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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 17 Sep 2007
jj jj is offline
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Unhappy Which DR650!!

Hello,
I'm planning on doing a circumnavigation of africa next year and I've heard great things about the dr650. The trouble is that ebay is confronting me with a number of different models and I'm stuck at which one to go for. There seems to be an RS, RM, SE and probably many more. At the moment I'm going for something around the '91, '92 year mark - are there any particular models or years to avoid or esspecially go for?
The trip I'm planning is going to be over 20,000 miles - does anyone think there is a limit on the number of miles a dr can go if well maintained? - my budget is forcing me to go with a fairly old bike.

thanks very much for any help,

jasper
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  #2  
Old 18 Sep 2007
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'96 or newer...

I don't really know how the used market goes in the UK...although I did spend a week in London shopping for a used bike....first time ever to London. I found a beautiful Triumph Tiger.

In the USA used prices kind of level out at some point...on old DR's of the vintage you describe, that number would be at around $1200 to $1500 (roughly 600 to 750 ukp). So even old boilers tend to hold some value....too much IMO.

The real problem is...most of these very old bikes (at least here) are JUNK! Not Africa material. On the other hand you can find DR650's only a couple years old for $2500. I'm talking a 2004, 2005 with very low miles, usually under 10K miles.

So save up and go with a newer, low mileage example. You'll be glad you did.

By the time you put a 15 year old bike right you may have spent more than its worth. If you wing it an just go for it on an unknown quanity....well make sure
you can trust your friends to hook you up with local transport to get home.

The other important thing is the major re-model Suzuki did in 1996. Many important improvements both in the engine, suspension, chassis and brakes.

Two American desert racers...factory racers for Suzuki....went to Japan and helped design the new bike, using local test circuits and working hand in hand with Suzuki engineers.

They then brought the Proto-type bike to the California desert and rode it for a couple months, then went back to Japan for changes and more improvements. In a year, they had a "new" DR650. The DR650 SE.

Not much has changed since.

If you're mechanical and can suss a bike out yourself, maybe you can get an old bike cheap that'll do 20K miles. It would be good if ou can fix it along the way....you may need to?

Patrick
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Old 18 Sep 2007
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It's a no-brainer really: stick with the SE. As mollydog writes there have been many improvements and it makes no sense at all to buy an older model. Reading in the German DR forum people are having lots of engine problems with the older ones.

Your biggest problem could be finding one, as not many were sold in the UK, I believe.

If you do find an SE do check for the "engine grenade" problem, there is an old topic in the Suzi forum here.
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Old 18 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beddhist View Post
.............
If you do find an SE do check for the "engine grenade" problem, there is an old topic in the Suzi forum here.

IIRC, there were 2 model years, back-to-back, and '99 being one of these.
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Old 18 Sep 2007
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I don't remember the "Grenade" thread. Is that the one about the NSU (Neutral Sending Unit) ??

I know of several grenades caused by this NSU thing. The unit comes loose and
falls into crankcase. The fix is not too hard. It's out lined on Multi-surface Motorcycles and elsewhere.

Only a few DR's ever have the NSU ever loosen up. Most stay tight. The failures mostly occured on bikes with 30K miles or more.

Just for giggles, I'll be checking mine and loc-titing the bolts at about 25K.

Were there other "Grenade" issues I missed?

Cheers,

Patrick
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Old 18 Sep 2007
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It was an issue with the starter gears not disengaging...or something like that, and this broke the motor.

...edit: '98-'99 with a retrofit available, no other known problems

Last edited by Lone Rider; 18 Sep 2007 at 18:46.
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Old 18 Sep 2007
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When I was looking to buy a BMW f650 gs dakar a couple of years ago, the prices on ebay were ludicrously high. I actually ended up saving some money by buying my second-hand BMW (complete with panniers and a years warranty)from a dealer in central London. I found it through the auto trader website (or something similar).

I don't know about the ebay prices for DR's, but there maybe cheaper options out there.

Baswacky.
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Old 18 Sep 2007
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Wink Ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by baswacky View Post
When I was looking to buy a BMW f650 gs dakar a couple of years ago, the prices on ebay were ludicrously high. I actually ended up saving some money by buying my second-hand BMW (complete with panniers and a years warranty)from a dealer in central London. I found it through the auto trader website (or something similar).

I don't know about the ebay prices for DR's, but there maybe cheaper options out there.

Baswacky.

Spot on Baswacky; some days ebay is a buyers market and other days it is one for sellers. So, you need some idea from elsewhere about what you might expect to pay, as a buyer, or receive as a seller.
That goes for everything, not just bikes.

I have bought a few bikes via ebay but sold just one on there to date; therefore, for me, it has been a buyers market on average.

Other than that, yes there are not too many DR650SEs around - I have been looking as well; out of curiosity at present.

Try Autotrader as well, jj, there are a few in there if you look nationally.
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