XR650R Adventure Build

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by james.caccia, May 2, 2018.

  1. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    There are a few threads like this, but in my year+ of research, I haven't been able to find a place that had all of the information I was looking for in a concise manner.

    Anyway, I figure I'd post some tips and ideas here to help out anyone looking to build an adventure bike our of their BRP. Some things I did to the bike that are great, some not so great, and some things I learned along the way. I wont be long-winded, but I'll try to include all pertinent information. If you have any further questions, just ask.

    Things I'll cover:
    - DIY Oil sight tube
    - Subframe reinforcement
    - Luggage situation
    - Fueling
    - Lighting
    - A few other things to increase reliability, functionality, or occasionally the looks
    Note: this will be updated over the next couple of days with more sections.

    The bike (almost) as it sits now:
    Whole.jpeg

    The Subframe: The XR650R has a notoriously weak subframe. The upper mount often cracks under stress due to poor welds and uneven forces from the bottom legs. I brought mine to a machine shop and got it reinforced around the top mounts for $75. A little dremeling and it mated right up.
    Subframe 2.jpeg Subframe 1.jpeg


    DIY Oil Sight Tube: Be able to check your oil on the fly. Remove the radiator to make it easy on yourself. Get your parts from Aircraft Spruce for $20: Fittings- 2X part #06-01139. Hose: Part #06-01133. Drill with an 11/32" bit, tap with a 1/8 NPT tap. Teflon tape the fittings. There's a great 3 part tutorial on youtube.
    Change your thermostat while you're at it because its 100% failed in the open position. Thermostat- MotoRad 7203-180, make sure you drill the bypass hole to match the stock stat and drop it in.
    ST1.jpeg
    #1
    husky390, Harry Potter and Noprogram like this.
  2. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    ST2.jpeg

    Luggage: Despite the reinforced subframe, it's still best to pack light as possible. I went with the Green Chile Adventure Gear Hardcore Softrack. Its super burly, doesn't stress the subframe as much as a traditional rack that centers the weight further out, and is very modular. The left side goes around the main frame and I have a Giant Loop strap mount on the right hand side that mounts on the subframe bolt for that strap. The GL pannier pockets are pretty much the only tank bag you can use with the Acerbis tank and hold a surprising amount.
    Rack.jpeg

    Navigation: Pretty simple- Perfect Squeeze mount and a Nomu S10 running primarily Locus Pro. Really solid mount (although there are good options for significantly less money) and a waterproof phone with a bright screen and a big battery.
    Cockpit.jpeg

    Chain Adjusters: BRP chain adjuster bolts commonly seize, get very hard to adjust, and snap. Get Swingarm Buddys, which is a kit (I believe about $15) that come with a drill bit to drill out the old holes, stainless inserts to hammer in, and stainless bolts/nuts for the adjusters. Install w/ anti-seize. Bonus: now both the adjuster bolt and the lock nut are the same size.
    Swingarm buddys.JPG
    #2
    Guano11, Noprogram and Slytheslayer like this.
  3. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    Fueling:
    - As mentioned, I went with the Acerbis tank for range. Ditch the crappy fuel hose that comes with it and get some legitimate fuel line and a brass T fitting. Also the Hodaka Guy tanker brace makes removing/installing the tank easier and supports it as well as protects the radiator in crashes.
    - I also got a Mikuni TM40 from Niche Cycle that came pre-jetted and with longer-than-stock cables that allowed me to use Rox risers. Yes, a stock carb runs well properly tuned but a TM-40 is better and gets rid of a lot of the headaches. If you go TM-40, get the remote choke and mount it as shown below.
    - While I'm posting these pictures: 1. The IMS steel shift lever is pretty durable and I like the idea of my vital components bending rather than snapping. 2. The XRs only case saver is a must-have. I had the BRP snap a chain and got lucky with the angle it exited, and then immediately bought it. No fitment issues with a 15T countershaft sprocket.
    Fuel.JPG Case saver choke lever.JPG Tanker Brace.JPG

