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Old 09-12-2011, 06:00 PM   #106
motodavid2000 OP
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Costa Rica

Quote:
Originally Posted by NuckaMan View Post
Thank you for the sentiments and well wishes, but not too neccessary....I hope.
Anyways, on to more important topics like your trip and build....looking foward to more updates!!! Also, when is your expected departure date for your trip???

I remembering reading you where once a owner in a moto-touring company down in Costa Rica?

I had a opportunity to rent and ride down there several years ago. The project at the time called for me travel to Costa Rica on a regular basis (Heredia, Costa Rica). I took a little time off and rented a DRZ400 from a moto-rental place in San Jose. Other than almost getting killed multiple times by local taxi's, once I got out of the city, I fell in love with the country and the riding it offered....and I just putted around the country roads mostly, didn't have any gear do venture too far into the woods. That was one project I was bummed to leave behind.
NuckaMan -

OK - got it on the hope for a venture-capitalist type to buy your invention. Hope all works out on this & the next project(s).

Yes, I owned & operated an enduro-style moto touring company in both Costa Rica and Peru. Costa Rica for almost 8 years. We did several shows on SpeedTV and a number of articles in Dirt Rider magazine. We also had a sport-touring operation for about a year, but we had too many crashes - to the point that I could not sleep at night worrying about somebody getting killed in Costa Rica on one of our sport-tours.

The riding in both locations (Peru & Costa Rica) offroad was / is spectacular - and the street riding in the mountains of Costa Rica was unreal. The street riding there makes the Dragon at Deals Gap look tame by comparison; and yes I have ridden the Dragon.

Glad you enjoyed Costa Rica - I always enjoy riding there; although it is very infrequently now unfortunately.

I should have an update with pics in 5 days or so - with a modified windscreen and instrument panel support structure that gets the headlight to "stand-off" from the forks a bit more and gives me sufficient clearance to change the bulb without too much disassembly.

Departure date.....an ugly answer actually. Loooong story short. I own a business with a good number of employees; my people depend on me to earn a living so I cannot bail out on my people to go for a long trip when the economy is so bumpy. My people come first and until the economy gets better and I can work (alot) fewer hours in order to keep my peope working, then the ride has to be delayed.

This trip has to be coordinated with the seasons in South America also - which are essentially opposite of ours in the northern hemisphere. So, I would want to be at the southern tip of the continent around the 1st of the year or so.

Time it way wrong and it could be messy !

Take care - Dave
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:19 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by troyfromtexas View Post
I've been moding my DR for the past month to prep it for a Texas to Tierra del Fuego trip that I'll probably be starting next week.
A week! wow ... so you're either ready of not.
Too late to do much now. Good luck. I didn't see any mods on your blog.
Why not just post your prep and travel story here? No one will see a blog ... except your parents and girlfriend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by troyfromtexas View Post
Thanks specifically for the IMS/Pingel/fuel filter discussion. Your's and the other's comments helped answer some of my questions about issues with a fuel line bend and the fuel being able to travel up.
regardless of which tank/petcock, make sure you know your range. Run the bike dry, then go to reserve and see how far you can go on reserve. Critical for travel bike. Page One: travel 101.

Quote:
Originally Posted by troyfromtexas View Post
No frame rack for me, I'm going with the soft bag setup of a Giant Loop Great Basin and Coyote Dry Bag.
Troy
Do you like Fire? Be careful how those Giant Loop bags lay. Two things can happen: 1. The right side plastic side panel will melt. Eventually your bag will catch fire.

2. When you load up the Giant Loop heavy a lot of pressure from the side lobes is placed onto the side panels. There are lots of ways to deal with this. A small, light rack is the most elegant and useful.

I hope your prep covers basic DR650 needs. Tires and tubes will be your biggest headache. Bring plenty with you. Know what a Llanterria is and USE ThEM.

