the DR200 thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by klxrdr, May 13, 2007.

  1. pozo

    pozo n00b

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    After reading some of the suggestions here, I went ahead and replaced my front sprocket from the stock 15T to 16T, thinking it would do wonders for my bike. The result? My 2001 DR200SE instantly turned sluggish, acceleration was awful, and my milage dropped from 95mpg to the low 70's. On even the smallest uphill incline, I had to drop into fourth, and could rarely get it out of there without almost opening the throttle to its max. What's more, it performed awful in the dirt --had to slip first gear to get rolling in some cases, and overall it just handled like a pig. Ugh.

    After a few days of this, I could tolerate it no longer. I put the original 15T back on, and she is running fine again. My mpg is back in the low 90's again, the bike is responsive, and I can ride it on dirt roads with no problems.

    I mention this only because people should be aware that this mod may not be everyone's cup of tea. For the record, I am and 5'8" and 210+ lbs, so lighter folks may have had better luck with this than I did. But the truth is that the DR200SE just doesn't have enough juice to pull these higher gear ratios. This engine is most effective with higher rev's and lighter gear load. The drop in mpg is proof that the engine is working less efficiently. (And, no, it is not just a matter of increased wind drag due to higher speeds --if I ride near 60mph with the 15T, I still get much better mpg than the same speed with 16T.)

    See that 40mph mark at the top of the speedometer? That isn't a coincidence. The engineers put it at the 12-o'clock position because that is where the bike is running at optimum efficiency. That's how I get 90+ mpg. If you want to cruise the highways at 70+mph all day long, then this bike is probably not the best for your needs. I bought a DR200SE because I wanted a lightweight dual-sport to explore nearby dirt roads, maybe do some weekend trips with, or even try a segment of the Trans-America trail. It's low seat height fits my inseam perfectly, and I end up doing more daring things with in on the trails than I do with my KLR 650. The DR200SE is a great little bike: it is relatively cheap, uses almost no gas, and is tremendous fun; but one has to understand its purpose and design limitations. It is a 200cc-class engine, and in my case, the 16T/45T combo (or the similar 15T/42T set-up) did not work for how I use the bike.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, but I just want to point out that messing with the stock gear rations may not always be such a great thing. No doubt several folks have done it and are quite happy, and kudos to them --I don't want to deny them their joy. Keep in mind, however, that this mod may not be for everybody and people should understand the unintended consequences. I wish someone would have mentioned that before I spent the time and $$$ on this experiment... (or maybe they did, but I missed it in the 400+ pages of comments...) In any case, I hope this information helps others avoid a similar mistake.

    By the way, there have been several complaints about the DR200SE experiencing heavy vibration and buzziness at higher speeds (and hence, is one of the often-stated reasons for doing the sprocket mod in the first place). May I suggest that part of the culprit is the knobby OEM tires and their lack of proper balancing? I would like to report that after replacing the stock tires with Shinko 244's and putting Ride-On in the tubes to act as a sealant and a dynamic balancer, the vibrations are nearly gone. This bike rides smoother than my KLR (which has very good counter-balancers, and is fitted with the more street-oriented Shinko 705's, I might add.) Something to think about...

    Cheers, and happy riding!
  2. Wallrat

    Wallrat Been here awhile

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    The front fender adds a lot to the vibration as well, and the bars don't help. Yeah I know they're weighted, etc. but I found significantly less vibration with a set of Pro Taper Evo2's.
  3. JayGoldstein

    JayGoldstein Adventurer

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    I'm planning on switching to more street-oriented tires, along the lines of the Shinko 244, next spring. What sizes (front and rear) did you get?
  4. pozo

    pozo n00b

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    The Shinko 244s are one of only a few tires that actually fit the DR200SE: the front is a 2.75x21, the rear a 4.1x18. To me, the 50/50 combo for on-road/off-road design suits my needs quite well. Shinkos are great tires --this is my third set (had the 705s on the KLR 650, and a Yamaha XT250) and had nothing but good experiences.
  5. JayGoldstein

    JayGoldstein Adventurer

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    My research indicates that there is quite a variety of tires in sizes that will fit the DR200. Shinko advertises the 244 as 70/30 on/off road (and the 700 as 80/20). The 244 would be quite suitable for my type of riding.
  6. pozo

    pozo n00b

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    From shinkotiresusa.com: the 244 is 50/50, the 700 is 60/40, and the 705 is 80/20, on-road/off-road respectively. (Several online retailers had these numbers different.) Who knows what the ratios actually mean... Perhaps it's all just marketing fluff, but at least one can get a sense of how agressive these are by looking at the tire treads. The 705s are clearly the smoothest, followed by the 700s, followed by the 244s --for whatever *that's* worth...

    Regardless, I'm pretty pleased with the 244s, and you might be too...

