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4 min read

The Suzuki DR650 Still Holds Its Weight, 30 Years Later

The Suzuki DR650 Still Holds Its Weight, 30 Years Later

The Suzuki DR650 is a true legend in the dual-sport motorcycle world. With a history spanning 30 years, this beloved bike has proven time and time again to be one of the most reliable and versatile machines in the powersports industry. From off-road adventures to long-distance touring, the DR650 can handle it all with ease.

And despite its many years on the market, the DR650 continues to hold its weight confidently. With its rugged design, powerful engine, and advanced features, this dual sport motorcycle is a favorite among riders of all skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the world of dual sport riding, the Suzuki DR650 is a bike that you can count on for years to come.


Suzuki DR650: The Ultimate Guide to Prices, Reviews, and Reliability


Experience the thrill of adventure with the iconic white Suzuki DR650


The Suzuki DR650 is a long-standing model in Suzuki's lineup, Introduced in 1990 as a replacement for the previous DR600 model. The DR650 was updated in 1996 with a new, more powerful engine and a redesigned frame and fairing. The DR650 has remained largely unchanged since then, with only minor cosmetic and equipment updates in the intervening years. The DR650 is a versatile bike that is popular with both off-road riders and those who use it as a reliable and affordable commuting machine.

Dual sport motorcycles (and their heavier “adventure” counterparts) have never been more popular. Over the last five years, every major manufacturer has effectively thrown their hat in the ring with a brand-new model sporting more power, more technology, and more off-road prowess than ever before. But what would you say if I told you that the Suzuki DR650, with its carbureted engine, damping rod forks, and the analog speedometer was still the best in the business?

The DR650 has been in production for over 30 years, and aside from cosmetic changes and minor updates (the last of which occurred in 1996), the Suzuki DR650 you buy a brand new off the showroom floor today is the same one you bought decades ago. It’s got the same Mikuni BST40 carburetor, oil-cooled 644cc engine, and 5-speed transmission. It makes the same 40-ish horsepower and 40-ish ft-lbs. of torque. And yes, it’s still got tubes in its tires. So, what’s so great about the DR? Simple: It does everything a true dual sport needs to. As the saying goes, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.


Embark on an unforgettable off-road adventure with the Suzuki DR650

Suzuki DR650's Reliability

If you’re buying a bike to ride anywhere and everywhere (like a true dual sport should), reliability is paramount. You don’t want to be 100 miles deep in the backcountry only to find your bike won’t start because its computer doesn’t feel like it for one reason or another. 

I’ve literally drowned the DR650 in rivers, dropped it off the sides of cliffs, and left it sitting neglected in my garage for months at a time. The process is always the same: Turn the key, push the starter, and ride. You can’t kill a DR.


It’s A Fantastic Off-Road Bike 


At its core, the DR650 is just a big dirt bike, and as such, it’s an incredibly capable and versatile machine off-road. It’s got plenty of ground clearance, the perfect amount of power for technical trails, and a smooth and easy clutch that’s predictable on any terrain. With a weight of about 365 pounds, this bike can get you through the toughest terrain. 

Should you decide to get serious with your off-road escapades, the DR also happens to be the perfect candidate for an inexpensive off-road build, be it for the wide-open desert or tight forest single track. You’ll want to spend a little money upgrading the fork internals, adding a nice big gas tank, some proper knobby tires, a tougher handlebar, and (of course) a solid skid plate to protect your undercarriage, but that’s really about all she needs to tackle anything under the sun. 

One Of The Best Dual-Sport Bikes On The Market

Suzuki designed the DR650 as the most “well-rounded” of the big singles on the market, and they hit that mark right on the nose. On the highway, the DR’s progressive suspension and light handling make for a fun bike in the twisties, and its reasonably powerful engine makes cruising on the interstate at 80mph a stress-free endeavor. 

Again, I’d recommend taking on a few aftermarket bits to dial your DR in for long-range comfort, but again, we’re not talking about anything expensive here. The stock seat on a DR is made from pressure-treated pine, so an upgraded seat from Seat Concepts, Corbin, or Sargent is a must here. 

Aside from that, the same fork upgrades that make a DR a fantastic off-roader also make it a more competent street bike (straight rate springs are a must), and an aftermarket windscreen of some kind takes most of the sting out of long miles at speed. Truth be told that’s about all she needs, although you might also consider adding your “old school” cruise control of choice. 

DR650’s Price Is Very Affordable

If you were to walk into a showroom today and buy a brand new 2022 Suzuki DR650, you’d be out the door for about $7,000. If you’re willing to shop used, go ahead and cut that number in half. $7,000 for a reliable motorcycle that never breaks down and is ready to go anywhere? That’s a win-win with a lot of money left over for customization.

Of course, buying a motorcycle is only part of the expense, and as anyone who owns an Italian motorcycle will tell you, it’s the maintenance that gets you in the end. The DR650 is a winner there too. 

That’s because the DR650 is about as low maintenance as they come, and the maintenance it does need is so incredibly simple just about anyone can do it. Even the valve adjustments on these bikes can be done in about 30 minutes. Find me a modern fuel-injected anything that can shake a stick at that. Oil changes are even easier, tires can be changed with simple hand tools, and every consumable item from brake pads to light bulbs is quick and easy to access. 


The Suzuki DR650 is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable dual-sport motorcycle. It's a great bike for both beginners and experienced riders alike, and it's perfect for exploring backroads and tackling off-road trails. Whether you're looking for a commuter bike or a weekend warrior, the DR650 is a great option. They just don’t make them like the DR anymore. Here’s to hoping Suzuki keeps this multi-talented bike around for another 30 years.


 Experience the thrill of off-road adventure with the powerful black Suzuki DR650




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