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Discussion Starter #1
There are alot of dirt trails around here, white sand, nothing too deep, not too much mud, not illegal to drive on, just trails. How would you figure the smart would do as a trail car? I've taken VW beetles out on similar trails as well as honda civics and 240z's, and of course, ATV's without trouble. this little thing looks small and lightweight enough to be a blast. any experienced joy riders out there? Is it possible to hook a winch somewhere in case I get stuck?
 

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It absolutely, positively, won't work in the dirt. I ventured onto a dirt parking lot and got stuck immediately. Those skinny little tires cut right in to the hubs. Forget it...
 

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Although I have not seen any figures, I don't believe that it has a high center of gravity. Most of its weight is carried quite low. Someone must have calculated it out by now.

Also, I had mine out to the farm last week and had no problem with limited driving on dirt trails. The plastic body panels sure do attract dust!
 

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Why would you want to take this thing dune buggying? It's urban transportation. It's a blast to drive on the streets but I would imagine it would be a nightmare off-road. Your back would kill you alone from the bumps. The tires are not off-road tires. The struts/springs are not built for such extreme travel. The transmissions is not made for it. There are tons of reasons.

Would you take a Geo Metro off road? How about a Yaris (for all those Yaris owners on this site)? NO!!! :rolleyes:
 

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i LIKE the concept.....take all the body panels off, get a set of 'Pure' wheels and put some A/T tires on them and OFF YA GO!!! :woohoo


:smartje.rd.zw:
 

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based on my experiences in a dirt/gravel lot recently the front plows too much and wont dig in and turn.
Straight line traction shouldnt be a problem with the rear drive rear engine but it just plain wouldnt turn.

FWIW I have an original Manx buggy and they can have the same issues with the front just plowing in due to the light weight, but the smart seems even lighter in the front.
 

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I know EXACTLY what you're talking about since I'm not too far away. I've logged about 50 miles of my 1300 and change miles off the paved roads. Not because I wanted to take it off-roading but because I wanted to go home. Most of it was on washboard red clay that I had to do all of 5mph on or you'd throw your vertebrate out of whack. My driveway is EXACTLY what you describe and I can tell you its a really bumpy ride - I do have my tires aired up a bit more over suggested pressure.

If you had a disposable Smart and you can afford it, I'd say go for it. If you're heading out there for giggles and grins, find something different.

Now for the "next" issue. While off pavement with mine I've had the ESC? warning light come on - nothing major or harmed, I just had to shut down the car and restart to get it to go out. According to the owners manual it stated something about wheels spinning excessively will cause the light to come on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
trail riding

I know EXACTLY what you're talking about since I'm not too far away. I've logged about 50 miles of my 1300 and change miles off the paved roads. Not because I wanted to take it off-roading but because I wanted to go home. Most of it was on washboard red clay that I had to do all of 5mph on or you'd throw your vertebrate out of whack. My driveway is EXACTLY what you describe and I can tell you its a really bumpy ride - I do have my tires aired up a bit more over suggested pressure.

If you had a disposable Smart and you can afford it, I'd say go for it. If you're heading out there for giggles and grins, find something different.

Now for the "next" issue. While off pavement with mine I've had the ESC? warning light come on - nothing major or harmed, I just had to shut down the car and restart to get it to go out. According to the owners manual it stated something about wheels spinning excessively will cause the light to come on.
Thanks, Yes, there are alot of old florida roads around here when taking short cut to get out of the high traffics spots or bypassing them altogether, both the white sand and red clay types. the horse trails would probably be too primitive. Wasn't really planning on turning it into a full on off road machine, but had thought of hooking a lawn sweeper to the back.
Thanks for the heads up on the ESC, I'd kinda not noticed it didn't have an ESC off button anymore.
 

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I drive my smart on Terlingua ranch - no pavement. If you know how to drive sand, it works fine, if you can only steer a modern all-wheel drive, you'll sink. My zhippy does just fine, and it is a blast! It feels like a motorcycle in the hills, and it's narrow enough to skirt the mud-holes. I'd like a 2" lift so I can take it over Sawmill Mountain, but the babyhead-sized cobbles are a bit too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
off road smart versus off road yaris

I drive my smart on Terlingua ranch - no pavement. If you know how to drive sand, it works fine, if you can only steer a modern all-wheel drive, you'll sink. My zhippy does just fine, and it is a blast! It feels like a motorcycle in the hills, and it's narrow enough to skirt the mud-holes. I'd like a 2" lift so I can take it over Sawmill Mountain, but the babyhead-sized cobbles are a bit too much.
Thanks,
test drove a yaris hatchback on some local off roads last weekend. figure if the yaris did ok, then the smart would as well. Now I just have to wait for the little machine to come in.
 

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I agree that with a lift and some 65 or 70 series snow tires and a light winch. Great for basic fireroads and cross a small creek. Maybe add a skid plate here n there. There are many that have done the Daystar lift. My concern is to not go to big on tires that would make the final drive to high may kill performance? I'm doing this to mine my tire choice is 185/65 chunky snow tires. In California you can't have a street legal side by side. I will and power windows and heated seats and AC and my Cabriolet roof! May get it wrapped with a matte gray n white look (save the paint).
 
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