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Old 05-28-2013, 09:07 AM   #1021
Foot dragger
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Originally Posted by sagedrifter View Post
The DR650 has been much more reliable than my past bikes, two of those left me stranded, a KTM and a Honda and even my 07 FJR had major electrical issues. Thankfully we have many choices on what to ride.

If you don't trust the DR650, try a KLR650 or BMW.... I've yet to have a 100% reliable bike, the DR650 has been the most reliable so far though.

As my 2007 ages I'm happy with it. Its lasted longer than expected, reading this thread made me think it would never make 15,000 miles, its way past that now and I beat the hell out of mine. I've gotten more bang from my buck with the DR650 than any other bike I've owned. Two people have learned to shift on it, so it has been abused.

I like to change oil around 3,000 miles because the shifting gets "less smooth" by then. So, I'm in the same boat there, let the transmission tell you when to change oil. My DR650 always liked a synthetic 10w40 best. I get what ever name brand oil is on sale and stock up when I can. Lots of guys around here have 40 to 50,000 miles on their DR650's. I doubt I will get up that high, but it gives me hope that I can.
Thats the experience Ive had with my DR,27000 miles on it now with out so much as a fart out of it,runs and shifts like the day I bought it.

They are clunky shifting bikes at the best of times,I can tell no difference between fresh oil and old oil. It seems like the trick for smooth shifts on a DR is to run the bike at higher revs,it just slips from gear to gear at higher rpm's.
And really,my DR was cheap to buy used with 4000 miles on it,I see nice low mileage DR's for under 3K, so if it has a problem someday I will transfer all the trick bits over to another one.

Spending energy be-moaning a possible gearbox issue that hasnt happened is an odd way to go. Too much time spent on the internets can make a guy think all bikes are junk.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:17 AM   #1022
GSF1200S
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Originally Posted by doug s. View Post
maybe it is time you sell that pos dr650 of yours. if not, stop freaking whining already; jeez. everyone here knows how you feel about this.

imo, the dr650 is no worse than any other motorcycle, and better than most, when it comes to reliability, and/or "known" issues that are problem areas. and, motorcycling isn't the safest activity - you're more likely to have a fatal incident from something other than a 3rd gear failure. in fact, afaik, there have not been any fatalities related to this failure mode.

at least i have the pleasure of knowing you are so freaking neurotic about it, that it impedes on the enjoyment of your ride!

doug s.
I'm glad it makes you happy that it "impedes my enjoyment". I just responded like a dick just like he did- no need to hate on me for it. Says a lot about you.

"Whining" is apparently any view that doesn't agree with the consensus. If everyone whined instead of defended Suzuki by not buying the bike, Suzuki would either fix it or stop selling it- the right thing to do when peoples lives are at stake. I'll be sure to let everyone know if it kills me... wait. Well, not like a whiners life matters anyways.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:21 AM   #1023
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
You should consider staying home with the drapes drawn and watching TV news.
There's danger everywhere and your dwelling on it.
If your so sure your DR will explode,why do you ride it?

Mine runs smooth and I dont worry a lick about it.
I'm poor and don't have any other option at this point. I agree that one shouldn't live under the bed. I've taken risks that were more dangerous- that doesnt make it OK for a corp to produce a product that has such a fatal flaw knowingly or through its own negligence.

I'm not under my bed. I'm heading up from Seattle on a Dr to alaska- if that doesn't show the willingness to take on risk for reward I don't know what will
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:43 AM   #1024
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
If it gets past 50k, I'll sell it being sure any potential buyer sees this thread and never look back as I purchase a bike that doesn't have an unpredictable, completely catastrophic, and potentially fatal problem that still exists because Suzuki is too cheap to fix or try to fix it... but certainly willing to raise the price to make more money
Suzuki SHOULD address the issue ... but how would you advise them on this? How should they proceed? How many DR650's have had gear box troubles under warranty? I'd guess SO FEW that it's not raised a Red Flag at Suzuki.

