Dakar Hacked

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by stromsurfer, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. stromsurfer

    stromsurfer Stromsurfer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    Maine
    I need a hack. I won't go into or bore you with the whys but bottom line is that it's time to go to three wheels. I checked with a couple guys on here, talked with Claude and Jay during the last year, researched, and read till my eyes were bloodshot anything regarding sidecars. There are some really nice rigs being produced out there. I almost pulled the trigger on a custom BMW by Claude that was up for resale, and I was really close on a 2007 Ural outside of Boston but held off. I would love to own a completed rig by either DMC, CSM or a Ural but in my situation i did not really want to have $7,000 to $10,000 into something i will be lucky to even get to ride down into town never mind a trip on a custom long distance road rig. What it came down to was this......the rig would have to be under $5,000, and would either need to have reverse or it would have to be light enough for me to move around easily...... more on that reasoning will over the course of time reveal itself.:deal

    So, I have decided to hack my 2001 F650GS Dakar. Now I know it's not the best bike to hack and I know I could probably find a completed rig to purchase at about the same cost as what I'll have into the Dakar but.......I really don't care. I own the GS and don't have a lot of money into it so I am going to do it no matter what folks say. So don't go to the trouble of telling me all the reasons not to do it.:eek1

    I have ordered the Enduro model including sub-frame and mounts from Jay at DMC, and expect delivery around the first week in January. I did order the brake set up option for the car as the brakes on the GS are not the best.

    I needed a winter project to occupy myself. Attaching a sidecar to a bike i already own simplified things. Truth be known......I was afraid that during the process of selling and buying, something would happen to me and i would end up with no bike at all. Even if at some point I am unable to ride as my health declines, the thought of not having at least one bike in my ownership is frankly, just too much to bear. :cry

    I have moto buddies and friends in the ADV Community that have offered assistance with the build. I will need all the help i can get not only due to physcial challenges but because I am not exactly the sharpest tool in the box. :lol3

    If anyone is interested I will try and post progress updates but don't expect much. I am kind of lazy with posting stuff, am shallow and self centered, and quite selfish with my time and what I do with it. However, I will try and we will see how it goes.:D

    So here are the first of many questions.....some dumb, some obvious, and some that I am just curious about. Most will be run by Jay at DMC but all opinions are welcome.....except for the ones saying DON'T DO IT!!!:ear

    1) The bike is currently lowered. Three inch links, forks raised in the trees, and a low seat. Should I raise it back to standard height? Will it make any difference? Handling, steering, comfort?
    2)I changed fork oil last Spring. Would heavier fork oil make a difference? Maybe different springs? Can't afford leading links and want to be able to change it back to a solo bike down the road when I am done if no one wants it as a hack.
    3) It's time to change out worn sprockets and chain. Any suggestions on gearing changes? Is the stock chain heavy duty enough? Most of my riding will be secondary roads and gravel so it's not like I'm going across Mongolia.
    4) Just installed new tires this Fall so will probably stick with them. Keep PSI the same?
    5) Anyone else hacked a F650GS? I know Jay has but just wondering if anyone else has one....pictures, advise, thoughts???

    That's it for now. Thanks in advance for the space and your time. I look forward to being part of the sidecar community.

    Enjoy the Holidays

    MC
    The Bike
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    The Sidecar on a Kawa.
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    #1
  2. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,541
    Location:
    Santa Susana, CA
    Welcome to the wacky world of sidecars! I have no idea as to why you need 3 wheels, but what ever the reason, it is a great thing that you will be able to use a sidecar to get out and enjoy the ride.

    If you lowered suspension didn't cause problems for you before, it surely shouldn't with the sidecar attached. As long as Jay knows the ride height of bike the subframe & mounts he makes for you should be able to handle any adjustments.

    Your suspension may be pretty good as is, but I have no idea as to what your existing set up is. Slower dampening with higher viscosity oil may help and it is one thing that you could "play" with.

    With the added weight, a wee bit lowered geared is not a bad thing at all. Sorry I don't know anything about your bike, or what size chain it uses, but a side car will add stress to the drive train, so I would go with the heaviest duty available (that you can fit in your budget).

