LS650 Savage - Tracker/scrambler re-design.

JadusMotorcycleParts

Active Member
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Ferous, could I suggest a wheel/rim size change like RYCA do? It might really change the attitude of the bike. Maybe just a 18'' rear would do the trick.

Is that the stock tank btw?
 

FerousBastard

New Member
JadusMotorcycleParts said:
Ferous, could I suggest a wheel/rim size change like RYCA do? It might really change the attitude of the bike. Maybe just a 18'' rear would do the trick.
Am planning on a 3.00x17" for the rear actually. Not many bikes run that size that are readily available, so have been researching getting new alloy rim laced up. RYCA's 18" rear ends up a little narrow if it is to clear the swing arm; perfect for a Cafe racer with plenty of sticky tires available, but for a scrambler/tracker you want the the on/offroad tire options and very little unfortunately exist for 18" rears, so 17" it is.
My bike came with a 140/90-15" rear tire which is essentially the same circumference as a 120/90-17", give or take, so will serve the same purpose to get the stance right. Riding that's another matter, they do squirm a bit around corners and resist lean more than a 120 wide would - another reason to step up on the rear.

JadusMotorcycleParts said:
Is that the stock tank btw?
It is, for a stock unit the lines fit the bike very well so I elected to keep it. The stock speedo sitting in the middle of it does rob a few precious liters of fuel space, but it keeps the bars nice and uncluttered.
 

JadusMotorcycleParts

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Yeah good call with the tank. it definitely works in the renderings anyway.

I think if you can do the 17'' rear rim conversion that would do a lot for the visual weight of the rear of the whole bike. Plus, like you say, tyre selection for 17'' rims is massive and you also say you can fit a wider tyre there? Hadn't thought of that (with the swingarm restriction) but that's a really good point. I am sure you've got it covered but if you need any info on measuring/calculation and ordering a spoke set to match a different rim, shoot me a pm :D

I am sure you have many tyres in mind, but a personal favourite (available in 17'') of mine is the heidenau k66's. They are a very modern tyre but still have a pretty nice chunky tread - more road oriented but still look cool.
 

FerousBastard

New Member
JadusMotorcycleParts said:
Yeah good call with the tank. it definitely works in the renderings anyway.

I think if you can do the 17'' rear rim conversion that would do a lot for the visual weight of the rear of the whole bike. Plus, like you say, tyre selection for 17'' rims is massive and you also say you can fit a wider tyre there? Hadn't thought of that (with the swingarm restriction) but that's a really good point. I am sure you've got it covered but if you need any info on measuring/calculation and ordering a spoke set to match a different rim, shoot me a pm :D

I am sure you have many tyres in mind, but a personal favourite (available in 17'') of mine is the heidenau k66's. They are a very modern tyre but still have a pretty nice chunky tread - more road oriented but still look cool.
You could fit a wider rear, but you really wouldn't. The slimmer the tires, and more similar the front and rear tire the quicker the handling will be. Why many Cafe racers often have almost identical front and rear tires. With the amount of grunt the LS650 puts down you do need a wider rear tire when the substrate gets loose to transfer that torque down to the ground, so am aiming for a 120 wide rear tire as a compromise; faster steering through corners plus enough rubber to not spin out all the time.
Had thought about Metzler Tourance rubbers, though they are supposedly a little fast wearing, but will definitely check out the K66's thanks for the tip man!
Might need your help on calculating a spoke set actually. Scored a BMW F650 rear wheel of eBay for €20 in good condition, but had more or less given up on the thought as several wheel companies said they wouldn't touch the BMW rim because of it's weird lacing pattern. But I think if we put our minds together we might work this on out ;)
 

FerousBastard

New Member
Remember what I said about riding? I changed my mind. Got to talking with Verslagen and Lancer, members over at Suzukisavage.com, and ordered a new plug for the head oil leak and an upgraded cam chain adjuster (common fault on the LS650) plus a Stage 3 performance cam shaft upgrade and 97mm forged Wiseco piston.
The head plug and adjuster should be here soon, but would still need to send the cam and barrel out for treatment and boring. So decided to work and get the performance mods mounted and running so I can start breaking in the new bits before winter. Quick decisions!

