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Old 07-27-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
RTWADVGuy OP
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Wee Strom U-P-G-R-A-Y-E-D-D

Well, I bought an '08 DL650 a month or so ago. First impressions are that it is no offroad monster! More like a street bike that someone slapped some dirt tires on!

But, after a week long 2-up trip around the Colorado Mountains, it became apparent that there is more here than just a sloppy attemp at building an adventure touring bike.


Let's start at the beginning. I did an 850-mile turn and burn with this bike arriving at 4:30pm to pick the bike up. After a short trip to WallyWorld for some supplies, I fit the highway. 16-straight-hours and 850 miles later I was home! Anyone claiming to have an Iron Butt is lying to your face. Any that has done that many miles non-stop will tell you just how tender your backend really is!!!

Fast-forward a month and that brings us to about 2500 miles on the DL with little issues until the trip to the Crystal Mill in Colorado VIA Lead King Basin road! I have taken my XRR over this before with ease. The DL, however, did it but with some issues.....like the 8" of ground clearance. But, see as I have less than a 30" inseam, you cannot ask for much.!

Enough trailing off, here it is:





Casualties:

Shift lever nub snapped off
Skid plate used and abused
Exhaust pipe abused
Centerstand abused but surviving
Massive oil leak from the clutch rod seal and countershaft seal
Cheesy plastic hand gaurd really abused!
Rear brake pads toasted (they were done when I bought the bike as was the rotor)
Other minor issues that are not worth remembering

Skid:








So let's start with the hand guards. I bought a set of cheap but nice hand guards from Cycle Gear. The Trackside hand guards are pretty nice considering I paid $54 shipped for them.They dont look nearly heavy enough but they are 100X better than the stock plastic. Alot of people said that had issues fitting them to the stock DL bars but not me. Bolted right on using the DL bar weights and hardware. The TS guards bar end hardware is much too small to be used with these thin-wall bars(the hardware is for Protaper or Renthal type bars with thicker walls) Nothing fancy but it'll do!








Next was the sealing problems! As most of you know, the DL650 suffers from a serious lack of seal around the clutch push rod near the counter sprocket. Easy fix, put a bigger, better seal in there!! I used a seal from a 2008 DL1000, which is used in alot of other Suzuki bikes. New rod and new CS seal also. All tolled, I spent around $50 for all the parts.




The only thing to do with the new pushrod seal iis to open up the hole in the retainer plate for the seal to fit thru. I used a die grinder and opened 'er up!



The seals pushed in by finger very easily. I used some new hardware to install the plate. The old bolts are 10mm head and the top front bolt is a huge pain to get to. It can be removed without taking off the side cover. It just takes a very shallow 10mm. I hate hard-to-get-to bolt so I bought a 3-pack of 6mm x12mm(long) allen head bolts. Much easily!






And then on to the shift lever. I havent had much time to mess with it so here is the quick fix for now until I can find a broken or bent folding aluminum lever. I have an evil plan I 5/16" stainless bolt, a few nuts, the grinder and a drill......ends with this. Ugly and yes the rubber is backwards but the tip of the shifter gets hung up in one of the grooves in the toe of my Crossfires....fixed it!







One of the things I HATE about the DL is the exhaust and then the SW-Motech skid is not my idea of.....well, a good peice of hardware. It is fine for the highway and little offroad. As we have seen, it will not hold up to anything even remotely "hardcore"

The "TO DO LIST"

Relocate oil cooler since it is in the way of the new skidplate/tool box
Build skid/tool box
Build new exhaust that does not weight 50 LBS, looks better and fits were I want it
Fabricate new shift lever with a folding tip(I hate buying parts that are not that hard to build)
Fab a new air filter since a stock replacement is WAY too expensive!!!!!! I will not be using the "Silicone a car filterthe the plate" Idea but close, just more refined
I am sure there is more but it is late and my brain is done!
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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Sneak peak of the exhaust parts that I have fabbed up so far.

Flanges: 3/8" aluminum




Head collars:









The new exhaust will be 1.500" 304 SS and will be routed up and over the stock oil cooler(which will be moved up underthe radiator) That will start happening next week or so.
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:52 AM   #3
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Well documented, and great pics.

But I must ask, did you consider a well worn KLR at all?

No disrespect, but it appears by the battle scars a KLR with some miles on the clock might have been a second choice?

I have decent respect for the Strom family- I really do, but they do not play well offroad in all conditions, all of the time, (and neither does the KLR, but it's a notch closer to perhaps your riding conditions?), although the Strom a better trip bike, I will give you that...

Just making conversation.... not a hater.

Did you ride double? saw a gal with red hair?



Looks like you have mad fabrication skills.... you should come to the dark side and make KLR parts for us...
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:54 AM   #4
OaklandStrom
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This should be a fun one to watch.
The front plastic and headlight assembly is heavy. Really heavy. Although I'm sure you know this - and I assume you have plans.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unstable Rider View Post
Well documented, and great pics.

But I must ask, did you consider a well worn KLR at all?

No disrespect, but it appears by the battle scars a KLR with some miles on the clock might have been a second choice?

