Impressive 644cc engine capacity
Good for long-distance rides
Expensive for a LAMS Bike
Seat is on the high side
Reliable, Simple, Bulletproof Dual Sport Motorcycle
I purchased a Suzuki DR 650SE new in 2017 from the dealer. They are super reliable motorcycles, the most reliable bike ever made in my opinion as a mechanic. Air/oil cooled, Japanese made, single barrel Mikuni carburettor, single cylinder. Very simple set up that translates to extreme reliability, robust durability and a very usable every day motorcycle. Good horse power for a dual sport, linear delivery. Starts first go every time as long as fuel is not stale. -3°C ambient cold start with full choke still starts first time. 47°C ambient hot st...art in the Australian outback starts first go. Easy and cheap to change oil yourself. Never had a break down in 11K km. Made the trip across the Australian outback from Eastern point Byron Bay NSW to Western point Steep point WA with no faults. I’m 6’2” and it suits my height, shorter riders may find it a little tall. The standard fuel tank is too small so I installed a 30L safari tank. The standard seat is uncomfortable after 30 mins. A windshield would be nice after crossing the Nullabor plain without one. It is not a sports bike but it will pull ahead of traffic and sit on 120kph all day and night with camping gear and panniers plus a 100kg rider. I’ve dropped mine in soft sand and it was an effort to pick up alone. The last year it’s been used as my commuter for work and has been a solid workhorse as always. If you want a bike in dirt and mud aswell as highway and traffic that’s cheap and simple, this is the one. If you just want a dirt bike get something lighter and if you are staying on road only, probably buy something more road oriented. It’s a walk in both worlds type bike and remains the market King of simple, cheap, ultra reliable dual sport motorcycles.
Purchased in May 2017 for $8,000.00.
- Verified purchase
I have 3 bikes. My DR650 will be with me forever even though some years I don't register it
I bought my 2008 model with 4,000 kms on it in 2011. I then rode it "as is" to the red centre via Broken Hill, Camerons Corner and Inamincka. This enabled me to work out what needed changing or modifying.
Over the ensuing years I have modified my exhaust, airbox and put on a Mikuni double pumper carburettor. The bike has rear wheel horsepower of a standard bike at the crank but, more importantly, there is immediate throttle response. Add heated grips, luggage side and rear racks, bar risers and a 22 litre Acerbis tank and then customise the fr...
Purchased in April 2011.
Good at most things
I write this in response to some who complain about it....suzuki has been selling this thing since last century (maybe even the one before...). It is a cheap bike that is tough, well built and reliable.
It is in many ways outdated but that appears to add to the appeal. It is easy to work on, uncomplicated and predictable. I doubt there is more info out there on any other dirt bike on how to improve or change just about every aspect of the bike.
Generally you do not have to do anything to it to ride within reason, but you will have to be se...nsible and keep the speed down. The rougher the terrain the more the 1970s suspension suffers, and you along with it, particularly the front end which cab ruin your wrists in short time. But suspension problems can be solved, price depends on how far you want to go, about $1000 will get a pretty good set up, nothing that compares to a modern dirt or adventure bike but quiet ok. In essence your $8500 bike usually ends up around $12000 or more when you add wider lowered foot pegs, handle bars (standard ones are made of cheese), bark busters, a seat that is not made for the purposes of torture, an exhaust that is not made of wrought iron, a proper fuel tank with decent range and other odd bits.
Purchased in June 2014 at Suzuki Dealers for $7,500.00.
blown up gearbox
this a 3year bike with 38,000 km no sign is was going to destroy it self left me stuck in the bush miles from nowhere not good for a adv bike steer clear from them 2 off my mates have had the same problem at 10,000km and 19,000km. not happy
Purchased in July 2016 for $8,500.00.
If you could only own one bike........
The DR650 is a great bike but it needs a few mods to make it an exceptional all rounder.
1 - chuck the standard seat away (the further away the better)
2 - chuck the standard muffler away (as above)
3 - 20 litre acerbis fuel tank
4 - carb rejet with procycle jetting kit plus mods to the carb & airbox as per Full Force Racing Video. (BETTER MPG than stock set up + more power !!!!)
Sure the DR650 is a bit on the porky side and the suspension may need a bit of tweaking but it is the best adventure bike you can buy for the money - Basic & reliable with little to break when you fall off (which you will if you use it to get off the beaten track)
There is a good reason why the DR650 has legions of diehard fans.....
Purchased in February 2014.
