Pre '96 Suzuki DR650S

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by DRS Canada, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. DRS Canada

    DRS Canada Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I've just picked up a '93 in good shape and am wondering if any of you have any insights/help regarding this machine? It is basic in design, nothing too complicated. I've received some good tire advice about tires from you guys, but I am looking forward to hearing others experience with this or a similar machine. Anything to keep an eye on and so forth...

    P.S. the unit runs fine. I am curious to know if there are any common known flaws to this unit.
    #1
  2. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,819
    Location:
    Northern NSW
    Common flaws are few as far as I am aware. The main thing is to keep an eye on the balance chain adjustment every 4-5,000km's. Apart from that regular servicing should be all it needs.

    I put 65,000km's on a 1994 model and really didn't have any problems with it. The bike was a good platform for an outback tourer and still capable in the forests with a bit of modification. The biggest factors to look at when improving the bike are weight and suspension. There is a lot of unecessary bulk on the early 650's and it's dirt abilities are hampered by it. Reduce the weight and have a tinker with the suspension (cartridge emulators in the forks and possible a decent shock) and the bike will work pretty well in most areas. They are certainly comfortable on long trips.

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. DRS Canada

    DRS Canada Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Good to hear. Nice photo, what is the brand and capacity of the tank? Favorite tire combo? Thanks for the reply...
    #3
  4. Win38-55

    Win38-55 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    653
    Location:
    Patten, Maine, USA
    Just put some old Jessie's on mine.[​IMG] I have had no problems with mine yet. Don't expect any. :rofl More Suzuki pics.
    #4
  5. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Aug 20, 2003
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    Location:
    Northern NSW
    The tank holds 25 litres and is made by Acerbis, I think they are still available.

    [​IMG]

    Tyres depend on what you are planning to do with it. Pirelli MT21's front and rear are pretty good for mixed riding although there are plenty of others depending on which end of the road/dirt spectrum you planning on.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. DRS Canada

    DRS Canada Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Good info thanks. Win 35-85, what the heck are jessies? I'm kinda new on this block...
    #6
  7. I have a 2000 that I got used last February. I was looking at buying a KLR and the dealer sold it about a week before I was ready to pull the trigger. I'm glad that I ended up the with the DR though, it handles my 20 mile commute in fine fashion and it has been reliable. I will say that it was still in stock trim and it was running quite lean which was a major headache in rush hour traffic. It would kill occasionally and surge quite a bit. I just got done installing a FMF Q-series pipe, Stage 2 carb kit, a K&N filter and I did the Jesse Kientz airbox mod. Wow, is this still the same bike? I did a little math and with conserative guesses on horsepower increase it came out to a 20% power to weight increase, and it feels like more. It runs much better and doesn't surge anymore either. What is amazing is that I went with a 160 main that is two sizes over the stock main and it still pops off-throttle like it is still a smidge lean. It's pretty cold here in MN now so it will probably be spot on once it warms up in the spring. Now my base gasket looks like old faithful, I'm working with my dealer to see if Suzuki will cover it. I've read in a couple forums of guys getting it covered out of warranty by Suzuki. I'm looking at getting some stiffer springs front and rear and then I will be pretty much done with the mods. I'm happy with it, just a little different focus than the KLR which is great bike also.
    #7
  8. lemmiwinks

    lemmiwinks sometime dirt squirter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    585
    Location:
    51st state of the U.S.A
    I've got a 1999 model (well, ok its a Suzuki Freewind, but it's still a DR650 motor) and so far (11,000kms) it's been great. Never missed a beat and never looked like giving trouble either and I've ridden in everything from desert to highways to snow. Before I bought it, I was actually trying to decide wether to buy a DR650 or KLR650 so I spent hours searching for owners reports on both bikes details any problems they'd had. I found a few for the KLR, but apart from the weeping base gasket on some DR650's it was all pretty good. The only thing with mine is a slight oil leak from the rocker cover. But that only happens when you ride it hard (130kph+) for an extended period of time :D The other great thing about the DR is screw and locknut vavle adjusters make it soooo easy to do your own valve clearances.
    #8
  9. ODSC1

    ODSC1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    I had a 1991 DR650. I put 38,000km on it during one trip and sold the bike with over 82,000km in 2000. The only modification I made was to add Progressive fork springs. I never touched the engine until it had 50,000km on it. Super reliable bike!

    What province are you in?

    Brian
    Ontario Dual Sport Club
    #9
  10. DRS Canada

    DRS Canada Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I'm in snowy Alberta. I get out to BC for group rides fairly often. I'm on shiftwork so I can string some decent time off together. I Ride mostly Kelowna and North. Really enjoy the areas North of Kamloops, the back corridor into Whistler, Lillooet and area, Marble Canyon etc. Lots to see as I'm sure you could tell me the same about your trails.

