DR650 Street Tracker Build
Last winter I picked up a second DR650 since I like my regular ride DR very much.
This one is the same year, 2002, but has 39,000+ miles on it.
Hard, long miles as an Alaskan rental bike from new.
It needed everything that wears replaced :cry
Not that I knew that when I bought it...
Lots of neglect and minimal maintenance was given it.
It does run good though. :D
It was stored outside under a tarp, buried in the snow.
Dead battery of course, and at 10 below zero F it wouldn't start when jumped.
It was also dark. But after the 90 minute drive pulling a trailer I wasn't going to come back another day.
Great time to look at a used bike for sale, eh? :eek1
So I bought it of course, and once safely home and in a warm garage it only took a couple hours to find and fix the electrical problems that kept it from starting. Ran good and when summer finally arrived I was able to ride it a bit.
Ugh! Loose and lousy handling. Rear brake that was dragging, suspension that sagged and had no damping.
I started taking it apart to see what was up and found that every bearing in it was rusted solid or disintegrating.
The rear brake pedal was rusted and stuck. Wheel bearings trashed, brake pads trashed, and so on.
Very depressing as I bought it for friends to ride with me but once I added up the cost of all the parts to fix it I realized it wasn't worth doing. My options were to sell it "as is" for what it was really worth (not much) or part it out, but other than the engine it has no value.
And then I stumbled on the Flat track & Street Tracker forum here on ADV and the light bulb clicked. :clap
I would build my own Sumo street bike Street Tracker!
I have wanted to build a tracker for years as a light, low, and sporty "run around town" bike that would also be great fun sliding around on dirt roads. Now I was eager to get started on my first full on custom bike build...
Let it begin:
Here it is as I bought it, complete with oil leak...
First thing was to order a new front wheel to replace the 21"
I don't care for the looks of the 17" front wheel on the Sumo (Super Motard) bikes and I wasn't sure about tire selection for 18" so I went for a 19" from Warp 9 with a 320mm Sumo brake rotor. Eventually I would like to replace the rear wheel with a 19" also but that is down the road.
I ordered new tires (& tubes), Shinko 705's as I like the looks of the tread for a tracker and they have good reviews for street and dirt road riding. I also ordered a fiberglass TT seat from Hotwings Glass as well as their tracker handlebars.
I ordered small fog lights to use as daytime running lights and a bunch of other parts including all new bearings, throttle cables, clutch cable, carb mounted choke since the choke cable was frozen with corrosion, a pod air filter, front number plate, chain and both sprockets, new front caliper, ss brake lines, new pads, front fork rebuild kit, LED turn signals, reverse cone muffler, and so on. Big money but great fun ordering and then receiving them in the mail!
First step of the build was to strip the bike of all the parts I was not going to use and wash the filthy beast.
The calcium chloride they put on the dirt roads here is next to impossible to completely remove and this bike had been ridden hard and put away wet all its life.
The next step was to lower the front end as I wanted to lower the bike at least 4".
When I had the forks apart and cleaned the sludge & slurry that used to be fork oil out, I replaced the bushings and seals and then I cut 4" off the end of the stock springs to make them stiffer and to drop the front.
I cut the top where the tighter coil spacing of the progressive rate springs are. I then placed a 4" long spacer on the damper rod to limit the upward travel.
This is the difference in length of stock and shortened:
However that is misleading because the stock forks sagged 4" under the bike weight without rider. :eek1
The forks now have 6.5" travel and 2" sag with me on it.
I also replaced the ugly fork boots with neoprene skins
Sort of a preview of coming attractions:
The next big job is fitting the glass TT seat on the subframe
Not going to fit as I expected. Options are to cut and section the frame to fit the seat or to cut it off completely and build a new subframe. That is what I wanted to do anyway so I could make it removable.
Out came the angle grinder...
Now to weld up some light steel tube (3/4" x 0.049")
Front cross tube cut and the bolt plates and frame mounts getting cut
How they will fit up:
Clamped in place for welding on the frame.
You can also see the tank tunnel I made on the frame for the fiberglass tank I am making.
Hmmmm, I forgot to show the tank form rough start for shaping....
Here it is. 2" blue foam glued together and then cut to shape and sanded, filled, shaped, sanded.....
Ok, back to the subframe
Squared up before welding the brackets on he frame
And with the tank shell and seat in place:
More to do....
