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  #1  
Old 21 Jun 2010
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DR650 suspension - whats worked for you ?

Im looking to lower and upgrade the Dr's suspension - Mrs Gipper and me are planning a 2up trip to SAmerica - the stock suspension is bad enough when im riding on my own - let alone 2up with panniers

Im looking at a rear shock rebuild and Eibach springs front and rear - with possibly dropping the rear shock mount as per workshop manual or some Kouba lowering links.....

anyone else ride a DR650 2 up ?

what has worked for you ?

The Safari tank is a good fit - nice to finally have a decent range......Im also looking forward to getting the Corbin seat fitted when it arrives, several hours on the stock seat is something to be avoided - I though they might have improved it since my last '96 DR650 - but it feels even worse........or maybe its me getting older........!!!

Photo was taken on highway 1A, by Castle Mountain
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'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/
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  #2  
Old 21 Jun 2010
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Well - I kept my damping bog standard. It pogos badly, but I got used to it. In the back I have a heavier spring. It needed it badly, bottoming out solo without luggage on French back roads.

My former gf had her suspension upgraded by Hyperpro in Holland. New front springs, thicker oil f&r and the shock re-shimmed. She likes it, but for my way of thinking they overdid it. It's like a sports bike now. You can buy their bits online (I think) or through dealers. Check out their web site. Good stuff and they know what they are doing.

Don't forget to seriously change your transmission ratio. I run 15/45 solo. You need a few more teeth in the back and I suggest you carry a spare 14 tooth front, unless you stay on tar seal.
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  #3  
Old 21 Jun 2010
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I put a heavier Elka shock on the rear, upgraded the front end to a stiffer spring rate and increased the oil viscosity. Bike handles much better with a load and the front end does not dive with a fully loaded safari tank. Is your wife comfortable on your stock seat together with panniers? Not much room back there.
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  #4  
Old 22 Jun 2010
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Thanks for the replies guys,

I agree with you Peter - going too hard with the suspension is not the right way - so I am looking at a bit of a compromise with spring rates and cost !

Daryll, yes the stock seat has very little room for Lisa, luckily she is quite petit and Im only 5'10 and 185 lbs in riding gear, hopefully the Corbin seat will be a big improvement - I used to tour on a TTR 250 with Ortileb panniers, which teaches you to pack light !!!

The Elka shock looks very well made - how has it performed ? what spring rates have you been using fr/rr ?

Ive been looking at a rear shock rebuild/DIY drop in kit from Cogent Dynamics:

MotoCD - Suzuki DR 650 Suspension
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'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/
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  #5  
Old 22 Jun 2010
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If you follow the big DR650 thread on ADV you can get feedback on suspension on the DR and everything else ... from A to Z. Allow about two months to read the whole thread!

Actually, you can chat one on one with Rick at Cogent and other vendors that do DR parts right on that thread as they chime in all the time.

But overall, Rick at Cogent Dynamics has a good rep. and so far his shocks seem to hold up. Probably one of the more inexpensive options to get good damping out back. Talk to Rick to custom tune your shock to work for your trip. Talk to users of his shock, get direct feedback. 3 or 4 guys at least who've bought them. (probably more?)

At your height I would NOT lower your DR. With two on board W/ luggage, even with proper springs, your DR will set down a bit. Should be no problem touching down. The extra ground clearance will really help you hitting Topes, potholes and such at speed, fully loaded. Don't give up ground clearance, the DR is short on it to start with.

The Corbin is pretty good two up. My GF was pleasantly surprised at the ride, but she has only done short trips. Only problem was VIBES through the pillion pegs. Maybe rubber isolated pegs could help? My GF is only 4'11, 100 lbs. so she fits. I'm only 5'7".

I've got an Ohlins shock and have upgraded the forks as well. Bit stiff on highway but good when loaded for travel and doing rough roads or off road. Quite composed really (at modest speeds) Goes where you point it and stays in control ... no wallowing.

I would not fill your Safari when going off road unless really necessary. When full, the Safari really makes the DR a handful off road. I had to ride a friends bike out of some tricky conditions. Not fun. Keep it light if you can.
Have fun.


My buddies bike in BG with white Safari tank .... too much gas, with luggage. Got ugly later.


