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Old 06-18-2012, 08:56 PM   #66061
Snowy
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It depends on where in the world you are as to what model years are what.

These conventional forks were the very last of the conventional dual chamber forks used on the RMs.

The eBay seller didn't know what they were for, he'd bought them for a DR650 but they presented him with insurmountable problems.

I picked them up for something like $170.

The local suspension guy was duly impressed when I showed him, said they were unbelievably good condition and told me they were a 98 RM fork. I noticed when Googling for the same thing I can't find conventional front ends, only USD.. I can find similar to these up to a 97 from the US.

It's entirely likely we still had conventional front ends on RMs sold here as 98 models. If I remember correctly, I've seen pics of Chad Reed racing here during and just after that era on conventional forks on an RM.

I wanted a conventional front end to maintain the "standard DR" look, but get better suspension out of it.

In the RMZ series, the forks were pretty consistent in their head set bearing sizes, and a match for the DR bearings until around 05~06 in the 250s. I had to use DR lower and the RMZ upper bearing and make a spacer for packing under the top clamp on an 06 set. 07 (dual chamber) onwards in the 250 were one for one swap out bearing wise. the 450s went to the different front end in 05, and use a slightly larger axle. The 250s followed, using all the same components as the 450s from 07.

So there's a period of a couple of years where the 250s remained with the old gear, and the 450s got updates, then the 250s followed. Same basic suspension. In fact, I think spring rates - standard at least - are the same because the bikes didn't really weigh much different. The 450s tended to hit harder because they launched faster, so they upped the rates for super cross and arena cros, but I'm not sure how they were setting them up for the outdoor events in the US, given they are more open faster tracks and the 250s are generally doing the same sort of jumps. I bought a set of single chamber 06 forks and they came revalved for racing for someone about my weight (220lbs) and they had .48kg/mm springs in them. I went to .50kg/mm and they are about perfect for fast trail riding with the DRs weight. Clickers are set about 1/2 of the way up from full soft. You can experiment with oil levels and viscosities, as they are not fixed. If you want more damping towards bottom out, you decrease the air gap in the fork by adding more oil. Mine are at around 90mm from the top of the fork, fully compressed, springs out running 5wt oil. I can try 7.5wt to get more high speed compression damping out of them, and just wind the clickers off soft to get similar low speed. Increase the air gap with heavier grade oil to 100~110mm.

So much adjustability your head will spin.

You can get caught out with eBay as some of the sellers aren't exactly sure what's what. I ask for measurements of axle sizes etc to confirm.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:00 PM   #66062
Snowy
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Doug S...good find.

It's hard to get that info here. Unless you work for Suzuki or a dealer. Knowing what web sites in the US display the micro-fiche info helps.

Just remember, static sag will be your biggest isue in setingup the front end.

When you go for heavier spring rates you don't really want the same length of spring that a standard RM uses, you want it shorter. If you end up with a very stiff front spring and too little static sag, it'll slow the steering right down. Rake will look like one of those early 80s Dakar bikes. OK if you plan doing a couple of thousand kms on sand...and actually not too bad for highway work, but a bit slow for trail riding.

Once again, it comes back to what you want to do with the bike. The Racetech rear sprung hard and set with minimum static and rider sag helps even things out, but you want to be at least 5'10" tall and confident off road.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:32 PM   #66063
doug s.
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snowy, if you yust do a websearch w/the make/model bike, plus the word "parts", you will get a few places that have the fiche display on their sites...

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Old 06-18-2012, 09:40 PM   #66064
johnkol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Rocket View Post
The rubber mounted handlebars and footrests combined with lower RPM's and much higher torque of the 650 mill(my seat of the pants assesment vs the 400exc)make the DR a much nicer bike on the slab when you have to run more than 5 miles.
Now that you mention it, the rubber-mounted pegs on the DR always bothered me: they seem to subtract too much information, and I find it very unnerving when I stand on them and they seem to sag; they just don't feel right, so I would gladly give away some vibration damping for increased feedback and a more secure footing.

The handlebars provide a similarly detached feeling on the DR, so I don't think I would mind taking the rubber mounts out of the picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Rocket View Post
I rode a WR250R and liked the handling, but the power was anemic. I was glad when I switched back with the owner to get back on the DR.
Ah, thanks for that piece of information! I had seen some people comparing the WRR to the old IT200 (a bike that I used to own), and the IT was in no way anemic.

