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Old 11-15-2012, 07:44 PM   #71131
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
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.
I think you may be "mis-perceiving" . If set up correctly ... with good suspension and tires, the DR does no such thing ... and trust me, I know this bike better than you do. I'm on my 3rd one. I've ridden my current DR all over Baja ... on four different rides. All over California, out to Colorado, Utah and lots more. 50,000 miles and counting.

It's no race bike but works surprisingly well even on rough Baja or rocky Death Valley tracks. It's also a competent road bike. Come on the Sunday Morning Ride some time and see a well set up DR. (from the back )

As mentioned, suspension (and probably worn out tires at incorrect pressures) may be your problem ... or your bike is Cracked ... or BENT? Entirely possible. Was it ever crashed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
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),
I believe you refer to Honda's "Tuned Flex" technology. It was a disaster, both on their street bikes (see '98 VTR1000 Super Hawk ... I owned one) and see what happened in MotoGP.

I suggest back reading Kevin Cameron. He wrote a few very good articles about Tuned Flex ... and WHY IT DIDN'T WORK! The real truth is Honda went in circles chasing Tuned Flex .. and eventually went backwards. Did they learn something? Probably. "Flex" has long been a factor in chassis design ... dialing that in seems to be a bit of a black art.
(SEE Ducati and their chassis woes)

IMHO, the DR650 does not really have the HP to initiate noticeable frame flex. With decent suspension, a fork brace and proper alignment the "problem" should go away. The forks? As I said, yes, they flex under hard braking ... as most any long travel suspension will do.

YES! It will move around riding of rough dirt roads! It weighs up near 400 lbs., it's not a 260 lb. race bike.

If you've never noticed fork flex then you've not ever pushed your DR hard.

Some "new" riders believe the DR650 is "flexing". Guess what? Feel your handlebars .. they are rubber mounted ... and low and behold ... they FLEX!

You are not the only X racer here. I started at Ascot Park, 15 years old, racing my Bultaco Pursang. In the 80's / 90's rode AMA Enduro for 8 years. Senior B rider. I mostly rode Yamaha WR250 (two strokes) and KX250's.
All endurized and race prepped. I rode Huskies (Swedish ones) in the '80's.
Horrible compared to Japanese.

The '92 Husky you spoke of brings back some memories ... or nightmares? Was this magic Husky a 2 stroke? ...or the then new 4 stroke? ... you know, the Cagiva Huskies that held a half quart of oil? The Two strokes were good ... but the Jap bikes (during that period) were just BETTER.
You are lucky to have the KTM 200 exc. A great bike.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:06 PM   #71132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
Suspension is all stock. Given the fundamental problems I have with the frame, I see no point in updating the suspension.
Now that's funny!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
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.
How much do you know about the original design, R&D and testing of the DR650? I know a bit ... I was at the Press intro of the then NEW DR650SE in 1996.
Do you know who helped develop the DR650?

Suzuki team racer, Rodney Smith. Google him.

Suzuki flew Rodney to Japan to Beta test the DR and give feed back, and back in the US, Rodney spent more time on the bike, making suggestions to American Suzuki.

At the Press Intro, Rodney led a group of journos out into the Mojave on a wonderful ride. Even gave riding lessons to the less experienced in our group. He led us straight into deep sand on STOCK TIRES. Then, over some nasty rock sections, wash outs and a few climbs. To me, the DR was a handful, but I was used to my 230 lb. race bike. But I adapted.

At the Intro I heard ALL ABOUT the evolution of the design from the Suzuki Japan project leader. He detailed all the changes made from the old DR650, all the whys and wherefores.

Good stuff ... But the best part was watching Rodney ride the DR. Rodney is a joy to hang out with ... and a genius on the bike. (5 time GNCC champ) If you saw him ride a DR650 ... you would just quit.

