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Old 11-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #71086
Ridin'nFishin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neo1piv014 View Post
Do you not own the XR650L any more? From what I understand, those bikes are basically 1st cousins to the DR650, but with an 18" rear instead of 17" rear. I believe 2003 was the year they switched away from paper base gaskets. If possible, get one made after that year, or you'll be doing something about an oil leak down the line. If at all possible, find one that has an aftermarket seat and fuel tank on it. The stock fuel tank is a <100 mile tank, which is less than ideal, and the stock seat is almost universally despised. Other than that, it's hard to go wrong.

Thanks for the replys, keep them coming.

No, I don't own a XR650L any more. I would rather the DR because of the oil spray on the bottom of the cylinder to help keep it cool and seat height is lower. Seat height is really not a problem with me.

I personally think the XR, DR and KLR are all good bikes.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:24 AM   #71087
sandwash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neo1piv014 View Post
Do you not own the XR650L any more? From what I understand, those bikes are basically 1st cousins to the DR650, but with an 18" rear instead of 17" rear. I believe 2003 was the year they switched away from paper base gaskets. If possible, get one made after that year, or you'll be doing something about an oil leak down the line. If at all possible, find one that has an aftermarket seat and fuel tank on it. The stock fuel tank is a <100 mile tank, which is less than ideal, and the stock seat is almost universally despised. Other than that, it's hard to go wrong.
Stay away from this model(s) unless it has been fixed:

Issues that affect the 98 and part of the 99 DR650SE year models:
"No starter clutch torque limiter- "1998 and early '99 were equipped with a solid idler gear in the starter reduction gear set that created a problem when the engine kicked back during shutdown, breaking out the gear bearing bosses. This also breaks out and destroys the left case half due to its rigid design. The case halves always come in matched pairs and cost in excess of $650US not to mention labor charges to change all internal parts into new cases. This should not be taken lightly. '96 and '97 had the torque limiter gear that is designed to slip due to a preloaded slip clutch arrangement. [Suzuki] went back to this design in mid '99 after vin # X2100561 so if your Vin # predates this you should consider installing this updated item shown above." -quoted from the Keintech website.
Suzuki, just like any other business, looks for ways to save money. Some engineer had a money saving idea that he convinced his boss to go with. The result is grenaded engines with center case breaking destruction with the correct chain of events during shutdown. It's not a reason not to buy a 98 or 99 before S/N X2100561 but you have to make the investment in the torque limiter for around $165US and make that part of the overall cost of the bike when considering these models."
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:38 AM   #71088
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neo1piv014 View Post
Do you not own the XR650L any more? From what I understand, those bikes are basically 1st cousins to the DR650, but with an 18" rear instead of 17" rear. I believe 2003 was the year they switched away from paper base gaskets. If possible, get one made after that year, or you'll be doing something about an oil leak down the line. If at all possible, find one that has an aftermarket seat and fuel tank on it. The stock fuel tank is a <100 mile tank, which is less than ideal, and the stock seat is almost universally despised. Other than that, it's hard to go wrong.
The Honda XR650L is quite a different bike to the DR650. But like the DR650, it's an "old" design ... not upgraded since it's introduction in around '92 or '93, IIRC. So that makes it about 5 years "older" than the DR, which was new from the ground up in '96. The XR-L was simply a modified NX or XR. I bought a brand new XR-L in 1993, and many friends bought them too. These bikes had their own problems but in some ways were better than the DR650 ... in other ways ... not so much.

The stock XR650L suspension is better than the DR650 off road ... but still needs fiddling to be "good".
The rear sub frame of the XR650L is notorious for cracking or breaking. Been there, seen it happen.

The left side Battery Box on the XR650L is also a poor idea. It can also break off, tearing wires for major components in the process. Seen it happen.

I never could ride my XR650L very well, handling was "odd" to me, top heavy and harsh. The Honda is also about 37" tall ... one of the tallest dual sports out there.
I do far better on my DR650, which is a natural flat tracker and, IMHO, more predictable both ON and OFF road.

