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Discussion Starter #1
Been reading about the DR650 on the ADVRIDER.COM forum. I've read alot of good things and alot of bad things. The worst bad trait I've read about so far is regarding 3rd gear failures. Granted , the overall thread consensus is this failure is approximately. 01%%---.001%??? , of said produced DR650's. Hence , nothing "really" to worry about. Speculation on the 3rd gear issue is a potential heat treat issue during production. The problem is , the failures have occurred in sporadic model years?. My take is this: With all the modifications done to the DR650 by some folks for additional power etc , they've over loaded a component of said tranny? .
Has anyone on this forum who owns a DR650 has issue with this machine. Yes , I'm aware some folks could destroy a tank given time. Your thoughts . TIA.
 

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.....consensus is this failure is approximately. 01%%---.001%??? , of said produced DR650's......
That failure rate could apply to nearly any model of motorcycle....KLR doohicky, BMW final drive failure...and more.

No hint of a problem with my '07 DR.

jb
 

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My 06 DR650 served me very well for 9 years. For 8 of those years it carried a Ural sidecar. I rode it hard and vigorously and never had clutch or tranny problems.
Although air cooled it was not a problem even after I moved to Hawaii. They are powerful and dependable, but any bike can have problems if abused.
I only sold it because with my leg disabilities it was getting difficult to ride properly.
 

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No one yet has built a perfect machine. My KLR is a good example. The problems are known and I've done things to correct them,but by the same token I've know people who have thousands of trouble free mile with no mods at all.If you like the DR then get one. Just maintain it and keep an eye on it and enjoy.
 

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Not too many DR's have had the 3rd gear go, so I wouldn't be worried about that. The nsu screws are the issue and are easy to fix, also the countershaft seal is known sometimes to come out, but was said the new models come with a cover to hold it in. Procycle also has the counter shaft seal cover, also a easy fix. Few other misc issues, like upper chain roller needs removed, head bearings not very well greased. The only issue I had with mine was the shifter seal came out, I put a new 1 in and put some nylon washers between the shifter and seal and haven't ever had a issue after that. Many..... of these bikes sold, gotta be a reason right :)
 

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I never had a mechanical issue of any kind with my DR-650. If I had a complaint it would be that 1st gear is too tall but that is easily corrected with a sprocket change.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All reassuring responses. I'm aware that even the "finest" of bikes , cars or trucks etc have an issue or two. It probably is an issue of abuse ( riding the machine repeatedly beyond design limits.....as it were?). If I were to obtain a DR650, it would primarily be used on the road , gravel or an easy trail from time to time. Any real off road I'd use the TW!. Again thanks for the informed responses.
 

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All reassuring responses. I'm aware that even the "finest" of bikes , cars or trucks etc have an issue or two. It probably is an issue of abuse ( riding the machine repeatedly beyond design limits.....as it were?). If I were to obtain a DR650, it would primarily be used on the road , gravel or an easy trail from time to time. Any real off road I'd use the TW!. Again thanks for the informed responses.
I went through the same analysis when I was looking at big thumpers. It came down to the DR or the KLR. Obviously I decided on the KLR, but the call was closer than you might think. What sold me really was I engaged in some serious introspection and realized I would be using the bike primarily on two lane paved roads, gravel roads and only occasionally in true off road situations. Overall, the New Edition's seat was better, the tank was far larger, and the fairing considerably improved road comfort and I'm well aware of what that means on long trips. So, the KLR won. But I still think the DR is a great machine.
 

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I love my DR650 (what do you want me to say--I am selling it! $2500).
My counter sprocket seal leaked (a more common issue) and I had it replaced together with a seal saver from Procycyle.
This was my favorite dual sport bike until I got a Suzuki DRZ400S--easier in the dirt but not as long distance friendly.
Tons of upgrades/new parts on mine.
Simba



 

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I've had my '96 DR650 since September of 2010. I've put almost 30k miles on it and it's always been flawless. It's been dumped in dirt many times... never complained.

I wouldn't worry about the third-gear issue. The bigger issue is the loose Neutral Sending Unit that needs to be lock-tite'd before the screws back out and get loose in the transmission. Takes a half hour to fix but does require pulling the clutch-side cover off and the clutch basket out. Once done, you never have to worry about it again.

