Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Test Ride with Emi

After installing some of the new accessories, I took Emi out for a spin.

The first thing that I noticed during the ride was that the Seat Concepts seat was really comfortable. The seat is wider, softer and grippier. Hmmm... is grippier is a word? The seat is narrow at the front, but widens toward the back. The additional width simply adds more surface area on which to sit. This will make traveling over long distances much more comfortable. I believe that the foam used in the interior is similar to the soft memory foam that is used in tempurpedic beds. It seems to conform to my rear end nicely when I'm sitting on it, but then it regains it's shape when I get off. I'll have to see how comfortable it is to sleep on. Also it does seem to reduce quite a bit of the bike's vibration. The material of the outer cover of the seat is made with kevlar sides and a gripper top. I wasn't sure if I'd like the gripper top, but it is nice. It provides a more connected feeling to the bike, and thus the ground.

When I first started riding a bike I would steer with the handlebars. As I accumulated more experience I learned to steer when seated by shifting my body and weight by leaning from side to side. Or when standing, by shifting my weight on my footpegs from side to side. It will be interesting to see if I can now actually steer with my rear end by moving it right and left. It sure feels like it.

The other mods that I've made include the air filter, tail light, tail rack, side armor, skid plate and the low and wide foot pegs. Most of these mods are functional protective measures to reduce possible damage to the frame and engine.

However, the addition of the low and wide foot pegs adds comfort and control. When seated the lower foot pegs will give me about an inch and a half of additonal leg space. When standing it will give me an additional inch and a half of space which will allow me to stand more upright, instead of hunching over the handle bars. The additional width of the foot pegs will provide me a larger platform on which to stand. This translates into a better ability to stear with my footpegs. This is huge!

Some may wonder why I talk about standing up while riding my bike. When riding on the street I generally do not stand. But when riding on dirt, it is often easier and safer to stand. When seated my center of gravity is on my seat. When standing all my weight is on my pegs and my center of gravity actually moves down to my foot pegs. A lower center of gravity usually translates to an increased ability to turn. Also, when standing and riding in dirt the rear end of the bike can slide side to side and bounce up and down a little easier. This allows the brunt of the movement to be absorbed by the suspension instead of my body. Thus, greater comfort and control. Huge!

I still need to add the new handle bars and handguards. I'm hoping that it will improve the overall feel and handling. I think that it will also change the look of the bike a bit.

I think Emi likes her new accessories. I do.



Location:Austin

8 comments:

  1. What kind of bag is that on the back of the bike? I just got a 2013 dr650 and want to get a container for the back.. :D

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    1. Ian, that little black bag is just a Lowepro camera bag that I attached to my passenger handle grips. It's weatherproof to protect a camera. I bought it used for $10

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    2. Hey Troy,
      Thanks for the reply! Any suggestions of what my first few mods should be? Right now its stock off the lot...and I really like what you did with yours.

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    3. Ian, I suppose it depends on if you are a utility or performance rider. I'm more of a utility rider, so my first mods were a rear rack to carry things and a bottom bash plate to protect the engine. Then I went for comfort with a new seat. For all my mods check out… http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/08/2011-suzuki-dr650-adventure-motorcycle.html

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    4. Ian, I have a 2013 as well. about 3k miles on it. Does yours make any valve knock type noise in 5th?

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    5. Hi Dave, I don't know if Ian will see and respond to your post. I've never had the issue you describe so I am unable to offer any support. But you might try posting your question on www.drriders.com or the SuzukiDR650 Facebook group page. Best of luck. - Troy

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  2. Anyone in this blog ridden any of the TransAmerican trail? Anyone interested in doing any of it?
    Dave

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    1. Hey Dave, I have never ridden the TAT. I have friends that have ridden it. Maybe some day I'll have the chance. If you're looking for a riding partner to ride the TAT you might have better luck looking on www.advrider.com. There are usually a few people on that website at any given time trying to find riding partners. Good luck. - Troy}

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Thanks for visiting my website and for leaving a comment. - Troy