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Old 01-16-2009, 12:45 AM   #1
NordieBoy OP
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DR650 3rd gear blowups

Compiling a list for posterity and interest...

NordieBoy 2001 60,000km
Transalper 2001 55,000km
Rosscoact 2004 13,000km
Mardy 1997 53,000km
TH 1999 40,000km
RubberCow80 2001 25,000km (2nd gear?)
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:51 AM   #2
ADVJake
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good on you mate
maybe something to submit to Suzuki. the DR is long due for an update...

13,000kms is nothing, im surprised he still owns a Suzuki
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:26 AM   #3
Aussie Trev
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Are there any tell tales noises or shifting abnormalities beforehand? Or is it just 'BANG'?
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:25 AM   #4
Max Kool
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Are these prone to failure? Hmmm. I've had two of them (both 1996). Sold the first with 10.000 miles on it, and the second with 30.000. Both were problemless.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:37 AM   #5
Dirtgrain
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What damage to the motor occurred in those scenarios? Or is it the transmission that got destroyed? Why do you think third gear is significant?

To be more objective, maybe tally blowups that occurred in other gears, as well.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:40 AM   #6
Foot dragger
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Honda XR 600s have blown third when run hard since their inception,I dont think Honda ever address'd it. 4 DRs out of how many out there? hard to call it a trend but maybe more will chime in.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:23 PM   #7
NordieBoy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtgrain
What damage to the motor occurred in those scenarios? Or is it the transmission that got destroyed? Why do you think third gear is significant?
Looks like the engine gets totally destroyed - gears/cases/bottom end/conrod/piston...

3rd gear is right in line with the big end.

I think it's the shape of 3rd gear. Where the dogs are in relation to the teeth and the selector groove weakening it as well.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:19 PM   #8
NordieBoy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTrev
Are there any tell tales noises or shifting abnormalities beforehand? Or is it just 'BANG'?
Low revs going up a slight hill and it was a drawn out cruuuuuunnnnch. I thought the chain had come off to start with.

No warning at all.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:44 AM   #9
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The '97 engine in my '01 has had about 50,000km of 3rd gear whine now. Not too worried about it.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:34 PM   #10
victor441
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any advantage to a 2011 3rd gear wise? or 2008+?

read the whole thread and it looks like the gear has not changed since 2008, but wanted to check just in case.....also if it is worth holding out for a 2008+ bike. If that is the case I might pick up a new $2011, $5K is the going rate locally. I do get it that gearbox failures are rare but want to avoid one if possible
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:13 PM   #11
doug s.
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Originally Posted by victor441 View Post
read the whole thread and it looks like the gear has not changed since 2008, but wanted to check just in case.....also if it is worth holding out for a 2008+ bike. If that is the case I might pick up a new $2011, $5K is the going rate locally. I do get it that gearbox failures are rare but want to avoid one if possible
why not look for a 1996, 1998, or 2000 iteration? no (documented) failures on those... and there have been failures after the last documented 3rd gear "revision", which seems not to be much of a structural revision (if any) at all. true, not as many failures, but these bikes are newer, and don't have as many miles racked up on 'em.

i think you are best off looking for the lowest price best condition used dr you can find, especially if you wanna add suspension/carb/intake/exhaust mods, and other mods, which can add a lot of money to your initial purchase. i count my blessings that i found a somewhat tatty but still decent example for $1300; i've spent double that getting it the way i wanted...

while it's certainly a complete drag for those who have had this problem, realistically, we are talking something on the order of 1 bike out of 500, and this number is likely conserwative; the real number is likely much less. (i got the 1 in 500 number by assuming the actual failure rate to be 10-15 times of those reported, in ~150k units sold. considering how many folks instantly go on-line these days, to do research when they have any problems like this, i really doubt that 300 dr's have had their trannies explode like this.) if you are truly worried, split the cases, pull out the complete gearing assembly and send it out for cryo treatment...