The DR is a decent flat tracker ... but has NOTHING to do with frame flex.
It has to do with GOOD DESIGN. A poorly designed bike will spit you off, highside you, or worse. A GOOD design, like the DR, slides predictably, rear steers well. Yes, it's still too heavy, but Suzuki designed this bike as a good bike for students, commuters and weekend warriors. Never intended to do serious off road duty ... even though Rodney did his best to make the DR work everywhere.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:06 PM   #71133
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Hey guys am I missing something? Doesn't the stock rear shock only have rebound adjustment?

Set up problems? Sure, the suspension is useless -- way too much compression damping (even though the clicker is almost all out) and non-existent rebound damping results in rear wheel losing ground contact in stutter bumps (on asphalt! -- forget it on dirt) and essentially stalling, but if I fix that with a lot of money I'm still left with a flex frame, so what's the point?[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:10 PM   #71134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by doug s. View Post
actually, the seat part is not too far off, but it's fortunately an easy fix!
doug s.
Yeah. For sure, just buff the fresh machining burrs off the spike before you sit on it.
But see, I think the stock seat is great! I did a 3-day, 1200 mile ride and had no problem with it -- quite the opposite actually. The frame on the other hand...

You guys are fortunate: the things that bother you can be easily replaced, the things that bother me don't have a solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
John,

Have your DR checked for cracked welds or tubes. Ride some '70s scramblers and '80s UJMs real hard while the shop is going through your DR. I'll bet that pig can be tightened right up for ya. But then, there's always gusseting and chromoly replacement tubing that can be added too.
You may have said this half-jokingly, but that's exactly what a frame flex feels like: as if the frame has cracked. The first time I rode my XR on a dirt road I immediately stopped after hundred feet because I thought the frame must had cracked... until more knowledgable people explained to me that this is indeed how these bikes behaved.

Gussets and extra tubing? I wouldn't have done that even in my racing days when I was broke and had a lot more free time; nowadays with free time in very short supply and no financial problems, the solution is easy: new bike. The problem is, which one?
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:16 PM   #71135
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Originally Posted by adv grifter View Post
now that's funny!
+1
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #71136
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"BTW, I don't do style. It's a dirt bike, not some girlie dress-up thing." -
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:33 PM   #71137
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Originally Posted by Multisurface Rider View Post
Hey Albie,

I was wondering why you bought a DR when you have the 690?
Motorcycles are like women, to be enjoyed in quantity!
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:35 PM   #71138
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Originally Posted by DockingPilot View Post
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.
Maybe you should spend less time at Starbucks and more time riding, just sayin......











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Old 11-15-2012, 08:43 PM   #71139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by procycle View Post
If your suspension was dialed in at least 80% of what you are blaming on the frame would disappear.
I doubt it; I believe I can separate suspension deficiencies from frame problems.

In any case, I have other problems with the DR too, mainly weight, but also a general inability to connect with the bike: I can't pinpoint it, but for some reason I cannot change positions easily, cannot weigh the pegs, don't seem to get any feedback from the bike... In short, it feels like I'm seating on a giant jello, with no tactile sense of what the bike is doing. There are so many things wrong with this bike that I really don't feel like spending good money after bad chasing all its idiosyncrasies; I'd rather leave it as is and enjoy it for what it is: a cheap, reliable machine.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #71140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
But see, I think the stock seat is great! I did a 3-day, 1200 mile ride and had no problem with it -- quite the opposite actually.
I was fine on it too for 1200 miles in one day...solo. With a passenger on the back, a Seat Concepts kit is considerably more comfortable.

Quote:
You guys are fortunate: the things that bother you can be easily replaced, the things that bother me don't have a solution.
I still haven't figured out an easy solution for creating the passenger-toting spaciousness of a DL on this thing, but Phreaky Phil might have.

Quote:
You may have said this half-jokingly, but that's exactly what a frame flex feels like: as if the frame has cracked. The first time I rode my XR on a dirt road I immediately stopped after hundred feet because I thought the frame must had cracked... until more knowledgable people explained to me that this is indeed how these bikes behaved.

