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Kagia's Suzuki DR650 build thread

Discussion in 'Gasoline Powered' started by Kagia, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    I'm about to start dumping a bunch of money into this bike to get it the way I want it.

    Here it is the day I bought it.

    2015 DR650SE

    I will update this thread as the build progresses.

    Stay tuned.
  2. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    Fantastic! Looking forward to future posts!
  3. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    Just as a starting point, what about it don't you like that needs changing? It looks pretty good to me!
  4. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Don't get me wrong, they are fantasic bikes for the price. You really can't go wrong, but there are a lot of things you can do to optimize them for your prefered style of riding.

    The seat sucks for long rides. After 45 minutes, it feels like you're sitting on a 2x6. There are a few aftermarket seats that make the bike much more enjoyable for the longer trips that I like to do.

    The headlight isn't very bright. I ride around quite a bit at night, but just around town. It's okay for that, but highway riding in low light conditions isn't even an option. Got something in the works for that. :D Will post updates in the new year.

    The suspension is fine for just dickin around and commuting around town, but it's brutal for any kind of serious off road riding. Very soft, and not much damping. I'll be doing full upgrades to the front and rear suspension. This will be the most expensive mod on the list. The components I'll be getting ain't cheap to begin with, but I have to get them from the states, so I'll be getting gang raped on the exchange, duty, shipping, brokerage, all that. Not happy about it, but it will be a big improvement.

    The factory tires (Bridgestone Trailwing aka deathwing) have actually been quite nice on the pavement so far, but as their nickname implies, they're not great for serious off-road riding. They don't wear too well either. I'll be replacing them, but not sure with what yet. It sucks because there are plenty of great DOT dirt oriented tires, but they don't last long at all if you ride much pavement. My last Michelin T63 rear tire preformed very well on my old bike, but barely lasted 3000km. I like road trips to the interior, so I'm either going to have to go with some kind of happy medium (Heidenau K60 probably) or just live with the fact that I'll be replacing tires frequently. :(

    The fuel tank only holds 3.4 gallons, which doesn't give me the kind of range I want. I really do like the look of the smaller factory tank, and hate the look of the big bulky tanks, but I got 168km before hitting reserve last time I checked. Not sure how many more km the reserve would have given me, but It's not enough. Plus I hate the factory color scheme. The grey tank with the shitty gold "decals" that are actually painted on...It has to go. I'll likely be getting a white IMS 4.9 gallon tank.

    I'll eventually be getting some racks and soft luggage, but am currently trying to figure out which ones are the lightest. Those big aluminum boxes I had on my old bike were nice because they held a lot and were lockable, but way too heavy.

    These bikes run very lean from the factory and air/fuel flow are pretty heavily restricted. I'll be getting and aftermarket carb, GSXR exhaust (which is also 10lb lighter,) and modding my airbox a bit.

    I just got back from picking up an aftermarket stator and voltage regulator to help power my new lights and electrical accessories, and I've already installed an aluminum skid plate.

    Those are the main things, but there are a bunch of small things I'll be adding too.
    Aftermarket handle bars, risers, handguards, Vapor digital gauges, braided steel brake lines, shorter clutch lever, clutch safety delete, kickstand safety delete, etc just off the top of my head.

  5. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    That's quite the list!
    I hear ya about the seat though: on my last bike, I had a Corbin "gunfighter" seat that looked great, but really sucked. The stock Honda seat that looked crappy by comparison was waaaay more comfortable, so the custom seat got removed. Now that I think of it, my brother (from whom I bought the bike) also replaced the handlebars, replaced the shift linkage to a "rear-set" one, put in a steering damper, put on a small bar-mounted fairing/windscreen, and replaced the tires with Avon super-venoms.

    I really have been out of the motorcycle loop for years now, kinda forgot how much you can customize them.
  6. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Yeah they are like the AR15 or 870 of the bike world. Tons of mods, upgrades, and aftermarket accessories to blow money on.

    lol I'm actually getting a Corbin seat. Lots of guys put Corbin seats on the DR650s and swear by them. They look very nice and they custom build them the way you want them. Pick your own materials, colors, foam, height, etc. Pricey, but It should be a big improvement.