Should Suzuki RECALL every DR650 and replace EVERY gear box?
And if they do that ... what gear box should they use to replace the current one? So far, NO ONE can find an obvious design or material flaw with the current gear box. The guy in UK who makes the billet 3rd gear said the stock 3rd gear look just fine ... he could see NO signs it was faulty ... or would fail.

Others have looked at the whole Trans. to try and find the issue(s) and I haven't heard any definitive claims showing WHERE, WHY or HOW the gear box fails. Lots of theories, but not hard proof, AFAIK. So ... given all that ... what are Suzuki to do with this?

It's unrealistic to believe they would recall every single DR in the world and replace the gear box.

What they could do is: warranty any failed gear box. Costly but doable. Another direction: do serious TESTING of the current box, force it to fail ... then RE-Design a better, more reliable one and address the weak point.
Will they do this? NO. Not unless there is a wrongful death lawsuit or some shakeup in Suzuki corporate culture. (unlikely)

Since NO ONE has crashed, been hurt or killed due to gear box issues, I doubt we will see any move from Suzuki. I've only heard of a few instances of the gear box locking at speed. I know it's happened, but many times the owner gets a warning before failure: Bike won't shift, bad noises, crunching or broken bits of gear coming out in a oil change. NOT ALL LOCK UP. So there your odds of your eminent death is even less likely.

But honestly, if your DR650 gives that much anxiety I would sell it off immediately. Get something you trust. If you get an XR650L ... well you should talk to me first ... as I bought one NEW in 1993. Sold it within 6 months of new at a BIG LOSS. NOTHING has changed on the XR-L since '92.

I've made several Baja trips with LOTS of guys riding XR-L's. In those years they were very popular ... a few even raced them in the Baja 1000. But all is not well with the XR650L either. Trust me on this. And guess what? Only ONE of the 10 or so guys that owned this bike back then, still own the XR650L now, and at least three of these guys own (or owned) a DR650!
Most have gone with Huskies, KTM's or Suzuki DRZ400's.

If I was looking for a new 650 dual sport, I'd be all over the Husky Terra 650. (made by BMW!) I'm not a BMW fan ... but initial reports are very good. The Terra will soon be gone for good. They are heavily discounted now.
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:09 PM   #1025
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Suzuki SHOULD address the issue ... but how would you advise them on this? How should they proceed? How many DR650's have had gear box troubles under warranty? I'd guess SO FEW that it's not raised a Red Flag at Suzuki.

Should Suzuki RECALL every DR650 and replace EVERY gear box?
And if they do that ... what gear box should they use to replace the current one? So far, NO ONE can find an obvious design or material flaw with the current gear box. The guy in UK who makes the billet 3rd gear said the stock 3rd gear look just fine ... he could see NO signs it was faulty ... or would fail.

Others have looked at the whole Trans. to try and find the issue(s) and I haven't heard any definitive claims showing WHERE, WHY or HOW the gear box fails. Lots of theories, but not hard proof, AFAIK. So ... given all that ... what are Suzuki to do with this?

It's unrealistic to believe they would recall every single DR in the world and replace the gear box.

What they could do is: warranty any failed gear box. Costly but doable. Another direction: do serious TESTING of the current box, force it to fail ... then RE-Design a better, more reliable one and address the weak point.
Will they do this? NO. Not unless there is a wrongful death lawsuit or some shakeup in Suzuki corporate culture. (unlikely)

Since NO ONE has crashed, been hurt or killed due to gear box issues, I doubt we will see any move from Suzuki. I've only heard of a few instances of the gear box locking at speed. I know it's happened, but many times the owner gets a warning before failure: Bike won't shift, bad noises, crunching or broken bits of gear coming out in a oil change. NOT ALL LOCK UP. So there your odds of your eminent death is even less likely.

But honestly, if your DR650 gives that much anxiety I would sell it off immediately. Get something you trust. If you get an XR650L ... well you should talk to me first ... as I bought one NEW in 1993. Sold it within 6 months of new at a BIG LOSS. NOTHING has changed on the XR-L since '92.

