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.
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.
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.
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.
- Verified purchase
Simply the best.
I bought a brand spankers 2015 one about 5 months ago, and am very, very happy with it. The secondhand ones were too close to the new price of $8K on the road, so I went for the new option. She's quick on the road, and more than capable off road. I've lowered the gearing a bit, via a smaller front sprocket; but will have to go further with a larger rear and a new chain set. I will convert to the more common chain size at that time too. A split shift gearbox would make these the perfect bike, but maybe just another set of wheels/sprockets and ch...ain will have to do. It's easy and intuitive to work on. The oil changes are simple, and the bike is very old school simple. The stock seat is as hard as a rock, but that can be changed according to ones budget. A sheep skin is saving me for the time being. Same with the exhaust and power options etc. I'm sticking with bog stock at the moment, as it's like stealth mode out in the bush, but will upgrade next year to something louder with a carburettor/air intake fix at the same time. Their about 43 HP stock, but 55 HP is easily achieved, and if you want a lot more than that, get a much bigger, heavier and more expensive bike. These iconic chook-chasers have stood the test of time, and have a huge following both here and overseas. Great aftermarket parts and support via a few different forums etc. Get out there, and have fun. July 2016; I've fitted a softer seat, and louder pipe. A small fly-screen and a 12 volt outlet. I'm still happy with the bike, and will probably keep it until I can't ride a bike anymore. It's just so easy to own, and fun to ride.
Ready for Adventure
What a versatile motorcycle. Have recently purchased a brand new 2015 DR650SE with the free Enduro pack that Suzuki presently has on offer. I have also had the optional lowering kit fitted to make it more user friendly for all our family. Quite a light bike for a 650cc which makes it easy to ride as a commuter and still very happy to cruise at the legal speed limit on open roads. Changes in the future - perhaps the seat which is a little hard and also a larger tank for longer trips out west. This bike is a keeper!
this is the only motor cycle I've ever had that I'll buy again if it gets destroyed.
I've had 10 bikes since 2001 and liked most of them very much. Current road bike is a 2014 Vstrom 1000 ABS which shares a stable with my DR650. The DR is the bike I'll always keep. When you modify a bike to suit you it's as if it becomes a "friend".
A great commuter, fabulous dirt/gravel road bike and with proper mods a very capable sealed road handler.
My bike has a big bore header/free flow muffler but NO jet changes since I didn't want to compromise economy or range. With a 45 tooth rear sprocket it averages 23 kilometers per litre on my ...
So good i bought a second one
Bought my first dr 650 new in 2012 love it so much i talked the wife into getting her bike licence now have a 2014 with all the specs love these bikes
Best bang for buck on the market
I've owned my DR for a bit over 2 years now, having 'traded down' from a really nice VStrom 650. I changed bikes because all my mates had a variety of dirt bikes and although the VStrom looks like it can do dirt, it is not set up for off road use and is way too heavy to leave the bitumen (220kg).
I bought the DR without even test riding one and on pick up day I approached it for my first ride with a little apprehension. To make a short story of it, the first ride home was a dream ( the dealer wasn't though), and I have come to appreciate all o...
18 month review
The DR 650 has been a great commuter and wicked at hard pack dirt/gravel track exploring. I haven't had 1 speeding fine as theDR is a bike you can have a ball on just thumping around the side streets/twisties/dirt without having to hit 200 kph to get your thrills. It's easy to do most the maintenance yourself, everything is on YouTube or drriders.com and It is very satisfying tinkering and knowing the job has been done right. The Staintune pipe works a treat as it not only increases power it makes riding a lot safer as it's hard not to hear i...t!...squeezing the 55cm width of the bike (excluding bars as they usually fit over most car mirrors) in between traffic ensures you are generally through to the front in traffic. Swapping the front sprocket (15 to 14) was rewarding with an extra 7% torque and doesn't affect the top end as the bike pulls better in 4th and a lot better in 5th making good use of the extra torque. I also fitted a TM40 pumper carb from Procycle which makes the front wheel sometimes feel as if it is being pulled up by a crane...we'll almost!...big improved fuelling at take off, no surging and no lag whatsoever...very e.f.i like. I have a Mitas E-07 rear and will go for an E-09 Dakar front which will reduce the marble/loose feel the trail wings gave (downhill) on the gravel tracks-this probably due to suspension not dialled in so will get that done next along with bars/bash plate/bark busters before taking it seriously off-road. Now that I have found the dirt the DR is shining awesomely as weekday commuter and weekend trail blaster. Adaptability, balanced chassis, bulletproof, FUN, cheap parts, easy maintenance, fun to Farkle and keep improving a good thing! Seat, surging, stock pipe too quiet.
Jetting with FMF powercore slip-on muffler
I recently purchased a 2012 DR650SE & was wondering if anyone out there can tell me how to set my carburettor for a FMF powercore 4 slip-on. I couldn't believe the weight difference & the power is phenomenal compared to stock. Its running slightly rich & if anyone could help it would be much appreciated.
PS if your looking for one of the funnest most reliable bikes don't look any further than the DR650SE...
Happy riding people.
Reliable, good price, easy to maintain & such a fun bike on & off road
Suspension & stock muffler
After 30 years without a bike I and 2 mates bought 3 DR650's new in 2007. We are very happy with the bikes and have had many great trips, and some spills. We have been hard on these bikes and they love it. Initially the clutches needed adjusting as they were set too fine and started to slip.
On the road they will sit on 110kmh (GPS) all day and TS at about 140kmh (GPS) with 14T and loaded. In the bush they will run all day and be ready for the next tough day. If you fall off you can be pretty certain of getting back on and continuing where you...
DR 650 09 MODEL A WINNER
This would have to be one the of the all time best buys on the market
basic reliable bullet proof motor , it can cruise all day on 75mph without any issue, its simple to maintain and wont cost you a fortune for parts, in fact its very hard to fault the DR650 the only add on it requires are a quality seat or even suzuki gel seat is a 100% improvement on the original and a decent screen up front eagle screen in australia make a quality screen for the DR , Add them 2 items and you have a top bike that will go anywhere on or off road and with the ...
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.
Gulf western syn-x 3000, 10w40 semi synthetic works fine in a dr650 , or any wet clutch motorcycle , there are no friction modifiers in it , and you can pick it up on special for as low as $15.00 for 5 lts .
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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