the DR650 thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by sleepywombat, May 1, 2006.

  1. GTR27

    GTR27 n00b

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    So im new to this forum, and new to adv riding, but am considering an adv bike for my next steed. I have just written off (not my fault) my owned from new 06 GSXR1000, and thought it might be time for a change. i loved the gixxer (had handlebars and a swag of other mods) but sadly, it was taken away from me in a accident.

    Currently, 95% of my riding is commuting, but i was hoping to spend a little time exploring, now im over the need for speed. since im new to dirt (have ridden some dirtbikes in a padock, but ill still consider myself new), i was thinking of a smaller adv bike.

    some options ive considered now are

    DR650
    KLR650
    Husky TR650

    I have a budget of about 11K AUD, and cant ride till mid jan at earliest next year (broken hand requiring pins and plates, and a broken wrist). as mentioned commuting in traffic, along highways (100kph) and normal streeta (60) is the norm, with the odd trip off road. Once i finish uni, and back in a high paying job, ill look at r1200gs etc, but for now, cheap, functional and good are requirements.

    Here in oz, the klr and dr are about 2k cheaper than the husky, but the husky looks to be better std.

    So since this is the dr thread - why should i buy a dr?
  2. TrophyHunter

    TrophyHunter Long timer

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    I think you summed it up. Glad you escaped with moderate injuries compared to the alternative. Your post smacks a little of "I'll consider hanging out with you poor bastards until I can afford to buy the BMW romance" but there are folks on here with unlimited resources that just love the DR for it's simplicity and just plain fun factor.

    The DR vs KLR debate has been ongoing for years and there are threads about it. The new KLR is a different animal than the more dirt worthy older style (pre 2007..? ).

    Some here have had both so they may chime in. Both will serve you well bone stock and will serve you a long time with minor mods. I haven't read on the Husky. I've gone off the deep end and modified my DR as much as one can without touching the basic engine. Others ride theirs with a big smile as it came off the showroom floor. That's part of the fun IMO....making it your own.

    Good luck on the search and heal quickly.
  3. Anklyne

    Anklyne Adventurer

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    Hey guys,

    I joined the DR650 family a couple of days ago :D

    '06, 25,000km, came with a Sargent seat and a few other goodies. It's in great condition considering the mileage and how much I paid for it. Unfortunately I'm still on a restricted license (<250cc) so I haven't given it a good shake-down ride yet, but my mate rode it the 50km from the PO to mine and he said it rides well.

    I've taken the rack off temporarily while I remove the vertical part of it (really don't like the idea of having that near my back). I've got a few mods in mind already, so I'll be going back through this thread and having a good read.

    Here's a piccy:
    [​IMG]
  4. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Nice fix on the bushing,its fun to play with metal.
    Bummer bout the swingarm cracking,has it been welded already?
    I once rode my DR from Chico to DV,put a fresh 606 on the rear on a picnic table as soon as I got there,rode 400 miles in and around DV,then rode it home. My windshield and pelican boxes are quick dis-connect so they came right off for the dirt. The DR is one of the few bikes that does that sort of ride easily,it ran 80mph all the way home and did all the dirt just fine out there. 1800 mile jaunt in about 5 days and 50mpg all the way.
  5. Feelers

    Feelers Been here awhile

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    Go to the store, and sit on all 3 bikes. Beg, borrow, or steal test rides if you can! I was set on the KLR for a continent crossing trip, but I just couldn't get excited about it. I went to the store and sat on a KLR trying to convince myself that it was good, but its bulk just bothered me. A DR650 was sitting 2 bikes over, so I sat on it just to see what it felt like, and I knew immediately that I preferred it over the KLR. The mechanical simplicity, excellent air/oil cooling system, and many other reasons led me to buy the DR. If I had a choice between the 3, as you do, I would probably stick with the DR, but I'd definitely give the Terra a chance as it seems to be a pretty awesome bike, and the msrp here is only about $500 over the KLR I think.
  6. refokus

    refokus Just Learning

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    :roflI was thinking the same thing here. Adv Grifter, maybe you should read the post as well..............
  7. barko1

    barko1 barko1

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    The DR has simpler maintenance, screw valve adjust vs shims under buckets. The Husky no doubt has better suspension but is less proven and more complex, not sure what its' valve routine is but I imagine shims and overall higher maintenance. I have had a KLR, and a Husky 250, but neither for nearly as long as the DR. I road the KLR 2100 miles in 3 days across the US and I drove a borrowed DR from Melbourne to Perth, both worked. Have driven both in the dirt and the DR is just a whole lot more fun. The KLR is a good tractor but in comparison a slightly modified DR is a little hotrod:clap
  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    You come into this thread knowing that we're likely to be biased, so that's good.

