Suzuki DR650 Travel Preparation


Collated by impasto

- This is a collation of members' posts collected into one place, in an ordered way, to make things easier to find.

- Specific to DR650, but most things generic for all bikes

NOTE: It's a work in progress - if you've got something to add, or I've made an error, please comment. I will update as and when.


  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get fit and stay beautiful (Endurance & Reliability)
  3. Don't forget the feather pillows (Mods for comfort)
  4. Louis Vuitton or Chanel ? (Luggage options)
  5. What's in the handbag! (Tools & Parts lists) [tbc]
  6. Technical nonsense [to hand to your nearest friendly mechanic] (Tech stuff)

Lose Weight! Mods to save weight

  • Remove passenger pegs
  • Replace rear license plate light and assembly, install a LED license plate light
  • Remove Helmet lock (ground clean off frame)
  • Replace some bolts with Aluminium in unstressed locations -
    • may not be a good idea for serious offroading, due to differing metal strengths
  • Replace odometer
    • Digital Panoram / Sigma BC800 bicycle computer
  • Replace factory pipe with good aftermarket pipe
  • Remove 1/2-3/4" from side stand
  • Swap stock indicators for smaller, lighter ones
  • Replace stock seat with Corbin (comfort and weight saving)

Get fit & stay beautiful - Improve endurance and reliability

  • Upgrade chain rollers [Lone Rider]
  • Upgrade your warranty available for second owners, up to 5 years [Lone Rider]
  • Add an inline fuel filter
  • cheap, available at all major auto pats stores.made for lawn mowers.doesn't require clamps. The 1/4" line can be pushed over 5/16" inlets/outlets. [Lone Rider]
  • Replace factory pipe [Molly Dog]
  • A few 1" holes in the top of the air box should also help it breathe better [Lone Rider]
  • Replace chain with DID 525 VM X-ring. Lasts double longer. [Mollydog] [LeCap]
  • Wrap header pipe
  • Engine runs cooler, better mileage. [Lone Rider]
  • Replace Tyres
  • MEFO tires went the entire way with some serious dirt and rock sections; I recommend them. They don't hook up quite as well as TKC80's. smoother ride on pavement and last much, much longer.[mrdnd]
  • Home made stand offs for bags[Molly Dog]
  • Replace or modify Indicators
  • bolt front ones under the handle bars, using the mirror mounting, behind the bark busters. less likely to get hit! [Frank Warner]
  • I made them flexible using rubber fuel hose. [Molly Dog]
  • Replace suspension
  • The Eibach F&R make an amazing difference [Fat Chance]
  • Replace screws with stainless steel cap screws
  • Esp on the carb, switch blocks, coil, and body. Stock fasteners have a reputation for being very soft. [bartman 10]
  • Add a homemade headlight guard bent up from a piece of Lexan [bartman 10]
  • Add Scottoilers
  • kept our chains very clean. mounted on the main frame near the carb, cutting into the vaccum line for the fuel tap. [bartman 10]
  • Strengthen main wiring loom - put some spiral wrap around where it chafes on head stock.[Bartman 10]
  • Replace sprockets with JT Sprockets[Molly Dog]
  • Sealed spoke nipples on front to slow air loss[Molly Dog]
  • New brake pads f&r (EBC sintered)[Molly Dog]
  • Brake systems flushed. all new fluid[Molly Dog]
  • Replace alternator belt
  • New one should be good for 20,000 miles[Frank Warner]

Louis Vuitton or Chanel? - The luggage debate

- I'm still working on this section, since there is so many options and opinions all over. Perhaps just leave it for the 'Equipment Forum', HOWEVER, Peli Cases seems to be the fashion accessory of choice on the DR forum [Molly Dog, Fat Chance, Lone Rider, mrdnd, Mountainman]

Don't forget the feather pillows - Improve comfort on the long haul

  • Wind shield
  • A tall Parabellum wind shield -- dangerous for dirt work. Using wingnuts and thumb screws, I can remove it within a couple of minutes and store it under a net on the rear. [Lone Rider]
  • New foam grips on the bars reduces vibration [Lone Rider]
  • 12 volt switched plugs
  • One up in the headlight, another above the shock and a third on the right near the CDI box. [Molly Dog]
  • Wired (w/fuse) a cheap marine 12v outlet to the battery and mounted it under the BBQ [Lone Rider]
  • Replace footpegs
  • With WIDE IMS Pro series, Really reduces fatigue while standing for hours dirt riding.
  • Installed ProTapers, using custom made gromets to allow the use of my stock bar ends
  • Heated Grips
  • Heated Symtec grips. zipped tied to Idiot light module. bought a rubber sleeve for the toggle - made a a rubber "dam" out of inner tube to go over the switch itself. [Mollydog]
  • AeroStich wrap-on heated grip thingies. They take a couple of minutes to put on...and really work. No problems losing heat thru bars and grips. But they are another thing to store when not being used....[Lone Rider]
  • Louder horn [Molly Dog]
  • Hand Guards
  • $30 TUSK items are not only the best quality of ANY Alu handguards I've seen, but also have the most clever mount system that offers the best adjustability of any I've mounted. [Molly Dog]
  • Throttle lock [mrdns]
  • Sheepskin for the stock seat. Done several 500 km days on the DR without complaint [Bartman]

What's in the handbag? - Packing & Tool lists

- I'm still working on this section

Technical nonsense

Popping on deceleration
Does it start really easy from cold with no choke?
A sign that it's rich on pilot jet. Don't just start changing stuff and drilling out jets till you know what you're doing and the effects of the changes you make. Adjust one part of the carb at a time, eg main jet, then pilot and then needle clip, or before long you'll end up with a bike that doesn't run at all. [smokinrider]

Do a plug chop and check the plug colour, adjust main jet as required, set the tickover up then fiddle with the pilot screw (Jesse @ keintech might be able to get you a t screw one of these so you don't have to keep taking the carb off to get to it) to get the highest rpm on tick over then readjust the tickover screw to get that set to the right rpm. Ride it and depending on how it feels, adjust up or down on the needle to get it smooth.
Main: 140 (stock, I believe)
Pilot: 45 (stock is 42.5)
Air Screw : about 1.5 turns out
Needle: Stock needle with two shim washers.
Air Box: Snorkel removed, no other mods. Stock air filter. FMF Q2 pipe. (this affects ALL above settings)
[molly dog]


I`ve own a Honda xr400 and a KTM 640adv before. I'm planning to travel from Lat 0º,where I live, to Colombia, Cuba, Central America and Panama, by the end of oct 2013. Bikes in Ecuador (even second hand) are expensive, the most affordable is the DR650 and my plan is to buy a new one. I need also this type of bike in case i use it for short rides. Please reply with pro´s and cons, suggest about un-expensive accesories and tips, i still feel as a newbie!

Corbin seats are heavier than stock due to the fiberglass seat pan, sargent makes their own light plastic pan for their seats.


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