If you're starting with a DR650 stock chain ... stop now and buy a spare chain and sprockets. Stock chain is good for about 15K miles max. This is probably the number one screw up Noob S. America travelers make.
Start with a NEW battery. NEW.

Hopefully you've been reading some of the good ride reports. Lots of little tricks ... especially border knowledge ... which is in constant flux.
Suerte!
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:37 AM   #108
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Ok so I had to Google "Llanterria"

Wish I had those out here in Southern Africa !

Yours in tire levering with Lions looking at the back of your neck.

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:32 AM   #109
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very impressed with your job. could be some kind of adventure version of the DR650 ;)
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:51 PM   #110
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Beautiful DR, great build!

That's really awesome, thanks for sharing this! I just got hit on my 2011 DR 650 last week by a car backing out of a parking space (argh!). Lucky for me I had my indestructible Happy Trails panniers! It bent the pannier rack and the DR subframe, but I escaped unscathed from an otherwise leg-crushing injury. Although the DR was totaled because of the frame damage, I think I'll buy it back, strip it apart, and have it straightened. All your work has confirmed some of my suspicions and given me some handy tips! I always thought the front suspension oscillated annoyingly at moderate speeds on smooth roads, and your headlight looks great!

Thanks again, you rock!
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #111
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Shorai Battery

The battery that came with the moto as installed by the PO, was slightly too large physically. To the extent that I could not install the battery hold-down clamp.

Given that I wanted to make our beloved DR650 pig a little less pigish, I elected to try the new Lithium Ion battery from Shorai Power. I have included the following sequence just to provide some perspective for you.

The weight difference is nothing short of astonishing and the packaging came with a wide assortment of pads to properly position the battery within the battery box. If this works like I think that it will, I will probably never buy another lead-acid battery for any of my 10 motos. Once a battery fails, I will probably replace it with a Lithium ion battery.

Lastly, the weight differential is such that I could carry a spare, fully charged LI battery and still have less weight than one lead-acid battery. Technological advancements are generally a very good thing.

I use Battery Tenders religiously and I still have too many battery failures - and without warning - which is a real pain in the neck.







Supplied Foam Blocks installed to position and stabilize the new LI battery.





Charging port for the LI battery - to use a special charger, but they advertise that the battery can sit idle for 12 months and not require charging. Seasonal negative terminal disconnection is suggested.





The LI battery ran the lights - headlight and LED driving lights full bright right out of the box. My cheesy little hand-held battery tester said 100% charged as delivered.





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Old 09-21-2011, 01:54 PM   #112
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you need post that garage pic in this thread.
i think you'd win a prize
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212142


Quote:
Originally Posted by motodavid2000 View Post
The battery that came with the moto as installed by the PO, was slightly too large physically. To the extent that I could not install the battery hold-down clamp.

Given that I wanted to make our beloved DR650 pig a little less pigish, I elected to try the new Lithium Ion battery from Shorai Power. I have included the following sequence just to provide some perspective for you.

The weight difference is nothing short of astonishing and the packaging came with a wide assortment of pads to properly position the battery within the battery box. If this works like I think that it will, I will probably never buy another lead-acid battery for any of my 10 motos. Once a battery fails, I will probably replace it with a Lithium ion battery.

Lastly, the weight differential is such that I could carry a spare, fully charged LI battery and still have less weight than one lead-acid battery. Technological advancements are generally a very good thing.

I use Battery Tenders religiously and I still have too many battery failures - and without warning - which is a real pain in the neck.







Supplied Foam Blocks installed to position and stabilize the new LI battery.





Charging port for the LI battery - to use a special charger, but they advertise that the battery can sit idle for 12 months and not require charging. Seasonal negative terminal disconnection is suggested.





The LI battery ran the lights - headlight and LED driving lights full bright right out of the box. My cheesy little hand-held battery tester said 100% charged as delivered.





