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Old 03-26-2014, 09:10 AM   #1
sh4kes OP
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Joined: Oct 2012
Oddometer: 39
DR650 Build - Around Oz

G'day. I'm a kiwi living in Perth, Western Australia. Just thought I'd upload some pics of my DR650 prep for my around Aus trek.

A quick map of my planned route. I'm planning on leaving from Perth, WA in 2 weeks, then heading anti-clockwise.


Vital statistics (as bought):
  • '07 DR650 with approx 40,000km on the clock
  • Safari tank
  • Pivot pegs
  • Staintune exhaust
  • Barkbusters
  • Bash plate
  • Center stand
  • Hole in frame from upper chain roller ripping off



Mods:
  • Removed center stand
  • New pannier racks
  • Engine overhaul (rings etc)
  • NSU bolts loctite'd in
  • Stator 'rewire'
  • Stronger safari tank brace (mine was broken)
  • HDB ADV front fairing with 2x 35W HID's
  • Upper chain roller hole patched up
  • Cosmetic powdercoating (I had to strip down the frame anyhow, might as well do it properly)
  • HDB handlebar top clamp with switches and powerlets
  • Vapor speedo
  • 7" tablet for GPS navigation, stored in top of tank bag
  • Handheld CB radio, with push to talk on the handlebars
  • Sena helmet headset, tied into CB radio and tablet for music
  • Renazco seat (stocker killed me!)
  • Fuel tank valve mods - inc. tee to drain fuel directly into my cooker fuel bottle
  • '92 RM250 USD forks, revalved with gold valves and new springs
  • Cogent Dynamics Mojave rear shock
  • Scottoiler
  • Case savers
  • Removed the heavy centerstand and used a shot section of telescopic tent pole with a bolt through the end
  • Swingarm water tank
  • Excel rims (18x2.5" rear, 21x1.6" A60 front) laced to DR650 hubs
  • Andystrapz panniers, Ortlieb 50L rack bag, Giant Fandango tank bag (big enough to fit my DSL camera)

There's no doubt more I've forgotten, and I dont have too many pics, but if anyone is interested in any particular mod and there's no pics, I'll see what I can do. I'll mention the more challenging or the kinda cool mods since I'm already near the end of the list above!

'92 RM250 USD Front Fork Conversion
Stem size fits standard DR650 headstock and bearings, and the axle size and width between forks is also the same. Simple mod, ordered them off ebay for $50 (with $100 of shipping!!). Forks are 50mm longer than DR forks - and unfortunately they have machined flats on the upper fork tubes for the triples, so I'm limited to moving them up in the triples by about 20mm. Since I was pondering getting a new shock anyways I bit the bullet and ordered one that had a 6mm long shaft. When considering the shock linkage, the extra half inch gained by using an 18" rear wheel over the stock 17", and the slight slide up the triples I think geometry will be maintained quite nicely.




Stator 'Rewire'
I've done the wye-to-deta stator conversion. It was pretty easy, but I'm yet to start up the bike and test it all out!! I did it because when all my electrics are on I'm drawing a fair amount of power. For me most of my riding will be open road or offroad tracks....there's not too often I'm sitting in traffic in town at low RPM's, so for me this gave me the best power output for my style of riding.

The three fatter top white fibreglass sheathing ones are the wires I added onto the existing wires to keep it tidy.


Swingarm water tank
The swingarm is a ready made water tank (approx 2L volume). You just have to plug up all the holes. I drilled out some small holes at the bottom of each side of the swingarm for two screw in tubeless tire valves and two bleed screws (at the top of the swingarm). Basically I connect a short hose from my camelbak (sitting on top of the bike) to one of the tire valves, and open an air bleed valve and the swingarm fills on its own via gravity. When I want water I connect my bike pump to an air valve, pump up some air pressure, then connect my little drain hose to the tire valve and water flys out. Simple and effective - however it requires all existing bolt holes to be plugged or thread sealant used.

Advantage - it keeps the weight low down.
Disadvantage - None...so far.

I have yet to pressure test mine for tightness - just letting the hydraulic thread sealant dry at the moment...