    I have to ask, Favorite Tire combo? Lotsa variety in the answers I've received. My riding bias is 70% street - 30% dirt...
    #10
  11. ODSC1

    ODSC1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    DRS Canada

    Here are a couple DS Clubs that you should check out;

    Dual Sport BC
    Alberta Dual sport Club

    For a good, cheap and long lasting DS tire you should take a look at the Kenda K270. Much more aggressive than stock type DS tires but still quite streetable. I have a set of these Kendas that I use on my XR650R for more road oriented rides.

    I've heard good things about the Avon Gripsters. They are a more road oriented tire than the Kendas and a bit more expensive.

    Brian
    #11
  12. RACIN RAY

    RACIN RAY n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9
    i have a 93 dr 650 when i removed the original death wings [ dunlop trailwing ] i replaced them with a knobby tire but found with highway use and the over all size of the bike they just did not last so i went to a avon gripster and loved them till the day they wore out i now use the avon distanzia and allthough a mostly street oriented tire they work very well for all my use.as for any type of mechanical problems i can honestly say you have youre self a great bike . i have had mine since 93 rebuilt the top end 1 time and had to rebuild the entire motor 1 time not because of parts failure but my own stupidity [ rock thru crank case] i now have a 91 bash plate on the bike aswell as the same acerbis tank as you saw earlier 6.6 gallons you never run out i have progressive front springs . progressive rear shock . supertrapp exhaust. acerbis hand gaurds as for the engine weisco piston, and performance cam, dyno jet kit .i must say this baby hauls most of my riding is adventure touring WERE THE ROAD NEVER ENDS .
    #12
  13. pirate277

    pirate277 Earl of Leisure

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Calgary Alberta
    I have 1993 DR650 with 55000 km. No engine problems unless one counts the odd cold cranky kickstart nonstart.

    I am on my second set of Kenda 270s and they last me 10,000 km of 50/50 pavement/gravel roads.

    I did increase the rear sprocket by 6, 42 to 48 which is a 14% lower gearing and it makes first gear much more useable.

    Rear shock and fork serviced at 40000km.

    I live in Calgary and usually do 300km daytrips around this area and am available for rides Mon to Fri.

    There are lots of roads that are posted as unmaintained and no exit, but are great for adventure riding.
    #13
  14. ibcmcl

    ibcmcl Idaho Back Country

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    McCall, Idaho
    I bought a the "90" DR650S here in Idaho and have put about 15.00 in it so far. It has a little over 7,000 miles on it and was a motorhome traveler before I got it. A new mag cover gasket, balance chain adjustment, and fresh oil and it does fine. The elevation here is a bit over 5,000 feet ASL and the bike does not seem to run hot. It has Michelin Anakee tires on it.
    It will need rear brake pads here soon.
    I am trying to find some soft luggage for it, but so far, have not had any luck. I need some bags that will not get into the exhaust and may have to have a welder make the racks for the bags, then pick the bags from there.
    Am also looking for pannier bags for the tank.

    Any info on bags would be greatly appreciated.

    Larry-McCall, Idaho
    #14
  15. YooperMon

    YooperMon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    549
    Location:
    Marquette, MI
    Sold my '03 DR650 last year.

    DUMB DUMB DUMN DUMB DUMB. :cry
    #15
  16. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    46,747
    Location:
    Gates of Moscow
    You're riding my old stomping grounds in BC. Fun stuff. Would not recommend the 270's for that terrain as they won't stand up to the sharp rocks that makes up the trails there. They're good for Ontario with our messier conditions. Look to the TKC80's if you're gonna do that much road, as they'll still do a great job offroad in the Highlands and yet still give you good road manners.
    #16
  17. ibcmcl

    ibcmcl Idaho Back Country

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    McCall, Idaho
    I hate to bring up the issue of tire pressures again, but, how much pressure should I run in the rear anakee tire on this bike. At 25 pounds, it gets HOT.
    Doesn't seem normal to me.
    Any info is appreciated.

    ibcmcl
    #17
  18. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

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    Aug 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,074
    Location:
    "My leg's tired, let's live here."
    what did you replace it with? and why do you miss it so much?
    #18
  19. MMcnamara

    MMcnamara Where does that go?

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,012
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Does anyone know where all the kickstart only DR650S, not SE, went? How about if the old ~5.5 gallon tank fits the newer SE models?

    Mark
    #19
  20. AkBrian

    AkBrian Long timer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,733
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
    I've got a '90, which isn't too much different from a '93. Nice bike. I'll second the part about remembering to adjust the balancer shaft chain. There's some good info about the early bikes in my thread about the '90 DR's from a few days ago.
    -AkBrian
    #20