the DR650 thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by sleepywombat, May 1, 2006.

  1. johnkol

    johnkol Been here awhile

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    Nah, from the first five seconds I stepped on a dirt road I knew that the problem was the same as on the XR, a very flexible frame. I was simply incredulous that something like that could be happening in this day and age, and wanted to verify my conclusions with some other knowldgeable people first.

    Yeah, why not? What is an upgraded suspension going to buy me? I won't enjoy the bike on dirt roads anyway because of the frame issues, so for asphalt the stock suspension is adequate.

    Why is this a mystery? Once you accept the limitations of the bike, you adjust your expectations accordingly, and you enjoy the ride within that narrow envelope. I have had some great times on the DR!

    I have also had some frustrating times on it, but this just means that I'm looking forward to the next bike with even greater anticipation.
  2. johnkol

    johnkol Been here awhile

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    These are not unreasonable questions, but you are making some inferences that are not actually true.

    First of all, I was never planning on saying anything about the frame flexes; I have known about this issue for a few months now, but I was not going to report any such finding in a forum dedicated to the DR lest it was construed as a troll. But I made an off-hand comment about the DR having fundamental flaws, someone asked that I elaborate on that statement... and the whole thing snowballed from there. Oh well, maybe some people got something useful out of this exchange.

    But the problem in your rationale is that given my above position, you are conluding that I must hate the DR and cannot wait to get rid of it. These conlusions are simply not true.

    Sure, the DR is not the bike that I was expecting (or merely hoping for), but it can still be useful within a more restricted usage -- and that's why I'm still here, basically for the same reason so many other participants are: to get tips on how to improve small aspects of the bike. No, I am not interested in throwing big money on the DR anymore, but there are other things that could be improved without any significant financial outlay.

    I am also not planning on selling the DR in the near future. I am indeed actively looking for a couple of other bikes, but until I get them, evaluate them, and conclude that they serve my entire motorcycling spectrum, the DR stays with me.

    Do things make more sense now?
  3. BlueDevil

    BlueDevil Adventurer

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    :puke1 Nope
  4. nsrrider

    nsrrider Adventurer

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    There is one intangible that has not been discussed about modding a DR, or any motorcycle really. I love making a machine perform better and having one that is simply not another "latest-greatest" that anybody with the money can go buy. I like personalizing my motorcycle and having something unique. I know in the end it won't run with a KTM690 for instance but, it actually won't be THAT far off, will still do some things (even some important to me things) better than the KTM. The simple fact is, enthusiasts buy and ride a certain motorcycle for how it makes them feel (same for cars). If the DR does not make you feel good, you should move on to a a bike that does.
  5. psmcd

    psmcd Long timer

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    I haven't ridden my DR enough yet for the "familiarity breeds contempt" to kick in. But expectations differ. So far my unruly brain has remained in the surprised and grateful at how more than adequate the DR is for what it pretends and cost.

    I first sought info on the forums to determine how I would approach suspension set-up. The stock DR is plush and capable enough for a light, very moderate rider. This became my first concern. Frame flex or not, stiffer, better damped suspension is a must for me (in terms of safety and tuning the bike to me). Rough pavement corners, washboard, deep gravel, ruts, off-camber bumps etc. all call for improved suspension. You can always slow down but that does not improve suspension performance - it just reduces the demands. Many sections are better ridden with a bit more speed or are better handled when you come in a bit too hot, if the suspension is set up properly. I know you know this. Perhaps when my bike is dialed in my mind will wander to the frame issue you have "framed." Damn you:wink: But I'll be ok. I'll rein in my brain.

    I bet you do have a lot of great time on the DR and the focus of this thread masks it. Brains and "framing" with words are antithetical to the state we seek through riding. But I think we'll agree the bike is always secondary to the ride. Lick the envelope.
  6. neo1piv014

    neo1piv014 ADV in training

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    Before someone tries to call BS on that statement, I also went from a sport bike (Ninja 650r) to this bike, and noticed that this does feel much more agile, especially in extremely tight turns where the wider bars give you some leverage. Can't wait to try my bike with supermoto wheels.
  7. heirhead

    heirhead Been here awhile

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    You have stepped into the TWILIGHT ZONE !!!!!!!!!
    Or something else!!!!!!

    Heirhead
  8. doug s.

    doug s. Long timer

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    imo, you are being more than a little bit disingenuous. you made an "off-hand" comment? here it is:
    "The DR is such a fundamentally flawed bike that no major upgrade is justifiable for me..."


    other comments:
    "...if one is looking for a bike to connect with, to explore his and its limits, to feel one with the road and progress as a rider, then the DR fails miserably -- and, for me at least, no matter how many upgrades one carries out on the DR, it will still be a failure on that nebulous concept of being one with the bike.
    "

    "...I consider the DR the worst bike I have ever owned (probably ridden too)...", immediately followed by: "(it) does not mean that I have not enjoyed the trips I have taken with it. If one accepts its flaws and limitations, and simply treats it as a vehicle for exploring far away places and new locales, then the DR is as fine a machine as anything out there."

