Rod Morris, proprietor of MMP (Multisurface Motorcycle Products) on this
website is a very knowledgeable guy with a long and successful career of riding and
working on motorcycles. And nobody takes better care of his customers than Rod.
From time to time he will refer a potential customer to me, usually someone that has
a difficult problem or question about a KLR650 or a DR650. I am always happy to
help and share my expertise. I have learned a lot over 27 years and 500,000 plus
miles on both the KLR and DR. The most recent phone referral reminded me of just
how many improvements I have actually made on both bikes over the years.
Richard E. initially called with a question concerning installation of Top Gun’s
DR650 Chain Master, an upper chain control unit. This is a part which I invented
years ago when the chain wheel on my 2004 DR650 broke out of the frame (not
uncommon) and remained in Mexico as I headed north for my home in La Mesa,
California. My Chain Master is more strategically located and manages the upper
run of the chain better which, of course, means a longer chain life.
After talking Richard through his Chain Master installation, I shared with him some
of the other three dozen or so improvements that Todd Vosper (our webmaster) and I
had made to our own DR’s. I then focused on 5 flaws of the DR that I would
consider in most urgent need of fixing.
1. Removal of the tiny, easily plugged-up fuel filter mistakenly placed in the
intake pipe of the carburetor. (Rod sells inline filter kits to replace the tiny one
2. Check and if necessary realign the exhaust system to prevent breakage where
the header meets the head.
3. Replace the secondary air filter under the seat with one that will breathe better,
is serviceable, and will prevent dirt from being sucked into the carburetor and
4. Remove the neutral sending unit behind the clutch before one of the two
fasteners can vibrate out and possible destroy your engine. (At 20,000 miles
one of my fasteners was found backed out half way.
5. Beware a plugged air vent in the stock gas cap; it can cause fuel starvation and
stop your engine. It happened to me once just a half an hour after I was in peak traffic near downtown L.A. My fix was to carefully disassemble the gas cap, remove the swollen shut neoprene one way valve, reassemble the gas cap and go safely on my way. By the way, the same problem exists in the KLR650 gas cap.
There are many more optional improvements I made to wheels and engine top end, for instance, and the results have been worth the effort. My TG644’s (DR650SE) are the best multi-surface motorcycles I’ve owned since 1955. I only wish they were available to the general public.