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Old 12-20-2014, 06:53 AM   #1
IndyChizzle OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Indianapolis, IN by Kessler and Michigan Rd.
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DR650 Adventure Bike / Supermoto

Hi Inmates,
I'm chewing on the idea of building a new bike, and I wanted to get some input from fellow thumper owners to try to learn from other folks who have likely done the same thing. So, if you're willing to help answer some questions or give me your insight, I'd appreciate the help. Without further ado:

Background:

I've owned a KTM 690 SMC and a DR650 supermoto. Here's a photo of the DR650; I wish I hadn't sold it:



Both were great bikes, for different reasons. The KTM had great performance, but I was always worried that I was going to hurt it, it vibrated too much, and I was peeved that the dash kept failing (common failure of '08 and older models). I sold it and got my DR650 supermoto, and it was a great bike. It was heavier and lower output, which translated into less vibration and more rider comfort (for me). I didn't like that the front wheel was really tough to remove with the bigger front brake disc and the 17" front, which makes me lean towards stock brakes and a 19" front for future bikes. I also mistakenly put Shinko 705's on it (REALLY heavy, steered like a truck), but otherwise that bike was great.

I've owned a Triumph Tiger 800 XC for a year and ~7500 miles; it's been a rock solid and completely fun bike. My only complaint is the weight; it's more than I want. It's an incredible all-rounder if you want to have a ~465 lb bike, and it's completely respectable within the 800 cc adventure bike segment; it's just more than I want to hulk around, and I miss blasting through roundabouts on my supermoto bikes. If I was going to do a bunch of long-distance travel, I'd love to keep it, but I see my riding changing towards more around-town and local dirt rides, where a light dual sport works great.

The other thing that really sticks in my mind was a local ride I went on recently. A bunch of guys had big adventure bikes (800cc ++) and I heard the quote "I'm worried because I can't pick the bike up by myself"... Ugh. That's the absolute last thing I want to ever have to say. When I have to say that, I'm selling my bike and buying a sidecar or a jeep. That being said, it really lit a fire under me to find something lighter, more nimble, and affordable.

What I'd Like to Build:

I saw this DR650 with 19" front and 17" rear that I can't get out of my head:





I'm kicking around the idea of building a DR650 with a 19/17 set of wheels for the street, and a set of the stock wheels for riding on the dirt. I'd have to sell my Tiger 800 XC to make room in my garage for it, so I want to make sure I do my homework before taking the plunge. I like the "modern scrambler" vibe they put out; it's something fun and nice enough, without me worrying that I'm going to hurt it.

Questions for Experts:

So here's the things I'm concerned about:
  • Electrical Output: Can I run my heated Aerostich vest, a pair of heated grips, and charge my phone? I can live without a thing or two, I just want to know my limits and what other people have done.
  • 19/17 Wheels: What size rims should I get? I'm looking towards street rubber with this setup, so I want to get rims that maximize my options. I also don't want something so wide that it's a pain to get the rear wheel off the bike, or that experiences a bunch of chain rub. I plan on sticking with the stock brakes, and may lace the wheels myself (I've done 1 previously).
  • Which exhaust to use? I used a Two Brothers on my DR650 supermoto and it had a great sound, but wasn't too loud. I'm not a fan of the Gixxer exhaust; I'd like something that looks small, and isn't terribly loud.
  • Which luggage to use? I used to use the SW Motech Trax aluminum panniers on my Tiger 800. They're fantastic bags, but between the bags and the rack, they add more weight to my bike than I really want for a dual sport ride. They're awesome when riding cross-country and you need a secure place to keep your stuff, but they feel more like a liability when riding on dirt (scared to damage them, too heavy). I've been using a Giant Loop Coyote for a few months, and while it's a pain to take on and off, it is light, much cheaper than aluminum bags, and I'm not afraid I'll hurt it.
  • What speedo to use? I used a Trail Tech Vapor on my DR650 and it worked well, but I wasn't overwhelmed with it. If there is something nicer now available, I'd consider it. I'm also kicking around just leaving the stock speedo on it, and dealing with the stock unit reading incorrectly when I run the 19" front. A photo of my old setup is shown below.
  • What's the cheapest way to get what I want? I'm thinking I'll try to buy a low mileage DR650 (preferably exhaust and suspension work done) and then to do the wheels myself.