At the building where I live we have an old gardening shed out back, so set up shop there this afternoon and got in a few hours work on the bike. Figure I do the shed a favor cleaning it out and using it for a while, rather than letting it fall into disrepair.
Got the tank, carb, exhaust, belt and battery box off, and am more or less ready to lay the bike on its side tomorrow to get the motor out. Love working on simple bikes like this! ;D
 

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FerousBastard

New Member
redwillissuperman said:
Like this:
That bike is sweet! You say it has a 5 degree rake job? To me it just looks like it has the rica treatment; 50mm lowered fork, 12.5" shocks (maybe even 13.5"?) and 18" wheels front and rear. Maybe it's just the angle of the photo, but see how the fork and rear frame rail are almost parallel, that looks to me like the stock neck angle.
 

FerousBastard

New Member
17's huh, that explains the wide front! Certainly pulls it off and fits with the Supermoto theme. There's light ahead still.
BTW thanks for the motivational pic ;)
 

FerousBastard

New Member
Got the motor out today and opened it up to get the cam off to be re-profiled and the barrel off to get bored out. It's clear that although run intermittently it was well cared for. No major signs of friction modifiers used in the oil inside the casing. The rocker faces still have their original machining clearly visible and so does the cam bearing surfaces. The barrel still has clear honing marks and the piston has only minor signs of rocking. While the piston has some carbon buildup it's to be expected from a bike which has been run with older gasoline.

The cam chain adjuster was out to a smidge under 15mm, with very slight ovalling of the housing which is a sign that it is overextending, why Suzuki would willingly install adjusters like these on their engines are beyond me. ???

Does anyone know how to clean of that carbon so I can use this honking piston as a candy bowl? ;)
 

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JadusMotorcycleParts

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FerousBastard said:
Might need your help on calculating a spoke set actually. Scored a BMW F650 rear wheel of eBay for €20 in good condition, but had more or less given up on the thought as several wheel companies said they wouldn't touch the BMW rim because of it's weird lacing pattern. But I think if we put our minds together we might work this on out ;)
Any particular reason you went with the BMW rim? I have seen those spoke patterns on their adventure bikes and it is pretty whack. It must be practical for servicing and replacing the spokes but its quite unconventional. Could you not calculate the new required spoke dimensions, then order a custom drilled alluminium rim from Central Wheel in the UK? You just give them your hub dimensions, spoke count and offsets and they do the rest. I have used them several times this way before and been really happy with the results.

Btw, is that four rocker arms i see? Does the Savage have a 4-valve head? Motor looks real nice man. You got a gem :D
 

FerousBastard

New Member
JadusMotorcycleParts said:
Any particular reason you went with the BMW rim? I have seen those spoke patterns on their adventure bikes and it is pretty whack. It must be practical for servicing and replacing the spokes but its quite unconventional. Could you not calculate the new required spoke dimensions, then order a custom drilled alluminium rim from Central Wheel in the UK? You just give them your hub dimensions, spoke count and offsets and they do the rest. I have used them several times this way before and been really happy with the results.

Btw, is that four rocker arms i see? Does the Savage have a 4-valve head? Motor looks real nice man. You got a gem :D
It was cheap. I realize now that the weird oem spoke pattern might cause trouble later on in the process. Will take a look at Central wheel, came across them a while back but didn't know anyone who have had any experience with them, but seems after all they might be worth a look.

Thanks man! And yes good eye, the LS650 motor does have 4 valves. Which is one of the things that tells me that this motor was originally designed to put out more horsepower than it does now. Down the line the model was restricted to meet hp requirements for first time riders, which was ultimately a smart move to guarantee the models survival.
The LS650's bigger brothers; the Suzuki DR650 and DR750/800 both(all three) put out about 0.0715hp per cc, 46hp and 52hp respectively for their 644cc and 727/779cc engines, albeit with higher compression and hotter cams than the LS. Upping the LS650's compression from its stock 8.5:1 to the DR's 9.5:1 and matching their hotter cams, removing any restrictions, should put the LS's engine in that same territory of around 46hp at the crank. Which would be a huge improvement over it's stock 31hp.
Lancer, a member over at the Suzuki Savage forums, has good experience with boring out the LS's barrel to accept a 10.5-11:1 compression Wiseco DR650 piston and fitting a performance cam. One of his bikes has been dynoed at 42hp at the rear wheel with about the same modifications as I have planned, this should be good. ;D
 

jpmobius

where does this go?
DTT BOTM WINNER
FerousBastard said:
Does anyone know how to clean of that carbon so I can use this honking piston as a candy bowl? ;)
cleaning in process. Pistons/rods are out of the same engine. Right bowl has "Purple Power" (or something like that) purple cleaner from the auto parts store in it. Looking a bit contaminated after the previous 3 assemblies! Yes, it really does come out like the piston/rod on the left.
 

