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Old 11-15-2012, 02:15 PM   #71086
Ridin'nFishin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neo1piv014 View Post
The decision to get a DR650 was really a toss-up between those three bikes. It all just came down to what was available in my area with decent mileage, a good price, useful modifications, and looked well maintained.
I had my eye on a couple 2008+ KLRs (not so good offroad, but dang, they're comfy on the highway) as well as two different XR650L's that wound up being too beat up. As a matter of curiosity, are you selling your '92 KLR to buy this DR650? Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the pre-2008 KLRs known for being fairly decent on the trails?

No, I'm selling my 92, got too much in it and couldn't sell it for much. there is a lot of difference in my KLR and a stock one the same year. Progressive fork springs and shock transform this bike. I had 2 KLR's at the same time, 1 with stock suspension and 1 with Progressive, night and day difference. Mine runs good and has never let me down.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #71087
johnkol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra Thumper View Post
I honestly have to admit tho, I'm not quite understanding how your frame is failing you, and how you are failing to feel "like one" with your bike? If you're not competitively dirt or asphalt racing your DR, how is the frame letting you down?
Let me answer the last question first: no, I am not racing the DR, nor am I attempting to go particularly fast on it.

The frame flexes are very evident once you step on a (even mildly) rough dirt road: the wheels are not tracking on the same longitudinal plane, they oscillate left and right all the time, independently of each other. This phenomenon is not due to suspension components (which only allow movement on the vertical plane), but it's the frame flexing from the forces impacted on it from the road imperfections.

You can experience the same thing on asphalt when you cross a longitudinal seam at a shallow angle: the bike will wiggle a bit as you cross the seam; it's not as pronounced as on a dirt road, but you can get an idea of what is going on.

This flexing of the frame is not necessarily a bad thing; Honda famously introduced controlled flexing of its frames in the XR series in the late 70s (and carried it forward through the 80s and 90s), making the bikes very forgiving, compensating somewhat for the sub-standard suspension components of that era. I raced an XR350R for a couple of years in the late 80s and I was always placing in the top three, so frame flexes are not only liveable, but could be beneficial too.

But notice what I said above about the Honda flexible frames: the flexes were controlled, that is, the engineers knew at what frequencies the frame oscillations developed, and they provided damping at those frequencies (to be exact, underdamping, i.e., the damping ratio was less than 1). Practically what that meant was that as long as you were on the throttle, the frame would constantly wiggle, absorbing some of the lateral forces, but as soon as you closed the throttle, the frame would quiet down and would track straighter. This made for a very forgiving ride, but it also meant that this instability limited the rider on how fast they could go and how much they could push the bike.

So now we come to the DR, which seems to have as flexible a frame as the old XRs, but seems to have none of their engineered damping -- and that makes for a bike that is unpredictable and uncontrollable in extreme situations. On the road this manifests in an indistinct feeling, but in most cases it is masked by the suspension components (which have their own problems).

For me though, the days of such bikes with a vague feeling of the road are long gone: I graduated from the XR to an IT 200, then onto a Husky 250, etc., and, in hindsight, the XR was a major setback in my development as a rider: the subsequent bikes allowed me to do things I could never imagine possible with the XR, and made me a better rider for it.

And then I suddenly hop onto the DR (my first street-legal bike in 20 years) and I find myself transported 25 years back in time, to a place I had long thought I would never have to revisit.

So no, I cannot enjoy the DR as a motorcycle, that is, as something that will connect me to the road; but as a vehicle for exploration, the DR has been wonderful: it has taken me to the far reaches of the state, and has filled me with great images and experiences. Too bad for me that I am looking for something more in a bike.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:59 PM   #71088
eakins
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did you upgrade your suspension at all or is it stock?
guess you have great senses as i don't find the frame flexing like you describe.
if you're used to fine tuned race bikes then yeah the DR is not that nor was it designed that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
Let me answer the last question first: no, I am not racing the DR, nor am I attempting to go particularly fast on it.

The frame flexes are very evident once you step on a (even mildly) rough dirt road: the wheels are not tracking on the same longitudinal plane, they oscillate left and right all the time, independently of each other. This phenomenon is not due to suspension components (which only allow movement on the vertical plane), but it's the frame flexing from the forces impacted on it from the road imperfections.

You can experience the same thing on asphalt when you cross a longitudinal seam at a shallow angle: the bike will wiggle a bit as you cross the seam; it's not as pronounced as on a dirt road, but you can get an idea of what is going on.

This flexing of the frame is not necessarily a bad thing; Honda famously introduced controlled flexing of its frames in the XR series in the late 70s (and carried it forward through the 80s and 90s), making the bikes very forgiving, compensating somewhat for the sub-standard suspension components of that era. I raced an XR350R for a couple of years in the late 80s and I was always placing in the top three, so frame flexes are not only liveable, but could be beneficial too.

