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Old 08-03-2011, 08:03 AM   #31
mxbundy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beez View Post
Why not just go with triple clamps for a Suzuki RM? I think that would eliminate the bearing issues. You could probably find stock ones on eBay or source aftermarket ones. That might fix your trail issue as well.

PS. Outstanding build!!!

Exactly, we just picked up a 650 to play with and we are using DRZ400SM forks (which are USD Showa), as an added bonus the SM forks and front wheel have over size front brakes.

Bundy
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:00 AM   #32
motodavid2000 OP
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Alternate Triple Clamp / Fork Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beez View Post
Why not just go with triple clamps for a Suzuki RM? I think that would eliminate the bearing issues. You could probably find stock ones on eBay or source aftermarket ones. That might fix your trail issue as well.

PS. Outstanding build!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mxbundy View Post
Exactly, we just picked up a 650 to play with and we are using DRZ400SM forks (which are USD Showa), as an added bonus the SM forks and front wheel have over size front brakes.

Bundy
Beez & mxbundy -

Thanks for the thoughts on the forks / triples. Others have ben successful with the KTM conversion and since I was able to obtain the Ohlins for virtually nothing, I am going to play around with this setup a little. Ultimately I may need to go a different direction - and would probably be an RM setup.

The problem with using the RM triple clamps at this stage is that I think that the RM forks are 47 mm (?) diameter, while the Ohlins are 60 mm diameter fork legs at the lower triple clamp - no way to make that work with the differential in the respective fork leg diameters.

Thanks - Dave
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:53 PM   #33
BergDonk
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Swingarm, Forks and Triples

If I had the Ohlins in the shed, I'd definitely be trying to make them work, they are great forks.

My triples definitely have a bit less offset than the stock DR ones and hence a little more trail results. Myself, and others who've ridden it back to back with other DRs with stock triples prefer the enhanced stability, especially in sand, and turning isn't really effected, although you do notice that on the road in particular you have to push a bit more on the bars to hold it down on a lean angle. Just a characteristic, not a problem, and for me a net improvement.

The triples I got with my forks have adjustable, 18/20 mm offset and I set them up with the larger 20 mm position. My rough measurements suggested about 22/23 mm for the stock triples. I couldn't find out what the spec is, and didn't bother trying to get an accurate measurement. I reckon that less than 20 mm would be too little though. And as noted, the axle offset was near enough to the same, so nothing to be gained there.

After I made up the shim spacers for the KTM races in the headstock, and now with about 12,000 kms and still good, I decided it'd be better to machine up a shim for the tube so as to use the stock Suzi bearing on the bottom, and retain the current arrangement with the KTM bearing up top. It would make for easier bearing changes later, so will probably do it when needed next.

Nevertheless, a new headstem tube is probably the ultimate solution. For me it was beyond my machining ability (and lathe's) with the offset for the adjustability, and being cheap, I tried to do it with resources to hand.

"The swingarm cracking seems to be related to hard offroad riding - correct?" Probably. Unfortunately Snowy has pulled down the pic he had posted of a cracked arm. He broke 2, and knew of others. They go on the vertical weld where they taper down towards the shaft. I can at times carry heavy loads, and at times travel some rough fire trails, so it just seemed like a good preventative measure. Not too many report the problem though, and I haven't had one fail. Not many report the cush drive as failure prone either, but many have had them go wobbly it seems. One thing I haven't checked is the rear axle's alignment relative to the swingarm pivot shaft. I've done a string align front to rear and its OK, but maybe if the frame is out a bit, and if the axle is out... dunno. By reputation, according to my mates in the industry with laser aligners etc, Suzuki frames are more likely to be out from the factory than others.



I like your frame gussets, maybe I'll mimmick them in the future. One of the DRs on our recent trip with Happy Trails racks and Wolfman panniers had the tabs on the frame at the rear fail, something I'd boxed in on mine.

Its fun building these things up isn't it?

Steve
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:05 PM   #34
BergDonk
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PS

In my conversion, the KTM forks I used are designed for a 26 mm axle. With the stock 17 mm Suzi axle, this presents an opportunity to make up some eccentric bushes. Just gotta figure out how to pin/index them to the fork leg. In the end, I didn't need to, but maybe its something you could consider, for testing if nothing else.

I know that you could buy some eccentric spacers for KTMs at one stage, maybe be you could track some down?.



Did you get a stock length Wilbers shock? If so, then that will not be helping. The longer Ohlins I used helps with balancing the geometry, along with the 18 " rim.

Steve
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:12 PM   #35
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WOW WHAT A GREAT BUILD THAT IS AN AWSOME LOOKING RIDE. AND THE GARAGE I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS A MUSEUM.
GOOD ON YA
CHEERS MOTT
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:25 PM   #36
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Locking document box is a great idea and what a score those Ohlins forks are! But that also means you have an extra set of WP's now, right?

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Old 08-03-2011, 05:34 PM   #37
ADVBedouin
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Solid choice on the DR650..of all the bikes made currently, the DR would be my pick for RTW. Fantastic work & a great result.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:50 AM   #38
motodavid2000 OP
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Bearings & Steering Stem Tubes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BergDonk View Post
If I had the Ohlins in the shed, I'd definitely be trying to make them work, they are great forks.