But your opinion seems to match the spec sheet: the WRR leaves something to be desired in the horsepower department.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Rocket View Post
The exc isn't bad on the street, it just isn't as good as the DR. The DR isn't bad in the singletrack, it just isn't anywhere as good as the KTM.
I understand what you're saying, and that was my original thinking too before getting the bike, but the problem now is that I find the DR unacceptable even on gravel roads, so I wouldn't even dream of taking it to singletrack. I don't see the EXC being similarly unacceptable on the slab; punishing maybe, but I seem to have a high tolerance for two-wheel pain.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:20 PM   #66065
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johnkol,

I hear what you're saying. I used to ride MX, desert bikes. I used to ride off road. I then started riding street bikes. I was alway looking for high performance. I too wonder about the rubber isolated pegs. Kind of feels weird not having a direct relationship between the bars and the pegs (anywhere you have a direct "touch"). The problem I think most people have is compromising. Dual sport is just that. It's really compromising between the duals. You want good on road? You want good off road? Well pick the best bike for both. I'll be honest, really honest. I've been really disapponted with the DR when I want to just f*ck my buddies up off road. Then, we had to ride twenty miles on road to get back home for a bbq and they were all butt hurt with their bikes. Then, I wanted to ride 50 miles to a place that had 50 miles of exploring double track and they wanted to bring a truck with bikes and a trailer with more bikes. I said bullshit, lets just ride, get some gas and ride some more and they didn't want to ride 50 miles to get to riding and I realized I had the best of both worlds. If you "need" two bikes, get two bikes. If you need one bike, the DR is really hard to beat. Throw a 14T on the front and a really aggressive rear tire and you can go 90% of the places your friends will ever go. I want a 450cc off road bike (BTW, I tried to like a 250 off road bike and it had no top end), but right now I can have one bike. There is NO (no Berg, KTM, ATK, etc) 450 that will do what the DR650 will do, off road/on road.

edit to add: "but the problem now is that I find the DR unacceptable even on gravel roads, so I wouldn't even dream of taking it to singletrack"...that's really an interesting statement to me. I really don't think you want a "dual sport" bike. The DR handles gravel and single track better than any "dual" sport out there. I have a spirited time on gravel with the DR650, but it's not because of the bike. It's because I'm used to an off road bike off road. On single track, yeah, it's the fact I'm used to a two-stroke MX bike. Last time I was out on single track with the DR650 (yes, real single track) I fell a dozen times. I had almost bald "dual sport" tires and a buddy with new knobbies. It's about the most fun I can remember on a ful size bike. He too said it was a blast helping pick up that greased pig. When we were riding there, getting a beer afterward and riding home afterward we were both thinking DUAL sport means different things to different people, but ultimately DUAL means more than one thing. If DUAL means only one thing (off or on road) then you need to steer away from the DR.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:58 PM   #66066
Snowy
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Try telling that to the BMW crowd.

"The F800GS is a dirt bike. Yes it is too....I got mine dirty once".

"It's an enduro bike, I know someone who rode single track on one...here's a video to prove it...blah blah blah"

DR owners are at least a little more realistic. Either that or they learned early to avoid disappointment by lowering their expectations.



It takes a lot of work to even try to pass a DR off as a "trail Bike". But , yeah, you can ride trails on a standard one. It just isn't a great deal of fun, more like hard work.

To be blunt, 25 years ago I used to take my GSX1100EFF on dirt roads and farm tracks regularly. It arguably did a lot more of that than some of the F800GSs and other "Adventure Bikes" I've seen around.

But it doesn't make it a dirt bike. It's not a difficult principle I'd have thought, but people seem to struggle with it.

If more people on the web were open and honest about what different bikes can and can't do, I reckon there'd be a hell of a lot less guys buying the wrong thing and then hurting themselves.

I listened to sales staff at the bike shop yesterday talking to a customer. This bloke owns a Goldwing, and he's just the ants pants. I listened to his tales of daring do and I think I tore an eye muscle they were rolling so much. Then he starts on about him and his mates and their Dirt Bikes - V-Stroms. OH_FOR_FUCK_SAKE....Stroms...you have to be shitting me...

OMG. I think I sicked up a little in my mouth. But the way he talked about the of road exploits, you'd have thought it was Cyril Depres describing the off season testing of a new Rally bike.

But a bloke looking for a salesman had wandered over and mentioned he was looking for a "dirt bike" that could do a bit of a long trip, like he'd seen on telly. You know, that bloke that was in Star Wars, and his weird mate....snigger...

