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Old 05-07-2012, 01:27 PM   #5461
Klay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psu75 View Post
I can't figure out why everyone wants to do all these modifications to the DR's.

Do the petcocks, jets, sprockets, carb works and various whatnots really make that much difference in the long run or is it simply for the sake of the hobby? (This being an honest question).

I like to do aesthetic mods, but tinkering with the aforementioned things... nah.
I'd say yes, they do.

First of all, the stock petcocks all seem to go bad at some point. The stock petcocks are something like $95, so it makes sense to explore alternatives.

Secondly, the DR200 is so lean in its stock settings that a little carb tweaking makes for much better driveability, especially in colder climates. I'm much happier with mine...less time waiting for the motor to warm up. I make dozens of small trips every day, so this is important.

Finally, it makes sense for some to alter the final drive ratio by changing sprockets. Some people are travelling on the 200, so it makes sense to bring rpm's down a bit at highway speed with a front sprocket that is a tooth bigger, or a smaller rear sprocket. This works out well if the rider is petite. (i.e. not like me) Some people are just using the 200 to crawl over stuff in the woods. A smaller front sprocket and/or larger rear sprocket facilitates this.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:41 PM   #5462
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psu75 View Post
I can't figure out why everyone wants to do all these modifications to the DR's.

Do the petcocks, jets, sprockets, carb works and various whatnots really make that much difference in the long run or is it simply for the sake of the hobby? (This being an honest question).

I like to do aesthetic mods, but tinkering with the aforementioned things... nah.

Short answer, it depends. Long answer:

Petcock - the stock petcock is the primary weakness of the bike IMO. Its not a question of if it will fail, but when. There's 2 types of failures. One it just keeps the gas on to the carb, which as long as your needle valve is in good shape won't cause any issue. You probably would never even know that it had failed. The other way it can fail results in gas being dumped into the lower end of the engine. The result of this can be catastrophic. Gas doesn't lubricate very well so if this type of failure happens you're going to completely trash at least the valves and camshafts, and most likely the piston, cylinder, connecting rod, bearings, and possibly the transmission. Running the stock petcock is like parking your bike overnight on some train tracks and hoping a train doesn't come. Better to spend the $15 and eliminate this issue.

Jets - due to emissions requirements bike companies are under a lot of pressure to meet retarded standards. The result is they sell the bikes with jetting so lean that its right on the ragged edge of doing damage to the engine. Of course they don't mind the decreased engine life since they sell parts too. Moving up a jet size gives you a slight increase in power, but mostly it gets rid of the ultra-lean condition thereby extending the life of the engine. Its worth the effort if you want the engine to last as long as possible.

Sprockets - This is more about tuning the bike to your own riding style. If you ride tight trails or steep rutted hills offroad, then you don't have much need for top end speed. Better to have gearing that allows you to use more than just 1st gear all day. If you ride nothing but highways and freeways, then a 1st gear that's useless above 8mph is annoying. At the same time that means your rpm's can be sitting pretty high at your normal cruising speed - which isn't all bad. From what I've read on this forum people tend to overgear these little engines and end up doing way more harm than good. 1 tooth on the front sprocket OR 3 teeth on the rear is about the maximum I'd increase them. Any more than that and you're going to lug the engine, which causes much more wear on the engine than the higher rpms would with stock gearing. Benefits of taller gears are less shifting and more fuel economy. Downside is more shifting when you need power and the aforementioned danger of lugging the engine. The stock gearing is designed to work pretty good for mixed riding so if that's the type of riding you do, you're probably best with stock.

I've already taken care of the jetting and petcock issue and we ride mixed terrain so stock gearing is fine. Now I've turned my attention to weight loss, which I feel is the next biggest weakness this bike has.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:56 PM   #5463
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pretty much what he said ^^

As far as the hobby goes, thats why Ive made my own toolbox and mounted it, that was 9 dollars. I constructed my own comfortable seat, although this was pretty much a necessity LOL

The jets will take me 10 minutes and have better performance, so thats a cheap mod

Im leaving the sprocket if it doesnt make that much of a difference. I need more top end but its not paramount.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #5464
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sateev View Post
My apologies: Kientech supplies a 127.5 and 37.5 - the stock jets are indeed 125 and 35.

