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Old 09-23-2011, 03:43 PM   #121
Foot dragger
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A steering damper might help,I just rode my DR over some twisty roads to the Reno air races and back,basic camping gear,clothes,tools,pelican 1550 boxes,and a medium size tail bag. Its ok on sweepers but any right/left maneuvers let me know it was sketchy at best,giving the bars a wiggle down the straights would set off a full bike wiggle that felt like it could go from bad to worse if a sudden evasive move had to be done.
It really just felt like too much weight on the back of the bike,big streetbikes/adv bikes tend to not notice this so much as they weigh 500+ lbs and just arent bothered by a little extra weight.
I wont load the DR like that again,it wrecks the fun along the way to getting there,the Pelican boxes and racks probably weigh as much as what I had packed in them,maybe more.
Moto-Fizz bag,soft luggage,try to get more weight up front,just carry less mainly.

I do tend to ride the silly thing harder then it wants to be ridden in the dirt,my fault if I get pitched off. It handles like a big super-moto bike on pavement,as long as I dont over load it.

(I dont slide it around on pavement,only dirt roads)
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:43 PM   #122
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Back at it !!

I have been fully loaded up with work, and am just now getting back to this thread and some additional testing / tuning / riding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVpoodle View Post
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!
ADVpoodle -

Sorry to hear of your ugly cage / moto mishap and happy that you were not seriously hurt. The moto can be repaired or replaced. Good to know that the Happy Trails panniers helped save your leg & ankle from getting crushed or otherwise seriously mangled.

Thank you for looking at the thread and the positive comments - sincerely appreciated !

regards - Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by hendikaf View Post
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.
hendikaf -

Wow - great adventures that you are currently experienced and are planning. I am envious of you - congrats for doing it. I am planning the South America ride and maybe we can exchange PMs on any tips, suggestions, input you have for me -- or direction to a Ride Report or blog that you may have going. I am always interested in learning.

Hope that the wee-Strom is working well for you. I would be very interested in your views on the DL650 vs. a KLR or DR650 as you are using the DL650 in South America.

I just took my DR650 out for her first light duty "get dirty" ride. Nothing challenging at all - just a wet gravel road, a few sections of greasy clay and a ride in the woods; and after that a 65 to 75 mph blast down the highway for about 30 miles. I am testing it to see what initial impressions that I have before making any mods to any settings. I want the bike to be setup to do dirt & gravel roads, some deeper sand and then be able to get on a highway and have the "compromise" already setup in the suspension. That is just my plan - YMMV.

Thanks for looking at thread ! Be careful out there and drop me a PM or a post here with a blog or Ride Report location on your travels in South America.

Best regards - Dave


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.
Foot dragger -

Thanks for looking over the thread and for your comments. Really good idea on the pinch bolts - scale down the tool to avoid snappng one of the little bastards off in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

I have never been a racer but have ridden a decent variety of street bikes, touring bikes, large & small dual sports and pure dirt bikes in several countries and lost of different terrain & conditions.

I know that many make a point about the weight of the DR650; it is no CRF250X for sure. However, if one would ride my fully loaded and fueled R1200GS / Adventure, it gives you a new perspective on the DR650. My loaded GS weighs in at around 675 loaded and fueled with panniers. Now THAT is a pig. Get that much weight going against you and it is a real nightmare - plus alot of the weight is up high with almost 10 gallons of fuel capacity. I had a grand time of it in soupy fog and dep mud on Atigun Pass by myself at 0330 or so - solo. I was just hoping that a big rig wasn't going to plow into me head-on.

Anyway, my point (and opinion) is weight & its impact is somewhat relative. I would absolutely agree 110% that less weight is directly proportional to the happy factor when the going gets greasy or gnarly; or when you have to pick the damned thing up.

Glad that you enjoy riding the little DR pig too. I am going on a long-distance dual sport tour with this thing and believe that it just about the right blend of durability, simplicity, road worthiness, weight carrying ability and gravel / dirt road "offroad" capable for what I want to do with it. I am certain that if pushed too far & it started to bite you that it could be a handful.

Thanks much for looking over the thread and for your insights on the DR when loaded - that is my next move - load it up and ride it in some dirt, some gravel roads, some twisty backroads and highway miles. Just hoping that I don't run out of acceptable weather before I get some additional testing done this year.

Regards - Dave
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:49 PM   #123
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Garage Space

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Originally Posted by eakins View Post
you need post that garage pic in this thread.
i think you'd win a prize
Bill -

Well, maybe. There are a lot of very nice man caves & garage spaces, but thanks for the nice compliment - certainly appreciated.

Anyway, go here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...212142&page=80 ; start at post 1192.

Dave
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:55 PM   #124
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Llantas and Lions; or Grizzly Bears

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veemax View Post
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.

