DR650SE Path To Enlightenment?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Motophysics, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Motophysics

    Motophysics how does it work?

    Apr 26, 2006
    Northern Occupied Mexico (South Texas)
    I am strongly considering giving myself a DR650SE for my rapidly approaching 60th birthday. The mission for the bike is to allow my 6'1" 200lb body to explore the mountains of Mexico that are approximately a 4 hour ride away. I will be on roads as available and dirt roads/trails as necessary to see the sights, but I have no plans for extreme trailing or motocrossing (yes I am an old wimp).

    I have read a number of threads in which people laundry list the equipment and mods to their machines in such a way that it seems to be the standard operating procedure, unfortunately for a newbie (me) I can't readily decode the message. Would one of you please give me your annotated list of required mods and equipment changes that are required to bring this bike up to a reasonable service level.

  2. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

    Jul 5, 2005
    Golden CO
    For mods you can generally go as much or little as you like. Unless you really require a lot more of the bike than it was designed for mods are largely a source of entertainment rather than absolutely necessary.

    For your use on the DR I expect you'll want a larger fuel tank (a plastic one will also save weight for a given amount of fuel). Other than that I don't think there are any manditory mods.

    If it were me riding the stuff you describe I'd buy a larger tank, a set of my favorite bend pro-taper bars, add heating elements under the grips and cycra hand guards (protects the hands and also controll levers in the event of a fall).

    Carb jetting is pretty manditory if you want it to run right for your conditions, but this is true for any carb'd bike.

    oh, after some seat time you may want an aftermarket seat. Everyone is so different there's no way to know if you'll be comfortable or not on the stock seat, but most folks that didn't like the stocker seemd to like the corbin.

    Have fun:D
  3. snaggleXR650

    snaggleXR650 Been here awhile

    Jan 12, 2006
    I ride with a guy that has an '05 DR650. He has it 100% stock and he FLIES on that bike. He's in his mid 50's, about 200lb. He get's GREAT gas mileage with the stock corked up bike, and it makes 'enough' HP to get you ANYWHERE you have the balls to go. Ride it stock and enjoy it. When you get jonesing for more power then look into uncorking/rejetting it.
  4. ScottJ

    ScottJ Wandering Jew/Sally Tribe

    Oct 26, 2005
    North of the cities, MN
    Hi I have the 03 DR650SE. If you are going to be riding for the 4 hrs you stated you will need to change the seat. I redid my seat, however I haven't ridden it for more than an hour. I would highly recommend you purchase a Corbin seat. If gas is available every 125 miles you won't need a larger fuel tank. People have takled about replacing the suspension. I have not done that yet (probably will happen next year). There is a yahoo group that can provide a lot of answers. http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/DR650/
    This bike is a blast.
    Have Fun!

    KRAUTER Riding the forest

    Apr 2, 2006
    I have a 98 DR650.
    The first change, I did was replacing the fork springs and the rear shock spring.
    Even if you don't plan on much heavy-duty dirtriding, the stock suspension is no good.
    Especially the rear shock spring is way to soft even under full preload.
    It is a fairly inexpensive modofication and easy to do (I could do it!) which results in a way better ride.
    Put a IMS 4.0 gal gas tank on it and you are all good to go!

  6. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

    Dec 22, 2005
    Tri- Cities TN
    One word answer: Tires.
  7. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

    Jul 17, 2004
    Lower US 48
    Not to hijack the thread, but I am on course for purchasing the same bike, and wonder if the IMS 4.0 gallon tank is really worth it?

    The stock tank specs at 3.4 gallons. Is the range gained from an extra 6/10's of a gallon worth the money and hassle?

    If I'm going to go to the trouble and spend the money for another tank, I would think the Aqualine 34 liter (8.9 US Gal.) tank to be the way to go.


    At 50 mpg, that would allow a range of almost 450 miles between fill-ups, and if weight is an issue, one could always run it at half tank -- and still have more fuel on board than the stock tank allows.

    My personal plan is to purchase a bike right around new years, and then go with the Aqualine tank and a Corbin seat. Having owned another Suzuki years ago, I also think a larger rear sprocket might be wise. After that, I'll see what feels necessary.

    Just MHO.
  8. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

    Aug 20, 2003
    "My leg's tired, let's live here."
    I have an '03 DR with most of the mods. At the least, I recommend the tank, seat, suspension and jetting. It makes the bike entirely more enjoyable when you aren't in pain from the seat. Sounds like these changes will be mandatory for the riding you are planning.

