DR650 3rd gear blowups

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by NordieBoy, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. sagedrifter

    sagedrifter Southern Explorer

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    I put 1400 hard miles on my 07 DR650 this week on a camping trip. Still good and reliable. I run with a heavy load at a brisk pace using the most crooked route available. The front tire needs changing though... Stupid bike hasn't blown up yet so I can't justify getting another one yet. :D
  2. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    I'm posting this from Idaho. I took a Dr650 because its the bike I have. I still worry about the gearbox every day. Hasn't given me a problem yet, and the closer I get to Alaska the better I figure my odds are that I'll make it there and around there. If it blows after that I'll be pissed, but at least i saw alaska. Its been a blast. Before you ask, I've changed the oil myself using full synthetic Suzuki oil under 1000 miles every time. I'm running lower gearing and I'm only carrying 50 pounds of crap. I love the bike... so long as it keeps running. I figure all I've done will help lessen the odds as nearly all the bike planning has been based on being easy to the gearbox. It shouldn't have to be that way- if I had a WR I wouldnt have to worry, but then I couldn't do 70 uphill in a headwind at 4k feet either.

    I am struggling with a RR. I've been writing one but not posting. I don't think I have much to offer that others haven't already shared. Snowrider for instance. I'm no great writer or photographer.

    Somehow, perhaps being cynical, I feel the only reason you asked was to point out implicitly that I'm going cross country on a DR, or to imply I'm all talk if I wasn't going. Sorry if that's too cynical, but I'm used to being attacked on what I feel is a fanboy excuse thread instead of a "Suzuki fix your shit you cheap bastards" thread.
  3. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    GSF, I'd like to read your RR. I'm no great writer or photographer either so I'm sure I'll be able to understand your words and pics. :lol3 :thumb
  4. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I feel you've overreacted to the 3rd gear issue ... but you're not alone. You can believe what you want ... free country. But just don't forget the FACTS and the HISTORY.

    I don't care what reactionary imaginings you chose to believe ...

    but I do care about you ... and wish you a Safe and Fun trip. I hate it when fellow riders get hurt ... or worse. Getting out there doing cross country is an awesome challenge ....Big Kudos! ... and we don't need no stinkin' ride report to give you big ups for getting out there and doin' it.
    :clap:freaky:clap:freaky

    BTW, I've never done a Ride Report on ADV Rider :lol3 Even though I'm a professional moto writer ... and get paid for every article I've ever written .. for 20 years. ADV doesn't pay much ... so why bother? You're right, AK has been covered 9 ways to Sunday. Hard to top the hundreds of well written, innovative reports already here.

    What will you do when your DR650 gets past 50,000 miles and ... still ... that pesky gear box hasn't bombed out? :ear
    You could always toss a few nuts and bolts into the oil to be "right" ... and make your premonition come true. Boy, now that would really convince Suzuki to step up and fix the problem! :rofl

    Rubber Side Down! ... and may the Gear Box Gremlins stay in Australia!
  5. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    2005 DR650, 12000 miles, rode hard but not put away wet -

    I was at the end of a 200 mile trip from home to Bryson City, NC. The last 50 miles were at speeds ~60mph. As I took the ramp off Exit 67, Highway 74. I herd a loud crunch (or crack) and lost power - the motor was still running. I tried the gearshift but it seemed to be locked up. I coasted the 1/2 mile down to the hill to the gas station at Highway 19. When I got off the bike I found a broken chain and the transmission seemed to be locked. I removed sprocket cover and was able to get the sprocket to turn and the gear shifter to work. A friend (thanks Big Don) brought me a chain, and I tried to ride the bike. It cranked OK, went into first gear, then the trans locked as I tried to pull away. I gracefully stepped off the bike as it tipped over in the parking lot. :D After that, the bike would not start and the starter would not turn. While rolling the bike around the lot, I discovered that there was no 5th gear. Bike is home now waiting for some wrench love. I am going to read through this thread some more to try an learn from the experience of others. I am inclined to try and do the rebuild myself. I would appreciate some advice about finding the best parts. I would also like to hear what others have spent on the repair.

