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Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Soldier311, Apr 22, 2015.
Versys and 500X.
DL650 and 500X.
i did say that i thought Rally Raid did a good job developing the 500X kit (i followed along in your thread), and have no doubt that the quality is there. the kit will doubtless appeal to many 500X riders for exactly the reasons you state.
however, there is another segment in the riding community, worldwide for a fact, that through choice or circumstance would prefer to build or modify their own motos. this is not a new phenomenon so much as a continuing practice, particularly in the US, where access to cheap parts, materials, and equipment, makes the process much easier than in some other countries.
an admittedly biased opinion, but there is some satisfaction in riding a moto that you built or modified to your own design and specifications...and with your own two hands. it's a big open road out there, plenty of room for all riders and their choice of bikes.
I am curious why the wire wheels are such a big desire? Strength? Weight? Is it ease of seating the bead after a change? I've changed a lot of tires and usually have no problem getting tubeless tires to seat, even with a small electric pump.
Cast wheels have a tendency to shatter on a hard/higher speed hit. Nothing wrong with them on a casual roll over but, not so good if your trying to keep you're buddies on more dirt worthy machines in sight.
Wire spokes flex a bit & bounce over roots/rocks & stuff.
I have a buddy who built a dual sport from the 650 Ninja & he rode it everywhere I went on my KLR. Only saw him dump it once. projects like that are very cool but, I'm not confident enough in my mechanical skill to attempt it & prefer a serious effort from the manufacturer or an established after market brand like Rally Raid. God bless those of you who do build cool project bikes like this, I enjoy the heck out of them.
i guess that's the beauty of the moto scene, there are options for everyone.
the issue of cast wheel use pokes up from time-to-time, often coupled with "shatter", but when asked for a photo of a cast wheel that has cracked or shattered in normal use, the only photos are from wrecks.
plenty of bent wheels out there that were damaged during use on or off pavement...both cast and spoked.
It took me over 5 years and reading all the build threads to finally take the plunge. I built my bike using JD's builds as examples. I took notes from all the builds but 95% from JD.
I have owned several KLR650's and I think they are good bikes for what they are. When I bought the Versys I had a KLR, a DR650 rigged and ready. Sold them both to fund my build. I also have a R1100GS in the garage and love it.
Now completed and put in 4 rides 300 miles each, I made the right choice. The Versys does everything on the road that the GS does but not as comfortable, it excells off raod compaired to the GS. The Versys does everything off road the KLR and DR does but not as comfortable. This is within reason of course, I know what I did on my KLRs and would not do that on the Versys. But the Versy conversion kills the KLR and DR on pavement.
If I wanted to ride single track, I would get the proper tool for that.
These conversions are not single track bikes, they are awesome little Adventure bikes.
I feel it sits firmly between the KLR650/DR650 and R1100GS.
If you are on the fence about doing one of these builds, JUMP. You want be sorry.
Hmmm...I know you love your DL, but seriously, how can you question the offroad ability of a DR with a straight face? The DR is probably the most dirt capable of the big enduros from Japan, and it's not really that bad on the highway for a thumper. The DR riders you were with must have been beginners or something.
Personally I am hoping for an FZ-07 based bike from Yamaha, but I'm not holding my breath. I bought an XT350 to stuff one of my XS650 Yamaha engines in, but the XT was too nice to cut up! I may go looking for another XT frame for that project, but for now I go for the DR for serious offroad and the Stelvio for more highway riding.
A 60-80 hp midsized twin would be perfect.
I've owned and ridden the DL650 V-Strom, the Versys 650, the NC700X and the KLR650 (not a twin) but still looking for a light weight, twin cylinder dual sport that's comfortable, reliable and affordable.
I would like to see an answer for your inquiry also. A light weight twin cylinder dual sport motorcycle would be great. I guess the modified Honda CB500X is the closest match?
I'd say the DR650 is still more dirt-orientated than any of the above... but that is the inherent compromise of course?
However, it doesn't mean the CB500X can't get close to the ideal in the right hands (and with a few choice mods of course ;o)
I think he was just saying the DL is better on dirt roads. He acknowledged the DR is better offroad. And I have to say I'd be inclined to agree with that. I had a DL1000 and never would have taken that pig offroad - i.e. rutted up trails, off camber technical stuff. But I will say it may have been the most stable bike I have owned with respect to dirt/gravel roads. Some may call this "offroad", but if a minivan can easily negotiate it, to me it is just a dirt road. The DLs do quite well in that environment.
Now if you start approaching your travel limits or need to throw all 500+ pounds around, that is certainly a different story.
OK, I can buy that...my Stelvio is the most stable bike ever on dirt/gravel roads...but I would still much rather be on the DR if things have a chance of getting gnarly. It's all fun and games until you have to turn around on an off-camber goat trail when the road peters out..lol
i have both [multiples] and love both for what they are, but to say the DL beats the DR on anything but paved road is silly.... sorry.
one only has to hop one object on each bike [try it on the DL] to start the delirious laughter.
People who have ridden a lot do not buy DR's to ride them in stock condition - a DR is a platform that one builds into a customized DS mile-eater monster.
the aftermarket is vast and innovation is still coming.
whatever it is you want the DR to do, it will do it if you have the sense to spec it and buy what you need.
But it ain't a great 2-up bike, though it can be done with custom seat, spring/shock, and has been done for vast distances. Its not a bike for weather protection. for that you need a longer bike and it will be heavier by 100lbs.
Versys is too cramped for me. if there was any way to exterminate that notched frame/pan I would probably give one a whirl, but the DR is leggier roomier for me than the versys, easily. sweet motor on the versys however, but it ain't light. heavy for what it is
What is the notched frame/pan on the Versys?
There is a seat builder who makes a flat seatb for the versys. Not much for cushion in the pillion area though. I think he sells them on ebay.
As the OP, I'm interested in how different a DR650 and CB500X would feel performance-wise on the road (i.e. acceleration, speed, etc.). Anyone have experience on both?
Not sure which is faster, but I can tell you my XR650R would leave either far behind.
I have both, a DR650 with a 19" front, pumper carb, OS header, yada, yada, yada, and a relatively stock CB500X, engine wise; they both accelerate to 60 in roughly the same time, easily less than a block for either, the only difference is how they get there... the DR pulls a lot harder, the CB more smoothly, although the end result is the same. The DR likes to hit it hard to 70, the CBX likes to keep going to 85-90. The simplicity and weight of the DR make it a favorite in the dirt, the extra weight of the CB make it a bugger to pick up in the mud(don't ask how I know this). I took the CB out with a buddy on his KTM 1190 on street tires, I was running Shinko Ravens, and I was surprised how usable third gear was, just riding the torque bubble around 4k, keeping the bike at 40-45 on the gravel; I can only imagine the difference a set of TKC80's would make, and a little under armor. I wouldn't consider taking the DR on a 3000 mile road trip if I was in any kind of a hurry, but I wouldn't hesitate to take off on the CB fully loaded with camping gear and be in Moab 2.5 days from now, as a matter of fact, I plan to do just that in June/July, across New Mexico, up into Colorado, Utah, then be in Crested Butte July 4th to see the half baked scientists of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory clad only in flora march in the parade playing trombones and kazoos.
Just need to update it with a modern lighter weight engine and components.
Thanks for that comparison, dog.