Archive | February, 2012

Magnetic Oil

29 Feb

Changed the oil, of course as a new-to-me bike. But importantly, changed the oil drain plug to a magnetic plug. Not only does it “suck” damaging metal bits out of the oil, it’s also a 14mm bolt head, instead of the stock 17mm, which means one less tool to carry as I already need the 14mm. Not many needs for 17mm.



This is Inspiration

29 Feb

Upper Chain Roller

28 Feb

Read too many posts about damaging frames from upper chain roller mishaps. Replaced mine today with an 8 x 12mm bolt. Save frame damage and a few ounces.

Motorcycle Insurance – Better to Buy More Bikes

26 Feb

Adding the 2009 DR650 to my insurance policy actually lowered my premium $44. I thought it was strange when I added the 2006 Ducati S2R 1000 to my policy (that already had my 2009 Ducati 848 and my 2000 Ducati 748) and the premium dropped $88, but Progressive said that’s how they roll. The lesson here is, buy more bikes and save money!

A Good Welder is Hard to Find

25 Feb

I mentioned Bob at Elco Welding. You would never guess that right there on Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd is a welding shop two full generations old. A gear head/fabricator’s delight. I asked around at the bike shops for a good welder and no one could help me. One shop even said they were about to add that to their services. Then I saw Eldo while riding home. Heaven.


Exhaust Pipe Replaced

25 Feb

As previously mentioned, I replaced the stock pipe with a DG, saving weight, improving performance and safety. The safety was from the louder pipe – people often hear motorcycles when they can’t see them, especially louder bikes. So here’s a before and after look at the pipe replacement, using video with sound. As it turns out, it’s not that much louder with the DG, but it’s a deeper, throatier sound. It is louder, but I didn’t want to rev it like I did in the stock pipe video and bother the neighbors (any more than usual). Bottom line: A good mod.

Here’s the “before” of the stock pipe.

Here’s the video of the DG pipe. Now it sounds like the thumper it’s supposed to be.

Keeping Her Up

25 Feb

One of the well-known problems with the DR650 is that it stands so upright that it’s easily tipped over on its right side. And with a load, like a surfboard (which will be on the right side) and luggage it’s guaranteed to fall over when parking on level ground. Stiffer fork and shock springs help, as that makes the bike taller pushing the center of gravity up causing it to lean more over on the kickstand, so I’ll get the springs. But I’m getting the springs primarily for handling/performance reasons. Instead, I increased the lean by cutting 1/2″ out of the kickstand, a $25 mod by Bob at Elco Welding in Venice. Perfect! The pics below are: The kickstand awaiting the operation at Elco Welding, post-op (Bob smoothed out the weld on the visible side – nice work), and the new lean angle.


In pre-op at Elco Welding.


The cut and welded side stand. Bob smoothed out the welds on the outside, the visible side. I don’t think I’ll paint it black. I like the “worked on” look.


Nice lean angle; no longer standing nearly straight up. (That, or she just wants to get close to my beautiful Ducati 848. Heck, who wouldn’t?)

Big Day – Rack Arrived

23 Feb

Tail rack from Manracks. The foundation for attaching the surfboard racks, as well as a place for luggage, probably the largest bag (the DBz Flat Top Duffle).

Big day, because the tail rack is the key component needed to getting this SurfMoto thing going. The surf racks bolt to it, and once the surf racks are on I need to make sure the DBz side luggage racks fit along with the new pipe. All good stuff; it’ll work out. This is the ManRacks rack. It weights 1.5#, so with the savings from the DG pipe With everything installed I’m currently at a net weight savings of 6#. BUT, I haven’t installed the surf rack, and that weighs 7#, so that puts it at a 1# gain…until the hand guards and luggage arrives. I can remove the foot pegs, for maybe a pound or so, but there’s not many more places to cut weight. Except from my own body.

DG Pipe – Weight Savings, More Power and Safety

23 Feb

The DG replacement exhaust pipe arrived today. It was advertised as weight 5.5#, but it really weighs only 4.5#; I weighed it on two different scales. That’s about a 9# weight saving over stock (14.5#).

New pipe to save weight, add power and noise.

. It also adds more power. And since it’s a performance pipe, the sound level goes up – everything says to 96-98 decibels, which is pretty loud. That’s a safety device. Cars and others will hear you, which helps because they always say they can’t see you. The downside is pulling in and out of home, restaurants and hotels, where you’re a big annoyance. Nonetheless, it sounds pretty cool.

Sound-proofed Skid Plate?

22 Feb

A skid plate is an essential mod for any serious off-roading. Crack your case on an unsuspecting rock and you’re stopping right there, no matter where there is. So no biggie, my first mod is the skid plate. But I read that on the DR650, the skid plate somehow echoes engine noise up to the rider. So I’m sound-proofing mine with spray-on rubber coating. I was going to use neoprene – glue it inside the whole plate – but it will gain weight after getting wet and rot over time. So the rubber coating seems better, but it’s also kind of thin. Anyhow, we’ll see. I still have lots of earplugs. And the 96db DG pipe that’s coming might drown everything else out anyhow.