    yes, i am sure folks on this forum got useful info out of this exchange:
    - "johnkol's dr650 is defective."
    - "johnkol is a bit off, as here is someone who thinks the dr is the worst bike he's ever ridden, can never be one w/the bike, yet can still say "...it can still be useful within a more restricted usage..." "...If one accepts its flaws and limitations, and simply treats it as a vehicle for exploring far away places and new locales, then the DR is as fine a machine as anything out there."
    - johnkol in fact is a troll, his protestations notwithstanding, and he really has no desire to try to figure out what might be wrong w/his bike.
    - "mental note - pay little attention to any info provided by johnkol."

    do things make more sense now? yup, they sure do - you make no sense. and your dr650 has a serious issue that others' don't have, as the bikes are not "flexy flyers". and, for whatever reason, you aren't interested in getting to the bottom of your bike's problem. no one's loss but your own.

    or, maybe, you're like that princess penelope who couldn't sleep cuz that li'l pea under her 19 mattresses was bothering her. or maybe you're like those "super-tasters", except you are exceedingly sensitive to motorcycle frame flex instead of food taste... :D

    in any event, i do feel kinda bad for you - your stubbornness prevents you from getting to the bottom of the issue w/your dr, which could certainly be markedly improved and eliminate the problems you have encountered - either w/mods, or to fix the frame problem, which it likely has, if your bike is truly as you state. or, if you really are that sensitive, i feel bad that you have to suffer so much, never being able to be one w/this bike, while eeking out whatever enjoyment from it that you do get... in which case, the sooner you get rid of it, the better - for your own self, and for those of us on this board, that won't get sucked in to your trolling this thread. :lol3

    doug s.
  9. doug s.

    doug s. Long timer

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    i have not ridden a purpose-built motard, but i can tell you, you will not be disappointed - a 'tarded dr650 is a beautiful thing, you will be one w/the bike. unless of course, you are like princess johnkol/penelope.. :lol3
    [​IMG]

    doug s.
  10. sandwash

    sandwash Long timer

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  11. P-P

    P-P Adventurer

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  12. neo1piv014

    neo1piv014 ADV in training

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    I've got no real issue with my bike. I bet my highway cruising problems would go away if I just ran on a treadmill and lost some weight :D

    Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk 2
  13. Ridin'nFishin

    Ridin'nFishin Real Rider

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  14. doug s.

    doug s. Long timer

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    could be true; as my bike cruises yust fine at 80mph, and i weigh only ~155lbs. :1drink

    doug s.
  15. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    +1 on both points, I bought my DR650SM this summer and it is an absolute blast on the back roads and on a good day it does feel like an extension of myself...but I am not a princess :lol3(OR a corksniffer) .... FWIW I went from a 150/60 on the rear to a 150/70, not crazy about the looks but that effectively bumped the gearing up about 5% and my bike is much nicer to ride on freeways, it no longer sounds a bit strained at 70-75 mph. I need a front fender like yours for the winter though, the trimmed stocker sends water up and on to the bike and rider.
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cork sniffer

    [​IMG]
  16. P-P

    P-P Adventurer

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    I had the same problem when mine was new. When i hit grooved pavement, or road seams, or any kind of sand it would seem as if the bike was twisting and it really scared me. I kept reading about how great the DR650 was, so I just figured it was my poor riding abilities.
    When I went to change my first tire I found that the swingarm bushings were completely wasted - had less than 4000 miles on it. Had them replaced under warranty. After they were replaced the "frame flex" problem went away completely.
    Now I've gone from riding a Flexy Flyer to a Sexy Flyer hahaha!
  17. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Excellent comments! :clap:clap
  18. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    The bike I've been the best rider on was my ZX-7R. I think what you're believing is agility is actually a much lower weight, different rake, and possibly the thinner front tire.

    Depending on the speed and the road, I could see how a fixed up DR650 would be great, but it's still nowhere in comparison to a ZX through sweeping fast turns. Even if a DR650 did have the HP to keep up, on a more open race track it's flex would be too much for me to care about it.

    If a rider's hard turns are at 45 to 65 (or even under, obviously), the DR could seem like the bike to have. The 'agility' of a sport bike comes when you're taking corners faster than most states' top speed limits.
  19. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

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    I ride too slowly to notice frame flex.
    The main difference compared to my TT350 is inertia.
    The extra weight the DR carries.

    But compared to some, it carries it well.

    With the extra inertia comes a little plushness which is nice.
  20. johnkol

    johnkol Been here awhile

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    I disagree. I weigh 130 lbs and both forks and shock have way too much compression damping. On sharp impacts the forks pack up and deliver a violent jolt to your arms. Shock is even worse because it effectively has no rebound damping, so on successive bumps it becomes airborne and essentially stalls forward momentum of the bike.

    I think I can discern a pattern here. I rode a DRZ400E around 2002, and after a relatively short gnarly section my arms were shot: way too much compression damping was transmitting all impacts to my arms -- and the setting had already been adjusted full soft. The Husaberg FE400 that I hopped on immediately afterwards felt like a magic carpet in comparison. So I disagree on the DRZ too: it wasn't good even when it was first introduced.