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Old 06-14-2005, 12:55 AM   #1
AkBrian OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2005
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Oddometer: 12,654
Who else has a 1990 DR650S or DR650R?

First off, I've got a 2005 DL650 and a 1990 DR650. In another thread I noticed that another person actually has a 1990 DR650 (a DR650R for you euro types). To the uninitiated, the 1990 is a unique DR, unlike any since. In case you haven't studied Susie history, a excellent primer is here;

I just figured I'd start a tread for owners of this truly bastard motorcycle. What makes a '90 unique?

Massive skid plate

¾ ton rated rear rack

Kick start only. Super easy start if you know the decompresser routine, impossible if you don't. Battery really only there for the turn signals.

Huge gas tank. 5 something gallons.

Real analog Tachometer and Speedo.

Huge (but hard) seat with lots of different seating positions possible.

Of course the bad part is that the factory suspension was for shipping purposes only. Mines got a Progressive Suspension front and rear. I had a failure of the Progressive rear shock after ten years, and the folks at Progressive warranted it, and made a replacement for it, even though the application is out of their catalog now. Can't beat that kind of service.

I've geared it down it 16/46 and now that I've got a DL for long road trips, I'll put Pirelli MT21's back on the DR (it's got Sahara 3 on the front and a Dunlop Trailmax on the back right now.). I've got a Scott's shifter and a dual density foam filter. I couldn't find a side rack for the bike so I made a kustom rack for soft bags in a couple hours out of 3/4” CPVC plumbing pipe, purple solvent glue, and shiny aluminum tape. Real preeety, but it keeps my saddle bags from melting. ( the 90' doesn't have any real shielding on the muffler).

It really has been a great bike. I've got the DL now for road trips and really like the 6 speed it has, the gearing on the ole '90 was always too high or too low.

Who else has a '90? Any stories?

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Old 06-21-2005, 06:23 AM   #2
Idaho Back Country
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: McCall, Idaho
Oddometer: 17
1990 DR650s

I have a 1990 DR650S, found it here in Idaho. Seems to be a good bike, but REAL hard to find accessories for. I have put about 1500 miles on it here so far in the last three months.
I really need a rack to protect my saddlebags from a melt-down.

A few minor maintenance issues so far, but I think they are from the previous owners neglect more than anything else. Have made a fairing bag that works for small objects, and modified an old SHARP tank bag that I had years ago on a touring bike.
Would like to hear from you on that Kustom saddlebag rack.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:13 AM   #3
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Canada
Oddometer: 1,186
Had one, back in the early '90's. Way cool looking. Being in my early 20's at the time, I could still fantasize about being in the Paris-Dakar while standing on the pegs, blasting down a dirt road, (not that I can't still fantasize about running the P-D, but it's just so damn far from the realm of possibility now, why bother?). That bike sure looked the part. And, youthful enthusiasm, (stupidity?), not withstanding, I did some off-road stuff on that thing that should have resulted in a helicopter rescue effort, but thankfully didn't.

I loved its' rugged character, if not its' heavy vibration and propensity to stall at the most inopportune times, necessitating that (yes, easy, but slow) decompression routine in the middle of intersections several times.

I have an '01 DR650 now and it really is a better bike, but it does lack the earlier Rally Raid good looks. I've tried to compensate with a big plastic tank and some off-road accessories, but yours' still rules in the tough looks department. And it's still a great bike and a bit rare, so don't sell it!
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:35 AM   #4
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Atlanta GA or London UK
Oddometer: 1,003
It may have been planned as a home market only bike, the Suzuki history site misses the homologation specials that Suzuki sold only in Japan, some of these later made it to full production, I actually had a 1986 DR800, yes I did say 1986, it did not have the "Big" designation, but this was imported from Japan by a wholesaler in the U.K. It did not have a beak.

With is being an oddball they sold it to me for a bargain price and it was the best bike I ever owned, I kept it for 17 years and put nearly 400k miles on it, two years after I bought, engine spares actually became available because of the general sale of it's spawn in the form of the DR 750/800.

I understand that the 650 started out as a homologation special after it was mooted that there were going to be capacity limitations introduced in the pd. I understand that the Jap market first saw them in 1988, but obviously Suzuki decided to make them available in limited numbers under the Dakar badge in later years.
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Old 06-21-2005, 08:24 AM   #5
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Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Spokane
Oddometer: 4,679
Thanks for this post. I will keep my eye out for a 1990 from now on.

"And you still can hear me talkin' to the people who don't listen to the things that I am sayin' praying someone's gonna hear.
I guess I'll die explainin' that the things that they complain about are things they could be changin' thinkin' someone's gonna care.
I was born a lonely singer, and I guess I'll die the same, but I've got to feed the hunger in my soul.
And if I never have a nickel I won't ever die ashamed, cause the truth remains that no-one wants to know


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Old 06-22-2005, 12:25 PM   #6
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Joined: Sep 2004
Location: St. Simons Island, GA
Oddometer: 43
There's a 90 DR 650 on ebay right now.
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Old 06-22-2005, 02:16 PM   #7
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Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Canada
Oddometer: 1,186

That's the one I had. Beefy looking, eh? I wish i could get a disk/fork leg protector like that for my '01 DR. And I like the front number plate/mini windshield - very Paris-Dakar.

