shakeandbaker

Badlands
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John
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Austin
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Cactus Gray BS Badlands, BMW 135i
Just took delivery of my Cactus Grey Badlands over the weekend. Have never been off-roading prior to purchasing this vehicle, so naturally I headed straight for the trails!

I don't have much to compare this to in terms of off-road capability, but all I can say is that this thing handled mud and deep ruts, steep climbs, fairly deep water easily. Felt like it really could go over anything, and throttle/brake control was so easy on all surfaces.

What have your impressions been like taking your Bronco off-road?

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IMG_7985.JPG

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Zander1ni

Big Bend
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Alexander
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Encinitas, CA
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Golf tdi
I have a big bend model and have been similarly impressed!

where is that trail? It looks like the same one I did near the Palomar divide truck trail
 
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shakeandbaker

shakeandbaker

Badlands
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Austin
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  • #3
I have a big bend model and have been similarly impressed!

where is that trail? It looks like the same one I did near the Palomar divide truck trail
About 40 min outside of Austin, TX. Moved here recently from San Diego and would love to take this thing out around there one day.
 

BamaBronco

Big Bend
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TJ
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Dec 22, 2020
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Location
Alabama
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2021 Ford Bronco Sport
DISCLAIMER: This is a lengthy write-up, so grab your favorite beverage and kick back as you read. Also, I wasn't sure which thread to post this so I figured this thread was as good as any considering it was my first time taking my BS off-road.

I did some research and found some trails in my general area. I found a few that are within 1-2 hours away on trailsoffroad.com. I work in sales and coincidentally, one of my customers is about 15 minutes away from a trail I wanted to try. I had an appointment with them this morning so since I was in the area, I decided to try this trail on my way back home. See the link below to the trail I went on. Watch the embedded YouTube video further down the page for a good idea of the type of trail/how difficult it is.

https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2331-talladega-national-forest-617

I entered the trail on the north side and quickly noticed there was a lot of mud since it had recently rained. I remembered reading that the trail grew considerably more difficult after rainfall.

20210125_164416689_iOS.jpg


The first few hundred yards or so were not too bad. I went through some rutted-out mud holes that at first glance looked more challenging than they ended up being. The BS acquitted itself nicely with no problems.

20210125_170317501_iOS.jpg

20210125_165958523_iOS.jpg


I eventually got to a portion of the trail about halfway through that was the first challenging spot. The first section was a rutted out area that led to a narrowing of the path in between embankments with not a lot of room on either side.

20210125_165400769_iOS.jpg

20210125_170009983_iOS.jpg


I put it in Slippery mode and Low gear and made it through all of that no problem, but as I was going up the narrow portion of the trail, I could see a bugaboo upcoming. I circled it in red below. You can't tell from the picture, but the rut was about 4-5 feet across and looked like it could be 2 feet deep or more on the left side. I was by myself so I figured I wouldn't risk it. With a spotter and recovery equipment I may have given it a try.

20210125_170009983_iOS (2)_LI.jpg


A little disappointed that I wasn't able to finish the trail, I started back the way I came. I came back to an obstacle that I had sort-of bypassed and decided to give it a go. Again in the picture, you can't really tell but I tried going straight through with two deep, rutted-out lanes and a high center. As I went up and started going down through the rut, I drug the front underbody and said NOPE. I backed out and went around. The picture I took is when I came up to it the first time, so I should have taken another picture to get a better angle of what I was actually going through.

20210125_165200048_iOS.jpg

20210125_165200048_iOS (2)_LI.jpg


Overall, I was impressed with the off-road capability of a non-BL trim. I can tell that traction is not an issue and the 4WD system is quite capable. The suspension soaks up bumps and ruts as it should. I recently replaced the stock tires with new 245/65R17 Toyo Open Country ATIII tires and they performed well. I never lost traction or control even in deeper mud. The only issue, as you can surmise, is ground clearance. With the larger tires I have a little over 8", but I would say the BS needs about two more inches. The good thing (that I did not previously know about) is that there is SOME underbody protection. Some may scoff at this, but it does have plastic skid "plates", which is better than nothing! When I scraped the bottom going through the muddy rut, I did not sustain any damage.

Next, I would like to find a trail that is mostly loose rock or gravel and see how it does going up steeper inclines. I'm done with mud for a while because it got absolutely filthy. I hosed her off once I got home and you wouldn't believe the cracks and crevices mud can find it's way to get stuck in.

Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for reading. Cheers!

20210125_170858171_iOS.jpg
 

BagOJuice

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Joe
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
46
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63
Location
Long Island
Vehicle(s)
Bronco Sport
DISCLAIMER: This is a lengthy write-up, so grab your favorite beverage and kick back as you read. Also, I wasn't sure which thread to post this so I figured this thread was as good as any considering it was my first time taking my BS off-road.