Nav Tower & Front fairing
Paul from HDB makes some jolly nice gear. I wasnt too keen on his front fairing initially (looks wise), but came around to it slowly. Basically it meant I could purchase his HDPE front nav tower and front fairing, that all mated up nicely without any dramas. Sold. If I really dont like the look later on I'll look at other options, but at the moment I'm pretty pleased with it! My only gripe is my own fab skills when I put the frame mount on slightly crooked (to be fair it was on an empty frame with no staight edges and was hard to eyeball) I can fix this using the slotted front fairing mount and correcting the angle back slightly. Its not major, it just bothers me that I was so slack after all my other efforts!







Racks
These will hopefully be built by a mate next week. I'm planning on 5/8" (16mm) x 1.6mm wall thickness tube. From what I've read that is about optimum. Time will tell though. Im making them out of carbon steel so I can get them welded at any station etc if they break in the middle of nowhere (likely with my riding...)

sh4kes screwed with this post 04-13-2014 at 02:05 AM
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:28 AM   #2
xathor
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I like the swingarm tank idea... I'd probably run some water with a disinfectant like they give military for canteens. It'll taste funky at first but it wont matter if you need it.

I like the fairing... please continue!
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:10 AM   #3
sh4kes OP
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Suspension

Time for an update.

Front Fork Rebuild
The forks I bought seemed to be off a '92 RM250 (USD 45mm Showas). I purchased compression gold valves for these and proceeded to tear them down myself. The compression bolt was a mongrel to get out as once the bolt "stiction" is broken the cartridge rotates inside the fork with the bolt. But a quick tap with an impact gun and out it popped. Reading the gold valve instructions it said that on some Showas the rebound valve needs modification - well I've got Showas, so I proceeded to pull the cartidges down. Now the top of the cartridges were staked, so I had to drill them out. Let me just say for anyone reading this in the future - use a SHARP drillbit. Mine wasnt sharp and when unscrewing the now de-staked cartridge head it peeled off some of the threads (remember its aluminium). I stopped about half way and went back and re-drilled the stakings, but the damage was done. On reassembly I used thread tape and hydraulic sealant to try and get it to hold (it still had 60% of the threads intact and good). It seems to have held OK, and as the spring sits on top of the cartridges there shouldnt be excessive force on these threads - unless the front wheel goes from full retraction to full extension quickly. I also didnt have the correct tool for holding the cartridge to remove the head and seemed to have VERY slightly bent the cartridge on one fork using my screwdriver through the damping hole trick. The cartridge rod still slides fairly freely, but not as freely as the other side. Not much I can do about it now, I'll just have to wait and see how it rides.


Gold valve installed on compression bolt.


Cartridge rod sticking out of lower fork tube.

I also found the rebound needle tip on one fork was bent. A replacement part was ridiculously expensive, so I banged it in the lathe at work and whipped the bent tip off at the same taper as before - essentially just shortening the needle a fraction. As far as I can tell this wont cause a problem as the needle is wound fully in, then backed out a set number of turns. All it will mean is it takes an extra turn before it fully bottoms out. No problem.


Bent rebound needle

Re-assembly was a piece of cake - use an impact gun again to install the compression bolt and all is easy. I also installed some heavier spings .46 or .48 from memory, with 10mm preload (thats without any spacer, just the spring length in the fork). I'll assess the sag when I get all my gear on it and see if it needs more preload (I cant have less).


When you cant get the part for a reasonable price in a reasonable time you make you own! Stock crush washer (left), copper washer from Veales (right), much filing later we have my own correctly sized crush washer (center)

UPDATE: I rode the bike for the first time tonight - I had to tap the steering stops on the new triples to stop the triple bolts from hitting my tank. I've lost a lot of steering!! (Note I'm using a Safari tank - other tanks may not be so bad.) Not much I can do about it now. I will however replace the triple bolts with button head bolts so that if my steering stops fail / fall out im not hitting / puncturing the tank with the sharp edge of the current bolts!

Rear Shock
The new forks are 50mm longer than stock. To maintain the geomety of the bike I had two options:
1. Raise the forks in the triples, or
2. Raise the rear to match the front

My preferred option was to raise the forks in the triples, as this meant I'd only need a gold valve and heaver spring for the rear shock. Unfortunately the forks had machined flats where the triples clamped around them, and these only allowed me to slide them up the triples by 25mm. TO raise the rear I then did two things - I added an 18" rear wheel (more on that later), and ordered a new Mojave shock from Cogent Dynamics, with a 6mm longer shaft than stock. (With the shock linkage this equates to about 12mm of extra ride height.

