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Old 02-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #946
felixblack1
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Grifter, I'm aware of the theories and I've glossed over this thread. I'm also sticking to keeping the revs up, not lugging around on the bike especially 3rd and up. I'm at about 12,500kms and I tend to do a lot of deep sand riding and have loaded my bike up with plenty of water and fuel for longer trips. The DR has had a thrashing but has been maintained well. Will see how that goes
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:46 PM   #947
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post



My personal theory is you get different bikes from different parts manufacturers.

Are you suggesting that the the down under DRs are built with inferior parts to the US bound bikes? This sounds like a crock to me...

I'd lean more towards the theory that the DRs are not up to the pounding they get from the Aussie terrain...
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:14 PM   #948
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Originally Posted by gunnerbuck View Post
Are you suggesting that the the down under DRs are built with inferior parts to the US bound bikes? This sounds like a crock to me...

I'd lean more towards the theory that the DRs are not up to the pounding they get from the Aussie terrain...
Crock? Probably correct. You would know ... How's your DR holding up?

Not inferior parts ... possibly just made in another factory ... or parts sourced from outside Japan from different vendors. Suzuki have plants worldwide and source parts from dozens of companies. It's a thin theory ... but one never knows, stranger things have happened.

No question Aussie riders use the DR more as a real dirt bike. The DR obviously has a weak link when pushed hard ... unlike KTM's ... which never, ever break anything ... ever!
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:19 PM   #949
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
The DR obviously has a weak link when pushed hard ... unlike KTM's ... which never, ever break anything ... ever!
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:34 PM   #950
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Crock? Probably correct. You would know ... How's your DR holding up?

Not inferior parts ... possibly just made in another factory ... or parts sourced from outside Japan from different vendors. Suzuki have plants worldwide and source parts from dozens of companies. It's a thin theory ... but one never knows, stranger things have happened.

No question Aussie riders use the DR more as a real dirt bike. The DR obviously has a weak link when pushed hard ... unlike KTM's ... which never, ever break anything ... ever!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but my Bergs have been more reliable with fewer or no breakages compared to my DR650. I think 3rd gear is the only thing that i haven't broken on my DR yet.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:39 PM   #951
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Originally Posted by felixblack1 View Post

Grifter, I'm aware of the theories and I've glossed over this thread. I'm also sticking to keeping the revs up, not lugging around on the bike especially 3rd and up. I'm at about 12,500kms and I tend to do a lot of deep sand riding and have loaded my bike up with plenty of water and fuel for longer trips. The DR has had a thrashing but has been maintained well. Will see how that goes
Felix,
Sounds like your on the right track mate! Keeping the revs up has been put forward as "a good thing". I would use the best synthetic oil you can afford ... and GO FOR IT! best of luck.

I've ridden quite a bit of deep sand in Mexico ... but I'm a coward and keep it revving fairly mild and speeds down. (coming off at 70 mph is not my idea of fun! ... but at 25 mph, not too bad! ) I don't lug it ... I keep it at a good RPM in case it gets out of control ... I gas it and pull through the soft section (I suck at riding sand) ... then I slow back down and go as slow as possible without bogging down.

This technique worked everywhere except the Silt beds of Mitomi wash.
I fell down .. and could barely get out. (one meter deep silt)
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:37 PM   #952
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Crock? Probably correct. You would know ... How's your DR holding up?

Not inferior parts ... possibly just made in another factory ... or parts sourced from outside Japan from different vendors. Suzuki have plants worldwide and source parts from dozens of companies. It's a thin theory ... but one never knows, stranger things have happened.

No question Aussie riders use the DR more as a real dirt bike. The DR obviously has a weak link when pushed hard ... unlike KTM's ... which never, ever break anything ... ever!
I have always maintained that all makes of bikes break down or have there issues... No I don't own a DR but I have done repairs on them, ridden them and I quite like the bike that is why this thread interests me... I always like to know the faults of each model bike in case one comes in for repairs...

If your referring to some boast from me that KTMs never break down, it didn't happen... I have put a lot of miles on mine and no, it has never broken down and left me stranded, but it would have if I was not prudent about regular maintenance... Being a higher strung motor means the top end wears quicker so valve jobs are a more frequent requirement than on the other 650 class bikes...

It does sound a little like the X files conspiracy theory your putting up for the higher rate of down under breakdowns VS the US and where the parts are made... For parts being sourced from outside Japan I'm pretty sure that if they're going into the Aussie bikes they'll be going into the U.S. DRs as well...

