Things I did to my DR650

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by MacG, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    263
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    Some interest was shown in some of the changes I made to my DR so I am posting some of my mods so that others may get ideas from what I have done. I enjoy my bikes the most when I go on multi day camping trips through the mountains and if I can get to a remote fishing spot it's even better. I set the DR up for these type trips and the two main goals were cheap and durable. I started with a low miles 97 DR that was "colorful" to say the least. Even though I'm not too concerned with looks,I couldn't deal with the frame color so I put it in the shop one day and "de-purpled" it. I tried to use materials that I had on hand when I could make it work. Maybe not always the best for the job,but it kept costs down a lot. Most everything was done low budget except for the suspension.Rick at Cogent did a complete shock rebuild and I installed fork springs and emulators from him as well,money well spent. I'll post the various mods I did as I find the pics.
    It looked like this the day I bought it
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    It looks like this now
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    The freaky looking graphics on the IMS tank are an ongoing experiment. The white plastic tank stained quickly from the red mud we have so I started playing with ways to keep decals on. I wanted a crisp round hole punched in the decal,much like a wadcutter pistol bullet punches in a target. The best process I have found so far is to put a piece of 1mm stainless tubing in a sewing machine. It punches nice round,evenly spaced holes in the material and allows the gas fumes to escape,greatly reducing the bubbles that plague the decals on plastic tanks. I tried many of the free decals that come with products and most hold up well. The Eibach decal has been on the tank for about a year and has done well. The black spots on the tank now are 3M reflective tape. So far they hold up well and have had minimal bubbles but have only been on about 8 months.

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    #1
  2. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    I built a laminated skidplate. I have done these in the past and it works well. I used 1/8" aluminum for the main plate and put another sheet of 1/8 " aluminum on top of that,under the engine. On the bottom I put 1/16" thick stainless, it's tough but thin enough to not weigh a lot. The stainless seems to hold up very well against rocks and doesn't gouge like aluminum does. I wanted a smooth bottom so no drain plug hole was installed. A little more work at oil change but better protection.
    Over a year of usage and still in good shape
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    #2
  3. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    I didn't have a bender for the exhaust so I took a 90 deg. elbow and a few pieces of straight tube. It took a while to get the angles cut correctly but it worked out OK. I welded a support from the tube to the OEM mounting point for more rigidity.

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    I wanted a 40FO muffler but they are hard to come by at a decent price. The 18G1 muffler is titanium inside but about 3 1/4" longer and about .400" larger dia. than the 40FO. I picked up an 18G1 very cheap and thought I would cut it open to see if I could make it work until I located a 40. It came out ok and is just slightly larger on the diameter. I put the splice on the front end of the muffler and it is covered by the plastic panel. I ended up with about $40 in the muffler/mid pipe combo.

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    #3
  4. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    I really like the entire up grade but the can work looks to be the best home job I've seen in a while.
    #4
  5. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    Thanks Wolfgang !
    #5
  6. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    I wanted more room around the instruments for switches,voltmeter,etc. so I made spacers to move the top fairing bolts forward about an inch. I made the dash to fit in the allowed space.
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    On the right side I nounted a 12v receptacle
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    On the left side I have 1" strap for towing or whatever coiled and tied in place
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    The fairing is a cheap aftermarket item for an FZ1
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    #6
  7. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    I bought the electrical components for LED aux. lights and made the housings and heat sinks. I mounted them high and under the bars for protection. They work well in this location and the extra light is nice.
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    I used LED trailer lights from Harbor Freight for the turn signals. Very tough and if I break one it's only $5.99 to replace it.
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    I used LED boltlights to light the plate and make it legal. The LED strip is red and is wired to the brakelight. It flashes several times then stays on with the brake light.
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    #7
  8. greer

    greer Long timer

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    Wow, extra nice all the way around!

    Sarah
    #8
  9. plugeye

    plugeye mc caregiver

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    laminated skid pan.
    great idea
    #9
  10. GaThumper

    GaThumper Road Less Traveled

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    Thumpin' in North GA - headin' for the Smokys
    Subscribed! and Thanks :freaky
    #10
  11. GsVs

    GsVs Goin' Somewhere

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    Lots of nice modifications !!

    Can you teach me to Weld like that :clap - very nice !
    #11
  12. GsVs

    GsVs Goin' Somewhere

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    Hey Mac ....

    I really like what you did with the dash ...
    How is the dash mounted ?? Is it one piece aluminum (top and side) bent to fit ?

    Thanks ..

    #12
  13. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the kind words

    That dash is 3 pieces welded together(two sides,one top) ,but could be made using bolts.
    Here are pics of a simple one piece I made for a buddy to try a short windscreen on his 07. The dash was simple,just two 90 deg. bends,it just wasn't as wide as the one seen on mine. Without the windscreen,the 4 bolt heads you see would be gone.On this one I was trying out the windscreen,the dash was just an easy way to mount it. The windscreen didn't do much and he sold the DR shortly after so the project didn't go any further.
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    For both of the dashes,I used 1/16" aluminum. It's easy to work with,light weight and strong enough for the job.
    If you need more pics or explanation,you can PM me.
    #13
  14. GaThumper

    GaThumper Road Less Traveled

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    I have to agree, that is some really nice looking welds! I hadn't really thought about cutting the pipe down, but it looks like it worked out well, too. I have the DG Oval exhaust on mine now, but it's pretty loud. I've got a 35F0 and now a 40F0 to install later. I bought the 35F0 when I couldn't find a 40F0 and of course what happens next? Found the 40F0 on my local Craigslist within a couple of weeks. No problem, my good riding buddy has a DR650 with stock exhaust and he may just end up with the 35 on his!
    #14
  15. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    For the pannier supports I used 1/2" chromoly tubing. It's light weight and very tough. I wanted enough support for the panniers and protection for the plastics,muffler,etc. when the bike gets laid down. The loops are for attaching Wolfman expedition panniers.
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    I found this military surplus plastic tube at a gun show. It holds tie wraps,electrical wire,etc.
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    #15
  16. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

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    central KY
    #16
  17. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    #17
  18. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    I replaced the OEM tool box with a tube from Agri Supply. I made a simple bracket from 1" angle and attached the tube with hose clamps.
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    Redneck fork protectors. I keep about 3 or 4 layers of Gorilla tape strips on my forks. If I need tape to repair broken plastics,tail lights, etc., I just pull a strip from the fork.
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    #18
  19. GsVs

    GsVs Goin' Somewhere

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    Hey KYw.....

    I really like the "Mac Dash" ... since you have one on a newer DR with the updated headlight schroud ... curious to what it looks like from the front since the dash pushes the schroud out a bit.

    Do you have any pictures from a front angle ??

    Thanks ..

    #19
  20. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Did you do the welding on the Mid pipe? And you also made the tool tube brakcet and Dash? :ear

    The Mid Pipe welds look to be done by someone who works at GE welding Turbine blades into 747 motors. Space Shuttle quality.

    The brackets? looks like my Jr. high school metal shop project!
    :D
    #20