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Offline lecap

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One year on a DR650SE
« on: October 09, 2008, 09:22:21 am »
Yes, my newest DR has survived the warranty period! Just over one year and 10000km.

Modifications to new bike:
Lesser quality drive chain replaced with DID X-Ring, steering head bearing adjusted correctly (was too tight), upper chain guide roller removed, bar ends removed, Polisport Sharp hand guards fitted, self made luggage rack to fit my Gearsack inspired tailpack.
Philips bolts on plastics and handlebar switches replaced with quality stainless steel allen head fasteners.
Rubber spacer bolted onto frame cover instead of clipped into exhaust can.

Later modifications:
Spiegler steel braided front brake hose. Not that it has to be done but it improves feel on the brake and I had one lying around ;D
Clarke 16l plastic tank. Increases fuel range to 250 - 300 km (plus 3l reserve).

Rear Kings KT966 after the OEM Bridgestone was shot. The B's are marginally better on tar and allow you to ride like a hooligan. The Kings feels a bit squirmish if you really fly low on tar but is waaaay better on gravel. Waiting to put KT966 onto front for complete dirt road happiness.

Problems:
Scratch in front fender on new bike. Replaced on warranteeh.

The starter motor brushes got stuck after some two months / 2800km. This usually happens when the starter is laboured too much. I definitely did not do anything wrong. I know the problem very well. Occurs sometimes when customers don't listen to me explaining the hired bikes, drown carb and burn starter. The brushes seize in their guides and the starter stops working a few weeks later when the brushes don't make proper contact any more. Possible that bushes were stuck from assembly?
Starter motor bushes excepted from warranty together with bulbs, pads, chain & sprocket...  :deal:

Comment from dealer: Bring it in, we'll have a look.
Disassembled it myself to avoid hefty invoice. Cleaned and unfcuked brushes and guides. No parts used. Spend 1h30 on the whole job  :)
Advice: DIY or get auto electrician to sort it if you have the same problem.

Two bolts fell out of the rear mudguard / plate holder assembly recently

Besides that:

Nothing. Bike purrs like a kitten and does not give kak. Does not use a drop of oil, fuel consumption between 4l and 5l on 100km (20km - 25km / l).

Very solid quality, no rust or rot so far. Fuel range with Clarke tank suits my needs, got used to ironing board type seat. Performance of bike suits my riding style and level of skill. Easy and cheap to maintain. Unpretentious. Does not turn heads like a KTM.
White Clarke tank stains where knees rub but stains come off with some Handy Andy. Darker tinted tanks do not have this problem but bleach over time :(
Maybe I special order one in desert beige for my next DR ???
Good value for money. Very few issues, nothing that's not very easily and cheaply fixed.

Which gets me to the conclusion:

Yes, I would definitely buy a DR650SE again.
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Offline IceCreamMan

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2008, 09:30:31 am »
Had mine 4 months now...one longish triip which hurt my butt but its primary usage is commuting , jumping pavements etc etc ...excellent for that. also i intend riding africa with it . perfect tool for that.

Le Cap , i get 2 year warranty with mine , u only get 1 year?

The chain on mine needed a couple of djustments in the first month but now no more . i think its going to last the long haul.

Standard rear tyre prolly wont see 5000 km's though...no matter i want to replace with a knobbly anyway.

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Offline Snafu

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2008, 09:34:10 am »
Nice feedback on the DR there Lecap!
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Ganjora

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2008, 09:35:35 am »
what a happy story

IF (perish the thought),  but,  IF,  nonetheless,
my KLR had to be replaced,
it would only be,  
by a DR650SE
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 09:36:20 am by Ganjora »
 

Offline Kykdaar

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2008, 09:37:57 am »
Thanks for the feedback LeCap  :thumleft:

Some time ago when I was looking for a bike the DR was on my shopping list, but I could not find a near-new one in Gauteng.

The way I go through bikes maybe I will chance upon a DR in future and then it is good to have info like this. 
 

shark_za

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2008, 09:56:07 am »
A DR is just an aircooled KLR with slightly better suspension.
 

Ganjora

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2008, 10:07:31 am »
it is shorter,
it has better brakes,
it has better acceleration,
it also has better suspension than a KLR making it ideal for a short guy like me.

I also think the lack of a an 'achilles' radiator is good...

Don't get me wrong, 
i didn't suddenly start hating my KLR...
 

Offline Yefimovich˛

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2008, 10:12:14 am »
I would have bought a DR instead of the XT but budget constraints limited me  >:(
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Offline Bean

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2008, 10:17:24 am »
I also couldn't decide but the fact that it doesn't have a rev counter was my biggest concern...  I love looking at the rev's go up as you burn through the gears.