So we go to the theory that any bike that gets ridden harder on average will have more problems, whether it be a DR, XR , KLR or KTM... Prudent Maintenance can help off set that somewhat but there will always be that percentage that just plain fail no matter what...
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:22 AM   #953
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
My personal theory is you get different bikes from different parts manufacturers.
We get US spec bikes, Canadanaianan spec bikes, Oz spec bikes, NZ spec bikes...

Whatever is available when the importers put an order in.

My '01 was NZ/Oz spec and the '97 was US spec.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:23 AM   #954
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Originally Posted by felixblack1 View Post



Grifter, I'm aware of the theories and I've glossed over this thread. I'm also sticking to keeping the revs up, not lugging around on the bike especially 3rd and up. I'm at about 12,500kms and I tend to do a lot of deep sand riding and have loaded my bike up with plenty of water and fuel for longer trips. The DR has had a thrashing but has been maintained well. Will see how that goes
Yep. Keep the revs up and don't lug. Especially in 4th and 5th. That's when the side dogs on 3rd are engaged.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:06 AM   #955
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We all have theories, and mine certainly doesnt mean much, but I think its intensity of use. Aussies use it- Americans ride around smooth dirt roads and call that offroading (the type that usually ride DRs anyways). The entire US population of men is increasingly being emasculated- the Aussies are just a little bit more behind the curve..














I dont have much dirt experience, but im riding mine hard like a dirt bike and soon to Alaska. I maintain it exceptionally well, so we'll see. Ill prolly never have a problem, but Id be lying if I said im not worried about it possibly ending my trip due to the catastrophic nature of the problem.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:21 AM   #956
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Quit worrying about things that have so little probability of occurring. Look out for traffic, the real threat. If your ride blows up, you can always hitchhike home.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:22 AM   #957
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Quit worrying about things that have so little probability of occurring. Look out for traffic, the real threat. If your ride blows up, you can always hitchhike home.
Spot on! ... and don't forget to look out for frickin' MOOSE ... and if you DO break down .. you better have Bear Spray!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:49 AM   #958
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Originally Posted by gunnerbuck View Post
I have always maintained that all makes of bikes break down or have there issues... No I don't own a DR but I have done repairs on them, ridden them and I quite like the bike that is why this thread interests me... I always like to know the faults of each model bike in case one comes in for repairs...
Do you work in a MC Shop?
Would you ever consider a DR650 as a travel bike if you got the chance to do a long range trip? Or would you stick with your KTM?

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Originally Posted by gunnerbuck View Post
If your referring to some boast from me that KTMs never break down, it didn't happen... I have put a lot of miles on mine and no, it has never broken down and left me stranded, but it would have if I was not prudent about regular maintenance... Being a higher strung motor means the top end wears quicker so valve jobs are a more frequent requirement than on the other 650 class bikes...
No, no boasts from you but seems some of the Orange Underpants gang can be a bit defensive if any sort of FACTS are brought up about KTM break downs.
They just go: LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!
They don't like quoting back ride reports documenting events.

All true about "higher strung" motor. Experts believe KTM bottom ends are as good as any (I agree) seems more ancillary systems that have more problems (water pumps, filters, cracked sub frames/frames, bent wheels, bearings et al). The DR is a Dog by comparison but usually keeps running without much drama. You see some older DR ride reports who DID NO maintenance ... let things get really bad ... and still made it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunnerbuck View Post
It does sound a little like the X files conspiracy theory your putting up for the higher rate of down under breakdowns VS the US and where the parts are made... For parts being sourced from outside Japan I'm pretty sure that if they're going into the Aussie bikes they'll be going into the U.S. DRs as well...
I get it, it does sound weird. But after hanging out with Suzuki Japan guys for a couple days and discussing Suzuki's broader production efforts around the world ... some interesting things were revealed. Who knows if any of it is true or would ever happen. Suzuki have several interesting international partnerships. (India, China, Korea, S. America)

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So we go to the theory that any bike that gets ridden harder on average will have more problems, whether it be a DR, XR , KLR or KTM... Prudent Maintenance can help off set that somewhat but there will always be that percentage that just plain fail no matter what...
Agreed. They ALL break from time to time. I admit I'm suspicious of KTM from the bad taste they left from my first experiences in the late 80's and early 90's riding AMA Enduros. The 2 strokes Won ... the 4 strokes broke down.