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  6. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    It doesnt have to be that way,Your reading this thread too much,relax and ride the stupid thing,it's only a bike and any bike can quit at any time for any reason.

    If every DR rider chimed in who put 60 or 70,000 or more miles on these bikes with 0 problems this thread would be very large indeed.

    Or sell it and buy a BMW,certainly never any problems with those.
  7. Davis53

    Davis53 Been here awhile

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    I would not change the oil so often. Just make sure you use motorcycle type oil. I change oil at 3000 miles with a petroleum based oil, using a synthetic oil I would change at 6000 miles, or more. You are throwing away good oil. This is just my opinion.

    There are more DR650's with no gearbox problems that bad ones, so just have a good time.
  8. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    Even a KTM 690 with its myriad of odd and annoying problems doesn't suffer a engine+gearbox go bye bye at least anywhere near as often. We have two more folks that just had the drs weak gearbox go boom- the one you told me "ferchristsakes" on and one an hour and a half before your post telling me of all the successful drs (many nothing but street queens). There are some we are pretty sure (we being the collective in this thread) were 3rd gear blowups, but they will NEVER be on this thread because they were sold away, etc. Then we get into all the Drs that blow gearboxes that we don't even know about.

    But you go ahead and keep defending Suzuki and its stalwart dependability with the Dr650.. I'll continue considering the very real possibility that mine could blow and take my life in the process. To ignore that reality is fucking stupid and is a classic sign of fanboyism.

    I'll say it again in case any of you didn't hear me the first million times: any problem that threatens the life of the rider and is more than a fluke is complete and total bullshit that should not be accepted. Your acceptance is exactly what corporations, like Suzuki, like- shut up, give us your money and either die or deal with whatever is fucked up after our product fails to deliver. Suzuki even fails at failing predictably.

    Next step is to have me banned from the forums or warned by a moderator that my criticisms or bitching or whining is not welcome. Sad part? I'm gambling (albeit with good odds) with my life on a dr650 because I'm too broke to do anything else.

    My next bike will be an xr650l, wr290r or a drz400. Prolly not the drz because fuck suzuki- especially when they raised the price on the Dr without even using loctite on the nsu screws "ferchrissakes"

    Cheers on the BMW comments.. they are bad too with the forks breaking away from the front wheel etc. I personally will never own anything bmw.. too much expense and still many problems
  9. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    I change oil based on a smooth shifting gearbox. Perhaps I am changing it too often, but shifting improves and we all know by now what my primary preservation aim is-gearbox.

    That said, 3k miles is too much with the dirt riding I do. My oil is dark by 1k miles, and the compression checks good and I clean the air filter regularly (twin air with belray air filter oil worked in but not wrung out so as to tear the filter) so it isn't blow by (or at least an excessive amount). Its prolly minute fragments of gear, clutch material, etc.

    This last section through Oregon and Washington is the most pavement I've done since I've owned this bike. Everyone seems to look at these as street bikes- am I the only one left tempting fate running the piss out of it on dirt?
  10. sagedrifter

    sagedrifter Southern Explorer

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    The DR650 has been much more reliable than my past bikes, two of those left me stranded, a KTM and a Honda and even my 07 FJR had major electrical issues. Thankfully we have many choices on what to ride.

    If you don't trust the DR650, try a KLR650 or BMW.... :rofl I've yet to have a 100% reliable bike, the DR650 has been the most reliable so far though.

