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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    116

    Default Dual-sport short chop/bobber thoughts?

    So, as I have aged, my early life decisions are making themselves known. Not much to be said bout that ... It's just life.
    However, those injuries shouldn't keep me from riding a nice looking kustom if I plan carefully. One of the design parameters I've found is now essential, fairly light weight, maybe 400#'s?
    I've long been a fan of big singles and have chosen a Suzuki Dr650 as my best potential donor. No, I have no intention to do a hardtail conversion.
    I also have no inclination towards a street-tracker.

  2. #2

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    Apr 2018
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    116

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    Since I currently reside in an RV Resort in Rockport/Futon Texas (landfall for hurricane Harvey) my internet service is sketchy. I will post in short paragraphs so my writings actually post instead of disappearing into the great beyond ...
    The reason I've chosen the DR over the Savage which is in the cruiser style is, potential. The Savage's engine is limited to 700cc. The DR on the other hand has been bored/stroked to 886cc's! That's huge!
    Now, I'm not saying I intend to go that far but, if I do this build, I don't want to be limited by a lack of performance. The DR can be built to rwhp in the low to mid 50's range. Plenty for a bike in the under 400#'s weight.
    Visually, I see a bike with a mildly lengthened swing-arm, 3-4 inches? I would also change the mono-shock from swing-arm use to support a Harley style hinged solo seat. Next I would add twin rear shocks to the lengthened swing-arm with the visual que's of the Kawasaki Vulcan S. The lines of that chassis mimic the lines of a hardtail frame while actually retaining suspension!
    I like it! It goes without saying, hand-formed sheetmetal, modified frame etc.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    116

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    Before the financial dust settled from 2007-8, I actually operated a metalworking shop catering to builders who could wrench but lacked the skills/tools to scratch build. In my shop I had and used with skill, 3 English wheels of differing sizes, pneumatic planishing hammer, helve hammer, Metlmaster, powered bead-roller, full fabricators machine shop etc.
    It's all gone now but, at least I was there! Having lost all that because I was essentially a builder of toys, I reinvented myself after completing RV Technician School. I now have a trade that is more essential to quality of life. It is also to some extent mobile.
    Living in the middle of Hurricane Harvey's landfall, is a choice. My wife is disabled, has extreme health issues and is involved in an ongoing drug-trial. Changing our location, her Doctor or health-care are not options with her pre-existing conditions.
    So, I am doing my best to eek out an existence for us, even after loosing 40%+ of our population to Harvey.
    I dream of better days ahead and hope you will allow me to plan/discuss design concepts with you. Lets face it, right now I am in no way a builder. Rather, I am a has been and hope to be a builder again kind of guy! Ha
    To that end I am replacing my current Dodge Ram 1500 cargo van with a reconfigured, class C motorhome to become my mobile shop. How I outfit my new shop and how far I can go ...? Is anybody's guess!

  4. #4

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    Apr 2018
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    Having come from an environment of tool obsession/ fascination to now every spare dime counts as well as every ounce of gained tool weight is drastically different. That being said, I don't intend to compromise on the quality or complexity of my build. I will find out just how far a guy with a miserly tool count can go. Thankfully, I already possess an exceptional MIG welder and O/A torch/gas welder set. I also have a 4-1/2" Mikita grinder for tube cutting and minor sheetmetal work.
    With the emphasis on a one-off build, jigs/fixtures will be MDF/ hardwood and epoxy-putty constructions. For me, those are the easy part. Designing a bike both esthetically Pleasing and very ridable is the tough part.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    My last successfully completed motorcycle build was a 1940 Indian Chief. That was in 2003. It took 6 years to complete while a marriage ended and a very busy partnership in an experimental aircraft business consumed all of my time and energy. I left experimental aircraft in August of 01. The events of 911 changed experimental aircraft forever.
    My departure was precipitated by my older brother being diagnosed with leukemia. It was then I realized I was running out of time. Physically, metalshaping/fabrication for a living is a gamble, I felt I better take the risk while I still could.. Even more risky if the economy tanks in the middle of it!
    The Chief was amazingly fun to ride but, was an asset to be sold. That was the toughest sale I ever made, I miss it still ...

