Too much information...

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Hesaid, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    There's just too much. Where does one start? 4800 page threads?

    I've been lurking around for a bit now, reading up on all sorts of things. I figured I ought to get around to making a first post. So here it is. I recently bought a "thumper", or rather two of them. DR650's. The bikes started identically, in fact, their VIN's are only 8 digits apart. Mine is still completely stock, while hers has had the "seat height" lowered by the Suzuki dealer, (That was an ordeal all its own, as the dealer was unaware that it was possible, and confused by the fact that Suzuki considers a suspension rebuild as a seat height adjustment...) and the Suzuki gel seat installed. Hers is now noticeably lower.

    Since both of our respective motorcycle experience consists of little and long ago, we're starting out slowly and won't be on the open road for quite some time (I'll let her field questions as to the details of how/why that is). We're mainly gathering gear and knowledge at this point, with occasional daydreams fueled by some of the posts and pictures. I look forward to continued reading, and hopefully we'll be able to add some info at some point in the future.

    MV
    #1
  2. PatrickM

    PatrickM Been here awhile

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    You can go a few ways...

    1. Start on page 1 and get cracking. Drink beer.
    2. Post something about "My XXX bike is the best bike evah!" and fill in the body of the post about how you've ridden everything else under the sun and why you can't imagine why anyone else would ride anything else.
    3. Post something about how "XXX bike is the worst bike evah!" and fill in the body of the post with how many problems you have, and compare it to either a KTM or a BMW.

    And then question the legitimacy of a certain oil.
    #2
  3. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    Well, wait, I already have a beer open (and in a glass...), does that limit me to option number one?

    And I wasn't going to discuss oil. In fact, I wasn't even going to use oil. I was going to run nothing but "type F" automatic transmission fluid. Because it is "grippier".

    (am I doing it right?)

    MV
    #3
  4. bobobob

    bobobob IN HOC SIGNO VINCES

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    <iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0tbVPpeUUW8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #4
  5. schaffer40

    schaffer40 I look lived in.....

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    Good luck with the learning curve and welcome to the madness.

    I think you should start a "what 50/50 tire are you using???Let's see it!!!" thread.

    That's what I'd do...but I drink :slurp
    #5
  6. greer

    greer Long timer

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    Hesaid,

    If either of you have a particular question, don't be afraid to ask. If you put it in the wrong forum the mods will move it for you. No sweat.

    Is she comfortable on her DR? If need be, you can buy links to lower it more; I use these:

    http://burkhartcycle.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=162

    If she's still wary of the height and weight of the DR, don't fuss. Pick up an XT225 for her to spend a few months/miles on while she gets the hang of things.

    Sarah
    #6
  7. Murf2

    Murf2 Been here awhile

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    Beer in a glass, how classy! :D

    Murf
    #7
  8. stuser

    stuser Putt putt putt

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    and you need to start a thread talking about what kind of fuel is best... ;)
    #8
  9. seabee1

    seabee1 we build, we fight

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    It sounds to me like you're starting smartly. Gathering gear, knowledge and experience before getting on the road. Good luck and have fun! Keep us posted on your progress.
    #9
  10. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    Thanks for the link. It may well come in handy in the future. Further lowering has been discussed, but we decided to try it where it is now, approx 2.5" down from stock, before deciding about going lower. The weight is a funny issue... There are those who say it's too big and heavy of a bike, and that she should have gotten a Ninja 250. Then they make faces when she asks them why they think a heavier bike would be better.

    The option of getting one of a 200-250cc class bike, and having us cut our teeth on that, then selling it and getting the DR's was discussed, but ultimately decided against. Especially by the mother of the 15yr old we were going to sell it to! Though there were other reasons as well.

    Oh, and Murf? Would you expect anything less from a new member of a commuity such as this?

    MV
    #10
  11. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    It's easy, just start reading the DR thread with today's posts, then just keep up daily. The bike is only 87-1/2" long, we cover the same questions and answers over and over and over and............etc. But we love the bike and are glad to help. :raabia

    :nod

    I tried my lower gel seat and although I don't care for the seat, the lower height is 'safer' at stops etc. Since I have a Cogent shock, I no longer have the lowering option (single hole in the lower shock mount), so I just ordered a pair of the 1" links. So, thanks again for the link, cause I lost the one you posted recently. :shog

    Oops, gotta go :ricky, it won't be warm much longer. :2cry
    #11
  12. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    A lot of the 250 streetbikes aren't really going to be much lighter than a DR650SE. The DR tends to take falls WAY better too, especially once armored with a skid, case armor, and real handguards. I dump mine on many weekends of riding dirt, and even once cart-wheeled it through a ditch at 50MPH. It bent the handlebars, but those were easy enough to replace for $20. Busted a rear turn signal once too, but that was easily replaced in a few minutes. The DR IS a bit heavy as a dirtybike, but it carries it's weight decently if you're more into exploring offroad than flying offroad. I had ridden streetbikes before, but had limited dirtybike experience before getting the DR as my first dualsport. If you take your time and ride with a partner willing to help pick it up, it's fine for most terrain you'd want to attempt with any other street-legal bike.

