Hope you're enjoying your travels through the US. Great job on your DR, loved the electrical mods. Neat, tidy and smart!
Any idea what your DR's total weight (loaded) is up to now?
What is your MPG average? Many with the FCR carb have had trouble getting good fuel economy with that carb. How's it doing?
Couple comments from your Blog! (Excellent!)
(to Ted and Steve) DR's have always had steel frames. Ted's correct, they did change it in '97 to make it STIFFER, but lighter. (how dey do dat?
Good job breaking the bead with feet only! but some tires are tougher than others, especially if they have been on a while. I had trouble with a Distanzia (after 10K miles) Had to take to a tire shop. I'm thinking some tubeless radials can be tough to break on the DR. All my 50/50 tires I've been able to do with good moto boots and a couple good irons. I'm now using proper tire lube when mounting ... might help breaking bead?
I don't think he ever rode or owned a post '97 DR650. Can't imagine why he would 2nd guess the DR350? (see Mondo Enduro/Terra Circa) DR350 was always good, the DRZ400 is even better. All reliable. No fault to Chris, he can't cover everything, after all.
Love the Renazco seat! How is it working out for long days?
I noticed you're bark busters are set a bit low (ideally parallel to ground) and your levers seemed a touch high? By now I'm sure you've worked this out. I like my levers below the bark busters:
1. so they don't ever touch them and no need to cut or bend = better leverage.
2. helps straighten out wrist angle when standing (less numbing/cramping)
But ergos are personal, so just a thought here.
: This is one thing I would not have done. The rubber dampers quell quite a bit of vibration to your feet. Vibration equals fatigue.
: Excellent! Very clever slide & Lock set up! Nice! Lets see if it will hold up on wash board at speed!
: used to do this in the 70's. Old desert racer thing. Spokes back then were not as stable, would come loose and punch through and flatten the tube. (old Triumph's, Bultaco's, Huskies)
On race bikes I used just one layer of tape and a FRESH rubber band strip over it, never a problem. But we use Rim Locks, the DR has none (thank God). If the spokes are tight, should be OK. I change the rubber band about twice a year. (they dry out)
I guess over the long term, visiting many countries, the 520 size makes more sense. But keep in mind, a 525 chain (of good quality) will out last an equal 520 chain by about 20%, mas o menos. I've got 22,000 miles on my current DID 525 chain. Still going. But the 520 is great for gearing options and world wide availability. Big Thumpers are hard on chains, thus my preference for the 525.
Great on road and in rain. In serious dirt I run my chain dry. Less grit, sand. A dry chain runs clean in dirt. Oil just makes a mess and actually causes more wear. In constant dirt riding I clean daily with WD40 (if possible) In the desert I let it run dry. X-ring chains are very tough ... if you use the right one.
Switch gear, Headlight re-wire, Grips, GPS hook & accessory hook up, et al:
I think you should go into business doing this! I would pay a skilled tech to re-do/re-design my wiring, headlight, switches and wire in accessories for an overlanding set up. IMO, this is a valuable skill many riders would pay for. Excellent work! (very few I know do this sort of custom electrical work in the USA) Many riders bodge this up and end up with probs down the road.
Safe travels, hope the weather cooperates for Alaska.