    Grips: ODI Rogue lock-ons are the best grips I've found, but they dont fit our XRs. HOWEVER, if you get the "4-stroke" version, there is a cam thats close enough that all you have to do is shave off one end to match the profile of the stock XR cam. Pictured is one of the extra cams as the shaved one is already in my bike. It takes about 10 minutes with a boxcutter and is very simple.
    ODI Rogue.JPG
    #3
    Guano11 likes this.
  4. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    Lighting: The whole point is to make everything as unlikely to break as possible. I mounted waterproof LED blinker strips from Amazon (~$8) to the handguards and got the Tusk low-profile LED blinkers for the rear. Keeping everything tight to the bike is in your best interest. I also did the Tusk plug and play H4 LED bulb ($10). It outputs much more light and is less than half the draw of the stock bulb. Its not the best light ever, but it looks better in real life and is cheap and easy. I replaced the awful Baja Designs NiCad battery with the Lithium Ion one from Tusk ($25). Smaller, lighter, higher output, and has an external charger for when the bike sits.
    F Blinkers.JPG R Blinkers.JPG IMG_5181.JPG Battery.JPG
    #4
    Guano11 likes this.
  5. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    Saved
    #5
  6. mjhb

    mjhb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Following


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #6
  7. Slytheslayer

    Slytheslayer Ride or Die!!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    830
    Location:
    Fort Lewis, WA
    This is gonna be pretty sweet!
    #7
  8. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    Some updates for you guys. Not quite done yet though. Here's a pic from today.
    Fryar.JPG
    #8
    Noprogram and Slytheslayer like this.
  9. Slytheslayer

    Slytheslayer Ride or Die!!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    830
    Location:
    Fort Lewis, WA
    Wish I could actually ride my XR650L...lol been a battle since I got the damn thing.

    What else do you have planned?
    #9
  10. Fredthemexican

    Fredthemexican Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2017
    Oddometer:
    54
    I think you’re hand guards are upside down. Sweet bike, I sometimes pretend my L [​IMG]is an R. Lol


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #10
    Bors and james.caccia like this.
  11. dogsslober

    dogsslober No neck tie, Ti neck

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,959
    Location:
    Morgan Hill Ca
    Yes hand guards are upside down
    #11
  12. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,717
    Location:
    Whittier, CA
    A lot of good info here.
    We have a few of these in the crew, one with 64k miles verified, no top end no major maintenance of any kind, not even water pump. I’ve known the owner a good while. Mine has about 19k. Another guy is on his second having totally beaten the first. He pulled the spare xr650r out of the glass case and now rides it Won’t buy anything else for on its weight class to replace. Just keeps ticking. Also we suggest the borynack suspension shim stacks
    , foot peg mount bolt replacement and fan if you can. .tho I can’t remember ever seeing mine overheat.
    #12
    james.caccia likes this.
  13. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    They are indeed. I was having some fitment issues originally and it was easier to mount them like that. I was planning on switching them over but I’m having no issues how they are now and you know what they say about fixing things that ain’t broke.
    #13
  14. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    Good stuff. From what I can tell the foot peg bolts were already done when I bought the bike, so I’m only covering stuff I have done so it’s from personal experience. I thought about a fan but after running it hard and letting it idle for long times in 90+ degrees I’ve never had it overheat so until I identify an issue I’m going to keep rocking without it. I’ve got the bornynack stacks as well, but haven’t got around to tearing into the forks yet.
    A4F96ADC-D7FB-46D2-923A-EE7E709F6175.jpeg
    #14
  15. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,717
    Location:
    Whittier, CA
    Curious,
    Your tusk h4 led is plug and play? I believe my headlight is ac wired. The bulb replaces that?
    If so 10 bux a good deal
    #15
  16. Fredthemexican

    Fredthemexican Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2017
    Oddometer:
    54
    The reason they have a bend, is so that you’re hand slides off easy in an accident. I’m looking at getting the Cycra’s with the same design.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #16
  17. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    Sorry, plug and play with the dual sport kit so it runs off DC.
    #17
  18. james.caccia

    james.caccia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    48
    I could see that, but I’ve also gone down on the side and had a rock go over the bar and hit my hand so I guess it’s give and take.
    #18
  19. foobarr

    foobarr n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Lacelle, IA
    Thanks for the inspiration and keep the thread going.
    I got a BRP that's been sitting idle in the barn the past few years as most of my motorcycle free time goes towards my KLR650 or my CRF450. I'm thinking on selling the KLR now and just kitting the BRP for adventure riding. Before it was just plated desert sled when I was station in Vegas.
    #19
    james.caccia and Fredthemexican like this.
  20. husky390

    husky390 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,310
    Location:
    Colorado
    Following
    #20