When a project gets out of hand: Building two DR650 RTW bikes

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by micko01, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Hi clint - you should definitely try and find the time to build one - getting that weight out of the bags makes a big difference. It is a bit of a two for one deal as it get tools out of panniers and then things from your top bag can come down to the pannier bags.


    Hi jag - yeah it's a pet peeve of mine too. How common is it to see pannier bags mounted high and to the rear of the bike, or bikes with small pannier bags which are too small so extra little bags get strapped on all over the bike up high to compensate? Bigger panniers and no top bag at all is a better solution.

    Weight distribution can get over looked in the pursuit of weight minimisation, which can be a mistake depending on the type of riding people like to do. For a weekend away with a few kilos of luggage - where it's loaded on the bike isn't really the end of the world, but as soon as you need big loads for 4 or 5 days away of big kilometre riding, distributing that load is absolutely critical.
    #61
    Colebatch likes this.
  2. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    I’m afraid this next couple posts might be a bit rambling and all over the place as the electrical modifications were also a bit over the place. A heap of different things got done for various different reasons so I’ll do my best to explain them.

    The first issue was charging – the standard DR’s stator tries hard but at 200W it runs out of steam pretty quickly once you start adding load to the system. I did consider getting a high output stator but my budget was getting pushed by all the other purchases, and when everything is doubled for two bikes the costs add up pretty quick. So 2 high output stators was ruled out, which was an easy decision when converting the stator from wye to delta is such a well proven alternative. The other benefit of pursuing this option is my old man is an electrical engineer so this modification was right up his alley!

    Many people have done this and its very well documented on Procycle’s site and also a few other places so I wont bother to go through the process, but I’ll share a photo so this post isn’t all me dribbling….. Here is my Dad using the soldering iron to disconnect the wye terminals to start on the delta wiring.

    [​IMG]

    Next up was the reg/rec. Boosting the output of the stator to 280W but leaving the reg/rec standard seemed like a recipe for eventual reg/rec failure to me, so an upgrade was necessary. Upgrading to a MOSFET unit from a CBR600RR is a mod all over the internet so I did some research into that and sourced two FH008xx reg/recs from the states. If you are keen on this mod, from my research any FH008xx reg/rec will do the job so don’t get worried about what the xx code is after the FH008 as that’s the unimportant bit. The important bit is FH008 as FH is MOSFET; 008 is 35 amp (from memory – it might be 30 amp I cant quite remember but either way its more than the delta wired stator can produce) and in that particular shape; the xx code is whether its 5 or 7 wires and also specifies what plugs are on the pigtail from what I could establish. So the two I got where different, one was coded BA and the other EE or something like that – either way one was 5 wire and the other was 7 wire and the plugs were different, but it doesn’t matter as it all gets chopped off anyway.

    Both have 3 yellow wires which are the 3 phases out of the stator and you can plug these in in any combination you want. We used some large spade connectors for this. Then the 5 wire reg/rec had a red and a black wire. Red went to the positive battery terminal through a 40amp fuse, the black to the negative. We did consider plugging these wires back into the loom where the OEM reg/rec plugged in, but these wires now seemed a little undersized for the application and it was just as easy, probably even easier to wire straight up to the battery so that’s what we did.

    The 7 wire reg/rec had 3 yellow wires, 2 green and 2 red. The process for this reg/rec was the same although the execution slightly different; the 3 yellows go to the stator, the 2 red ran in parallel to the +ve through a fuse and the 2 green to the –ve.

    Mounting the thing took some modification to the body of the reg/rec as its slightly too large for the space it mounts in. Some grinding of the heat sink to clear the frame and also a little on the other side to clear the airbox is all that’s required, and some longer bolts and its all mounted up. The bolt spacing is the same.

    It’s a really easy mod and being MOSFET it is about 6 times more efficient than the shunt style OEM reg/rec. About 6 times you ask? We actually did measure this by accident but only for the following reason - when starting the bikes up, the first one kicked into life and started charging without a drama. Everything was so sweet it was almost too easy. The second one though had us scratching our heads – it started but the voltmeter showed it wasn’t charging. Oh shit we thought, something is wrong with the delta modified stator!

    So we put the multi meter across the 3 phases of the stator to check resistance – cant remember what we read now but all the phases basically balanced so that eased our tensions that the delta mod was wired incorrectly. So we tested voltage at idle and got something like 0.3V per phase. Mmmm that’s wrong – very wrong, we were expecting maybe 10 to 14. So we unplugged the FH008 reg/rec and plugged the OEM reg/rec into the circuit and got nearly 2V per phase. Ok we thought…. What does this mean?

