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Old 12-17-2012, 05:15 PM   #1
stromsurfer OP
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Joined: Oct 2009
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Hacking a Dakar

I need a hack. I won't go into or bore you with the whys but bottom line is that it's time to go to three wheels. I checked with a couple guys on here, talked with Claude and Jay during the last year, researched, and read till my eyes were bloodshot anything regarding sidecars. There are some really nice rigs being produced out there. I almost pulled the trigger on a custom BMW by Claude that was up for resale, and I was really close on a 2007 Ural outside of Boston but held off. I would love to own a completed rig by either DMC, CSM or a Ural but in my situation i did not really want to have $7,000 to $10,000 into something i will be lucky to even get to ride down into town never mind a trip on a custom long distance road rig. What it came down to was this......the rig would have to be under $5,000, and would either need to have reverse or it would have to be light enough for me to move around easily...... more on that reasoning will over the course of time reveal itself.

So, I have decided to hack my 2001 F650GS Dakar. Now I know it's not the best bike to hack and I know I could probably find a completed rig to purchase at about the same cost as what I'll have into the Dakar but.......I really don't care. I own the GS and don't have a lot of money into it so I am going to do it no matter what folks say. So don't go to the trouble of telling me all the reasons not to do it.

I have ordered the Enduro model including sub-frame and mounts from Jay at DMC, and expect delivery around the first week in January. I did order the brake set up option for the car as the brakes on the GS are not the best.

I needed a winter project to occupy myself. Attaching a sidecar to a bike i already own simplified things. Truth be known......I was afraid that during the process of selling and buying, something would happen to me and i would end up with no bike at all. Even if at some point I am unable to ride as my health declines, the thought of not having at least one bike in my ownership is frankly, just too much to bear.

I have moto buddies and friends in the ADV Community that have offered assistance with the build. I will need all the help i can get not only due to physcial challenges but because I am not exactly the sharpest tool in the box.

If anyone is interested I will try and post progress updates but don't expect much. I am kind of lazy with posting stuff, am shallow and self centered, and quite selfish with my time and what I do with it. However, I will try and we will see how it goes.

So here are the first of many questions.....some dumb, some obvious, and some that I am just curious about. Most will be run by Jay at DMC but all opinions are welcome.....except for the ones saying DON'T DO IT!!!

1) The bike is currently lowered. Three inch links, forks raised in the trees, and a low seat. Should I raise it back to standard height? Will it make any difference? Handling, steering, comfort?
2)I changed fork oil last Spring. Would heavier fork oil make a difference? Maybe different springs? Can't afford leading links and want to be able to change it back to a solo bike down the road when I am done if no one wants it as a hack.
3) It's time to change out worn sprockets and chain. Any suggestions on gearing changes? Is the stock chain heavy duty enough? Most of my riding will be secondary roads and gravel so it's not like I'm going across Mongolia.
4) Just installed new tires this Fall so will probably stick with them. Keep PSI the same?
5) Anyone else hacked a F650GS? I know Jay has but just wondering if anyone else has one....pictures, advise, thoughts???

That's it for now. Thanks in advance for the space and your time. I look forward to being part of the sidecar community.

Enjoy the Holidays

MC
The Bike

The Sidecar on a Kawa.
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stromsurfer screwed with this post 12-17-2012 at 05:24 PM
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
Strong Bad
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Welcome to the wacky world of sidecars! I have no idea as to why you need 3 wheels, but what ever the reason, it is a great thing that you will be able to use a sidecar to get out and enjoy the ride.

If you lowered suspension didn't cause problems for you before, it surely shouldn't with the sidecar attached. As long as Jay knows the ride height of bike the subframe & mounts he makes for you should be able to handle any adjustments.

Your suspension may be pretty good as is, but I have no idea as to what your existing set up is. Slower dampening with higher viscosity oil may help and it is one thing that you could "play" with.

With the added weight, a wee bit lowered geared is not a bad thing at all. Sorry I don't know anything about your bike, or what size chain it uses, but a side car will add stress to the drive train, so I would go with the heaviest duty available (that you can fit in your budget).

Tires on sidecars are always an issue as sidecar rigs simply don't turn like a bike. You will scrub off the center and square off just about any tire you put on it much much faster than you would like. Those of us with big 1200GSA rigs opt for tire car conversions, esp. for the rear. Claude or Jay should be able to point to tire solutions. The PSI should be close to the same if not a bit more.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:55 AM   #3
Bucho
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I just put a hack on a DR650. (I'm still sorting it out)

About gearing. I went down one tooth on my front sprocket a while ago (to help w/ lower speed offroad riding). I'm glad I did it, it works for the hack as well. Front sprockets are fairly cheap, you might want to order a stock size and one tooth smaller. Then you can swap them and see which one you like better. If you aren't going on the highway, probably the one tooth smaller is the way to go.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:22 AM   #4
Wolfgang55
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tight fit

If you do your own assembly, please don't do it in your basement..........
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:46 AM   #5
DirtyDR
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Welcome to the three wheeled asylum. I have to tell you that this is one of my all time favorite sidecar rigs. The owners are the lady in the pink hat and her husband. I will have to say that I do question their judgement since they had me and Roger take it out for a test ride.