    While I can in no way build another Indian, I love the vintage style they represent and will use that platform as influence for this proposed project.
    If you haven't ridden a motorcycle with a sprung seat-post, you've missed out, it's an experience. Since I have one herniated disc and several bulged, the appeal of a cushy ride is a necessity. Using the original mono-shock on the DR for the sprung seat and adding a pair of coil-overs for the rear swing-arm has great appeal.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Hell of a story Steelsmith; good to hear you wanna get another custom ride goin'.
    As I am not familiar with the DR650(other than it is a big enduro thumper),I thought i would share some specs:
    The Suzuki DR650 is a long-standing model in Suzuki's lineup, introduced in 1990...The DR is a dual-sport motorcycle with a counterbalanced, single cylinder, air/oil-cooled engine that develops 46 horsepower, Telescopic fork, link type swingarm, 147 kg (324 lb).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is an option for a custom which keeps the mono setup:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This may have some interesting ideas:

    Mods & Farkles
    Tell us about all the cool modifications and changes that you have made to your DR (2,490 topics)
    https://drriders.com/mods-farkles-f6/


    Not sure if you've seen this site:

    Suzuki dr650 / dr650sE 1996 to 2011
    REVIEWS, PROS, CONS, MODS, TIPS

    ...Here are the good points, bad points, and needed mods...with more links

    In a nutshell, the DR650SE is an extremely cheap reliable dual-purpose bike that has had almost no changes since its release in 1996. Given its age, it is heavy, the suspension is very old-fashioned and it is not a fast bike, yet part of the reason for its popularity (and lack of updates) is the original design works so well for certain riding styles.

    http://dr650-mods-reviews-tips.sportsontheweb.net/

    Good luck with your build!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    116

    Default

    TriNortchopz, thank you for your response. The DR's reliability, simplicity and durability of an anvil are all a part of it's appeal for me. To me, the dual-sport riding position, raised center of gravity and just generally everything about the chassis 'feels' wrong! Lol but, that powerplant is a thing of beauty! Being chain-driven is just one part of the conversion not required. The Savage with the belt-drive would have to be converted to chain to lengthen the swingarm.
    The reason to lengthen the swingarm? I'm 6' tall, the chassis of both bikes is uncomfortably close wheelbase wise. In addition, as I upgrade the performance the tendency to wheelie becomes more pronounced.

  8. #8

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    Apr 2018
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    ... I also wanted to thank you for posting pictures! The top being a stock looking DR shows everything I don't really like about the bike! Ha
    The 2nd picture of the custom version ...? Just not my taste? I tend to prefer more classic lines of a hardtail, I just can't take the abuse of the lack of suspension.
    The reason I'm doing all this writing, right now? I tore a ligament in my left hand, day before yesterday, so I'm grounded! This takes my mind to a better place ...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelsmith View Post
    ... I also wanted to thank you for posting pictures! The top being a stock looking DR shows everything I don't really like about the bike! Ha
    The 2nd picture of the custom version ...? Just not my taste? I tend to prefer more classic lines of a hardtail, I just can't take the abuse of the lack of suspension.
    The reason I'm doing all this writing, right now? I tore a ligament in my left hand, day before yesterday, so I'm grounded! This takes my mind to a better place ...
    Maybe its stuffing your motor in a savage chassis to start and build from there:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thread: Suzuki Savage/S40
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showth...t=24021&page=2

  10. #10

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    Apr 2018
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    Ya know, ... I did consider that but, the Savage chassis is said to be a bit light in construction? It is primarily intended for street use and weighs in at 352#'s the engine position on the Savage is straight up and down, 90* to the road. The DR chassis is designed to be used hard, off-road, crappy roads and even highway use. It's a really robust design in comparison to the Savage. The DR engine resides in an unusual forward inclined tilt in it's frame and the oil is in the backbone. I believe the backbone is 3" diameter? Which is again, robust! The DR also uses a small oil radiator for cooling and it is plumbed (I believe?) into the oil bearing frame?
    So, I would use inspiration from the Savage chassis, the before mentioned Kawasaki Vulcan S chassis and much earlier hardtail designs to create my own version/variation on a theme. I'm thinking a slightly wider Sportster tank, stretched as much as needed to straighten the chassis lines into a 'hardtail' look I envision. The rear fender I see mounted to the swingarm close to the tire so, it moves with the wheel.

