Looking for an honest Suzuki DR650 Review? Look no more.
My bike is named “Lucy”, short for “Lucifer”, for one simple reason: this was my first big motorcycle and my first long journey on as much off road as possible.
Paul and I got identical Suzuki DR650’s back in spring of 2016, intending to take them across the Americas and do it all off road. At first, Lucy felt a little too high and a little too bumpy. After attending an off-road riding class weekend with Dusty Wessels of West38Moto in Santa Fe, New Mexico, however, I suddenly felt a lot more comfortable and confident on the bike.
I’ve ridden over 20,000 miles since then, taking Lucy from the US to Canada, back to the US, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Colombia and Ecuador. Here are some of the pros and cons of the Suzuki DR650 as an overland motorcycle:
Suzuki DR650 Pros
It’s light. Dry, Lucy weighs mere 324 pounds. Weight is a big factor riding off road, especially on more technical trails, so the DR650 is definitely at an advantage compared to it’s cousin from another brand, the KLR650, or its fancy colleagues the BMW GS650/800.
It’s nimble. Despite being in the medium size class, DR650 feels very nimble on any surface which makes it a surprisingly forgiving motorcycle.
It’s sure footed. Despite being light and agile, Lucy feels like it just wants to stay up and can cope with all sorts of surfaces very steadily.
It’s comfy. With an aftermarket seat, Lucy feels super comfortable on long hauls but also perfect for the more demanding off road sections – standing up on the pegs feels effortless.
It’s sturdy and reliable. Nothing can kill this bike! Well, except for water crossings in Cuba, but that’s a different story altogether. During the two years on the road, both mine and Paul’s DR650’s had no major problems except for the regular maintenance and consumables.
Suzuki DR650 Cons
Vibration. Sometimes, it feels like I’m riding a tractor!
Sound. No incognito riding for me on this one.
Power. On very steep mountain passes, it sometimes feels like a little more power would be great.
This isn’t a bike for fast highway speeds or for riding trials, but it’s a fantastic all-rounder that can cope with all sorts of terrain, weather, and altitude. If you love riding off road, need something reasonably priced and easy to fix, and plan a long overland journey, the Suzuki DR650 might be the bike for you!