Off road/rough road mods for the DL650 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650 and DL650A - 2004 to 2011 DL650 from 2004-2006 (K4-K6) and DL650 or DL650A from 2007-2011 (K7-L1)

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post #1 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Off road/rough road mods for the DL650

First off,, I'm not trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. In other words, I'm not trying to mod the DL into a KTM. What I am trying to investigate is what mods would really help either of these dikes get along better in the rough stuff. Specifically looking at shock and fork internals upgrades. Maybe a quitesh pipe if it really lowers weight enough to notice.

I have a DL650 right now and I'm waffling on keeping it or trading it off for another Adventure Touring bike. I really like the power of the DL1000 and honestly I really like the KTM 950-990s. If I can mod either of the DLs into better off road mounts {no, not the equal to the KTM} I might consider keeping the DL650 or saving some money and getting a DL1000 over the KTM. Anyone have opinions and experience with modding the DLs for off road. Rough prices for mods and specific brand names appreciated.

I know for a fact the DL650 doesn't have enough ground clearance {been stuck/high sided on the engine guard a couple times already} and I have an extra set of DR650 forks I'm been thinking about swapping the fork tubes into the DL650's forks to gain a couple inches of height. If anyone has done that, please chime in with what rate springs you ended up with and if you liked it. If I jack up the front, I will need to jack up the rear,, what shock company will allow me to option a longer shock?

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post #2 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 10:37 AM
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Adding a couple of inches? Just how tall are you? Just wondering, guess I'm suffering from short person's envy. At 5'8" there is no way I could raise my Wee up much at all.

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post #3 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 02:18 PM
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if you are lusting for more power already and it sounds like you want to do real off-road stuff go and get the 990 adventure and be done with it.
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post #4 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judd View Post
First off,, I'm not trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. In other words, I'm not trying to mod the DL into a KTM. What I am trying to investigate is what mods would really help either of these dikes get along better in the rough stuff. Specifically looking at shock and fork internals upgrades. Maybe a quitesh pipe if it really lowers weight enough to notice.

I have a DL650 right now and I'm waffling on keeping it or trading it off for another Adventure Touring bike. I really like the power of the DL1000 and honestly I really like the KTM 950-990s. If I can mod either of the DLs into better off road mounts {no, not the equal to the KTM} I might consider keeping the DL650 or saving some money and getting a DL1000 over the KTM. Anyone have opinions and experience with modding the DLs for off road. Rough prices for mods and specific brand names appreciated.

I know for a fact the DL650 doesn't have enough ground clearance {been stuck/high sided on the engine guard a couple times already} and I have an extra set of DR650 forks I'm been thinking about swapping the fork tubes into the DL650's forks to gain a couple inches of height. If anyone has done that, please chime in with what rate springs you ended up with and if you liked it. If I jack up the front, I will need to jack up the rear,, what shock company will allow me to option a longer shock?
This question, a good one, was asked on advrider a week ago, with almost no good answers, typical.

If to put aside the stuff which is considered as an off road one, but is not, i.e. skid plates, engine guards, etc., you are left with suspension mods, front/rear. Various depths of the mods are covered on this site. Search around.
You need more grip with the earth search around for off road tires.
Scott steering damper makes a big difference if you find it not too pricy.

These mods and an off road practice do really good. However they will not address the main issues of this bike: it weights too much, its center of gravity is too high, it has no useable torque below 3500 rpm. Inform us if you would find a way to deal with them.
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post #5 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chacbalam View Post
Adding a couple of inches? Just how tall are you? Just wondering, guess I'm suffering from short person's envy. At 5'8" there is no way I could raise my Wee up much at all.
I'm 5'7 and still want to have more ground clearance. Basically, I want to add an inch or so, then do seat mods to regain some of that back. I was running a Russel Day Long seat and I think it's over an inch taller than stock. Take a stock seat, remove the rubber pads and I it's instantly around .25-.50 lower. That's already 1-2 inches lower Mod the stock seat foam and I lower the seat another inch or so. Basically,,, I thing I can lose 2-3 inches in seat height going from the Russel to a modded stocker. I can then pick and choose which seat to take based on what I will be doing.