    That was a bit strange so we decided to test voltage across the phases but open circuit – ie stator not plugged into the reg/rec. We got something like 30V or so (I’m trying to remember these figures from 2 months ago so don’t quote me on them exactly… but they should be kind of ball park) per phase rising to 70V or so with the motor revved up. Now that made sense – the stator was working fine.

    So thinking about it: the stator was producing +30V into an open circuit, into a higher resistance reg/rec ~2V and a lower resistance reg/rec ~0.3V. This is an impedance problem – there is some high resistance or a bad termination somewhere in the wiring. We checked the positive and negative wires from the reg/rec to the battery and everything was terminated correctly, but turns out the fuse in the +ve wire was blown – it was a 10amp fuse in the holder as it was re-appropriated from another use and never had the fuse changed. We put in a 40 amp fuse and it charged like a beauty.

    In retrospect the fuse holder should have been the first place to look but when its 11pm and your tired and have done so much work to a bike I think its natural to think the worst. But it was an interesting little diagnosis exercise and showed that under the same conditions, the MOSFET had a much lower resistance as shown by the voltage readings - about 0.3V vs 2V for the shunt style. Lets call it 6 times less resistance. Interesting I thought!

    Ok, next up I’ll go through the lights and other electrical hardware.
    #62
    TreasureState, LM15 and pzvt like this.
  3. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    impressive build :clap:clap:clap
    #63
  4. treborbig

    treborbig Been here awhile

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    Hey guys .Bikes look good glad i could help..yeh i got that you wanted to burn them sometimes.:D Worth it tho look awesome.Im stuck at home cracked couple bones in foot out on powerline track in weekend :cry.Mmm yeh we learnt a lot off those tanks and toolboxes.so much easier on the next build :roflLike that stator /rectifier upgrade ..got plenty spare time now.Suscribed:deal
    #64
  5. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Cheers Walter, your XC build thread was quite useful for me for generating ideas when putting together the front end! Thanks!

    Bummer Rob - epic bummer. Shame you didn't get to ride them before we went. We have just got back from some FANTASTIC riding in the southern Drakensburg. Bloody fantastic riding! With the RMZ forks and CD mojave rear , plus the damper, the bike is a different animal. Had the DR backing in like a mofo and fully loaded to boot!!! Been smiling like a loon all evening. Also, Reg/rec upgrade very worthwhile - with absolutely everything on the bike still sits at about 13.4V or so. Works very well.


    Otherwise, I'll get back to this build thread but been a bit busy riding, fixing a few little teething problems, riding, and also just chillaxing. But will get back to this build thread and finish up. Plus need to start the RR........
    #65
  6. theofam

    theofam Long timer Supporter

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    Mick, these five pages have been some of the most insightful of recent memory. Thanks for taking the time to write this up for us!

    Hope you're having a great time on your ride. I look forward to the ride report; but, if you find yourself with some downtime, I'd love to read about the electrical and lighting mods, too!
    #66
  7. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Thanks theofam. We have a bit of downtime at the moment - we have a few rest days after riding through the top of Lesotho and the Northern Drakensberg. Plan is to rest up, clean some airfilters and check the bikes, then FINISH this build report........ finally. its hard though when there is so much great writing to be done!
    #67
  8. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Next on the electrical front was mounting everything that needed to be wired up, of which there was a bit. The Acura TL projectors are not sealed units and had been in the shed getting test fitted multiple times to the headlight tower. Dust in the shed had made its way into the light housing, which now required cleaning and sealing. We ended up sealing them with aluminium backed tape and silicon around the wires to the dipper solenoid.

    While the lights were apart I had a look at the dipper mechanism and could see that all the lights were from left hand drive vehicles, which would be a problem in Australia and parts of Africa. You can see in the following photo the dipper blade (not sure if that’s the right term…) has a high section on the right hand side which cuts off the low beam so oncoming traffic isn’t blinded. This translates from the right hand side of the dipper blade onto the left hand side of the road once the light is reflected off the back of the projector. Everything is reversed by the reflector, right goes to left and up becomes down, hence the dipper blade comes from below yet cuts off the top of the light beam.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to set up one light for left hand drive and one for right hand drive so legally I’d have a leg to stand on if ever pulled over by the cops, which would be likely enough with our over zealous constabulary in Oz. So I ground off the high section of the dipper blade and built up the left hand side with aluminium tape. This dipper blade was put in the top light of both bikes so in countries that drive on the left we can use that light as a low beam.