Veemax -

NO THANKS on the lions at the back of your neck !! There were grizzly bears up north when I rode to Prudhoe Bay, and the tundra grizzly is an especially unpleasant critter as well as the polar bear.

Anyway, I don't want to be levering on tires with lions, grizzlies or polar bears looking at me like a lunchtime sandwich !

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loutre View Post
very impressed with your job. could be some kind of adventure version of the DR650 ;)
Loutre -

Thanks for looking at the thread and for the nice comments. My intent was to build my version of a DR650 Adventure; so glad that you saw it the same way.

Take care - Dave
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:07 PM   #125
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Forks & Shocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by BergDonk View Post
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by BergDonk View Post
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
Steve -

Sorry for not answering your question earlier on my Wilber's shock length.

Long story short, I had originally intended to build up the stock forks using new springs and valves - either Gold valves or Intiminators. Therefore I had planned to use the stock ride height and ordered my Wilber's accordingly ---- but sprung with a 230 pound rider and 90 pounds of gear.

I had spoken with Jesse at Keintech and had gotten a fork brace for the stock forks, new springs and valves. Then I read the DR650 threa on ADVRider from front to back (oh brother.....and then met Lukas M on line....and the rest is history. Started with extra KTM forks and trees from Lukas M, then found the inexpensive Ohlins legs and well ---- here we are. Experimenting with KTM triples, Ohlins legs and custom machined steering stems.

So, my Wilbers was ordered to stock stroke length with a much heavier spring and compression & rebound damping.

Best regards - Dave
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:18 PM   #126
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Steering Damper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
A steering damper might help,I just rode my DR over some twisty roads to the Reno air races and back,basic camping gear,clothes,tools,pelican 1550 boxes,and a medium size tail bag. Its ok on sweepers but any right/left maneuvers let me know it was sketchy at best,giving the bars a wiggle down the straights would set off a full bike wiggle that felt like it could go from bad to worse if a sudden evasive move had to be done.
It really just felt like too much weight on the back of the bike,big streetbikes/adv bikes tend to not notice this so much as they weigh 500+ lbs and just arent bothered by a little extra weight.
Foot dragger -

I have the Scotts steering damper on my DR650 and I have always liked their products - no muss, no fuss - they just work. As I am sure you alraedy know, the adjustability has a very wide range of damping. I rode some gravel today and experimented with a few ruts and elongated pot holes filled wih water - the damper workd great and while my speed was not crazy, the bars never kicked and I never had anything even remotely resembling a tank-slapper.

I also tried the moto in the woods a bit with sticks, small logs and no trail - the bars never kicked there either. The combo of the forks and the Scotts damper seem to work very nicely together to keep the bars from wagging and the head from shaking......

Regards - Dave
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:43 PM   #127
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First gravel and woods ride today

I finally was able to shake off the chains of work obligations and took the DR650 out for its first real ride after the steering setup was completed and we re-worked the instrument panel and windscreen support design.

I was on my stock Trailwings at higher pressure - 36 psi F & R for all riding environments today. For the real maiden voyage, I decided on a mix of streets, dry gravel roads, wet gravel roads with potholes and ruts, some greasy clay mud and then a ride on the highway at normal highway speed - 65 mph to 75 mph; finished off by a ride through the woods which were still wet from rain. I left the tires at a high pressure purposely to make the moto somewhat less stable in mud, soft areas in the woods and gravel.

To the point, all weaving and wobbling are 100% gone. I believe that the geometry is reasonably good with the new headstock stem setup; and resulting effective fork length that impacts rake & trail geometry. As currently setup and adjusted, the Ohlins dive too much under heavy braking - I will try compression damping adjustments, maybe more preload first and then consider springs and / or valves after much more experimentation.

It looks from my electrical tie that I used on the left fork leg that I used ~ 50% of the stroke of the forks today running in gravel and potholes and on the brakes downhill and hitting holes along the way. Nothing crazy in the way of fork compression though as I coud not find a good location to really push it.

The Wilbers rear shock is somewhat too stiff, but in fairness I do NOT have my normal traveling load aboard yet, so it will probably be very good when the moto loaded to travel weight. Rebound damping feels spot on, compression damping a bit stiff.

I can dab quite well in the woods with my 30 inch inseam and only felt the back of my left calf touch the front edge of the pannier once in the woods. Nothing much, but made me aware that the aluminum box is there just waiting to break my leg if I get too careless.

Overall, without any real adjustments from the original setup, the bike is very rideable and now needs to be setup better. I could not find any real deep gravel, but what I had was loose and the bike felt good traversing from side to side of the road from deeper gravel to thinner gravel, through water filled potholes and over some greasy, slippery wet clay with leaves on top.

The woods were wet and the ground soft; and I had to dab as I skidded off of half buried and rotted logs that were slippery as snot.