    You are looking at approx $800 for this:
    Corbin seat $270
    IMS tank $225
    DJ jetting $60 or much less
    Eibach springs $230 (front/rear)

    Here's a great thread about mods done to the DR:


    Here's a shot or two of mine:


    The day I brought it home:
  9. nachtflug

    nachtflug deplorable

    Jan 23, 2002
    Hells Kitchen
    damn. sweet looking bike. wanna sell it...
  10. yater

    yater Long timer

    Oct 10, 2004
    The IMS is 4.9 gallons...not 4 gallons. With that tank, my range is 220-250 miles, depending on my riding. That's a significant increase and well worth it.
  11. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

    Apr 8, 2005
    North Slope of the Flint Hills
    I've heard Avon Gripsters are a good bet if you're putting on lots of road miles (paved and unpaved) and moderate trail stuff. A riding buddy uses them when he does longer trips on his DR, with good results. He bought a bicycle gel seat pad and installed it under the cover on his DR seat.
  12. herbert

    herbert Been here awhile

    Feb 17, 2004
    Got two of them bc I liked them so much - sorry if this has been already mentioned, but doesn't acerbis offer a tank that's like 6 gallons? Otherwise I am happy with the DR, my poor gs has a battery tender on her for the last couple of months...
  13. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

    Jul 17, 2004
    Lower US 48
    Okay, 4.9 is better to the tune of 1.5 gallons (vs the .6 gallons that I mentioned above).

    I picked up the 4.0 gallons from Krauter's post.
    To my thinking, the larger tank is still appealing. Having once run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, I tend now to err on the side of caution -- which in this case, would translate into "put the biggest tank available on the bike."

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  14. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

    Jun 12, 2003
    On the road
    I agree with the others have said. We have two DR650s, a '00 and a '05. Here is the basic formula most people use: The Corbin is about $270 and sooooo worth it, the 4.9 gal. IMS tank about $210, $230 for the Eibach or Progressive springs, $80 for a Utah Sport Cycle skid plate, $20 for a 14T countershaft sprocket, $60 for some good Maier hand guards, and about $60 for the DynoJet kit and you are ready for anything. 50mpg and about as reliable as a bag of hammers, Oil/air cooled just like a big GS. If you want to go farther, a FMF Q muffler is $329 and I put on a $60 Pro Taper handlebar. Set up gearing and tires for your intended uses. I use Dunlop 606 DOT knobbies (about $120 a set) but if you put on some more pavement friendly DS tires, you have a hell of a canyon bike.

    FatWife's '00 DR650:


    My '05 DR650:

  15. WR_guy

    WR_guy Been here awhile

    May 28, 2004
    96' Dr650 - 200 wr400f street legal -- Hot xr50
    The Acerbis is 4 gal...I have one. The main tank is the same as a stocker and the reserve is .5 gal bigger. Its a little wider than the stock tank too.
  16. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

    Sep 30, 2004
    My personal recommendation is the corbin seat, and springs.

    Based on your height/weight and riding 4 hours to get to the mountains, you will most likely not want to do this on the stock seat. Stock springs are too soft for anyone over probably 150, though you may get by with them for light duty use.
    The bigger and less dentable plastic tank may be worth it to you, so consider this before getting the seat, so you get the right one. Not essential though.
    In contrast to others I wouldn't recommend rejetting. It runs fine stock and gets good gas mileage. I've rejetted and am trying to find a good compromise now. You may want to rejet but I certainly wouldn't call it an essential mod.
    For the kind of riding you described, the stock tires are ok. People will say all kinds of silly things about them, but they are typical street oriented dual sport tires and they work fine on easy trails, they just don't shed mud.
  17. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

    Nov 14, 2005
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    In addition to what the others have said (good advice, BTW), I'd pop for a set of heavy duty tubes too. Good insurance.
  18. oldasdirt

    oldasdirt Been here awhile

    May 26, 2005
    The first two things to do on the DR650 are mandatory. Get rid of those stinking tires. We call them deathwings. Next the handlebars are made of the softest metal known to man. For creature comfort I'd go with an IMS gastank and a Corbin seat. Respring for your weight both front and rear. If you are serious about riding some mountains, you have to regear the 14 on the front will make a world of difference. Spend about 60 more bucks for a DJ jetting kit and you have a pretty darn good trailbike. Sure it will be a touch heavy but it will be a tourqe-monster you can count on. It will eat a KLR for lunch. oldasdirt:lol3 :evil :evil
  19. wibby

    wibby BrotherFromAnotherMother

    Mar 20, 2005
    Grass Pants Orygun
    Stock tank I hit reserve anywhere from 85-95 miles, so the IMS is not very appealing to me. That Safari tank sure looks like the SHIT though! I might have to order one of those!

    I have a Supertrapp IDS2, Dynojet and geared for the dirt. Stock gearing is just too tall for tight woods riding around here

    I've beefed up the suspension, and threw away the Deathwings, run DOT knobbies. The Deathwings will put you on your butt before you know what happ'd

    Stock seat works for me, I can spend all day on it no problem

    JESSE KIENTZ is a good guy to deal with for DR650 stuff http://www.kientech.com/DR650ProdList.htm

    As is Norman Kouba http://www.koubalink.com/mirror.html
  20. ontheborder

    ontheborder Been here awhile

    Feb 15, 2005
    southeast arizona
    I ride an 03 with corbin seat and ims tank. I use Ortlieb bags. In Sept. I met an older gal that road a dr with the gel seat and put the beaded seat cover on it. She said she could ride 400 mile days with no probem using that combo. You have some seating options to choose for your ride.