Emi, my DR650, sure looks nice with all the new farkles (functional items that sparkle).
The Richochet skid plate hasn't been put to use, but should provide good protection for the engine. Likewise for the Procycle engine armor. The Procycle low and wide footpegs are nice. Having them fixed to the frame without bushings provides a more connected feeling. The lower hight means more leg room for me when seated. Also the lower hight translates to a lower center of gravity and enhanced manuverability when standing.
The Pat Walsh rear rack seems functional, durable and adds little weight. Also, it did not require me to relocate the indicator lights or grab handles. The Tail light kit looks clean. I think that the lower profile will result in a lower probability that it will get damaged.
The Seat Concepts seat is simply awesome. The interior foam appears to be memory foam and is really comfy. I did a test ride of 200 miles and could have riden more. Literally this will save my a**.
The Fly tapered handlebar is wider and higher by about 1 and 1/2 inches translating to better control and greater comfort. The Protaper clamps raise the bars perhaps an additional 1/4 inch. When installing the clamps I had to use the stock bolts because the new bolts would not easily fit into the fork bushings.
The Moose handguards should allow me to keep all of my digits in tack. I think they look clean. The Procycle throttle tube is suppose to improve throttle response, but honestly I cannot tell the difference. The Protaper grips do the job, but are nothing special. The BikeMaster folding bar end mirrors are great. They extend my rear view and are slightly convex which allows me to see a wider angle. I'll fold them away when things get dodgie. The Crampbuster cruise assist should make long distance cruising a liitle bit less fatiguing.
In total it probably took me around 12 hours to install everything.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with all the modifications. What do y'all think?
In August 2011, I purchased a new 2011 Suzuki DR650 motorcycle for a trip through South America. The engine, exhaust, chassis and suspension have been maintained in the original (stock) configuration. This approach was chosen to increase reliability and facilitate repair or replacement of items with original parts while traveling. The modifications were only made to the motorcycle to add durability, safety, comfort and protection. The prices listed below were the original costs of the items. The prices are listed to serve as a reference point for the cost of the build.
Many of you that follow this blog know that I really enjoy hiking, camping and backpacking. Whether it is camping in the front country or back country... it is all good.
I recently came across a resource that has really made it easier for me to research and plan my trips. The website, app and community are called TheDyrt. "The Dirt" is an idiom which means the gossip or real story. So getting TheDyrt is a play on words which translates to finding out the real story about campgrounds.
TheDyrt.com website allows users to search for campgrounds in the U.S. (currently only available within the U.S.) and read user generated reviews of the campgrounds. Sometimes the reviews are very general and sometimes very specific - down to the campsite number or cleanliness of the facilities. The website markets itself and its service as the Yelp.com of camping.
UPDATE as of April 2015. The roll-on roll-off ferry service Ferry Xpress to cross from Panama to Colombia has suspended their service.
The Darien Gap is a 30 mile stretch of land that lies between Panama and Colombia. It is thick jungle that is pretty inhospitable to most human beings. There are some indigenous people, guerrillas and drug runners that do inhabit the area.
There was one group of adventure motorcyclists that crossed through the Darien Gap in 1995 on specially modified motorcycles. Their journey is documented at Outback of Beyond.
For most adventure motorcyclists there are a few options for crossing the Darien Gap.
1. Ship your bike from Colon to Cartagena on a cargo ship and buy a ticket on a separate ship or airplane for yourself.
2. Ship your bike from Colon to Cartagena on a passenger sailboat that will carry both you and your bike.
3. Ship your bike from Panama City to Bogota on a cargo airplane and buy a separate airplane ticket for yourself.