But notice what I said above about the Honda flexible frames: the flexes were controlled, that is, the engineers knew at what frequencies the frame oscillations developed, and they provided damping at those frequencies (to be exact, underdamping, i.e., the damping ratio was less than 1). Practically what that meant was that as long as you were on the throttle, the frame would constantly wiggle, absorbing some of the lateral forces, but as soon as you closed the throttle, the frame would quiet down and would track straighter. This made for a very forgiving ride, but it also meant that this instability limited the rider on how fast they could go and how much they could push the bike.

So now we come to the DR, which seems to have as flexible a frame as the old XRs, but seems to have none of their engineered damping -- and that makes for a bike that is unpredictable and uncontrollable in extreme situations. On the road this manifests in an indistinct feeling, but in most cases it is masked by the suspension components (which have their own problems).

For me though, the days of such bikes with a vague feeling of the road are long gone: I graduated from the XR to an IT 200, then onto a Husky 250, etc., and, in hindsight, the XR was a major setback in my development as a rider: the subsequent bikes allowed me to do things I could never imagine possible with the XR, and made me a better rider for it.

And then I suddenly hop onto the DR (my first street-legal bike in 20 years) and I find myself transported 25 years back in time, to a place I had long thought I would never have to revisit.

So no, I cannot enjoy the DR as a motorcycle, that is, as something that will connect me to the road; but as a vehicle for exploration, the DR has been wonderful: it has taken me to the far reaches of the state, and has filled me with great images and experiences. Too bad for me that I am looking for something more in a bike.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #71089
Rusty Rocket
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
my DR650, which is a natural flat tracker
Mine too. Brings a smile and a flat track hero feeling, every time I let loose on a nice graded dirt curve.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:19 PM   #71090
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DR650 breaks off drain plug @ 2:10 vid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13cR80h-QNo&feature=plcp
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:23 PM   #71091
DockingPilot
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Seriously. Come on, some of you guys here know, Ive owned many bikes like this. KTM's small, med and 950's, XRL's, Husky's, an F800, R1200's and so on.
The DR rides and runs excellent offroad on DS type terrain. Frame flex ?
I'd need a Richter scale to notice that.
I had a new Hercules in 1978. Now that may have flexed

This bike just does it for me. I dont mean to sound offensive, but I can buy any bike I want, mulitple bikes. I just cant think of a reason to with that DR in the garage. Yea, I aint getting the looks and questions my 990 or Super Ten or 690 buddies are at Starbucks, but I could give a flip. This bike is a low maintence, easy to own and does anything I want it too. There is a new 2013 Super Ten at a dealer 4 miles from my house. Im tempted to give it a spot in the garage, but I honestly can't think of a good reason too.
Also, to me, the DR feels bicycle light and nimble. But of course its last stable mate in my garage was my R1200ADV
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:55 PM   #71092
Rusty Rocket
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[QUOTE=DockingPilot;20052281

This bike just does it for me. Yea, I aint getting the looks and questions my 990 or Super Ten or 690 buddies are at Starbucks, but I could give a flip. [/QUOTE]


Something's wrong Frank. I have chicks jumpin' on my DR at stop lights all the time.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:09 PM   #71093
johnkol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPCLI-Jim View Post
have you ever ridden a TM 400 Suzuki? what about a Bultaco? I have, I will still push my DR hard but i enjoy it
A friend owns a KLR 650 and he woulnd't take it 1/2 half the places I take my DR. If your truly not happy with it sell it and get something else , thats what I would do .
I'm not familiar with the TM400.

Bultaco? My first bike was a Frontera 250 Mk11.

After I started complaining to all my friends about the flexible frame on the DR, they started telling me that the KLR is even worse in this regard. So yes, I am planning on getting a new bike, but I haven't figured out which one to get yet.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:16 PM   #71094
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planemanx15 View Post
Hard to see, but this is water testing in the kitchen sink. no bubbles at all!
I see a lot of people doing this, but there is no real need for it: you can simply spray some water on the spoke nipples; if one of them is leaking, bubbles will show up immediately. You don't have to ruin your bathtub for a leak test.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:20 PM   #71095
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Rocket View Post
Something's wrong Frank. I have chicks jumpin' on my DR at stop lights all the time.
Must be me
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:27 PM   #71096
TRAVELGUY
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Spray on water or even soapy water won't show a extremely small leak like a tub leak test. I learned that one 40 years ago. This why service stations had the special tubs to test tires in 40+ years ago. I keep a spray bottle of soapy water near my work bench all the time but have found many problems later with the tub test.

TravelGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
I see a lot of people doing this, but there is no real need for it: you can simply spray some water on the spoke nipples; if one of them is leaking, bubbles will show up immediately. You don't have to ruin your bathtub for a leak test.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:29 PM   #71097
MikeyP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
I see a lot of people doing this, but there is no real need for it: you can simply spray some water on the spoke nipples; if one of them is leaking, bubbles will show up immediately. You don't have to ruin your bathtub for a leak test.
You would need to have some soap in the water to create surface tension for bubbles. Just water alone makes for some tricky testing and a situation where you could easily miss a leak. I thought of this because a friend of mine was recently trying to find the leak in a camping sleeping pad using a spray bottle without luck. I said "I can't believe you can't find the leak with some soapy water." to which they replied "soapy?" An important detail in that technique.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:42 PM   #71098
johnkol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
did you upgrade your suspension at all or is it stock?
Suspension is all stock. Given the fundamental problems I have with the frame, I see no point in updating the suspension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
if you're used to fine tuned race bikes then yeah the DR is not that nor was it designed that way.
And therein lies the problem and the main thrust of my complaint: the DR was seemingly not designed. Modern mechanical design practices necessitate CAD usage and FEA modelling, and these tools allow the designers to precisely calculate resonant frequencies of the frame and apply appropriate damping. The DR frame exhibiting large amplitude resonances that are essentially undamped means that the designers either didn't pay any attention to this aspect of the frame, or didn't perceive this as a problem, or were in cost cutting mode, or simply didn't know what they were doing.

But really, if Honda could do this analysis in an era where computers were in their industrial infancy and CAD tools were non-existent, Suzuki had no excuse for not doing the same in the mid-90s.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:44 PM   #71099
MikeyP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
After I started complaining to all my friends about the flexible frame on the DR, they started telling me that the KLR is even worse in this regard. So yes, I am planning on getting a new bike, but I haven't figured out which one to get yet.
I'm definitely not saying I disagree with you because I'm totally new to motorcycles, but I'm an obsessive researcher and in the few months I spent reading everything I could find about this class of motorcycle before buying my DR650 I never once saw this mentioned amongst all of the faults that anyone here will readily admit to.

And perhaps even more interesting is that if you google "DR650 frame flex" the only relevant result is this thread. Dang Google gets this indexed quickly. It seems like you might be the first person Google has seen type these words. Again, I'm not claiming any knowledge on the subject, just an observation. Maybe forks could be the problem?

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Old 11-15-2012, 04:46 PM   #71100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
Let me answer the last question first: no, I am not racing the DR, nor am I attempting to go particularly fast on it.

The frame flexes are very evident once you step on a (even mildly) rough dirt road: the wheels are not tracking on the same longitudinal plane, they oscillate left and right all the time, independently of each other. This phenomenon is not due to suspension components (which only allow movement on the vertical plane), but it's the frame flexing from the forces impacted on it from the road imperfections.

You can experience the same thing on asphalt when you cross a longitudinal seam at a shallow angle: the bike will wiggle a bit as you cross the seam; it's not as pronounced as on a dirt road, but you can get an idea of what is going on.

This flexing of the frame is not necessarily a bad thing; Honda famously introduced controlled flexing of its frames in the XR series in the late 70s (and carried it forward through the 80s and 90s), making the bikes very forgiving, compensating somewhat for the sub-standard suspension components of that era. I raced an XR350R for a couple of years in the late 80s and I was always placing in the top three, so frame flexes are not only liveable, but could be beneficial too.

But notice what I said above about the Honda flexible frames: the flexes were controlled, that is, the engineers knew at what frequencies the frame oscillations developed, and they provided damping at those frequencies (to be exact, underdamping, i.e., the damping ratio was less than 1). Practically what that meant was that as long as you were on the throttle, the frame would constantly wiggle, absorbing some of the lateral forces, but as soon as you closed the throttle, the frame would quiet down and would track straighter. This made for a very forgiving ride, but it also meant that this instability limited the rider on how fast they could go and how much they could push the bike.

So now we come to the DR, which seems to have as flexible a frame as the old XRs, but seems to have none of their engineered damping -- and that makes for a bike that is unpredictable and uncontrollable in extreme situations. On the road this manifests in an indistinct feeling, but in most cases it is masked by the suspension components (which have their own problems).

For me though, the days of such bikes with a vague feeling of the road are long gone: I graduated from the XR to an IT 200, then onto a Husky 250, etc., and, in hindsight, the XR was a major setback in my development as a rider: the subsequent bikes allowed me to do things I could never imagine possible with the XR, and made me a better rider for it.

And then I suddenly hop onto the DR (my first street-legal bike in 20 years) and I find myself transported 25 years back in time, to a place I had long thought I would never have to revisit.

So no, I cannot enjoy the DR as a motorcycle, that is, as something that will connect me to the road; but as a vehicle for exploration, the DR has been wonderful: it has taken me to the far reaches of the state, and has filled me with great images and experiences. Too bad for me that I am looking for something more in a bike.
Thanks for responding with a more detailed explanation Being an ex-racer I could see you wanting more out of the DR. Let us know what you replace it with and how it compares.....you know us bike guys, we always want to hear/talk about bikes, and there's prolly more than a few of us looking to add another bike to the garage, I know I will be soon......thats as soon as I get rid of one The wife feels 4 is enough at any one time........women
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