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post #6 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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if you are lusting for more power already and it sounds like you want to do real off-road stuff go and get the 990 adventure and be done with it.
I have thought hard on the KTM 950-990 and GS1200. They both cost alot. So much in fact that I would have to sell three bikes to get either one. I just don't think one bike is that much better to justify selling three bike I like.

There is a huge difference in price between my bike {worth maybe 3K if I'm luck in this economy} and a 8-10K$ KTM. Once again,,, I will not trying to be keeping up with the Jones on single track. I would like to investigate the possibility of taking a bike that is marginal for my uses right now,,, and maybe adding some well thought out aftermarket do-dads and coming up with a bike that will make me happy for something less than the 5-7K$ it would take to move up to a KTM.

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post #7 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 04:38 PM
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I have thought hard on the KTM 950-990 and GS1200. They both cost alot. So much in fact that I would have to sell three bikes to get either one. I just don't think one bike is that much better to justify selling three bike I like.

There is a huge difference in price between my bike {worth maybe 3K if I'm luck in this economy} and a 8-10K$ KTM. Once again,,, I will not trying to be keeping up with the Jones on single track. I would like to investigate the possibility of taking a bike that is marginal for my uses right now,,, and maybe adding some well thought out aftermarket do-dads and coming up with a bike that will make me happy for something less than the 5-7K$ it would take to move up to a KTM.
The 12GS can't touch the 990 other than on the highway. I hear good things about the 800GS but these are expensive too (I got fed up with BMW will not buy another one).

I don't know what to tell you. Either strom is not a very good adventure machine (I know people will throw stuff at me for that statement but it's my opinion). I have a KLR for doing that. Of course if you want power that bike is not ideal
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post #8 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
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The 12GS can't touch the 990 other than on the highway. I hear good things about the 800GS but these are expensive too (I got fed up with BMW will not buy another one).

I don't know what to tell you. Either strom is not a very good adventure machine (I know people will throw stuff at me for that statement but it's my opinion). I have a KLR for doing that. Of course if you want power that bike is not ideal
Completely agree. The Stroms are street bikes, pure and simple. The extra inch of travel and clearance that they have over a "normal" street bike don't make enough of a difference to matter. As RandyO often (and correctly!) points out, an SV650 is a better off road bike than the Stroms.
To me, a multiple bike strategy makes much more sense. Buy a DR650 or KLR650 for the rough stuff, keep the Strom for street and good dirt roads. You could buy a nice used example of each for a total of about half of what a new KTM or BMW would cost.

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post #9 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 08:53 PM
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I'll keep you posted. Some of my plans for my bike this winter are, I am planning on relocating the oil cooler, (NOT using Touratech's product), moving the front cylinder exhaust pipe, (seeing if I can slide it out to the right side some), and making my own skidplate and crashbars.

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post #10 of 121 Old 11-15-2009, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Completely agree. The Stroms are street bikes, pure and simple. The extra inch of travel and clearance that they have over a "normal" street bike don't make enough of a difference to matter. As RandyO often (and correctly!) points out, an SV650 is a better off road bike than the Stroms.
To me, a multiple bike strategy makes much more sense. Buy a DR650 or KLR650 for the rough stuff, keep the Strom for street and good dirt roads. You could buy a nice used example of each for a total of about half of what a new KTM or BMW would cost.
Have a DR650 right now but that makes a piss poor bike to ride to Alaska, Labrador or Baja on. Once it there, cool beans. I also have a FJR1300 and it a great bike to ride to Alaska, Labrador or Baja but sucks big uns once there {I know,, I've done it}. I bought the DL650 to go in-between the DR650 and the FJR and like I said,,, I'm not wanting to ride motoX tracks or do gnarly single track stuff. I want it better for really rough dirt roads,,, you know,,, like the Dalton or Demster Hwy when wet or the dirt road that runs from Hwy1 over to Hwy 5 in Baja. Like I said,,, rough roads. Not "No roads".

Now,,, I'm trying to investigate adding suspension travel and ground clearance which should make it better for what I want.

BTW,,,, what makes a SV650 a better off road bike than the DL? Bout the only thing I can think of would be weight???

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Last edited by Judd; 11-15-2009 at 10:46 PM.
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