    You have any pics of your old bike?
  7. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    I'll have a look-see and maybe I'll find an old photograph...
  8. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    [​IMG]Ian from Britannia Composites just sent me this pic of my bike with the new fairing test fitted!

    This fairing has been in production for some time now, and is compatible with various bikes. Each different bike just requires different mounting hardware.

    I noticed on his website that this particular fairing wasn't compatible with my bike, so I called and asked how hard it would be for me to just buy one and try to custom fit it myself.

    He said that he had actually been meaning to get his hands on a DR650 so he could make some mounting hardware and start selling it for that bike. Said he would give me a bit of a deal on the fairing and install it for free if I gave him my bike as a guinea pig.

    Needless to say, I was all over that.

    He says it should be ready for pickup tomorrow.

    My fairing will be all white, without the little black decals. I might get some blue decals, but not sure yet.

    Next on the list will be a blue Corbin seat, bigger white fuel tank, blue fork boots, white hand guards, blue handlebars, and possibly a more modern looking white fender.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  9. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    Those are interesting headlights!

    Handsome bike!
  10. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    What is the fairing?
  11. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Thanks! It will look way better when I'm done. I can't wait to replace all the grey parts with white and get rid of the haggard decals.

    The low beam is a 35W HID and the high beam is a 42W LED. Very bright.

    The fairing is the white part.

    The windscreen is totally adjustable. It's fully extended in the pic, but can be quickly and easily lowered at any time. It'll be nice to have the wind protection for long highway trips and then be able to drop it all the way down for around town and off road.
  12. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    I've also added a Ricochet aluminum skid plate and purchased an aftermarket high output stator and regulator/rectifier.
  13. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    Well if you ever need some custom parts 2D cut for it, let me know!
  14. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    I really like the design for raising/lowering the windscreen. Simple and effective.
  15. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Will do. Thanks!
  16. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    I can't wait to mess around with it and see how it performs on the highway.
  17. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Here's a pic of the dash.


    The factory speedometer will soon be replaced with a nice digital unit from Trailtech, and my GPS will be mounted at the top.

    It also has two USB ports and one 12V cigarette lighter socket on the sides of the dash.
  18. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    Generally speaking what is the maximum available amperage? How clean is the power?

    Edit to add:

    Say a person wanted to add a VHF Radio in the 12VDC 20amp circuit range.
  19. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    No idea...

    I know embarrassingly little about electricity, but I know these bikes don't have a whole lot of juice to spare from the factory, which is why I just bought a high output stator and regulator/rectifier.
  20. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    Is the alternator a separate component or built into the engine?
  21. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    The stator is kind of built into the engine. It's located under a cover on the left side of the crank case.
  22. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Just purchased a smaller LED tail light, license plate assembly eliminator, and LED license plate light for a better, more streamlined look and less draw on the electrical system.

    Will make the ass end of the bike look much better. I'll post pics after I install it.
  23. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    Good idea. For years I've thought that the various car makers put all their effort into making the front end of the car look good, and the ass end is usually an afterthought.
  24. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    My Q45 is gorgeous in the front and ummm... strange in the rear.
  25. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    The appearance of the entire bike is very dated for a 2015, but the rear fender/tail light/license plate assembly is absolutely horrid looking.

    The kit I just got removes that ridiculous looking license plate assembly and mounts the plate right to the fender. The way it should be.

    It also replaces the big, blocky abomination of a tail/brake light with a smaller, more sleek looking LED powered one.

    There is another eliminator kit available that is actually better. It comes with a new modernized fender as well, but it's pricey and you have to buy it from the States. I got this one off craigslist for a reasonable price, so I'll just use it for now, till I decide to upgrade the front fender and get it all at once.

    I'd also like to eventually replace the front and rear turn signals with some smaller, more modern looking LED ones.
  26. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Old tail light.