    If you want to lower a DR, the obvious way is the factory lowering. You can also install a lower seat. Both of these you've already done. Another way to get it lower is swapping lowering links into the rear and sliding the front forks up in the clamps. Then the suspension can be raised back up once she gets more comfortable on it. An adjustable kickstand can help with this, if you're not up for cutting and welding. Shaving some up-high weight can make the DR easier to handle too, and some of the lightening mods can double as upgrades as well (better mirrors, bars, tank, muffler, lights, etc.).

    A nice thing about the DR is it's versatility. The bike has been mostly unchanged for so long that there are parts and upgrades all over for them. Keep reading this forum, the DR650 wiki page, and sites like www.drriders.com to set your DRs up the way you want and to find good riding/riders to enjoy your bikes with.
    #12
  13. Shesaid

    Shesaid Been here awhile

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    No. She is NOT comfortable on her DR!

    I would very much like it 1 to 2 inches lower still. I actually don't think the gel seat is quite as comfy as the stock seat was, but the lower height wins out. I still can't get my feet flat on the ground when the bike (and I) are on level ground, and that's something I really want to be able to do.

    Hi everybody! I am Matt's (aka Hesaid's) other half, and the rider of the second (lower) DR in the household.

    Unfortunately, despite all our best efforts to start out and stay safe, sane, mature and responsible while cutting our teeth and getting the hang of riding-- the almost very first thing I did was "shatter" (Dr.'s words) my left wrist in a sloppy dismount after losing balance and realizing the bike was going over whether I stayed on it or not.

    And so all those people who were utterly disgusted at us for getting motorcycles for various reasons have had a chance to "tsk tsk" at us and point at my fancy new scar from the ORIF surgery as if that proves them right. And I have the unfortunate luck to contribute to motorcycle statistics. :(: Which is just pathetic because the bike was stalled at a dead stop when I did it. Shouldn't even have mentioned the bike... it was the tripping and falling down that did all the damage.

    He promises not to go riding without me, so according to the orthopedist, we hope to be back on 2 wheels early in 2013. Which is good, because I'm looking forward to some back country roads to enjoy the fruit orchards in full bloom come mid-February.

    Alrighty-- that is my introductory post, tieing me in with Hesaid so hopefully y'all will associate us with with eachother now.

    BTW: Thank you, Sarah, for both the thought and the link!

    I was having a grand time-- and not feeling too intimidated at all-- puttering around the parking lot in 1st gear before I hit that curb and broke my wrist. Really looking forward to getting just a little bit lower... and back on the bike.
    #13
  14. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    Oh, crap, this could end poorly. :cry I love women riders, my Sister is a retired firefighter. She rides dirt very well and kicks my butt with her Ducati on pavement. :huh She also had a lowered DR650. Although she rode it well, it still weighed 366 pounds ready to ride.

    I'm retired, so my physical strength is nothing like when I raced. I have a 30" inseam, when my DR starts to tip, it's going down, whether I like it or not. As said, they weigh 366 pounds ready to ride, before adding my riding gear, 17 pound tailbag and tools (weight unknown).

    Hi, Mrs. Said, welcome to the site. :beer

    Yep, bin der, dun dat. (broke my leg twice) :puke1

    Injuries come from anywhere, for me, it's power tools. :huh Don't put your hands out when you tip over, tuck your arm and roll over your shoulder. (yea, I know; easier said than done)

    Here's what I think :deal. I agree with Sarah, get an XT-225 or 250. They have a low seat height (buying one for myself to ride SE Utah) and are good for newer riders. The new Hondas and KLXs are too tall for learning, the Kawasaki Sherpas are ok but harder to find.

    I have no idea what your plans are, touring, day rides, overnighters, trips to the 7-11, etc. I've ridden 14,901 miles this summer; tomorrow I'm riding 99 miles (and it looks like it might rain :vardy :2cry) . So what ya might ask? Tomorrow will put me at 15,000 miles this summer, day rides only. Highest mileage I've ever ridden in a year on a dirt/dual sport bike, by far. :clap Ok, enough about me. :D If you're learning to ride, put ALL of your gear on HeSaid's bike. If that's too much weight for him, too bad; leave the hairdryer at home. Forget about camping, there's just too much bulk and weight involved for two riders. IMHO (in my humble opinion)

    Here's what happend to another couple biting off more than she could handle. Reading about it online and actually doing it can be very different.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=789269

    Please let us know what's up. There are ADVriders all across America and any one of them will grab a trailer and come get you, no matter where or when. I love this site. :raabia
    #14
  15. greer

    greer Long timer

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    Hi there Shesaid!

    A lowering link is just the ticket. My bike is lowered per the factory method (including fork internals) along with the 1.5" link and fork tubes slid 1" up in the clamps. I'll be glad to snap a picture for you if you like. This is the smartest thing I've done for me and my bike, it's made life much easier for me. I'd happily suggest you install a link before you ever throw a leg over the bike again.

