The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
'Tis been quite a while since I posted here, but here goes!
The Toad is the happy owner of a 2001 DR650, and it is a very good bike indeed. My first choice was an Aprilia Pegaso (big tank!), but I settled on the DR and have no regrets (with one caveat).
I am having difficulty fitting my IMS fuel tank (4.9 gallons U.S.) due to the instructions saying that I should use the OEM petcock, and a nice lady from IMS saying ignore the instructions. Aaaaaaagh! I am (some what) patiently awaiting another e-mail from her.
Oh well. Other wise I like the bike. I will be installing a small "Spitfire 06" wind shield that I just picked up, along with some better hand guards. Next up will be a centre stand.
It is a great bike, and not just for the money. I reallllly like mine. A lot.
It doth appear that the Toad is the only sentient life form that populates this section of the BBS.
I have installed (successfully) the IMS tank. The instructions were contradictory to say the least. I will be foregoing the centre stand on the advice of some one that has experience with the ones made for the DR.
The Slipstreamer Spitfire windshield was easy to install, and works well enough. I may have the seat re-done as it is not exactly comfy, and install a small rack on the back of the bike with maybe a locking case that can be easily detached.
Oh yes. With the Spitfire on, there is no room to attach brush guards, at least the ones I have tried. As previously stated, this is an excellent motorbike.
Here's hoping that others will purchase one, and come here to post their experiences with it. There is much to recommend a (relatively) light weight, air-cooled thumper.
The IMS tank is working out well, thank you! The extra fuel capacity is a welcome addition. I have ordered Suzuki's small rear rack, and will be buying a suitable "tail bag" as I have not been able to locate a tank bag that fits the IMS all that well.
The left hand guard is constantly coming loose at speed (65 mph or more), and I broke the $5.00 bolt that holds it in place (I must have over tightened it in my frustration, LOL). A new one was installed and it too slips. I may try locktite as this is quite annoying.
Nope Toad, you're not alone on DR's ! And luckily so. Here's two more, and let's hope some more DR-riders find the way to this forum.
To start: here're a few links which are extremely interesting (second one is in German). http://www.thumperpage.com/articles/dr650set.html and http://www.dr-650.de
Ok, now the reliability bit.
First, we're talking DR 650 SE here i.e. last-generation, low-weight DR's.
Never imported in the UK; imported in Germany from 1996 till last year (4.000 bikes); don't know about other countries, but it seems not too many were sold the world over.
In Belgium they imported the 650 SE's for 2 years only (96-97). They sold 34 (yes, you read it right!). No-one wanted them. I think the colour scheme was not fancied by many ;-)
No, seriously, in Belgium enduro's are not popular. Well, there's no land to ride on in the first place. All is paved and you're hardly allowed to go near the unpaved bits.
* Iris has had one for 3 years now; mine is 1,5 years.
* Both bought almost new: 1.800 kms and 900 kms, both lowered by the previous owners.
* Iris's bike has done some 27.000 kms, mine has some 13 or 14.000 (can't check, I'm not at home right now).
* Iris' bike rode overland Belgium to Finland and back in 2000. Some 8.000 kms. We chose gravel roads wherever we could, had terrible rain for most of the month, were rather lightly loaded with Ortlieb bags and tankbags with sidebags. Last summer, both our DR's (with us ont top :-) went to Gibraltar (Southern Spain) and back for a month, another 6.500 kms, some off-road but not as much as we wanted.
At the very beginning of April (2002), we will travel overland from Belgium to India (if the events permit). 6 or 7 months in total. So we have modified quite a bit : fuel capacity, lower saddles, rear luggage rack, Scott-Oilers, Acerbis hand guards, other bits left and right, and will change the luggage system and the suspension (front and rear) soon too.
So far, we haven't had a single problem with the bikes. We kept oilchanges as it should, on neither of the bikes I have checked the valves yet (I should, very soon now), they started well all the time, they're powerful, they handle well on and off-road but too heavy for us in tough off-road (deep mud and sand), in short, we like them. One thing I do not like from the very start is the sound: a sewing machine. Riding also on a R 80 G/S and an XT 500, this is a major adjustment.
Two remarks: 1. the lower gears are too close to each other for my feeling, but we'll change sprockets sizes. Now it's 15-41, I'm considering 15-42 as a standard setup and 14-42 for the off-road bits. 2. I can really tell the difference in quality of the parts, even compared to the XT 500. Bolts too soft, clumsy welding, rust and oxidation (they are in a heated garage so no excuse), fragile wiring on many places (I have "double-taped" a few prone areas just in case).
That's it on our experiences. We'll know much more in October, obviously.
Then, I have direct information from a German couple who travelled on two 650 SE's from Germany to SE-Asia for 1,5 years (1999-2000), and just read an article on two German women who crossed Central America on them (Motorrad, last summer).
The first ones had one problem that seems to be reoccuring on several 650 SE's: oilleaks at the valve lids and cylinder head. They sealed it with external sealant - the black silicone, can't remember the name right now. The second ones said adapting the suspension for travelling is a must. They travelled with a modified and a stock bike, and rode off-road most of the time.
On the German website, I also read that one person had a potentially dangerous problem: the oilseal on the shift lever came out while riding - oil seeping out almost on the back tyre. The guy had a metal plate fixed over it to the engine case, but had to redo this as it came out again. Now it's fine and safe.
Many tune the 650 SE's, either to turn into 'supermotards' and compete with the Husqvarna's and the like, or to make them better offroaders - airbox changes, carburettor, exhaust, suspension, the lot.
If you're talking older DR 650's (R and RSE), there's also lots of info on the German site, and if you're interested in Suzuki travellers on DR 600's: look at http://www.geocities.com/bikebrothers
Happy riding Dino, Toad and other DRiders !