  11. #11

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    Apr 2018
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    BTW, I do like the Savage picture you last posted! It's very close to what I'm inspired by. The only real difference in my vision chassis-wise is, the sprung seat-post type solo-seat. The short frame-mounted mini-coils don't do enough for my aging/injured back. I'd also enjoy a set of short ape hangers? Maybe 8 or 10" with appropriately sized risers? Inverted forks? Maybe from a GSXR? Dunno ...

  12. #12

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    Apr 2018
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    So, my thinking I'd like an inverted fork? That'd be great! Especially one with dual disc brakes. I'm also considering Sumo wheels (super-motor). They too tend to be extra well built, run a bit wider rims and can be had here from 'Craigslist' with low miles for around a grand. New, Sumo wheels are around $1600.00!
    My riding experience comes from 32 years spent in the varied terrain of Idaho, mainly Southwest Idaho. Having bombed through the switchbacks between Idaho City and lowman, I appreciate a nice meaty front wheel/tire combo.
    Here in Rockport/Futon Texas where the land is flat, (since we're 1/2 mile from the harbor), the Sumo tires should help with sand on the road.
    In Idaho I'd motorcycle camp, since I'm now a full-time RV'r and live in a motorhome, no need to go camping! Lol

  13. #13

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    Apr 2018
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    TriNortchopz, one thing I might point out about the specs you posted regarding the DR's Hp of 46. That is @ the crankshaft. Rwhp stock is around 30? So, when I mentioned the performance version with a Rwhp in the low to mid-50hp range, you can see why that is significant! Just apply throttle and the tire spins! Wheelies in 1st and 2nd are just throttle (with the stock frame). 3rd gear wheelies are easy with a little pull back on the bars under excelleration. Dunno about 4th or 5th gear action?
    For me, that's a bit extreme! Ha so, lengthen the swingarm a bit and it should be more ridable, yet retain the torque/Hp. Win/win!

  14. #14
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    Hey Steelsmith, as a DR owner, I could never imagine chopping it, but I ain't gonna tell you not to so here's some info pertaining to your posts.
    You don't have to worry about the oil, it is all contained in the motor, nothing is held in the frame. It does have a cooler and you will want to keep it or run something similar with better aesthetics.
    As far as boring the jug, it's sleeve is coated from the factory, so you will lose out on some longevity in that aspect. But nothing lasts forever anyway. Procycle has been making big bore kits with much success. I just opened my airbox, rejetted the BST and run a 40F0 GSXR muffler, 14t counter sprocket and it woke up pretty decent.
    If you have access to a machine shop, you can score wheels off a crotch rocket cheap and make axles/spacers that work for the DR.
    I could ramble on but, you should check out DRRIDERS.Com, there's a wealth of knowledge on there and the inmates are very friendly and helpful.
    To me the DR is just too damn useful to chop. But the motor has grunt for what it is, and sounds pretty rad too. If you keep the bike light I think you'll have a lot fun with it. Good luck with your build!

  15. #15

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    Apr 2018
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    116

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    DrFxr, thanks for your post and for clearing up the oil NOT being in the frame! It's easy to misunderstand some of the attributes from one bike to another. Yeah, I'm sure most DR owners/riders feel as you do, it's near ideal as is ... Hey, I don't even own one yet, nobody knows what the future holds ... This is all speculation at this point.
    In spite of this just being at the 'talking' stage this desire to remanufacture a DR to suit me is, an idea I've had for 18 years. I've long admired the DR's simplicity and innate toughness. The DR900 build by Procycle showed just how far a DR can be developed. That has lead me to prefer the DR over the Savage as a build platform, eventhough I've actually ridden and enjoyed the Savage. I just think the DR being able to be built to almost 900cc means development can be taken in stages from year to year as I become used to each stage's performance and upgrade accordingly.
    That means the actual 'chop' can be done to create the look and feel I desire and the performance changes over time as I get bored. At some point, I should reach a level of performance that I just don't need to surpass. So, 900cc is not the goal. The goal is: best performance in the look I want, at a level I can handle. No point in creating something beyond my riding ability. I don't need that and I've got nothing to prove ... This project if it ever occurs, is to allow me to build and ride one more time. This could be my last build ... Might be my last bike? Who knows ...

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