    [​IMG]

    The two photos are a little confusing as they are looking over the dipper blade from opposite directions….. We have used these lights a few times now and they are fantastic. The first time we rode together, Tanya was behind me with both lights on low beam and I had to stop and get her to turn the bottom one (the one for driving on the right hand side of the road) off as the oncoming traffic was flashing their lights as if she was on high beam. Once that was off, oncoming traffic was much happier. It was still so bright in the mirrors though that we have adjusted the headlights some more since and they are better at not blinding everyone.

    The projectors were fitted with 55W Morimoto ballasts and 4300K bulbs from the Retrofit Source. The Morimoto ballast is quite compact, and importantly sealed so were an easy choice. I didn’t want to be running the HID’s all the time so also sourced some LED day running lights from the Retrofit Source – they call it the X-DRL. It’s a high quality light, well made, compact and light, sealed and emits a lot of light for 25W.


    This photo shows the projectors all sealed up, DRL at the bottom, fusebox on the left top side of the light tower and and ballast on the left bottom. While wiring it al up I used some blade circuit breakers rather than traditional fuses. I would have loved to to have left them i but unfortunatly they are too tall and the fuse box cover wont fit, so standard fuses had to go in for normal use. On the trip though I brought some of the circuit breakers for diagnosing any electrical issues - sitting on the side of the road blowing fuse after fuse while you work out what is the problem sucks.

    [​IMG]

    We would be travelling through some cold areas, so heated grips are a luxury I like to have. Both bikes have VSM units, but controlled through a Moose Grip Heater Controller. This was done to save current – the standard grip heaters I had originally had 2 settings; a high setting, and low setting which fed the same element but through a resistor. This is a pretty crude solution and waste of energy considering that the low setting is what gets used most of the time. So an electronic controller which controls current and gives 5 settings was a good thing to have.

    Other things added were a digitial voltmeter and vapor speedo, both mounted in the dash. Both bikes have a RAM mount for a GPS and a common plug so we can mount either GPS on either bike if we wish. We have a 60csx and Montana 650 – Montana is the main unit used. The GPS power supply is also switched, constantly charging batteries is good way to shorten battery life and a pet hate of mine. So with switched power supply I can cycle the GPS battery and charge it up and then run it flat.

    On the dash, there is a Narva power plug which has ciggie lighter port and 2 usb ports. This is a marine unit and comes with rubber seals. – and its switched and fused We can charge stuff in the tank bags from here. At the back of the bike is a Merritt plug which is unfused and unswitched – direct hookup to the battery through a cable well protected by conduit. My old man and I had a bit of a discussion on pros and cons off this and decided unswitched so we could charge without the ignition being on, and unfused so it could also be used as a charging/jumper point. The Merritt plug is rated to 16 amps continuous, but there is a hell of a lot of copper in there. We are both confident that they can take cranking currents for a small amount of time if it came to that. Ideally though, I will just hookup the bikes and charge one off the other, then start once charged. We built up a 1m male Merritt to male Merritt cable for this application. I have used this once now to charge a flat battery for a friend here in SA and work as intended.

    Security wise there are a few things done to the bike. Reading RTW with Noah and Colebatch’s ride reports has me paranoid about the bikes being stolen. So first things was new ignition switches as the OEM one is enormous and heavy, and with no steering lock anymore with the RMZ forks, essentially redundant. I got some small switches with round Solex style keys so a thief cant put a flat bladed screwdriver in it and turn it. Two wires need to be bridged and a 100ohm resistor added into the loom so the CDI doesn’t get confused – do a quick search for this mod there is a fair bit of info around.

    [​IMG]

    Next thing I added was a small automotive battery isolator which is mounted in the airbox with key accessible on the right hand side of the bike. Its quite small and doesn’t interfere with anything.

    Thirdly is the standard interlocks on the DR, the clutch switch and sidestand switch. Most people, me being one of them, bridge these as they are very annoying and a known failure point. But they are also ready made security devices. So a rocker is used to switch the clutch interlock, which we can discreetly turnoff once we’ve started the bike. The other one is the sidestand switch. There is a small black IP67 rocker hidden in a very difficult to get to spot up under the bike for when we leave the bikes for a few days. So if someone does manage to get the bike started, after bridging the ignition, the isolator, and the clutch interlock, it will cut out as soon as it’s put in gear. The ignition keys, isolator keys, and toolbox keys are interchangeable between the 2 bikes.

    ....

    ok, that should do for now, I'm currently freezing in a shitty backpackers. Will try and post the last of this build sooner rather than later.

    Cheers, Mick
    #68
    TreasureState likes this.
  9. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

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    Great starting prevention methods.

    What about the old pickup truck with 3 strong dudes that stop beside your parked bikes and just toss them in the bed of the truck and drive off?
    Gone in 10 seconds... :eek1
    Or 5 seconds for one bike.