Gussets and extra tubing? I wouldn't have done that even in my racing days when I was broke and had a lot more free time; nowadays with free time in very short supply and no financial problems, the solution is easy: new bike. The problem is, which one?
Half-jokingly, for sure, but definitely half-serious as well, on multiple counts. (I never go full-serious. It's a risk I'm not willing to take.) I know that at least one DR owner has gusseted almost every tube joint on his bike. I don't know of anybody that has replaced the stock "large-diameter, thin-walled, mild-steel" frame tubing with stiffer chromoly, but I have actually considered building a DR frame (partial or entire) out of chromoly tube...with gussets. For me, it would be a fun project with the bender, the machine shop, and the TIG.

A lot of perception also depends on perspective. Riding some crazy, flexy-flyer, widowmaker bikes from the '70s and '80s, right now, could actually change your subjected-to-the-biasing-of-time perception of the DR's flexiness.

You might also have unknown issues with bearings, bushings, races, or whatever. I think you'll have to send your DR to make the rounds through all of us here at ADVRider.com, for a comprehensive evaluation after it resides a month or so at each of our abodes. We WILL get to the bottom of this "flex issue" that you're having.

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Old 11-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #71141
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There is no frame flex problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyP View Post
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, 08:59 PM   #71142
Albie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAVELGUY View Post
Hey guys am I missing something? Doesn't the stock rear shock only have rebound adjustment?
Just let him go, he's on a roll!
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #71143
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Lots of talk here lately about KTM 200 EXC's. I loved mine (both of them). The best single track dirt bike I ever owned and that is one of many, others Husky's, Penton's, Suzuki's, Yamaha's, 40 years history on dirt bikes. But I don't think it's the right bike for me to take for a month long tour of mainland Mexico and total south to north of Baja this coming January carrying 80 lbs of gear on the back. But I think I better take my flexy frame (I've never felt the flex) piss poor suspension DR650, I did spend $600 to up grade the rear and front ends, many people I know spend that on their KTM's suspensions also. It's the right bike for that kind of trip after having done some 25,000 miles of Central America pavement/gravel/dirt during the previous 4 years. I would not dream of taking one of my 200 EXC's on this trip.

Bikes are like the tools in the garage. Some high quality and high tech some not but when you need a cast iron anvil it sure does the job. I often refer to my DR650 as a currently manufactured antique or a anvil with a electic starter and I love it being what it is for the riding I'm doing at this time in my life. A month or so ago I loaded my DR up with camping gear and supplies for a 5 day 350 mile one way highway ride to North Carolina. Rode two days of gravel and then pavement back home. Of the eighty plus bikes I've owned in my life I consider the DR650 probably one of the most enjoyable.

Wish I lived in the Bay area because it sounds like there will be a used one on Craigslist soon and should go cheap since the owner hates it.

TravelGuy
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:13 PM   #71144
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I think your reference is to my friend Dave. He did the gussets to handle his large rear luggage for total South America tour that he has planned.

TravelGuy

I know that at least one DR owner has gusseted almost every tube joint on his bike.

[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:13 PM   #71145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
I doubt it; I believe I can separate suspension deficiencies from frame problems.

In any case, I have other problems with the DR too, mainly weight, but also a general inability to connect with the bike: I can't pinpoint it, but for some reason I cannot change positions easily, cannot weigh the pegs, don't seem to get any feedback from the bike... In short, it feels like I'm seating on a giant jello, with no tactile sense of what the bike is doing. There are so many things wrong with this bike that I really don't feel like spending good money after bad chasing all its idiosyncrasies; I'd rather leave it as is and enjoy it for what it is: a cheap, reliable machine.
Hello,

Please sell the POS so I can read about something different that I haven't read before, like tires or what oil to use.
I'll stay with my Flexi-Flyer but if I want to ride something HiTech I'll go with my TW200
as it says ELECTRIC on the side!!

Bye,

Heirhead
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