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Discussion Starter #1
I tried to find a post about a 21" wheel upgrade with or without a suspension change but i couldn't find one. So has anyone done this yet? Maybe a DR650?
 

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Spoked wheels have certainly been done , not so sure on the 21".
Woody's wheel works in the US had some hubs made a while back - so it's possible to make the wheels.

Make sure you have clearance from the radiator and can live with the bike being 1" taller at the front.

Pete
 

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What are you aiming to achieve with the 21-inch front wheel?
More ground clearance . . . or skinnier front wheel for stony off-road conditions?

There are some quite good options available in 19" tyres nowadays, if you are wanting better dirt performance . . . without the hassle of raising the front fender or the disk-brake problems.
What you save on the change-over cost, could be considerable [and pay for a lot of those short-lived rear tyres, such as TKC-80 or Kenda BigBlock 150/70's] . . . unless you have a cheap/used 21-incher wheel available.
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Discussion Starter #4
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What are you aiming to achieve with the 21-inch front wheel?
More ground clearance . . . or skinnier front wheel for stony off-road conditions?

There are some quite good options available in 19" tyres nowadays, if you are wanting better dirt performance . . . without the hassle of raising the front fender or the disk-brake problems.
What you save on the change-over cost, could be considerable [and pay for a lot of those short-lived rear tyres, such as TKC-80 or Kenda BigBlock 150/70's] . . . unless you have a cheap/used 21-incher wheel available.
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I was just checking to see if there was an easy upgrade, like putting a DR650 front end on it or similar upgrade. Since the competitors "adventure bikes" have 21" front spoked wheels and better suspension, I figured this would be a good upgrade to make the bike more off-road friendly. I might be jumping the gun on the issue anyway since I haven't even had the bike off-road yet. Since most of my past experience with "dirt" bikes have been everything from a CR500 to XR650, I should be ok, it's just the weight of the bike combined with a 19" cast wheel and poor front forks, makes for a less than satisfactory off-road experience. But only time will tell how much I will be able to do with this bike in the harsh rocky terrain I have to contend with in SoCal.
 

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It's too heavy for single track. That's not to say I havn't done single track on my DL :), but a 250 dirt bike would have been a lot easier.

Serious comment, put an aggressive NARROW front 19" on it and ride it - see what the handling is like for you.

Yeah the rims do ding - I have a small ding in my front from hitting a washed out concrete culvert at 80kph - dinged a GS rim as well and totalled a KTM's. (Well he got home, then a lump fell out).

The stock rims are pretty tough - I'd suggest ask Woody (advrider) and see what he suggests. I suspect a spoked 19" up front is going to be as good as it gets but ask an expert.

The DL is an excellent dirt road bike but going a lot worse than that may cause you problems anyway. Climbing over trees and bouncing off rocks is probably unwise - the engine is suspended under the frame and there's really no good way to protect it.

Pete
 

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PeteW speaks truth.
Save all the expense and hassle . . . for all the money and time reconstructing the front, you could buy a cheap, second-hand 250cc thumper, and actually enjoy those single-track rides . . . enjoying the high ground clearance, the [relatively] long travel suspension, the better floatation over sand & mud, the laugh-it-off acquisition of dents & twists, the [almost] one-handed picking it up again after the inevitable minor spills, etcetera. (You won't enjoy the tiny fuel tank, nor the need to avoid the highways on your way to the playground . . . but compromises are everywhere, in this life.)

On the other hand, if you want long-distance highway capability and large tank range, and the ability to explore interesting side-roads and dirt roads in moderately-passable condition (including those far from home) . . . then you've come to the right place, with the Suzuki.
And with just changing the tyres, you can cheaply flip from almost super-sports road grip . . . through to semi-knobbly rubber which will cope with "fair" dirt roads, and also general touring (if you don't push the corners).

The question of which rear tyres for mixed road/dirt, really comes down to the required balance of grip versus tread life.
But you might be quite pleased with a semi-knobbly front, and a more roady rear.

Everyone speaks well of the Conti TKC-80 110/80-19 . . . though pricey.[Q-speed rated, and tubeless]
The Kenda-784 "BigBlock" 110/80-19 looks aggressive, but I haven't tried it for road-grip.[Q-rated, tubeless]
The Mitas E-07 110/80-19 is one I have never seen in the flesh . . . the photo makes the tread look perhaps too "open" for bitumen, and just possibly the rubber is too hard . . . but I could be misleading you on that . . . it is tubeless, and rated for a much higher speed [T-rated = 118 mph].
The Mefo people have a 100/90-19 . . . reversible for front or rear [on some dirt bikes with 19" rear] . . . tubeless, also T-speed-rated, with a good universal-pattern tread, which seems long-lasting for that style of tread [tolerable wet-bitumen grip . . . if you don't push it]. Possibly the 100/90 might be your preference for stony/gravelly roads . . . because it is a desirably bit narrower in itself, and there might be a touch more room under the front fender [to reduce the likelihood of a stone lodging there and blocking wheel rotation].

With all these front tyres, you will enjoy your dirt roads far more !!
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Problem with DR/XR swap...single rotor brakes are not up to the Strom's weight on the road.:yikes:
Problem with Custom laced wheels (i.e. Woody's)...$!$!$!$!!!!!!!!!!!!! pushing $3000 for a set!:jawdrop:
I have seen a guy that swapped a Caponcord wheels on but it took a lot of fitting...custom shims, spacers, and bushings (maybe different bearings).

If I really wanted to make it into a F800GS or a 990ADV, I would swap the whole front of a KTM or similar (Triples, forks, wheel, etc.) and then back to match. To make it worth while, I would have to have access to the parts for little or no cost...so if you have parts bike waiting to be Frankensteined, GO FOR IT!:fineprint:
 
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