The 650 Dakar Thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by underwaterguru, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. tomatoe333

    tomatoe333 Long timer

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    Only change I'd make with the airbox is fitting a non-paper filter. Either a K&N or Uni. Simply because if you do suck some water in the intake, the paper filter is toast.

    Airbox and snorkel on my Dakar are stock, and I've forded a body of water that came up to the bottom of the headlight, without sucking any water into the airbox. I stopped and opened the drain just to make sure, but the bike ran fine the whole way and nothing came out.
  2. TobyG

    TobyG be happy :)

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    With the stock manifold and the stock airbox, it's simply not possible to gain a noticeable change in HP.


    Changing the stock exhaust to a good sport exhaust will maybe get you 1, if you are lucky 2 HP.
    But that's pretty much it without changing a lot of other factors such as fabbing a custom airbox with a higher volume and more/bigger intakes and, of course also a bigger air filter, which would require moving the battery behind the engine or putting a small ballistic one under the seat and fabbing up a new oil tank to be put behind the engine. On the other end of it, you'd need to add a manifold with a bigger diameter (~50 millimeters is a good start) along with an pretty much straight through exhaust and refined camshafts and a different engine mapping to allow it to breathe freely.

    You could theoretically get up to 60 HP this way, but it's not like that's too easy to do. It wouldn't be cheap either.

    Plus you should have in mind that the bike will be very loud, then. We are talking about over 90 db. Believe me, that is freaking loud, on the plus side it's a pretty nice hair dryer.





    Yeah, I got a bit carried away here.

    In case you didn't bother reading it : Without major changes on several parts (only changing one part on a fuel injected motor won't help much), you are not going to get too much power. The Rotax 650 is tuned for reliability anyways, so unless you are going racing, keep it as is.


    Example of such modifications (this is one of the 5 bikes TT sent to Dakar in '02):
    [​IMG]
  3. Gravel Seeker

    Gravel Seeker Thomas

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    Acc to the dyno mine got a bit more HK, but more noticable gain in torque, when I installes K&N filter and Staintune exhaust. Actually got better results with foam block in K&N filter and restrictor in exhaust, but better sound with everything out :deal Think it says 93,5db on the tye approval for NSW, Oz
    It's still not possible to power wheelie without going insane sprockets (13/49 works)

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/K-OQxEa2FvU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Enw43fMrcdg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  4. Gravel Seeker

    Gravel Seeker Thomas

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    Figure out when the world cup race in Lillehammer is yet ? 'd be fun to meet in person
  5. Don Coyote

    Don Coyote Long timer

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    I'm not familliar with the auto decompressor, but it was the same clanking it was making right before i shut it off so i'm assuming it was something that was depleted of oil and it took a little more time on start up to get oil there again.

    The leak is something that occurs only below freezing, and then at times and temperatures that i have yet to spot a pattern of. It seems to me there must be some part that either has a channel partially freezing shut, or a mechanism controlling flow freezing in some way so that it only partially functions. Different humidity levels and temperature drops could explain why this doesn't occur at any given absolute temp. If there is some sort of blockage from ice forming and if it is beyond the pump there would be extra pressure between the two which would exacerbate leaking from the pressure sensor or wherever.

    I'm just trying to put all the symptoms together into a theory that assumes there is only one problem causing this. A faulty pressure sensor doesn't seem to explain it. An o-ring or something else shrinking in the cold could lead to a leak at that spot, but it wouldn't explain variable temperatures or the complete loss of pressure. If there are compound problems, i doubt i'll figure it out without having a shop do alot of work on it...
  6. mattomoto

    mattomoto 2 wheels rule

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    Oh ya! Sept 14-15 is the race weekend in Hafjell. Will be there the Wed prior most likely. Come on over. Would be good to meet you too :freaky You can meet this one too :evil

    [​IMG]

    Yep, she rides dirtbikes too :D This thread needed some photos anyway. Too much oil, clutch etc. talk! ha ha
  7. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    Hi Folks - apologies if this has been discussed in here, over 650 pages now, it's probably buried in there somewhere.

    Anyone have experience with both the 650 Dakar and the KLR? I know enough about the Dakar to think it would have much more power and perhaps be better on the road because of that. The KLR is a real pig off road, especially in sand or loose gravel. I'm wondering if the Dakar is better off road or not.

