Originally Posted by JayHawk
Here's some info from Jesse at Kientech.
1998 and early '99 were equipped with a solid idler gear that created a problem when the engine kicked back during shutdown, breaking out the gear bearing bosses. '96 and '97 had the torque limiter gear that is designed to slip due to a preloaded slip clutch arrangement. They went back to this design in mid '99 after vin # X2100561.
Originally Posted by 750Volts!
Wade, I know very little about them other than Bill's bike is pretty light and easy to ride. From what I read the big change is 1996 anything earlier than that has more weight higher and less parts available aftermarket. Check this one out :
Good luck. I bet you could shave 50lbs off of that thing too.
That's about all you really need to know about these DR's in terms of problems. 96+ are solid and have changed very little. The 98-99 idle gear problem was just for those years.
the only other issue is the NSU screws that can be easily fixed with some time and a little loctite. You'll have to do that on any bike you buy so it's really not an 'issue' to look for. More of a maintenance thing.
Same as the infamous leaky base gasket. Some years came with a paper gasket which wears easily and starts to weep. Easy cheap fix to throw a metal one and be done with it.
DR650's are solid bikes. Good luck with finding one.