    Tires on sidecars are always an issue as sidecar rigs simply don't turn like a bike. You will scrub off the center and square off just about any tire you put on it much much faster than you would like. Those of us with big 1200GSA rigs opt for tire car conversions, esp. for the rear. Claude or Jay should be able to point to tire solutions. The PSI should be close to the same if not a bit more.
    #2
  3. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,088
    Location:
    Maryland
    I just put a hack on a DR650. (I'm still sorting it out)

    About gearing. I went down one tooth on my front sprocket a while ago (to help w/ lower speed offroad riding). I'm glad I did it, it works for the hack as well. Front sprockets are fairly cheap, you might want to order a stock size and one tooth smaller. Then you can swap them and see which one you like better. If you aren't going on the highway, probably the one tooth smaller is the way to go.
    #3
  4. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,552
    Location:
    Next to Rio Bravo
    If you do your own assembly, please don't do it in your basement..........:rofl
    #4
  5. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,633
    Location:
    Edwards,Colorado
    Welcome to the three wheeled asylum. I have to tell you that this is one of my all time favorite sidecar rigs. The owners are the lady in the pink hat and her husband. I will have to say that I do question their judgement since they had me and Roger take it out for a test ride.

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    #5
  6. stromsurfer

    stromsurfer Stromsurfer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    Maine
    #6
  7. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,201
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    (1) Keep it lowered. Keeps your center of gravity down for cornering, and makes on/offs and duck walking easier. Since you're not going to be going into the boonies on it, you won't need the added ground clearance.

    (2) I'd leave the springs as is until you find out how the rig handles. Remember that heavier oil makes for slower compression damping, but also slower rebound damping. On a lightweight rig, the Dakar forks are fairly robust (for offroading) so my guess is they'll do just fine for you.

    (3) The 520 chain is fine. You won't break it. On the sprockets, I've never heard a sidecar guy complain after gearing down. I'd probably try a 47/15 combination.

    (4) PSI is all personal preference. Since the outfit does not lean, inflation is not as critical as on a two-wheeler. I personally like to run my front tire a little soft to get better cornering (bigger contact patch) but keep the rear tire hard to protect the rim.

    (5) Found these online--

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    #7
  8. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    One thing I didn't see you mention was the steering. You WILL need a steering modification of some sort. The bars and forks in stock configuration will be a bear to steer. You might want to ask Jay what he recommends.

    You also might try Brock (here) to see if he has an EZ-Steer for the F650.
    #8
  9. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
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    Location:
    Edwards,Colorado
    #9
  10. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,111
    Your sidecar came back from powder coat this morning. We still of course need to assembe it, build a crate and ship it.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    866-638-1793
    #10
  11. stromsurfer

    stromsurfer Stromsurfer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    Maine
    That is Awesome!!! :clap:clap:clap:D
    #11
  12. boxertwin

    boxertwin Long timer

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    Idaho
    #12
  13. O'B

    O'B Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    Passing By The Highway
    Does anybody here know what kind of gas mileage you would get out of one of these F650 rigs. And how do they handle freeway speeds. Thanks
    #13
  14. stromsurfer

    stromsurfer Stromsurfer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    Maine
    Got an Email from DMC today saying my sidecar is now ready to ship. :clap. I had requested it to be expedited due to circumstances..........they are more then 30 days ahead of what they first estimated the ETA. :norton
    Pretty Dam Awesome.

    #14
  15. Poacher Bob

    Poacher Bob Persona non grata

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,570
    Location:
    White Mts. NH
    Thankfully you guys are too far away to test ride mine.:lol3:D:lol3[/QUOTE]

    I'm not..:lol3

    Got my kit last week for the KLR just need some time to get it mounted...:evil
    #15
  16. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,201
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    Fantastic Xmas present! Better alert your moto buddies to re-arrange their January "helper" schedules. :D
    #16
  17. stromsurfer

    stromsurfer Stromsurfer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    Maine
    Ned. Thanks for your PM. Your willingness to reach out is very much appreciated.

    My sidecar was shipped today. Four weeks and four days from placing the order.......DMC under promise over deliver. Just great.:clap


    Thankfully you guys are too far away to test ride mine.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not..

    Got my kit last week for the KLR just need some time to get it mounted...

    poacher bob
    Well no excuse for not meeting up sometime if your that close.:1drink. Look forward to pics of the KLR.

    Happy Holidays Men.
    #17
  18. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,443
    Location:
    Way, Way North GA
    I have a KLR with the Sputnik combination and an 01 Dakar unhacked. I think the Dakar will be a fine bike. As to the steering, it is heavier but not unmanageable. It is a light bike. You could swap to a regular GS front wheel which will steepen the steering angle if you wanted and make it a little easier to steer. In theory it would also handle the side forces better than a 21" wheel.