Also if I'm not mistaken they weren't availble for a few years recently, and only last year were they offered again? there aren't half as many around as KLR's...
 

Offline NAZM

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2008, 03:03:18 pm »
I too was going to get one but the dealer did'nt want my money. :o Nice report LEcap. :thumleft:
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Offline Fugly

Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2008, 06:30:42 pm »
Gotta love the "unfcuked" comment!  :imaposer:  :thumleft:
Don’t worry about things that aren’t, worry about things that are and your decisions are so much easier to make!
 

Offline lecap

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2008, 08:21:11 am »
Gotta love the "unfcuked" comment!  :imaposer:  :thumleft:
Courtesy of Runner as far as I remember. Something like: If your shock is fcuked - I can unfcuk it!

I too was going to get one but the dealer did'nt want my money. :o Nice report LEcap. :thumleft:

Sad

I also couldn't decide but the fact that it doesn't have a rev counter was my biggest concern...  I love looking at the rev's go up as you burn through the gears.

Also if I'm not mistaken they weren't availble for a few years recently, and only last year were they offered again? there aren't half as many around as KLR's...
Vapor Dash is an option if you want to see the revs. Fancy backlit LCD rodent's cinema with speed & RPM, odo & 2 tripcounters, clock and two temperatures. My next project.

Not sure if they were not brought in or if they did sell very few. I remember the price being anything but competitive in 2002. They were available from '96 until 2002 at least and then definitely in 2007.

I would have bought a DR instead of the XT but budget constraints limited me  >:(
An XT is a very decent bike too, don't worry.

A DR is just an aircooled KLR with slightly better suspension.
and
it is shorter,
it has better brakes,
it has better acceleration,
it also has better suspension than a KLR making it ideal for a short guy like me.

I also think the lack of a an 'achilles' radiator is good...

Don't get me wrong, 
i didn't suddenly start hating my KLR...

DR vs. KLR:

The DR650SE is about 20kg lighter than the KLR650 (any).

Slightly better suspension means here you can live with the DR OEM stuff as long as you dont ride the bike very hard or race whilst the KLR (KL650A) needs at least progressive fork springs. The 1996-2002 Euro model KL650C is much better and probably on par with the DR although it suffers from front spring sag which also gets you to the aftermarket sooner or later.

The KL650A and DR650SE front brakes are worlds apart. The DR front stopper is not state of the art but well designed and it works well. The KL650A front brake reminds me of my XT500's drum. Pathetic! The KL650C (Euro) and E (2008) front brakes are much better and close to  the DR's front stoppers.

The wheelbase of the DR and KLR is actually near identical although the DR looks much shorter :o

The DR's better acceleration is most probably due to the lower weight and maybe due to gear ratios and engine characteristics. In claimed engine power the DR actually lags behind the KLR :o

The DR is definitely the choice for shorter people (although I'm 1.9m+ and also happy)
The narrow seat and tank line help to plant your feet firmly onto Mother Earth but come at the price of a seat as comfortable as an ironing board. Needs some time to get used to and replacement of undies with padded no seam cycling shorts ;D
The DR also comes with the option to lower the seat height by some 40mm. It does not spoil the setup of the suspensions like most aftermarket solutions but only costs ground clearance.

The DR650SE does not lack a radiator (although it lacks a water pump). It makes use of Suzukis SACS of GSXR fame and runs on a combination of air and oil cooling. The radiator is thus easily identified as an oil cooler. It fits quite snugly and is protected by a small crashbar.

Thanks for the feedback LeCap  :thumleft:

Some time ago when I was looking for a bike the DR was on my shopping list, but I could not find a near-new one in Gauteng.

The way I go through bikes maybe I will chance upon a DR in future and then it is good to have info like this. 

A newish second hand DR650SE is a rare find. Most owners seem to be very happy and keep the bikes for years. They are also not particularily easy to sell.

what a happy story

IF (perish the thought),  but,  IF,  nonetheless,
my KLR had to be replaced,
it would only be,  
by a DR650SE

A convert!!! :D

Nice feedback on the DR there Lecap!

Thanks! ;)

Had mine 4 months now...one longish triip which hurt my butt but its primary usage is commuting , jumping pavements etc etc ...excellent for that. also i intend riding africa with it . perfect tool for that.

Le Cap , i get 2 year warranty with mine , u only get 1 year?

