the handling would be way better. I love my roadmaster, but I don't think I would ever taking it off road ever.
well, I guess the idea of a primitive road is not in my future on the Roadmaster. Anybody have thoughts as to what bike you would look into for a cross country trip that combines on road and primitive road riding. Not thinking about boulder jumping, just riding out on some primitive roads.
The bike would need storage and some type of ferring as my shoulders go on long rides at higher speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's do-able but take it easy. Getting stuck wouldn't be any fun if that dirt road turns muddy. I wouldn't run fully loaded to keep the weight as low as possible, especially in the top case which would add top heaviness. Adding a little more air to the rear shock might prevent some bottoming out. Just use your head and you should be fine.
Absolutely agree about the mud. Would never try and go through dirt road mud. Thinking about Arizona, New Mexico and Texas that have some amazing rural, primitive back roads.
 

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I live on a gravel/sand road, although it's not really far the Vintage handles it ok. It's better if you have had considerable dirt experience. The big thing to remember when you're on a surface like that is not to try to control every little movement of the bike, but rather try to "herd" it in the direction you want to go. If you have any little bit of speed, the bike will want to remain upright by nature. When you start "micro-managing" it is when the pucker factor comes in. I would avoid deep sand or mud at all costs...
 

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I have a dirt driveway that gets washed out time to time, never had a problem. However, having this driveway gives me great opportunities to practice. I intentionally break the tire loose and try to recover it, every time pushing breaking the tire loose for longer. When my friends and I hit dirt roads on a ride, I'm always at the end of the road waiting for them all to catch up. Shouldn't be a problem if you are comfortable and confident on your bike, and a little practice never hurts.
 

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Risk versus reward.

Reward:
Would undoubtedly see things you would not have seen.

Risk: (a couple come to mind)
Laying your bike down in a potentially lightly traveled area of the country. Best to worse case scenario can be envisioned here.
An unnoticed rock gets flipped up into the belt drive and it ends up costing you Big time.

But hey, in the end. Ya gotta do what YOU want to do.

I simply never could.
 
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So

well, I guess the idea of a primitive road is not in my future on the Roadmaster. Anybody have thoughts as to what bike you would look into for a cross country trip that combines on road and primitive road riding. Not thinking about boulder jumping, just riding out on some primitive roads.
The bike would need storage and some type of ferring as my shoulders go on long rides at higher speeds.
I'd look at a BMW 1200 GS if your budget allows. Definitely much less expensive than a Roadmaster though.
 

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Basically, it is all rider skill. I came across this on my ADV site.
Wait until you see this! From Dirty Bird and watch until he rides in the dirt........
Since this is my first heavyweight bike, I am buying the Ride Like a Pro video for slow speed maneuvers!
 

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Ha! Cool Dirty Bird video. Yeah, anytime you see people doing stunts and you get yourself all wound up..."Yeah skeeter!!! I'ma go try me summa dat shlt!!!" - just remember all the outtakes they didn't show where they destroyed $100K worth of equipment and sent somebody to the ER. ;)

I've taken the Dark Horse off road a couple times. It's really not a big deal so long as you know how to ride in dirt and you don't get too extreme. The biggest problem is all the dirt that the rear wheel kicks up under the seat and into the battery/EMU compartment. It's not well sealed. There's a guy on here bloggin' all of his mods who tackled that problem very well. I'm going to do something like what he did. Here's the link.
 
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