    I'm asking because they seem to keep popping up on the local Craigslist and I'm interested each time I look at one for sale, and think, maybe I should grab that and put it in the garage. :nod
  8. Notnewchevy

    Notnewchevy Adventurer

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    Thanks for the replies. It is helpful to know that cutting the air box is not going to make enough of a difference to do it. I do have the K/N air filter with the foam block in. I am looking forward to having the much better exhaust tone but did not want more intake noise. I am glad I was able to gain some more knowledge on the air box situation.
  9. GSBS

    GSBS FunHog

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    I've owned both. Bought a new 07 KLR in late 2006, but only got to put around 7K miles on if before it was lost when my house burned. I bought my 2003 Dakar in early 2007 and have put about 80K miles on it. Here's my take:

    Both bikes are better on the road than off-road, but that said both can do a lot off-road if the rider is able and willing to wrestle a 400-pound pig thru the woods.

    My Dakar has been a great bike economically. It gets 60-70 mpg depending on where and how I'm riding it (my KLR averaged about 45-50 mpg). The fasteners and trim on the Dakar are better quality and overall the bike has a more solid feel, to me anyway.

    On the road the Dakar is definitely more comfortable and less buzzy, especially considering it's a thumper.

    On the downside, oil changes are much more of a hassle on the BMW than the KLR. Even after six years it takes me an hour to change the oil and filter on my Dakar. The same job on the Kawasaki would be easy to do in 30 minutes or less. This is because you have to remove a lot of trim, drain the oil tank, engine case and deal with a difficult to access oil filter that requires disconnecting and moving the shock oil reservoir out of the way. But the bike has been very trouble free. I did the water pump seals for the first time at 77K miles last year and other than oil changes at 5K intervals and a spark plug every 10K that's all I've ever done to the motor. The valves have never even been out of spec and it's never used a drop of oil. I've only had to buy one battery for this bike in nearly 80K miles.

    I also have a couple of other complaints about the Dakar in stock form however. First, the ABS system on these bikes is a piece of shit IMO. Difficult to bleed the brakes and you have to turn it off whenever you go on gravel or anything but pavement. Not doing so could easily hurt you. But that means stopping where the pavement ends for several seconds to turn it off while your buddies buzz past and generate clouds of dust for you to ride thru. I ended up removing the ABS and would recommend if you get a Dakar try to find one without the ABS, although most after 2001 or 2002 seem to have have it.

    The other big issue with the Dakar is the front forks, especially on the 2001-2003 models. The casting on the lower fork leg is known to break off at the axle. The 2004 and later models have a beefed-up casting but have been known to fail as well. When I crashed in 2010 the right fork leg broke at the axle. What I and many others have done is to retrofit better forks to the Dakar. Mine are off a 2002 YZ250F and the upgrade transformed the bike's handling, especially on the road. It's better off pavement as well, particularly on gravel roads, but it's still a pig in the woods. Used parts for my fork conversion, including the Yamaha wheel, brake disc and caliper, cost me $300, plus another $100 or so for new brake lines, etc. since I simultaneously removed the ABS stuff. There are a few fitment mods I had to do to the bike, like filing down the faring support, moving the horn, making an adapter for the ignition, but overall it was an easy conversion and well worth the effort. Now the bike has over 11 inches of fork travel compared to the 8 or so it had stock. There's a long thread here about this conversion if you want to look into it.

    Bottom line for me is that with the mods I've done to my Dakar I much prefer it to the KLR as a true dual sport bike.

    However, were I looking today I'd give a hard look at the new Husky 650 Terra which has mostly the same Rotax motor as the Beemer. The engine has a different cam and other mods and they claim 58 HP vs. the 50 for the Dakar stock. For the money - MSRP $7K - I don't think you can beat it. But it's still almost as heavy as the KLR or Dakar.

    You can click on the link in my sig line below to see a photo of my bike from last year made just after the fork conversion and other mods I did to get it back on the road after my accident.

