Building a DR650 Adventure...

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Ron Seida, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Ron Seida

    Ron Seida Adventman

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    While returning from my Across-Canada tour this summer on my trusty old BMW R100GS PD, i came to a painful realization that it was time to move on. After all, my bike had over 200k km on it, was big, heavy and not that great on gas. Off-road was both difficult an awkward, a lesson i learned in the Andes mountains last spring when i bit off more than i could chew. Now understand, this was a difficult task. This bike has been with me for the last 5 years, hand built and customized by yours truly :D We traveled together through mountains, jungles and deserts, all points in between my home of Vancouver, BC and Lima, Peru, her final destination in S. America before getting shipped back home and touring Canada. She now belongs to another proud owner, and i hope he treats her well and gives her all the love and attention she deserves. She will surely be missed :cry [​IMG][/IMG]
    As you can see, i installed a WP 4860 front fork to the BMW. This was no easy task and involved a steep learning curve, which i hope will make my next project that much easier... well, my fingers are crossed anyways. :1drink
    The Beemer needed a new triple clamp due to clearance issues with stock KTM clamps. Because the only one available from HPN was stupid amounts of money, i decided to make my own, which i machined from billet aluminum.
    [​IMG][/IMG]
    Although i'm quite proud of my endevor, i must admit i did fuck up. The holes were machined too close together which gave me major problems regarding brake caliper clearance. Custom spacers, were made, calipers were machined and In the end the wheel was never perfect with an off-set of about 8mm. This was never a problem over the more than 70k km i put on the bike since installing the front end, but was always in the back of my mind. This time i'll get it right.
    When i titled this thread DR650 Adventure, what a meant was a KTM/Suzuki hybrid. A DR bike with a complete 640 Adventure front end. Should be pretty cool, huh? :norton
    Okay, so lets get this started. Back in August i started looking for a later model bike for a decent price. I found one in nearby Nanaimo and quickly made a deal. They really don't come up for sale used that often, a good sign i guess.
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    I rode the bike for the rest of September and most of October before parking it for the winter. The truth is, my commute to work is so short, it doesn't warrant putting on gobs of gear every morning for only a 7 minute ride. This was a great opportunity to start ordering some stuff. Can you say shopping!?!
    Here is the list so far:
    FMF pipe (thanx Bgunn!)
    KTM 640 Adventure mask (Thanx SpringOly!)
    Complete KTM 640 Adv. front end (thanx Blueillusion10!)
    Corbin seat (Thanx Desert-Blaster!)
    Triple Clamp (Thanx R.Markus!)
    KTM Adv. lights and frame (Thanx Renazco!)
    Adv. dash (thanx Eggmanj!)
    Front rally fender (Thanx Brands46!)
    And the list goes on from other vendors like DualStar, Pro-Cycle, Keintech, Cogent Dynamics, Aqualine Australia, Steel Pony and Advanced Motorcycle Products (engine guards) This is just the beginning and there will be more to come, so if i forgot somebody, patience Grasshopper, your time will come :D .
    And to all of you fellow inmates who sold me all their shit, you guy's are fucking AWESOME!! I love you all! I have never been ripped off by anyone from ADVrider and in return will never rip off one of my bike-whore brothers. Without you projects like these are next to impossible! Oh, and before i forget, to the few of you who refused to ship anything to Canada (You know who you are :ddog ) i would just like to give you a warm, heart felt :fyyff .There, i feel better now!
    Okay, back to business. My goal here is to match up a KTM640 front end to a DR650 with an Aqualine Safari tank. This will look something like this:
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    Just a rough idea of how it will fit together, really not bad at all. Now, the forks:
    [​IMG][/IMG]Although the 640 forks have a lot more travel, they are only 3/4" longer than the stock, measured from the axel. This is all good news!
    [​IMG][/IMG]
    The triple clamps are actually pretty close also. After pressing out the pind and doing some careful measuring, i discovered that it was possible to machine the larger DR pin down 0.0095" for it to press fit into the bottom clamp. Nice!
    [​IMG][/IMG]
    This was all really good news as it meant that i could use the DR's bearing adjustment system. Now, the top clamp was a different story, with the hole being much larger than on the DR's pin. This only required a bushing which i machined out of aluminum and pressed on, using the hot/cold method.
    [​IMG][/IMG]
    [​IMG][/IMG]
    And there you have it! KTM 640 Adventure triple clamp with the Suzuki pin. The machining took me about 20 minutes in total and was a very simple process. It fits well on the bike but had to be removed so i could finnish my work. First off, i need some steering stops to keep the clamp from hitting the tank. I think just a couple of bolts here will do. Also, after looking at the key on the DR clamp i realised that the keys are placed in more or less the same position. Cool! i managed to drill out the safety pins and use a Torx wrench to remove the key and tried it.
    [​IMG][/IMG]
    The hole pattern is pretty close! all i need to do is oversize the holes about a mm. each and then shave off a few mm. of aluminum from the clamp to make it fit. This is awesome!
    As for the fairing frame, this will require a little bit of welding, not a big deal. I built a bracket from a piece if 1 1/4 square tubing cut to size and re-enforced inside to resist crushing when the bolts are tightened down. This will be welded directly to the steering head. Thanx to Macuser and his thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=432744 for the added inspiration.
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    Okay guy's, thats all for now. I will be returning to the project in the next few weeks and hope to finnish it for early January for a three month trip to Mexico! There will be more to come as i will be documenting the entire build.
    Salud!
    #1
  2. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to Asphalt!

