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Old 01-27-2014, 03:49 AM   #1
Captain115 OP
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Captain's DR: The thumper life

Hi all,

I thought I would start this thread to document the life and times of my DR, from mods and problems to maintenance and ride reports. I am only fairly new to riding, and have almost no experience riding dirt, and so I hope that this thread might help me gain some pointers and advice from more experience members and might motivate other new riders into giving it a go.

This will be a combination of an ongoing build, a project bike, a ride report, and some scattered gear and part reviews. Although this will be focused on my DR, I hope people with other bikes will still find it interesting and may contribute.

So don't be a stranger!

If you want to ask a question, go ahead. If you think I've done something wrong, speak up. I'm open to suggestions, advice, anecdotes and information. Thanks to all those who have helped me on ADVRider, those who have taken the time to write up great ride reports and inspire me or posted reviews of their gear which may have assisted me in making decisions.

So lets get into it...

THREAD CONTENTS (Clickable hyperlinks to specific post)

Pg 1. Introduction
Pg 1. A Quick History

Modifications and Parts

Pg 1. Acerbis Tank (20L) Installed
Pg 2. 12V Merit Plug and AirHawk
Pg 2. Minor Mods: Disable clutch switch, remove fork reflectors and upper chain roller
Pg 2. B&B Offroad Rear Carry Rack
Pg 3. Barkbuster VPS Handguards
Pg 3. B&B Offroad Bashplate
Pg 3. Minor mods: T-vent carb, ground shifter, replaced brake pedal and side panel
Pg 4. Protaper Contour 'CR High' bars and Progrip 714 grips
Pg 4. Wiring grip heaters
Pg 5. Air Filters: Stock air filter failure and replacement with Twin Air
Pg 6. Tyres: Dunlop D606's (front and rear)
Pg 6. Screens for Bikes Windscreen
Pg 8. Dan's 2009 DR650: Part 1 - Post-purchase analysis, brake pads, B&B bashplate, gear shifter and various small mods; Part 2 - Installation of ProGrip 788 grips and bar risers
Pg 8. Pivot Pegz Mk III
Pg 8. Air Filters: UniFilter replacing Twin Air
Pg 9. VSM Peg Lowering Plates
Pg 9. Tyres: Pirelli Scorpion Rally front and Pirelli MT21 Rallycross rear
Pg 9. Barrett Exhaust

Ride Reports

Pg 2. First dirt at Lake Manchester, Kenmore
Pg 3. 3 day SE Queensland and NE NSW
Pg 5. Quick ride around Maleny area in 42C heat
Pg 5. Trail riding around Gympie - Day 1 (Brisbane to Gympie), Day 2 (Glastonbury State Forests), Day 3 (Wrattens, Gallangowan & Yabba Forests)
Pg 6. Practice and shakedown ride for Karuah
Pg #. 2014 Karuah River Rally Ride (4 days) - Prep, Day 1 (Brisbane to Bowraville), Day 2 (Bowraville to Taree), Day 3 (Taree to Glen Innes), Day 4 (Glen Innes to Brisbane)
Pg 6. It's Better When It's Wetter (D'Aguilar NP and Beerburrum State Forest)
Pg 7. Northern Rivers (NSW) Trail Riding with Dan

Gear Reviews

Pg 3. Sidi Crossfire TA Boots
Pg 6. TCX X-Five Plus Gore-Tex Boots


Captain115 screwed with this post 08-02-2014 at 05:50 PM
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:52 AM   #2
GAS GUY
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Looking forward to following your thread.
Ongoing threads of this sort are interesting.
What year DR and how many miles ?
The DR is a good all around versatile bike choice !!
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:04 AM   #3
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A quick history (aka a good section to skip if you're bored)

Excluding a bit of a bash around on a little Suzuki 185 2 stroke when I was a teenager, I really only started riding a couple of years ago. My main reason for deciding to ride a bike was initially transport to uni, since it was impossible to get a car park but plenty of space for bikes.

So I bought a little 250cc air-cooled single road bike, a Honda CBF250. However, while the CBF easily handled city commuting, it’s design scope wasn’t meant to included long distance travel. Don’t get me wrong, it did it fine but my 6’ frame was too large for the ergonomics, which put pressure on my knees and back, and the little 250cc single simply lacked the power to overtake on the highway at 110kmph.




Enter the XR.



I was interested in restoring bikes, learning to ride dirt, buying a bike that fit my size and undertaking some serious adventure riding.
So when I came across a ‘89 XR600 that had been bored out with the Ballards 628cc kit I jumped at the chance.