I've made several Baja trips with LOTS of guys riding XR-L's. In those years they were very popular ... a few even raced them in the Baja 1000. But all is not well with the XR650L either. Trust me on this. And guess what? Only ONE of the 10 or so guys that owned this bike back then, still own the XR650L now, and at least three of these guys own (or owned) a DR650!
Most have gone with Huskies, KTM's or Suzuki DRZ400's.

If I was looking for a new 650 dual sport, I'd be all over the Husky Terra 650. (made by BMW!) I'm not a BMW fan ... but initial reports are very good. The Terra will soon be gone for good. They are heavily discounted now.
Look at a gearbox that works in another bike and do as much to copy that design as possible without getting sued- that's what I would do but I am no expert. I think they should do a whole new design of the gearbox adding a 6th gear, but that's just my opinion. The strange thing about this issue is all the Suzuki's I'm familiar with have great gearboxes. I've ridden the crap out of my Bandit and it still shifts smooth as butter.

I hear you on the xrl. I'm entertaining the idea but it does have its own problems- battery box, steep second gear, weak subframe, poor cooling in terms of the head, top heavy though lighter, etc.

Believe it or not, I'm actually considering a KTM 690 if I can afford one. I don't mind frequent maintenance, but all the crap I can't fix does bother me. Fuel injected, water cooled.. complicated.

So, I hear you, and believe me when I say I appreciate many things about the DR. I bought one after all and I've done everything to it myself and haven't had any issues other than a blown cct gasket.

I know I'm the big "whiner" here, but its the principle of this that mainly bothers me. I am fairly wreck less to myself and frankly the fear of dying by 3rd doesn't really bother me. Its the mentality at large that life is worth less than money that is one of the many reasons I live wrecklessly
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:31 PM   #1026
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
If I was looking for a new 650 dual sport, I'd be all over the Husky Terra 650. (made by BMW!) I'm not a BMW fan ... but initial reports are very good. The Terra will soon be gone for good. They are heavily discounted now.
If you guys don't like whining, you really don't want to get me started on BMW
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:07 PM   #1027
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Originally Posted by brucifer View Post
But, these don't count because they're not members of ADVrider--and I understand and agree with that.
But that just goes to show you, really, just how many have grenaded that we aren't aware of?
As far as I can tell, the list is made up of confirmed failures reported on AdvRider, ThumperTalk, DRRiders, KiwiBiker...
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:47 PM   #1028
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Third Gear - S. America

One more third gear failure to add to the list.

At 62,000 kms a tooth on the third gear sheared off. Luckily no apparent damage as yet. It's a 2006 unmolested DR650.

If anyone can interpret the images I'll very very grateful for the help.


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Old 05-28-2013, 03:53 PM   #1029
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You are a very lucky man. Replace the gears and shift forks and you should be good. Pure conjecture but its pics like this that make me lean gear instead of shift forks.

I dont see the shift forks in your pics.. how do they look?

The blowups just keep rollin in , and many aren't even on the list or reported. Oops! I'll quit whining! (Not likely)
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:04 PM   #1030
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
If you guys don't like whining, you really don't want to get me started on BMW
The Husqvarna Terra is more Chinese and Italian than it is BMW. Far as I understand it ... chassis, cycle parts/components are mostly Italian made, Japanese ... and a few German items. The motor is based on the Rotax F650 motor ... but is 3 generations evolved as constructed by Loncin in China.

I know well the common BMW failures and the arrogance with which BMW Gmbh deal with said problems and how they treat customers.
Suzuki are positively altruistic by comparison.

Amazingly ... the Terra thread here on ADV ... and on Cafe Husky have remarkably GOOD reports on these bikes! No real problems, no explosions or failures of any kind ... at least none I've heard of.

It's true it is still early days and only a few Terra/Strada owners have topped 10,000 miles thus far. By end of Summer I'd bet we'll pretty much know how these bikes are going to hold up long term. I'm betting they are good. Go test ride one. I did, was very impressed.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:16 PM   #1031
3DChief
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I have to wonder about the cush rubbers and 3rd gear failures. I recently changed mine (27K miles and I assume they are original on a '96) and couldn't believe the difference in drive line slop and shifting. It feels like a brand new bike now.

All that slop would put a lot of load back through the transmission. It is a gradual thing that you don't realize as they deteriorate, it doesn't become obvious how bad it is until you put new ones in and feel the difference. Maybe people are waiting too long between replacements and it is causing damage to the gears? Thoughts?


Tim
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:54 PM   #1032
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DR650 3rd gear blowups

Thanks for the heads up GSF1200s. I definitely got lucky and stopped the engine as soon as I began to hear the chain rattle noise coming on when driving in third gear.
Shift forks are fine and do not appear to require replacing.

Luckily the gear tooth seems to have sheared off and fallen, without missing a beat, into the oil pan. As far as I've been able to see there are no damages caused by the tooth while free falling.

3DChief - I hear you on the cush rubbers and will check. However, I also have an XF650, with similar mileage ( 2002) and have never replaced the cush rubbers. Locally there are several thousand units of this model running around and there is no history of gearbox failures ( which the two models share).

Will keep exploring and see what comes up.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:58 PM   #1033
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Originally Posted by MRMIGS View Post
Thanks for the heads up GSF1200s. I definitely got lucky and stopped the engine as soon as I began to hear the chain rattle noise coming on when driving in third gear.
Shift forks are fine and do not appear to require replacing.

Luckily the gear tooth seems to have sheared off and fallen, without missing a beat, into the oil pan. As far as I've been able to see there are no damages caused by the tooth while free falling.

3DChief - I hear you on the cush rubbers and will check. However, I also have an XF650, with similar mileage ( 2002) and have never replaced the cush rubbers. Locally there are several thousand units of this model running around and there is no history of gearbox failures ( which the two models share).

Will keep exploring and see what comes up.
Please do keep an ear out for what NordieBoy and others more experienced have to say.

That said, usually when third fails, so does a shift fork. Your case really does suggest the gear is the problem, though who knows.

Also, make sure to flush the motor as best as possible before you reassemble. Its usually the metal getting circulated through the motor that destroys it, though in some cases the can chain gets jammed and snaps which destroys just as well
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:00 PM   #1034
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Originally Posted by 3DChief View Post
I have to wonder about the cush rubbers and 3rd gear failures. I recently changed mine (27K miles and I assume they are original on a '96) and couldn't believe the difference in drive line slop and shifting. It feels like a brand new bike now.

All that slop would put a lot of load back through the transmission. It is a gradual thing that you don't realize as they deteriorate, it doesn't become obvious how bad it is until you put new ones in and feel the difference. Maybe people are waiting too long between replacements and it is causing damage to the gears? Thoughts?


Tim
I believe its been decided it could contribute but isn't likely the main cause. I think gear teeth sheering shows its a metal problem. That said I replaced mine before I left on my trip and I am watching them. Any signs of wear and they will be replaced immediately
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #1035
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by 3DChief View Post
I have to wonder about the cush rubbers and 3rd gear failures. I recently changed mine (27K miles and I assume they are original on a '96) and couldn't believe the difference in drive line slop and shifting. It feels like a brand new bike now.

All that slop would put a lot of load back through the transmission. It is a gradual thing that you don't realize as they deteriorate, it doesn't become obvious how bad it is until you put new ones in and feel the difference. Maybe people are waiting too long between replacements and it is causing damage to the gears? Thoughts?


Tim
I think that is a pretty fair theory.
Imagine chugging hard, lugging the bike in the wrong gear, riding off road, pulling up a very steep long hill? ... Imagine the beating the gears take under this circumstance?

Fresh Cush Rubbers make a startling difference in smoothness, we all know that. (I first posted about this years ago)
But perhaps they also protect the gear box more than we realize? I'm on my 3rd set of Cush Rubbers ... and now over 50,000 hard miles ... and still chugging away ... in the wrong gear!
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