Will's DR650 funster project

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by willmeyer, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    Hey all. I've had a few other bikes, and I always benefit immensely from the big ole pile of info on all the forums. So I figured for my first off-road-capable bike, I'll take pictures of everything and document all the work. Maybe others looking for mods and farkles will happen on some useful details here.

    In any case, I'm looking to build up a general allarounder, something I can take on the fire roads and the occasional tougher stuff, as well as on all the back roads of VA/MD/WVA/PA that I love so much. And I want to do some camping. Something cheap, fun, a bit of a change from my heavier road bike. After a bit of research, a DR650 seemed like the perfect choice -- cheap, bulletproof, fun enough, capable of highway cruising as well as the offroad work.

    Here's what it looks like as purchased; good deal from a nice guy in a small town on a like-new 2009.

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    More to come.

    ** UPDATE ** A "most recent" pic so you get an idea of whats in the thread:

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    #1
  2. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    First things first, opened up the front to get ready for some wiring, and put on a new Acerbis supermoto front fender. Just a generic one but easy enough to drill for proper fitment.

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    #2
  3. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    Wanted to clean up that gross rear fender and tail light, so got a DRZ 250 tail light and a license plate bracket from procycle. I should have just fabbed a bracket myself once I saw how simple this procycle unit is, but oh well, not a huge deal.

    I like stainless socket head bolts, I generally replace every bolt I touch with them. You know, for more horsepower.

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  4. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    More stainless socket head bolt upgrades. Why not? And oh by the way I love boltdepot.com.

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  5. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    The hand guards that come stock on the DR650 are kind of a joke. Perhaps they'd protect from some light foliage, and they keep a modest amount of wind off, but otherwise they're not of much use. Plus they look pretty weak -- I wanted something more substantial. I had already decided on ProTaper Contour bars in the Carmichael bend, with ProTaper oversized clamps. So those went on nicely, and I was ready for a guard upgrade.

    I went with guards and mounts from Cycra Racing, and I like the way they came out. Not too much trouble with the fitment, though with tapered bars its always a bit of a tweak. I used the U style clamps, which are nice in that they allow for easy cable routing on the bars. Here are a few pics:

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    #5
  6. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    Wanted to go with lower-wattage LED signals, and had a model that I had used before on another bike. These "force" signals, cheap but work great, they have a yellow tip so the side visibility is great, which I like.

    I fabbed up some little brackets to mount them on the rear, since I've removed the rear rack for now. Wiring was straightforward, I'm using a flasher from custom led, which I like generally. Its got a bunch of variable patterns as well as the standard dot flash. I pulled out the single indicator bulb in the dash for now, but I'll wire in some diodes to prevent the four-way flash problem when I get around to it. A few pics:

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    In this pic you can see the replacement cowl I put on as well -- if you can't tell, I'm converting the plastics to white:

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    #6
  7. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    Did I mention I like stainless socket head bolts?

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    #7
  8. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    Installed some Moose Racing fork skins, the long variety. Had the forks out of the triples for other reasons, seemed like a good time to do it.

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    #8
  9. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    The OEM bike has a choke lever on the light/signal/horn switch, but as part of cleaning up the switch area I wanted to relocate the choke down to the carb area, a normal choke pull knob. I got the lever from Keintech, simple little mod.

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    #9
  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    rock on :clap
    #10
  11. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    For those times when you need something to secure a tiedown to...I got an overpriced bracket from "man racks". Not a great name, not a great website, and hey, its just a lasercut bracket. But whatever, in theory it'll be useful.

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    #11
  12. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    Ok, time to set up the TrailTech Vapor gauge. Seemed to be a popular choice, I went with it for three reasons:

    • I was going with some alternate wheels, and would need to change the speedo anyway
    • The stock speedo, even with a speedo gearing change, seems to be off non-trivially
    • Highly recommended here and elsewhere
    First I wired up the tach pickup wire -- 5 coils around the spark plug wire near the coil. I settled on 5 after trying a few different wraps and experimenting with the stability of the measurement -- giving a solid reading while not varying up and down all that much. I taped it up with gaffer tape (my favorite) and some loom.

