|01-23-2011, 08:45 PM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Grand Junction, CO
Greg's DR650 build thread
I was going to post the latest update in the DR650 thread, but figured I start my own thread here in Thumpers... hopefully this goes well.
My need was for a bike that could handle riding on and off road around Colorado and Utah, and beyond. I picked up a '07 DR650 from a fellow inmate in Kansas, the bike had been heavily farkeled for long distance riding. I had owned an '05 DR650 before picking this one up and really like the bike.
Here's how the '07 looked when I got it home-
Right away I changed a few minor things, swapped out the windshield for one from Screens for Bikes, put on a rear Dunlop 606 and a front Pirelli MT21, big bars with risers, a rear BBQ cargo rack, case savers, etc. Later on I added some Wolfman saddle bags for more gear hauling ability.
After riding the bike for awhile, I decided I wanted to get rid of the tubes. I didn't care for the idea of patching a tube in the middle of the desert, so I had to change some things. I accomplished 3 things; Setting up the rear with a 18" rim, adding the Neutech Tubliss setup to the front & rear and putting on a set of tires that should last a decent amount of time and be a better match for my riding.
I found a DR350 rim on craigslist from a guy that did a supermoto conversion on his 350 and he was selling his left overs. I picked up his 18" rim & spokes for $20! My plan was to tear down my 17" DR650 rear wheel and lace up the DR350 rim on my DR650 hub. I have never built a wheel before, so it was going to be quite the learning experience. I knew the DR350 and DR650 rear wheels were interchangeable, so I figured it wouldn't be too hard to make it work. I was a little wrong... it took a decent amount of effort. I ended up using the spokes from the 18" wheel on one side and the spokes from the 17" wheel on the other side. Weird, but it worked. Truing up the wheel was interesting, not super-fun, but I did it myself and felt good for accomplishing it! It was a good learning experience.
The Tubliss setup isn't available for 17" wheels yet, I've heard it should be available by the Summer of 2010, but I wanted to step up to the 18" wheel anyway, so I ordered the Tubliss for the 18" rear. I was concerned about the DR's 1.85" wide front rim, since the instructions say to use them on a 1.60" max width. I contacted Jeff at Neutech and he was kind enough to call and go over the details. Basically, they haven't gone thru the control testing for the wider rim, but plenty of people are running that combo. Sounds good to me... so I went for it. Mounting the Tubliss setup up took some care, I watched the tech video several times, then kept the instructions near by while I mounted them up. It wasn't that bad in the end.
Lastly was the new set of tires. I have been running a Dunlop 606 in the rear and a Pirelli MT21 in the front. They work well offroad, but with where I live, I do a lot of highway riding getting around the area and the tires just weren't lasting too long. I came to the realization that I could get by with a less-knobby set of tires. I decided on a front TKC80 and a rear Mefo Super Explorer. Hopefully I can get 5k miles out of this set.
After the first ride out with the new rim, Tubliss setup and new tires, I had some pretty bad vibes. The Tubliss locks have a pretty large rimlock that locates the tire valve stem and apparently it's heavy enough to throw off the balance quite a bit. It was rideable, but the vibes were quite visible. I unbolted the tires and hauled them down to the local motorcycle shop to balance them. Between the front & rear the rims took 6 ounces!!! Much better now... smooth as could be.
The tires are decent offroad, of course the rear tire is easier to step out under throttle on a packed dirt/gravel road, but being able to run lower pressures and not worry about tubes is pretty damn nice. I added some tire sealant to seal up small holes and tossed on a plug kit, just in case the sealant won't do the job.
Here's some pics from a quick afternoon ride to test the new setup out.-
After a long ride in the Utah & Colorado desert (Link- Moab to Fruita to Moab).... I LOVE the Tubliss product! After getting a flat tire miles from anywhere, I was able to plug the hole, pump the tire up and keep riding with minimal downtime. From beginning to end, we were stopped for less than 10 minutes. Much better than pulling the rim & tire off the bike, spooning off the tire, pulling the tube, patching or replacing the tube, then putting the whole thing back together. The price of the Tubliss system paid for itself right then and there.
My front tire is a TKC80. We had been riding up a very rocky trail, in the Dolores Triangle of Utah/Colorado, if you're familiar with the area. After a few hits, bumping my big bike up some rocky ledges, the front tire lost all it's air. I could still ride on it, since the Tubliss kept the beads locked on the rim, but it was sloppy going.
At first I thought I had tore up the sidewall, but after checking the tire over, the sidewall looked fine. I couldn't find the damage, so out came the bicycle hand-pump. After putting some air into the tire, we found the hole... it was between 2 lugs, towards the outside of the tread.
I broke out the plug kit and went to town. Due to my excitement, the first couple plugs didn't stay in. Finally I got one to take and pumped up the tire... it held air, no leaks to be found! We put the tools away and were back on the trail in no time.
Here's some pics from the event...
Greg@RME screwed with this post 06-24-2011 at 07:19 PM
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