------------------ Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, usually travelling on bikes (now on DR650SE's)
[This message has been edited by iris_trui (edited 08 May 2003).]
hey fellow DR owners, I have had my 2001 DR650se from the crate off the truck till now and the only complaints that i have are the leaky Valve covers and my left handle guard is always loose of coarse both only started happening after the warrenty was used up.
I also have a 01 DR650SE. I just mounted my
IMS 4.9 gallon tank and had a few problems.
First mine came with a petcock but I was
told to remove the petcock from the stock tank as I needed to use the stock bolts in new tank. Unfortunately the stock bolts are
much to long to use with the new petcock (grrrr). I ended up using the bolts supplied to mount the attachment point to the back of the tank to secure the petcock. After installing the petcock and putting some gas in the tank it leaked like crazy (grrrx2). The shape of the petcock is not even close to the shape of the gasket so it didn't seal at all. I ended up making a thin metal plate to go between the gasket and the petcock and another gasket to go between the petcock and the metal plate. I applied a gasket sealant and it doesn't appear to be leaking. Also the hole drilled into the gastank for the petcock mounting where very sloppy. At this point I've got to say that I'm very underwhelmed by IMS quality.
I've only got 1k miles on my DR so far but I really like it. I've also installed Enduro Engineering handguards, a dual-star centerstand, and a modified Baja Designs skid plate to go with the centerstand. I'm going to try to fit some Acerbis disk guards for an XR650 to the bike and will let you guys know how it turns out. Oh yeah I also mounted the Suzuki luggage rack and a top box from JC Whitney. I've also got a corbin saddle and luggage racks from Happ-trails on order.
I am here to report that the Suzuki rear rack for the DR650 is quite tiny, hence I shall be drilling and mounting some eye bolts to facilitate using my Nelson-Rigg tail bag.
The wind sheild works well, and I am awaiting delivery of a centre stand (at last!!!). The standard saddle is awful, and I am looking into borrowing (with an eye toward buying) a used Suzuki gel saddle. If that does not work then I shall likely have a custom saddle made for the bike.
Three hundred miles last Sunday, and my toadish bottom was in agony!
Other wise the bike delivers fuel economy in the 50 mpg range when ridden at a decent pace, and I think I need to get some sort of vibration control for the handlebars as my right hand goes numb whilst riding (a "Bar Snake" perhaps?).
The DR650 is an excellent mount, and if I did not own one, I would still consider it along with the Guzzi Quota (I am drawn to this bike, LOL!) and perhaps the KTM AdventureR. My skill level is around that of a Honda Z50, but I can dream can I not?
Take care, and here's hoping the Suzuki forum picks up!
The new saddle is on, and initial thoughts are that it is very soft. I shall have to take it on a moderate ride of one hundred or so miles to get a feel for whether or not it is some thing I wish to keep.
I am usually suffering at the 50 mile or so mark. Hopefully this seat will bring much needed relief to my toadish behind.
The seat is working out okie dokie, but I have only gone around fifty or so miles on it, but still no pain...
I installed a centre stand today, and it works fine. It took all of ten minutes to put it on, but it takes quite a tug to get the bike up on it. Still, it is worth it as far as helping with maintenance chores and it is unobtrusive to boot.
DR650=freewind same engine?
CCM are using the freewind engine now instead of the old rotax motor.its reliable and solid and can be tuned up quite a bit,if you are staying on-road (super-moto).
the rotax motor has been taken about as far as it can reliably go.
Hello Toad and the others !
We just returned from our "overland from Belgium to the Himalayas and back". 6,5 months, 28,000 kms. Turkey and Iran, good asphalt; Pakistan, extreme temperatures (40 to 55 °C, I'm not kidding). Northern India (Ladakh), plenty of rough off road and extreme heights (up to 5,400 metres).
We rode --as you can see in our earlier post-- on two DR 650 SEs. AND WE HAD ZERO PROBLEMS :-)))
(not even a single puncture)
How about that ?!
Even at the extreme heights (the highest motorable roads in the world, Manali to Leh, and the Kardung La pass), we could ride like on the plains, and our bikes consumed what they do at sealevel. We did make a leaner mixture in the carburettors before going up of course (smaller main jet, lower needle, and above 4,500 we took off the airfilter lid).
I cannot recommend this bike enough. Suzuki has created a SOLID, RELIABLE AND LIGHT (well, 147 kgs empty is quite a bit lighter then its collegues) bike, perfectly adapted for long distance travelling. Our bikes have now 40 and 50,000 kms, and don't use one drip of oil. Even the valves didn't have to be ajusted once (and, yes, we do ride fast or sportive when no traffic).
"If you can still find them (the hard bit), then don't hesitate", is my opinion.
(and for parts: it's almost the Freewind but in another dress and much lighter)
Take care out there, and keep the DR-page going. I'll do my best, and Toad does too.
Iris and Trui
------------------ Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE's)
2nd overland from home to North India and back, April-October 2002
[This message has been edited by iris_trui (edited 25 November 2002).]
Thanks for the wonderful report, ladies! I also enjoyed viewing your photographs at your web site.
I must admit (though it is painfully obvious, LOL!), that I use my DR for far more mundane purposes (e.g., commute to work, and the occassional trip to the desert here in San Diego) than do you adventuresome lasses (e.g., fantastic trips around the globe).
Nonetheless, as shown by your adventures, the DR650 is a great bike no matter where the ride may take you, be the destination work (the Toad), or India (Iris and Trui).
My thanks again, to Iris and Trui for the wonderful pictures and their report. I do not merely envy you your adventures, but rather I admire you for them.
Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.