An overlander's account of South and Central America by motorbike - the trusty Suzuki DR650. Within are great travel tips and hints (2011).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nessie - How she was setup

Hola all!  Currently in Santiago in Ventana Sur Hostel.  One of the nicest in Santiago...with a pool too! Highly recommended!  Have done a bit of walking around in the city.  Some amazing sights here!  Markets are brilliant and grapes, plums, mangoes and more come in at about $1 per kilo!  South Americans are wonderful people!  So many beautiful faces and natures.  A walk through the city will see dogs roaming the streets, cars cruising down tree-lined streets on the right (wrong!) side, people skating in the parks all day long, Chilean couple smooching in the parks and people exercising on the equipment in the parks.  There are convenience shops, bottlos and restaurants lining the streets!  My first day here we had ceviche for dinner (fresh fish cooked in lemon juice) and local cerveza (beer) and vino (wine) and then went to a club and danced it up with the locals!  An amazing scene.  The afternoon was spent watching the sun go down (at 2100h) on San Cristobal, overlooking the beautiful city of Santiago.

Sooooo...the bike.  My bike arrives on the 8th so will stay around here until then and begin heading to Ushuaia when she arrives.  I decided to do this trip in July 2010 which gave me about 6 months to prepare.  The 2010 Suzuki DR650 was dubbed "Nessie"...ask me why over a beer some time.  In the 6 months a few things were done to make it road ready for the world...and a lot less was done to it than others have done to the same model.  They include:

- fitting Dunlop D606 tyres (similar to Continental TKC80s)
- making 2 pannier racks and one top rack (replacing the stock pillion handles and moving the indicators onto the rack
- removing the sidestand killswitch
- adding a switch to turn all the lights off on the bike
- adding 2 12V cigarette adapters with inline fuses and switches
- adding barkbusters and a windshield (problematic as they use the same mounting space on the bars - yet to be resolved)
- adding an inline fuel filter and tap on a T-piece for stove filling.
- fabricating an aliminium mount on the handle bar mounts for all the switches and cigarette adapters
- adding a small sheepskin to the stock seat - really makes no difference I think
- added bashplate and aluminium footrest on front for extra body movement (chopper style on a dirtbike!)
- still have stock - tank, bars, seat, jetting/airbox, pipe

See some pics below.  More later!

                                   The family before I left.                                  My brother!

                                          Rack on RHS                                       LHS rack.


  1. All the best, Brian! Hope to see you soon.
    - yen (m'sia)

  2. Hi from Mark and Isabel in Collarenebri. Many thanks for postcard received today and also for remembering us. Good luck with this trip and keep dry,still have visions of you eating lunch in the store dressed only in a towel.

  3. Hi Brian, Henryk here. We met at Springwood Suzuki day before your departure to SA.
    All the best in your adventure mate. Keep us up to date with your trip. Mate of mine who I go with to SA later this year has DR650 too. Any info/ tips how you getting on with Nessie will be much appreciated.

  4. Yen - thanks mate! see ya soon
    Mark and Isabel. Great to hear from you Cheers! had its first taste of the dirt the other day. overloaded, but went Farkin amazing! has lost weight since...mostly extra food from the city.
    Thanks Jennyyyyyy