AND if you're the really paranoid type, ProCycle sells a billet 3rd gear you could install. It ain't cheap, but it'll never break. :)
 

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I have 2 '02 DR's and they are great.
I rented a new KLR on vacation and enjoyed riding it but it is heavier and has more "stuff" to damage when tipping over.
I originally was looking to buy a KLR but after reading hours and hours on ADV about both the KLR and the DR I knew the DR was better for me.

3rd gear blowups are very rare and I don't worry about it.
There are far more common problems that are easy to fix.
NSU, countershaft seal, upper chain roller, greasing the bearings, stock tires...

I am looking to buy another DR to keep at my brothers house in CA so I can go riding in the winter.
I recommend the DR to anyone who wants an affordable, simple, 650 dual sport.
 

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Mine went a little different I got the TW because it was like my DR - air cooled- low to the ground - oil cooler- easy to work on- no radiator or water pump. If I wanted a more of a street bike I would get a DL650.
 

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I have 2 '02 DR's and they are great.
I rented a new KLR on vacation and enjoyed riding it but it is heavier and has more "stuff" to damage when tipping over.
I originally was looking to buy a KLR but after reading hours and hours on ADV about both the KLR and the DR I knew the DR was better for me.

3rd gear blowups are very rare and I don't worry about it.
There are far more common problems that are easy to fix.
NSU, countershaft seal, upper chain roller, greasing the bearings, stock tires...

I am looking to buy another DR to keep at my brothers house in CA so I can go riding in the winter.
I recommend the DR to anyone who wants an affordable, simple, 650 dual sport.

Basically, what this guy said :)


As far as I knew, the third gear issue only affected the 96 to 2003 model-years. Even if the issue does apply to later model-years, the risk statistic you cite is so low that you are much more likely to have some other problem, whether it be on the DR, or any other bike out there. If buying an '04+, I definitely would not worry about that. And that's saying a lot, because I'm the type of guy who won't buy even the best of bikes if they have any sorts of these "common issues" that can't be EASILY taken care of preventatively (case in point: Suzuki DR350).

Have a look at this article, if you haven't yet; it's a nice, central source for most of this stuff: Potential problems to be aware of - Suzuki DR650 Wiki - Wikia .

IMO, the DR650 is among the very best motorcycles ever built. If you take care of the common crap and stay on top of regular maintenance, these bikes will easily do 50k+ miles without ever giving you any headaches. This machine has always been high on my list, every time I find myself considering a motorcycle purchase. Sadly, it's never made it to the top yet: much of that has to do with the ten grand required to get one set up the way I would want it. Also, at this point, I'm not sure I'd buy one, simply because it has a carburetor: once you go EFI, you never go back...




JagLite: If you end up getting that DR, and happen to be in SOUTHERN California...look me up for a ride some time!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Excellent follow up responses , thank you. Alot of a machines "issues" get blown out of proportion I suppose, including the REAL reason of a failure.....thanks again.
 

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Don't let the carburator be a deal breaker. The DR650 has a carb that NEVER gave me trouble. I owned and rode mine fro late in 05 (it was an 06 model), to just this last spring.
It was one of the most trouble free bikes I have ever owned. I have owned 50 motorcycles so it has had a lot of competition for that status.
 

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Don't let the carburator be a deal breaker. The DR650 has a carb that NEVER gave me trouble. I owned and rode mine fro late in 05 (it was an 06 model), to just this last spring.
It was one of the most trouble free bikes I have ever owned. I have owned 50 motorcycles so it has had a lot of competition for that status.
That's a lot of bikes!
 

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Don't let the carburator be a deal breaker. The DR650 has a carb that NEVER gave me trouble. I owned and rode mine fro late in 05 (it was an 06 model), to just this last spring.
It was one of the most trouble free bikes I have ever owned. I have owned 50 motorcycles so it has had a lot of competition for that status.
There is nothing wrong with the carburetor on the DR650. It works just fine. Yes, EFI is nice, but for the DR, the carburetor is part of what makes the thing so SIMPLE. EFI would complicate it and make field repairs nearly impossible.

If I were going to pick a bike for a round-the-word trip, it would be the DR650. Yeah the V-Strom (DL650) is more comfortable, and has EFI, but it's not something I can fix easily should something happen.
 
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