One of the best all round bkes ever made
I have had 3 of these, replacing each with a new one every few years. I've been riding nearly 50 years, don't drive a car and have owned over 60 bikes in my time, and to me the DR is one of the best bikes around. Unchanged since 1996 and with no known major problems other than a very few which have had serious 3rd gear failures, they are light, robust, incredibly reliable and easy to maintain, and are a joy to handle on twisty roads. The engine has screw adjusted tappets and the air filter, oil filter and plugs are readily accessible so doing a...service takes a matter of minutes. Over perhaps 80,000km on these I've averaged 4.8L/100km over every type of road in the country, including thousands of kilometres of dirt riding and I've never had any breakdowns, failures or other problems with any of them. Not even a blown globe. I modified my first one with a Staintune exhaust and carb airbox and jetting mods and it did up power and lower the weight, but at some cost to fuel consumption and a lot more noise, and in the end I opted for the standard carb setup and a sightly modified stock exhaust, which is how I set up the other two. I also fitted different bars, a 20L Acerbis tank, 43T rear sprocket, Hepco & Becker rear rack and topbox, modified seat, Oxford heated grips and LED spotlights, and carried those parts over on subsequent DRs. I use the stock Trailwing tyre on the front and a Mitas E07 on the rear. The DR will sit on 115kmh on the highway without any problems and is surprisingly stable at speed for such a light bike, and once you've either got used to the original seat or replaced it, very long distances can be done in a day. They are also happy to plonk around in 1st gear in dirt as long as the revs are kept over 3000rpm. The engine is torquey, but doesn't pull much below 3000, and is in its real powerband between 4500 and 5500 rpm, where it becomes very smooth and has ample power on tap. (I also always have a large touring bike in the garage - BMW R1200, Kawasaki 1000, Bandit 1250 or similar, and the DR doesn't feel gutless after riding them.) I weigh about 80kg and the suspension has always been left on the settings it came from the factory as it works fine for me and soaks up potholed roads and moderate off-roading without any dramas. There are no downsides to the DR, and having ridden its main opposition the KLR, the only benefits of the KLR are the huge standard fuel tank, slightly more comfortable seat and better wind protection, but at a cost of considerable weight and maintenance complexity. They also keep their resale value and are very quick to sell when the time comes. You'll never get bored with a DR, so buy one and put some fun back into your riding.
Love the bike.
I bought the bike with 5000ks on the clock. I have now done 13000k.
The bike does every thing I want it too for how I use it,which is more road than dirt. The bike sits on 100kmr without a problem.Also as I am getting older I wanted a more lighter bike with less maintenance and the DR is perfect. I service the bike myself. I still have the standard tank on it and I get about 250km between fills depending how I ride it .Only vice is the seat it’s a bit hard on the backside but a lambs wool fixes that.Recomend the bike to any one.
Simplicity at it's finest.
Great bike, they haven't changed much over twenty years or so. As with most bikes they have a few niggly things that need modifying but that comes down to personal preference and what you plan on doing with it I suppose. For me it was the front suspension that dived hard under heavy front wheel braking but some heavier front springs and a set of intiminators sorted that one out.
Original seat was replaced with a Sargeant Seat for those long days in the saddle.
The old Mikuni BST40 carburettor in the bike is probably not cutting edge technolo...
This bike is fantastic to ride. Purchased one earlier this year. Love that it's simple to tinker around with too. Unlike other bikes, this one is easy to make any adjustments or repairs to. This bike has been ridden both on road and off. When riding on road once it reaches about 80 kilometres per hour it starts to get a bit reckless. This I have attributed to it's dirt tyres. When off road this bike makes everything a breeze. Even beginner riders are able to test out and build skills off road without coming off. This bikes balance is fantastic considering it's height and weight.
Great highway bike that doubles as a dirt bike
I got a black DR 650 SE. Rode it from adelaide to Darwin and out to kakadu and finke gorge track and oonadatta track and flinders ranges. Perfect bike for offroad and highway. I put a safari tank on it and it was sufficient for all without needing any spare tanks of fuel.
Its a solid reliable bike that never let me down. Off course one needs to find the right tyres. I chose Dunlop dual purpose. I also got a small custom windscreen for the front which made highway riding more pleasing. People complain about the seat stiffness. But wasn't issue...
Not just a motorbike. , forget dogs being mans bestfreind, your dog will come second to one of these
Very great motorcycle. 1. Cheap. You can pick a used one up very cheap.
2. Build any bike. They are a platform for a great adventure tourer, daily commute, heavy dirtbike, supermotard, tractor to tow a plough.
3. Lots and lots of ome and aftermarket parts and accessories.
4. Loves to wheelie.
This bike comes with alloy rims, straight pull spokes, an oil cooler, a rear shock that doesn't sag, dual spark plugs (good spark), foam air filter (more effective than a paper one), wide seat and a small headlight that puts out enough light to see by (but could be better). It has a solid subframe and weighs 166 Kg which is quite heavy for a road/trail bike. Bikes in this class commonly range from 100-140 Kg making it at least 20 Kg heavier than it should be.
