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Old 02-23-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
Gustavo.Ramos OP
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Accross the pond
Oddometer: 962
Talking My own DR650SE mod thread


After a few months absent due to unscheduled events, looks like by the end of 2009 the planets are aligned enough to restart my Project.

Almost one year colecting parts, searching, reading, cursing i finally did a few mods to my mature DR650SE ’97.

I apologise for my English, but as someone once told me “you sure speak a lot better English, than most here speak Portuguese!”.

Some items to be covered:


Here it is… before:

Practically bone-stock with na extra 130.000 kms of (ab)use by me and 2 or 3 other previous owners.

Firt step: Exhaust

Out with the stock one, let’s get a GSXR. I didn’t had the 2000/1 1000 gixxer can, so i used the 750 counterpart. Yes a bit heavier, and the sound isn’t he same either, but still much better than stock anchor

Link pipe was done in stainless steel by a local.

Nothing too scientific:

Front Forks

As Lukas already did on His DR650, i followed His excellent work. However firt I managed to get some progressive springs, but who was I kidding? WP forks rule!

Got a nice deal with forks, brake calyper+master cylinder, wheel, rotor and a good tire.

Only needed the handlebar and triple clamps. Manageable too!

However nice deals sometimes pose a few surprises:

Need a complete rebuild, oil was low and seals dead.

Ups... Washer that holds forks inner tube and outer tube in one piece. On was ok (flat) the other, a bit more and someday the tubo would comeout. Not good.



Bad sign, the hidraulic was toast, but i managed to get it back to life

Home made seal fitting tool.:

Triple clamps… in Orange!?!?!?!!!?!?


Aircraft paint stripper!

Oh baby… (in a matter of few minutes)


Old forks:

And increased bar height, a few extra 50 mms.

Then i noticed the stock headlight mounts would not fit, and i needed to go for a ride.

So i got this really stinky solution

Bah… but at least i have lights and cops won’t bother me…too much.

The engine

After 12 years of (ab)use, billions of strokes, thousands of fuel liters, 3 or 4 owners, 130.000kms, engine started giving up… Oil burning, vibration, gears jumping off, etc.. not good.

And the 3rd gear ghost always around me made do the correct thing before the engine would go out with a big bang… in the middle of friggin nowhere… and since the 3rd gear was getting worse by everyday… it was time.

It was time for a big mistake. Had to wait 4 months to get all the necessary parts to rebuild the engine. Unbelievable… Next time I’ll order these in Germany to Stefan Hessler, or get them directly from the states.

Live and learn!

Ended up with few pictures and i somehow lost a memory card..

The condition of one of the gears (not the 3rd one)


After assembling, it fired right away!

Clear increase in torque, power and smoothness

Took the time and shimmed the head by 0,7 mm, just to increase compression a tad bit!

Then 1000 kms of break in…

By the end of these 1000 and a few hundred more, everything was retightned and also too the chance to install a different camshaft.

Result? Quite interesting!


The previous lighting solution sucked.

I remembered I had somewhere a headlamp from a Suzy SV1000N. With it I also found a Givi winshild, that would be useful for longer distance rides

So i needed to do some mountings.

A bit basic yes…

And the result.

Not exactly what i had in mind, but for now… will do.

Rear suspension

While looking for alternatives i came accross this WP shock for a KTM… which KTM!? I don’t know. Neither the seller knew as he told me he had bought it for his 640 and was too big.

The stock DR650 rear shock measure 45 cms between axles, this one was 46 cms. Maybe I could benefit from a few extra cms!

Price was too good to pass by so I snagged it.

Stock vs WP

Small adjustments required

Overal height increase was 4 cms

Got a CRD bash plate too.

Didn’t come with mountings so I had to build them

Only after going for a ride i really noticed how much stuff hits the cases. Never heard of that pinging sound before.

Also found something i wanted to try. A wider exhaust header



4,5 mms wider!



It’s a bit noisier… can feel some difference with médium to high revs, but low end is a bit softer, maybe due to lower back pressure caused by wider tube


The choice was the Acerbis 28~30 Litre that is fitted on the KTM 620/640 Adventure. With the tank i got the seat too.

This tank fits quite well into the DR frame and tank mountings, i had to do little cut and paste.

Some rubber mountings (highly scientific)

Fittings and available room:

Central fitting.

Side fittings.

Due to tank size, the petcock is considerably lower than the carburetor, so i choose to get a fuel pump. This time was a Mikuni from a SV650...

With the new seat i also had to do some mounting mods and relocate the ECU

Current status


And after:

Testing indicates the bike i quite comfortable, not hard considering the dreaded seat from hell the stock DR650SE has, engine response is quite good, handling is much better, WP’s really make the difference. Bike is high!!

Later will get a TM40, decent lighting, roadbook, GPS, etc…

Thanks to all who helped with tips, research, and their own invaluable projects!

To be continued…

Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional!

Raid de L'Amitié 2011 RR (link)

Gustavo.Ramos screwed with this post 02-24-2010 at 04:06 AM
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