I did some research and found some trails in my general area. I found a few that are within 1-2 hours away on trailsoffroad.com. I work in sales and coincidentally, one of my customers is about 15 minutes away from a trail I wanted to try. I had an appointment with them this morning so since I was in the area, I decided to try this trail on my way back home. See the link below to the trail I went on. Watch the embedded YouTube video further down the page for a good idea of the type of trail/how difficult it is.

https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2331-talladega-national-forest-617

I entered the trail on the north side and quickly noticed there was a lot of mud since it had recently rained. I remembered reading that the trail grew considerably more difficult after rainfall.

20210125_164416689_iOS.jpg


The first few hundred yards or so were not too bad. I went through some rutted-out mud holes that at first glance looked more challenging than they ended up being. The BS acquitted itself nicely with no problems.

20210125_170317501_iOS.jpg

20210125_165958523_iOS.jpg


I eventually got to a portion of the trail about halfway through that was the first challenging spot. The first section was a rutted out area that led to a narrowing of the path in between embankments with not a lot of room on either side.

20210125_165400769_iOS.jpg

20210125_170009983_iOS.jpg


I put it in Slippery mode and Low gear and made it through all of that no problem, but as I was going up the narrow portion of the trail, I could see a bugaboo upcoming. I circled it in red below. You can't tell from the picture, but the rut was about 4-5 feet across and looked like it could be 2 feet deep or more on the left side. I was by myself so I figured I wouldn't risk it. With a spotter and recovery equipment I may have given it a try.

20210125_170009983_iOS (2)_LI.jpg


A little disappointed that I wasn't able to finish the trail, I started back the way I came. I came back to an obstacle that I had sort-of bypassed and decided to give it a go. Again in the picture, you can't really tell but I tried going straight through with two deep, rutted-out lanes and a high center. As I went up and started going down through the rut, I drug the front underbody and said NOPE. I backed out and went around. The picture I took is when I came up to it the first time, so I should have taken another picture to get a better angle of what I was actually going through.

20210125_165200048_iOS.jpg

20210125_165200048_iOS (2)_LI.jpg


Overall, I was impressed with the off-road capability of a non-BL trim. I can tell that traction is not an issue and the 4WD system is quite capable. The suspension soaks up bumps and ruts as it should. I recently replaced the stock tires with new 245/65R17 Toyo Open Country ATIII tires and they performed well. I never lost traction or control even in deeper mud. The only issue, as you can surmise, is ground clearance. With the larger tires I have a little over 8", but I would say the BS needs about two more inches. The good thing (that I did not previously know about) is that there is SOME underbody protection. Some may scoff at this, but it does have plastic skid "plates", which is better than nothing! When I scraped the bottom going through the muddy rut, I did not sustain any damage.

Next, I would like to find a trail that is mostly loose rock or gravel and see how it does going up steeper inclines. I'm done with mud for a while because it got absolutely filthy. I hosed her off once I got home and you wouldn't believe the cracks and crevices mud can find it's way to get stuck in.

Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for reading. Cheers!

20210125_170858171_iOS.jpg
Good stuff. Thanks for posting. Cant wait to take mine out on some trails, been trying to find some stuff like this to read! Now comes the hard part... finding some trails by me...
 

MattH88

Big Bend
Well-Known Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
83
Reaction score
69
Location
Seattle
Vehicle(s)
2021 Bronco Sport
DISCLAIMER: This is a lengthy write-up, so grab your favorite beverage and kick back as you read. Also, I wasn't sure which thread to post this so I figured this thread was as good as any considering it was my first time taking my BS off-road.

I did some research and found some trails in my general area. I found a few that are within 1-2 hours away on trailsoffroad.com. I work in sales and coincidentally, one of my customers is about 15 minutes away from a trail I wanted to try. I had an appointment with them this morning so since I was in the area, I decided to try this trail on my way back home. See the link below to the trail I went on. Watch the embedded YouTube video further down the page for a good idea of the type of trail/how difficult it is.

https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2331-talladega-national-forest-617

I entered the trail on the north side and quickly noticed there was a lot of mud since it had recently rained. I remembered reading that the trail grew considerably more difficult after rainfall.

20210125_164416689_iOS.jpg


The first few hundred yards or so were not too bad. I went through some rutted-out mud holes that at first glance looked more challenging than they ended up being. The BS acquitted itself nicely with no problems.

20210125_170317501_iOS.jpg

20210125_165958523_iOS.jpg


I eventually got to a portion of the trail about halfway through that was the first challenging spot. The first section was a rutted out area that led to a narrowing of the path in between embankments with not a lot of room on either side.

20210125_165400769_iOS.jpg

20210125_170009983_iOS.jpg


I put it in Slippery mode and Low gear and made it through all of that no problem, but as I was going up the narrow portion of the trail, I could see a bugaboo upcoming. I circled it in red below. You can't tell from the picture, but the rut was about 4-5 feet across and looked like it could be 2 feet deep or more on the left side. I was by myself so I figured I wouldn't risk it. With a spotter and recovery equipment I may have given it a try.