That's all I've got thus far; I'm sure I'll think of more as time passes. Thanks for taking the time to read my thread, and please let me know if you've got any advice!
Sincerely,
Chuck
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IndyChizzle screwed with this post 12-23-2014 at 08:45 AM
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Old 12-20-2014, 07:26 AM   #2
plugeye
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the 17 rear is already stock
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Old 12-20-2014, 07:53 AM   #3
xaman
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If you change the headlight bulb to a LED ($40) you'll have plenty of aux power for your vest, grips and phone. There is a stator upgrade to get you another 50 if you want, but I don't think you'd need it.

I'm running 17/19, converted by the previous owner. He just left the rear 17 stock width for simplicity. I considered putting something wider so I'd have access to all the standard adventure tires, but have decided lighter is better. I'm currently running a shinko 705 rear with a continental TKC80 front. It seems to work real good for "scramblering".

For my use, the 17/19 combo is a compromise, but a real good one. I don't have a dirt setup, but even if I did, I'm not sure I'd ever take the time to change to a dirt setup unless I was planning on doing some fairly gnarly trails.

Good luck, and keep us updated on your progress, sounds like a fun build.
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:17 AM   #4
zamboni9
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Considering a DRZ400 too I hope. You need to take mine for a spin once it warms up and see how you like it.
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:27 AM   #5
Jimo368
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Im interested to see how this thread pans out because I wouldn't mind doing the same thing
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:02 AM   #6
IndyChizzle OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plugeye View Post
the 17 rear is already stock
Doh! I'm half done already then...
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:07 AM   #7
villageidiot
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the stock rear is 17x2.5

if going with a 19 up front a 19x2.15 would be the way to go.

can always go a bit wider in the rear to be able to fit a wider tire like the GS guys use.

i believe my former vstrom was 3.5 rear, 2.15 front.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
IndyChizzle OP
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Location: Indianapolis, IN by Kessler and Michigan Rd.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xaman View Post
If you change the headlight bulb to a LED ($40) you'll have plenty of aux power for your vest, grips and phone. There is a stator upgrade to get you another 50 if you want, but I don't think you'd need it.
That's perfect! Sounds like I swap out the front rim, add an LED headlight, and I'm pretty good to go. I still want to do an exhaust and airbox mod, but it sounds like the cost of getting started isn't too high.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:13 AM   #9
dogjaw
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I did some time back, and couldn't be happier; I got the bug for a 19 when I test rode a BMW, couldn't stand the bike, but loved the way it turned in, so I talked Jesse at Kientech into lacing up an Excel with a Galfer rotor, and I've never looked back. Ran it for a long time with 705 ' s front and rear, niw do a tkc80 front with a t63 rear, and it absolutely rails in the twisties. I have never seen the wisdom in replacing the rear wheel with something wider, other than looks, the stocker does great. I don't look at as a compromise, simply the best of both worlds... we did close to 4000 miles on a trip to CO last summer, dirt, twisties, passes, Moab, never felt limited by the tire, ride report "we don't rent pigs"... some pics:




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Old 12-20-2014, 09:16 AM   #10
nzrian
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After market parts

Have you had a look at the procycle website?
http://http://www.procycle.us/bikepages/dr650.html

Lots of goodies on there, they are bringing out their own muffler in the future sometime.
They also offer the acewell gauges, I run the vapor and like it.
As far as luggage goes, I use soft bags on home made racks, plenty of options out there for the mighty DR.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:17 AM   #11
IndyChizzle OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Indianapolis, IN by Kessler and Michigan Rd.
Oddometer: 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot View Post
the stock rear is 17x2.5

if going with a 19 up front a 19x2.15 would be the way to go.

can always go a bit wider in the rear to be able to fit a wider tire like the GS guys use.

i believe my former vstrom was 3.5 rear, 2.15 front.
What size tire would you put on the rear? Would a 130/80 17 or 140/80 17 work? I'm curious if I could run a new TKC 70 on the rear....