    But I'll have to say, I still think an XT225 might be the way to go for the first few months and miles. The XT is like a sweet but slow little sister to the DR and weighs 100 lbs less. That 100 pounds makes all the difference when you teeter slightly to one side and realize you have a chunk of metal trying to push you to the ground and squish you. The XT is happy as a lark at 55 mph all day long, gets near 70 mpg, and just the bike for enjoying the scenery. Shop wisely for a used one, ride it for as many worry-free miles as you like, and sell it when you are ready to handle the DR.

    Sarah
    #15
  16. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    If not already done, I'd also look into BRC and dirtrider courses. It can really help with the learning curve and safety.
    #16
  17. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    Your mention of "stalled at a dead stop" caught my attention. Was the engine actually stalled? It is pretty easy to fall over if the engine stalls when trying to get underway (or stopping if the clutch timing is off a little), the motion you were expecting and that your body was already adjusting to ... doesn't happen and it is hard to 'readjust' to the new direction of travel (that being down) quickly enough.
    For all it's attributes, the DR isn't a really forgiving engine at low rpms, it likes to rev to run smoothly. The bike is also not geared particularly low. I did not notice this very much until I had the DR and a Triumph Scrambler that I pretty much rode on alternate days. I often enjoy just puttering along really slowly on a back road with NO traffic, I mean slow as in single digit speeds. My DR, despite being a "thumper" would not actually allow me to go as slow as the Scrambler. I changed my countershaft sprocket down one tooth to a 14 and it helped a lot in that regard. I then did a bit more by replacing the rear sprocket with a 43T (up one). I can't say that it 'transformed' the bike but it sure made the low speed 'puttering along' much more enjoyable and the bike is noticeably easier to get in motion from a stop.
    Perhaps my DR will no longer cruise the highway at 85 or 90 mph, so be it, that isn't what I bought it for. I can still travel on the interstate if really necessary but would use another bike by choice. Some will say that I fixed a non-existent problem, that it isn't a hard bike to ride stock, they are correct, I just made it more suitable to MY desires.
    It might make your riding more enjoyable and reduce one of the challenges of getting used to riding. There isn't a lot of cost involved and it is all reversible if you don't like it. Might be worth some consideration.
    Of course if you didn't actually mean that the engine had stalled, perhaps none of this is appropriate or needed. Good luck and have fun!

    Bruce
    #17
  18. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    That may not actually be the "best" arrangement. It is unlikely that you will both learn at the same rate. Sometimes a little 'alone time' with the bike can be a smart choice - for each of you.
    I currently have 9 bikes (no, they don't all run) and have ridden since 1969. My wife actually learned to ride (on my first bike) back in the 70's and then didn't ride for 30 years, she has her XT 225 and recently passed 2,000 miles (in 6 years). Some of my absolute best rides have been when we rode together, also some of the most frustrating rides have been when we rode together, sometimes on the same ride! YMMV.


    Bruce
    #18
  19. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    It's true! Don't be intimidated by the BIG DR650 thread. It's like a giant tape loop ... everything comes around ... over and over. It's still good reading though but since ADV Rider search function is NON functional ... you just have to crawl through it.

    In the meantime just follow day to day. Ask questions when you have them. Good group of guys and a regular group of DR riders there who are helpful.

    Several other big DR650 threads too ... and of course if ADV Rider is too overwhelming ... try this forum:
    http://drriders.com/

    A DR650 only forum. Great group of riders.
    #19
  20. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    The safety course if definitely in our plans. We'll just have to wait a bit for it now. We thought we had a pretty good plan set out, but you know what they say about the best made plans...

    We purchased the bikes from our local dealer, which is right nextdoor to my place of work. Literally. We share a fence. I took the bikes to work, planning to leave them there until the weekend. On Saturday we went to the shop to play with the bikes. We got to know all the controls, got to feel how everything worked, looked everything over. Then we putted around the shop, which, while not terribly large, gave us some room to ride at slow speeds, in I guess what you'd call a large U-shaped oval. You can get to second gear if you try, but it's mostly first gear speeds. We each did this several times, I think she put about 2 miles on her bike doing this.

    Then, as per the plan, if everything was going well enough, we were to go just around the corner to a little side/industrial street with no weekend traffic and pratice there. If things were not going well, we'd continue the parking lot work until they were. Things seemed to be going fine, so we left the parking lot of my work, walking the bikes to the nearby sidestreet. That's where things went wrong. She tells her story here:

    http://afishwithabicycle.blogspot.com/

    Not surprisingly, that wasn't part of the plan. The plan would have had us practicing a little on the sidestreet, and then depending on progress, either doing this all over again or proceeding to go to my parents house (likely on the following day, early Sun morning, when traffic is virtually nil) . Now, my parents house was going to be a bit of a... Well, I don't know just what, but since my mother had no knowledge of any plans to buy motorcycles, let alone having actually bought them, and of course being a mother... It was going to be interesting. But once we worked through that, we were going to practice further, as my parents live on a half mile paved private road, with connections to dirt roads as well. So we planned on setting up some cones, and working through all the exercises in the safety handbook.

    And then, on to the safety class.

    We felt that one of the great parts about the plan, was that at any point, if we didn't think things were going well, we could stop. Leave the bikes where they were (thanks to understanding boss and parents), and rethink things. We didn't have to ride anywhere.

    So much for the plan.

    MV
    #20