Somebody should snap that up and give it a good home.
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:32 PM   #8
Las Vegas Nevada
Joined: Oct 2003
Oddometer: 523
I remember those, darn good looking bike I almost bought one in 90 but bought a new 90 KLR insted because of the electric start. I still wish I had bought one of those, better looking than the KLR or the newer DR650 IMHO.
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:08 PM   #9
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Joined: Aug 2002
Location: El Dorado Hills, CA
Oddometer: 49
I owned one but it was totaled by a cab driver that was zig-zagging through traffic and rear-ended me at 60 MPH. I loved that bike .
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:33 PM   #10
Idaho Back Country
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: McCall, Idaho
Oddometer: 17
90 DR650S saddlebag racks

I started the process today to build saddlebag racks for my 650S. I moved the rear turn signals to the rear of the rack, and dropped them down under the rack about 3 inches.
Will use 5/8 inch aluminum rod, TIG welded into a square and attached to the rear foot peg bolt and then up to the bolt on the rear rack next to the hole where the turn signals were. For the time being I'm going to use the soft bags I have, but with the heavy aluminum rod, may change to hard panniers later on.
Am also going to weld on a short extension to the rear of the exhaust to point the outflow slightly downward.

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Old 06-23-2005, 02:59 AM   #11
AkBrian OP
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Joined: May 2005
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Oddometer: 12,654
Really enjoying the history. What a shame we never got the "Bigs" here in the US. Thanks for the 800 info buckster, I've always wondered about those.

ibcml, I took some photos of my makeshift rack tonight, but won't be able to post them till tommorow night at the earliest. I will try and describe it now as best I can. It's like a removable framework that sits on top of the factory rack. It's just lashed to the factory rack when needed (NOTE: I had already relocated my turn signals straight back about 6"). The framework made out of 3/4" SDR 11 CPVC fresh water plumbing pipe. CPVC is good for a little higher temperature than PVC. It's off white. It's really cheap and very tough. It bends rather than breaks, and doesn't weigh much of anything. You need these solvent type fittings (press on) to go with the pipe. Any hardware store will have them.
7 each 90° elbow
5 each Tees
2 each 45° elbow

Also get a roll or two of aluminum furnace flue tape. (NOT the same thing as duct tape), EDIT: also get CPVC cement, and CPVC primer.

from a 10 foot stick or two cut pieces about this long;

2 each 14"
3 each 9"
2 each 9-1/4"
4 each 4"
2 each 2-1/2"
1 each 6-1/2"
1 each 5-1/2"
1 each 8-1/2"

These really have to be cut to fit. I just had guess how much they go into each fitting.

The two long pipes go across the top of the factory rack, and have 90° elbows on them pointing down.

On the left side of the bike (none exhaust side ) stick two 9-1/4" inch sticks in the elbows. These point down. On the forward left side use a 90° elbow then a 9" hoizontal stick which then goes into a tee to connect it to the left rear vertical stick. a 2-1/2" pipe goes in the bottom of this rear tee, a cross brace assembly connect to it. It will go around the back of the bike. I'll describe it later.

On the right side of the bike (exhaust) stick 4" pipes in the top elbows, then 2 tees and a 9" horizontal stick. Stick two more 4" pipes in the bottom of the tees, then another 9" horzontal stick and two more tees.
The bottom the front tee stays open. A 2-1/2" stick goes in the bottom of the back tee. The crossbrace will connect to it.

The crossbrace (from left to right) is made up of a 90° elbow pointing up, then a 6-1/2" stick then a 45° elbow (horizontal), a 5-1/2" stick, then another 45° elbow (horizontal) , then a 8-1/2" stick, then a 90° elbow pointing up. Connect crossbrace to the Right and Left Sides.

Put all this together dry and adjust the parts and pieces to what works for you. For speed you can use ratcheting plastic pipe cutters instead of a hacksaw. When every thing is perfect, then glue it all together with CPVC solvent glue. Wrap the flue tape between the two 9" horizontal pipes on the right side of the bike. Use lots of wraps. Lash to rack with your favorite webing or rope. Move it to the exhaust side of the bike as much as possible. I've used it for several thousand miles of carrying softbags. Not much risk of it getting stolen either:) I hope it's possible to follow this narrative. :) -AkBrian

AkBrian screwed with this post 06-23-2005 at 04:15 PM
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Old 06-23-2005, 06:19 AM   #12
Idaho Back Country
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: McCall, Idaho
Oddometer: 17

sleep fuddled mind is now active. Yes, the directions do make sense for some reason.
I have a friend here who has an older (89) XT600 and is a master welder. I asked him about this and he started to drag out pieces and parts and other things and an electric drill. It was like watching a dentist approach. Getting paranoid, as I looked on, he said, "easy fix, like pulling teeth".
He made a set od bags for his XT that look like Happy-Trail or Jesse panniers.

Will await the pics of your rack before I make a decision about what to do.

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Old 06-23-2005, 11:25 AM   #13
AkBrian OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2005
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Oddometer: 12,654
The setup I'm talking about really just keeps the bags off the exhaust and tire. It relies solely on the factory rack to carry the weight. It's really just a quick, cheap and easy fix for light soft bags.

A Happytrails type rack is a much more robust solution, which no doubt will have a much greater carry capacity because it beefs up the subframe with the tie to the passenger foot peg support. If you have the means and the time, then I would recommend going the welded route.

Links to photos of the cpvc rack

AkBrian screwed with this post 06-23-2005 at 04:06 PM
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Old 03-21-2006, 03:30 AM   #14
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: ireland
Oddometer: 1
dr 650

i have a dr 650r.i love it,murder to kick start.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:41 AM   #15
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Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Canada
Oddometer: 1,186
Originally Posted by johnfquinn
i have a dr 650r.i love it,murder to kick start.
There's a routine you kind of have to follow to the letter. I can't remember, something like pulling the decompression lever then kicking throught 'til it pops out some, I assume to find TDC, then kicking, no throttle. I'm going back about 14 years so my memory of the procedure, (or most things?), isn't exactly fresh, but if you have the orig. owners manual it should tell you. Anyway, if you follow it, it should start 1-2 kicks.
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