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Old 09-22-2011, 04:33 PM   #113
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HI Motodavid ,

I will be certainly preparing a DR for mu Africa trip in 2012 , I am now doing South America on a DL650 but as soon as I go back to Florida I will start my project build, I am pretty curious to hear about test on rough terrain as I will be doing the West Coast of Africa first.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:01 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motodavid2000 View Post
AdvGrifter -

Thank you for the thorough response; and I agree with you on 98% of your points, opinions and commentary. The reason that I selected the DR650 vs. so many other moto options is for its simplicity, its ruggedness and its fundamental goodness.

I look at the frame, subframe and pannier frame gussets & reinforcements as an inexpensive insurance policy against an unlikely failure or crack.

Here is another set of rather ugly DR650 frame cracking at the swingarm pivot: http://www.advrider.com/forums/attac...1&d=1171607036

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...ramerepair.jpg



Granted - frame issues on the DR650 are very rare occurrences, but I do plan to travel to remote parts of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. I have ridden to remote villages high in the Andes Mountains in Peru and there is NO help available there.

If I had a very bad failure of some type there or the boondocks in Bolivia, I would probably have to disassemble my moto and then pack it out of the mountains on horses !

I agree with you comments on the suspension - use the budget for suspension mods. I had two major gripes with the front end on the stock DR650 - the first was dive & travel issues, but the showstopper for me was the wimpy little pinch bolts that use studs in the fork leg !! I think that the spec is 7 lbs-ft of torque. Many examples of snapped off pinch bolt studs due to overtorque.

This was just not an option for me as I did not want snapped off pinch-bolt studs in some remote area - and I can gurantee you I will be changing / repairing tubes at altitude, in the cold and during a rainstorm --- and then I would snap off a pinch-bolt stud by not paying attention to torque.

Flats NEVER happen on nice weather days or in convenient locations. The innertube Gods hate motorcyclists !

Anyway, thank you for the input and opinions. I will be posting up more photos soon. Just loaded down with work now but will get back to the build when I am able.

Dave
As far as the small axle pinch bolts,I use a 1/4" ratchet only to tighten them,hard to break them that way.
I have ridden my DR for 20,000 miles so far,sometimes at a ridiculous pace due to the fact Ive raced bikes for years at a fairly high level. I have noticed that pitching the bike sideways whilst hauling ass, the frame seems to have a rubbery quality that has very nearly pitched me off numerous times. Big tank slapping wobbles from one side of the road or trail to the other side. Ive done the usual stiffer springs and race tech gold valve/emulator work on the suspension.
To me it just seems like a very heavy cheaply built bike that will hopefully run for ever if not pushed too hard.
Dont get me wrong,I enjoy the heck out of riding the thing but man does it become a flexy flier pig when pushed too hard. I have been trying some pelican boxes on the back with SW-Motech racks,when loaded heavily the bike becomes a death trap at speed on the road,too much weight on the back does real odd things to the handling. More weight on the front is needed badly to balance the bike.
Its a great project youve got going! It gives me ideas for stuff to try on mine. It would be neat if somebody built a good frame for the DR's.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:19 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Sounds like major progress! I hope you get a chance to test ride on a twisty paved road to test out the balance and handling while turning sharp corners. Quick left to right transitions will let you know if the balance and rake & trail are in the ball park.

Most single dual sports I've ridden begin to weave at about 80 or 90 mph. DR's are pretty good in this regard ... but my KTM 640, XR-L, KLR and older XL600 Hondas all had some sort of mild high speed weave. All kinds of things can affect this. I never worried about it as long as handling was correct and bike responded normally to input on a twisty road.

The ultimate test will be to do the same twisty roads with your full travel load on the bike. It took me a day or two to adapt to my DR carrying 100 lbs. of stuff. (Givi, racks, gear, spare tire, tools) I weighed everything. Biggest problem was brakes ... I have stock brakes. With weight you really need more braking IMO. I think you've upgraded you rotor?

When I went from the Givi hard bags to soft bags I reduced weight by nearly 40 lbs.