BUT ... with effort the Honda can be set up to work quite well. Like the DR, certain things are lacking.

But perhaps the biggest Black Mark on the otherwise reliable Honda is the Engine HEAT. The Radial valve head gets very hot. There is no external oil cooler and no SACS (oil/air cooling system) like on the DR650.

XR-L's run very very hot. Most don't fail but tops ends will need attention on most that see serious off road duty. Oil is very critical on the Honda. Don't ask me how I know this. (PS: never use Mexican oil in Baja!)

Some Honda owners fit an oil cooler, brace rear sub frame and upgrade suspension. Now you've got a rugged dual sport that will last ... and it's almost as good as an upgraded DR650!

Both good bikes ... but very different in many ways.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:40 AM   #71089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barko1 View Post
Buy what looks well maintained and maybe with a few farkles but to me year isn't a big deal.
That's what I did in purchasing my 96. I have friends that purchased newer DR650s with more miles and less modifications for more $, but I wanted the extras mine came with, plus the better bargain. Other than some light corrosion here and there I think mine is just as good as theirs. No regrets on purchasing the older bike.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:39 PM   #71090
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Multisurface Rider View Post
Thanks for the replys, keep them coming.

No, I don't own a XR650L any more. I would rather the DR because of the oil spray on the bottom of the cylinder to help keep it cool and seat height is lower. Seat height is really not a problem with me.

I personally think the XR, DR and KLR are all good bikes.
Heck Calvin, you should pick one up and play around with it. They're cheap and easy to find. I've managed to put 7K miles on mine since I picked it up in Feb.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:40 PM   #71091
doug s.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyP View Post
It sounds like they've fixed a lot of the physical fitment issues with the kit but if they say this:

"Note: for DR650, we are still optimizing the close loop fuel. This motor does not like 14.7 AFR in many cases."

then it's not really PnP yet. For most users on this forum, switching between different tuning maps to find the one that works for you should be a very simple process. Getting the tuners to make those maps optimized for the engine is the part that will be out of most people's comfort zone. And if you aren't able to run in closed loop then you aren't getting the benefits that will allow you to run at various altitudes and temperatures in a way that maximizes mpg and power.

I work for a tiny company that makes hardware for reflashing car computers and we also write software for tuners working on Subaru and Mitsubishi, but we very carefully stay away from the tuning. Too much customer support at
that end of the equation :)
based on the email exchange i had w/matt at ecotron, i suspect this is a non-issue and that the website needs updating. i am sure anyone seriously interested could find out. matt was wery responsive to my questions...

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Old 11-15-2012, 12:53 PM   #71092
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyP View Post
That's what I did in purchasing my 96. I have friends that purchased newer DR650s with more miles and less modifications for more $, but I wanted the extras mine came with, plus the better bargain. Other than some light corrosion here and there I think mine is just as good as theirs. No regrets on purchasing the older bike.
I hear ya on and older bike, my KLR is a 92 and I have it rigged and ready to go.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:58 PM   #71093
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albie View Post
Heck Calvin, you should pick one up and play around with it. They're cheap and easy to find. I've managed to put 7K miles on mine since I picked it up in Feb.
Hey Albie,

I was wondering why you bought a DR when you have the 690?
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #71094
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Multisurface Rider View Post
Thanks for the replys, keep them coming.

No, I don't own a XR650L any more. I would rather the DR because of the oil spray on the bottom of the cylinder to help keep it cool and seat height is lower. Seat height is really not a problem with me.

