The DR650 Highway Touring Thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by planemanx15, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. planemanx15

    planemanx15 Long timer

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    ^^ Completely agreed...

    Rode the other day with the girl for the first time for a greater distance (she's been a bit reluctant to get on), and realized that 1) the suspension is way too soft stock, 2) a little more "get-up-and-go" would be nice on the highway when having to pass someone 3)16-46 gearing might be too high with 2 aboard, seems like i had to rev it a lot more to get the heavier load to move.
    #21
  2. GipperDR650

    GipperDR650 n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Alberta,Canada
    Heres my setup....

    Eibach .50 front
    Eibach 8.1 rear with Cogent rebuild on shock
    Safari Tank
    Corbin seat
    case armour
    B&B bashplate
    SW Motech main stand
    Laminar B king screen
    Vapor dash
    speedo drive eliminator
    steel braided front hose
    full length front seal savers
    Protaper Contour bars
    Touratech GPS 60 cradle on RAM mount
    Symtec heated grips
    IMS pegs
    Centech AP1 fuse holder mounted over airbox
    hi cap battery
    airbox mod
    extended pilot jet screw
    Scotts Stainless reusable oil filter
    14 tooth front sprocket
    twin air filter
    HT Teton panniers and top box
    Touratech double bottle holders on panniers
    Gebring troller with controls on dash
    headlight on/off switch on dash
    BMW power outlet on dash + double outlet in top box with ignition relay
    clutch & side stand switch removed
    Procycle number plate mount and led light.

    This was a good touring setup, my wife and I are just back from a 22,000 km trip to South America 2up. We did quite a few rough pistes, some tricky sand and lots of gravel on parts of Ruta 40 and Ruta 3, and ran into some strong winds - over 80 mph in Patagonia
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    #22
  3. straygypsy

    straygypsy Adventurer

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    Yeah ;; I put a whole lot of things on my,n but for Highway ,, :D:D:evil two great & cheap mods both under $20 ,, Those foam type hand grips are a little wider -thicker-& they really take a lot of vibration out,, & the highway pegs, well they speak for themself, Now lets hope I can put up those photo,s

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    #23
  4. straygypsy

    straygypsy Adventurer

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    let,s try for the footpegs then ,, if I can only get in one photo, you,ll work it out

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  5. straygypsy

    straygypsy Adventurer

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    Sorry about 3 times ,

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  6. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Do you have a ride report posted anywhere?
    Love to hear feed back about how the DR650 did on the ride ... things that worked and did not work for you.

    Did you ride it both ways ... from Canada to TDF and back? :freaky
    #26
  7. D-Fuzz

    D-Fuzz Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    I think the DR650 is an excellent long-distance tourer. I rode mine 11,000km to Prudhoe Bay and back. The only issues were a broken speedo cable and a leaky base gasket. It started every morning, ran like a champ and never complained about the abuse it was taking. It did take a bit of $$$ to get it properly set up though.

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    #27
  8. planemanx15

    planemanx15 Long timer

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    I was thinking about that, either doing the happy trails kit or building a tube tool case out of 2.5-3" PVC and make it long enough to set my feet on like pegs
    #28
  9. planemanx15

    planemanx15 Long timer

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    +1
    #29
  10. GipperDR650

    GipperDR650 n00b

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Alberta,Canada
    Hi guys I posted some info on the HUBB re the bike:

    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/suzuki-tech/dr650-to-south-america-53258

    Our blog is here:

    http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com

    I had a big accident on day one of the trip in Canada, I was supposed to ride through the US, Mexico and Central America from home and meet up with the missus in Colombia.
    I managed to fix the bike up and fly it to Santiago, Chile, we then rode South to Ushuaia, then back up to Colombia, I then flew the bike to Miami, rode to Arizona and got a ride home to Canada last week.

    Cheers

    Grif
    #30
  11. sagedrifter

    sagedrifter Southern Explorer

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    This needs a bump...