I'm envious of all the travel you've got up front. Those Ohlins shocks will surly pay dividends once dialed in.
The best way to test to see if the tire is hitting the fender is do that same hard braking test you did ... but hit a few pot holes while hard on the brakes. This is when bottoming typically will happen, especially on a steep downhill run ... but sounds to me like you've got it very close to perfect!


Great Mojave brake and suspension testing downhill. The lead bike is my buddies 68 year old dad, riding his CRF230 ... former enduro rider. You can see he's bottomed the suspension ... once that happens the tire will lock and ... away you go! The old guy made it down fine but he was pissed at me for taking him down that hill.
I agree,the sag must be set for what ever weight is going to be loaded on the bike,my DR is highly unstable during left/right transitions with a full load of traveling stuff on the back,to the point Im selling my hard luggage and downsizing my traveling gear for the bike,I could just slow down,at least Ive heard thats possible, but its never suited me.
Im not too sure about having that much more travel in the front then in the back with the Ohlin's forks,but then what do I know? It seems like maybe shortening the forks with internal spacers might be the way to go? I dunno.
The long stem is at least reversible. All good projects take some head scratching.
Ive been told that a bike frame is actually built stiffer to account for the enhanced stiffness of upside down forks,so much more area to grab with triple clamps and a better surface for grabbing,almost like its a package deal.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:20 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
As far as the small axle pinch bolts,I use a 1/4" ratchet only to tighten them,hard to break them that way.
I have ridden my DR for 20,000 miles so far,sometimes at a ridiculous pace due to the fact Ive raced bikes for years at a fairly high level. I have noticed that pitching the bike sideways whilst hauling ass, the frame seems to have a rubbery quality that has very nearly pitched me off numerous times. Big tank slapping wobbles from one side of the road or trail to the other side. Ive done the usual stiffer springs and race tech gold valve/emulator work on the suspension.
To me it just seems like a very heavy cheaply built bike that will hopefully run for ever if not pushed too hard.
Dont get me wrong,I enjoy the heck out of riding the thing but man does it become a flexy flier pig when pushed too hard. I have been trying some pelican boxes on the back with SW-Motech racks,when loaded heavily the bike becomes a death trap at speed on the road,too much weight on the back does real odd things to the handling. More weight on the front is needed badly to balance the bike.
Its a great project youve got going! It gives me ideas for stuff to try on mine. It would be neat if somebody built a good frame for the DR's.
A good mate of mine, and former State enduro and road race champion, and suspension tuner, was here last weekend, along with another mate who has a stock DR650 that we did some suspension upgrades to. As a result we got to ride a totally stock DR, then the same one with 0.47 fork springs and GV emulators and an 8.1 rear spring with a revalve to suit. And mine. The big thing that we all noted was the near elimination of flex in the front end no matter how hard you push. I believe now that the biggest contributor to DR650 flexing is actually the forks and/or triples bending excessively. This also tends to bind the sliders up a bit too, effecting compliance. Its not immediately obvious until you ride them back to back, then you realize what it is. Braking and turning over bumps is where you notice it most.

David, I hope you get the geometry sorted, because modern forks are just so much better, and its not just damping.

Steve
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:26 PM   #117
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I agree,the sag must be set for what ever weight is going to be loaded on the bike,my DR is highly unstable during left/right transitions with a full load of traveling stuff on the back,to the point Im selling my hard luggage and downsizing my traveling gear for the bike,I could just slow down,at least Ive heard thats possible, but its never suited me.
Im not too sure about having that much more travel in the front then in the back with the Ohlin's forks,but then what do I know? It seems like maybe shortening the forks with internal spacers might be the way to go? I dunno.
The long stem is at least reversible. All good projects take some head scratching.
I did ask David earlier in this thread what spec is Wilbers is, but I guess the answer slipped through a crack. My Ohlins is a little longer than stock, about, 6 mm, and its all extra travel, so equates to about an extra 17 mm at the axle @ 2.8:1 linkage ratio. Still not the same as the front end, but closer. It actually seems to be about 2:1 at full travel, so somewhere between 12 and 17 mm. It aslo helps with levelling the bike out with the longer forks.