My triples definitely have a bit less offset than the stock DR ones and hence a little more trail results. Myself, and others who've ridden it back to back with other DRs with stock triples prefer the enhanced stability, especially in sand, and turning isn't really effected, although you do notice that on the road in particular you have to push a bit more on the bars to hold it down on a lean angle. Just a characteristic, not a problem, and for me a net improvement.

The triples I got with my forks have adjustable, 18/20 mm offset and I set them up with the larger 20 mm position. My rough measurements suggested about 22/23 mm for the stock triples. I couldn't find out what the spec is, and didn't bother trying to get an accurate measurement. I reckon that less than 20 mm would be too little though. And as noted, the axle offset was near enough to the same, so nothing to be gained there.

After I made up the shim spacers for the KTM races in the headstock, and now with about 12,000 kms and still good, I decided it'd be better to machine up a shim for the tube so as to use the stock Suzi bearing on the bottom, and retain the current arrangement with the KTM bearing up top. It would make for easier bearing changes later, so will probably do it when needed next.

Nevertheless, a new headstem tube is probably the ultimate solution. For me it was beyond my machining ability (and lathe's) with the offset for the adjustability, and being cheap, I tried to do it with resources to hand.

"The swingarm cracking seems to be related to hard offroad riding - correct?" Probably. Unfortunately Snowy has pulled down the pic he had posted of a cracked arm. He broke 2, and knew of others. They go on the vertical weld where they taper down towards the shaft. I can at times carry heavy loads, and at times travel some rough fire trails, so it just seemed like a good preventative measure. Not too many report the problem though, and I haven't had one fail. Not many report the cush drive as failure prone either, but many have had them go wobbly it seems. One thing I haven't checked is the rear axle's alignment relative to the swingarm pivot shaft. I've done a string align front to rear and its OK, but maybe if the frame is out a bit, and if the axle is out... dunno. By reputation, according to my mates in the industry with laser aligners etc, Suzuki frames are more likely to be out from the factory than others.

I like your frame gussets, maybe I'll mimmick them in the future. One of the DRs on our recent trip with Happy Trails racks and Wolfman panniers had the tabs on the frame at the rear fail, something I'd boxed in on mine.

Its fun building these things up isn't it?

Steve
Steve -

First, I want to thank you for the taking the time to post up the detailed information on how you setup your front suspension - much appreciated & helpful as I go through the process of disassembly and rework for the headstock bearings / stem.

I agree with you on the extra trail = extra stability. My bearing issues are causing a weave / steering memory, so I think that I have to resolve the steering stem / bearing issue and then measure fork length & trail again vs. stock forks. The weave I suspect is due to sticky / non-smooth headstock bearings. I have tested the trueness of the front wheel, the positioning and true center of the front wheel between the forks, etc. All good.

I will probably have to change the springs in the Ohlins as my initial impression is they are too stiff and static sag is probably off as well. I am not prepared to change springs until I ride the beast for awhile loaded and unloaded - on tarmac and gravel, etc. I really need to test it alot, but my gut says that the springs are too heavy - we'll see.

Great photo of your swingarm reinforcements - wow. Pretty beefy. You would think that the axle tabs would fracture now before the weld joint at the the swingarm pivot tube. Impressive - thanks again for sharing that photo.

Yes, it is fun building the DR650 and doing some experimentation. This build is a bit of an experiment and I want test ride this thing before the weather turns ugly in another two months or so. Trial & error will make it better, but the front end needs to get sorted out quickly - so that is my priority now.

I went to the local bearing shops and we searched through the Timkin and NTN catalogs for bearings that would work with the Suzuki headstock and the KTM stem - simply none available. I could go with your shim idea or machine a new stem. I am mneeting with a machinist on Monday to mic the stock Suzuki stem diameter, mic the stock Suzuki NTN bearing and the same for the KTM items, then see if we can machine a new stem of the same KTM length, bore, ID and interference fit dimensions but with the proper OD to fit the upper and lower stock Suzuki bearings.

Pain in the butt, however I feel that will yield the bext long-term, most reliable solution - at least I hope so.

Will post up more info as it develops and many, many thanks again for the help, advice and info - sincerely appreciated.

Dave
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:15 AM   #39
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Thanks !

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisTech View Post
Locking document box is a great idea and what a score those Ohlins forks are! But that also means you have an extra set of WP's now, right?

