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Old 07-16-2013, 10:23 AM   #1
SOTA OP
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Dr650 suspension

What do broke people do to beef up the suspension? I would like to get my supension a lot stiffer without spending thousands of dollars. I'm mainly focusing on the rear but as you know the front needs help also.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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Springs and heavier weight oil, probably the cheapest way to go for about $130. Of course you could just do oil. After that, Race tech emulators or Ricor intiminators for about $150-$200.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:24 PM   #3
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Front suspension

Ricor
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOTA View Post
What do broke people do to beef up the suspension? I would like to get my supension a lot stiffer without spending thousands of dollars. I'm mainly focusing on the rear but as you know the front needs help also.
What sort of riding do you do? What is your skill level? Terrain you intend to ride? Off road? ON Road? ... and what is your weight? Unless you ride aggressive and are a B rider or better ... for now ... I'd stay with stock. Add preload to the forks (bigger spacers) and go with 12 wt oil. This is a poor man's compromise but may work for you.

Out back it's tougher. Stock shock has terrible rebound characteristics ... and the spring is rated for around a 160 lbs. rider. Best free mod is to crank up the preload ALL THE WAY! But that is not really a solution. sorry, gotta spend a few bucks there.

TIPS:
If you're handy, there are a couple good tutorial threads on ADV Thumpers to rebuild the rear KYB shock. It's really not that hard! (I was surprised!) New seals and valves are relatively cheap, nitrogen recharge is easy ... but you'll need a stiffer spring as well. Buy a used one here (maybe $50 to $75?) ... once in a while a guy goes with one too stiff and sells it off. Something between a 7.6 kg. and an 8.0 would probably be about right if you're between 220 and 280 lbs. Over that? Can't help ... not sure if there is anything stiffer commonly available.

Front Forks:
Look around for some forks off a moto cross bike or other ... Ebay is full of cheap options. You may have to machine top clamps or switch stem. Lots of options, some easy, others hard. But guys have bought older Moto forks for just $100. Research, find which ones you can use that fit the DR650.

Also, I've seen several Race Tech Emulator kits for sale in Flea Market for the DR650 (some were New, Unopened) ... selling for a bit less than new. New, they go for $160, I've seen used for $100 to $130 or so, IIRC. But once again, you'll need stiffer fork springs to complement the Emulators.

The Ricor product cannot match Race Tech off road, but it's good ON road.
Ricor are not a Budget item either and very few around used.
So if you're on a budget ... pay attention to the Flea Market here and on other DR650 forums. Wait for a deal.

Adding heavier oil is not really a solution. With 15W or heavier your front end will be dead, unresponsive. Sure, it won't dive ... but it won't suck up bumps very well either.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:31 PM   #5
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Wow that's a lot of good info , thank you
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #6
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If you want it to work,it costs a little money.

There's no way to just stiffen it up and have it be very good.

I had a local shock tech put a Gold Valve in the rear shock,and an Eibach spring for my weight.

I had the shock out 2 more times for (free) re valving,it was way too stiff on compression damping with Race-Tech specs,once it worked it was a world of difference.

Emulator and springs in ft forks.

It likes to go fast on really rough fireroads and does it smoothly,stock suspension was an excersize in hanging on while the bike bottomed/wallowed/slammed around like a drunken water buffalo.

Works great on the road,and very passable off road.

Nothing fun is cheap.

I think the stock forks are ok once tuned,cheap older forks arent generally better working forks just because they are inverted style forks,they for sure look cooler.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Ricor
What he said.

Admitted, I have a DL not a DR, but an amazing difference and far and away the easiest mod to do as wel.

Pete
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:29 AM   #8
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What he said.

Admitted, I have a DL not a DR, but an amazing difference and far and away the easiest mod to do as wel.

Pete
A couple friends have tried the Ricor,both long time riders and have fiddled with suspension a lot. Both ended up selling the Ricor stuff as it just didnt do what was needed. I think a lot of newer riders cant tell whats what with suspension and figure if its different it must be good.

