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Old 12-01-2012, 09:10 AM   #826
PHILinFRANCE
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Yep you're right "A little knowledge can be dangerous" but also very helpful !!!

The main reason i asked the question was , i'll be in Africa "The Dark Continent" and there aint may Suzuki dealers and although i 've read many RxRs in S America , Russia and the Stans where things blow up they are nearer the 21st century than Africa and ironically this is one of the reasons i want to go !!!

All that said your input is excepted and taken on board ...............................after all i'm only a rag arse bricklayer and pulling engines apart and rebuilding worry me !!!!

Phil
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:27 AM   #827
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
gotta admit because of this thread, would not even consider owning a DR650.
Could we interest you in big bore kit equipped / doohickey modded KLR...

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Old 12-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #828
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILinFRANCE View Post
Yep you're right "A little knowledge can be dangerous" but also very helpful !!!

The main reason i asked the question was , i'll be in Africa "The Dark Continent" and there aint may Suzuki dealers and although i 've read many RxRs in S America , Russia and the Stans where things blow up they are nearer the 21st century than Africa and ironically this is one of the reasons i want to go !!!

All that said your input is excepted and taken on board ...............................after all i'm only a rag arse bricklayer and pulling engines apart and rebuilding worry me !!!!

Phil
Hey Phil! Good to hear you're getting out there again on your DR650!
For me, I could not see spending what it will cost you to have the cases split to do a repair on an UN BROKEN gear box. Paying shop rates for that will be spendy. If you could do it yourself, it'd make more sense.

I vote for your idea of buying a 2nd hand, beat DR as back up. But then ... if you can't do the work yourself, you'd still have to pay someone to make the swap or repair. $$$$ .. and get the parts to where ever you are.
No easy solution it seems.

The good news is I don't imagine you've got all that much in your current DR650? Just a guess here. If she blows 3rd gear ... maybe just scavenge the good bits you've added off the dead carcass and walk away?
Chicken buses aren't so bad!

Might make the most sense from a $$$ point of view. (???)

Hope to read about your travels soon!
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:08 AM   #829
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Hi ADV G
Not realy been off the DR , we moved house in August and not had a good internet set up , i went back to Morroco in September and a week in the pyrenees in June but not able to post vids on this STEAM POWERED computer

Buying a second DR is high on my list as i don't mind swapping engines and the like BUT splitting them is a different ball game , specialised tool and the like.

Hope to get a decent net line in the next month or so and doing the Pyrenees West to East in spring so will post up a tale or two

Cheers Phil
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:03 PM   #830
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
sooo ... third gear failures in America are a myth?

gotta admit because of this thread, would not even consider owning a DR650.
This thread has done it's job well.
You've been taken in by what is largely a hoax. Less then 1% of any bike can blow bits out its tailpipe.
Its the internet at it's very best.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:26 PM   #831
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Originally Posted by 996DL View Post
Could we interest you in big bore kit equipped / doohickey modded KLR...

996DL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
This thread has done it's job well.
You've been taken in by what is largely a hoax. Less then 1% of any bike can blow bits out its tailpipe.
Its the internet at it's very best.
nah... already got a sweeet R80 G/S for RTW ... but did consider a KLR, due to it's rugged reputation. helps that it's cheap too.

seems there were a few reports of DR650 third gear blowing up in South America too.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:49 PM   #832
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
nah... already got a sweeet R80 G/S for RTW ... but did consider a KLR, due to it's rugged reputation. helps that it's cheap too.

seems there were a few reports of DR650 third gear blowing up in South America too.
if i were planning a rtw and were concerned about reliability, no way i'd choose a bmw over a dr650...

ymmv,

doug s.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:18 PM   #833
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:14 PM   #834
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
sooo ... third gear failures in America are a myth? gotta admit because of this thread, would not even consider owning a DR650.
Hey Cy, have you actually read this thread? Start to finish?
When you do read it ... you'll find not much is really known about this problem: why it happens or what the fix is. There is a smattering of data ... but very little actually known.
Some estimate the % to be LESS THAN 1% of DR's worldwide.

Note that the machinist who makes the "new" gear (UK) could find nothing wrong with the stock Suzuki gear. Other issues may be at work here ... as yet, no one seems positive what those might be.

From Data Nordie collected ... looks like mostly bike from Oz and NZ have had the failures ... but there have been a few US bikes too ... including a '96 I had a few years back. It could have been an NSU bolt or 3rd gear. No idea, never tore motor down.

But I'd bet I have the largest sample group of "real" DR riders here or anywhere. I actually know and ride with these guys at least once a month.
In my riding group we now have 7 DR650's. I've ridden with most of them for 8 years now. Our group rides hard but only a few do any hard off road.
I do on my DR ... it's been to Baja three times since 2006. Now near 50K miles on my '06.

NONE of the guys in our group have blown a gear box ... and the only problem among ANY of them has been one dead battery and a few flats. This isn't a huge sample group ... but if you know more DR riders and ride with them ... you let me know.

We've all learned lots about the DR650 from the "big" DR thread and thanks to many of the Aussies and Kiwis, we've learned quite a few engineering tricks too and everyone has contributed great maintenance and upgrade ideas. Many of those guys are long gone now. Out riding I'd guess. Moved on.

BTW ... do you have any idea at all just how many DR650's have been sold in the USA since 1996? Thought not. How does tens of thousands sound?
Remember, Suzuki have about 2000 dealers in the USA alone.
Since 2005 Suzuki claim DR650 sales have really spiked UP. I don't know exact figures but they are very happy with the "adventure" thing as it's boosted sales on the DR650 and DRZ400's.