    Good Luck!
  10. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer

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    One more advantage, the air cleaner stays way cleaner on dusty roads on the Dakar because it is mounted behind the headlight as opposed to just in front of the rear wheel. I usually ride "sweep" with my KLR riding buddy, I go 3 times as long in the same conditions before cleaning (I have a K& N filter). Having said that the KLR riding position and between the leg width make it more single track friendly than the Dakar. The Dakar is a really wide bike when you need to be up on the pegs for technical riding.

    Another point for the Dak is a more robust charging system if you want to run heated clothing or running lights.

    Don't forget to look at the DR650. It is has better suspension, is lighter, and is stone axe simpler than the KLR or Dakar. If I were to go back I would more seriously consider the DR, and it would be a pretty difficult choice for me.
  11. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    Wow, thanks for the detailed writeup GSBS! :thumb The damn KLR is as set up as it can get, all the good aftermarket stuff - and now I'm thinking about a different bike? I've gotta problem...

    (p.s. I want your dakar, that's really nice.... :lol2 )
  12. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer

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    With the F650gs the biggest advantage of an after-market exhaust is a substantial weight savings in a decidedly "uncentralized" location on the bike.
  13. mattomoto

    mattomoto 2 wheels rule

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    My $0.02. My regular riding buddy is on a KLR and of course my sturdy stead Dakar. Both bikes do pretty much the same thing- good off road in the right hands with mods (suspension, tires, skills) but I think the Dakar is way better on road than the KLR. More HP/speed and faster- has no problem cruising 80mph on the motorway even geared 15/47. Sips gas- 60-65 hwy is no issue at all with also pretty much no buzz in the bars or pegs. Super comfy with the right seat (Renzaco for me) I did upgrade many many years ago to the Yammie forks- mine was one of the first converted here in the forums and have never looked back. Wilbers shock out back.
    We all spend a bit of dough on our mods to make them as we want. Don't think there is a bike out there that is perfect out of the box, but a little work and she's yours. I absolutely love mine for what I do with her- she likes to be dirty most of the time which is to I rider her hard but do maintain her. In 60k+ miles, no real issues that I did not cause :lol3 Super reliable and just a blast to ride weather on the road or dirt.
    I do love riding with my buddy on his KLR as his gas tank is huge so if I ever needed fuel, he would have it. Been close a few times- wish the tank was more like 5 gallons, but only an issue in remote areas and off road. I just strap on a few MSR bottles.
    Good luck with your decision. Mines an 01 I bought in 06- been a peach. Got out on her today before the snow flew again. Perfect dirt even if it was 35 degrees out. Heated vest and grips, no problem :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  14. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    mottomoto, your bike always looks great!
  15. mattomoto

    mattomoto 2 wheels rule

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    Thank Kubiak. I like yours too. Have you changed anything on it lately?
  16. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    im not sure when the last time you saw it, last month i did a new paintjob,oversize front rotor,lowering link and wr muffler.im waiting for a yz muffler so i can have a quiet one and a hotrod muffler.
  17. mattomoto

    mattomoto 2 wheels rule

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    Shoot, missed that, but just looked at your thread. I like the new color scheme. White looks good. Your bike always looks nice. Good work!
  18. Gravel Seeker

    Gravel Seeker Thomas

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    My first thought is that metal contracts when cold and thus you get a leak because there si no longer sufficient pressure on the seal.

    If you look at the exhaust cam there's a little hinged piece of metal on the right hand side of the engine (opposite of the cam chain). That's the auto decompressor.
    It's driven by centrifugal force when the cam turns. It's starts off by hanging straight down forcing the exhaust valves slightly open to reduce compression when starting. After a few turns of the cam it's flung out to the side by the centrifugal force and the exhausts valve opens and closes solely based on the shims you are running.
    You may have seen dirtbikes like KTM have a little extra lever on the left side of the handlebar - it's the same thing, only theirs is manual.

    #13 - it's called a balance weight on the diagram
    [​IMG]
  19. Gravel Seeker

    Gravel Seeker Thomas

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    I bet she's just as excited :lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3

    Crap, right at the tail end of the riding season.... might be anything from 15-20C or down towards freezing and snow... specially in Hafjell (the mountains). Will be there though :freaky:freaky:freaky calendar marked :thumb
  20. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    You survived our high temperatures Gravel Seeker, surely a little chill wont be too hard on you :D:D