    Get the bike to fit you! I'm tall so that included high bars, risers, lowered pegs, tall seat. I added stiff springs to carry the load, no more front end dive where it feels like you going to fly off. I like soft bags for touring. Keep the weight down!

    I really like my wind shield, its left on most of the time now. Heated grips help out a bunch even on rainy summer days in the mountains. I have the Safari fuel tank, I love the range and its so nice when your making time crossing the plains or something else at high speed. Less fuel stops more miles covered, I can do at least 400 miles a tank loaded heavy at sane speeds. Nice comfy grips, I use ProGrips 699's. I like my Alaska butt pad too. Oh... good ear plugs and maybe some tunes... I don't like riding the boring bits without my Ipod...

    I took this pic today, I'm running some mild tires for mostly pavement touring... I'll be going back to much more aggressive tires though. The Shinko 705 works well on the rear for ADV touring. I want to put a more aggressive tire on the front soon but my old Anakee won't die.... The mild tires on the front last.. and last... I still have a 705 front to use up... too.. Great on long road trips of mostly pavement and hard pack.

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    #31
  12. BgDadddy

    BgDadddy Big Dufus

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    #32
  13. planemanx15

    planemanx15 Long timer

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    Nice little setup you got there :thumbup

    What kind of side racks are those?
    #33
  14. Jelly

    Jelly Super Dork

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    I have been patiently waiting for more comments on the DR's highway manners and had to dig this thread out 8 pages back today. I do not expect a single to be as smooth as a multi, but a coworker of mine says a single will rattle the fillings out of my teeth for extended (Legal) highway speeds. Anyone else care to chirp in? :hmmmmm
    #34
  15. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    My wife and I did around 3800km in 10 days last summer (see rr link below) and I had no complaints about vibes. The DR is a pretty damn smooth powerplant for a single.

    You want to rattle out some loose fillings? Try doing the same on a KTM single of your choice. No comparison.
    #35
  16. MotoScooter

    MotoScooter Adventurer

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    21
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    I've had no issues with vibration. 25,000 miles on the '06 DR.

    Sargent saddle, lowered pegs, ProTaper bars, improved front and rear springs, DirtBagz+DirtBagz Duffle, IMS tank, Wolfman Enduro tankbag, Aerostich heated grip covers and bib for warmth. I like the Shinko 705s for road riding but I am running D606s now. I have 3 windshields: Tombstone, MRA Streetshield, and a Parabellum but I mostly ride naked, I mean on the naked bike. The tombstone is terrible, Steetshield takes the wind off your chest but is noisy. Parabellum is a good road windshield but kinda like a guillatine (sp?) off road. After all that I prefer clean air.

    The DR is like a Swiss Army Knife. Does it all. Love it.
    #36
  17. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    CHIRP! :lol3 Your Co-Worker must be a KTM rider? :D Or hasn't ridden a single since BSA 441 Victor's were popular!

    One of my other bikes is a Triumph 1050 Tiger. It's one of the silky smoothest bikes I've ever ridden ... and I've owned maybe 60 bikes since 1962 or so and ridden hundreds of others. Honestly, going from the Tiger to the DR650 is not a chore or a big shock. No, It's not as smooth as my Tiger ... but nothing is. Not even a brand new BMW R1200GS or KTM990.

    For a single the DR650 is surprisingly delightful on the highway. I generally cruise between 70 to 80 mph. The DR will do that ALL DAY. Not only is the motor counter balanced but the frame is equipped with rubber isolated handle bars AND rubber isolated foot pegs. I run Pro Taper Aluminum bars which seem to damp vibes out nicely. No bar end plugs needed.

    I also have a Corbin Seat. Makes all the difference. If you read over on the big thread right now a seat discussion is in progress. Lots of good seats for the DR650: Corbin, Sargent, Seat Concepts and more! All are a huge improvement over the stock plank. (it really sucks)

    Thing about the Corbin is ... it's a heavy bastard. Riders complain about this. But it's weight and density also help to damp out vibes. On a 10 hour day these things make a difference, IMHO.