Oops.

If I was getting my own jets, should I stay with the kientech sizes or go bigger?
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #5465
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Originally Posted by MorganSS View Post
If I was getting my own jets, should I stay with the kientech sizes or go bigger?
Hard to say. Aside from the jets, the Kientech kit includes a new mixture screw, and more important, a new needle, which will help midrange performance a lot.

You're worried about the $40 for the the kit, but someone (Jesse) took a lot of time to select parts that work well together, and supply them as a kit. Considering the actual cost of the parts, whatever extra profit there is in the kit for him is peanuts, compared to the time spent tuning, selecting parts, and doing it over and over until it's right.

If you're sharp, and have the resources, you can duplicate his results. You have to be willing to put in the time and effort to become an expert on the DR200 carb and jetting. So, go out and buy every needle that will fit the carb, and a few sizes of jets, and start figuring it out.

Or, would you rather spend time riding it, after contributing just a little to compensate the work of a guy who already figured it out, and made it easy for you?

In any case, I don't think (from my own experience) you'll want to go any bigger than the jets in the Kientech kit.

Just sayin'...
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #5466
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I agree, it's really nice to have a set of jets and a needle already sorted. The cost is negligible.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #5467
Sateev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psu75 View Post
I can't figure out why everyone wants to do all these modifications to the DR's.

Do the petcocks, jets, sprockets, carb works and various whatnots really make that much difference in the long run or is it simply for the sake of the hobby? (This being an honest question).

I like to do aesthetic mods, but tinkering with the aforementioned things... nah.
Everyone has covered the three areas you mentioned, so I'll just leave it there.

As to why people modify things in general, I think you are correct: it's part of the hobby. No more or less so than your aesthetic mods. Of course, aesthetic mods don't do much to address problems of function, especially considering that ALL motorcycles have such deficits built in as part of the compromises made to build a mass-production bike. But putting appearance mods on your bike is an expression of your individuality (like a snakeskin jacket), and so is building a neat rack or designing a neat fix for the airbox cover, or replacing a big ole cobby part with a nice, streamlined one that is better designed, or suits a rider's style better.

There are literally hundreds of guys 'tinkering' with their DR, and many have been kind enough to share their results here, so on many fronts, we know what works and what doesn't. Aesthetics, however, are a bit more personal and subjective, but still often inspiring. I'm glad to see both here.

A lot of people suffer from anxiety about making what they see as difficult or risky mods to their bikes. I can only say that I have the same feelings from time to time. The only cure is to jump in, try something simple, and feel the immense sense of satisfaction that you get from riding the bike, knowing that you have made it your own, even in a tiny way.

Repeat as needed.

Have fun.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #5468
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Originally Posted by Wallrat View Post
...Now I've turned my attention to weight loss, which I feel is the next biggest weakness this bike has.
Yeah, me too. I've found that the ability to jump on it and zoom to the nearest Mexican restaurant has hindered weight loss a great deal...

(Here in Thailand, Mexican restaurants are scarce, and the DR is about the only way I could get through the traffic fast enough to satisfy my craving...)
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:48 PM   #5469
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DR200 weight loss

As for real weight loss (for the DR200), probably one of the coolest ways is to get rid of the nasty old lead-acid battery, and install a lithium ion type. The ones recommended for the DR200-size bikes weigh less than a pound, saving about 5-6 lbs. Pricey, but cheaper than Jenny Craig for Bikes (my new company...)

The stock muffler weighs a ton, and my FMF is a LOT lighter, too.

I figure to save a pound or so, removing the stock (broken) speedometer/cluster, and replacing it with the Trailtech Vapor, and my custom mount. I just got notice that all the parts are in my US mail drop, so I should have them here in Thailand by early next week for a trial fitting, and assembly. I made two brackets, so I can send one out for anodizing, while I do the fitting and assembly on the other.