ymmv,

doug s.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug s. View Post
why not look for a 1996, 1998, or 2000 iteration? no (documented) failures on those... and there have been failures after the last documented 3rd gear "revision", which seems not to be much of a structural revision (if any) at all. true, not as many failures, but these bikes are newer, and don't have as many miles racked up on 'em.

i think you are best off looking for the lowest price best condition used dr you can find, especially if you wanna add suspension/carb/intake/exhaust mods, and other mods, which can add a lot of money to your initial purchase. i count my blessings that i found a somewhat tatty but still decent example for $1300; i've spent double that getting it the way i wanted...

while it's certainly a complete drag for those who have had this problem, realistically, we are talking something on the order of 1 bike out of 500, and this number is likely conserwative; the real number is likely much less. (i got the 1 in 500 number by assuming the actual failure rate to be 10-15 times of those reported, in ~150k units sold. considering how many folks instantly go on-line these days, to do research when they have any problems like this, i really doubt that 300 dr's have had their trannies explode like this.) if you are truly worried, split the cases, pull out the complete gearing assembly and send it out for cryo treatment...

ymmv,

doug s.
I'm a recent DR owner, great bike, but it was an effort to put this problem out of my mind. 1 bike failing in every 500 means the DR is statistically not that reliable IMO, a fact which will be denied by most DR owners (which is why I still bought one).

Now, this cryo treatment you speak of , I know less than nothing about it but my first Google hit was this:

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~mtce/coldinfo.htm

It would seem to me there would be some merit in sending a new 3rd gear part to someone like this, having them test it to see if the metal is worth working with (destructive test apparently) and if ok getting a gear treated (shot peened and cryo treated?) and installing at the first opportunity.

Has anyone got any experience/technical knowledge they'd like to share?


Of course, only time would tell if this fixed the problem, but if it did the DR would no longer have this weak link (however rare - if it happend to me on the trail somewhere it would be a significant problem, both for getting home and for the budget).
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:09 AM   #13
doug s.
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Originally Posted by HerrMnnn View Post
I'm a recent DR owner, great bike, but it was an effort to put this problem out of my mind. 1 bike failing in every 500 means the DR is statistically not that reliable IMO, a fact which will be denied by most DR owners (which is why I still bought one).

Now, this cryo treatment you speak of , I know less than nothing about it but my first Google hit was this:

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~mtce/coldinfo.htm

It would seem to me there would be some merit in sending a new 3rd gear part to someone like this, having them test it to see if the metal is worth working with (destructive test apparently) and if ok getting a gear treated (shot peened and cryo treated?) and installing at the first opportunity.

Has anyone got any experience/technical knowledge they'd like to share?


Of course, only time would tell if this fixed the problem, but if it did the DR would no longer have this weak link (however rare - if it happend to me on the trail somewhere it would be a significant problem, both for getting home and for the budget).
regarding cryo, there is much info about it, like what you found. racers use it, audiophiles use it, it is used in industry for materials strengthening... i wouldn't worry about the caveats posted on the site you linked - one would have to assume that the suzuki is at least nominally ok re: its transmission design and material make-up. and, if you really wanna cryo the 3rd gear part, it would be silly not to cryo the entire gear assembly, as it has to come out for the new 3rd gear install anyway. the cost won't be much more to do the whole thing...

doug s.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:32 PM   #14
NordieBoy OP
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Not sure if this has been mentioned before but has anyone looked into purchasing a short block versus repairing the damaged engine. It seems to me that it would be more cost effective rather than buying parts and paying for labor to rebuild the engine after one of these 3rd gear mishaps.
Depends.
What's a short block?
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:51 PM   #15
Eddieb
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Depends.
What's a short block?
On a DR essentially the crankcase and possibly by the car definition also the cylinder. For a 4 cylinder car engine the cylinders are included as they are normally cast as part of the engine block, not sure how that works for a V6/8 motor.

It's not just the engine cases that get lunched and cause the cost though, it's all the internals like the cylinder and sleeve, crank, bearings etc that get taken out when the gearbox goes.
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