• Announcements

    • Bryan Bosch

      JUST IN!   07/18/2018

      Video: 2019 Yamaha YZ250F Features & Benefits 

Bleak21

DR650 Commuting Setup

21 posts in this topic

Hey all,

Beginning a week after next I'll be using my DR650 to commute to work 40mi each way. All of it will be street/highway. I'll be an all weather rider so when it rains- I'm in it. I've got the gear to handle it but I don't think my new-ish DR is set up.

I'm gonna need some new tires on this thing ASAP. I'm looking for longevity, a little comfort (not too knobby?) and good wet performance on the blacktop at a reasonable price. Any suggestions for tires?

I'm also going to need to put a small container on the bike to store work clothes (shirt, pants, shoes) that could also fit my gear (jacket, pants). Any suggestions for a setup that can do this without racks? Maybe some sort of hard container just tied/drilled in?

How about the counter-sprockets... what would give the best mpg?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

16t cs will do if it's highway 65+ might want to get a fly screen to keep the wind/bugs/rain off your chest a little. Heated hand grips are nice on the colder mornings or evenings. The stock tires do very well in all conditions ie: rain, potholes so I'd use them up first, I've heard good things about the Avon Distanzias are good but haven't used them my self.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shinko 705s are very good along the lines of the Distanzias but cheaper. The wind shield is a very good idea. There's a guy on ebay that makes a very strudy and big rear rack. Its big enough you can sit a big cooler on it. That would be helpful when you're hauling things. Not sure where you are but in the winter you may want heated gear. Procycle sells a bigger stator thats a must if your going to run more than gloves. THen if you're really into the cruising add a set of fold up highway pegs. You'll have to cobble those together like i did. I don't think anyone makes any......be careful the urge to bolt crap on the bike never ends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My commute is made nicer with a Sargent seat. I run the "Deathwing" up front and a Kenda K270 in the rear, both primarily for longevity. The 15 tooth front works well on the highway. I have a tourmaster upper and lower rainsuit, but my Tourmaster Transition jacket is fairly rainproof, so I use the jacket and carry the pants in my backpack in case it rains when I'm at work. If your bike is exposed to rain when parked, I'd recommend a plastic grocery bag to put over the ignition switch, otherwise it'll get stiff due to moisture exposure. My philosophy is that you never have a bad day at work when it ends with a motorcycle ride. :ride:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...be careful the urge to bolt crap on the bike never ends.

Haha I hear ya. I'm already thinking of how much of each paycheck will go towards the bike!

I've heard good things about those Shinkos. but I saw a bridgestone TW22 rear only that looked nice. My deathwing in the front still has a couple thousand left on it, so I might hold off. I see a rack on ebay for $65.. I'll pick that up too. As for a smallish windshield and CS, anyone have suggestions where to get em from? And for the bbq-style rack, anyone have suggestiosn on what's lockable that would go good on it?

I can ride in 50 deg + without heated gear so around september-oct I'll start looking into heated things.

Thanks!

P.S.- Newbie question but how do you know when a knobby tire is worn? This is my first dualsport so does the penny-trick work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a low fender will be best for mostly pavement.

shinko 705 or kenda 761 both reasonably priced, do well on the street & can still go off-road. i'd stay with stock gearing, its as tall as you can get away with pullin off & best for economy as well. get a local upholsterer to reshape the seat & put on a softer top layer on to fit you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using a medium Rubbermaid Actionpacker for several years now.

It's light, cheap ($18), watertight, lockable, very tough and big enough to store your gear in (I carried a large cooler, hardhat, steel metatarsal boots etc... to work and stowed everything but my helmet in it while at work).

Mine is mounted on a $12 poly cutting board too. Inelegant? Hell yes. Functional? I wouldn't be without it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ride off road with mine so I've been tossing them at .125 at the center. My first rear Shinko 705 went 5k, my Kenda 270 rear would go about 3.5K, my Shinko 700 rear about 3K and deathwings about 3K. I have an extra set of rims with D606s that I use when I'm going primarily off pavement or lots of tight single track.

The rack I saw like the BBQ grill rack but nicer. I'll need to hit one of my riding buddys for the name of the company. Its somewhere out west. Its the most robust rack I've ever seen you could easily lift the bike up using the rack. It saved his side panels from damage on a FSR crash.

I would stay with stock gearing. It cruises fine at 70-75. I've even cruised at 80 for many miles, but the hands get numb after a while.

No one really make an ideal windshield IMHO if you plan to off road. I've had the spitfire and now have the Parabellum. The Parabellum is winter only. Its 'big" like riding behind a surfboard. The Spitfire is the right size, but the mounting is not right. I like a windsheild that sits much further forward so there's no issues riding off road. I plan to cobble something by the fall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned, stock Trail Wings are fine for commuting ... but the rear will be gone in 3000 to 4000 miles. The front T-Wing will last well ... probably up over 7500 miles. Good rain tires (on pavement)

My '06 DR has over 40K miles ... about 10K of that is commuting. 40 miles a day. I've had good luck with the Avon Distanzia. I've used the Shinko 705 as well .... and they are excellent and inexpensive but will NOT match the mileage of the Distanzia.

