DL650/1000 off road mods.

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Jud, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Jud

    Jud Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,341
    Location:
    N.E. Ga. USA
    First off,, I'm not trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. In other words, I'm not trying to mod the DL into a KTM. What I am trying to investigate is what mods would really help either of these dikes get along better in the rough stuff. Specifically looking at shock and fork internals upgrades. Maybe a quitesh pipe if it really lowers weight enough to notice.

    I have a DL650 right now and I'm waffling on keeping it or trading it off for another Adventure Touring bike. I really like the power of the DL1000 and honestly I really like the KTM 950-990s. If I can mod either of the DLs into better off road mounts {no, not the equal to the KTM} I might consider keeping the DL650 or saving some money and getting a DL1000 over the KTM. Anyone have opinions and experience with modding the DLs for off road. Rough prices for mods and specific brand names appreciated.

    I know for a fact the DL650 doesn't have enough ground clearance {been stuck/high sided on the engine guard a couple times already} and I have an extra set of DR650 forks I'm been thinking about swapping the fork tubes into the DL650's forks to gain a couple inches of height. If anyone has done that, please chime in with what rate springs you ended up with and if you liked it. If I jack up the front, I will need to jack up the rear,, what shock company will allow me to option a longer shock?
    #1
  2. spokes81

    spokes81 enjoy your spagehtti

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    169
    Location:
    Medicine Hat, AB
    Moto-Tech skidplate - $230.00
    Suzuki Crashgaurds - $180.00
    14 tooth front sprocket - $18.00
    Renthal High ATV Bars - $120.00
    Moose Racing Lever Gaurds - $80.00
    Contenental TKC80's - $330.00

    Some of these prices are as old as 8 months so they may not be current (also they are Canadian). I've taken my wee places wee's have no business going and have had great luck with the stock suspension so far. 13'000 KM'S so far and I wouldn't trade it for any other bike in it's class.......well, maybe we'll have to see about the new 2010 Super Tenere !
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    21,843
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    keep the wee as is and invest the $ in a used thumper DS if you want to ride the rough stuff.
    even big ktm adv are harder to ride in the stuff meant for lighter bikes. no one bike can do it all period.
    #3
  4. ddlewis

    ddlewis Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,975
    Location:
    South/central Va
    You could swap out your linkage dogbones for shorter ones to raise the rear. I have a set, it gave me an extra inch+ under the motor.. beware the aluminum ones, I have heard/seen bad things.

    of course if money for the shock is no problem.. that's the way to go.

    In front my forks caps are down flush with top of the trimple clamp yokes which maxes front height but not as much as the rear with shorter links. resulted in quicker steering but still stable on the highway. I like it.
    #4
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    21,843
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    you're still dumping $ into the wrong bike for the job.
    #5
  6. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,349
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    why is it the wrong type of bike since he likes it so much?
    He has a dream, a wee strom with 20cm of suspension travel.
    Why is the GS boxer line so much better?
    #6
  7. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    15,254
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    I don't think the shorter dog bones are money wasted, whether you're going off road or not. I rarely ride much beyond gravel/graded dirt, but I like what the dog bones have done to my street handling.
    #7
  8. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    21,843
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    ???

    -i said to keep the wee.
    -he said he wants to get in the rough stuff. with protection wee is fine for smoother dirt roads. i'm not arguing against that.
    -going to the point of buying custom raised shocks, etc$ for a bike not designed for the rough stuff is like a dog chasing it's tail
    -i never mentioned the gs at all dude??? i mention the ktm as it has the most most adavanced suspension in a beast. it still is too much bike for thumper terrain.
    -i said to buy a DS thumper as it's the correct bike for the rough stuff, period!
    #8
  9. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    21,843
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    i way cool to that if it's needed. i spend mod $ on my wee.
    i just wonder why some strom owners don't see the bike for what it is, a light dirt street bike. it's not a dirtbike and never will be no matter how much you spend $ on it. i say the same thing for a gs or any other beast, even the 800gs.

    like i said there is NO 1 bike that can do it all. never has been, never will be.
    don't be a dumbass and try to make it. buy another bike for the job!
    #9
  10. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,349
    Location:
    Athens, Greece

    Where did i say that you did say about the GS? It was brought in the conversation as example of a lardy beast which does surprisingly well in places its shape and size wouldnt suggest.
    The wee is lighter and in my opinion if fitted with good quality longer travel suspension it could kick butt as a large adventure bike.
    People with skilfull hands can do these mods quie cheaply. The reason it is not sold that way is because fewer people would buy it, but if you have it and want to augment it in an area or another, there is nothing wrong, if done within reason.

