do-it-yourself MOTARD DR650SE INFO pack
frequently asked questions
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PLEASE NOte: we no longer supply the laser cut parts!!!
The rise of cheap motard wheel sets and the increasing lack of Honda CBR wheels has led to virtually no orders for these laser cut parts, so unfortunately we no longer supply them.
However, you can right click and save the dxf file here to have your own disc adapter plate laser cut from 4mm mild steel plate if you take this plate to a laser cutting service and have this cut from 6mm mild steel plate.
You must read and agree to our legal disclaimer here before any download of the free info packs or purchase of laser-cut parts. See our DR650SE wheel chart to decide on which info pack below suits you best.
Then read the info pack, and answers below, before emailing questions.
More information about the disc adapter is available here.
are the recommended wheels easy to find, and cheap?
In most countries, yes but check first. The three info packs use either:
- three-spoked wheels, Honda CBR250R (MC19) 1988-1989
- six-spoked wheels, Honda CBR250RR (MC22) 1990 -1999
- five-spoked wheels, Honda VTR250 (MC33)1998-2010 *not the earlier 3-spoked ones!
Don't email us about the new CBR250R recently released by Honda, it's a totally different bike.
See the home page for a sample list of Australian wreckers, expect to pay between AUD$300 and AUD$450 for your cast wheels. When they come up on Ebay these wheels are usually $150 to $300 each. You can also post a request at www.findapart.com.au and the wreckers email you with their prices; then just take your pick! Most wreckers post worldwide if you have trouble finding a particular wheel outside of Australia.
These bikes were 'grey imports' around the world. They are extremely common at bike wreckers in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Less so in Europe and the United Kingdom. Scarce in the USA. Don't confuse the 2012+ CBR250R with the models above, it definitely has different wheels and our laser-cut parts will not suit.
If you are in the USA, the six-spoked 16 inch front wheel from the CBR600RR and CBR900RR can be used with this motard conversion, they are very common and cheap in the USA and worldwide, but you will need to use a higher profile tyre to get the correct rolling diameter (see info pack).
If opting for the three-spoked wheels, you can also use the Honda VTR1000 front wheel (1997-2006 SC36/H687). The three-spoked wheels use a 220mm rear disc, so you would need to buy a 240mm custom disc made by Metal Gear (based in Brisbane, Australia) or bought through LTRBRAKING on the Australian Ebay - around AUD$130.
how much will the conversion cost me in total?
The wheels used are from very common models at the wreckers. Larger wreckers often have multiple sets and will sell them cheaply. You should be able to complete your wheel set with tyres for under AUD$800 if you got your wheels for a good price, an absolute bargain for motard wheels with a cush drive hub. We have had guys report they got their wheels cheaply through Ebay including tyres and completed the wheels for under $500.
is there much work involved to motard my bike?
Unlike most cast wheel adaptations, no. There is no messy expensive machining of the rear hub which is normally needed on the rear hubs. Here's all you need to do for the five-spoked and six-spoked wheels:
- buy the specified wheels with rear axle, rear disc & snail cams
- download the dxf file for the disc adapter plate get this laser cut
- buy the specified high tensile bolts and nuts
- get the spacers and shims machined as per supplied diagrams
- get an electronic speedo if for road use.
what disc options do i have?
The standard 220mm rear disc is too small but there is another Honda 240mm disc fits the DR650SE perfectly if using the six-spoked or five-spoked wheels. You can buy these new on Ebay very cheaply, around AUD$50 posted. The info pack has full details and specs.
If using the three-spoked wheels, you will need to buy a custom made 240mm rear disc. These cost around AUD$150 and are available from a group called 'LTRBRAKING' on the Australian Ebay, or from Metal Gear (www.metalgear.com.au) based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Front disc? Use a standard DR650SE disc bolted on to the disc adapter plate that can be purchased below. If using the disc adapter plate on the three-spoked CBR250R wheels, you'll need to drill out the 6mm bolt holes to 8mm to suit the Honda wheel. Read more about the disc adapter plate here.
why do you only use honda cast wheels?
Why the Honda wheels? Unlike most cast wheels, the rear hub is quite narrow despite the cush drive, so does not need expensive machining and are much lighter. The axle and disc sizes are much easier to adapt to most bikes too, and there are plenty of cheap aftermarkets parts for these Honda wheels because the CBR250 models were so popular. The CBR models are very popular track racers, so these wheels are designed for 45 horsepower output and a bike weight of 132kg - perfect for the typical motard. They are the lightest of all cast wheels in this size, but still extremely strong. If you decide to use other wheels anyway, our general info pack may be of use.
do you have info packs for other bikes?
This info pack only applies to DR650SE models, 1996 to current models. If you have a DR600 or other model these have different sized discs so these info packs won't work on your bike. We'd suggest looking at our generic info pack here if adapting cast wheels to an earlier Suzuki model.
do i need to modify my DR650?
You won't be able to use your standard speedo, as with any motard wheels you buy (unless using DR650SE factory hubs, and your speedo will be inaccurate anyway due to the smaller front wheel!). We recommend the Trailtech electronic speedo. You would need to get this no matter which motard wheels you used. Trailtechs are around AUD$95 to $155 on Ebay for the Trailtech Vector, Vapor or Endurance. These are getting cheaper each year as the price of electronics drop; check the Trailtech site here for more information.
do i need approval to use these on public roads?
