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Old 04-07-2004, 11:41 AM   #1
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Experience with a DR650?

Does anyone here have one of these bikes? How does it handle for long miles on the road? Does it vibrate? Is the seat comfy?

I'm looking at this model of bike to get started in the whole adventure riding thing. My budget won't allow a BMW or a 'Strom. And this fits with my "simpler is better" attitude regarding easy to maintain air cooled engined bikes.

How do they handle in the dirt with dual sport tires? How would it tolerate a 275 pound rider with camping gear?

Is there a website devoted to this bike or similar bikes?

And last of all.... How much fun can be had on this bike.

Thanks all....
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:51 AM   #2
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I have no answers, but many of the same questions, plus: "How does it compare to a KLR 650 for adv-touring?"

Here's a nice link comparing a/t bikes, including the DR650, which you probably already know about: clicky
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Is there a website devoted to this bike or similar bikes?
Try the AdvRider.com site and look in the Thumper Forum. I know there are a lot of folks there that ride these.

Try here as well:
http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/index.php?Cat=0

If you do a Google on DR 650 Suzuki, you'll get lots of other stuff as well.

Quote:
And last of all.... How much fun can be had on this bike.
That is only limited by your time, budget and imagination!!

Adios,
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:58 AM   #4
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I've got the 350 version and it rides good. I rode it to Scott's place about 165 miles without a problem so I'd have to think that the 650 would be even better. If you've been considering a KLR, the DR is definitely more dirt oriented. I like the KLR but the DR is simple and easier to work on.

Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2004, 02:45 PM   #5
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I've looked at the KLR, but something about it doesn't appeal to me. And every report I've seen goes like: Its a great bike BUT, it has XXX problem that seems to plague the whole line.....

There has been alot more positive press about the DR.

Also I might just build some motard wheels for it and take it to track days. That should be real fun . I wouldn't consider taking my GS. I would feel horrible about wadding a 23 year old machine that has served me so well....
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Old 04-08-2004, 02:48 PM   #6
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Have you considered the Honda XR650L or XR650?

Adios,
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Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

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If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

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Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

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Old 04-08-2004, 02:55 PM   #7
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I have, and they are certainly legitamite machines, but they tend to fetch a little more money than the DR..... Plus maybe a little brand loyalty is creeping in ...
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:56 PM   #8
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I have a KLR250 so I subscribe to the 250 and 650 lists. When I was shopping, I considered a DR650 so I'm on that list too.

Each bike (650) has a single problem that I would consider big. On the KLR, part of the cam-chain tensioner can self-destruct without warning. I believe they call it the "doohickey". It appears to be a problem with all year models.

The DR has a detonating starter assembly on the '98-'00 models. The starter engages while the engine is running and cracks the mounting lugs on the engine case. The case has to be replaced at a cost of >$1000. Apparently, although they still won't admit faulty engineering, Suzuki reverted to the pre-98 design for all later models.

The guy that had my KLR had a '98 DR650, very nice, low mileage for $2600 but I had to pass because of the year.
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:59 PM   #9
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Grrr!
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Old 04-10-2004, 05:25 PM   #10
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I rode a KLR 650 for 5,000 miles and never had a problem. The doohickey is a $50 fix if you don't trust it. Thousands of people have done world tours on the KLR and had no problems. It is probably in the same niche as the GS as far as street to dirt ratios. The DR is definitly dirtier, and not a very well rounded streetbike. As far as accessories go, you can get much more to outfit a KLR as a touring bike, a trail bike etc. Concentrate on upgraging the KLR's suspension and brakes. Nothing seems to make the engine much more powerful although it will cruise at 80mph all day long. It all depends on how you plan to use it.

FWIW, the Max-Zuk site has a DR section

http://www.maximum-suzuki.com/ibf/index.php?c=3

This site is for KLR/KLX

http://www.dualsportrider.org/index.php

Quote:
Apparently, although they still won't admit faulty engineering, Suzuki reverted to the pre-98 design for all later models.
This, coupled with the oil-burning piston issue common to my Bandit ('01 and '02 models) is why I will not own another Suzuki. I know other brands are just as bad, but my personal nightmare was with Suzuki.
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Old 04-21-2004, 07:40 AM   #11
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I currently have a 2003 DR650 and a 1996 DR350se. These are both very good bikes.

I used to have a KLR650, but had many problems with it and sold it to buy the DR650. So far I am very pleased with the big DR and plan on riding it to New Mexico in May on a 2500 mile trip. I have made modifications to the seat, carb, airbox, added tail rack and sideracks, ortleib softbags, spitfire windscreen, and GPS mount.

Ride Safe,
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Old 04-21-2004, 09:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
The guy that had my KLR had a '98 DR650, very nice, low mileage for $2600 but I had to pass because of the year.
Yoiks, I'm getting a '98 this weekend.

Fortunately, the guy knew about a lot of the DR's shortcomings and corrected 'em (starter, seat (getting a Corbin with it, too), plastic chain guide...)
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Old 05-07-2004, 09:36 PM   #13
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Looks like it would do the job just fine, stomping around in the dirt is going to break any bike in the end, pair that rough use with a vibrating thumper and you have to stay on top of things, inspect it all the time for loose stuff etc. Go ride em, get the one that fits your body best. Go read up on any failure points and deal with them.

I don't know about the rest of the bikes but that comparison site is right on about my bike, a KTM 620, it's real mountain goat but the seat is truly a cinder block. Parts are easier to get now then they were a few years ago, but that's not saying much.

As for a heavy rider and heavy gear, that's going to be the biggest factor offroad riding, more and more as terrain gets rougher. Pack for a group, try not to have redundancy, go with as little weight as you possibly can.
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