The tappets are adjusted by shims... which means less adjustments than the screw a...nd locknut method. The 525 chain is a compromise between the heavier 530 chain and the lighter 520 chain. The 525 chain lasts much longer (>20,000 km) than a 520 chain (~12,000 km) and needs less adjustment. With a chain oiler (Scottoiler) you can increase the lifespan dramatically (probably double). The small 13.1 L tank doesn't go far enough if you like riding. The mileage on this bike is pretty average at around 17 -19 km/L although many owners report 21 km/L. The engine is powerful but quite rough (slightly better balancing should be possible?). If you want power this is one of the most powerful bikes you could buy in this class. An oil analysis on this bike showed excess copper (presumably bearings?). Adding some Xcelplus to the engine to reduce friction made it run much more smoothly, improved fuel efficiency and reduced wear by around 50 % (this means the tappets have never needed adjustment as the gap hasn't changed in 46,000 km). This bike could have easily been a 600. The extra 50 cc is just for those who think bigger is better but is probably at least partially responsible for the extra weight.
Awesome bike. So good I bought two.
I bought an 04 model and thrashed it unmercifully for 5 years. I still have it and it goes great. I crashed and drowned it but it always came back for more. I bought another 2012 model and put 40'000 km on it in 3 years. Solid, dependable and tough. I will buy another when I wear this one out. There is a great range of aftermarket accessories available for them. If they fix the neutral sender unit issue and make the seat more comfortable it would be nearly perfect.
used a courier bike 95,oookm no problem at all, great on fuel, long power range through gears, comfortable seat, front shockers alittle small , great all round bike , oil cooled and no water or radiator was a bonus less trouble, use the clutch and dont break gears dude and ride properly. couldnt say more about it. love to own another one .
Suzuki DR opens many doors
Suzuki have been making the DR650 without many major changes for nearly 20 years. You would be forgiven for thinking that either, the bike is way old and something newer must be better or that after 20 years Suzuki have had all the time they need to refine this machine into the best the world will ever see. To get this out of the way early, the bike uses components that are old (the almost superseded rod style fork dampers for example), and a number of niggles mean that Suzuki have not developed the DR into the best machine possible.
So why ...ride one? Straight out of the shop it can do dirt, and get to the forest without a trailer, it can do highway speeds with or without a pillion, it can run you to and from work, or quietly take you to the shop for bread and milk. It can do twisty roads, and is more than happy to do 100kmh all day on the way to your mates beach shack. It's just, well, not really perfect at any of them. So why buy it? That the stock DR650SE it is not perfect is it's biggest asset. Let's say dirt is your thing, swap the trailwings for some knobbies on it, some hand guards, stiffen up the suspension, and you are ready to roost. Or if touring is for you, throw on a bigger fuel tank (30ltr plastic tank gets 600km range!), some luggage racks, and a wider softer seat (important) and all that sealed and unsealed expanse of road is yours. Once you know what you want to do on the bike, I'll bet there are aftermarket mods that will turn the stock DR650SE into your own snorting paddock pig. Bike mods, and what can be achieved, are the reason for this review, and where the age of the bike works in it's favour. People across the world have been playing with the bike for two decades and posting online. Turns out the internet is for cat photos, porn, and the Dr. There are many forums discussing problems, fixes, modifications, rides. There are videos showing how to wheelie the big dirt bike, how to set it up for a North-South trip down South America, or just the easy way to change a tyre.
Great Budget All Rounder
First off, if you are seriously considering a DR then Google it, don't go by reviews here. There is a huge amount of content about the DR on the internet - just search on YouTube.
Secondly, you need to know a) what sort of rider you are - ability, aggressiveness, age,weight,height, strength etc and b) what sort of riding are you going to do. Work this out before you even go looking at bikes.
The DR is what it is - it does not pretend to be anything - it has many strengths and many weaknesses so do your research and get up to speed on t...hem so you don't end up like the moaners giving it an undeserved 1 or 2 stars - that is a reflection on them, not the DR. It is an old design with old tech - air cooled and carburetor but that is also it's strength as it is simple, reliable and cheap to run and repair and they don't tend to get stolen like KTM's and the like. STOCK - as a stock bike the DR is ideal for commuting, fire trails and light off road. The tank is small and the suspension does wallow but if you want to commute and play around a bit on the weekends the DR is ideal. It is NOT a competitor to a KTM (or similar). Apart from the massive price differential you buy a KTM because you want race like performance and handling or because you realise you are too up yourself to buy a DR. I know people who have sold their KTM and got a DR because the KTM performance was too peaky for them and they preferred and enjoyed the more relaxed nature of the DR. Others have moved up to a KTM because they ant improved performance.