I have decent respect for the Strom family- I really do, but they do not play well offroad in all conditions, all of the time, (and neither does the KLR, but it's a notch closer to perhaps your riding conditions?), although the Strom a better trip bike, I will give you that...

Just making conversation.... not a hater.

Did you ride double? saw a gal with red hair?



Looks like you have mad fabrication skills.... you should come to the dark side and make KLR parts for us...

I did consider the KLR as they arte cheap and reliable. I just could not find a good enough deal on milk crates The seat height killed the deal with the KLR. I know you can lower any bike to suit you. I found this Vstrom already kitted with Givi luggage, SW motech crash bars and other assorted bits. I was finding KLR for the same price as the DL without anything!!! In the end, the DL won out due to the fact that I can haul my wife and luggage down the highway and still be able to hit the back trails if I want. I may end up raising the suspension and shaving the seat down. I still have my XRR for the heavy offroad but it does not haul the wife very good at all! Oh yeah, and it is injected!

Thanks for the compliments. I'll build anything that pays I am a money whore......





Quote:
Originally Posted by OaklandStrom View Post
This should be a fun one to watch.
The front plastic and headlight assembly is heavy. Really heavy. Although I'm sure you know this - and I assume you have plans.
Yes, as soon as I drop it enough times to destroy the plastics, they are history!! Kind of thinking about a Dakar-style navigation tower that is much lighter and smaller overall in size. I think two HID's are in order!
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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Here is a quick draw-ring of the plan for the exhaust and the skidplate/toolbox. The front half of the skid were the exhaust and oil cooler have been relocted from will be the tool box. 3/16" bottom with 1/8" sides and front will be much better than what I have now. And without the holes cut in the bottom of the skid for the exhaust, well, that will be a no-brainer! And don't worry, it'll be very tastefully done




Much like the Rockhard Rally bashplates but the tool compartment will be full-width since there is nothing in its way. The lid will on one end, maybe both ends and will not be lids......doors are more like it!


RTWADVGuy screwed with this post 07-28-2012 at 12:53 PM
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:14 PM   #8
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I've toying with the bashplate-toolbox idea for a while. Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:47 AM   #9
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Re: the oil cooler. The earlier rendition of the SV650 and donor bike for the DL platform did not have an oil cooler and never seemed to have overheating issues (I owned one). So, you could consider deleting it and watch your temps and see what happens. Or, you could maybe source a 2012 oil cooler, which fits onto the base of the oil filter and is very compact.

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Old 07-29-2012, 10:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
Re: the oil cooler. The earlier rendition of the SV650 and donor bike for the DL platform did not have an oil cooler and never seemed to have overheating issues (I owned one). So, you could consider deleting it and watch your temps and see what happens. Or, you could maybe source a 2012 oil cooler, which fits onto the base of the oil filter and is very compact.


Interesting. I will have to look into that and see what I can figure out. It would be nice to just get rid of it and have one less thing to bash on a rock and have a failure. Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTWADVGuy View Post
Interesting. I will have to look into that and see what I can figure out. It would be nice to just get rid of it and have one less thing to bash on a rock and have a failure. Thanks!
If I was only on the road, I'd consider getting rid of the oil cooler. However, riding in dirt means stop & go, clutch slipping, heat generating kind of riding. Especially on a 450 pound "dirt bike". I'd certainly try it for a while before I sold the cooler on eBay.

I recently took my Strom into a goat path at the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We hit sand, silt, rocks, washes, etc. None of the 3 Stroms ever got hot, and I was quite surprised they didn't. I think we went 10 miles in an hour and a half.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by OaklandStrom View Post
If I was only on the road, I'd consider getting rid of the oil cooler. However, riding in dirt means stop & go, clutch slipping, heat generating kind of riding. Especially on a 450 pound "dirt bike". I'd certainly try it for a while before I sold the cooler on eBay.

I recently took my Strom into a goat path at the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We hit sand, silt, rocks, washes, etc. None of the 3 Stroms ever got hot, and I was quite surprised they didn't. I think we went 10 miles in an hour and a half.

Yes, sand....... On this same trip I took the wife over Madano Pass to the Great Sand Dunes here in Colorado. It took around 3 hours to go 4 miles! The sand there is evil....


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Old 11-17-2012, 03:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
Re: the oil cooler. The earlier rendition of the SV650 and donor bike for the DL platform did not have an oil cooler and never seemed to have overheating issues (I owned one). So, you could consider deleting it and watch your temps and see what happens. Or, you could maybe source a 2012 oil cooler, which fits onto the base of the oil filter and is very compact.


and, you could figure out how to run coolant lines and the needed fittings to get water to the "2012 oil cooler", which actually allows the oil filter to be attached to it and does not "fit onto the base"-it is the base, and has no commonality with previous models
take a close look at one
not the best idea at all
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:39 PM   #14
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Keep it coming.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #15
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Well, got alittle done on the exhaust today. Getting the old one out was fun!!! NOT!!! I hate engineers! Anyway, here it is so far. I still need to weld the rear pipe together, it is just taped right now. I am trying to get as close to egual length as I can but it is hard to do without making it just like stock. It will work out, trust me!


Front pipe: Sorry, it was getting dark out.





Rear pipe fit at full compression:





Rear pipe:

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