It was everything that the CBF wasn’t: looked mean, fit my body correctly, had a deep punching note (courtesy of the Staintune), was powerful, surprisingly comfortable and was obviously a lot better to learn to ride on the dirt.

I had an absolute ball while owning the XR, it was ludicrous amounts of fun. A set of D606's and a windy tar road were amusing; the same combination on a dirt road was down right hilarious. Even when the crank bearing exploded, starving the top end of oil, I just overbored it to 628cc (turns out the previous owner lied about the 628cc kit, it was sold to me with a stock 600 piston) and replaced the cam, rockers and oil pump and it thumped away again.

Oh and kick-starting a massive single to life beside a bunch of generic supersport 250s that are common at uni (CBR250RRRRRRR anyone?) gave me multiple man points too. The whine of those inline 4s couldn't compete with the noise that a single massive piston produced. Shit, I almost spontaneous grew a beard every time I started the old girl.

Sadly, I damaged my right knee, making it painful to kickstart and so I (regretfully) sold it to a guy who I hope enjoys it just as much.




Choosing the do-it-all bike

So I began to look for another bike, and it had to be a do-eveything kind of deal.
  • I am a uni student so it had to be cheap (I’m looking at you, KTM 690)
  • As it would be my only form of transport to uni, work etc it had to be reliable and so I was primarily looking at new or low mileage bikes.
  • It had to have the magic button due to my knee
  • Had to be large enough that I could travel the 400+km to visit my parents and not get blown around
  • Had to have a good aftermarket support: parts, mods, online knowledge base etc
  • Had to be fairly dirt capable since I’m a newbie and it would be easier for me to learn.


Came down to a XT660R, TE610/630, TR650 (Terra), DRZ400, KLR650 or DRZ400.

While I liked the XT660R’s they were all way too expensive, even second hand the prices were pushing $8.5k. Similarly, I absolutely loved the Husky models, had the power and style, but again they were all just too expensive new and rare to find used.
The DRZ was dropped because of the close ratio gearbox and the skinny plank seat, just a bit too modern dirt bike for me. Finally, the KLR was a little too large for a newbie to handle on the dirt, although I did very seriously consider it.

That left me with the DR650, so I took one for a test ride. Felt surprisingly comfortable on the highway, no noticeable vibrations even at high RPM, not disgustingly loud and enough power to overtake. However they seem to retain their value, as even older second hand models with 15k+ kms were between $4.5 and $5.5.

So I considered buying new and taking the depreciation hit, but luckily I found a 2012 ex-demo model for only $6.8 ride away!


Final bike: ex-demo 2012 DR650 for $6.8 (494km).



First Pics




Pretty Powdercoat


Inital km's from being used (thrashed?) as a demo model

Captain115 screwed with this post 01-28-2014 at 04:03 PM
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
Looking forward to following your thread.
Ongoing threads of this sort are interesting.
What year DR and how many miles ?
The DR is a good all around versatile bike choice !!
Cheers mate, good to have you here. Ended up with a 2012, rolling in at 506km (like 320 miles?).

Got a backlog of info and photos to get up over the next week or so!

Captain115 screwed with this post 01-29-2014 at 03:03 PM
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Captain115 View Post
Cheers mate, good to have you here. Ended up with a 2012, currently rolling in at 4800km (like 3000 miles?).

Got a backlog of info and photos to get up over the next week or so!
got mine for $ 5,500 down from $6,000 AUD 2009 model with 4,000k on the clock the only thing is i am lookin for a 21 inch wheel the old guy that had mine put a 19 inch on the front ? do you have a aftermarket pipe fitted if so what brand if not are you thinking about it ,i will be keeping in touch
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:27 AM   #6
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got mine for $ 5,500 down from $6,000 AUD 2009 model with 4,000k on the clock the only thing is i am lookin for a 21 inch wheel the old guy that had mine put a 19 inch on the front ? do you have a aftermarket pipe fitted if so what brand if not are you thinking about it ,i will be keeping in touch
That's a solid price, you got a good deal there. Not sure about the 19" wheel although a guy I got some DR parts off had done the same thing to his?

Re the exhaust: still running stock. While I loved the Staintune on the XR, it could be pretty loud when I was leaving to the lab at 5am. I'm really digging the stealth of the pipe when I'm riding near cows too; if I was a cocky I'd be pissed if someone was fucking around scaring my cattle.