There is no doubt that gear box failures are likely under reported as it's something that rarely happens during the short warranty period. Once an unlucky owner finds out the cost to repair (out of warranty) ... well most just walk away. Not worth repair $$$ once motor is beat up internally.

There have been a few lucky riders who caught the problem early ... an NSU bolt loose in gear box ... or a "funny" sound ... stopped and cracked the case open, replaced the gear or fished out the NSU bolt and got off fairly cheap. So not all end in disaster.

Example:
A French guy riding in Mexico on an old DR purchased in CA before the trip, (IIRC). Owner found a bit of gear tooth in the oil, bike displayed NO symptoms at all previous ...Mex mechanic tore it down, fixed it using OEM Suzuki parts. He rode on. Last I ever heard about him.

The fact is ... dozens of DR riders have done Mex, Cent America, S. America successfully in the last 5 to 8 years ... and only a few ever post HERE. Not many show fatal problems that I've read about. But YMMV.

If you think you have found a better travel bike, buy it. NONE are perfect. Some are far worse and more troublesome than the DR650.

Adv Grifter screwed with this post 12-01-2012 at 09:20 PM
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:53 PM   #835
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Originally Posted by PHILinFRANCE View Post
Cheers for the input guys , thing is i can get another DR with loads less kms for around 2000 and end up with lots of spares , may go this way as stripping the motor and rebuild is going to cost a shilling or two !!!!!
That's what I did.

Good set of spares
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:58 PM   #836
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Originally Posted by 996DL View Post
If the internet Chicken Little scenario is too overwhelming, substitute a DRZ variant, other than blue locktiting a few internal motor items, even the internet hasn't been able to highlight ANY weaknesses with it's reliability. Problem solved, RTW types...
Don't rattle gun the sprocket bolt on. It can pull the shaft over and friction weld the internals...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 996DL View Post
The two oldest Suzuki dealers I know, have both never dealt with a DR650 transmission failure in countless decades, of selling the brand.
They've only been sold for 16 years!

Less than 10 failures in this country and hundreds of bike shops and hardly any would have seen or heard of the problem.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:59 PM   #837
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
gotta admit because of this thread, would not even consider owning a DR650.
Really?

If mine died again, I'd still have one.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:02 AM   #838
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
But I'd bet I have the largest sample group of "real" DR riders here or anywhere. I actually know and ride with these guys at least once a month.
In my riding group we now have 7 DR650's. I've ridden with most of them for 8 years now. Our group rides hard but only a few do any hard off road.
We had about 30 DR's on an off road ride in Jan (180 bikes). 2 of the group have had failures (both 2001 models, 60,000km and about a week apart). Both of us still ride DR650's.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:17 AM   #839
PHILinFRANCE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Hey Cy, have you actually read this thread? Start to finish?
When you do read it ... you'll find not much is really known about this problem: why it happens or what the fix is. There is a smattering of data ... but very little actually known.
Some estimate the % to be LESS THAN 1% of DR's worldwide.

Note that the machinist who makes the "new" gear (UK) could find nothing wrong with the stock Suzuki gear. Other issues may be at work here ... as yet, no one seems positive what those might be.

From Data Nordie collected ... looks like mostly bike from Oz and NZ have had the failures ... but there have been a few US bikes too ... including a '96 I had a few years back. It could have been an NSU bolt or 3rd gear. No idea, never tore motor down.

But I'd bet I have the largest sample group of "real" DR riders here or anywhere. I actually know and ride with these guys at least once a month.
In my riding group we now have 7 DR650's. I've ridden with most of them for 8 years now. Our group rides hard but only a few do any hard off road.
I do on my DR ... it's been to Baja three times since 2006. Now near 50K miles on my '06.

NONE of the guys in our group have blown a gear box ... and the only problem among ANY of them has been one dead battery and a few flats. This isn't a huge sample group ... but if you know more DR riders and ride with them ... you let me know.

We've all learned lots about the DR650 from the "big" DR thread and thanks to many of the Aussies and Kiwis, we've learned quite a few engineering tricks too and everyone has contributed great maintenance and upgrade ideas. Many of those guys are long gone now. Out riding I'd guess. Moved on.

BTW ... do you have any idea at all just how many DR650's have been sold in the USA since 1996? Thought not. How does tens of thousands sound?
Remember, Suzuki have about 2000 dealers in the USA alone.
Since 2005 Suzuki claim DR650 sales have really spiked UP. I don't know exact figures but they are very happy with the "adventure" thing as it's boosted sales on the DR650 and DRZ400's.

There is no doubt that gear box failures are likely under reported as it's something that rarely happens during the short warranty period. Once an unlucky owner finds out the cost to repair (out of warranty) ... well most just walk away. Not worth repair $$$ once motor is beat up internally.

There have been a few lucky riders who caught the problem early ... an NSU bolt loose in gear box ... or a "funny" sound ... stopped and cracked the case open, replaced the gear or fished out the NSU bolt and got off fairly cheap. So not all end in disaster.

Example:
A French guy riding in Mexico on an old DR purchased in CA before the trip, (IIRC). Owner found a bit of gear tooth in the oil, bike displayed NO symptoms at all previous ...Mex mechanic tore it down, fixed it using OEM Suzuki parts. He rode on. Last I ever heard about him.

The fact is ... dozens of DR riders have done Mex, Cent America, S. America successfully in the last 5 to 8 years ... and only a few ever post HERE. Not many show fatal problems that I've read about. But YMMV.

If you think you have found a better travel bike, buy it. NONE are perfect. Some are far worse and more troublesome than the DR650.
Well said
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:20 AM   #840
PHILinFRANCE
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Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
That's what I did.

Good set of spares
That settles it then .................i was 90% that way anyway , and hell if it dont pop i'll end up with two DRs
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