    Why the DR? It's simple. It's durable. It's lighter in the dirt. Parts are available and affordable for maintenance, repair, and upgrade. The issues are pretty well known and sorted. This isn't a bike that will take a home-mechanic over a week to fix, whereas some more-complicated bikes have stumped a dealer shop for MONTHS.

    The KLR and TR are supposed to be more oriented towards pavement, but I think the DR is even a better foundation for a road bike than the KLR. The DR engine tends to be smoother, the DR tends to respond better to mods, and the DR isn't prone to burning oil...even running near redline. The DR can be built for over 50WHP, while I've never seen a KLR dyno graph of similar power. Even a 40WHP DR with a pumper carb can feel pretty peppy though. The air/oil-cooled DR also isn't prone to overheating like an air-cooled or a water-cooled bike is, and the oil-cooler can be bypassed, in a pinch, if it gets damaged. Try that with a radiator and you'll have problems.

    I wouldn't want to drop a TR in the dirt like I drop my DR. Parts are not likely to be as cheap or as available. I doubt that the KLR or TR would be as durable when used as a dirtbike either. Both the KLR and TR are also over 400lb, and the KLR valves need shims if adjustment is called for. I don't know about the TR, but the DR is screw/locknut that is simply adjusted.

    If you're going to stay on pavement and/or close to civilization, keeping the bike fairly stock, I'd be taking a long look at the TR. It reportedly has good power and a smooth engine for a thumper, and I believe ABS is available to you in Oz. That Rotax engine is a fuel miser too. If you're going off the pavement or away from civilization much though, I'd be very biased towards a modded DR...Throw on an 8gal tank, a comfy seat, and maybe a windscreen if you want to go long distances at slab speeds. There are MANY more aftermarket parts available for the DR right now too, and nobody knows how long Husky is going to offer the TR. By the time the aftermarket sells a decent selection, Husky may terminate it. Suzuki has been selling the same basic DR since '96. Parts are all over, and the DR is generic enough that even parts from many other bikes are easy to adapt. Many people swap on fully-adjustable dirtbike suspension, fenders, pumper carbs, etc. The DR can REALLY be changed from stock pretty easily.

    Do you want a modern near-stock commuter that you can play with in easy dirt, or do you want a simple and affordable roughneck bike that will go anywhere with maybe a bit less style? Range Rover or Land Rover?:D Me? I wouldn't want to scratch the Range Rover. You may want more posh.
  9. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Read the Post? What post are your referring to?

    If you mean Jay's Ride Report ... I've read it ... and his previous one as well where he blew up a DR in Alaska.

    Over the years I'm sure Jay has accumulated lots of knowledge and got tips from this thread ... among others. It is the wise man who uses his friends and their broad knowledge and creative ideas to solve the unsolvable.
  10. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Good choices. All three can commute just fine. The Husky is brand new so a bit untested. Hopefully it won't carry with it the many BMW problems from the F650/G650 on which it is based. IMO, the forks are under spec'd for off road use. (CORRECTION: Husky wisely went with 46mm Forks ... not the wimpy BMW ones) The Husky is the clear beauty in the bunch ... and has sharp clocks and switches ... and a great look.

    But how tough is it? The BMW's aren't very ...
    You do realize the Husky motor is a modified BMW G650 motor, made in Loncin, China. Husky claim more power and very good fuel economy. To me, the fuel economy is a very good reason to look at the Husky. How the bike will hold up to abuse and miles ... ? Unknown.

    If you plan to rack up high miles commuting and are a novice dirt rider ... then buying a NEW bike would be very silly indeed.

    I'd buy used no matter what. Save the big money for your R1200GS.
    (they are over $20,000 USD now)

    I've owned both the DR and KLR, as many here have. I prefer the DR650 for a number of reasons already stated. But a very well set up KLR can be a very good bike too. I've ridden a couple fine examples that made my stock KLR feel like JUNK. But the DR also responds well to a few well placed upgrades. Very good value IMO, trouble free and fun on easy off road.

