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Old 7 Dec 2004
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Dr650 Cracked frame

I am looking to update from a 88 XT600 Tenere 3aj
The DR650 2001 onwards is heading my list of replacement machines

BUT I have heard of the DR 650 frames cracking
Has anyone heard of this
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Old 8 Dec 2004
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No, I haven't. But the upper chain roller has just snapped off on one of our DRs, complete with its mount, leaving a jagged hole the size of a penny behind. I don't think that this poses a seriuos structural problem at this point, as the frame is quite large in this place, but I guess I'll have to have it welded.

If you put panniers on a mono shock trail bike and then jump I guess you can break any frame.

Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,


Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 22 Dec 2004
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hi donn, sorry i am a computer biff but i tried to answer your question but pressed new topic. if you click into the silky boy suzuki dr topic in the menu it may reassure you if you are thinking of getting a dr
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Old 22 Dec 2004
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hi donn

my wife and i are 9 months into our 4 year rtw trip on 2 old (1993 & 1995)dr650s. we have given them some stick on the way and tackled everything between uk and india, including kasakstan and northern pakistan. our bikes are old and we have had no structural problems. touch wood! i have just had a crash in india and totally twisted the rear of the subframe, but no welds cracked!!. the bike was fully loaded at the time too. as beddist says i suppose if you really abuse any bike it will eventually fail, but we have no reason to doubt our faithful dr build quality at the moment. i imagine the new ones are even better designed too.
good luck, jo and matt
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Old 25 Feb 2005
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I owned 1993 DR650 and currently own a 2003. My understanding is that Suzuki made the newer frame out of thinwall tubing for weight savings, but had varying diameters for structural integrity. I hear that the new frame can "ding" a lot easier. I have never had a bike in the past where you could ding the frame. Maybe bend it in a crash, but not ding it....
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Old 24 Feb 2006
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The upper chain roller snapping off is a standard problem. Best cure is to cut the whole assembly off when the bike is still new as it's completely useless anyway. All my six SP46A 1997 / 2001/ 2002 had the problem and all ended up with the small hole in the frame. I did nothing about the hole. It does not cause further problems. Be careful with welding it up as the tubing is pretty thin walled and you might cause bigger problems with heat influence / tension than just ignoring the hole.
I had the bracket under the rear subframe which holds the indicator / handle assembly coming off on two bikes. The welding there is not perfect from the factory and if you bolt on a small luggage rack - ping!
Easy to fix with a mag-welder.
I think the frame in general is pretty strong. Two of my DR's were wiped out quite seriously but both survived without any frame damage (can't say the same about the riders)
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