The chain on mine needed a couple of djustments in the first month but now no more . i think its going to last the long haul.

Standard rear tyre prolly wont see 5000 km's though...no matter i want to replace with a knobbly anyway.


I actually never checked the warranty conditions ??? Maybe I also have two years. Not that it matters. I think if it did not break yet it will be ok for another year (it's a DR, this rule might not apply to other bikes >:D )

Some of my older DR's came with rather lousy chains which wore unevenly leading to retirement of the first chain & sprocket combos at around 15000km and one snapped chain at about 14000km.
The DID X - Ring does 30000 to 35000km if you look after it.

The OEM Bridgestones are lekker tar hooligan tyres but lack traction on softer gravel and in the dirt. Does hardly more than 5000km on the back, front might last considerably longer depending on riding style and portion of tar & commute.
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Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2008, 08:39:16 am »
I must echo what lecap has said
but unlike him I doubt that I'll ever buy one again

While it is truly an excellent little bike and perfect for a round-the-world trip, it lacks presence.
People like me who desire artful styling, thoughtful ergonomics and athletic posture, just can't get along with this simple and honest bike.

I'll admit it. I'm a snob
 

Offline lecap

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2008, 10:44:32 am »
LS, get another DR and a Ducati poster  >:D you snob!  ;D

Want to add a quick breakdown about the bikes characteristics.

It's happiest of the tarmac. Period.
It will handle all dirt, mud & sand you throw at it and excel through most. Obvious limits are being a 650cc four stroke and being a DS. (as opposed to a 125cc  two - smoker MX)
I'm sure the DR is more capable off the tar than most of her owners ;D and actually most DS riders in general.

I had very few scary situations on my DR's and no serious off so far. Minor offs were entirely my fault. Mostly not paying attention to conditions.

The bike does fine on gravel all the way up to top speed (indicated 160km/h) but gets more and more uncomfortable above 110km/h due to the non existence of wind protection.
This and the low weight gives the bike a clear bias towards slower and more technical dirt and away from top speed gravel highway stuff.

The bike crashes very well. Most offs are taken with a few minor scratches. An intermediate speed lowsider on Occultdale with the current bikes predecessor and 2001 model twin sister ended with me breaking a rib and tearing my pants whilst the bike survived with scratches in the frame side cover and hand guard and a bent footbrake pedal. Picked the bike up and rode it home.

Standing is a bit cramped for tall people like me due to the low bars and short distance between seat and bars as well as the pegs being fitted quite far forward. If you lige Meerkat style make risers which is almost an entire DIY jobbie as you simply detach the handlebar clamps from the triple clamps, get spacers made and buy longer bolts to reattach the clamps through the spacers and rubber mounts to the triple clamps.

Besides being capable on dirt I would rate the bike as a first grade commuter. It handles like a mountain bike, good view over cars, good brakes. The bike is also a lot of fun on bad twisty roads. Everything cool again as long as it does not get to the really fast stuff.
The engine is the smoothest single I ever rode. It has a nice sporty characteristic with punch in mid range to high RPM. It is a little bit less willing than a KLR at low RPM and will make you gear down rather than hack on at low RPM and neutral throttle or acceleration.

Maintenance is dead simple. Every half skilled DIY mechanic with a set of quality standard tools can service the bike in the bush.

Maintenance intervals:
6000km minor (change oil, rattle here, knock there, whistle, have knowing face expression ;D )
12000km major service.

DR650SE No-No's:

Don't take your wife or GF onto a holiday on a DR (unless you've got one and she's got one).
The passenger seat is for emergency use only:
To give a hottie a lift and get her number.
To take wife or GF to nearby coffee shop when the car is in for repairs.
To make an unloved partner leave or file for divorce.
BTW: The passenger seat makes a good luggage rack ;D

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Offline Kykdaar

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2008, 05:38:01 pm »
You inspired me to take a fresh look at the DR again. At both Suzuki dealerships I visited today they had new ones on the floor - an improvement on the last time I looked for one.

Price is now R51 - R52K. Not cheap, but still cheaper than the rest of the big three's offerings in that class - KLR at R55K and the XT at R75K. I do not place the new Transalp in the same category - not a single cylinder.

From a DS perspective I believe it requires at least -

- a softer seat (that plank will give you monkeybutt just riding to the shop)
- a larger tank;
- a high-screen; and
- a rear luggage rack.

I do not know about seat options, but apparently the other "issues" can be addressed.

It is the same things you would need to convert a XR650R into a DS bike.

So, why not - you can no longer buy the XR new. The DR is the last of the basic DS-capable bikes out there that you can buy new.