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Old 12-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
stromsurfer OP
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[QUOTE=DirtyDR;20275952]Welcome to the three wheeled asylum. I have to tell you that this is one of my all time favorite sidecar rigs. The owners are the lady in the pink hat and her husband. I will have to say that I do question their judgement since they had me and Roger take it out for a test ride.



Awesome!! . Just what I wanted to hear. I had seen a pic of that one somewhere but couldn't find it again. Thanks for posting them. Glad to hear from someone who has actually been on one and liked it. Encouraging too that it went well without leading links.

Getting Excited.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
DRONE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stromsurfer View Post
. . .

1) The bike is currently lowered. Three inch links, forks raised in the trees, and a low seat. Should I raise it back to standard height? Will it make any difference? Handling, steering, comfort?
2)I changed fork oil last Spring. Would heavier fork oil make a difference? Maybe different springs? Can't afford leading links and want to be able to change it back to a solo bike down the road when I am done if no one wants it as a hack.
3) It's time to change out worn sprockets and chain. Any suggestions on gearing changes? Is the stock chain heavy duty enough? Most of my riding will be secondary roads and gravel so it's not like I'm going across Mongolia.
4) Just installed new tires this Fall so will probably stick with them. Keep PSI the same?
5) Anyone else hacked a F650GS? I know Jay has but just wondering if anyone else has one....pictures, advise, thoughts???
(1) Keep it lowered. Keeps your center of gravity down for cornering, and makes on/offs and duck walking easier. Since you're not going to be going into the boonies on it, you won't need the added ground clearance.

(2) I'd leave the springs as is until you find out how the rig handles. Remember that heavier oil makes for slower compression damping, but also slower rebound damping. On a lightweight rig, the Dakar forks are fairly robust (for offroading) so my guess is they'll do just fine for you.

(3) The 520 chain is fine. You won't break it. On the sprockets, I've never heard a sidecar guy complain after gearing down. I'd probably try a 47/15 combination.

(4) PSI is all personal preference. Since the outfit does not lean, inflation is not as critical as on a two-wheeler. I personally like to run my front tire a little soft to get better cornering (bigger contact patch) but keep the rear tire hard to protect the rim.

(5) Found these online--











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Old 12-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #8
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One thing I didn't see you mention was the steering. You WILL need a steering modification of some sort. The bars and forks in stock configuration will be a bear to steer. You might want to ask Jay what he recommends.

You also might try Brock (here) to see if he has an EZ-Steer for the F650.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:24 AM   #9
DirtyDR
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[QUOTE=stromsurfer;20278665]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDR View Post
Welcome to the three wheeled asylum. I have to tell you that this is one of my all time favorite sidecar rigs. The owners are the lady in the pink hat and her husband. I will have to say that I do question their judgement since they had me and Roger take it out for a test ride.



Awesome!! . Just what I wanted to hear. I had seen a pic of that one somewhere but couldn't find it again. Thanks for posting them. Glad to hear from someone who has actually been on one and liked it. Encouraging too that it went well without leading links.

Getting Excited.
Roger and I both thought it handled well as built but then again the yellow GS rig in the background of the first picture is mine and after 40,000 miles all over North America on and off road I still haven't seen the need to modify the steering.
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03 R1150 GS Sport/ Friendship II
94 R1100RS
99 Rokon Ranger
71 Rokon RT140

Hack'n the TLH
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:46 AM   #10
jaydmc
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Your sidecar came back from powder coat this morning. We still of course need to assembe it, build a crate and ship it.
Jay G
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:59 PM   #11
stromsurfer OP
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Delivery

That is Awesome!!!
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:18 AM   #12
boxertwin
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[QUOTE=DirtyDR;20275952]Welcome to the three wheeled asylum. I have to tell you that this is one of my all time favorite sidecar rigs. The owners are the lady in the pink hat and her husband. I will have to say that I do question their judgement since they had me and Roger take it out for a test ride.


They had no idea who they were dealing with!
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:47 AM   #13
O'B
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Does anybody here know what kind of gas mileage you would get out of one of these F650 rigs. And how do they handle freeway speeds. Thanks
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #14
stromsurfer OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydmc View Post
Your sidecar came back from powder coat this morning. We still of course need to assembe it, build a crate and ship it.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793
Got an Email from DMC today saying my sidecar is now ready to ship. . I had requested it to be expedited due to circumstances..........they are more then 30 days ahead of what they first estimated the ETA.
Pretty Dam Awesome.

[QUOTE=DirtyDR;20275952]Welcome to the three wheeled asylum. I have to tell you that this is one of my all time favorite sidecar rigs. The owners are the lady in the pink hat and her husband. I will have to say that I do question their judgement since they had me and Roger take it out for a test ride.

Thankfully you guys are too far away to test ride mine.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:32 PM   #15
Poacher Bob
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Thankfully you guys are too far away to test ride mine.[/QUOTE]

I'm not..

Got my kit last week for the KLR just need some time to get it mounted...
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