Impressive 644cc engine capacity
Good for long-distance rides
Expensive for a LAMS Bike
Seat is on the high side
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It is in many ways outdated but that appears to add to the appeal.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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
very impressed with the style and power
Love this ride. Easy to control on road off road. Highly recommended to anyone who wants a cheap easy to maintain motorcycle.
I have owned this DR 650se motorbike for two years so far, in these two years nothing has gone wrong except for a speedo cable at 2500klms, The bike has plenty of power stock standard, the exhaust noise is very quiet so it wont be a police magnet, great machine on or off road, very good lighting system, gets about 200klms a tank then reserve, uses no oil, standard tyres are good, A warranty of two years with unlimited klms.
Now the problems, the fuel tank could be a bit larger as 200klms is not good enough for a Duel sport bike, In Australi...a the miles seem to go by quickly, and the fuel bowsers are not where you want them, but I live with it as there are heaps of good with the bike. The seat, if you call it a seat, more like a bit of 4x2 timber, narrow, hard, very bad design, junk. If you want to ride a DR650se for any longer than 50klms you will be in pain, for a Duel sport bike the seat is shameful for Suzuki, you will need to get the seat re-done by a seat repairer, $350.00 will get a perfect one (I can recommend one if needed) Suzuki will not cover any cables in the warranty, like I found out with the speedo cable, read the fine print in the warranty section before you buy. All in all the DR650se is a very good bike and after my seat was re-done, I am very happy with the DR, I would and have recommended the DR650se, to date three people have bought a DR on my recommendation and are vey happy with them. A GREAT MOTORBIKE, would be a five star bike, but the rock hard thin seat ate one star, so only four stars from me. Price, Waranty, Quiet, Enough Power for highway use. Seat, Seat, That very hard seat, Should have a larger fuel tank.
Change of thinking
My last ride was a Honda VFR750. I bought the DR due to being forced back onto my 'L's' long story...and being a bit of a torque fiend and all the reviews said it was good bang for buck. To be honest I thought the DR was a little underpowered. This all changed today when I had my 1000 K service and included a staintune exhaust. This has transformed this bike. I was honestly ashamed of the bike before, now it sounds like a harley and has great road presence. Suzuki should make these things stock, wasn't cheap at around $1000 but now the DR has grown up and is a real blast to thump around on. Farkle up!
Noise, My wife's Janome had a deeper growl.
Just keeps going!!!
Have just purchased my 2012 DR 650 and have to say it is better than I expected. Today I did 400 plus Kim's on it and I am just running her in.... It got better ever 10 Kim's. By the end of today's ride I had total confidence in the bike and my purchase. I have previously ridden Harley Davidsons so this is a leap of faith. Boy am I impressed. My partner still rides a Wide Glide, let me tell you though the twisty bits I had the edge!!! Have had the bike lowers but am still going to get a low seat. Power delivery is much better than I expected. V...ery happy!!! Will make some changes like seat, mirrors, bark busters etc... Will keep you updated, over 220kms before I hit reserve. Easy to ride, inexpensive, easy to modify, cheap to insure and run. Hard seat and high seat height.
A good bike, especially for the price. That means you can afford to spend on accessories and option up a bit. With a few options e.g. larger tank, rack, sump guard etc. you should be able to do everything that other more expensive dual purpose bikes, at up to twice the price, can do.
Mine has 10k and is 2006 model. It is a good all roads bike. Fast enough for longer bitumen rides. Light enough and with long enough suspension travel for good gravel road handling. Reasonable brakes. Has plenty of low and mid-range torque. Light for a 650. Uncompl...
Endearing! People grow to love their DR650's. Only competition in this price range is the Kwaka KLR 650 but it's heavy and bulky in comparison.
Cheap as chips to buy, cheap to run. Relatively nimble off-road. Grunty on-road performance.
Hard seat is a real pain. Soggy suspension and lack of wind protection. These can all be remedied(at a price)
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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