Factory lowering a DR650

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by boother, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. boother

    boother Been here awhile

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">Has anyone performed the factory lowering themselves. Looking at the service manual, it does not look difficult. There are several special tools listed but the only one I think you would have to have is the "T-handle" to loosen the bolt down in the forks. Can anyone tell me what that tool really is? What is on the end of it? Square drive? Torx? PN 09940-34520. The rest of the "special tools" look like I can find an alternative.</v:shapetype>
    <v:shapetype stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"></v:shapetype>
    <v:shapetype stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">Thanks</v:shapetype>
    #1
  2. Lil' Steve

    Lil' Steve PussyWagon™ Chauffer

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    I did it for my buddy last week and I'll be doing it to my new to me '05 DR650 that I pick up tommorow. :clap

    I have a 1/2" x 1/2" x 20" piece of square steel rod that I tapered on one end and it works great. Sure you could buy the Suzuki special tool but mine works on any damper rod type fork and yours could too.
    I've also made one by grinding down a 1/2" drive impact extension. Just use a damaged or cheapie 1/2" drive impact extension and grind the part that goes into the socket down to a tapered end. I've heard of people using broomsticks but I've never tried it myself. Easy and cheap enough to try if you dont have any other materials available.

    Loosen the top fork cap before you remove it in case you dont have a vise.

    Remove the fork leg from bike, then try to loosen the bolt (8mm allen) on the very bottom of the fork. This bolt holds the damper rod in place. It might come loose with the tension of the fork spring holding the damper rod but dont count on it, there isnt very much tension in these forks.

    If the lower bolt just spins & spins but doesnt start coming out, then remove the upper fork cap, preload spacer, washer, then fork spring. Lay those to the side on a clean surface then dump out the fork oil. Now it's time to stick whatever tool you fabricated down the fork tube into the damper rod and your tool will hold it in place while you remove the 8mm damper rod screw. Pretty easy.

    Now if you're going to lower the front, slide the top out spring off the damper rod. Take the preload spacer you remover earlier from the top and slide it onto the damper rod. Now put the top out spring back onto the damper rod. Insert your fabricated tool into the damper rod and slide it back into the fork. Attach & tighten the damper rod, then fill your forks with fork oil.

    I used ATF and filled it 5 & 1/2" from the top of the tube with the fork fully collasped. This was purely experimental and works great according to my buddy who owns the DR I'm talking about. Use whatever oil you prefer, and what fork oil height suits you.

    Extend the fork, drop the spring in, then the washer & cap it off. Done. Now you get to do it to the other side.

    Note: you can add another preload spacer, or washers for additional preload if you wish. I added 3 flat washers I had laying around. That was maybe a 1/4" of additional preload.

    My buddy says the front feels great, and it made the soft rear that much more noticeable.

    Lowering the rear is easy enough, choose the bottom bolt hole on the lower shock mount. If it's not low enough, remove the shock, remove all the preload from the shock spring, remove the spring, then remove and flip the shock spring seat and this will provide you with the complete Suzuki lowering option.

    Dont forget, you're going to need a shorter kickstand. I cut 2" of it and had it welded back up. Works great.

    HTH
    #2
  3. boother

    boother Been here awhile

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    So it is a square drive tapered down from about a 1/2". Cool! Thanks from the help.
    #3
  4. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    If you have an air impact wrench you can normally spin the bolt out of the bottom of the fork tube without having to use a tool to hold the dampner rod.
    #4
  5. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Just move the fork tubes up about an inch in the triple clamps. Much more easier.
    #5
  6. street rider

    street rider Grow old not up

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    I slid the fork tubes up an inch and 1/4, changed bolt holes on the rear then added Suzukis lowered gel seat. I'm short and it worked great. It was easy too. :clap
    #6
  7. DLdeano

    DLdeano Ridin' all I can

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    Is there any trick to lowering the back?? It looks straight forward, but I do not have a manual as of yet, but want to get the bike lowered by the weekend.

    There is a small metal tab partially covering the second rear shock hole...how do I get it out of the way?? When I ordered the sidestand this morning, the guy at the shop said there were a few other parts with it...so if somebody could briefly outline this process for kme that would be awesome. Thanks.
    #7
  8. Basher

    Basher Been here awhile

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    I picked up an 06 DR650 Friday and with a 27" inseam there was no way I was touching even a toe to the ground. So my buddy and I brought her into the living room and took the bolt out the bottom of the shock. Then we had a hell of a time getting it back in the higher hole(Lower setting) but finally got er back together but still a little on the high side. Loosend all 6 bolts on the fork and lowered the front end a good 1-1/4. Hudge differance I actually felt allot better bout the bike. Like street rider said, it works great and easy. Just ordered the Gell seat and with that I just may be able to put a heel down. I'm currious what he did about his kickstand. VFR870 said cut 2" I'm only cuting 5/8" out and am concered it will be too much. It will stand up right on flat pavement so don't THINK it needs much.
    #8
  9. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Can you bend the kickstand instead? That's what I did when I lowered a different bike for my wife. Would have been smoother to heat it, but I just did it cold. Removed it from the bike, layed it between two somethings, and hit it with a 2-lb. hand sledge. Then later when we sold the bike and it had been returned to stock height, I straightened the kickstand in a similar way.
    #9
  10. drnova

    drnova Been here awhile

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    Has anyone had the front wheel hit the fender on full compression after lowering the front end by sliding the fork tubes up in the clamps? I am curious why the factory recommends removing the pre load spacer and placing it on the top-out spring position if it would be easier to just drop the front on the clamps.
    #10
  11. ram1000

    ram1000 Long timer

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    I ride my wifes DR lowered by sliding the forks up and have not noticed a problem hitting the fender. It really doesn't make sense that it would clear though. You can measure the travel left after lifting the front end off the ground measure from the top of the wheel to the bottom of the fender. If there is 10" or so your ok. I would guess the travel is actuallu a little less than advertised.
    #11
  12. doger300

    doger300 kiwi adventurer

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    I use a 1"x1" wooden stick. Mine is a piece of rough sawn 1" garden stake. Cost - about 50 cents. It will slide comfortably (without a lot of clearance) inside the fork tube. A few taps on the end pushes it into the socket on the top of the damper rod.
    #12
  13. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    I've been reading all this with some interest and wonder if anyone has an exploded view of the damper rod and other components?

    A picture is worth a thousand words ... ect. et. al. :thumb
    #13
  14. GetYourOwn

    GetYourOwn Been here awhile

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    I am looking to take my 06 DR650 back to stock height and before I take my forks apart does anybody know what the size of the spacer is that you remove when lower the forks. I don't think the previous owner included it in the box of parts he gave me.

    On a related note anybody have standard height forks and want to trade for lowered forks.
    #14
  15. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    I have a set of Eibach springs to install when I get around to it, so after a good bit of reading and meditating I think I'm going to just raise my forks 1.25 inches in the triple clamps.

    The spring swap is simple and straight forward, and the stiffer springs will lessen the chance of me bottoming out the front suspension. So I'll be electrical about it and flow in the past of least resistance. :lol3
    #15
  16. GetYourOwn

    GetYourOwn Been here awhile

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    Just read some other threads it looks like I just switch the spacer from the dampening rod back to the top of the forks.
    #16
  17. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    As I understand it that is the basic chore. It's just a very involved switch due to the need to disassemble the front end and remove the forks.

    Buried someplace in a thread entitled "Distechs DR650 Rebuild" or something like that there is a description of what bolts to buy to fabricate one's own special tool for about $5 that will handle the dampener.

    At the moment time is pressing me so I'll go the quick route now and do the factory routine over the winter.
    #17
  18. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    I lowered my DR650 a few months ago. I used the factory method. I used a tapered broomstick to hold the damper rod from spinning, and an electric impact wrench to spin the bolt out. Easy! You just remove the thick steel spacer from the top of the spring, and move it to the top of the top-out spring as mentioned.
    In the rear, I would not recommend simply using the upper clevis mounting hole without flipping the lower spring collar over as well. Flipping the lower spring collar over raises the bottom out bumper (the bumper will sit on top of the collar, rather than down in it). If you do no perform this step, you risk having the suspension compress "too far", possibly allowing the tire to contact hard parts under the fender, and also possibly causing much grief with your upper chain roller. The entire "rear" mod can be done with the bike on a stand, and with the shock left in the bike. Simply back the spring preload collars all the way off, lift the spring up, pry the bottom out bumper up a bit, remove the lower spring collar (it is split to allow removal), remove the infamous steel tab that covers the upper mounting hole, flip the collar over, and reinstall everything. The whole process takes maybe 10 minutes.
    The fornt end may take up to one hour.
    Hint: loosen the upper triple clamp bolts, then loosen the fork caps, before removing the forks from the bike.
    Complete fork parts break down can be found at bikebandit.com
    #18
  19. Ivyleague

    Ivyleague Been here awhile

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    This hurts a lot more than having to stop and ask directions at a Quickstop or 7-11 (odds of getting correct answer = slightly lower than winning the Lottery). I have read this thread and every other one I can find because I need to lower my bike, but I really am a mechanical retard. So, with humble apology, I ask the following stupid questions:

    1) If the bottom 8mm bolt holding the damper rod does, by chance, come out, will the oil in the fork follow? How much oil is in the fork and is it 15 wt?
    2) To work on the front, either sliding forks up or disassembling fork tubes, I assume the bike needs to be jacked up with weight on rear wheel and off the front? Usually the bike comes up the other way???
    3) how long does the tapered broomstick tool" need to be?
    4) Is there a patron Saint for motorcycle maintenance?
    :stupid
    #19
  20. Woody469

    Woody469 Been here awhile

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    How high is your wife's seat height and how tall etc for her? My wife is looking to get a DR and she is 5'7" and we need to be sure it is not too much bike for her! She rides a Honda 599 on the street but a 250 dual sport is just too damn small in my opinion for her! I think the 599 has a 32" seat but it is pretty high for her, she has to tiptoe it and this would be worse on the dirt!
    #20