Race Tech has been in the business a long time,if set up right their stuff works great.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:41 AM   #9
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You could start with cartridge style forks from a 98, 99 dr350 or drz250. Still would need stiffer springs but you get adjustable compression and rebound. I have a pair sitting around (shameless plug ).
Externally, they are very similar to the xr400 forks. I wonder if the shim attack would be as easy to modify to suit your style of riding?
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:07 AM   #10
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Race Tech. Do one end at a time if need be to fit your budget. Just be sure to go to a Race Tech center that you have done your homework on. Some are better than others.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:27 AM   #11
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Send a message to Vintagespeed.

He swapped a DRZ400 rear shock in, and I sold him a set of USD forks off of my KX500 that he put on his DR650

He is captain cheap, so I know it did not cost too much
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MartiniUp View Post
Race Tech. Do one end at a time if need be to fit your budget. Just be sure to go to a Race Tech center that you have done your homework on. Some are better than others.
So true. Many shops have are certified Race Tech Centers but in some cases their techs must have slept through the seminars. Also, many shops have a guy on staff that took the Race Tech classes ... but that guy has only done a few suspension jobs ... and is really still a Noob.

Go somewhere where they specialize and do suspension work all the time.
You're odds will be much better for a good outcome. Reputation is everything.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
So true. Many shops have are certified Race Tech Centers but in some cases their techs must have slept through the seminars. Also, many shops have a guy on staff that took the Race Tech classes ... but that guy has only done a few suspension jobs ... and is really still a Noob.

Go somewhere where they specialize and do suspension work all the time.
You're odds will be much better for a good outcome. Reputation is everything.
All true,my local suspension tech has been doing suspension for 5 or 6 years and really likes doing it,he plays with all sorts of bikes all the time.
The thing is,you have to be able to tell what works for you.
Some figure if its stiffer it must be good,my DR skipped off every sharp bump with the supplied race tech valving and it took 2 major steps towards soft on the shim stack to get it to be compliant.
Yet most DR riders who go race tech seem to think the valving is great as is from RT. I want mine to be cush for all day rides,yet a few clicks on compression and it firms up for dirt beatings.

It took some fooling around with the shock but its good now.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
All true,my local suspension tech has been doing suspension for 5 or 6 years and really likes doing it,he plays with all sorts of bikes all the time.
The thing is,you have to be able to tell what works for you.
Some figure if its stiffer it must be good,my DR skipped off every sharp bump with the supplied race tech valving and it took 2 major steps towards soft on the shim stack to get it to be compliant.
Yet most DR riders who go race tech seem to think the valving is great as is from RT. I want mine to be cush for all day rides,yet a few clicks on compression and it firms up for dirt beatings.

It took some fooling around with the shock but its good now.
Spot on! I have sent several sets of Forks down to Race Tech headquarters is SoCal. On two occasions they came back TOO STIFF. (Road Bikes)

Despite speaking with the manager ...at length ... stating I was not a National level racer and preferred PLUSH over Harsh. One set I returned and they did a better job. With the other set Race Tech recommended a local shop in my area ... and that worked out best because I went in IN PERSON.

They nailed it ... and still allowed enough adjustment to fine tune the settings to suit terrain and ride pace.

From now on I only deal with suspension guys face to face. I recently had the forks re-valved on my 1050 Triumph Tiger. I used Catalyst Reaction in San Mateo. The results have been incredible. They will be rebuilding the old Ohlins shock on my DR650 soon. Catalyst mostly do Road Race guys but do enough street riders and Dirt bikes that they "Get It". They've ridden our beat up NorCal roads and know what works there on a heavy bike like the Tiger 1050. I'm hoping they can nail it with my Ohlins.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:45 AM   #15
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I too recommend a suspension person. When I wanted my forks/shock done I called a few local shops. They all told me they sub the work out so they would have to get back to me on price and time-frame. Finally I asked who they use and called him directly. He asked what I was trying to accomplish with the suspension. I told him where I ride and he asked what kind of rider I am (from mild to wild), he was familiar with the area (since he rode the same areas). He set my suspension up for me and where and how I ride. They were mail-order parts (all Race Tech stuff), but getting the work done local really seemed to help get it right the first time.
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