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Old 12-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #12
IndyChizzle OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Indianapolis, IN by Kessler and Michigan Rd.
Oddometer: 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogjaw View Post
I did some time back, and couldn't be happier; I got the bug for a 19 when I test rode a BMW, couldn't stand the bike, but loved the way it turned in, so I talked Jesse at Kientech into lacing up an Excel with a Galfer rotor, and I've never looked back. Ran it for a long time with 705 ' s front and rear, niw do a tkc80 front with a t63 rear, and it absolutely rails in the twisties. I have never seen the wisdom in replacing the rear wheel with something wider, other than looks, the stocker does great. I don't look at as a compromise, simply the best of both worlds... we did close to 4000 miles on a trip to CO last summer, dirt, twisties, passes, Moab, never felt limited by the tire, ride report "we don't rent pigs"... some pics:




Bingo. I think you've already done what I'm thinking about doing. Do you run the stock front brakes, or did you add a caliper relocation bracket? When I took the wheels of my DR650 supermoto I was shocked at how difficult it was. The clearance between the small 17" rim and the big 320 mm rotor made for a tough time. It took lots of tools and was a big pain; I would not want that kind of a headache on the side of the road...
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IndyChizzle screwed with this post 12-20-2014 at 09:39 AM
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:29 AM   #13
IndyChizzle OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Indianapolis, IN by Kessler and Michigan Rd.
Oddometer: 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by nzrian View Post
Have you had a look at the procycle website?
http://http://www.procycle.us/bikepages/dr650.html

Lots of goodies on there, they are bringing out their own muffler in the future sometime.
They also offer the acewell gauges, I run the vapor and like it.
As far as luggage goes, I use soft bags on home made racks, plenty of options out there for the mighty DR.
Its a great site; thank you.
__________________
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." John Shedd
2013 Tiger 800 XC
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:38 AM   #14
Rockaway
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Like this thread. I can only speak to the Dr650 from what I have seen. I ride a drz400-E and a tiger 800xc. I have a few friends that ride the DR650 and really like it for its versatility. They load it down for long trips and it has never let them down. I can't keep up with them on my tiger that's why I'm building a drz400-e for our upcoming trips around the northwest. For those of you above 200 lbs I'd say the DR650 is a great bike as an all-arounder. I'm a little lighter and I subscribe to the "less is more" attitude while dual sport riding. After completing the WABDR last summer on my tiger, I am excited to ride the OBDR this summer on the DRZ

I'm very curious as to the performance of the 19" front tire on the DR. I appreciate the above pics and write up given by dogjaw. Great stuff! Please keep us posted.o


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Old 12-20-2014, 09:45 AM   #15
IndyChizzle OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockaway View Post
Like this thread. I can only speak to the Dr650 from what I have seen. I ride a drz400-E and a tiger 800xc. I have a few friends that ride the DR650 and really like it for its versatility. They load it down for long trips and it has never let them down. I can't keep up with them on my tiger that's why I'm building a drz400-e for our upcoming trips around the northwest. For those of you above 200 lbs I'd say the DR650 is a great bike as an all-arounder. I'm a little lighter and I subscribe to the "less is more" attitude while dual sport riding. After completing the WABDR last summer on my tiger, I am excited to ride the OBDR this summer on the DRZ

I'm very curious as to the performance of the 19" front tire on the DR. I appreciate the above pics and write up given by dogjaw. Great stuff! Please keep us posted.o


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I'm 6'2" and 210 lbs, so I'm leaning heavily towards the DR650. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I like the looks of the DR650 over the DRZ for some reason. I kicked around the idea of a KTM 450 EXC, but I think I'd rather have another DR650 due to its less frequent service intervals and plethora of used or aftermarket parts.
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