DR650 - Front End Washing Out

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by acesandeights, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    Basics:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Stock suspension but lowered, 2011 DR650 with stock tires.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I’m having trouble with the front end washing out on low(er) traction surfaces. This has happened on a very tight/twisty section of roadway with sand in the middle of a corner, and several times off road on Forest Service dirt roads. Most of the time, it comes up completely unexpected, but I’ve been able to catch myself before going down (haven’t dropped the bike yet). <o:p></o:p>
    Each time this has happened I’ve ridden back to look at the corner and ride through it a couple times just to see where/what went wrong.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Last weekend I was on a relatively slow corner on a flat dirt road with sand in the middle of the corner and lost the front end but was able to catch it. I wasn’t riding aggressively this time (sort of a change for me). I’m trying to figure out if this is more related to suspension, position, etc. Each time I’ve caught it I took my inner foot off the peg to put my foot out (which I haven’t actually touched my foot to ground). I’m thinking this might help put weight on the outside peg and provide more downward pressure on the front end and possibly stand the bike up; however, my concern is less correcting this mid-turn, but preventing it.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I don’t think this is really a tire issue (stock tires); although certainly they don’t provide the best off road traction.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So, ideas? Think having the bike lowered is having a negative impact on front end pressure on the front tire? Maybe soft suspension front and rear? Maybe I’m just being lazy about body position, not foreseeing the sand in the road? I’m pretty good at understanding technical explanations, more so than ambiguous general statements, so if you know the technical reason(s) and want to give a good specific explanation (of what’s happening and the fix), I think that will help more than being vague. Thanks!!!
    #1
  2. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    too much air pressure in tires
    poor riding technique
    suspension not set up correctly
    non-aggressive tires
    #2
  3. ChromeSux

    ChromeSux Un-plated and Unscrewed

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    Get more aggressive tires (D606 ETC.) and lower the air pressure down to about 15-17lbs and report back to us.:D
    #3
  4. t30

    t30 Dirty Biker

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    Yea! What he said..........but seriously the DR is a heavy bike. Even with D606s aired down, you’re playing with fire on gravel or sand if you try to turn sharp at high speed. The bike wants to go outboard. Not as bad on dirt, but any hard pack with lose stuff over the top is treacherous. I generally haul on gravel or sand in the straights, 45 - 60 depending on where I am. As soon as I approach a 90 degree or tighter corner I slow way down to about 10 - 15.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Kenda 270s are pretty good on the hard pack. I have two sets of wheels. One has the road friendly Shinko 705s. IMHO they are much better than the stock trail wings.<o:p></o:p>
    #4
  5. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Tiger Tamer

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    If its not tire related, then it has to be either the suspension/geometry of the bike, pilot error or both. Did you have the bike professionally lowered or DIY, how much has it been lowered?
    #5
  6. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    start by running the tires 22 & 25 psi per the sticker and see how it feels.
    then go down a few psi.
    #6
  7. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    It was lowered by the dealer, the factory way.
    #7
  8. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Having the same issue on my last 2 bikes, it is probably geometry related. Specifically not enough weight on the front. I solved by jacking up the shock preload in one case and slightly shorter dog bones in the other.
    #8
  9. Crilly

    Crilly Been here awhile

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    Stop over controlling the bike. It only takes a few thousands of handle bar movement to control the bike Just try it.
    #9
  10. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    Are you saying, use the force?
    #10
  11. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    Well, I started the thread because after reading about front end washout on other boards it seemed like most considered it a suspension related issue, but I wanted to get people's take on it that ride a DR. Seems most consider it a tire/tire pressure related issue, which surprises me.
    #11
  12. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto

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    I find it hard to believe that it's a problem with the bike. More likely, it's over steer into the corners. All bikes will lowside in a corner with loose surface if not handled appropriately.

    If the front end is hopping or feels vague in non-aggressive turns on high-traction surface, then I might think the bike's geometry, suspension, or other are to blame...

    I'm no expert and I know nothing about your riding experience.

    Edit: The KLR and DR are infamous for having somewhat spindly forks. You might quickly check that all the triple-tree bolts are tight. A bit of flex up there certainly would contribute to your issue.
    #12
  13. Lunatic

    Lunatic Dan Keyhoety

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    I'd say tire choice and pressure ! But then again I have a RM 250 front end :evil
    #13
  14. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    Thanks all. It probably just is what it is. I'm coming from YZ250 type dirt bikes and Interceptor road bikes, so maybe it's more the nature of the beast than what I expect. I'll drop the PSI a little and see if it makes the difference.
    #14
  15. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    My BRP (Big Red Pig, KLR650) refused to respond to steering inputs on loose surfaces like gravel roads - until I went to D606's and lower pressure. Problem solved, well, mostly, it's still a BRP. :lol3
    #15
  16. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    It could be a combination of factors...tire pressure, tire tread, weight distribution, throttle/brake input, etc. If you're getting your weight as far forward as practical, by sitting way forward and extending your inside leg way forward, you can start experimenting with tire tread and tire pressure.
    #16
  17. kdxkawboy

    kdxkawboy Mr. NVKLRGirl

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    If you have a patch of sand/pine needles/leaves/decomposed granite in the apex of a corner with otherwise great traction, when your front tire hits that patch it is going to want to slide/washout no matter what type of bike you are riding or what tires you have. Depending on many different factors as the front tire rolls off the patch you may be able to collect the bike back up and go on your merry way. Then again you may be beyond the point of no return and you are going to go down.

    The solution is to spot such obstacles well before you reach them and adjust your line to avoid the problem.
    #17
  18. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    So what did the shop actually do? If was only lower the rear by using the alternate set of holes, I understand are on the stock shock, they only did half the job.

    I believe to lower the front requires them to do something with the spacer inside the forks. Not owning one I am not sure how it is done. If they slid the forks up in the triple tees, that will work if it lowers the front similar to the change in the rear.

    If they did nothing to the front, they have changed your rake and trail. In other words, created a geometry problem.

    This is what should have been done from a guy who specializes in Dr's

    Hi You have two positions on your rear shock for the lower mounting bolt to go through just go with the upper one.
    for the front you have a steel spacer just under the fork cap. You must remove it and place it under the damper rod piston. This will require removal and disassembly of the front forks. This also will make your jesse@rvi.net kick stand pretty much unusable but [COLOR=#0000ff !important][COLOR=#0000ff !important]Suzuki[/COLOR][/COLOR] makes the shorter kick stand for the 650 that has this modification I am not sure if it comes with the bike when bought new. Hope this helps feel free to contact me any time.
    #18
  19. oldenuf

    oldenuf Been here awhile

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    You have not mentioned what is hung on the rear. Rack and trunk, and gear weight will affect front wheel traction.

    Art
    #19
  20. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

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    When you lower a bikes rear suspension, you have to lower the front as well. You should be able to loosen the fork clamps and slide the forks up.

    If the forks are low in the clamps (pushed down), the bike tends to handle like a chopper, to high and it feels like your driving a shopping cart.

    daryl
    #20