I got 4000 miles out of my rear Shinko 705. I managed 8000 miles on 1st Distanzia rear tire ... my current Distanzia is at 4000 but has only another couple K in it. Why? More off road riding has chewed it up and very high speed road travel. (90 mph)

Fronts in all cases last big miles. More important is good wet grip. The Distanzia are 1st rate, Shinko's good too, also Michelin Anakee.

No 50/50 tire will match the wet grip on freeways that the Distanzia or Shinko do. The Distanzia is EXPENSIVE, but will about double the distance of the Shinko. Do the math ... and don't forget to figure in tire change labor, new tube and such. Another great distance rear tire is the Metzeler Tourance.

This tire is also very expensive but will out last any other rear tire in this class. You decide. The perfect combo for max distance would be Tourance rear, Distaniza front.

Watch for cupping on front tires. Just because you've got tread depth does NOT mean your front tire is OK. A cupped tire will NOT STOP well on a wet road and side grip in corners is not good either.

One thing to note: The Avon Distanzia rear tire is very hard to break the bead on. I recommend running Slime (or similar) to increase chances of avoiding a flat or being able to ride to a shop as many times Slime can turn a for sure flat into simply a "Slow Leak" or no leak at all.

To break the bead you need proper tools. If you normally let your shop do it .... then no problem.

You can run either 120 (stock) or 130. I prefer the 120 size after running many of both sizes.

For luggage just strap a big waterproof Ortlieb bag (or similar) on the back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How would you compare the Distanzias to the Shinko 705s off pavement I.e. sand rocks and gravel roads?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How would you compare the Distanzias to the Shinko 705s off pavement I.e. sand rocks and gravel roads?

Neither are great in such conditions. If the dirt is packed then they aren't too bad .... but a 50/50 is the better choice for such conditions.

Be careful with the Distanzia or Shinko front on fast downhill, loose, off camber corners. Stand up, get forward, counterweight peg and LOOK THROUGH THE CORNER. But if you over cook it ... that front can wash out. A 50/50 or knobby is more secure if riding at speed. Otherwise take it easy with those tires.

They are surprisingly good on pavement that has a bit of grit or sand on it. Even wet patches ... not a real problem. Damn good tires, both.

716324780_H5NLH-L.jpg

Good here ...

1093359577_WK8fp-L.jpg

And here ... Distanzia rear ... Shinko front ... can you see the nail in the rear tire? :ride:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey knot I'd love to see a pic of your setup!

I can't locate a pic with the box mounted, but I found a couple of the rack.

The mounts are cut out from an old 1.5 ton floor jack, the top is a large cutting board from Wally World.

2u6d7rt.jpg

11t1oy8.jpg

And in keeping with the "cheapass" theme; my windshield made from a found sheet of plexiglass. It works well at blocking the wind off my chest, which is nice during the winter!

You can't really tell in this pic, but the plexi is bent to follow the lines of the headlight cowl, it doesn't flex at any speed.

2exmsy8.jpg

I'll grab a pic of the mounted box tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually do rather well with my Shinkos off road as long as I don't do anything abrupt, (I.e. accellerat, stop, corner etc). I was wondering about the comparison since I presume the Distanzias have harder compound to account for the extended tire life.I rarely use my D606s these days unless there deep sand or mud involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been really happy with the Kenda K761 rear I've been running on the DR for the past year. I haven't had a chance to really push it off-road (apart from sliding the ass end around on some gravel roads, of course!), but its on-road behaviour in wet & dry conditions has been just as solid as the stock Deathwing it replaced, and the wear rate has been much better as well.

Here's a shot of the rear after our road trip last summer - mileage on the tire at the time was about 5000mi.

45039_464082026069_698456069_6984222_4549910_n.jpg

Its currently around 6500, and looks to have at least another 1500mi of commuting left in it. For the money I spent and the mileage its endured so far, I'll be getting another of these when its time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks alot like the Shinko 705s. Reference my earlier post on racks the name of the company I was trying to remember is cycleracks as in cycleracks.com. Very tough and practical set up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know a guy who took a Laminar Lip from a suzuki B-King and put it on his DR. it works really well keeping the wind off your body and its held on by velcro so you can take it off when your going on the trail, the best part is there is no drilling, and I think it's around $80?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know a guy who took a Laminar Lip from a suzuki B-King and put it on his DR. it works really well keeping the wind off your body and its held on by velcro so you can take it off when your going on the trail, the best part is there is no drilling, and I think it's around $80?

I'd like to see the pics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with: