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Old 10-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #751
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
Where is the KLR 650 3rd gear blow up thread again? And before you go on about the doo, that can be FIXED for relatively cheap.
KLR's have some other problems ...

The good news is the guy had the frame welded and rode it back to the USA. Several KLR's have cracked/broken frames.

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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
I am worthy of making an observation about cheapness causing an issue?
reading about all the problems and living with the bike is slightly different. But you certainly have done your reading, and Kudos to that.
I still contend its not really "cheapness" at the root of this. Its a mistake, most likely from a supplier; improper heat treatment? Poor materials?
Poor design?

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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
Yet this has been happening for years, Suzuki KNOWS, and they continue to just not care.
Suzuki DO care. They care a lot about their reputation and brand. When you've been to Japan and visited factories ... and met with CEO's ... and become an expert on Japanese culture, you may begin to understand just how deep their commitment really is.

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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
What is your axe to grind with me for simply stating a fact?
My statements simply qualify me as having some background on dual sport bikes (nothing to do with dirt bikes ... which you brought up originally). My experience with Dual Sports really goes back to the 60's and my 1st bikes: a '60 Triumph Tiger Cub and later, a '66 Bultaco Matador. Both street legal dual sports. Many others fell between the Tiger Cub and the 3 DR650's I've owned. But none of that really matters ... If you don't trust the DR650 ... then limit your losses and get out of it now. Move on.

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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
The DR is beyond fluke as it pertains to third gear- it is an unlikely but nonetheless catastrophic and completely unpredictable problem that seems to happen with frequency and has been known by the manufacturer for some time yet is not addressed BECAUSE OF PROFIT.
Not with frequency ... according to limited data we have available. Lets stick to FACTS here ... not a hysterical Chicken Little fantasy.

Once again ... its not all about profit. For Suzuki, honor and reputation is important also. Of course they make a profit too ... but they tend to have a "longer view", unlike US and Euro corporations.

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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
This is where you and I differ. Based on what I "know" from others, I would be hesitant to beat the bike as a brick-tourer type bike is typically beaten. I would seriously reconsider any areas that were both nasty and remote, and it would be in the back of my mind constantly. Condemn me for this if you wish- its this mentality that keeps some of us alive.
No condemnation at all. If you don't feel good about the bike then I understand your position. But the FACTS are ... tens of thousands of DR650's HAVE been beat on .... HARD, both ON and OFF road for nearly 16 years. Yes, some gernaded, but a very small percentage overall.

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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
I have nothing beyond speculation to add either- but I hear there is a great deal of washboard over there and that would seem to constantly on-off load the gear (especially since 5th and 4th load the gear).
No doubt the bikes get used HARD down in Australia. Used more like dirt bikes rather than easy dual sport duty. Could be a factor ... but the gear still should not fail, on this we agree.

That said, I have ridden thousands of miles on harsh washboard both in California and Baja. At nearly 50,000 miles my DR has seen some abuse. So far, so good.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #752
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post


That said, I have ridden thousands of miles on harsh washboard both in California and Baja. At nearly 50,000 miles my DR has seen some abuse. So far, so good.
Didn't you mention that 1 out of the 3 DRs you owned suffered what was likely a 3rd gear catastrophic failure? If so wouldn't that represent a 33 1/3 percent failure rate under your ownership?
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:23 PM   #753
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
KLR's have some other problems ...

The good news is the guy had the frame welded and rode it back to the USA. Several KLR's have cracked/broken frames.

reading about all the problems and living with the bike is slightly different. But you certainly have done your reading, and Kudos to that.
I still contend its not really "cheapness" at the root of this. Its a mistake, most likely from a supplier; improper heat treatment? Poor materials?
Poor design?

Suzuki DO care. They care a lot about their reputation and brand. When you've been to Japan and visited factories ... and met with CEO's ... and become an expert on Japanese culture, you may begin to understand just how deep their commitment really is.

My statements simply qualify me as having some background on dual sport bikes (nothing to do with dirt bikes ... which you brought up originally). My experience with Dual Sports really goes back to the 60's and my 1st bikes: a '60 Triumph Tiger Cub and later, a '66 Bultaco Matador. Both street legal dual sports. Many others fell between the Tiger Cub and the 3 DR650's I've owned. But none of that really matters ... If you don't trust the DR650 ... then limit your losses and get out of it now. Move on.

Not with frequency ... according to limited data we have available. Lets stick to FACTS here ... not a hysterical Chicken Little fantasy.

Once again ... its not all about profit. For Suzuki, honor and reputation is important also. Of course they make a profit too ... but they tend to have a "longer view", unlike US and Euro corporations.


No condemnation at all. If you don't feel good about the bike then I understand your position. But the FACTS are ... tens of thousands of DR650's HAVE been beat on .... HARD, both ON and OFF road for nearly 16 years. Yes, some gernaded, but a very small percentage overall.

No doubt the bikes get used HARD down in Australia. Used more like dirt bikes rather than easy dual sport duty. Could be a factor ... but the gear still should not fail, on this we agree.

That said, I have ridden thousands of miles on harsh washboard both in California and Baja. At nearly 50,000 miles my DR has seen some abuse. So far, so good.
You are ruining the whole mood of this thread,the plan is to show how most every DR already has or will blow its gearbox skyhigh,despite nearly no facts supporting this.
One long continuous scare tactic in the tradition of internet horseshit.
Less then 1% of DR's have had a problem,a good portion of those are unproven,yet this thread goes on and on scaring people out of riding perfectly reliable bikes.

ALL bikes made can have problems and they do,its best to stay home if you want a guarantee nothing will ever break.

BMW's break all sorts of major stuff,people still ride em,life goes on.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #754
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Can you name what potentially disastrous (e.g. engine totaling) issues other bikes have that can't be easily and cheaply solved (e.g. like the Doo on the KLR)? I would barely even mention the NSU screws as an issue because that's a 30 min fix, but the gearbox?? And as of now the billet gears are still unproven.

Even on the troublesome KTM 690 you can get an aftermarket fuel pump for $120....
When the doo lets go in a KLR,it can completely destroy the engine,shrapnel is shrapnel.

Lc4's routinely scatter major parts of their engine,top and bottom,proven fact. BMW's can burn enough oil to glaze the bores and stick the rings,some do some dont. Lots of bikes have issues. Then the Final Drive saga,just as good as an engine scattering as far as leaving you stranded and costing lots of money.

CRF-X Hondas need to come apart pretty regular or they scatter,Honda still sells them.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:41 PM   #755
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I'm failing to understand what people's problem with this thread is.

It's (or it was) a thread about a problem that some drs have and some possible causes and cures.

I personally probably won't trust my dr in really remote places but I don't expect other people to be concerned about there dr's
It's up to individuals to decide if they want to be concerned about there bike or not.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:30 AM   #756
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
When the doo lets go in a KLR,it can completely destroy the engine,shrapnel is shrapnel.
But as others have said, it is a known issue that can be remedied BEFORE a catastrophic failure. Not so with this 3rd gear thing.

I really hope these new gears are the answer. I really like the DR650 and if I hadn't already sold mine, I'd have purchased a set.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:59 AM   #757
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But as others have said, it is a known issue that can be remedied BEFORE a catastrophic failure. Not so with this 3rd gear thing.

I really hope these new gears are the answer. I really like the DR650 and if I hadn't already sold mine, I'd have purchased a set.
You gotta wonder why Kawasaki has never addressed the issue since about 1988 or when ever they started making the things. Probably a lawyer thing by now.

The special DR gears are an answer to a problem that 99% of DR owners dont even think about and never will.
Feel free to worry though.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #758
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post

Lc4's routinely scatter major parts of their engine,top and bottom,proven fact.

Might want to check your facts on that one.

Or is this just your example of internet bullshit.


CRF-X Hondas need to come apart pretty regular or they scatter,Honda still sells them.

You do realise that the CRF is a competition bike and although its maintenance schedule may seem high to the average trail rider, it is acceptable for the role the bike was designed for?
Personally I don't see why a few people are getting so upset about this thread.

It can happen, and it is something I think should be considered.

I doubt it would turn me off a DR if I was looking for a bike in that price bracket, because the chances of it happening are so small.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:54 PM   #759
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Hello everyone, i'm new to the site and stumbled across it after an internet search regarding dr650 third gear issues.

I've recently purchased a suzuki xf 650 freewind that hasn't been used for a couple of years. After getting it home and giving it a quick going over i took it out for our maiden voyage. Everything was going great and i had a huge smile on my face up until selecting 3rd @ 3.5k revs when suddenly i hear a very loud whine which continues up to 5k rpm.

This whine is also present but to a lesser degree in 4th and 5th.

I've read all 51 pages of this thread with great interest, but one thing i cant find the answer to is, does this 3rd gear whine mean that 3rd gear is due to self destruct?

My bike has covered 28000 miles. It has no other issues engine / gearbox wise apart from the whine.

To be honest its got me worried, can / should i continue to use it as it is? I cant really afford to mend it, am i being paranoid?

Any info / advice would be very much appreciated.

How many miles have fellow owners covered with a whining 3rd gear
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:47 PM   #760
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Have a mechanic check it,best not to guess at something like that,3rd gear isnt engaged at the same time as 5th so probably something else.
DR's do tend to make some weird harmonic noises at various rpm's in all gears.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:49 PM   #761
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
KLR's have some other problems ...

The good news is the guy had the frame welded and rode it back to the USA. Several KLR's have cracked/broken frames.
Ok. Lets say it occurs the number of times third gear does- then maybe Kawasaki should fix the frame? And at least a welder with talent can possibly get the bike going again..

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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
reading about all the problems and living with the bike is slightly different. But you certainly have done your reading, and Kudos to that.
I do live with the bike, though I have not done so as long as you. No offense intended, but I do not feel this matters in relation to third gear.

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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
I still contend its not really "cheapness" at the root of this. Its a mistake, most likely from a supplier; improper heat treatment? Poor materials?
Poor design?
Then why have they not remedied the situation? If it is a poor supplier, then upon finding out about the problem, they would have immediately been on that suppliers ass to either fix the problem or they would have found a different supplier. If a small company (small-ish anyways) like Nova Racing can fabricate a billet third gear and sell it for a few hundred dollars, Suzuki itself has five times that capacity.

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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Suzuki DO care. They care a lot about their reputation and brand. When you've been to Japan and visited factories ... and met with CEO's ... and become an expert on Japanese culture, you may begin to understand just how deep their commitment really is.
Wow man- you really demand quite a bit for someone to have an opinion! I entirely understand the manner in which the Japanese are driven by honor and the pride they put into what they do. I have been to Japan. I have not visited factories or CEOs, and I am not an expert on Japanese culture, but if they were so committed it would have been RESOLVED by now. They would have changed suppliers, redesigned the gear or forks, etc. For that matter, they could have simply modified the manufacturing process to use loctite on the NSU screws and primary bolt, but they are too cheap for that too. The Japanese do have a lot of honor and have pride in what they do, but a corporation pledges allegiance to profit- NOT to morals.

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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
My statements simply qualify me as having some background on dual sport bikes (nothing to do with dirt bikes ... which you brought up originally). My experience with Dual Sports really goes back to the 60's and my 1st bikes: a '60 Triumph Tiger Cub and later, a '66 Bultaco Matador. Both street legal dual sports. Many others fell between the Tiger Cub and the 3 DR650's I've owned. But none of that really matters ... If you don't trust the DR650 ... then limit your losses and get out of it now. Move on.
And you have given some sound advice on a number of threads I have personally read. I am not doubting your experience, the value of it, and certainly I am not doubting the advice in other threads you have directly given me that were valuable pieces of advice. Really, I have no issue with you beyond the defense of the corporate mentality- one where you can deal with grenaded engines because they are too cheap to make a few simple changes (for the NSU) or even more drastic changes (3rd gear) to ensure advertised operation of what they are selling. But again, corporations do not CARE whether your engine blows UNLESS the reputation following such events HURT THEIR BOTTOM LINE.

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Not with frequency ... according to limited data we have available. Lets stick to FACTS here ... not a hysterical Chicken Little fantasy.
Ok, frequency indicates predictability or it happening repeatedly at a particular time interval. Since that is not the case, I should not have used frequency. I should have used "with repeated occurences".

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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Once again ... its not all about profit. For Suzuki, honor and reputation is important also. Of course they make a profit too ... but they tend to have a "longer view", unlike US and Euro corporations.
I do not agree pertaining to honor, though I do to a certain extent with reputation. If the DR had a reputation as an unreliable POS, noone would buy them and that would hurt Suzuki's bottom line- so yes, they care about reputation. Honor? It would be honorable for them to invest 50 cents to ENSURE that the NSU screws wouldnt come out, and it would be honorable for them to at least redesign the transmission where this issue doesnt occur. At least TRY to fix the problem- billet third gear, stronger forks, etc..


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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
No condemnation at all. If you don't feel good about the bike then I understand your position. But the FACTS are ... tens of thousands of DR650's HAVE been beat on .... HARD, both ON and OFF road for nearly 16 years. Yes, some gernaded, but a very small percentage overall.

No doubt the bikes get used HARD down in Australia. Used more like dirt bikes rather than easy dual sport duty. Could be a factor ... but the gear still should not fail, on this we agree.

That said, I have ridden thousands of miles on harsh washboard both in California and Baja. At nearly 50,000 miles my DR has seen some abuse. So far, so good.
I agree it is rare, I agree it probably wont happen to me even if I try to blow it up, and I agree that many DR's survive insane amounts of abuse. That said, it doesnt make the potential of injury or complete financial catastrophe go away. One might say other bikes have issues, but most of them can be remedied before the trip (doo)- NOT the DR650 and its third gear.

If "honor" really drove the Japanese companies, WHY did Kawasaki have the "doo" problem with the KLR for so long when an aftermarket solution could have easily been copied? Money. Same applies to the DR.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:22 PM   #762
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so i've bought a dr, and got it registered. it doesn't like going into 2nd very much. all other gears seem fine. is it time to split the engine ? i'll check the filter first.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:42 PM   #763
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so i've bought a dr, and got it registered. it doesn't like going into 2nd very much. all other gears seem fine. is it time to split the engine ? i'll check the filter first.
Has it been down on the left side?
Bent shifter?
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:18 AM   #764
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so i've bought a dr, and got it registered. it doesn't like going into 2nd very much. all other gears seem fine. is it time to split the engine ? i'll check the filter first.
Stop putting used falcoon oil in it when you do oil changes and also try using the clutch when you change gear Mr Cox
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:25 AM   #765
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Stop putting used falcoon oil in it when you do oil changes and also try using the clutch when you change gear Mr Cox
If the shift lever is loose,or got a little bent at some point,it can rub slightly on the countershaft cover or one of its bolts,lever flexes when being used to shift and rubs enough to affect shifting.
Gots to have clearance.
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