One look at this guy and I thought "He's around 50, off the farm or from a small outlying town, looks hard as nails and weather beaten, says he can ride...probably grew up on Agg bikes and XRs and the like..." and the suggestions..."Transalps" and "V-Stroms" and "BMWs".

I thought to myself that the second this poor misguided bastard hits a fire trail on a V-Strom he's going to break bones for sure.

I had to leave. Seriously. I've never heard so much misguided shit talked about bikes in one place. Unless you count the BMW forums. oops...did I say that out loud....oooh I'm a gunna pay for that one....

You can ride anything off road if you have to. It depends on you alone as to how well that works out. My DR is a Trail Bike, my F800 is not. I take them to exactly the same places. One very carefully, and the other not so carefully.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:15 PM   #66067
ADV8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowy View Post

It takes a lot of work to even try to pass a DR off as a "trail Bike". But , yeah, you can ride trails on a standard one. It just isn't a great deal of fun, more like hard work.
If its not a trail bike what is the sport bit that is dualed.
Nice milk crate,I had the same model in Darwin but cut it down one level so it was sportier.

I hate that word dual sport with a vengeance .

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Old 06-18-2012, 11:40 PM   #66068
JagLite
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Question Johnkol ride test

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
Suspension is another headache: it is stock, but because of my light weight (130lbs), I cannot achieve adequate sag in the forks even though I have installed the minimum length of preload spacers.

That is very interesting. When I bought my '02 it had 2,500 miles on it and was completely stock, in excellent condition.
The front forks sagged so much just from the bike weight that I had to be careful where I parked it so that it wouldn't fall over.
Once I sat on it, the sag was more than half the total travel and would easily bottom out under braking on the pavement.
I cut new fork preload spacers that were as long as possible for me to get the fork cap on.
The front end is much better now and I would put new (stiffer) springs & emulators in if I didn't have the RM250 forks to install next winter.

The rear sag I could set correctly, but as with your bike, the rear wheel spent more time off the ground than on it in any bumps.
Trying to go up a dirt road that had the common stutter bumps from all the car traffic was no fun as the tire would not get traction. I could bottom the shock out landing from jumps on the mx track if I really pushed it but the spring rate was close enough for my riding.
Last winter I had Rick at Cogent rebuild the shock and I got a slightly stiffer spring and now the back end tracks smoothly. As you say, it was quite a lot of money.

.
What I would like to suggest is that you post here, there, and everywhere to arrange to go riding with OTHER DR650's and trade bikes. Have others ride your bike and you ride theirs over the same terrain. I mean pick a good trail that includes as many types of terrain as possible and ride your bike first for maybe 30 minutes so, so that you end up back at where you started. Trade bikes and ride the exact same loop. Then talk about any differences between the bikes. Then trade with another DR rider and repeat the loop. See if their bike feels better than yours and why. What mods, if any, have they done and what tires the other bikes have. It could be that other riders agree with you about YOUR bike even though their bike is set up the same.

I would be happy to do the ride with you but I am a leeeeeeettle too far away to make that work.

You may find that it is something peculiar with your bike.
Stranger things have happened.

What about it fellow DR riders, wanna help a brother out?
Any excuse to go riding is good.
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JagLite screwed with this post 06-19-2012 at 08:47 AM Reason: spelling errors.... argh!
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:56 PM   #66069
Albie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post


I understand what you're saying, and that was my original thinking too before getting the bike, but the problem now is that I find the DR unacceptable even on gravel roads, so I wouldn't even dream of taking it to singletrack. I don't see the EXC being similarly unacceptable on the slab; punishing maybe, but I seem to have a high tolerance for two-wheel pain.
The EXC rails on the street. I can easily keep up with average sport bike riders in the twisties on my 450. Just needs a better seat to make it an all day rider. Most people that claim real dual sports aren't very good on the street must not know what they're doing.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:03 AM   #66070
mahpiya
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Noob Sauce Rider

Hello all! Just wanted to say waddup to fellow DR650 riders. I just purchased a '12 and have put about 1100 mi on this little beast. Switched from a Ural Solo. Great bike! Just not my riding style. I like the mud and dirt as much as I like the pavement. Plus, I'm more about minimalism and things that I can fix than just the UDF (Ural Delay Factor of people asking about my bike). I just wanna ride.