When it came to fit the shock I chucked it in to find that with the shock linkage bottomed out on the frame the shock was too long (only by about 1mm). A quick call to Rick from Cogent lead me to the point of filing the powdercoating of the frame where the shock linkage touched, and filing a small amount of material off the linkage casting. I didnt remove any of the flange material, just the "bowed out material" below that is a result of using a cast / mould. Now I can fit three sheets of paper between the linkage and my frame at full extension :p


6mm longer Cogent Dynamics Mojave shock (left), stock shock (right)
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:28 AM   #4
sh4kes OP
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HID Installation

Im running a frame mounted HDB front tower. It's designed for the Baja Squadron LED lights, which I didnt get as I had already purchased HID lights a while back. I needed to find somewhere to install the HID ballasts, and with a plastic front tower I didnt want to mount them on that in case the case temperature got too hot and stated to melt the plastic. The only place I found that was remotely suitable was on the frame just below the headstock. To mount the ballasts I simply drilled and tapped holes, then loctited the bolts into place. On the left side this was OK, no clashes. On the right side the ballast clashed with the ignition coil mounting bracket. To fix this I cut the top half of the bracket off, and fabricated a new bracket that picked up off an engine mount bolt on the opposite side of the bike. However it didnt end there. The mounting points for the ignition coil brackets were raised out from the frame, so I made a spacer to sit under the ballast, then bolted it all down onto the frame.


Mounting location


New bracket for ignition coil - made from a nice piece of stainless scrap (incorrect nameplate) from work.


Ballast with new backet in place

The downside of locating the ballasts here is that the electrical cables, clutch cable, and throttle cables all need to run through this area, and now stick out further than they used to. This caused them to rub on the (Safari) tank. To counter that I removed some of the foam in the tunnel of the safari tank. It's still tight, and might still be rubbing slightly, so it's something I'll have to keep an eye on.

The projectors were installed as per the images two posts back. Unfortunately I didnt install the frame mount for the nav tower exactly square, and now the lights are angled slightly to the right, and on a slight angle. Using normal lights this may not be super apparent, but with HID's and the precise cutoff you can easily see it. I'll fix this by slotting the mounting brackets and using washers on one side to correct the angle. No ideal, but not much I can do about it now. What I can say is the HID's are super bright!
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:44 AM   #5
sh4kes OP
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Oddometer: 39
Trailtech Vapor & Tank Mounting

I installed a Trailtech Vapor speedo (with dash), and used the HDB billet mounting bracket up top.

The temperature sensor was plumbed into the top right oil pipe off the engine. To make it fit the copper washer part had to be filed out, then I extended the cables using a piece of wire I had lying around and sheathed it all in black sleeving to keep it tidy.



RPM tach installation - I really dislike untidy things, and "wrapping the wire around the lead 10 times" just seems a bit half pie, so I pulled apart the wiring loom and spliced the wire into the 12V ignition coil wire. At the same time I tapped into a permanent 12V source for the Vapor power supply, and then taped all three (RPM tach, power, engine temp) cables into to existing loom. Now the vapor install looks like it was OEM, and works very well.



One thing I did find, and I will re-document here in the case people are searching in the future is hat the engine temp sensor does not display on sceen unless the temp is above 40C (some people also say you must hold down the center + down buttons for two seconds after connecting the sensor to perform a "soft reset" for the vapor to recognise the sensor). I thought I had a fault where I extended the wires and pulled it all down only to find no problem. I was a bit peeved to say the least.

I had a Renazco seat, and prior to all my upgrades the seat fit perfectly - however the safari tank rear bolts were not installed properly. Once I installed them properly i couldnt get the seat to slide forward far enough for the rear seat bolts to fit. It seemed a bit strange. But what I found was that the rear rubbers on the tank meant that the tank sat high enough when installed that the lower lip on the seat jammed before it was fully engaged. In the end my solution was to put a couple of rubber spacers under the tank to make it sit slightly higher. This meant the lip below the bend in the seat fitted inbetween the tank and frame, and the seat slid in propely (albiet 10mm higher than usual).



Once fully engaged I then found the back mounts didnt quite line up with the frame. To fix this I added a couple of washers under one side of the mount, slanting it slightly forward. Now everything bolts up and fits easily.