    Happy riding.
  7. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    The DR200 is a great little dual sport, but there is no aftermarket support for it. I have an XT225, and have modified it with a 4 gallon Clarke tank, Immix Racing rack, kickstarter, centerstand, Progressive front springs and a Works Performance rear shock. These mods have turned it into a near perfect trail bike, even for my 220 pounds. I can't seem to find any of these things for the little DR. It would be nice is Suzuki made a DR250 with more power and better suspension to compete with the CRF250L and XT250. I left the KLX250 and WR250 out, as those are more hardcore dirtbikes. If I were going to spend the $$$ for one of those, I would get the DRZ400S
  8. I'm Trying

    I'm Trying Adventurer

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    My dr200se had 3000 miles on it when I bought it. It had been stolen and recovered and sat in storage for 4 years. Once I got it cleaned up and running it would run but wouldn't idle. Ended up being a chipped intake valve and eroded valve seat.

    I priced out a new dr200 head and cam and used ones on ebay. They ranged from a 799 to 1000. But I found a ported polished 86 lt230s head with stainless steel valves and and a stage 2 WB cam. For a 100 dollars shipped. I've put 4000 miles on it.

    I have a kientech kit and exhaust on the bike and to get this setup running reliably I had to switch back to the stock needle and up the main jet to a 142.5. It gets 64 mpg. Unfortunately it has a flat spot in the power band from 5000-6500. It pulls strong below and above. That equals 50 to 60 mph. I have to use more throttle to ride 55 than 65.

    This is why I was looking for a 43 tooth sprocket I'd like to move the flat spot away from my 55mph cruising speed.

    Also has anyone had a valve seat area welded and reground. I would like to get the dr head back on the bike. Since it has a 1 mm bigger exhaust valve and the intake exhaust ports better match what's on the bike.
  9. Andyinhilo

    Andyinhilo Long timer

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    I never did this on a DR200, but when I was working as an auto machinist, it was routine to install new valve seats in aluminum heads. Just pull or cut out the old one and drive a new one in place, machine the seat, lap the valve and you're done. If the damaged area is beyond the existing seat, seats are available in many different sizes, or you can have it welded and re-cut prior to installing the new seat.
  10. FlownOver

    FlownOver Old and slow man

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    As I pulled up in front of my hangar to put the DR200 away for the winter, the clutch cable broke (right at the lever). Lucky timing, but I need to get a replacement. Any suggestions for suppliers? By the way, checking the alignment at the lever, there appears to be some offset. I'm planning on fiddling with things so the next cable lasts longer.
  11. jamoka3

    jamoka3 Veritas Aequitas

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    I have a 2005 Suzuki Dr 200SE, it wont start with the starter button!

    If I remove the seat and jump the starter solenoid it will crank over and start just fine(Bike in Neutral. ign. key is on / power is on)



    With the bike in Neutral and the ignition key to On it wont start with the main starter button (yellow)...

    Now if i jump the bike with the starter solenoid i can still turn it off by the start/ stop kill switch, so does that mean its working properly?...Any ideas?

    Is the starter button bad? how can i test this?

    Please any info will be great.

    Thanks.
  12. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Are you pulling the clutch lever in, too? There's an interlock switch there, too.


    It's very common that either the clutch lever switch or the sidestand switch is bad and so the starter button is disabled.
  13. jamoka3

    jamoka3 Veritas Aequitas

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    yes im pulling in the clutch, is there a way to bypass / test the clutch switch and kick stand switch?
  14. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    You could put a jumper wire in to bypass the switches. The starter switch could be dirty, too. You could take it apart and check it. Don't lose the little spring that flies out if you take it apart.
  15. jamoka3

    jamoka3 Veritas Aequitas

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    the side stand switch is obvious, so stupid question i guess,
    but were is the clutch safety switch located at?
  16. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    There's a slot in the underside of the clutch lever near the pivot point that the switch fits into. If I remember right (the bike's at home) there are two screws that hold the switch up in position underneath the lever.
  17. jamoka3

    jamoka3 Veritas Aequitas

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    so do you just un-screw it from the clutch lever and jump it out right there?
    you can pm me if you like so we don't fill up the forum,:D
  18. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Yes, you can. I understand you can just plug the wires together behind the headlight, too. The switch parts are 24, 25, and 26 here:


    http://www.bikebandit.com/2001-suzuki-dr200se/o/m5826#sch239702
  19. jamoka3

    jamoka3 Veritas Aequitas

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    i took the switch off the clutch lever and jumped it out right there with some alligator clips, and the bike started right up.:D
    Can i leave it jumped for now (or forever) or will it mess something up?
  20. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Success!

    Lots of people leave it that way, but it's a little cleaner to jump it behind the headlight. Are you sure you couldn't clean it and put it back together?