2009 Suzuki DR650SE (This is what it looked like when I bought it)
The venerable DR650, an easy choice really. Of course there are other excellent possibilities, and indeed I already own a proven adventure bike, the Suzuki VStrom 650. After briefly considering the VStrom and others like the XR650 and the KLR650, I decided on the DR for a number of reasons. First, it’s a Suzuki and I’m familiar with the brand. There were variety of used bikes available and the aftermarket has plenty of great accessories (farkles) to bolt on to it. The DR650 has been around a long time and changed very little so parts are easy to find all over the world. It’s a simple machine too, with a lightweight frame, and a carbureted, air cooled single cylinder engine which will be easy to maintain. Perhaps the only negatives will be when it comes to high altitude performance.
The bike was slightly modified when I bought it but it still needed some updates to get it ready.
The modifications include:
Screens for Bikes high impact windscreen
Suzuki GSXR muffler with a Kientech mid pipe
Air box modification
ProCycle Carburetor jet kit
Stainless carburetor screws
Extended fuel mixture screw
Relocate choke knob
IMS 4.9 gallon fuel tank
Inline fuel filter
ProCycle 250W stator
NSU switch bolts secured
Rear shock rebuild by Cogent Dynamics
Front forks re-spring and add emulators
SW-Motech center stand
ProCycle shortened side stand
ProCycle lowered foot pegs
Oxford Heated grips
Eastern Beaver 3 circuit solution for accessories and power sockets
Trailtech Endurance II digital speedometer
Pro Moto Billet Aluminium rear rack
Happy Trails luggage rack and 7.5″ Teton panniers
Upgrade chain to DID VX
Ball bearing chain roller
Remove upper chain roller
Upgrade wheel bearings
No-Toil air filter
Part of my trip preparation is to replace some of the consumable components on the bike. By the way I have decided to affectionately name the bike Skelly…short for Skeleton because of our fundraising effort to raise money for a bionic exoskeleton. Clever eh?
I was going to name her Skeletor but hat just raises too many scary images from my past cartoon days. So Skelly it is then.
There is only 14,000km on the odometer so the chain and sprockets are in pretty good shape, but there’s no way they’ll last another 30,000km so off they come.
Brand new front 15 tooth sprocket. This is the stock size and will be perfect for my trip.
New rear sprocket. again, stock size at 42 teeth.
Another mod I made is to attach a center stand which allows easier wheel removal and generally easier to do maintenance
And a short side stand. This one is about 1.5 inches shorter than the original. When the bike is fully laden it can be difficult to put the longer side stand down properly which can lead to an embarrassing tip over. We certainly don’t want that!