Here is an overdue update on the machine.
Skelly (as I have named her) is a 2009 Suzuki DR650SE. She currently has about 20,000km on the odometer, 5,000km of that in the last two weeks. I would say that so far the machine has performed above expectations. There are a few minor negatives and a bunch of positives.
First thing Iíll mention is the kickstand. I installed a short side stand to compensate for the extra load. This was a mistake. Every time I stop on level ground and deploy the stand itís perfect as long as Iím on the bike. When I dismount the springs relax and the short stand slides out until the right angle is reached. This means a very steep position and a lot of weight being supported by the stand. At times Iím worried it will fall over but it hasnít yet. The result of this is the stand mounting bolt is under tremendous stress and there is now excessive play. I think the bolt hole is rounding out. I am being very careful to find parking on a slope that allows a better lean angle. Since I discovered what was happening and am taking measures to reduce it and the situation has not worsened.
Secondly the tires. Iím running Mitas E-07 and love the way they feel. I was hoping for 15000km wear but I am skeptical about that at the moment. The first 5000km have been fast straight and hot so this may contribute to the wear Iím experiencing. There are also some cracks forming on some of the lugs. Iíll be watching carefully and perhaps buy a new rear tire in Guadalajara just in case. The front tire is perfect.
Chain is a DID VX X-ring. A real purdy gold one. Adjusted it once so far but only because I had it somewhat loose to begin with.
Oil consumption: Skelly occasionally puffs oil on start up. Likely valve seals. I was concerned before the trip about this but now itís a non issue for me. The head gasket is leaking slightly. Itís a new leak but really minor. Today after almost 5,300km I added about 200ml of oil.
Fuel consumption: I have burned 237.5 liters of fuel in 5295.6km. In Canadian terms this is 4.49 liters per 100km or using U.S. gallons itís 52.39mpg. I budgeted for 6 liters/100km
I have the stock 15/42 gearing and on the highway in 5th gear the bike is not working very hard at all. My cruising speed in Mexico has been between 85 and 95km/h. The speed limit is 80kmh maximum all the way through Baja until south of La Paz where the highway is 4 lanes and speed is increased to 90-100.
I have added a number of accessories to the bike for this ride. In due time Iíll review each one of them.