    But that is all just theory. I just ride the hell out of mine and haven't done much to it. This winter I would love to respring everything so it doesn't wallow, and do the steerite (or similar) conversion.

    Enjoy your rig.
    #18
  19. stromsurfer

    stromsurfer Stromsurfer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    Maine
    Before I get started I will warn you that this thread will be about more than how a hacked my Dakar. It will be a brief story of how I got to this point in my life. It will include a few of the people in my circle of support, and some family members and friends who help make my adventures possible. It's my thread so I guess I can write what I want and at this point, even I am not sure where I am going with this writing. Most likely the majority of it will be boring but read on if you like.......or not.....just look at the pics and you'll get the important stuff.

    I bought the Dakar because I was tired of this happening. (Pics taken on way to Hudson Bay on North Road and on the Taiga Road Northern Quebec).
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    I am hacking the Dakar after similar incidents that resulted in a torn meniscus, broken bones in both feet, and a f&$ked up rotator cuff. I made the decision after picking up the GS all summer, and really the final straw....making a scene in upstate New York that included 13 emergency responders that happened during my last ride of the 2012 season (Puppy Dog Route).:eek1 Truth is I am just not strong enough, and can no longer move my feet quick enough or for that matter, stand on the pegs very long.:cry
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    And so it begins....

    Busy week. Sidecar arrived on the 2nd. I have a community support team that checks in via a web site to see if we(my family) need any assistance with daily tasks.....firewood brought in, trash brought to recycle center, snow shoveling, etc. I listed on the site that i would need unloading the new sidecar, and had four friends show up to help, and two others that were driving by and saw the delivery truck, stop to join in the fun.:freaky
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    I had envisioned just putting the crate in the barn and quietly and with slow pleasurable precision open over a few days, but noooooo. A chorus of where is the screw gun rang out amongst my comrades.:evil
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    Soon it was sitting next to the bike for us all to see and marvel over. Basic but well made with Olins strut, Brembo brakes, and 19 inch spoked wheel with a dual sport Kendra.
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    By the way my shop windows are blacked out so as to keep the local cops from busting my meth lab....just kidding. The PO of my house did it. My lovely wife has been asking me to put in new window sash to which I reply that I'll get right on it. Been saying that for twenty years.:D I guess inkind of like the commando feel to it.
    It was like Christmas for everyone. Guys were ripping into it almost as soon as it was in my shop. Really a happy time with lots of razzing, jokes, and laughter. It helped to soften in to the background the visit I had earlier in the day with my quirky and likable palliative care doctor, at which we futher discussed "exit strategies" (he is a believer in physician assisted suicide and says doctors practically do it now anyway). It also gave me an excuse to set aside other new equipment that I received the day before....a bi-pap breathing apparatus cause the docs say its not a good thing to stop breathing during sleep.......well no shit but who wants to wear a contraption over their face. Certainly doesn't increase my chances of getting a little spontaneous loving from the SO which in my mind is more important then breathing.:wink::D I'm sure you guys agree, right?
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    Anyway, the delivery was a couple hours late arriving so my good surfing friend and obsessed moto buddy the mad doctor says, we should start taking the frame section off the bike that will be replaced with the one from DMC that has the mounts points on it. I kind of like to go slow and methodical when working on the bike. The mad doctor who is an emergency room doctor and is used to a frenetic pace with body parts and blood everywhere, works on bikes the same way.....bike parts strewn about, every tool I own scattered across the floor, oil and grease stained hand prints on every surface. But within twenty minutes, he is standing there smiling with the parts removed.
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    He did in twenty minutes what even in my best health would have taken me a day so, I was quite happy and was able to overlook the chaos in my shop.
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    If the rest of the project goes like today, I could be riding sooner than I thought. This will be a community project. Offers from many in the ADV community, as well as local friends who's goodwill I am privileged to be the recipient of, and are eager to make my wish to ride at least one more season a reality. Its either that, or they are sick sadistic people who are already bored with other New England winter activities, and want to hang out with me to watch the train wreck that usually accompanies anything that I am involved with.
    This week will be installing new chain and sprockets. Think I am going with a one tooth less front sproket on the advise I got here and from Jay at DMC. I also bought a stock front so if I don't like it I"ll change back. Also install the sub frame mounts, install tire on hack, and probably figure out how to change the Jesse rack so as to attach to or around the upper frame mount.
    Have a good week. I know I will.
    #19
  20. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,633
    Location:
    Edwards,Colorado
    Looks like a great start. :lurk
    #20