My DR650 rebuild

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by trialstech, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    5140FCC7-5767-4EAB-ADC7-935B8A425A90.jpeg If it’s okay I’d like to write up my rebuild journey here time to time as a kind of diary and maybe can get some tips from others along the way.

    I forget the exact year it was either 2005 or 2006, I bought a barely used 2002 DR650SE and had a few fun years of dual sporting up in the NC mountains with it. We would typically camp, or hotel, somewhere around Maggie Valley, or Max Patch, and ride the various roads in the area including Hurricane Creek we did a few times. In fact I first heard of this website and forum from another member on one of these rides. I forget what it was called but everyone left from the vintage motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley abs maybe it was a poker run? We all got the route sheet and at the end there was bbq and such. Great fun.

    Anyway around 2009 I quit riding altogether. My DR has sat up unmoved ever since, in the back of my storage shed with bad gas in it, dry rot tires, etc. Here’s a current photo.

    When I did the TAT last month we ended up riding with a fellow on a nicely built up DR and I really liked it. I’ve decided to bring mine back to life and do a lot of similar (typical?) upgrades.

    My first problem is I don’t know where the key to the bike is. So after I get it freed from the bike lock on the rear wheel (don’t remember the combination either), then I’ll haul it to a locksmith and have a new key cut.

    I’ve started a spreadsheet wish list of a bunch of parts and have already ordered the 5.3 gal Acerbis tank and placed an order for Mikuni carb from Procycle which is on back order for a few months. I’m not in a hurry so while I’m waiting for the carb I have plenty of other things to work on.

    It's not definite, but my ultimate goal I think would be to build this up nice, and go back and do my favorite parts of the west half of the TAT with some extras, on this bike.
    #1
  2. turbomax

    turbomax Adventurer

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    Looks like fun, I can't wait to watch your progress.
    #2
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  3. Broken Wings

    Broken Wings Been here awhile

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    Subscribed!!!..... I want the trials bike parked next to it. (Smiles)
    #3
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  4. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    Yeah I need to get the Triumph running also!
    #4
  5. Tall Man

    Tall Man Clean up in Aisle 46.

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    @trialstech

    Best of luck to you. I bought my second (and current) DR650 because I regretted selling my first one. There's no better recommendation for a bike than that, in my estimation. :thumbup

    The Thread of Awesome is just next door. Stop by anytime. Pay no mind to the recurring off-topic chatter. We've discussed everything about the DR countless times, and will circle back as soon as you need a question answered.
    #5
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  6. Bungholio

    Bungholio Long timer

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    Instead of the carb, you could just install a key kit, trim to out of airbox, and drill the slide. Made mine quicker revving and much better power. And lighter muffler too.
    #6
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  7. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I've seen that on a youtube video. That's an idea for sure. I could also just try to restore it to stock running condition. But at this point, I'm leaning towards the motto: "One bad decision deserves another". Which is to say, that why not take a motorcycle which has been parked unused and taxes and insurance paid every year for twice the number of years it's actually been used, and let's pour more money into it. ;)
    #7
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  8. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    Plans include:

    • new carb upgrade (Mikuni) and throttle cables
    • new clutch cable and lubricate
    • larger fuel tank (Acerbis 5.3)
    • new exhaust (DG RST)
    • lower/bigger footpegs
    • front forks: new seals, oil, springs, dampers
    • rear suspension: maybe new spring and oil in stock shock
    • re-grease stuff
    • new brake fluid - either try this myself or outsource to a shop. I've done it before and not a pro with it
    • seat concepts new seat foam and cover
    • new handlebars (Renthal RC High?) and bark busters, grips
    • lithium battery
    • Optimate USB charger
    • new plastics w/ super moto front fender
    • windscreeen TBD
    • dr250(?) smaller rear taillight + LED bulb
    • LED turn signals
    • some kind of LED front headlight/bulb in a new cowl. looking to do the dark grey/black color scheme
    • wheel bearing service
    • the recommended DR mods - coutershaft seal, NSU, airbox drill, etc
    • skidplate, barkbusters, case armor
    • sprocket and chain conversion, maybe gearing change
    • Shinko or Dunlop tires

    I've probably forgotten many things. Getting started is going to be the hardest part, because as you can see from that photo my storage/workspace is gross and cluttered. Have to tackle this first, get a place setup and then fix the missing key problem.
    #8
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  9. Bhart89

    Bhart89 Long timer Supporter

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    Can’t wait to see this rebirth. Yellow was the best DR650 color.
    #9
  10. Yella DR

    Yella DR It'll be fine they said Supporter

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    Ya,eh
    #10
  11. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    I got it out of the back of the shed, pumped up the tires and rented a uhaul trailer. Loaded up the bike and took it to a locksmith who is going to fabricate a new key. That means of course now the missing key will reappear. The gas tank reeks of turpentine. I'm ordering a lithium battery and also sourced a LED headlight bulb. think I'll give it a good wash after I pick it up and an preliminary oil change.
    #11
  12. Broken Wings

    Broken Wings Been here awhile

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    It might be less expensive to just purchase a new switch with key off of #bay
    #12
  13. silverbandit1

    silverbandit1 Adventure Dreaming..