    I've close to 40K miles on this DR650 (my 3rd). Longest ride was an emergency ride from Guerrero Negro, Baja to San Francisco, Ca non-stop. (gas and peeing) 1000 miles, took about 18 hours. I've done several trips where 400 mile days happened for 5 days in a row. No sweat on the DR650.

    Is it as nice as my former Vstrom 1000 on a really long ride? :ear Not quite, but not as far off as you'd think. Where the DR works best is on technical back roads, and is fun on any two laner road. The handling is remarkably sporty and is an absolute hoot to ride fast on a technical road.
    These sorts of roads wear out a Gold Wing rider and Hammer a sport bike guy ... who may do well for an hour or so, but then is exhausted and done. On the DR650 your smiling the whole time. Very low fatigue. So at lower speeds, its really not a problem, in fact a very fun ride.

    On my long rides I can maintain high speeds on highway easily and vibration is really not the problem. On a dual sport you are more "out in the breeze" than a tourer. I run no shield of any kind ... yes, I like a quiet ride and shields make NOISE.

    If you plan to only do long highway runs ... then the DR650 is not for you.
    It can do them easily but there are better bikes for Interstate drones at 90 mph all day.

    But if you do a mix of smaller back roads, mountain roads, dirt roads, then the DR650 is one of the best. Add its serious dirt capability and load capacity and not many other singles come close.

    KTM's are faster and very fun to ride (I've owned 3) ... but they BREAK and are a torture rack on a long day. Also, hard to pack up much for a long tour. The DR can be loaded up for months if need be.

    The new BMW singles are nice bikes, look cool, pretty reliable and get fantastic fuel economy ... but are pretty expensive ($9000) and weigh about 70 lbs. more than a DR650. So off road: advantage DR650. If you can afford the BMW G650, it's not a bad choice.

    But I'll stick with the DR650 for it's quality and reliability, ease of maintenance and Do-It All nature. Air Cooled, Carb'd, No ABS or fancy CANbus system to act up, just a solid, simple and well designed dual sport.
    #37
  18. planemanx15

    planemanx15 Long timer

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    Just as the others said before me, it really isn't that bad of a choice when on the highway. The Vibrations with aluminium bars is very low, and with the rubber damping in the foot-pegs your good to go (hehe, that rhythms).

    I've never ridden any other type of bike, other then a dual sport a few dual sports (KLR, XR, and DR's). Th KLR actually felt sluggish, almost like it wasn't at its full potential. The DR feels good, and with a few mods, its pretty well off on the highway.
    #38
  19. planemanx15

    planemanx15 Long timer

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    As for windshields, I had a tomb stone, and it sucked. I ended up getting off of eBay a generic Chinese scooter windshield. Its 15" wide and 18" tall, but also comes in 23" tall. You can get it with 2 different types on mounts, one for the handle bars and the other to the mirrors. Not sure if the mirror one will fit, though.

    Its set up right below my eye level, about level with my mouth, and can be moved up to about my eyes (I'm 5'8"). It moves clean air and for $50, don't think it can be beat.

    Eventually I want to get rid of the bar mounts and use the Turbo-City windshield mount. The bottom set of holes on there mount line up with the bottom holes in the shield, so I would have to just modify the top a half inch.

    the shield: (those chrome things on the shield are not really there, thats a generic image)
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    The eventually mount: (from tciproductsusa.com)

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    #39
  20. ADV8

    ADV8 Taumarunui..Darwin..

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    The DR is very smooth engine wise.
    There is no comparison though between a DR with road tyres and a 17 inch front wheel (SM trim) and stock.
    They steer like a truck with the 21 front,still a good long distance bike though.
    I am starting to favour the DR even more as a long distance tourer,smooth,comfortable and huge range with the big fuel tank.
    The lower HP just means momentum needs to be kept up.
    #40