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(2) 1981 Dr 500's for $500. Worth it?

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Hello everyone.

I ran into a couple of 1981 DR 500's in a recent barn find. They run very well, lights work, good tires, brakes, paint etc.  Are these worth much when restored or as is since they run so well?

Any information would help. Thanks.

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Edited by area50one

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They look like they are in really good shape. Depending on where you live you could probably get at least $1500 for each maybe even more. I live in Philadelphia so those bikes would probably bring in at least $1800. Not sure what they are worth in other parts of the country. But 500 for both seems like a really good deal. NADA guides says that these bikes are worth between $660-2200. Good Luck!

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@Nodachisword. Thanks for the information, nice to know. They really are in very good shape. One needs a seat cover, front fender, decals etc. Mostly cosmetic things as I can see now. 

Is it possible to make these street legal? I see some DR 500's with light, blinkers etc and others just like the two I have with just lights and no battery area. If I keep these, I'd like to make them street legal as other DR 500's.

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You can buy a Baja kit to make it street legal. The requirements for street legal vary from state to state. PA says that you only need head lights, tail lights, horn, and mirror. But to be extra careful especially if you live in the city, I have everything which includes: Head light, tail light, horn, mirror, turn signals, and speedometer. The DR's are a dual sport line for Suzuki so it shouldn't be to hard to make them street legal. It doesn't look like there is a place for a license plate so you will probably have to get plate holder. I'm not sure if the current tires are DOT tires. Off road tires are fine on the road it'll just be bumpier.

Here is a website with more info.

https://dirtlegal.com/blog/how-to-make-your-dirt-bike-street-legal

 

Some of the stuff on this site does not affect you. Since the DR's are dual sports they probably have stuff like kickstands, lights, and gearing that works on road. 

 

Hope this helps. Keep us updated!

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I would have bought both, sold one for $1,000 (maybe more) and kept the other for a play bike. 

Back in the day these were just nice average bikes, even today they'd be great trail bikes so I see no reason why someone into motorcycles wouldn't buy them.

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About 8 years ago I bought a 1982 Suzuki DR500. Rode it everywhere without any problems. I only paid $500 but then sold it for $500 about a year later. Wish I kept it. Bad move on my part. :bonk: I also had a 1982 XR500R around the same time frame. The Suzuki wasn't ANY worse than the XR. As I recall, the DR require a firm leg to start it but always started with a hard kick and reliably each time unlike say a FCR carbed MX bike. 

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NO No no not worth it at all you need to send them my way for disposal ASAP!!  

Seriously $500 for both!? yeah they are worth it GREAT find!!

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Well, I did buy them both for $500. Gave them a good scrubbing, new gas, carb clean, all new fuel lines and overflows, installed in line fuel filters etc. The inside of the tanks are like new, not a spot of rust or garbage. Anyway, both run excellent and are quite fast. They will be good winter projects as I want to make them total restos because of their condition.

Thanks for all your ideas and input, much appreciated.

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Thanks for all the ideas and offers.  I had a talk with the little lady and we are going full resto on both DR's. Hopefully they'll come out as good as this recent late October total resto done by me and the wife. Well keep you guys posted as these come along this winter.

 

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On ‎11‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 7:32 AM, Nodachisword said:

You can buy a Baja kit to make it street legal. The requirements for street legal vary from state to state. PA says that you only need head lights, tail lights, horn, and mirror. But to be extra careful especially if you live in the city, I have everything which includes: Head light, tail light, horn, mirror, turn signals, and speedometer. The DR's are a dual sport line for Suzuki so it shouldn't be to hard to make them street legal. It doesn't look like there is a place for a license plate so you will probably have to get plate holder. I'm not sure if the current tires are DOT tires. Off road tires are fine on the road it'll just be bumpier.

Here is a website with more info.

https://dirtlegal.com/blog/how-to-make-your-dirt-bike-street-legal

 

Some of the stuff on this site does not affect you. Since the DR's are dual sports they probably have stuff like kickstands, lights, and gearing that works on road. 

 

Hope this helps. Keep us updated!

Those DRs aren't dual sports.  Back then, the DR was a dirt only bike.  The street-legal versions were called SP 500s.  

You're kind of asking two questions here. 

 Making money?  Buying bikes to re-sell is not going to make you tons of money unless you find someone who maybe had one of those and has fond memories.  However, the DR 500 isn't a particularly collectible bike, so the guy you're gonna sell 'em to is probably just gonna take 'em out and trail-ride 'em.  That IT is a thing of beauty, dude.   Was it a labor of love, or are you gonna make money when you sell it?  (No sarcasm implied, I just know the math doesn't work where I live.)

Buy 'em to ride em?  That makes a lot of sense to me, in fact, every time I see a clean old DR for sale I reach for my wallet.  Then I remember I already have TWO bikes, and don't ride them often enough.  If I was bikeless and found a deal like that, I'd buy 'em in a heartbeat, then go ride the piss out of them.

Check with the guys who have 'plated' bikes in your state.  Putting a Baja Designs kit (and sinking hundreds of dollars into a bike that's only worth $600...hmm) may not make sense, unless you like these bikes and want to use 'em to get from your house to the trail.  

Because the DR was built for dirt-only, it probably has no "cush drive" in the hub.  On some dirt bikes that are converted and used at higher speeds/long distances on pavement, there can be issues with the hub and even the transmission, because those components weren't built to take the shock of shifting with the rear tire solidly hooked up on pavement.  In reality, that's not going to happen to these bikes unless you go flogging 'em down the freeway on a fifty state tour.

I don't need a bike like those...but I'm looking at the pics and feeling jealous.  Go figure.

Sunny SoCal

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