One of the things I hate most is messy wiring, and with all the switches, lights, etc on any modern motorcycle, it's about impossible to avoid it. It's usually just covered up by the front fairing, or stuffed into the headlight assembly, but I really hate it. I hate it, but not enough to start cutting the stock harness and making it look neat. BTW, did you know that, on a car, the wiring harness is the second heaviest component (after the engine/trans)? I do a lot of thinking about these things...

Between the indicator lights, the temp sensor, and the tach sensor, as well as power for the speedo, it can't help but be a bit more messy. My goal was to completely avoid cutting the main harness, so instead, I made short adapters that fit between the plugs and sockets where I want to split a wire. These are not big, but do add to the bulk of the wiring under the speedo. I hope I can make everything look decent...we'll soon see.

I will try to document all the changes so if anyone else wants to duplicate it, the info will be there.

Have fun.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:44 PM   #5470
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[QUOTE=Klay;18632840]I'd say yes, they do.

Secondly, the DR200 is so lean in its stock settings that a little carb tweaking makes for much better driveability, especially in colder climates. I'm much happier with mine...less time waiting for the motor to warm up. I make dozens of small trips every day, so this is important.
QUOTE]
Absolutly! The DR200 is the leanest carb setting I have ever experienced. As someone else said, these lean settings are forced by EPA requirements.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:24 PM   #5471
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I'm holding off on the pipe for the time being since the wife is just getting used to the bike and thinks it has plenty of oomph. I'll save that for when she wants more power.

First off I think I'm going to focus on the handlebars/headlight/instrument cluster. That weight is up high and its on the steering so should be pretty noticeable if I can drop even a pound up there. I expect I'll save even more than that tbh. She has to work to pick the bike up when it takes a nap so best if I can start as high up on the bike as possible.

After that I'll probably aim my attention on the battery and get one of those Shorai Lithiums you mentioned. I still can't believe how light those are - they feel like they're just an empty plastic box.

Tubeliss is in the plans ASAP since I've got it on my bike and really would like to ditch the tubes/tire irons completely. That's another 8-10 lbs or so of unsprung rotating mass not including the weight of tire repair equipment.

After that I'll probably look at the pipe.

I'm fairly certain I can lose at least 10% of the DR's weight with just a few smart mods. That's a very sizeable chunk IMO and should make a very noticeable difference in the handling.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:36 PM   #5472
Sateev
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Sounds like a good plan, Wallrat. Hope you'll post your results and how you got them.

I think you could save a bunch of weight by getting rid of the headlight frame and brackets, and maybe trying to fit a Baja Designs or Acerbis replacement on it. Maybe one with built-in turn signals, to reduce weight, and get them out of harm's way when her bike wants to lay down. Looking at that massive bracket tempts me every time, but I'm going to keep everything easily convertible back to stock.

I found an even cooler lithium battery than the Shorai: http://www.surfsidemoto.com/store/pr...C21130258.html
I think it's even less expensive, and definitely smaller. Even looks racy-race. I'm thinking about one...

Have fun.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:03 PM   #5473
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Ah I'd forgotten about those batteries! $15 cheaper, 1/4lb lighter, and likely to need to modify the tray but that's no biggie. For the headlight I'll probably do something similar to what I have on my XR using an Acerbis Cyclops headlight and a couple sheet metal turn signal brackets:




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Old 05-07-2012, 10:11 PM   #5474
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Nice!

Cool way to mount that battery, since there's no acid to leak, is to cut a section of poly foam that fits the battery tray, and make a hole to locate the battery in the middle, and wa-la, shockproof battery mount...
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:23 AM   #5475
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Originally Posted by Wallrat View Post
Ah I'd forgotten about those batteries! $15 cheaper, 1/4lb lighter, and likely to need to modify the tray but that's no biggie. For the headlight I'll probably do something similar to what I have on my XR using an Acerbis Cyclops headlight and a couple sheet metal turn signal brackets:





nice ducky face in the last pic
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