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  #1  
Old 27 Mar 2008
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Maximum Loading of the DR650? Motorcycle Trip to Asia

Hello,

How much load can be put on a Suzuki DR650SE? Considering available reasonably priced modifications. I am searching for the right motorcycle for a trip this fall/winter that will take me across Southeast Asia, solo for an indefinite period through countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. I'll be riding on very long treks with full side and vertical bags plus one female passenger. I'm hoping to get the DR650 for the job but weight is a concern. I would appreciate any input on how much it can safely take with the necessary mods. I've hear 400 pounds useful load which would most likely kill the prospect of using this bike. If it's risky to the bike I would prefer getting a different model as I will be isolated and in remote areas. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you. Ian
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Old 28 Mar 2008
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You're saying that you are going solo, taking one passenger... Which one is it?

Solo is no problem, as you won't carry as much luggage as a passenger weighs.

Two up I consider the bike too short, physically. You can't go on dirt tracks two-up. Those tracks you can do you can also do on a road bike.
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Old 28 Mar 2008
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I certainly wouldn't fancy going two-up on a DR650 for more than a few miles. There just isn't enough seat room for long trips plus the power really lacks with someone else on the back.
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Old 30 Mar 2008
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There are not too many bikes that I would consider riding two-up and loaded with gear on such a ride. The DR650 is not one of them - but it is an excellent solo bike when properly prepared for such a journey.

Does your lady friend ride? If not, is she willing to learn? If the answer is yes to either, why not take two DRs (there are benefits to two identical bikes - eg consolidation of spares) and enjoy the trip? If the answer is no to both then a more suitable bike is in order... or leave the lady behind.

BTW, my wife learned to ride so that we can both enjoy and share our adventures.

Mike, power is not an issue if the bike is geared and ridden appropriately. A ride like this (done solo) could just as easily be done on a TS185, but it would be ridden slow (70-80kph max?).

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Last edited by AndyL; 30 Mar 2008 at 18:15. Reason: Clarification
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  #5  
Old 31 Mar 2008
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Two up on the DR650es

My ´96 DR has about 10000 miles of two up riding covering lots of dirt roads including Sierra Madres, Baja, the Great Divide route and Guatemala. It has been a great bike. We are not big people, though, Bodies 270 pounds, luggage 62 pounds plus complete riding gear. I use 1 tooth less CS sprocket. My wife´s nickname is ¨the iron maiden¨. Just kidding. Muddauber
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Old 31 Mar 2008
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I'd agree the power of the DR is 'OK' when cruising 2 up at highway speeds but I don't think it's really that great when you want go up the gears rapidly compared to when you're riding solo. When there's two of us on my DR, my g/f sometimes ends up half on the rear rack mainly because I find it hard to gear shift properly when wedged up against the tank, totally unlike my 1150GS which is great 2 up and has bags of power.

Regardless, if there are two of you, as it has already been suggested either get a bigger bike or even better get two DRs!
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Old 6 May 2008
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I've put around 7,000 miles on my DR650 2-up. To accommodate my passenger, I added a pad between the back of the seat and the rear rack. I used some foam that I cut and velcro to attach it to the bike. Then the side bars on the rack were uncomfortable, so for $50 I bought a very nice pad that attached with some cord to the rear rack (airvent motorcycle seats). The foam pad evens everything out, and works for short trips, and the air vent pad is good for longer trips. We did a 450 mile day with no serious ill affects.

Using these pads, she can sit further back, and we can travel comfortably.
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Old 6 May 2008
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May want to look in to if its pasable to import your bike in Southeast Asia there was some one had problems doing this. not getting the bike there but riding from on contrary to another.

Its a bit of a load your asking that little bike to do. You can get bigger suspension parts and reinforce the subframe and hope.
If it was me Id go with 2 bikes never understand why people drag a pillion along. Id get bike you can buy there light and cheap less gear fewer cloths its hot and humid there. With less gear and no pillion you will be able to mantain a faster pace over ruffer ground less need for upgrades to the bike. more cash to send the pillion when she gets mean and get a new new for a few weeks or gust spend on .
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