I personally think the XR, DR and KLR are all good bikes.
The decision to get a DR650 was really a toss-up between those three bikes. It all just came down to what was available in my area with decent mileage, a good price, useful modifications, and looked well maintained.
I had my eye on a couple 2008+ KLRs (not so good offroad, but dang, they're comfy on the highway) as well as two different XR650L's that wound up being too beat up. As a matter of curiosity, are you selling your '92 KLR to buy this DR650? Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the pre-2008 KLRs known for being fairly decent on the trails?
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:15 PM   #71095
Ridin'nFishin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neo1piv014 View Post
The decision to get a DR650 was really a toss-up between those three bikes. It all just came down to what was available in my area with decent mileage, a good price, useful modifications, and looked well maintained.
I had my eye on a couple 2008+ KLRs (not so good offroad, but dang, they're comfy on the highway) as well as two different XR650L's that wound up being too beat up. As a matter of curiosity, are you selling your '92 KLR to buy this DR650? Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the pre-2008 KLRs known for being fairly decent on the trails?

No, I'm selling my 92, got too much in it and couldn't sell it for much. there is a lot of difference in my KLR and a stock one the same year. Progressive fork springs and shock transform this bike. I had 2 KLR's at the same time, 1 with stock suspension and 1 with Progressive, night and day difference. Mine runs good and has never let me down.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:35 PM   #71096
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra Thumper View Post
I honestly have to admit tho, I'm not quite understanding how your frame is failing you, and how you are failing to feel "like one" with your bike? If you're not competitively dirt or asphalt racing your DR, how is the frame letting you down?
Let me answer the last question first: no, I am not racing the DR, nor am I attempting to go particularly fast on it.

The frame flexes are very evident once you step on a (even mildly) rough dirt road: the wheels are not tracking on the same longitudinal plane, they oscillate left and right all the time, independently of each other. This phenomenon is not due to suspension components (which only allow movement on the vertical plane), but it's the frame flexing from the forces impacted on it from the road imperfections.

You can experience the same thing on asphalt when you cross a longitudinal seam at a shallow angle: the bike will wiggle a bit as you cross the seam; it's not as pronounced as on a dirt road, but you can get an idea of what is going on.

This flexing of the frame is not necessarily a bad thing; Honda famously introduced controlled flexing of its frames in the XR series in the late 70s (and carried it forward through the 80s and 90s), making the bikes very forgiving, compensating somewhat for the sub-standard suspension components of that era. I raced an XR350R for a couple of years in the late 80s and I was always placing in the top three, so frame flexes are not only liveable, but could be beneficial too.

But notice what I said above about the Honda flexible frames: the flexes were controlled, that is, the engineers knew at what frequencies the frame oscillations developed, and they provided damping at those frequencies (to be exact, underdamping, i.e., the damping ratio was less than 1). Practically what that meant was that as long as you were on the throttle, the frame would constantly wiggle, absorbing some of the lateral forces, but as soon as you closed the throttle, the frame would quiet down and would track straighter. This made for a very forgiving ride, but it also meant that this instability limited the rider on how fast they could go and how much they could push the bike.

So now we come to the DR, which seems to have as flexible a frame as the old XRs, but seems to have none of their engineered damping -- and that makes for a bike that is unpredictable and uncontrollable in extreme situations. On the road this manifests in an indistinct feeling, but in most cases it is masked by the suspension components (which have their own problems).

For me though, the days of such bikes with a vague feeling of the road are long gone: I graduated from the XR to an IT 200, then onto a Husky 250, etc., and, in hindsight, the XR was a major setback in my development as a rider: the subsequent bikes allowed me to do things I could never imagine possible with the XR, and made me a better rider for it.

And then I suddenly hop onto the DR (my first street-legal bike in 20 years) and I find myself transported 25 years back in time, to a place I had long thought I would never have to revisit.

So no, I cannot enjoy the DR as a motorcycle, that is, as something that will connect me to the road; but as a vehicle for exploration, the DR has been wonderful: it has taken me to the far reaches of the state, and has filled me with great images and experiences. Too bad for me that I am looking for something more in a bike.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:59 PM   #71097
eakins
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did you upgrade your suspension at all or is it stock?
guess you have great senses as i don't find the frame flexing like you describe.
if you're used to fine tuned race bikes then yeah the DR is not that nor was it designed that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkol View Post
Let me answer the last question first: no, I am not racing the DR, nor am I attempting to go particularly fast on it.

