Over the last couple months, I've been working on the next step in building my ideal bike. My biggest issue with the DR650 was the front forks, even with the heaviest springs, I would still bottom out the forks on rough riding. One of the last rides had me bottoming out the forks way too many times and it didn't feel good! I had a pair of Intiminators, but decided to skip them and go for the big upgrade!
I swapped on a set of RMZ450 forks, a TrailTech Vapor and Highway Dirt Bikes hand guards with push-button ignition, LED lights, fold-out mirrors and Vapor Aluminum dash. I've gotta say thanks to the business that helped out, ProCycle and Highway Dirt Bikes. Paul at HDB makes the best set of hand guards in the world, hands down. He really put some time and thought into his parts and it shows!
I decided to pass up the factory ignition switch since the fork lock would no longer work with the RMZ forks. The fact that I disassembled the ignition switch too far, when taking it off the DR650 upper triple clamp, and couldn't put it back together was another reason for something different. After getting rid of the ignition switch and wired up the push-button ignition, I had issues getting spark and I couldn't figure it out. The bike turned over and everything else had power like it should, just no spark while being turned over.
After asking on ThumperTalk, a couple of guys mentioned that there is a needed resistor if you're going to replace the key switch with a push-button ignition switch. With a little tinkering, I found I needed one resistor... a 20 cent part at Radio Shack.
This is the wiring that goes to the ignition switch, the plug sits under the tank and over the engine. The needed resistor is a 100 ohm ¼ watt 5% resistor between the Orange/Yellow and the Black/White. I tied the Brown & Gray together, then put a switch between the Red & Orange, which go to the main power switch. I soldered all the connections, then covered them with heat shrink tubing and put the stock wiring sleeve back over everything. The ignition now works like it should!
Here's some pics of what I did.-
And first ride out, with new RMZ forks, Highway Dirt Bike guards and TrailTech Vapor!
Everything went well, until the cheesy zip ties securing the front brake line to the fork guard broke! The zip ties were temporary, but in the excitement to ride, I forgot about them. The brake line was dragging the knobs on the front tire, so I limped it back home. I've already purchased the proper brake line clamp, hope to have it by the end of the week.
Even though the ride was short, I was impressed with the change to the RMZ forks. Seems like they held my weight better (220 lbs) and were much more predictable on bumps, seemed like the forks didn't move nearly as much as the factory DR forks with heavy springs. I can't wait until the desert dries up and I can really try out the upgraded suspension!
I'm still running the RMZ wheel and tire, so eventually I'll need to swap the Tubliss setup and the Dunlop from the old DR650 wheel to the RMZ wheel. I added some 2" Rox bar risers and it's a noticeable difference, my bars are Woods bend (high & narrow), so combined with the Rox Risers, the bars sit pretty high. Riding around while sitting down it's a change, but not a bad thing. Offroad while standing up is where the added height really shines, I can actually stand close to straight up and down, yet have my elbows bent to absorb the bumps. Pretty decent for a guy that's 6' 4"!
There is still some final tweaking to do, but I'm very happy with the RMZ forks and the other parts that were involved.