That fact appeals to me.

 

 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2008, 09:14:43 pm »
You inspired me to take a fresh look at the DR again. At both Suzuki dealerships I visited today they had new ones on the floor - an improvement on the last time I looked for one.


You going to join the secret fookin Suzuki club ?

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Offline Kykdaar

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2008, 09:20:31 pm »
You inspired me to take a fresh look at the DR again. At both Suzuki dealerships I visited today they had new ones on the floor - an improvement on the last time I looked for one.


You going to join the secret fookin Suzuki club ?

 :ricky:

Tempted....will see  :mwink:
 

Offline Inprogress

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2008, 02:11:17 pm »
From a DS perspective I believe it requires at least -

- a softer seat (that plank will give you monkeybutt just riding to the shop)
- a larger tank;
- a high-screen; and
- a rear luggage rack.


There are two options regarding the seat, Corbin and Renazco. The Corbin is the easiest cause you just order one for the bike. The Renazco is a bit different. You take pictures of yourself on the bike and next to it and give some info about the width and use and and. Send your seat to them (or buy one there) and they re-upholster it. Both from USA, but apparently the Renazco is the Ferrari of the seats cause it is so custom to you.

I still want one cause you fix it with a rock and stick, great for Africa. Might trade in my Djebel for un upgrade next year. The DR is the ONLY true Dual Sport...meaning it is the only one that is the closest to the 50/50 range, maybe a bit to the trail side.

Yup, I better start planning to upgrade. Wish that Dawg from CT still had his, that was a nice machine. Think it was a 33 liter tank, Corbin seat, Pro-Tapers and raised, VaporTech. It was a true steal. He wanted to visit his brother in Ireland via Africa, but he became a father and had to abandon the trip and the bike....for the near future.

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Offline Bossies

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2008, 04:39:40 pm »
Having ridden our DR650's for 3 months we are also VERY happy with our purchase.

The bike suites out riding style to the T. Steady pace but punchy enough to get away from annoying cages sitting on your rear. Very positive gear change. Bit flat on the bottom end so must get the revs up if pulling away on incline or loaded up.

One thing we definietly want to get is a screen. From my research many recommend a F650GS or a FZ1 screen which works well on these bikes but we will just need to make a basic frame to fit the screens to. So anyone out there with a old screen of any type please let me know so that I can do a bodge job and get comfort from the wind.

We also want to get larger tanks. On the standard tanks we go into reserve just past 200km but reserve is generous; we pushed it 50km past so far. Being used to our 22lt tanks on our XR250's we have gotten used to a 500km range and would prefer to have the same on these bikes.

For the vertically challenged among you we did the following to my wifes bike and now she can get balls of her feet on the ground (just relocating the bolt at the bottom of the shock was insifficient for her height):
-Push front forks through the yokes by 55mm. You will need to fit 20mm bar raisers to achieve this.
-Cut foam out of seat 30mm
-Had longer links/doglegs made by engineering firm. 145mm between bolt centres.
-Cut and shut the sidestand 120mm shorter.
-New seat height free standing 730mm.
-The front steering is now a bit more quick turning but not as much as when we lowered the Funduro or the XR250. It steers fine on tar and gravel.

If you want your short wife/partner to ride with you then this is the bike to get them. It's just slightly heavier than the XR250; it's much lighter than the Funduro. It's not an intimidating big beast or fancy fairing clad pimp mobile. For people with short arms the distance between the seat and handlebars is nice and close so you don't feel you are spread across the tank like with the F650.
If there's a will there's a way...so I will anyway!!!
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Offline IceCreamMan

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Re: One year on a DR650SE
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2008, 07:54:06 am »
You inspired me to take a fresh look at the DR again. At both Suzuki dealerships I visited today they had new ones on the floor - an improvement on the last time I looked for one.

Price is now R51 - R52K. Not cheap, but still cheaper than the rest of the big three's offerings in that class - KLR at R55K and the XT at R75K. I do not place the new Transalp in the same category - not a single cylinder.

From a DS perspective I believe it requires at least -

- a softer seat (that plank will give you monkeybutt just riding to the shop)
- a larger tank;
- a high-screen; and
- a rear luggage rack.

I do not know about seat options, but apparently the other "issues" can be addressed.

It is the same things you would need to convert a XR650R into a DS bike.

So, why not - you can no longer buy the XR new. The DR is the last of the basic DS-capable bikes out there that you can buy new.

That fact appeals to me.

 



u could prolly get a larger tank thrown into the deal when buying new.

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