Fooled by good reviews
Bought a 2015 dr after reading mostly good reviews but quickly realized that this was not the bike for me. Dual purpose? Not really, high speed wobbles at highway speeds around 100 km/hr, tiny fuel tank and extremely uncomfortable seat. As for off road this bike is basically useless, front forks bottom out on anything more aggressive than washboard (210lb rider) stock tires are useless off-road and without lowering the foot pegs and adding bar risers this bike is very cramped and very uncomfortable while standing/riding 5' 11" rider. If you are...expecting to pay $6500 for a ready to ride bike you will be sorry. I don't doubt this is a strong bike mechanically and I like the old school style but be prepared to dish out a couple $$$$ to make this a decent ride.
Brand new 2015 DR650 review.
Just clocked 1200 klms and put bike in for its first service. I complained about a bad rattling, clanging and banging noise when the bike was under load or with two up. The dealership said it was normal. I have owned motorcycles all my life and I have never heard noises come from a bike like that before. I was worried that the bike was faulty. I would not recommend purchasing this motorcycle. Its down right embarrassing riding down the street rattling and clanging and banging like that.
Just bought a new 2015 DR as well. Still running in (220k) but a bit if pinging and tapping at cruising speed (60-80ks). Is that normal? Great bike but sometimes noisy and not sure if that is normal i.e the sounds. I love the DR but not good enough to know the right or wrong noises.
- Verified purchase
Be Aware Of Gearbox Issues
2007 DR650 35,000 km (failed August 2015)
Bearing and/or 3rd gear failure, this can and has destroyed engines. Not restricted to any particular year model and no specific kilometers.
No recall or gearbox upgrade notification to date.
Bike forums listing bikes affected worldwide.
Great motor with a hand grenade gearbox - reliability issue.
Repair cost high.
I will require confirmation this issue has been addressed before considering to repair or replacement my bike.
To date no response from Suzuki Australia.
UPDATE: Received response fro...
Questions & Answers
Hi what type of oil do I use in my DR650SE 2010 mod?
I use Penrite HPR Diesel 15 15W/50 Semi Synth in all my bikes. The 10L drums are often on special at Supercheap too.
Depends on the climate/riding conditions and what sort of money you want to spend on oil. Check out manufacturer JASO or API oil spec for your bike and try googling the dr650.zenseeker webpage for a wealth of informative info. I have got nearly 50 thousand on mine and have had no problems using Motul 5100 and Penrite MC 4stroke 10W40 ester based oils. Have also used Penrite MC 10W40 full synthetic in it when it comes on special and roughly 5000km between oil changes.
DON'T use ordinary car engine oils with friction modifiers in them as they can cause havoc with the wet clutch in the DR and you should have no problems.
Can I be a little over the high mark on oil inspection window?
I personally wouldn't go over the high mark. But remember to have the bike perfectly straight to read it correctly. If it's only over by 1 or 2 mm, then it won't matter. But 5 or more mm over could cause issues with power and seals. Eventually causing leaks and oil burn. It will also create more fuel consumption as engine works harder in a higher than recommended level of oil. The same reason oil viscosity should be a manufacturer specifications.
So remember that it's actually ok to have a engine at halfway fill level. But check the oil 10 minutes after a ride. As need to know warm levels. Usually it's similar to cold but not always.
My DR650 was always at 3/4 or just below full line. I would lean it up against a wall to point it was about to fall off the wall.
Also I always added moreys or similar oil stabilizer. 25%. Supposed to help prevent wear on cold starts but I used it because hot weather here is over 40 Celsius.
Another great addition is to get oil temp gauge or temp gauge to the engine block. I was amazed at times how hot it seemed to get. Especially on 40 plus days with just air cooled engine! !
I loved the dr650. But sold it for more light weight bike because had too many river crossings by myself and picking it up was just getting too hard
The Suzuki DR650SE features a fairly powerful 644cc engine capacity, which is close to the maximum number allowed by LAMS - 650cc. If you’re looking for a powerful LAMS bike with fast acceleration, this Suzuki motorcycle is likely to be an appealing option.
On the flipside, the $9, 490 starting price tag for the DR650SE is considerably higher than many other LAMS bikes that are designed exclusively for on-road use. If you do choose to buy this bike, it’s probably going to be more worth it to keep it as your regular bike, even after you've progressed from your learner permit and P’s to your full license.
Points of Praise
- The simple yet effectively built engine allows the DR650SE durability, and it endures well over long-distance trips, including in the Aussie outback
- While the price seems expensive compared to on-road motorcycles, reviewers often cited it as cheap - compared to dirt bikes that are made solely to travel off-road.
- This was described by reviewers as the best compromise between an on-road and off-road bike. If your riding is divided pretty evenly between urban areas and unsealed roads, this DR motorcycle is a winner.
Points to consider
- While the seat height can be lowered by 40mm from its original position, reviewers pointed out that this still may be a little high for shorter riders.
- Many reviewers mentioned making modifications, however you likely won’t be able to do this as a LAMS rider.
|Category||Trail Bikes and Learner Approved Bikes|
|Release date||May 2007|
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