XR650R adventure commuter

johanso

Adventurer
Day two the roads and the views were even nicer. However it rained heavily and soon we were soaking wet despite so called waterproof gear and gore tex boots. We pushed on and in the afternoon the rain cleared and we could take a break and let things dry.

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All and all I'm super happy with the bike. It's so much fun to ride on gravel and with the right rider I imagine it can be crazy fast. Another happy surprise was the my newly acquired gel pad that I've attached to the saddle worked wonders. I couldn't believe how much more comfy it was with it on. I stood up riding 80 % of the time but still I had enough time in the seat to really appreciate the gel pad.

The new fuel tank gave me a range of approximately 300 km / 180 miles. Which was convenient on this trip since the fuel stations was around 200 - 250 km apart. Wouldn't have made it with the stock tank I think.

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The motocross tires I have on is worn out now and I'm exited to get the new T63's on instead. Second thing I need to look in to is the exhaust. The bike is really loud now and gets a bit obnoxious in the long run. And don't feel comfortable being that loud when driving in the forest and meeting people on horses etc. I will try with a turn down tip with a cross in it and see if that makes any difference. Otherwise I'll have to consider another muffler.
 
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Cabrito

I come in Peace
Awesome ride report Johanso!

Looks like you are using regular motorcycle boots. Do you think if you had some proper Dirt type boots you could have saved your shin a little pain?

The loud pipe probably sounds really cool for a while, but I totally know what you mean about feeling self conscious around others along the way. I'm also swapping my loud exhaust for a stock one on my XR400.


This picture could have some pretty good captions.. I'm sure this route was pretty fun and difficult at the same time for you guys.



Thanks for taking the time to post your trip.
 

johanso

Adventurer
Proper motocross boots would probably been better although I hit the shin just where the boot ends.

It's interesting to see that even though I know I easily can start the bike on the first kick sitting down and I know that to apply more force is not the trick, when I got exhausted and it didn't start on the first two kicks I stood up and gave it all I had… With the result that I slipped on the kick.
 
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johanso

Adventurer
I had a bit of bad luck earlier this summer which affected my riding. Second day of my vacation I was surfing in Portugal and got knocked down by a wave. I hit the bottom so hard I dislocated my collarbone from the shoulder… Since then I've been very limited and haven't ridden the XR at all. Although I've had a clear goal in mind and thats to be back on the bike in the end of September for a 1200 mile trip together with some friends that we planned 6 months ago. With that in mind I managed to keep my motivation up and to do rehabilitation exercises every day. Since a couple of weeks it's starting to feel a bit better and I believe I will make it.

Since the last trip I wanted to address the noise issue and last time I visited the auto parts store I walked past the section with all sorts of crappy things you can put on your car. You know the section with flames graphics, chrome trim, exhaust tips etc. Well one thing caught my eye. A turn down tip with an insert in stainless steel. It was practically for free so I bought it.

After cutting the outlet on my muffler and trimming the length of the turn down tip and then cut it in an angle it was a perfect fit. For now I attached it with a bolt but if it works out well I'll weld it on later. So what about the noise..? Well, I've just started it up in the garage and I can't say I detected any difference. I theory though the insert and the fact that the noise will bounce on the ground should make a difference.



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johanso

Adventurer
Took the bike to work today and the noise level on light and medium throttle is reduced quite a bit I would say. On full throttle it's still loud as. I'm not sure how much the insert has affected exhaust flow though. The bike still starts up really easy and doesn't idle any difference. I thought I could detect a slight decrease in throttle response but that might be imaginary due to less noise.
 
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johanso

Adventurer
Today me and my mate started our big trip to the north. 5 days on the road, 1800 km of gravel roads and tracks trough the woods and the mountains.

We left after work and did 100k today. Since we were expecting heavy rain we had booked a b&b for the night. 50 meters from the place my clutch wire snapped.. I had a feeling it was on its way so fortunately I had a spare wire with me. Hopefully it was last the rest of the trip. I suspect there is something wrong with the lever and where the wire runs because this one wore out really fast.
 
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johanso

Adventurer
Back home after the trip. We drove the 600 miles home in two days which was quite exhausting but a lot of fun. The weather was nice which help things. We could keep an average speed of 58km/h. There are basically no cars on these roads. We met maybe one every 60-100 mile.

Even if I've been to a lot of these regions in Sweden before it's so nice to travel the backroads where you get to see other things than the same old highways and big-box stores.

The bike held up well. Besides the busted clutch cable I had no mishaps. As usual I discovered some upgrades that would be nice. Grip heaters and larger handguards. Would be nice to get rain and wind of the gloves. Even with wintergloves it becomes cold after a couple of hours. I would also like to upgrade the lighting to LED. My buddy had newly installed LED on his GS and it was amazing. My headlight was like a candle compared to his.

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I would also like to upgrade the lighting to LED. My buddy had newly installed LED on his GS and it was amazing. My headlight was like a candle compared to his.
It is truly amazing the power of light that comes out of the high quality led units. I grin like a kid every time I turn mine on. :D
 

johanso

Adventurer
It is truly amazing the power of light that comes out of the high quality led units. I grin like a kid every time I turn mine on. :D
I recently pulled the trigger and bought a LED H4 light from Cyclops. I'm really happy with the result. Amazing improvement on low beam. The difference between low beam and high beam is not big at all though. I get a bit more spread close by the bike on high beam (sounds strange I know) but I can't detect much difference far away actually.

As winter is approaching I've done some mods to handle my daily commute better. I changed gearing to 45t in the back (15t front sprocket) in it was a really nice rpm and vibration drop on the highway. Wish I had this gearing during the long trip. I haven't ridden anything technical since the change so I can't saying anything about how the gearing will work there.

I also removed the tyre lock in the front wheel. Figured I probably don't need it with the tyre pressure I run. Reduced vibrations a lot. Other than that I've installed some larger hand guards and grip heaters. Also thinking about fitting a small windscreen or a rally fairing to reduce wind a bit.

Found some bikes that actually looks pretty cool with windscreen


 

johanso

Adventurer
Lately I've been prepping the bike for the winter. The not so exciting part of this project was to be able to keep commuting with motorcycle throughout the winter.

I bought a set of studded tkc80. Allegedly they have the best rubber for winter conditions. This morning it was really slippery outside and so far I'm really impressed with the tyres. As you can see in the pictures these are road studs as oppose to the more common enduro studs that are suited for packed snow or ice on gravel. The road studs doesn't get super slippery on tarmac so they are more suited for commuting.

I also installed grip heaters and big insulated hand covers. Super good mods. The grip heaters will be great even in summer when rain and stuff can make the hands quite chilly.









 
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johanso

Adventurer
Oh, yeah. An update on the cyclops h4 led. It's soo great. The improvement over conventional h4 bulb is phenomenal. Still a bit bummed that there is literally no difference between high and low beam but the performance on low beam makes it all worth it.
 
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