    Also, the dual bike argument, does not always apply since some enjoy a do-it-all (within personal envelop) bike.
    #10
  11. Jud

    Jud Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,341
    Location:
    N.E. Ga. USA
    I currently have a DR650 that I play in the really rough stuff. I want a bike I can ride up to Alaska or down to Baja comfortably and expediently {one reason I sorta want a DL1K or a KTM Adv.} then be able to run crappy dirt roads or peel off through the desert a ways to camp. No single track, no MotoX tracks,,, just not perfectly groomed dirt roads.
    #11
  12. Jud

    Jud Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,341
    Location:
    N.E. Ga. USA
    I know,,, that's why I have something like 8 bikes right now. My FJR is great for 90% of a trip to Alaska or Baja but that remaining 10% sucks bad {I know,,, I've done it}. My DR650 is great for that remaining 10% but running for hours down that 90% of good roads sucks. I know,,, I've done it. I can't exactly turn the FJR into the DR650 at a drop of the hat and I'm not going to drive a truck up to Alaska or down to Baja just so I can pull out my DR650 once I get there.

    Once again,,,, I'm not trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, I am not trying to tun the DL into a KTM Adventure. Just trying to see if I can substantially help out the DL650 or 1K's dirt capabilities. Surely to god there might be an area somewhere in between the capabilities of the KTM and the DL that can be helped with some judicious use of the aftermarket.

    I mean,,, is a person a dumbass for buying and mounting panniers, top box, better seat or different windshield to a DL650 so it will tour better and more comfortably? I mean,,, it didn't come with that stuff and it would take an idiot to think they could ever mod a DL650 enough to compete with a Goldwing right? Right,,, so they shouldn't be a dumbass and try it right. Just leave it bone stock,,,, that's the ticket. If you want to ride for hours comfortably, by a Wing dammit. If you want to run rough dirt roads buy a DR650 at a minimum. Nothing in the middle,,, nothing that could ride comfortably for day just to get to those rough dirt roads and then peel off down em and spend day there.

    Just make sure your touring involves no rough dirt roads and make sure your rough dirt roads require no touring to get to em right?
    #12
  13. ddlewis

    ddlewis Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,975
    Location:
    South/central Va
    They were pretty cheap so not exactly "dumping money" but I know what you mean and agree.. it's not a great offroad bike, it's not going to be a great off road bike and anybody who thinks otherwise doesn't know what riding a real dual sport is like.

    I bought the links for sport touring ground clearance anyway..

    shorter dogbones .. $30.
    going around curves fast without dragging stuff.. priceless

    :D
    #13
  14. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,089
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    My hats off to you guys for even thinking about taking a strom off road.
    I have one here and would not even dream of taking it where I would easily face with my big KT.

    Gravel, packed dirt, freeway, 2 lane, no problem plus great load carrying capicity.

    The KTM has the edge off road but, looses it on the long haul freeway riding.
    #14
  15. Tony T

    Tony T Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,536
    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. spokes81

    spokes81 enjoy your spagehtti

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    169
    Location:
    Medicine Hat, AB
    who's bike is this? It's like the poster child for the "V-Strom's kick serious ass!" movement. :bow

    I love it, it inspires me to do great things...

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,089
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    [​IMG]

    Don't know if you guys are trying to turn this into dick swinging contest but if youre looking for more photos like this, I have plenty.
    #17
  18. Jud

    Jud Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,341
    Location:
    N.E. Ga. USA
    :lol3 :rofl :rofl :rofl

    I do too-
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. Jud

    Jud Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,341
    Location:
    N.E. Ga. USA
    Have you jacked that bike up? It looks like it has more ground clearence than mine? Maybe it's just the taller profile knobbies but for some reason it do look taller.

    Maybe it's your skidplate tucking up closer than my skidplate???
    #19
  20. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,538
    Location:
    Denver, more or less.
    Link(s)? I've seen one report of failed aluminium dogbones, but there seemed to be extenuating circumstances. Aside from that, I've never heard of a failure, but if they're not up to task, I'd like to read about it.

    I'm running 1/2" raising links. I think I'd like to get 1". The extra ground clearance was noticeable.

    To the OP, it's my opinion that aside from rider skill, tires make the biggest difference.

    Jamie
    #20