Subscribed.
DisTech - Thanks for looking at the thread and you had a great DR650 build. I have followed it what you have done. I do indeed have a set of WP fork legs available - almost. I want to sort out my Ohlins first, and then maybe sell te WPs. If / when I get to that point, are you interested?

thanks again - Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by EBMOTT View Post
WOW WHAT A GREAT BUILD THAT IS AN AWSOME LOOKING RIDE. AND THE GARAGE I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS A MUSEUM.
GOOD ON YA
CHEERS MOTT
MOTT -

Ha, ha ! Nope, not a museum just my garage. Thanks for looking and for the comment. We'll see if my build is nice or not - function over form. It hasn't proven itself yet !

regards - Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVBedouin View Post
Solid choice on the DR650..of all the bikes made currently, the DR would be my pick for RTW. Fantastic work & a great result.
ADVBedouin -

Thanks much. I went through a lengthy list of potential motos after I had developed my criteria for a South America tour. The DR was the best fit for what I wanted and my priorities of simplicity, weight, reliability, etc.

thanks - Dave
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:53 AM   #40
Harry94025
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Dave,

Thanks for sharing the progress of your DR650 modifications with us; great ideas and superior workmanship!

I too was amazed to see your "garage". It's really neat to know someone who has access to such exotic machinery also likes the DR650...

Regards,
Harry
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:00 AM   #41
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Great write up!! Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry94025 View Post
Dave,

Thanks for sharing the progress of your DR650 modifications with us; great ideas and superior workmanship!

I too was amazed to see your "garage". It's really neat to know someone who has access to such exotic machinery also likes the DR650...

Regards,
Harry
Ditto!!
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:44 PM   #42
BergDonk
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Good luck with the bearings. There are also quite a number of different KTM triple clamps with different offsets, including adjustables like mine, but I don't know what offsets match to what model, but could be worth investigating, and may influence the shaft that you make up. OTTMH, there might have been some 22 mm Berg ones at some stage which could be made to work too.

No doubt you'll get it right, just gotta know what the end result needs to be.

Its a tough call for me, but I have a sneeking feeling that my DR650 is the best bike I've ever owned, 'best' of course being a moving target depending on the day, but......

And I love your garage,
Steve
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:57 PM   #43
DisTech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motodavid2000 View Post
DisTech - Thanks for looking at the thread and you had a great DR650 build. I have followed it what you have done. I do indeed have a set of WP fork legs available - almost. I want to sort out my Ohlins first, and then maybe sell te WPs. If / when I get to that point, are you interested?
I'm not in a hurry so if the timing works out, yes. I've got a set of WP4860's on my DR350/450 with HDB clamp, dash and hand guards. Been thinking I'd like the same thing on the DR650.

Incidentally, Jesse pressed the DR350 stem into the KTM lower triple and made a bushing that allowed KTM top triple to work. So I can use stock DR350 bearings. Don't know if that will work with the DR650, just more info.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:29 AM   #44
motodavid2000 OP
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Bearings and Steering Stem

Quote:
Originally Posted by BergDonk View Post
Good luck with the bearings. There are also quite a number of different KTM triple clamps with different offsets, including adjustables like mine, but I don't know what offsets match to what model, but could be worth investigating, and may influence the shaft that you make up. OTTMH, there might have been some 22 mm Berg ones at some stage which could be made to work too.

No doubt you'll get it right, just gotta know what the end result needs to be.

Its a tough call for me, but I have a sneeking feeling that my DR650 is the best bike I've ever owned, 'best' of course being a moving target depending on the day, but......

And I love your garage,
Steve
Steve -

Thanks for the information. I am re-measuring everything this weekend and have met with a machinist who has the right lathe to machine up a new steering stem with the correct dimensions to mate to the stock Suzuki / NTN bearings with the 30 mm ID bore. We think that we can get this to work.

I own a lot of motos and I'm with you - I love the DR650 also for its wonderful versatility and reliability (& comparative light weight) - hence the build for a long South America tour.

Have you ridden a new Tiger 800cc DS moto? I woud like to ride one - but a mix of offroad / dirt road and street, just to see how I like it. The problem for me is being in very remote places and an engine computer, fuel pump or FI failure. If I am going to be doing remote adventure riding I want SIMPLE and reliable. Just my 2 cents worth.

Thanks for the compliment on the garage - much appreciated and glad you enjoyed the photos.

I will post up once I have some working solutions.........

thanks again - Dave



Quote:
Originally Posted by DisTech View Post
I'm not in a hurry so if the timing works out, yes. I've got a set of WP4860's on my DR350/450 with HDB clamp, dash and hand guards. Been thinking I'd like the same thing on the DR650.

Incidentally, Jesse pressed the DR350 stem into the KTM lower triple and made a bushing that allowed KTM top triple to work. So I can use stock DR350 bearings. Don't know if that will work with the DR650, just more info.
OK on the "spare" KTM WP forks. It helps that you are not in a rush. I will get this worked out and then decide what I will be doing with the WP fork legs.

I will also do some research on the DR350 stem pressed into the KTM lower triple clamp & HDB triple - thanks. Maybe some solution or ideas there for me?? Who knows.

Did you happen to take an OD reading of the DR350 stem where the bearing is positioned on the tube prior to re-assembly? Is it 30mm or other?

Many thanks for the info and suggestions - Dave
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:22 AM   #45
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Wowzer! Fantastic build!!

You're up on me three ways: Money, Time, and Know-how...but man is it fun to see what can be done with a stock bike!
Thanks for posting great pics and showing the progress! Enjoy the great ride!
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