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    Nice!

    Keep it coming!

    :clap
    #2
  3. Mtrain

    Mtrain free range

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    This will be good. Maybe you will start a trend combining two such popular bikes.
    #3
  4. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Awesome Ron, the build is looking great! About time somebody does it, it is such an obviously great combination for an adventure bike. I had the parts and plan to do the same thing for years and never really got to finish it.

    Go Ron! :thumb


    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. mtb_man

    mtb_man Unfettered

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    Nice idea for a project. Can't wait to see how this thread evolves.

    Good to see you bought a yellow DR, they're definitely the fastest (apologies to Lukas and others who have built kick-ass blue DRs).
    #5
  6. Ron Seida

    Ron Seida Adventman

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    I'm soooooo jealous! You appear to have way more room in your house for bike parts than i do in my tiny apartment :D .
    I've read up on your build and would like to thank you for your inspiration, you've been a great help. I look forward to giving something back to ADVrider, it also has been a great help over the years. This build really excites me though as i plan on riding this bike around the world some day.
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    :thumb

    :lurk
    #7
  8. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

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    Wow, I am impressed with your abilities. The work that seems so casual to you is wizardry and voodoo to me.

    I'm a former 1991 GS/PD owner as well. I miss mine frequently. But, loaded for bear, my KLR is the same weight, so I get to relive that experience. :cry

    And to think that I thought I made my KLR an adventure bike with new shock, fork valves and Pelican cases (and stickers!). You will have an amazingly capable and inexpensive replacement.

    :clap
    #8
  9. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Awesome to hear that my thread inspired you! :thumb

    I actually live in an apartment myself, which is not that big really. So - much to the chagrin of any lady friends I bring home - there are parts in pretty much every room. :lol3

    I will be following the thread closely, but let me know if you need help with something in particular. I can already tell you that you will need to cut off a few inches from the side support arms of the front fairing bracket as they interfere with the Safari tank. The 48mm fork tubes will probably not give you enough room to route the arms to the rear (like on the 640-Adv), so I would just brace them diagonally against the front of the steering head as well.
    #9
  10. Ron Seida

    Ron Seida Adventman

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    Tonight i made some head-way and bolted on the front end and front wheel to get a better idea of how things fit together. I must say, i'm quite pleased with myself :D
    [​IMG][/IMG]
    I am a little concerned with the fact that in stock form, the pin comes up a little bit short, only utilizing half of the retaining rings threads. I'm sure it will be fine, but if i was to do this mod again in the future. i would machine the bottom of the lower triple clamp so that the pin can sit a few mm. deeper, resulting in more threads for the retaining ring.
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    As it turns out, the clamp bolts up just fine, as one would expect from working on a stock bike. Very nice :norton
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    And with the new wheel.
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    So far, so good! I removed the top clamp and will try to sneak onto the milling machine tomorrow and get the key fitting in place. Maybe i can utilize the steering lock, that would be a pleasant surprise!
    #10
  11. Ron Seida

    Ron Seida Adventman

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    I want to add that the reason this project is going smoothly is because i chose to use the complete front end from one bike. This is very important! Previously on my Beemer, i had to build my own triple clamp, which was a small disaster and very time consuming. I recall Lucas going through similar problems on his DR conversion, mixing dirt bike and SM parts. If your going to do this modification, get ALL the parts first, preferably from the same model, put them together, then do your measurements and fit it all together. This will save you a lot of grey hairs and scraped knuckles in the end!
    #11
  12. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

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    What are you going to use for a shock to match the nice front end? retro fit a DRZ400 shock?
    #12
  13. Ron Seida

    Ron Seida Adventman

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    My shock is currently at Cogent Dynamics getting a complete re-build. I'm patiently awaiting it's return :evil .
    #13
  14. pugsley

    pugsley Little Man

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    I love your work Ron!
    #14
  15. DRjoe

    DRjoe Long timer

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    Nice work.
    I'm now wishing i had done mine this way instead of making it up as i go along.
    #15
  16. Guy Jinbaiquerre

    Guy Jinbaiquerre Monorail Conductor

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    :lurk
    #16
  17. Desert-Blaster

    Desert-Blaster have sand....will travel

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    Ron

    ....with that great looking build you are putting together
    you're going to make me question keeping
    my 1988 R100GS and selling the DR650 for sure


    Maybe I'd better get that Corbin back from you----ehh???:eek1


    happyriding !!
    :ricky :ricky
    #17
  18. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    Wow amazing job. I'm always pretty impressed what some people can do and make their bikes into. Personally, I'm impressed when I can figure out my own valve adjustments...

    I've followed Lucas's threads too. Both you guys build the DR like it should have come in the first place.
    #18
  19. rockjohn

    rockjohn Been here awhile

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    :lurk
    #19
  20. Gear_Grinder

    Gear_Grinder Life Long Rider

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    +1
    #20