Any vehicle modification is likely to be subject to the need for inspection and approval by the relevant government department in your country. It would be your responsibility to pursue this. Of course this would apply to any set of motard wheels you happened to buy, spoked wheels or cast wheels. Again, it would be your responsibility to check this out. Don't assume you will be able to sell the bike with these wheels on - keep your trail wheels for selling your bike registered. We've never seen anyone raise this as an issue in the motard forums so it would seem that motard wheels are legal in most countries, or the cops don't bother checking this particular vehicle modification.
WHICH DR650 MODELS ARE COVERED BY THIS MOTARD INFO PACK?
The DR650SE info pack applies to every year model DR650SE. Discs, hubs and axle widths vary on other models so this info pack won't apply.
are you a business?
No. A group of us have been trail riding for years but family commitments meant very little time for this any more. Our fitter and turner mate adapted cast wheels for his bike and gradually did the same for the rest in our group. We've been flooded with enquiries everywhere we go, and eventually put this site together because we love motarding. It's not about profit; the cost of these info kits helps to maintain this site so we are just sharin' the lurv... I work in the mines out west but have mates who will ensure postage of parts when I'm out of town.
what gearing would you suggest for the dr? can i use the same sizes between my motard wheels and trail wheels?
The info pack looks at this in a general way. If you don't mind some compromise in your road/trail gearing you can use your existing chain. We don't make specific recommendations as gearing is dependent on so many variables for each rider.
what tyre sizes are used on these rims?
The standard rear tyres on the rear rim are 140/70-17 or 150/60-17 for all these Honda wheels. The 140/70-17 is cheaper, but not a common tyre, so moving up to the 150 range gives you a much wider choice of tyres.
The standard front tyre on the front rim is usually a 110/70-17. Riders who race the 250s find plenty of grip with this, and the Japanese 250 sports bikes are the same weight and have a much higher power output than the DR650SE, so this tyre is more than up to the task.
However, if you use the five-spoked or six-spoked wheels, you can opt for the 16 inch CBR600RR or CBR900RR front wheel which take a 120/80-16 tyre for maximum rubber on the road and has the same rolling diameter as the 17 inch wheel. Many Fireblade riders sell these to swap over to the 17 inch front wheel for stability at high speed.
If you opt for the three-spoked wheels, you can also choose to use the Honda VTR1000 17 inch front wheel, which is a 3.5inch rim so takes a 120 width tyre standard.
do you have advice on performance mods?
There's plenty of advice out there if you google around. If you have bucket loads of money then Procycle have a pile of stuff to get the DR moving along and there are suspension mods here. Remember though, you can spend a fortune to just get the DR performing like a stock Honda XR650 or KTM 640 but you've still got a heavy bike with poor suspension, so work out how much you want to spend or just buy a more expensive bike.
The cheapest most basic mod is free. The DR650 runs very lean so can just drop the needle jet by one clip ( or shim the USA models that don't have different positions) to run a bit richer and pick up some extra power (Australian models you can move the needle jet by one click). You can also drill the slide to get a snappier response. Right-click here and go "save as...." for a PDF of how to do these mods, with photos and a step-by-step guide (courtesy of bigboy292000 at thumpertalk.com). You can take your airbox snorkel off to slightly increase airflow, but don't open the airbox up unless you go to an aftermarket jetting kit.
The next cheapest mod is an aftermarket jetting kit and opening your airbox up. Of course you will sacrifice some fuel economy in the process. Apparently there's a noticeable power increase even with the standard pipe (which believe it or not isn't that restrictive!), but more so if you fit a less restrictive exhaust. We encourage the GSXR pipe as it is still quiet and a very cheap mod, and the dyno results put it at least on par with the aftermarket pipes available. This link shows the GSXR pipes you can use.
Further mods start to get more expensive after that, and normally involve a wider header pipe for the exhaust, flat slide carbie, aftermarket cam, big bore kit (up to 780cc!!!), head with bigger valves and inlets etc. See Procycle for performance parts and suspension parts. We strongly encourage keeping the DR quiet; a noisy exhaust might make you think you are going faster but is generally just buggering things up for the motorbike community in the long run.
As mentioned, no responsibility is taken for the information, parts or wheel kits. All efforts are taken to describe items accurately, but no responsibility can be taken for any injury or damage arising from using this information. It is your responsibility to ensure your wheels are thoroughly checked by a mechanic or relevant engineer for safe use, and undergo any approvals needed by law for use on public roads. You must read the disclaimer here before purchasing any item or using the information on this website.
"Thanks guys, I found the info pack very helpful and well detailed. This made the job much easier and saved on costs. You have certainly done your homework. The information, pictures, and drawings offer pretty idiot-proof details and ensure a safe and effective modification. The end result is a bike that is fun to ride and certainly has improved the handling and cornering abilities out of sight. I can now happily go riding with my mates and can easily keep up with, and at times even beat, them through the windies. Most of my mates have bigger bikes and they are blown away by the cornering performance of my bike now. Plenty of approving comments from other bikers too. It's been a pleasure dealing with you." - Martyn J, Auckland, New Zealand (DR650SE info pack)
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