    Chain and lock them together will help avoid that although a thief that does recon will be prepared with jumbo chain cutters if he really wants your bikes.

    I just read about a kid doing that and getting away with bike after bike until an owner tracked him down for the cops.
    #69
  10. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Yeah it's a fair point. But the static weight if the DR-osaurus is a decent passive security measure!

    We do have a security cable to lock the bikes together and disc locks, but locking a bike to a fence didn't stop colebatch's getting nicked, and disc locks didn't stop Noah's going the same way.

    I think if a thief is determined enough anything is stealable. The electrical mods I've done are more about stopping an opportunistic theif more than a professional one.

    And if they do put them on a truck, at least I'll have the last laugh knowing that would be rather confused trying to get them to go!
    #70
  11. Fredyellow

    Fredyellow I like yellow

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    I've been reading build threads and RR's here for a while now, and am a fellow adventure rider.

    And I especially registered on this forum to be able to give you kudo's for your amazing workmanship on the DR's! Inspirational! :clap
    Thanks for the effort put in the build thread and best of luck on the RTW trip!
    #71
  12. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Hi Fred, welcome to the asylum, and thanks for the feedback.

    I still plan to finish this build report, I've got a few more things to document - some more electrical stuff and then a few little things I did after the shakedown trip, some lowered foot pegs and chain guard and maybe some other stuff.

    We have been on the trip for 3 and a half months now and have had a great time in South Africa, Lesotho, Southern Namibia and now Botswana. Bikes are going well but have a few little issues, a couple bad crimps that have lead to some small electrical issues, and one major one - my 5th gear recently spat a tooth when I dropped the engine oil for a service! I've since rebuilt the gearbox with new 5th and new billet 3rd from nova, but had to rebuild it with a second hand gearbox first to get out of the country as our visa was ending and the parts hadn't arrived yet. So the last 2.5 weeks have been hectic for us. Split the motor in Stellenbosch (near Cape Town) and put second hand gears in, rode to namibia, rode back to stellenbosh, split the cases again and put new gears in, then rode to Botswana as immigration only gave us a one week visa!

    When I get some free time from riding and blog writing and bike maintenance I'll finish off this build thread and start up a ride report!

    Cheers, mick.
    #72
  13. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

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    Wow.

    And I am worried about splitting the case in my nice warm, dry, well lit shop.
    The challenge of doing major work in another country is amazing.

    Wait, that's what makes it an ADVENTURE, right? :eek1

    Sure glad you didn't suffer the rare 3rd gear engine destruction event!
    #73
  14. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Hey people, so we have finally started a RR! Check it out here on ADV

    Otherwise, I know I say this a lot, but I really will get this Build finally finished up. We have been delayed here in Namibia for a bit with some more mechanical issues - I had my big end go. Very strange for a DR, but I think it must be related to the gearbox failure about 10000kms. The damage to the bearings was very strange - I'll post some photos (some about to go on FB). Thankfully the bore was fine. So now the bike has new crank pin, big end bearing, main bearings, conrod, piston and gudgeon pin, plus cam chain (figured I'd change it while I had it apart).
    #74
  15. leandrorr

    leandrorr leandrorr

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    OMG, you build a Tank!!!
    #75
  16. Nicholi1222

    Nicholi1222 "That's not what that bike is made for!"

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    Another anti "hop on and ride away" device.

    Instead of hard wiring the ignition resistor into the harness, I used an in-line mini fuse holder and soldered the resistor to the blades of the fuse. I just let it hang down a bit under the headlight. Let the thieves figure that one out...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #76
  17. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Hey! that is cunning! nice one, yeah chances of thieves figuring that out? three fifths of farkall.
    #77
  18. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    Coming late to the party here but great thread! I'm mechanically inept but love to read about stuff like this :) I especially loved the frame strengthening section and some of the ideas about security (which I may have to implement on my rather insecure bike).

    As others have said, thanks for taking the time to write it up and post - much appreciated.

    And now I'm moving over to your RR :p
    #78
  19. BuffHunter

    BuffHunter Been here awhile

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    Brilliant job, Mick.

    One Hell of a lot of very good work on a broad spectrum of issues and features. MacGeyver ain't in it.
    #79
  20. Ohthetrees

    Ohthetrees Been here awhile

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    Amazing build, really top work. One nitpick: some battery chemistries like to cycle, and some like to stay topped up. Most modern electronics have lithium ion batteries, which hate to be deep cycled, and preferred to live their lives between 60 and 90% charged. So your GPS charging strategy may have actually been worse than leaving it plugged in all the time.
    #80