The DR650 will be clocking up quite a few thousand miles on and off road during the next couple of months, so it’s a perfect time to complete the bike’s first major upgrade to give it a practical fuel range.

But before coming to that, another objective has been replacing the stock mirrors with a more robust and effective alternative. Ticking that off the project to-do list, I’ve now fitted a set of Doubletake Adventure Mirrors.

Doubletake produce two mirror versions: the Adventure and the Enduro.

Doubletake Adventure and Enduro mirrors

Doubletake say that, “If you leave your mirrors primarily extended, we recommend the Doubletake Adventure, because the shorter mirror offers more stability. If you plan to fold the mirror away, we recommend the Doubletake Enduro, because the longer mirror tucks away more tightly.”

Although being able to fold the mirrors out of harm’s way when riding off road is one of the attractions of the Doubletakes, my first priority is stability at higher speeds on tarmac. On that basis, the Adventure mirror was the right one for my needs.

Each Doubletake mirror assembly consists of three components: a ball stud base, RAM arm, and the mirror itself. The RAM arms are available in three sizes depending on your choice of mirror. The 6″/150mm version is the one supplied with the Adventure mirror.

On the DR650, the position of the brake fluid reservoir limits how much the right-hand RAM arm can fold inward, and on the clutch side the choke movement would be obstructed if the RAM arm was angled too far to the left, but a base extension is available to get around those minor issues.

I took the bike out for a 120-mile spin yesterday to test how the Adventure mirrors perform and I’m very impressed indeed. First of all, they’re absolutely rock-solid and don’t suffer from the ‘slow-creep’ movement of stock mirrors. Their stability means the reflected image of what’s going on behind is perfectly sharp and clear – unlike the vibrating mirage I’ve been used to. The biggest difference is the overall improvement in rearward vision thanks to being able to position the mirrors as far out as I need them.

Doubletake Adventure Mirror

Doubletake Adventure Mirror – normal riding position

Folded Doubletake Adventure Mirror

Doubletake Adventure Mirror – folded away for off-road riding or when shipping the bike

Fuel Tank Upgrade

The stock fuel tank on the DR650 has a pathetic capacity of only 3.4 US gallons (13 litres), which delivers anywhere between 80 and 120 miles before hitting reserve depending on the style of riding.

Here in the Western USA where the distances between places are significant, or for using the DR as a long-term travel bike, that’s a real practical problem when riding in remote areas. On a day-to-day basis it’s a tedious irritation because of the frequency of fuel stops. A fuel range of 200+ miles is the target.

In Update #3 I talked about re-positioning the front turn signals in preparation for a new 6.6 US gallon (25 litre) Acerbis fuel tank arriving.

Fitting proved to be more straightforward that I’d been expecting. After removing the side fairings and seat, the steps were as follows:

– Remove fuel line
– Plug vacuum line (it’s redundant with the Acerbis tank)
– Remove old tank (just two bolts)
– Remove old tank fairings (also redundant)

– Fit fuel tap and seat bracket to new tank
– Rinse new tank with fuel to remove any plastic debris
– Fit new tank on bike
– Re-attach fuel line
– Add some fuel and test
– Re-fit seat and side fairings

The seat fits much more snugly than it did with the stock tank, but I didn’t find it necessary to adapt the seat bracket as forewarned in various forums.

Acerbis 6.6 gallon fuel tank

Replacing the stock tank with the Acerbis 6.6 gallon version

 

Iain Harper