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Clarification of known problems on the DR650

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I've been doing a lot of research on the DR650, KLR650, and XR650L. From what I've seen:

The KLR has a weak electrical system, water cooling (a minus in my book), balance shaft chain problems, weak brakes, heavy.

The XR has a weak clutch, smog stuff to remove, sits tall, rear suspension not easy to lube and service.

I've read the DR has some starter shaft problems in 98 / 99 (I think it was starter shaft), has base gasket problems possibly only on 01 and 02 bikes.

Does this mean the 2000, 2003, 2004 bikes are good? Also, is the rear suspension on the DR easy to lube and service. Does the DR use shim adjusters on the valves? (I hope not, PITA)

I would not be afraid to do a base gasket if I could get a bike cheap enough (i've gone through lots of motors in my time) but would rather not. Is the oil cooler as susceptible to damage as the radiator on the KLR? That's one advantage of the XR, no problems there.

Right now I'm really leaning towards the DR but it's real close with the XR. I've pretty much ruled out the KLR.

Thanks in advance for our help and advice.

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Put down one vote for the DR. So it leaks oil, and makes a lot of noise. I see a lot of the XR's for sale (crashed once) so they must hit the ground hard and that "Big Red Pig" is top heavy. The KLR was made by the millions and they have thousands of extra parts, the only electrical problems occur after dark. :cry:

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I have a 95 DR-650 and so far no major problems with motor. I have dumped the thing more times than I care to admit and have not caused any damage to the oil cooler, It's well protected. The bike has served me well, mostly D.S. riding and some tight trails here in Co.

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The DR has screw-type valve adjusting. Simple, like the rest of the bike - and I mean that in a good way. What's amazing is that it gives nothing up - it's got tons of power, doesn't overheat and is amazingly smooth for a single.

Get an '03 or later with the metal tab sticking out on the base gasket. Then you'll have no problems.

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I own an '01 and have run it hard thru the south jersey pine lands sand,8,700 miles aver all. The only problem that I encountered so far was the oil leak that the 650's from '96-03 were suseptible to and thats actually from the gasket under the cam chain tensioner. Its an easy fix that uses the newer metal gasket used on the '04 models.

The DR650 is other wise bullit proof and with the usual mods has obnoxous power. :cry:

Mike.

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