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    I then mounted the temp sensor under the outboard spark plug. I did have to dremel the tip a bit to get it to fit nicely without getting too mangled, as the ring is a bit larger than the hole into which it needs to fit.

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    So all together, nice loomed up wiring (I'm anal about getting it clean looking).

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    Then I moved onto the speedo sensor. For the magnet on the wheel, I used the magnetic head bolt that came with the Vapor kit, and ground it down to form a round plug that I could fit into one of the rotor rivets, with a nut on the back to increase stability. I then JB Welded it into the rivet, giving it two applications with a good long night of set time between.

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    For the sensor, I drilled into the caliper bracket (while off the fork) and used a self-tapping screw to mount it just inside. Tried for a while to figure out a way to do this that didn't involve this kind of positioning, but int he end it worked out just fine once I resigned myself to tapping it right into the bracket. Having the wheel off during this really helped, though was by no means necessary.

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    Now on to the dash...this required a little more thought. I wanted to have a powerlet plug up there, and of course to mount the Vapor. After going back and forth on all kinds of configurations, I settled on a very simple setup that involved two aluminum brackets I whipped up. This gives me a nice secure mount for the Vapor as well as a powerlet port, both positioned nicely and maintaining the stock ignition and indicator strip. I will probably move those eventually, but for now I kept them where they were to minimize rework.

    Here's how that all came together.

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    So all in all, the Vapor came out great -- need to put some miles on the thing to really test out the setup, but I'm pretty happy with where its at right now. I'll get the bracket powdercoated once I finish some other fab stuff and have a batch of parts ready.
    #12
  13. mega-hertz

    mega-hertz creature of the wheel

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    awesome:clap
    #13
  14. Black7

    Black7 Adventurer

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    While I'm really diggin' the enthusiasm and your choice of mods, I'm thinking you will want to rethink those rear tails if you take it off-road. They look prime for being ripped off by a tree limb or thick brush, not to mention if you go down. Just a thought.

    Nice job!

    Oh, and yes its laughable how bad the stock speedo is at estimating within about 20%, your speed.
    #14
  15. Olas

    Olas the darkness

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    How so? This set up looks like it's much more tucked away from harm's reach than the stock unit. I like the clean, dirt bike look to it but what about the license plate light? I guess it doesn't matter unless you're riding at night.
    #15
  16. Black7

    Black7 Adventurer

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    In my opinion, the stockers are heftier and while they are still "out there", I'd imagine they are better able to withstand being caught on whatever passes by. Again, just my opinion.

    #16
  17. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    Yeah I admit I am still not completely sold. I want a flush mount, really, though didn't really find any options I liked. The HDB ones are nice, but a little bulky. There is another billet style I've seen that had more or less the same issue. But, I do like the smaller LEDs a lot better, so will see how they do.
    #17
  18. willmeyer

    willmeyer Geek

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    Good catch ;-) I have a small LED plate light that will tuck up right above the plate, haven't installed it yet but will do next time I have the seat off for the wiring. I do ride at night so definitely want to have it.
    #18
  19. malokam

    malokam Been here awhile

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    Nice build. I like how you cleaned up the wiring.. :clap
    #19
  20. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    If you look around on dirt bike forums ... or even read the manufacturers
    install instructions ... you will find they suggest your Bark buster be set parallel to the ground.

    Your right side guard appears angled UP too high. What happens is you can catch a branch and get jerked right off the bikes ... at speed. Ask me how I know about this. :D Less chance of a snag if BB is parallel. Also, if you have your levers set correctly you will reduce Carpal Tunnel numbing of hands on longer rides. Your levers seem angled UP also, which causes wrist bend.

    Your levers should be angled slightly downward. When you are sitting they may be just a bit low ... but for standing you'll have less wrist bend ... which cause Carpal Tunnel/numbness. Once the levers are set properly there should be no need to cut Ball end off lever end.
    BB's are a pain and take a bit of fiddling to get right.

    Nice build!

    PS : are your rear signal stalks rubber mounted? I like the Buell signals.

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    #20