Note the washers under the back edge to slant the bracket.

sh4kes screwed with this post 04-13-2014 at 01:29 AM
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:53 AM   #6
sh4kes OP
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Oddometer: 39
Fuel tap

I dont particularly like the dual fuel tap setup on the Safari tank. I wanted a single tap, and something that was a simple on-off. (I'd been low on fuel before and it starts sucking air before the bottom of the tank.) Using a single tap means that I can slosh all fuel over to one side and get that little bit further. (And yes I've already rotated my cab inlet tube.)

My solution was to use a single ball valve on one side, with an in-line filter. On the other side I left the original fuel tap as this will serve two purposes:
1. A backup tap should I need one somewhere
2. A fuel tank outlet to fill my cooker fuel bottle

To get the ball valve idea to work I looked at this page (here). I got my stock petcock, cut off the tap and installed a BSP 90 degee fitting. This was then JB welded into place. This meant that I had the stock o-ring and bolt pickups with minimal fuss on my side. The only thing I had to be careful of was that I could get the bolts in with the 90 degree fitting installed.

To fit everything I have to first bolt on the fuel bracket (with 90 degree fitting), then get my 1/8" ball valve (with the handle removed), screw this onto the 90 degree fitting, then reinstall the handle. Doing it like this I keep the ball valve as close as possible to the fuel tank, minimising both forces and the chance of bashing it in a bail.








As a side note, I also replaced the aluminium Safari tank brace with a home made steel one as mine had broken - and the one of the broken halves had worn a groove into my oil cooler!! Luckily this was on the side of the cooler and I caught it before it wore into the oil containing part!!

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Old 04-13-2014, 02:02 AM   #7
sh4kes OP
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Oddometer: 39
Front brake adaptor

There's no commercially available front brake bracket adapter to convert between the RM250 brake location and the DR650 caliper. So I decided to make my own.

I shot down to Robert Cameron & Co (Perth) and picked up a block of T6 aluminium for $10. Then I popped around to a mates work one night and we mocked up where we wanted to mill and got going. Once we milled it out I test fitted everything and shaved the appropriate amount off the top of the block to get the position correct. (However I whipped of maybe .25mm too much and it's JUST rubbing on the back pad. I'll either put in some shim steel or knock a smidge off the front of the fork bracket to get the spacing right and we should be good.) Then I used my trusty angle grinder and shaped it until I got down to an acceptable shape overall. No sharp edges etc.








sh4kes screwed with this post 04-13-2014 at 02:07 AM
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:00 AM   #8
zoro
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Location: Darwin, Australia
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Very interested in the rest of your mods and the trip to follow, please keep us updated.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:12 AM   #9
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Great thread - thanks!
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:28 AM   #10
WYO George
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh4kes View Post
G'day. I'm a kiwi living in Perth, Western Australia. Just thought I'd upload some pics of my DR650 prep for my around Aus trek.

A quick map of my planned route. I'm planning on leaving from Perth, WA in 2 weeks, then heading anti-clockwise.


Looks like a great trip on one of the best DS bikes ever made. I'll be following along wishing I was there. As to your trip being made "anti-clockwise" I'm wondering which way the clocks turn south of the equator?
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xathor View Post
I like the swingarm tank idea... I'd probably run some water with a disinfectant like they give military for canteens. It'll taste funky at first but it wont matter if you need it.

I like the fairing... please continue!

Great build report!

I as well LIKE the idea of a swingarm water tank idea....but you mentionedthat " the swingarm is a ready made water tank " So was this an aftermarket purchase OR this was of personal design....and if so....could you please elaborate a little more on it's design and fabrication?


thank you
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:49 PM   #12
zoro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WYO George View Post
Looks like a great trip on one of the best DS bikes ever made. I'll be following along wishing I was there. As to your trip being made "anti-clockwise" I'm wondering which way the clocks turn south of the equator?
The only thing that spins the other way is the toilet water........
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:08 PM   #13
micko01
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Location: RTW, currently Sth Africa
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I'm really curious with this water tank - the only disadvantage that springs to mind for me is you are adding to the unsprung weight. It will be interesting to see if that effects rear wheel compliance over bumps, and also potential loading/fatiguing of the swingarm. There is some history (snowy et al) with cracked swingarms so will be a good experiment to see how/if your swingarm survives full of water. Especially considering that route of yours - having done the Cape a couple years ago, the corrugations on the Peninsula Development Road will test it.