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    Following along on this project :lurk
    #13
  14. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    I've been thinking about this a lot. There are basically two ways to go with this. I can either build a sweet shop setup, tear the whole bike down and rebuild it as I mentioned originally. Or - I can tackle it in phases. Such as:
    • Rescue Phase (get the bike running - new key, battery, tires, clean/rebuild carb as needed, install the new tank)
    • Update Phase (ergonomics, suspension, seat, plastics, armor , etc)
    • Performance Phase (mods for increased power/torque - exhaust, Mikuni carb swap, airbox mod, sprockets and gearing)
    While the full restoration sounds like it would be a more exciting thread to read, especially if I had a beautifully lit and equipped workshop with a fancy bike lift and such to putter around with all winter, I don't have that at all. So I think I'm leaning towards tackling in phases.
    #14
  15. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    i have a beautifully lit fully equipped shop, and its still easier to tackle it in phases.
    #15
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  16. turbomax

    turbomax Adventurer

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    Phases, that way you get to enjoy it in between.
    #16
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  17. Broken Wings

    Broken Wings Been here awhile

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    Just getting it running will do wonders for the next phase of the build.
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  18. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    Alright, so I got started a little bit. I haven't cleaned up that shed yet - but I made a little room up by the front door where I can open it and get sunlight. I got one of those cheap Amazon scissor lifts and tested it out. Definitely not as nice as the full lift I have been looking at over at Harbor Freight which you can roll the bike on but it'll work alright. I gave it a wash and inspection the other day after I got the key made at the locksmith. On one hand a lot of this bike looks really good for being basically 20 years old. But I do see surface rust here and there.


    There are little surface rust spots on the top part of the forks around the triple tree clamps. I'm hoping maybe just some Brillo or steel wool might knock that off. There are rusty surfaces on some of the case cover bolts. Maybe I can replace those with stainless Allen bolts. The tires are holding air which is good so I can roll it around.


    [​IMG]


    With the bike up on the lift I went ahead and removed the seat and gas tank. When I undid the fuel line from the carb I had an old coffee cup ready to catch any spill from the hose but there was none. Dry as a bone. That made me wonder if perhaps the carb might be dry as well - which means maybe it won't have gummed up jets and float. That would be great news. Anyway, I removed the old tank. The locksmith was not able to get the key to work in the tank, he said it's likely corroded with old gas fumes and I can see that it looks like varnish on the keyhole. The tank feels about 1/2 full. I put it to the side. it's in great shape other than the key lock and the bad gas in it, I partially want to restore it back to stock but at the same time the point of this is to do some upgrades and build a mini ADV travel bike, so the Acerbis tank will replace it.


    I installed the Tusk lithium battery and used the little foam pieces to make it fit in the battery compartment. The battery which was in it was not used very long, kind of a shame to waste it but even if I charged it up I don't expect a 13 year old battery to be reliable. The new battery weighs half as much it feels like.


    [​IMG]


    I went ahead and removed both the rear and front wheels to take them and the new Shinko 244's over to Cycle Gear to mount and balance later this week, and get new heavy duty tubes. I'll also pick up spare tubes to add to my kit.

    [​IMG]



    I went ahead and got started on putting together the Acerbis tank. Not a lot to it. I followed some YouTube instructions, which was basically to clean it out (I swished water around from the garden hose), install the petcock (I put a little grease on the o-ring), and attach the seat bracket. The seat is a little tricky to install. Anyway I didn't hook up the fuel line let, because I need to get some new line and an in-line fuel filter. I assume if you install an in-line filter in the hose that you remove the little one on the inlet of the carb. I'll do some research on that.


    [​IMG]


    I turned the key to make sure the electrics were working. Everything lit up, turn signals etc. I noticed my hi beam headlight didn't work, but I assume it might be the bulb (which I plan to replace with LED), or maybe a fuse, or maybe the switch is corroded. Just for kicks I tried the ignition to see if the starter would fire. Nothing. Pressing the button several times nothing happened. Then about the 7th press it fired off.


    I had some 40mm (I think) bar risers laying about and I put them on, maybe I'll try this out before purchasing new higher bars.


    I suppose the next thing that has to happen is get the carb out and open the float bowl and look around. I've heard the JIS screwdriver is needed, or possibly some brute force to get those float bowl screws off. I need to order a carb rebuild kit and also I need the turn signal relocation kit to keep the lamps from hitting the larger tank sides.


    Or I could just hook up the fuel line and gas it up and see what happens...
    #18
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  19. The_Eccentric

    The_Eccentric Gearhead.

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    Yes when you add an in-line fuel filter you should ditch the little OEM one in the carb inlet.
    #19
  20. freebird914

    freebird914 Adventurer Supporter

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    Following ... I have a 2001 DR650 that I have started updating myself ... I already have a few things done will be interesting to watch your progress. What did you do the TAT on ? I want to do the TAT myself but need to get the bike where I want it first.
    #20