However I did get a GSXR pipe to do the GSXR can conversion, so stay tuned on that end.Give me a yell if you end up getting a pipe.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:52 AM   #7
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Tanks for the memories (a solid pun)

Right so I had a basically bone stock DR. It was pretty and unblemished. However, the ergos weren't as good as the XR, the seat was as hard as a rock and the stock tank has an annoyingly small range. So let’s do something about that last one.

Most of the popular bikes have the same suspects when it comes to tanks: IMS, Clarke, Acerbis and Safari (Rally-raid users, please exit stage left and make your way to a different post).

Safari, while useful for long-distance and required for any proper Outback desert trips, was simply to god damn expensive. I figured that by the time I was a good enough rider to consider a massive trip, I would have a proper job earn bulk cash and be sweet for it. But until then, Safari was out.

IMS and Clarke. Too curvy, and look like as if someone has set a heat gun on them. Doesn’t do it for me. Different strokes for different folks.

Acerbis. Well I like the style, cheaper than Safari but still considerably larger than the stock 12L tank.

Bought it from MX1 Australia for $375 AU and a week later:




Now a quick review of the Acerbis tank:

Yes it looks sharp. Style points on the DR are up! So are now at about 13/100..didn't have much to start with. Fantastic having a 400+ km tank range, although all the aftermarket tanks are obviously better than the stock one for this.
Easy install, comes with all the gear. Oh and it might be marketed as a 20L tank, but I measured it as ~22.5L which is sweet.

However there are some negatives, mainly paint and the cap quality.

So straight up, it has strangely textured paint, almost like a chalky matt substance which makes it easy to mark. Just from general commuting riding I end up with black marks and scuffs all over it. Because of this, I wish retrospectively that I had listened to my Dad and gone the clear/natural tank. This would have let me avoid being the tosser who chose white specifically to match the bike colours (guilty as charged) and the benefit of seeing the fuel level in the clear tank would've been super useful.

As mentioned, the screw tank cap on the Acerbis suuuuckkks. It was bad when I got it, and it's just become worse. The plastic threads are poorly cut and so I spend at least a minute after each fill up cross-threading it before I get it right. Shit Acerbis, step up your game.

Anyway, here's a pic after the install

Captain115 screwed with this post 01-28-2014 at 04:02 PM
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:32 AM   #8
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Im curious.
How much is the Safari tank there in Australia ?
Im wondering because I believe it is made there in Australia.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:38 AM   #9
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. Shit, I almost spontaneous grew a beard every time I started the old girl.
That's the funniest thing live heard all week. Mind if I quote it in my sig. line?

And I think you made an excellent choice with that Acerbis tank. The angles, etc. make it look like it came with the bike and not an aftermarket add-on.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:51 AM   #10
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The tank should be cast as that color and not painted. The clear tanks don't stay clear for long. They yellow as they age, so if color matching is your thing, then clear is not a good way to go either.

Also, all the plastic gas tanks leave marks on them after riding from your knees and whatnot. Sometimes you can put stickers on them to keep the marks down, but the stickers mostly don't. Stick that is. The gas fumes leach through the plastic and make painting near impossible and stickers problematic at best.

The bung should be a standard size. Sometimes the gas caps can interchange between brands of aftermarket and will fit better.
Bottom line is plastic gas tanks like most things are a compromise.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:54 AM   #11
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if you're worried about marking up the tank with your knees..........dont ride dirt.


now, if you DO decide to ride dirt you'll need a new rear shock right away and raise the back end up so that it actually turns in the dirt. you'll need a good front knob as well, otherwise it's wash-out-city.

DRZ rear shock is an easy swap and works amazingly well on the DR.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:17 PM   #12
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if you're worried about marking up the tank with your knees..........dont ride dirt.


now, if you DO decide to ride dirt you'll need a new rear shock right away and raise the back end up so that it actually turns in the dirt. you'll need a good front knob as well, otherwise it's wash-out-city.

DRZ rear shock is an easy swap and works amazingly well on the DR.
This. Cogent shock is a good option as well, I set up mine with a Cogent and raising links.

Watch out though, it's a slippery slope...




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Old 01-27-2014, 02:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Soldier311 View Post
That's the funniest thing live heard all week. Mind if I quote it in my sig. line?