The frame flexes are very evident once you step on a (even mildly) rough dirt road: the wheels are not tracking on the same longitudinal plane, they oscillate left and right all the time, independently of each other. This phenomenon is not due to suspension components (which only allow movement on the vertical plane), but it's the frame flexing from the forces impacted on it from the road imperfections.

You can experience the same thing on asphalt when you cross a longitudinal seam at a shallow angle: the bike will wiggle a bit as you cross the seam; it's not as pronounced as on a dirt road, but you can get an idea of what is going on.

This flexing of the frame is not necessarily a bad thing; Honda famously introduced controlled flexing of its frames in the XR series in the late 70s (and carried it forward through the 80s and 90s), making the bikes very forgiving, compensating somewhat for the sub-standard suspension components of that era. I raced an XR350R for a couple of years in the late 80s and I was always placing in the top three, so frame flexes are not only liveable, but could be beneficial too.

But notice what I said above about the Honda flexible frames: the flexes were controlled, that is, the engineers knew at what frequencies the frame oscillations developed, and they provided damping at those frequencies (to be exact, underdamping, i.e., the damping ratio was less than 1). Practically what that meant was that as long as you were on the throttle, the frame would constantly wiggle, absorbing some of the lateral forces, but as soon as you closed the throttle, the frame would quiet down and would track straighter. This made for a very forgiving ride, but it also meant that this instability limited the rider on how fast they could go and how much they could push the bike.

So now we come to the DR, which seems to have as flexible a frame as the old XRs, but seems to have none of their engineered damping -- and that makes for a bike that is unpredictable and uncontrollable in extreme situations. On the road this manifests in an indistinct feeling, but in most cases it is masked by the suspension components (which have their own problems).

For me though, the days of such bikes with a vague feeling of the road are long gone: I graduated from the XR to an IT 200, then onto a Husky 250, etc., and, in hindsight, the XR was a major setback in my development as a rider: the subsequent bikes allowed me to do things I could never imagine possible with the XR, and made me a better rider for it.

And then I suddenly hop onto the DR (my first street-legal bike in 20 years) and I find myself transported 25 years back in time, to a place I had long thought I would never have to revisit.

So no, I cannot enjoy the DR as a motorcycle, that is, as something that will connect me to the road; but as a vehicle for exploration, the DR has been wonderful: it has taken me to the far reaches of the state, and has filled me with great images and experiences. Too bad for me that I am looking for something more in a bike.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:16 PM   #71098
Rusty Rocket
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
my DR650, which is a natural flat tracker
Mine too. Brings a smile and a flat track hero feeling, every time I let loose on a nice graded dirt curve.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:19 PM   #71099
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DR650 breaks off drain plug @ 2:10 vid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13cR80h-QNo&feature=plcp
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:23 PM   #71100
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Seriously. Come on, some of you guys here know, Ive owned many bikes like this. KTM's small, med and 950's, XRL's, Husky's, an F800, R1200's and so on.
The DR rides and runs excellent offroad on DS type terrain. Frame flex ?
I'd need a Richter scale to notice that.
I had a new Hercules in 1978. Now that may have flexed

This bike just does it for me. I dont mean to sound offensive, but I can buy any bike I want, mulitple bikes. I just cant think of a reason to with that DR in the garage. Yea, I aint getting the looks and questions my 990 or Super Ten or 690 buddies are at Starbucks, but I could give a flip. This bike is a low maintence, easy to own and does anything I want it too. There is a new 2013 Super Ten at a dealer 4 miles from my house. Im tempted to give it a spot in the garage, but I honestly can't think of a good reason too.
Also, to me, the DR feels bicycle light and nimble. But of course its last stable mate in my garage was my R1200ADV
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