My bike is set up for deep desert solo riding. I think I have been through the whole thing over the years and upgraded the bike to perform and be adequately protected for sand, rock, single trails in the harshest conditions while being self supporting hundreds of kilometers from the nearest ….place.
I recently brought a new one, rode straight home to the garage and proceeded to strip it down and swap all my after market equipment from my old bike (28,000km) to the new one 8km.
Needless to say the old bike came up quite well with new looking bits and pieces on it. The new bike looked a bit rough and ready, however, it had all the goods and new components. Anyway here's is what I have done and found works well:
• Extra Heavy Duty tubes (not super heavy duty)
• Heidenau Scout K60 tyres front and rear – tried all the rest, knobs etc, this is the absolute best compromise for grip dry and wet and longevity. If I determine I am going to spend a lot of time in sand and mud I may put a knobby on the front
• Race Tech cartridge emulators in front forks
• Race tech springs in front forks
• Vince Strang Motorcycles (VSM) graded rear spring
• Renthal bars
• Trimmed ends off clutch and brake levers, better fit in Bark buster guards. (spare clutch lever is cable tied on)
• Bark Buster hand and lever protectors
• Rental gel grips
• Handle bar riser kit
• C-Tek 12volt charger cable wired in –
• Pro-Tech 12 volt outlet wired - in charge iphone, run air comp., charge ipod etc.
• IMS 20 litre tank (not convinced that the Safari 32 litre tanks are the go after some incidents with friends riding with me had these and stacked. I believe it unbalances the bike putting to much weight up front)
• Pingel fuel petlock
• Oil Cooler guard (made myself out of detention screen material)
• Armor plate cover guards – 3 X – stator, gear change side, clutch brake side, and oil filter cover
• Sump protector – B&B
• Pivot pegs
• Two Brothers exhaust
• SW Motech centre stand
• Shortened side stand, camel toe on end of stand
• Lower bike -Lowest link on shocky, drop forks 30mm through triple clamp.
• 44 tooth rear sprocket
• De-beaver back end with a VSM rear tidy and plate LED kit
• K&N air filter with foam cover (and carry spare foam cover).
• K&N breather filter
• Oil filter magnet
• Throttle lock (Twisted rubber coated coathanger, works perfect)
• Reinforced aluminum brace for front fender
• Disconnect - side stand cut off switch and clutch cut off switch
• Change all Phillips screw heads to stainless Allen key heads
• Fit Headlight off/ on switch (cold starts in desert not dragging on power supply)
• B&B rear rack
• Wolfman rear pannier racks
And luggage carriers:
• Wolfman roll top panniers
• Wolfman Expedition roll top medium duffle bag.
• Wolfman enduro bag
• Wolfman Tank bag
• Wolfman fender bag (out on the Gary “Highway” somewhere if anybody finds it.)
Love the Wolfman gear. Have abused mine for years in the desert and its still going strong.
Oh yea, I don't ride any bike including my DR without my small cruiser Airhawk. Thank you for this invention!
I carry my excess long reach fuel in 2 X 10 litre and 1 X 5 litre fuel bladders for extreme reaches that roll up snug and small when I don't need them.
Speaking of fuel I have read quite a bit about guys re-jetting and squeezing an extra couple of pony's out of the ‘ol DR. This comes at a cost of drinking more fuel. I wouldn't dare, one of the biggest hurdles of self-supporting desert riding is fuel (and carrying extra). For me the DR with a 44 tooth rear sprocket has more than enough torque to pull me out of trouble off-road and fly along way above the speed limit when on open road.
I try and carry mainly freeze dried food and use a Jetboil stove (check them out, just the best technology in camping) to heat water for food and cuppa.
I carry ~ 4 litres of water on the long stretches in a bladder style container.
The spares and things is exhaustive but I carry about 500ml of oil, small chain breaker links and master links, puncture repair, small length of fuel hose, tie wire, electrical wire, gaffa tape, rescue tape, Tyre Pliers bead breaker and set of tyre levers (spoons), small 12v air compressor, a selection of nuts and bolts that suit, and a selection of super strong zip ties. I guess there are more bits and pieces I need to look at to remember,(e.g. spare tube, extra tools, etc.)
My home on the road consists of a super light (Northface Bullfrog) 2 man tent, a small 38mm thermarest self inflating mat, a really excellent down sleeping bag, Blackwolf self inflating pillow and a small light 3 leg stool that rolls down into a small package.
All this sounds like a lot when you write it down but it packs down quite small and doesn't really represent exorbitant weight. However, when you are in for a long reach of 700kms and more and you have 30litres of fuel and fluids on the back you could swear you were riding a GS1200.
My insurance being out in the middle of nowhere by myself is my Spot satellite messenger and tracker. This is a must and gives both myself and my family at home piece of mind.
Lastly about the DR, it's a bike I can pick up myself if/when it goes down. Its also easy to strip down and work on (uncomplicated ) when in the middle of nowhere.
Over 30K in desert riding over 2 bikes and I have never been let down.
Long live the DR650 the trusty little machine.