Suzuki DR650 Build - Transformation to an Adventure Bike

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by motodavid2000, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    JagLite -

    Thanks again for the concern ! Believe me, I am trying my very best to continue to win new work and to get more people on our payroll. It has been 7 days per week for awhile, so that is good. Demand levels, overall economic uncertainty and outright fear continue to be the great challenges. :(:

    Safe riding !

    Take care - Dave
  2. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    I have been test riding the bike, making some adjustments and also making the final preparations for a slightly longer trip to attend the HUBB Travelers' Meeting in Robbinsville, North Carolina on the 7th of September. I gave a short talk to the group in 2009 regarding my trip to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska on my BMW GS/Adventure.

    Several speakers will be there to discuss their ride / trips to & through South America to the southern tip of the South American continent, so I want to attend and listen to their presentations and garner some knowledge on this planned trip. I operated an enduro-style offroad tour company in Costa Rica, Central America and Peru, South America for several years. However, there is much to learn from experienced travelers and I have never ridden in, nor have any experience in Columbia, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina or Brazil.

    I am planning on taking backroads most of the way to North Carolina, and that will be an estimated 14 hours of ride-time one way. I plan to ride the Tail of the Dragon again and also to ride some of the many gravel roads in the area.

    One of the mods that I had contemplated was a center stand by SW Motech. I was not enthusiastic with the added weight and moving the footpegs slightly further outboard. After everything was considered and the ease of chain maintenance and tire & tube removal / repair / replacement; I decided to install the centerstand vs. some other arrangement. I put the DR650 "piglet" up on my Harbor Freight moto lift and started the installation.........

    [​IMG]

    Note that I safety-wired the springs to the center-stand. Offroad riding can hook something into the spring and pull it off the perch & then it is lost on the trail - never to be seen again. For those contemplating installation, the dual spring is most easily installed using an inexpensive brake spring tool for automobile drum brake return springs. About $7.00 at your local auto parts store - shown in the photo above.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to install additional rear lighting for safety reasons. I added an LED light bar with six LEDs contained in a weathertight assembly that I found at my local ACE Hardware store. It was wired so that the top box can be removed by pulling apart a simple wiring connector plug under the box.

    I also added a set of Hyper-Lites with an array of sixteen LEDs on each side. These are very bright LEDs that flash when braking; and I mounted those underneath the top box but above the tail light. I have a set of these on my BMW GS/Adventure and really like their reliability and visibility to the car & truck drivers behind me.

    Lastly I added a 3 liter fuel cannister to the left pannier for some additional on-board fuel capacity. Note that it is mounted on the left pannier away from the exhaust outlet.

    [​IMG]

    This is a better shot of the cockpit area - with the Scott's rotary damper, volt meter, Garmin 550 GPS and the Vapor speedo / tach combo.

    [​IMG]

    I am packing the bike today to assess how much room my tools, clothes, wet weather gear, etc. will take up. I am taking one replacement tube for the rear tire; and a complete tube repair kit and tire irons. I have installed an Alaska Leather sheepskin buttpad specifically made for dual-sport motos. I used an Alaska Leather buttpad during my trip to / from Alaska in 2009 and really liked it.

    My old, and rapidly-aging ass is telling me that even with the Sargent seat on the DR650, I need to use some supplemental padding. I am also using bicycle padded underwear - helps my arthritic hips survive a day in the saddle.

    High-Speed Weave Solved

    I changed the pre-load on my steering head bearings (less pre-load), and also lessened the attack-angle on my windscreen using the Madstad bracket adjustment. Those changes seem to have eliminated my high-speed weave problem on the highway. I did not change the fork pre-load or the fork position in the triple clamps.

    Going to take the bike for yet another test ride(s) today after it is fully packed and loaded with my gear.
  3. thumpididump

    thumpididump MacGyver

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    What exactly do you mean by " I changed the pre-load on my steering head bearings (less pre-load), " ?
  4. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Can we see a better shot of the pivot points?

    And, what keeps the stand from pivoting too far forward?

    I ask about seeing the pivot points because I'm thinking that the foot peg lowering plates could also incorporate a pivot point for a center stand (that is not permanently attached to the bike - in other words, the center stand is carried, knocked down, until needed).
  5. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=811587
  6. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Thanks, I read thru that thread (and re-reading it gives me additional ideas).

    But, I wanted to see the SW Motech pivot points and the method that SW Motech uses to keep the stand in the locked/"raised" position.
  7. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Dave, when you do gusseting like this, do you cut a slot into the tube, so the gusset slides in or is the gusset just butt welded to the tube?

    From an engineering perspective, is there anything to be gained from cutting a slot into the tube so the gusset is actually inside the frame?
  8. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    I just returned today from an approximately 1,500 mile trip to North Carolina at Robbinsville; and attended the Horizons Unlimited travellers meeting there. I also spent some time riding Rt. 129 (Dragon) and Route 28. Lots of backroads going south in Ohio and then took highways the rest of the way south and then back north.

    To prepare for this "maiden voyage" of my DR650, I needed to solve my highway speed weave issue. I am using KTM upper and lower triple clamps, a custom machined steering stem and stock Suzuki steering head bearings with a Scotts rotary damper. On the upper triple, loosen the pinch bolt, and back off the main stem nut - I did only 1/4 turn at a time. To add pre-load, tighten the nut. This stem nut pushes the bearings further into the races when tightened, or takes the some of the pressure off of them if you back it off.

    My hypothesis is that I had too much pre-load (stem nut too tight), thereby creating some unwanted friction in the steering stem bearings and that made for a "sticky" steering head, not smooth enough through the entire arc of travel. Noticeable at highway speeds, when any direction change at the bars did not translate into instant direction change at the forks / front wheel, then add more input and you get a "weave". I have also changed my Scotts damper settings and they do not affect the steering / stability as much as reducing the pre-load on the bearings. Less steering head bearing pre-load is my theory anyway, and I did not have any issues with the weave during my entire trip.

    With the flat-slide TM40, I got a low of 41 mpg at 75+ mph (up to 82 mph according to my GPS) and a high of 52 mpg at lower cruising speeds. I was carrying maybe 65 pounds of gear, tools, clothes, plus a spare tube, plus my fat ass of ~215 pounds. In my opinion, the bike did very well on the trip and, within the limits of the Trailwing dual sport tires, did great on the Dragon as well.

    There were only TWO Suzi DR650s represented at the 2012 USA East HUBB meeting. We were in a sea of BMW R1200s and a few KLRs, Ducati MultiStrada's plus a few new Yamaha Tenere's. Where was everyone on a DR who likes long distance travel -- re: South America, Central America and Africa?

    Anyway, hope that answered your question and provided my theory on why the change resolved the problem.

    Dave
  9. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    Bronco -

    I am going to change the crankcase oil this week or weekend, and I will try to take a few shots of the centerstand "stops" that prevent the stand from swinging forward when deployed; and will post them for you. The MoTech piece is high quality IMHO.

    Dave
  10. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    Bronco -

    In my opinion, cutting a slot in the frame tube for a gusset plate unnecessarily degrades the tubing's structural integrity; while the butt / fillet weld we used is more than adequate for the purpose we intended -- to reduce the likelihood of tearing, seperating and bending.

    - Dave
  11. tattoogunman

    tattoogunman Been here awhile

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    Wait, wait, wait - you've got a Lamborghini and a Dodge Viper in your garage and you got a DR650 to trick out? Shouldn't you be on a BMW at the minimum? :evil
  12. Chill

    Chill Been here awhile

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    Awesome built! Your garage is a glimpse of what my life would be like if I won the lottery. Could you please tell me which header and mid pipe you used?
  13. Burra Boy

    Burra Boy Adventurer

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    There were only TWO Suzi DR650s represented at the 2012 USA East HUBB meeting. We were in a sea of BMW R1200s and a few KLRs, Ducati MultiStrada's plus a few new Yamaha Tenere's. Where was everyone on a DR who likes long distance travel -- re: South America, Central America and Africa?

    Dave[/QUOTE]

    We were out riding instead of talking about it :lol3
  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    probably in those places instead.
  15. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    We were out riding instead of talking about it :lol3[/QUOTE]

    How many miles did you do between last Thursday and Monday?
  16. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Thanks for the replies Dave. I'll keep my eyes peeled for those pivot images.
  17. peter13

    peter13 FJ cruiser

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    Your GS is the best setup one Ive ever seen..
  18. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    Chill -

    If memory serves me, it is an FMF complete system; that was later modified to use an HMF exhaust can with the the FMF header and mid-pipe. You might try ProCycle (US) and I believe that is where I sourced the exhaust hardware. They have always been very good people to do business with.

    Let me know if you need any other information & I will try to help.

    - Dave
  19. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    Bronco -

    Here are three photos that I hope are helpful to you with an explanation with each.

    Viewed from the top, looking down onto top of footpeg brackets - left side of bike / shifter side. The centerstand in this photo is in the "up" or "travel" position. Note the tab on the centerstand leg that rests on the center [middle] polished cap screw of the footpeg bracket. This is the "stop" for the centerstand in the travel ["up"] position & is held in place due to spring force.

    [​IMG]

    Here [photo below] is the centerstand in the deployed or "down" position. Note the tab at the top of the centerstand leg; that when in the travel position rests against the middle cap screw as the "stop" for the centerstand. You can see some slight "scuffing" of the tab where it rests against the stop / cap screw.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the last photo from underneath the bike showing the orange / red arrow pointing to the centerstand leg on the shifter side of the bike. Also note - in an arc to the upper right - where the centerstand leg apparently impacts the frame tube slightly. Note the two round-ish points where the two hit or rub a little.

    [​IMG]

    Hope that helps. If you need some other photos from different angles, let me know and I will try to get you what you need.

    Dave
  20. motodavid2000

    motodavid2000 MotoDavid

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    Peter -

    Thanks for looking at the thread. Are you referring to my BMW R1200GS / Adventure that I rode to the Arctic Ocean or my Suzuki DR650 that is the subject of this thread for South America ?

    My BMW GS/A worked very well for me traveling to the Yukon Territory, Alaska, Prudhoe Bay and back. However, I want something simpler and lighter for the trip south.

    regards - Dave