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JadusMotorcycleParts

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jpmobius said:
cleaning in process. Pistons/rods are out of the same engine. Right bowl has "Purple Power" (or something like that) purple cleaner from the auto parts store in it. Looking a bit contaminated after the previous 3 assemblies! Yes, it really does come out like the piston/rod on the left.
Damn thats impressive! I am def gonna do that with some pistons I have lying around!
 

JadusMotorcycleParts

Active Member
DTT SUPPORTER
FerousBastard said:
Thanks man! And yes good eye, the LS650 motor does have 4 valves. Which is one of the things that tells me that this motor was originally designed to put out more horsepower than it does now. Down the line the model was restricted to meet hp requirements for first time riders, which was ultimately a smart move to guarantee the models survival.
The LS650's bigger brothers; the Suzuki DR650 and DR750/800 both(all three) put out about 0.0715hp per cc, 46hp and 52hp respectively for their 644cc and 727/779cc engines, albeit with higher compression and hotter cams than the LS. Upping the LS650's compression from its stock 8.5:1 to the DR's 9.5:1 and matching their hotter cams, removing any restrictions, should put the LS's engine in that same territory of around 46hp at the crank. Which would be a huge improvement over it's stock 31hp.
Lancer, a member over at the Suzuki Savage forums, has good experience with boring out the LS's barrel to accept a 10.5-11:1 compression Wiseco DR650 piston and fitting a performance cam. One of his bikes has been dynoed at 42hp at the rear wheel with about the same modifications as I have planned, this should be good. ;D
Sounds like a rad plan. Shit, 42hp at the rear wheel is pretty handy on a bike that will probably weigh less than 130kg. I would assume it would have a pretty decent torque curve too being a thumper.

So the LS650 being a 4 vlaver is a much more modern rig than I thought. I also wondered the same as you about the difference in power from the DR series to the LS series... Compression and camming explains it. Valve size too? Carb even?
 

FerousBastard

New Member
jpmobius said:
cleaning in process. Pistons/rods are out of the same engine. Right bowl has "Purple Power" (or something like that) purple cleaner from the auto parts store in it. Looking a bit contaminated after the previous 3 assemblies! Yes, it really does come out like the piston/rod on the left.
Holy cow! That stuff looks like it can take a fingernail off if you ain't carefull :eek:
 

FerousBastard

New Member
JadusMotorcycleParts said:
Sounds like a rad plan. Shit, 42hp at the rear wheel is pretty handy on a bike that will probably weigh less than 130kg. I would assume it would have a pretty decent torque curve too being a thumper.

So the LS650 being a 4 vlaver is a much more modern rig than I thought. I also wondered the same as you about the difference in power from the DR series to the LS series... Compression and camming explains it. Valve size too? Carb even?
Torque it does have, that's the most fun thing about the Savage it just pulls from about 3000 rpm up to 5000 rpm. But hey, your SR thumper should pull pretty decently too right? :D

The stock carb is set extremely lean to meet emissions. The pilot mixture screw is even capped off from the factory. Many chose to swap the stock carb for a VM round slide to grab a few extra ponies, but the stock CV carb does run smooth when it's tuned right.
The exhaust valves are a bit smaller than intake, but AFAIK it's normal procedure to retain some torque from an otherwise square engine, and the LS stock is as square as it gets with 94mm bore x 94mm stroke. What's worse is the "donut" in the head exhaust port. Intake is pretty decent stock, but the exhaust port has been severely restricted with a ring cast into the head. Havn't got any numbers on it, but it's clear to me that it was put there to bring the engines performance down to 'learner bike' levels. Am planning on getting rid of it too while the head is off.
 

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FerousBastard

New Member
A simple Dremel with a burr bit and a steady hand. Some have suggested you could even do the job when the head is on the bike; if you stuff paper towels into the valve seats and spray some shaving foam over to catch the shavings.
 

strang

yep
how's the engine rebuild going dude?
if you can be bothered documenting I've booked a seat in the front row ;)
 

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