20210125_170009983_iOS (2)_LI.jpg


A little disappointed that I wasn't able to finish the trail, I started back the way I came. I came back to an obstacle that I had sort-of bypassed and decided to give it a go. Again in the picture, you can't really tell but I tried going straight through with two deep, rutted-out lanes and a high center. As I went up and started going down through the rut, I drug the front underbody and said NOPE. I backed out and went around. The picture I took is when I came up to it the first time, so I should have taken another picture to get a better angle of what I was actually going through.

20210125_165200048_iOS.jpg

20210125_165200048_iOS (2)_LI.jpg


Overall, I was impressed with the off-road capability of a non-BL trim. I can tell that traction is not an issue and the 4WD system is quite capable. The suspension soaks up bumps and ruts as it should. I recently replaced the stock tires with new 245/65R17 Toyo Open Country ATIII tires and they performed well. I never lost traction or control even in deeper mud. The only issue, as you can surmise, is ground clearance. With the larger tires I have a little over 8", but I would say the BS needs about two more inches. The good thing (that I did not previously know about) is that there is SOME underbody protection. Some may scoff at this, but it does have plastic skid "plates", which is better than nothing! When I scraped the bottom going through the muddy rut, I did not sustain any damage.

Next, I would like to find a trail that is mostly loose rock or gravel and see how it does going up steeper inclines. I'm done with mud for a while because it got absolutely filthy. I hosed her off once I got home and you wouldn't believe the cracks and crevices mud can find it's way to get stuck in.

Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for reading. Cheers!

20210125_170858171_iOS.jpg
This is awesome. If you made this its own thread, you'd make a lot of BB owners considering 245/16R17 tires very happy. Thanks for the review. Looks like no rubbing issues with the 245s, which locks me into my decision to get 245s. Thanks!!
 

BamaBronco

Big Bend
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TJ
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Alabama
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2021 Ford Bronco Sport
This is awesome. If you made this its own thread, you'd make a lot of BB owners considering 245/16R17 tires very happy. Thanks for the review. Looks like no rubbing issues with the 245s, which locks me into my decision to get 245s. Thanks!!
No problem! And yeah, I thought about doing that initially but I did comment on a couple of related threads about this post to get the word out. Hopefully some people will find it beneficial.
 

Tom House

Badlands
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Fairfax, CA
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Subaru Outback
About 40 min outside of Austin, TX. Moved here recently from San Diego and would love to take this thing out around there one day.
Off topic but have you read the essay going around about the family that moved from SD to Austin?
 
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shakeandbaker

shakeandbaker

Badlands
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First Name
John
Joined
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Location
Austin
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Cactus Gray BS Badlands, BMW 135i
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Off topic but have you read the essay going around about the family that moved from SD to Austin?
I haven't seen that one. Feel free to PM to me.
 

Tom House

Badlands
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Fairfax, CA
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Subaru Outback
This is great, FINALLY a long write up of non-BL trims. Thanks. Looks great.
 

ETXBronco

Big Bend
Member
First Name
Stuart
Joined
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Messages
6
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Location
Texas
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2021 Bronco Sport
Just took delivery of my Cactus Grey Badlands over the weekend. Have never been off-roading prior to purchasing this vehicle, so naturally I headed straight for the trails!

I don't have much to compare this to in terms of off-road capability, but all I can say is that this thing handled mud and deep ruts, steep climbs, fairly deep water easily. Felt like it really could go over anything, and throttle/brake control was so easy on all surfaces.

What have your impressions been like taking your Bronco off-road?

IMG_7983.JPG

IMG_7982.JPG

IMG_7985.JPG

IMG_7984.JPG
Is that the Overland Route near Kingsland? I'm thinking of taking my Big Bend there.
 

JackBouman

Outer Banks
Well-Known Member
First Name
Jack
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
69
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26
Location
Florida
Vehicle(s)
Bronco
Just took delivery of my Cactus Grey Badlands over the weekend. Have never been off-roading prior to purchasing this vehicle, so naturally I headed straight for the trails!

I don't have much to compare this to in terms of off-road capability, but all I can say is that this thing handled mud and deep ruts, steep climbs, fairly deep water easily. Felt like it really could go over anything, and throttle/brake control was so easy on all surfaces.

What have your impressions been like taking your Bronco off-road?

IMG_7983.JPG

IMG_7982.JPG

IMG_7985.JPG

IMG_7984.JPG
are those the 235 upgraded tires? or the 225's they come with?
 
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shakeandbaker

shakeandbaker

Badlands
Active Member
First Name
John
Joined
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Messages
43
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Location
Austin
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Cactus Gray BS Badlands, BMW 135i
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Is that the Overland Route near Kingsland? I'm thinking of taking my Big Bend there.
This was just a little trail in Bastrop. Haven’t been out to Kingsland. Will have to check that out!
 

ETXBronco

Big Bend
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Texas
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This was just a little trail in Bastrop. Haven’t been out to Kingsland. Will have to check that out!
I'll let you know how it goes. My Big Bend is still stock but it's supposed to be easier than taking it to Barnwell Mountain trails in east texas. Still trying to figure out everything I need to upgrade.
 

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