Dry, easy gravel road with some loose gravel, but not deep.



In the woods along the edge of a very deep ravine.



Thanks for following my progress; or lack thereof....

Dave
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:49 AM   #128
Foot dragger
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I was mistaken,I had though my 30 some years of dirt riding had taught me things.
If you can ride in greasy clay on a semi loaded DR with stock Trailwings with 36 lbs of air in them then I am truly unworthy to even comment on any further proceedings.

The bike looks great,I'll keep checking in on the build.

(the sharp metal edges on those boxes do scare me some,dabbing in mud could be bad)
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:42 AM   #129
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My thoughts exactly


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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
I was mistaken,I had though my 30 some years of dirt riding had taught me things.
If you can ride in greasy clay on a semi loaded DR with stock Trailwings with 36 lbs of air in them then I am truly unworthy to even comment on any further proceedings.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:57 AM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
...any right/left maneuvers let me know it was sketchy at best,giving the bars a wiggle down the straights would set off a full bike wiggle...
have you set your race sag with full gear on? by gear i mean hard cases as well. sounds pretty light on the front end, be careful.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:36 AM   #131
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Dave,

I'm a late arrival to this thread. Beautiful bike and well executed. I fitted KTM forks to my 2010 DR605 and like others just used the KTM clamps/stem/bearings with the Suzuki races. I had to fabricate a spacer which moves the top clamp up about 8-10mm and I moved the forks through the clamps about 30mm. I have used 2000 model KTM forks which have the smaller axle (20mm) and bought some spacers off ebay to suit the smaller KTM axle. I used my std wheels from my old 2005 KTM450EXC. The rear KTM wheel fits in the DR which just some spacer modification and the DR axle fits the KTM wheels. I have both EXC wheels and some Behr supermoto wheels. I use a KTM LC8 rear disc which is 240mm and suits the DR caliper. In the dirt setup the bike steered remarkably well and keeps up with dedicated enduro bikes in the more flowing single track but in the very tight 1st-2nd gear stuff it struggles due to the weight. I eventually bought a 2009 Husaberg 450 for the dirt work and leave the DR in motard trim. Here's a link to my post on DRRIDER but sorry no build photos as I went.

Strangely I found the KTM (WP) forks to be okay spring wise but I'm not sure what was in them originally. For the rear shock I bought a mid 90's KTM Ohlins shock and a mate sent it to an Ohlins specialist who rebuilt, revalved, resprung and put on a smaller reservoir to clear the exhaust. I too use a Scotts damper and the same mate made some bar risers and spacers and fitted the unit for me. They are worth the money.

Sorry for the highjack but I just thought I'd share my experiences with you. You're definitely on the right track and with those forks lowered good handling is restored. A couple of quick photos of my ride for you....







Steering damper mount

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Old 10-07-2011, 09:08 AM   #132
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[QUOTE=BergDonk;16598043]If its jetted correctly, there is almost no difference in economy. On my recent trip, my FCR equipped DR650 was the second most economical bike of the 4 DR650s on the trip. The shape of the top of the airbox also makes a difference in my experience for both stock and pumper carbs. The usual cutout as per Jesse and MxRob works fine. I have tried some different arrangements, as has a mate of mine, and throttle response and economy suffered.

And in more technical terrain where you are on and off the throttle, and maybe the economy suffers a little, its a far more enjoyable ride. However, if you only cruise, a pumper is probably not worth the effort.

Steve[/QUOTE, And then.............Supposing the day starts at sea level like here in northern California,then by mid day the bike is running at 8500 ft or sometimes even 10,000 ft elevation,the CV carb with stock jetting seems to do this amazingly well. It will pull up to 80 mph no problem what ever elevation I ride it at. Seems like if a bike is jetted for one elevation in general as they all must be with a normal carb,there must be just a bit of trade off.

Ive been through water past the bottom of the tank more then a few times on my DR,I was very thankful for the stock snorkle and airbox,same with thick dust and a cut open airbox. I guess theres tradeoffs for everything.
Just getting there is half the battle sometimes,much less trying for more power.

Signed,old and in the way.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:25 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagespeed View Post
have you set your race sag with full gear on? by gear i mean hard cases as well. sounds pretty light on the front end, be careful.
Its such a pain to reset sag for one ride on a DR,I try to leave it in a happy medium,it mostly gets ridden sans boxes. Those pre load rings are so flimsy and hard to get at,its too much hassle to set it back and forth for one ride. On a longer trip I would do so.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:41 PM   #134
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Dr650

I am planning to build a DR or XRL for my next cross Africa and was curious to see if any of you measured the clearance on your bike once loaded with gear and rider .

Thanks

Hendi
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:42 AM   #135
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Any updates?

I'm keen to see how this went!
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