    As my 2007 ages I'm happy with it. Its lasted longer than expected, reading this thread made me think it would never make 15,000 miles, its way past that now and I beat the hell out of mine. I've gotten more bang from my buck with the DR650 than any other bike I've owned. Two people have learned to shift on it, so it has been abused. :eek1

    I like to change oil around 3,000 miles because the shifting gets "less smooth" by then. So, I'm in the same boat there, let the transmission tell you when to change oil. My DR650 always liked a synthetic 10w40 best. I get what ever name brand oil is on sale and stock up when I can. Lots of guys around here have 40 to 50,000 miles on their DR650's. I doubt I will get up that high, but it gives me hope that I can.
  11. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    If it gets past 50k, I'll sell it being sure any potential buyer sees this thread and never look back as I purchase a bike that doesn't have an unpredictable, completely catastrophic, and potentially fatal problem that still exists because Suzuki is too cheap to fix or try to fix it... but certainly willing to raise the price to make more money
  12. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    You've mentioned the only two I won't buy :lol3

    Its a shame really. Its more on account of principle that I get another bike. The dr650 is perfect for me in just about every way.. but I don't support a company that places money above life. Sadly, that will leave me in a cardboard box before too long. Since noone has the balls to stand up to corporations (or the money since everyone keeps funding them), they all head down this path
  13. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    I do not own my 1996 DR650 any more. I sold it to my brother. While I had it, I stumbled across this thread, and it made me nervous. I started paying very close attention to the gearbox, and to shifting in particular. To date, the bike has no problems that I am aware of.
    A long time ago, I rebuilt my first motorcycle transmission. It was a Zundapp 125. When I split the cases, well, I was just amazed at how it worked, and how all of those small parts were able to take such a beating (or not). Ever since that experience, I have always treated my transmissions with care. I try to make each shift as quick and positive as I can, without intruding too much into the riding experience. I stopped "banging" and hammering gears, and dropping downshifts like I had full factory support. Those little drive dogs, gears, and forks can only take so much, and, like door hinges, they wear out over time.
    So, to all who have *not* dropped their DR650 transmission I say - Ride well. Enjoy the experience, but keep in the back of your mind that the parts transferring power to your rear wheel are rather small, and delicate. Keep your shifts "clean", and ride without worry.
    I now have a new KTM, and a new V-Strom 650, and I have a whole bunch of new things to worry about - not excluding the transmissions on both.
    JMO.
  14. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    I just ran out of the last Mobil 1 15w-50 I bought when I heard it was being discontinued (2005)
    I do like full synthetic and I won't pay the price for a motorcycle specific oil. :nono Oil and filter at 3500 miles.
    They do?!?! :eek1 Oh, wait.....................:D

    Dayem, that is very well written. :thumb Even when I raced, I was 'mechanically sympathetic'. If I broke the darn thing I had to fix it.

    Many years ago someone asked A J Foyt why Danny Ongais was so much faster than other drivers? And early in the race he was usually toward the front. Until he broke something.

    A J snapped back "First ya gotta finish, before ya can finish first."
  15. 996DL

    996DL Buell me

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    finally back in paradise...
    :bueller

    996DL
  16. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    :fyyff

    :bert

    GSF1200S
  17. doug s.

    doug s. Long timer

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    maybe it is time you sell that pos dr650 of yours. if not, stop freaking whining already; jeez. everyone here knows how you feel about this. :dhorse

    imo, the dr650 is no worse than any other motorcycle, and better than most, when it comes to reliability, and/or "known" issues that are problem areas. and, motorcycling isn't the safest activity - you're more likely to have a fatal incident from something other than a 3rd gear failure. in fact, afaik, there have not been any fatalities related to this failure mode.

    at least i have the pleasure of knowing you are so freaking neurotic about it, that it impedes on the enjoyment of your ride! :lol3

    doug s.
  18. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    I personally am aware of 3 DR650 transmission failures right here in my little podunk town. Two were the same person (and riding friend) and the other, one of the owners of a prominent body shop. Neither of these guys beat on their bikes. But, these don't count because they're not members of ADVrider--and I understand and agree with that.
    But that just goes to show you, really, just how many have grenaded that we aren't aware of?

    And my friend with the 2 DRs? He's on his 3rd now. He loves them. :D All of them were bought new...
  19. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    At least he's building a solid case to sue Suzuki over for the rest of us.
  20. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    You should consider staying home with the drapes drawn and watching TV news.
    There's danger everywhere and your dwelling on it.
    If your so sure your DR will explode,why do you ride it?

    Mine runs smooth and I dont worry a lick about it.