Steve
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:45 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BergDonk View Post
A good mate of mine, and former State enduro and road race champion, and suspension tuner, was here last weekend, along with another mate who has a stock DR650 that we did some suspension upgrades to. As a result we got to ride a totally stock DR, then the same one with 0.47 fork springs and GV emulators and an 8.1 rear spring with a revalve to suit. And mine. The big thing that we all noted was the near elimination of flex in the front end no matter how hard you push. I believe now that the biggest contributor to DR650 flexing is actually the forks and/or triples bending excessively. This also tends to bind the sliders up a bit too, effecting compliance. Its not immediately obvious until you ride them back to back, then you realize what it is. Braking and turning over bumps is where you notice it most.

David, I hope you get the geometry sorted, because modern forks are just so much better, and its not just damping.

Steve
Ive got .50 front springs and the back spring is also set to my 190 lb weight,its so much better then stock theres no comparison. I can come into corners hard and sliding on the brakes no problem,once under power and sliding coming out the chassis seems to wind up and snap/try to highside/wallow like a hooked blue whale.
Ive gotten used to this and friends think its fun to watch. The shock is due for fresh oil after 20,000 miles,I will have my race tech tuner put a little more rebound back in it to see if this helps the handling.
I tend to ride my DRZe 400 now for mostly all dirt rides,it feels nearly toy like compared to mud wrestling the DR,it wont carry near as much stuff and is no where near as comfortable or smooth.
For going straight and fast the DR works great set up like it is,long fast rough fireroads are best done at speed,it smooths out and just goes where its pointed.
I tried a 610 Husky dual sport,so much easier to ride like a big dirt bike,If it wasnt for the maintenance level I would have one,same with an Lc4,they go great but who knows when their number is up? I had a plated SC620,it would wheelie in 3rd up an on ramp,slide like a mile bike,but the vibration was debilitating,the kickstarting was no fun.
DR's just go and go,but 400 lbs with gas and tools strapped on is no laughing matter.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:34 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
I agree,the sag must be set for what ever weight is going to be loaded on the bike,my DR is highly unstable during left/right transitions with a full load of traveling stuff on the back,to the point Im selling my hard luggage and downsizing my traveling gear for the bike,I could just slow down,at least Ive heard thats possible, but its never suited me.
Im not too sure about having that much more travel in the front then in the back with the Ohlin's forks,but then what do I know? It seems like maybe shortening the forks with internal spacers might be the way to go? I dunno.
Great comments on DR handling, et al. I agree, the DR650 is a handful when loaded up ... pretty flexy. In Mexico when carrying a too heavy load I just slowed down and tried to ride around the problem. I felt it most in the forks.

I have always wondered if a good fork brace would not help some with the flex? And perhaps a steering damper as well? What do you think?

The swing arm isn't massive but not so far off modern designs ... the problem is the weight of the motor. Things are a bit under built for hard use ... but the trade off is a fairly light 650 single ... and one who's frame/rear sub frame doesn't crack like a KLR, Honda, KTM or BMW. They all bend, crack or break at several points if over stressed. I was impressed with the durability of my DR650 doing some rough Baja wash board ... at speed. (smoother) No issues here:


With a light load I don't notice much flex but I'm not sliding my DR650 through paved corners Super Moto style. I have had my DR650 kick back on me sliding on fire roads or getting sideways on the Dry Lake beds I've ridden. But that was mostly bad technique on my part. Never been spit off it that way ... yet!


The DR's double cradle frame is basic but not bad for a 1995 design.

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Old 09-23-2011, 01:59 PM   #120
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That is a phenomenal picture....would you have a higher res version of it?
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