Steeper than it looks. 50/50 tires no go ... too loose too steep. I took over and rode it down, he rode my bike. Jesus, what a handful!
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  #6  
Old 26 Jun 2010
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Those Elka's perform really well and prefer them over the stockers. Though I haven't ridden a bike with the cogent rebuild to make a fair assessment to another rebuild/new aftermarket shock. I bought 2 rear shocks, and dealt directly with the guy in Montreal and he worked out a deal. If I remember correctly the rear is either 7.3 or 7.5, have the info somewhere. Prior to me re-doing the front end, the bike was handling badly on dirt with even a 1/2 tank o the Safari.
I agree with Mickey D., full tank safari + dirt - skill = bike napping a few times (don't ask me how I learnt that).
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  #7  
Old 26 Jun 2010
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Thought id stick my ten peneth in.... been living with my 05 DR for over 3 years and 135,000kms

I upgraded the front with springs and oil and rebuilt the original rear shock...... ive been thou mud sand mountains and rivers and its performed faultlessly

Like you a safari tank 15/45 gearing with a 14 tooth for off road and thats it....as you say light weight is the way to go...the DR is THE long distance overlander, the seat is firm but ive done twelve hour days on it

Later tim
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  #8  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Thanks for the replies guys,

I used to ride a KTM Adv 640 (in UK after my first DR650) - an 01 with a 28 litre tank, so Im used to riding with some weight up front, though the KTM carried the weight better due to the lower 'pointy' bottom of the tank.....the the fuel sloshed around alot less, also that WP suspension helped too......

but I dont miss the vibes, the fiddly oil in frame and the water cooling......

Mickey, Thanks for the info, nice pics, Ive been loitering on ADVRider for a few years, lots of good info on there.

I will see how much sag I get loaded up, with upgraded suspension and see if I need to lower or not - point taken though, It will only be lowered if absolutely neccesary.

Im looking at a 7.5 rear and .47 fronts - if its too sloppy 2up then I will stiffen it further - but i can use those rates when im out on my own..... the missus will never know shhhh.....
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'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Gipper; 12 Mar 2011 at 15:52.
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  #9  
Old 1 Jul 2010
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Gipper, if you don't have the Corbin seat yet, I have to put in my 2 cent plug for Renazco.

I put a Renazco seat on my DR and will say --- best motorcycle seat ever! Sooooooo comfy! I ran a Corbin for a while on a KLR and sold it. Not a fan. Good luck!
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Old 4 Jul 2010
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yeah the Corbin is currently in Canadian customs.......if we dont get on with it, then I will sure look at a Renazco or Sargeant....

though the Corbin will be my first custom seat - So hopefully it will feel pretty good after 15 years of stock Honda, Yam, Suzuki and KTM seats !!!

I did manage 865 miles in 24 hrs once on the stock DR650 seat - from Poole to Garmisch-Partenkirchen -rained the whole way - took me several days to stop walking like John Wayne !!!

thanks for the advice on the Safari tank company on other thread - tank is fitted - no problems.

great reading/photos on your site Mark, where you heading next ?
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'09 Suzuki DR650
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http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/
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  #11  
Old 20 Jul 2010
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May I butt in and ask any DR650 owners how long the swingarm is from pivot to axle? (And please ID your model and year, ta).

thanks

Chris S
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  #12  
Old 21 Jul 2010
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Chris,

09 DR650 SE (Canadian spec)

centre of swingarm pivot bolt to centre of axle (chain tensioner cam on 'notch' number 2) = 55.5cm - there looks to be about 3cm of adjustment available for the axle, from 54.5 to 57.5cm
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'09 Suzuki DR650
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'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/
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  #13  
Old 21 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
May I butt in and ask any DR650 owners how long the swingarm is from pivot to axle? (And please ID your model and year, ta).
thanks
Chris S
From 1996 to present all DR650's are identical ... even in other countries. Only very minor jetting and cam timing changes ... not even noted in workshop manual.

Pre 1996 totally different bike.
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Old 21 Jul 2010
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Thanks for that. Was just told the obvious that its the spindle to 'back of the front' of the swingarm that matters (where the link mounts).

Trying to get a 19" tyre in there but told it might not work out with a DR arm. I think I may settle on just extending the swingarm on my bike as it's shorter - otherwise I'll end up with a Widowmaker hillclimber!

Trying to make one like below (17/21 + DR front end) but I prefer 19s all round.

Chris
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  #15  
Old 12 Mar 2011
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Improving the DR's front end

Has anyone managed to get the front end of there DR 'perfect' ?

I ended up using .50 eibachs up front and 10 wt oil (safari tank and riding 2up loaded on this trip)

comparing the DR to my old KTM adventure, the front end is harsh on rough pistes, the WP suspension would soak it up and I could ride much faster.

has anyone used intiminators/ emulators or anything else - and found a 'sweet' set up on their front end ?

FYI, the Cogent Dynamics rebuilt shock has been excellent for this trip, used an 8.1 rear spring - highly reccomended
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