  27. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    Better looking and better airflow.
  28. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    That is much better looking!

    Thanks for the updates!
  29. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    The original is probably a lot better for safety, but I want this bike to look pretty. :)

    Ordered a new seat yesterday and will probably order the new fuel tank and some other goodies tomorrow.

    Trying to organize a Canadian group buy right now for the suspension components. That shit is bloody expensive and has to be purchased from the states. The manufacturer said we might be able to work out a deal if I can get enough buyers.
  30. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    My new seat arrived today!


    I really wanted the Corbin seat, but just can't justify the cost right now with our dollar in the shitter, so I went with a kit from Seat Concepts.

    The kit is just the new foam and the cover. You install it yourself on your factory seat pan.

    I'm gonna try to install it after work tomorrow, but may not have a chance till this weekend.

    Should be fun and I can't wait to see how it turns out.
  31. Shawn

    Shawn Moderator Staff Founders

    This thread makes me want a dirt bike again

  32. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    The finished product.
    It turned out alright, but what a pain in the ass. Next time I'll be paying the extra money for an actual seat...
  33. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    So it's not as comfortable as you'd like I'm taking it?
  34. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    lol No not a pain in the ass like that. Putting it together was a pain in the ass. It's definitely more comfortable than the stock seat.
  35. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Quick update...

    Removed decals, installed new fuel tank, bars, risers, seat, re-routed some cables.

  36. Shawn

    Shawn Moderator Staff Founders

    Looks sweet, I miss my old dirt bike I want to buy one now

  37. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Dirt bikes are fun. I'd love to get a dedicated dirtbike, but storage is an issue. Already storing the DR at my parents' place till spring.
  38. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Just deleted the clutch safety switch, the kickstand safety switch, replaced the bottom chain roller with a better one, removed the top chain roller and filled the hole with JB weld.

    Got some sweet new luggage for longer rides and camping trips, ordered my new carb exhaust, and a few little odds n ends.

    Once that's all done, I'll be doing the suspension and calling it good for a while. This project is getting way too expensive!
  39. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    Yes, funny how they do that!
  40. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Still have a bit more to do, but this is how she looks now.

  41. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    What a handsome bike. I like that it isn't covered in stickers!
  42. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders


    Yeah I hate logos and decals. Don't wanna be one big advertisement on wheels.
  43. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Got the new carb installed and am in the process of getting it dialed in. Also cut open the air box and installed an aftermarket air filter.

    New muffler was supposed to ship out from Italy in March, then they said it would be ready to ship out this week but never did. Pre orders are always such a joke.
  44. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Bike is almost done. Just have to do the suspension and I'm waiting on new exhaust.

    Might actually sell the fairing and go back to stock if I can find a white one.

    Still have to install the fender eliminator kit too.

    Some pics from Okanagan on the weekend...

  45. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    Is it just me, or is that front tire mounted backwards?
  46. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Not just you. It definitely looks backwards, but that is the correct direction.

    There's even an arrow on the sidewall.

    Those tires suck by the way. Bridgestone Trailwing (aka Deathwing.)

    Not bad on pavement, but dangerous on anything else. I should get new tires soon.
  47. Kagia

    Kagia Crossbow Man Founders

    Quick update on the bike...

    Done all the modifications I plan to do except suspension and tires. I think I'll wait till next season to do that.

    Since I did the exhaust, carb, and airbox mods, it definitely has a bit more power, but kind of runs like shit. Tried to get it dialed in, but now I'm just irritated and the bike has been sitting for the last three weeks or so. Don't even wanna ride it. Ready to just pay someone to deal with it. Anyone know a good motorcycle mechanic in the lower mainland?
  48. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    If I would hazard a guess it's related to the carburetor. I have very limited motorcycle experience but I've rebuilt enough carburetors to hate them.

    One of the biggest issues I saw was people putting carburetors that were too large for the engine, thinking more fuel equaled more power. Not quite that simple!

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