That is looking great!! :thumb
Will that hold anyone over 20lbs?
I wondered if anyone would comment on the lack of rear braces on the seat. :lol3
I want to make the bottom edge of the seat line up with the bottom edge of the gas tank.
Next step was to make the rear braces and mounts to support the seat at the correct angle.
I wanted to play with the locations of both the upper end and where the brace would attach to the frame.
I ended up matching the rear kick up angle of the seat and at a good place on the frame.
First I needed to make the struts and I decided to use square tube instead of round as that matched the frame.
I welded a piece of round tube to the bottom end and welded a cap on one side so the bolt head would recess inside just like the upper front mounts. I will use ss socket head bolts for the finished fittings.
Then I wanted to see what it was going to look like with the new down pipe I had made (Ugly welding! :cry) and the muffler on it....
So far, so good to me :clap
Super cool build. I love the rim size and wheel/tire combo. Perfect.
The seat base and rear hump look perfect.
I hope it does not offend but I was gonna ask why you want to use SS screws on the sub frame?
I reason I ask is because SS is more brittle that other steel, they can snap a bit easier. Not that they WILL snap, and there are different alloys of SS, some better for this application some worse. I would say that some grade 8.8 bolts would be the best choice, but I am no engineer. Just a thought. It would suck to snap off 2 bolts and crash.
:lurk yummy. subscribed. :lurk
Absolutely awesome. I want a tracker like that in the worst way. All that's standing between me and the goal is a deplorable shortage of money, tools, and talent.
No offense taken, I have a reason for everything I do.
May not be a good reason, but I do have one! :rofl
I appreciate no one (so far) has pointed out my lousy welding ability.
Or lack thereof really. :eek1 I am teaching myself how to weld with a book and a video.
And lots of practice.
And lots of grinding to make it look better...
I wanted socket head bolts so I wouldn't have to use overly large tubing just to be able to get a socket on a hex bolt inside. For fit-up I used 6mm hex bolts and that is what is in the pictures so far I think.
I wanted the bolt heads recessed in for appearance so there will be no caps on the open ends of the tubes.
I used ss for looks mostly. If I could have found zinc plated metric socket head bolts I would use them but the stainless were not overly expensive and since I am using 8mm bolts I am not worried about them shearing off while riding. When I crash however, that may possibly break one or more, but the entire subframe is very light tube and will likely be all bent up if not destroyed in a big get off anyway. :cry
I wanted a bolt on subframe so that I can experiment with it, change it easily, remove it for any maintenance, etc.
With the lowered and shortened travel suspension I am not going to be riding the local mx track on this one.
I believe the ss bolts will be plenty strong for the intended use and abuse. However, if they break I will be sure to report it! I have room inside the tube to even go up to a 10mm socket head bolt but I think that the tubing will fail long before that strength could be reached.
Coming up is the aluminum electrics tray that will hide all the wiring under the seat as well as the new Ballistic battery that looks like a toy battery. I want to mount it visible from the rear under the seat.
Also need to work more on the gas tank to connect the shell to the tunnel and figure out how I want to mount it.
And I am just about ready to strip the bike back down to remove any remaining tabs I won't use, grind down the ugly factory frame welds and then drop the frame off at the powder paint shop for the satin black.
Make sure to use some anti-seize on those ss bolts, quite partial to ss bolts myself as they are stronger than the fine french cheese that most of the bolts suzuki uses and will never rust like the hardened black bolts they use also, but they gall up pretty easy.
Overall it's looking farking sweet!
I've been thinking about doing something similar but probably won't, too many projects and not enough cash lol.
Keep it up.
Zinc coated, grade 8.8, metric socket head:
I am not worried about them breaking in a crash. After a crash I always inspect the bike for damage before proceeding.
My concern is micro movement, vibration, and wear causing one to weken and break WHILE you are riding, the seat collapsing and landing on the rear wheel, causing an instant brake and pitching you off violently...thats all...:lol3
It was just a thought.
Even in high grade 8mm factory bolts on my MX bike subframes I have broken them at least 3 times. I speak from personal experience.
I agree with wanting to keep the bolt pocket small, unobtrusive and clean looking. I hate odd frame shapes hitting me in the ankles on a bike, bad designs. An Allen head is the way to go....
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