I have many KTM riding buddies here in the Bay Area. Most have 2 or 3 KTM's and have owned them since the late 90's. There is a history ... and not of all it is pretty. But it's NOW that matters. Current KTM's (IMO) are a 100 times better than the bad old days.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:05 PM   #959
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It's too anecdotal to add to the list really but I remember a mate's dad's brand new 2008 (or maybe 2007, it was early in 2008) with only 1000km on it having a gearbox issue so severe it nearly broke the back of the engine cases off.

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I have always maintained that all makes of bikes break down or have there issues......
Amen to that. About the same time I first had to do any significant work (water pump & cam bearings) on my highly strung KTM at 50K km one mate was doing the time consuming cylinder base gasket replacement on his uber reliable DR & another was replacing the eye wateringly expensive fuel pump on his uber reliable F650.

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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
All true about "higher strung" motor. Experts believe KTM bottom ends are as good as any (I agree) seems more ancillary systems that have more problems (water pumps, filters, cracked sub frames/frames, bent wheels, bearings et al). .
Frames? A problem on LC4 KTM's? Whereabouts have you seen them fail? It's something I'd like to keep an eye on as mine has a few hard miles under it's wheels now. Subframes are a well known issue on the 640 but I haven't heard of the main frame having problems, they're pretty beefy. (DR's on the other hand...)

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:01 PM   #960
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by clintnz View Post
It's too anecdotal to add to the list really but I remember a mate's dad's brand new 2008 (or maybe 2007, it was early in 2008) with only 1000km on it having a gearbox issue so severe it nearly broke the back of the engine cases off.
That is a drag ... I hope it was covered under warranty! It does happen. But overall, DR production since 1996 worldwide, very small percentage of failure.

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Amen to that. About the same time I first had to do any significant work (water pump & cam bearings) on my highly strung KTM at 50K km one mate was doing the time consuming cylinder base gasket replacement on his uber reliable DR & another was replacing the eye wateringly expensive fuel pump on his uber reliable F650.
Shame your friend didn't research this.
The simple fix on leaking base gaskets is a bead of high temp silicone around the seam. IT WORKS! About a half hour job. I did this for a friend about 2 years ago ... still no leaks. Happens on a few pre '05 DR's that use a paper base gasket. Newer ones use metal gasket.
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Frames? A problem on LC4 KTM's? Whereabouts have you seen them fail? It's something I'd like to keep an eye on as mine has a few hard miles under it's wheels now. Subframes are a well known issue on the 640 but I haven't heard of the main frame having problems, they're pretty beefy. (DR's on the other hand...)

Cheers
Clint
I've seen a few broke frames, on line, never in person ... you're right, mostly sub frame cracks.

You should come over, go down to Baja and hang out. Hundreds of dirt bike guys head down there every weekend. Lots of Orange bikes in the mix. A friend has a house there, I visit often. Baja is just a couple hours from the massive L.A./San Diego megalopolis of over 10 million. Bikes take a beating down there. LOTS of bikes break, lots of guys get hurt.

Very few broken DR frames. I've seen the Aussie DR that people continually repost the pic of (wired up). But how many others? ANY at all among US riders? Go on the BIG DR650 thread and ask how many have even heard of a broken frame ... or SUB frame. Such issues rarely surface.

Let me know what response you get ... or go read all 80,000 posts and let me know how many reports of broken frames you find. I've read the whole thread. I think I remember TWO broken frames. One was the Aussie one everyone shows. Can't even remember the other. I'll bet the Aussie guy was jumping his DR on a Motocross track.

There are probably 50,000 (conservative estimate) DR650's that have been sold in the USA since 1996. NZ and OZ have a tiny fraction of worldwide sales numbers. How many of those DR's are STILL on the road?

If you jump a DR650 or ride Whoops at speed ... something will break eventually. Not made for that. The DR is a mild mannered, long range travel bike ... not a Moto Cross bike. Anyone riding it as such gets what they get.

If someone thinks they are going to Moto Cross their way RTW, then KTM is the way to go ... and good luck with that plan! If you're going to commute 12,000 miles a year ... would you do it on a KTM? Or a DR650? Same old Same Old ... Horses For Courses.

According to Suzuki exec's... the DR650 was conceived (originally, back in the early 90's) as a college student commuter bike with occasional mild week end off road duty and errand runner.

In '96 Suzuki decided to toughen it up a bit and incorporate some new designs (SACS air/oil cooling, oil cooler, new frame, carb and more). They brought in Suzuki race them magician (and 5 time GNCC champion) Rodney Smith to help redesign and do R&D testing on the new bike. Turned out good ... not perfect, but not bad.

I attended the DR650 product launch ... in 1996. Anyone here riding then?
Rodney showed the press just what the bike could do ... in the right hands.
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