And I think you made an excellent choice with that Acerbis tank. The angles, etc. make it look like it came with the bike and not an aftermarket add-on.
Haha yeah man. Most of my male friends are like me: mid 20's and still can't grow anything close to resembling a beard. Then one of them was allowed to grow a beard for movemeber, and next thing we know he is proudly showing off a solid lumberjack beard. Made us all look like pussies. Reasons are here: http://laughingsquid.com/wp-content/...ts-640x556.png

Re the tank. I agree with the looks being hot but as I mentioned the locking cap is pretty average. I am petrified of accidentally cross screwing it and completely destroying the threads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
The tank should be cast as that color and not painted. The clear tanks don't stay clear for long. They yellow as they age, so if color matching is your thing, then clear is not a good way to go either.

Also, all the plastic gas tanks leave marks on them after riding from your knees and whatnot. Sometimes you can put stickers on them to keep the marks down, but the stickers mostly don't. Stick that is. The gas fumes leach through the plastic and make painting near impossible and stickers problematic at best.

The bung should be a standard size. Sometimes the gas caps can interchange between brands of aftermarket and will fit better.
Bottom line is plastic gas tanks like most things are a compromise.
Cheers for the info on the tanks. I have seen the yellowing that occurs with the clear tanks and it looks pretty average, but in retrospect if I knew that the white would mark so easily I would've definitely just gone for form over function. Love the idea of seeing the fuel level at a glance.

I have been looking at a separate cap, like a locking one or a billet one or something? But I just can't pony up the cash for it yet (like $50 AU?). Will keep it in mind though, thanks

Captain115 screwed with this post 01-27-2014 at 02:37 PM
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:37 PM   #14
Captain115 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagespeed View Post
if you're worried about marking up the tank with your knees..........dont ride dirt.

now, if you DO decide to ride dirt you'll need a new rear shock right away and raise the back end up so that it actually turns in the dirt. you'll need a good front knob as well, otherwise it's wash-out-city.

DRZ rear shock is an easy swap and works amazingly well on the DR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaterHarry View Post
This. Cogent shock is a good option as well, I set up mine with a Cogent and raising links.

Watch out though, it's a slippery slope...
Hey guys, good to have you here and thanks for the suggestions. I might as well mention this here, put I will also put up a separate post in the future in regards to suspension.

It's funny, coming from the XR suspension that was crazzzzy soft (when I reworked it I forgot that the stock springs would be sagged out and used 7.5 weight oil) the DR seems fantastic! Night and day difference. Or just me comparing a 24 year old bike to a new one even....

But so far I'm actually enjoying the suspension! I think that may be a combination of not yet hitting proper hard trails, and simply being a new and not knowing any better. After reading on the new about the average suspension, I thought the DR would be shocking (witty pun). But yeah it seems fine, at least for my basic skillset.

It does make me wonder though: although my skills are low, learning to ride dirt would surely be easier on a properly set up bike. At the moment I don't have the money to spend on the suspension, but will definitely post up when I need info, or make a decision.

PS TaterHarry, that blue Acerbis looks nicccee
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:59 PM   #15
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Im curious.
How much is the Safari tank there in Australia ?
Im wondering because I believe it is made there in Australia.
Ahhhhh that's a great question and observation. I've put this in a separate post because I think this is a very important topic.

Currently in Australia, the price of goods from here/buying overseas is a very hot topic. Check out this thread in the Australia ADVRider section for a good discussion.

Basically it boils down to this: parts, accessories, gear (even bikes) are insanely expensive in Australia when compared to the US or even Europe. NZ suffers the same fate too I believe. Now lots of people have opinions why this is, and I personally hold my own reasons but I don't want to devolve this thread so I'll keep quiet.

But yes, Safari is an Australian company, making tanks here and sending them across the world.
Price in Aus for a DR Safari tank : $650 + $50 shipping
Price in the US (eg JustGasTanks): $590 + free shipping throughout the states

Want better? Fucking Pivot Pegz, Australian made etc etc $240 from Australia, $170 US (about $193 AU). On the same goddamn website, literally just one click below.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that I want to support Australian businesses, I truly do. But the fact that I can buy an Australian made product from Germany, or the US, and get it shipped back to Australia for cheaper than buying in my home county (where it was made for fucks sake) is just sad. Obviously this is from a consumers point of view, and I'm sure that the owners of these companies aren't ripping us off, it just must be the extra costs associated with Australia. However, I am a student and to me, money talks.

Stay tuned for the the post when I buy my Sidi Crossfires: $635 AU which I got for $330 AU delivered from Germany.

Captain115 screwed with this post 01-29-2014 at 03:06 PM
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