I'm prepping 2 DR's at the moment for a RTW trip and have just sent my swingarms away to a fella in Sydney to have them reinforced. See Bergdonks build thread to see what I mean - its the same modification been done by the same guy.

I'm in Perth too (Kalamunda) so PM me if you want to catch up.

Cheers, Mick

Quote:
Originally Posted by sh4kes View Post
Swingarm water tank
The swingarm is a ready made water tank (approx 2L volume). You just have to plug up all the holes. I drilled out some small holes at the bottom of each side of the swingarm for two screw in tubeless tire valves and two bleed screws (at the top of the swingarm). Basically I connect a short hose from my camelbak (sitting on top of the bike) to one of the tire valves, and open an air bleed valve and the swingarm fills on its own via gravity. When I want water I connect my bike pump to an air valve, pump up some air pressure, then connect my little drain hose to the tire valve and water flys out. Simple and effective - however it requires all existing bolt holes to be plugged or thread sealant used.

Advantage - it keeps the weight low down.
Disadvantage - None...so far.

I have yet to pressure test mine for tightness - just letting the hydraulic thread sealant dry at the moment...

micko01 screwed with this post 04-16-2014 at 10:17 PM
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:14 AM   #14
sh4kes OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoobar View Post
Great build report!

I as well LIKE the idea of a swingarm water tank idea....but you mentionedthat " the swingarm is a ready made water tank " So was this an aftermarket purchase OR this was of personal design....and if so....could you please elaborate a little more on it's design and fabrication?


thank you
I originally got this idea from here. So I looked at the D650 swingarm (I already had it off the bike). My main question was the swingarm hollow between both sides (i.e. a single water tank), or was it two RHS sections with the font supports welded at the front (i.e. two smaller water tanks, one on each side). After bubbling water in one side I was pleasantly surprised when it bubbled out the other, indicating that it is indeed a single volume.

To plug up the existing holes I *slighly* enlargened the 4 holes at the back of the swingarm (two each side on the inside) and tapped these two 1/8" BSPP. I then threaded some low profile plastic plugs in here (I couldn't find any aluminium ones). All screws that went through the swingarm have been installed with hydraulic sealant.

Then up near the pivot point I drilled and tapped two small holes for breathers for when I fill it. I then found an o-ring and encapsulated it inside a washer, and used this as the seal on these bolts (I didnt want to use hydraulic sealant as there is potential to have to remove these semi-regularly). As mentioned above I did have to drill two M8 holes for the tubeless tyre valves. These are my only real point of concern.

In terms of fatigue loading I only plan on using this when I have long routes to run, and am already heavily loaded with extra fuel (i.e. canning stock route and simpson desert). The primary reason for this is the water will most likely taste pretty bad.

I considered both strengthening the swingarm and the frame, but in the end decided against it. The swingarm was purely because I didnt have the time (I will have to monitor it during the trip). The frame was because I dont particularly want to make the frame too stiff. I plan on running my panniers fairly far forward, and as low as I feel comfortable to assist in the handling and stresses placed on the bike.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:17 AM   #15
sh4kes OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micko01 View Post
I'm really curious with this water tank - the only disadvantage that springs to mind for me is you are adding to the unsprung weight. It will be interesting to see if that effects rear wheel compliance over bumps, and also potential loading/fatiguing of the swingarm. There is some history (snowy et al) with cracked swingarms so will be a good experiment to see how/if your swingarm survives full of water. Especially considering that route of yours - having done the Cape a couple years ago, the corrugations on the Peninsula Development Road will test it.

I'm prepping 2 DR's at the moment for a RTW trip and have just sent my swingarms away to a fella in Sydney to have them reinforced. See Bergdonks build thread to see what I mean - its the same modification been done by the same guy.

I'm in Perth too (Kalamunda) so PM me if you want to catch up.

Cheers, Mick
Hey mick! Glad to hear of other perth DR owners!! I'd be keen as to catch up, but will need about a week to get it all running happily. (Yes I've badly missed my start date, but I've got unpaid leave from work for as long as I need )

My preference would have been to strengthen the swingarm, but as mentioned above, opted not to due to time constraints. (Little did I know at the time, but one of my good mates used to be an aluminum boat builder and has a good welder at his place.)

More updates coming soon! Wiring gremlins have me on my toes today.
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