DR650SE Index Topic#13- PROBLEMS/FAILURES
DR650SE Index Topic#13- PROBLEMS/ISSUES
Lucky 13... how about some bad luck stories :hide. For such an inexpensive motorcycle, the DR has proven itself remarkably reliable. A few problems have been observed over the years. Some relatively minor, others catastrophic. While epic failures like the third gear problem are dramatic and troubling, they are still very rare.
Share your fixes, dodged bullets and, yes, your disasters... :(: :ear
-CAMSHAFT CHAIN TENSIONER (CCT) GASKET
-UPPER CHAIN ROLLER
-NEUTRAL SENDING UNIT [NSU] SCREWS
-3RD GEAR FAILURE
none for me
I had an electrical fire in the main wiring harness. Destroyed the whole wiring system. A fellow DR650 ADV'r sent me one from his parts bike just to help an old guy out. Thanks Steve:clap
NSU screws do need to be checked, one of mine had started to come out. Wasn't even finger tight. Check those suckers!
I did the lock tite and star washer method. It was a good practice session to learn about the clutch too, mine was still like new. Then again I was only at 6K then. :rofl
Its never happened to me,but...
I bought my bike (a 99 that didnt have a limiter from the factory) from a gent who "forgot" to tell me about the boss that holds a gear in place explode on him and tear the boss in half, then he had it repaired (slob weld job). I found the repair after I had a bolt break off the fly wheel and proceeded to chew up my stator.
Instead of attempting another weld job that probably wouldnt last I decided the best course of action would be to bite the dust and replace the motor cases, I'd rather do it rite as have to waste my time and money (quite a bit by the time its finished) on a roll of the dice.
By chance you own a 98 or 99 model and havent put in a tourque limiter, do so ASAP, An idea of the cost involved...motor cases (new) $700ish (used)$300/$400, service manual $65 new, specialty tools (must have) fly wheel puller $80 the rest of the tools you can improvise becuase some run at $200 a piece, Gasket set $80/$160 (depends), labor bids ran $500 to $700 (main reason I'm gonna do it).
A lotta hassle and cash for a $170 part.
I have a 2003 with about 5k miles complete with leaky base gasket. Recall Suzuki switched from a paper to a metal gasket in approximately '03. The leak acts like a pinhole spitting tiny droplets of oil as the motor revs. A nice bead of high temp silicone has effectively taken care of the problem. I'm planning to take this bike through South America next year and have no plans to replace the leaking gasket. :huh
I have a '99(post torque limiter fix) that I have put a new top end on and now am facing a tranny rebuild. The rings were nesassary as it was down to 60psi. I have 30,000+- miles on it and other than routine maintanance I've had no other problems. I will update when I figure out what exactly is wrong with my tranny, but at this point it is very sloppy and making a loud whine. (Obviously I'm not riding it anymore.)
NSU screws- one tight, one backing its way out with only 3,000 miles on a 2008 bike. I would definitely check this on any DR.
Stator failure at 28,000 miles.
Rear brake light assembly vibrated loose at about 16,000 miles, then the steel mounting bracket broke from vibration at 30,000 miles. Luckily ADVGrifter had sent me a replacement for it- free! Thanks, Grifter.
Upper chain roller:
I didn't much believe that the Suzuki engineers could make this mistake, so I had ignored mine. But I wanted a roller bearing one. While installing the new lower roller, I was surprised that, after cleaning, the original roller showed zero wear after 15,000 miles, other than abrasion; but the upper roller had chain grooves worn in it. WTF, the lower roller does all the work, doesn't it? :huh
So, I reinstalled the stock upper and new lower roller; but now I'm watching the upper closely. After a bit, I start noticing that, under G-load compressions (not the hard dirt hits, the highspeed highway dips), I thought that I was feeling a 'growl' under compression; only once or twice a ride, so easy to forget about. Hmmmmm, I wonder if that's the upper roller?? So, I took it off. That was several hundred miles ago, and I think that was the problem. Season is over, so I won't know for sure til next year. :(
Another potential upper roller issue: I originally planned on replacing it with a roller bearing, but they're a larger diameter; which would increase the interference.
Note: I was running a 15T front sprocket (stock 41 rear) for most of the mileage (when the groves were cut), but I noticed the 'growl' after installing a 16T, raising the chain toward that roller.
Edited to add MotoScooter's pic:
If you want to keep the upper roller:
I had a brake light bulb blow at 18000k
CCT gasket started leaking at 25000k
REMOVE THE UPPER CHAIN ROLLER.
It is located too low on the frame, so it comes into contact with the chain when the suspension is compressed and you accelerate. Having the correct chain tension will not prevent this problem.
Nobody has ever reported any negative effects from having the upper roller removed, while plenty of people now have holes in their frame for being ignorant of this issue.
Put a small set screw or a big blob of silicone in it's place instead. Don't use a bolt with a big head that will stick out and catch the chain.
Don't let the length of this post scare you, it's just several solutions by different riders.
The Neutral Sending Unit screws have been known to loosen themselves and find their way into the tranny gears, not good. Does not seem to be related to model year or mileage. It's a small percentage failure number, but a big disaster $$$ if it happens. After removing the clutch cover: remove, clean screw threads and holes, then Loctite or safety wire. I prefer safety wire.
So if your neutral indicator light quits or starts acting funny...... :eek1
"One point though on the screw just gently falling out and settling on the bottom. The hurricane turbulence of the clutch basket and gears in the oil can easily sweep the screw up into places that would be a major bummer for it/them to be."
Like these two pics:
Thanks to LukasM, pics are worth a thousand words:
Mine only has the single blue wire:
2laneblacktop's step by step and NSU screw sizes:
The two NSU screws, the pin and spring hiding behind the NSU, looking to escape:
TREE posted this, I think a good solution:
This is the plan for my NSU bolts . . . easy to wrench and then they will be lockwired.
plodalong posted his idea:
The oil pump drive gear is some sort of resin/fiber construction, so I replaced it (at 15,000 miles). It's $19.94 and #7 here:
There is also a seal in the clutch cover I'd replace while in there. It's shown in the middle photo on page 3-42 in the service manual.
It's on the crankshaft page, #10 here:
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