    As a novice dirt rider I would start on every easy dirt roads. No deep sand or rocky mountain terrain to start. A smaller 250cc bike is preferable to learning dirt riding.

    Go ride a few bikes, see what works. Lots of Fish in the sea. Take care of your hand. Hope it heals up well! :freaky
  11. GTR27

    GTR27 n00b

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    Thanks everyone for the great replies! While long term I could see myself on a GS, I dont consider the other bikes (and their riders) as lesser for choosing a bike right for them. I've never ridden a GS so I may not even like them!

    At this stage I would consider a lower milage DR secondhand (as I do all my maintenance myself) as I have had 3 suzukis and all were unkillable (except for the aforementioned accident). Probably should have mentioned that commuting accounts for 15000k's a year for me - hence wanting a lower k bike.

    Ideally a cheaper secondhand dr, plus a set of rims &street tires with the ability to change to more dirt oriented ones for my adventures would be good. the lower price of the DR helps this along.

    I love to tinker, so along the way I woul look at some likely mods -
    Larger tank - i ride 300+k's a week and would prefer to fill it once.
    Brakes - had brembos on the gixxer and loved them! (aftermarket)
    Exhaust & airfilter - cheap performance
    Seat mod - comfort
    Suspension (get it sprung and valved for my weight)

    I knew the husky had a bmw engine, but wasnt aware of any issues on newer versions of them. Any thumper I buy will be less than 1/3rd the power of the gixxer, but as long as its spritely enough to 100(k's - 62mph) i'll be happy.

    This is my only vehicle so i will take reliability over outright performance! Would love to get a dirt only 250 and play, but cant afford champagne living on a beer budget (i'd say goon budget but most guys from the us wouldnt know what that was ha ha!)
  12. Chill

    Chill Been here awhile

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    That's a nice one.
  13. Chill

    Chill Been here awhile

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    Some nice pics. Thanks. Are they the new Kenda K784 tires? I'd be interested in hearing a few words on your opinion of them when you get back.
  14. procycle

    procycle Long timer

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    Yeah, Kenda Big Block in back and a Pirelli Scorpion Rally in front. This is my third K784 and I'm happpy enough with them that I'll probably get another after this one is gone. It's not quite as good a tire (for me) as the TKC80 but in the 150/70-17 size I run it is way less expensive. I don't have fun if I feel like I have to ride to baby my tires. :D
  15. Chill

    Chill Been here awhile

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    I had a KLR as a courtesy bike for a day or two, felt very tall and under powered. At the time I didn't have a DR so it's not a direct comparison but now I have a DR it doesn't feel tall or under powered. I like the simplicity of the DR. I had a ZX10 before the DR, so, like you, I went from a litre sportsbike to a 650 trail bike. I can honestly say that it's the best bike I've ever had. Like you, I also thought this would be a stepping stone to something like a GS or a Super Tenere but in all honesty, if someone handed me the keys to a brand new GS1200 and offered to swap bike for bike... I'd keep the DR. A bloke at work has just bought a Panigale and although it's gorgeous, if I had to ride it, I'd rather have my DR.

    As you know here in Australia we have very low speed limits that are enforced with zero tolerance it seems. I'm sure owning a gixer-thou for six years in Brisbane you are familiar with speeding tickets. You won't be having this problem with the DR, it's a pleasure to ride around town, and is known affectionately here as the bush-pig for good reason
  16. Chill

    Chill Been here awhile

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    Cool, thanks.
  17. GTR27

    GTR27 n00b

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    Cheers. once my hand heals and I can ride again, i'll definately test ride everything. But the DR looks very tempting - its so cheap compared to any of the others (KLR excepted) and looks like its good value.
  18. Chill

    Chill Been here awhile

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    Keep an eye out for the promos, there's usually some sort of kickback deal that brings the price down to almost what the rest of the world pays for bikes. Sunstate have the best deal at the moment.
  19. Magnum Noel

    Magnum Noel Been here awhile

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    Here's a piccy:

    Looks in really good condition. In NZ the DR650 is now a learner approved bike because of its low power to weight ratio. Have you checked your regulations lately? Might be OK to ride!
  20. Slideways#96

    Slideways#96 scooter trash

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    You running that 150/70/17 on a stock dr rim? Tire shopping now, pretty set on a pair of 705's on extra set of wheels for those times I'll be doing more slab. Got 606's on original set of wheels but I burn these up pretty quick when much slab involved.