Raised the handle bars with Renthall V-Twin bars and added some rise padding to my Sargent Seat (I'm 6'7 220lbs.). Got some Wolfman Dry Saddle bags and Rotopax mounts. Suzuki skid plate and second hand back rack. IMS gas tank soon to come! All black plastics. Been on several weekend camping excursions and river runs in thick ass gumbo mud.

I would like to know anyone would have any suggestions for tall riders as far as comfort and gear. The riding jacket I bought is for big and tall, which I only fall into the latter category. I would like to get some tips on this before I waste money on baggy gear. Also, I would like some pointers on foot peg lowering. Is that a good idea?

Glad to have joined the club. I love tearing around on this bugger!

Cheers!
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:08 AM   #66071
doug s.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 955616846 View Post
There's plenty of Chinese made stuff in my life... I'm just not buying the rejects direct from eBay.
Quote:
Originally Posted by doug s. View Post
cool, buy the rejects from a company that relabels the stuff, then. it's your choice, certainly. me, personally, i have had good results skipping unnecessary middlemen...

ymmv,

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 955616846 View Post
Now you're being a dickhead.
uh, yeah, whatever. if being an educated consumer, who uses his brain, instead of being an ignorant slob that simply mouths off inane uneducated stereotypes makes me a dickhead, i am guilty as charged.

i don't like buying rejects either - from ebay or anywhere else. but i am not such a blind moron that "knows" everything on ebay from china must therefore be reject junk. find me any company that has a better product/customer serwice record - whether they relabel their own stuff or not - than the ebay seller i referenced.

and, i am still waiting for a source for a 5mm thick 320mm diameter rotor that will fit on an rm250 usd front end. i found only one other - but it costs ~$300 w/o a bracket, and they say it requires i buy the matching caliper. about $1k when i am done. (sure, for ~$400, i could get their non-chinese bracket/rotor that is made for stock caliper, but it's only 4mm.)

thanks for your well-reasoned intelligent help and comments.

doug s.,
mr. dickhead

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Old 06-19-2012, 12:11 AM   #66072
ADV8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahpiya View Post
I would like some pointers on foot peg lowering. Is that a good idea?
There are a few posts around where folk have used plates to lower or lower and move back the stock peg carrier a tad.
Procycle do a lowered foot peg carrier to replace the stock item also.

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Old 06-19-2012, 02:40 AM   #66073
Thumper Dan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BergDonk View Post
Ride with stock suspension and that much weight and you'll keep bottoming the rear shock. Keep doing this, and the bump rubber can be destroyed and before that it can also cause the seal head to be impacted into the shock body and 'bell' the body, effectively destroying the shock. Gently for 5 mins around the corner, no worries.

A large and disproportionate amount of engine wear occurs when it is operating cold. Engines warm up quicker when they are doing some work, so in my view extended idling of a cold engine is bad. Start and ride as soon as it'll take throttle, but gently until warm, which for the DR could be up to 10-15 kms. I learnt all about this many years ago with my early Mazda rotaries where this was crucial to maxing engine life. I got up to 200,000 kms from a 10A by not idling it cold, but driving and keeping the revs down for 15-20 kms, then flogging it mercilessly. Many struggled to get a tenth of that life.

Fix the NSU screws and it'll all be good.

Steve

Really truly?? - I've been diligently idling my bike every morning believing this was the right process. But now you've explained it like this, it makes sense.

Does anyone else follow this line of thinking..............getting on your bike whilst cold and riding gently until warm??

Just curious/confused
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:51 AM   #66074
Snowy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADV8 View Post
I hate that word dual sport with a vengeance .
Yep.

CREB track hey?

Been a while since I've been on that. Must be ....1990...ish...the shocks fell off my 4x4 on the way home. As in, I thought it was bouncing around a bit, I looked, and there was parts of the shocks still bolted at either end, the rest is back up there somewhere.

If you spot them let me know. They were some US brand BAJA thing, cost me a fortune.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:55 AM   #66075
Snowy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr DR650 (2011) View Post
Does anyone else follow this line of thinking..............getting on your bike whilst cold and riding gently until warm??

Just curious/confused
Yep.

Idling, especially on choke, is just letting overly rich mixture wash the oil off the cylinder walls.

It's one reason that EFI engines last longer than carby ones.

In the olden days I'd get 160,000km out of a Jap 4 cyl car before rebuild, I just got 300,000+km out of one, and had an unrelated mechanical failure kill it. The difference, EFI. Very little else has changed.
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