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Used DR 650

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Potential new owner (650 buyer) needs some advice. I'm looking for a used DR650 in great shape. I recently looked at an '01 and there were frame scratches with rust and some bracket welds with rust. The frame scratches were on the left side and in front. I have no idea how they got there. The bike also had engine side cover wear on what appeared to be replacement covers. The clutch was improperly adjusted. No visible leaks though. I walked away from it thinking that the first owner banged it around quite a bit. What do you guys think ?

I also looked at a '90 but the asking price was way too much to even start negotiations, and the smell of fresh engine paint turned me away. Am I too particular ?

This is not going to be an easy search !

I see dealers offering $500 of MSRP on '05 models which makes justifying newer model used bikes difficult unless they are priced really right.

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How much was this guy asking for the 90? I have one and it's a great older bike, especially if it's in decent shape. They sold for $3599 back in 90, so anything more than $2500 in less than awesome shape is asking a bit much.

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No, I don't think you are being too particular. Even though you don't see a zillion used DR650s for sale, they do depreciate significantly once they hit the street. Actually, Kelleybluebook.com should give you a rough idea of the value of a bike, although I find their motorcycle retail values to be a little high.

In many parts of N. America, more private party bikes should be going up for sale now that it's fall. If you are particular, you can save a lot of money over a new bike, even with $500 off msrp.

A few guidelines:

The DR is fundamentally a very reliable and sturdy bike for street and easy to medium dirt riding. The current design started in '96, and is lighter and better handling than the early '90s DR650 (plus I think the earlier model lacked electric start). It's essentially unchanged mechanically since '96.

The '96s '97 and early '98s are good bargains. The only recurring repair issue is the possibility of a leaky base gasket.

The late '98 and the '99s have a starter clutch design flaw that can cause serious spontaneous damage (the proactive fix isn't too costly), plus the base gasket issue.

The '00s, '01s, '02s and some '03s have only the base gasket issue. You can find some bargains here too.

Some '03s and the '04s and '05s have a new metallic base gasket that seems to solve the leak potential. If you want a most trouble-free bike, I would recommend one of these.

Check www.cycletrader.com, ebay, do a search on TT to learn more about the DR and join the Yahoo dr650 goup, check www.advrider.com, etc.

Good hunting,

Superannuated

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The Guy with the '90 was asking $1900. Kelly Blue Book lists average trade as $835 and average retail as $1325 for this year and model. The right person might offer him $1200, but it's really not for me. It is kick only and it started after about a dozen kicks, and needed a new rear tire, but it seemed a little harsher than the new ones. Sprung more for off-road, I suspect. After riding both, I do hope that rejetting and unplugging this bike perks it up. I expected more zip. The '90 seemed quicker than the '01. I suspect that the sprocket was changed.

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The '90 may seem sprung more for the dirt but consider that it is heavier than the newer model, and so will be less nimble in the dirt and on the street.

They say that the earlier model does have more power than the later model. In part this may be tied to the smog requirements for the newer model; it's set up really lean from the factory. Re-jetting makes a noticable difference in power.

Superannuated

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Other than the new paint smell, was it in decent shape? Check the Yahoo DR650 site for pics of my 90 under Mark's 1990. They make a couple of more ponies than the newer models, and while the tank looks big, it isn't too bad off road when I took it there. The clutch is probably the main weak point. It's just heavy. As far as starting, when warm mine starts 1st kick AFTER the decomp lever stroke is done. Even after 1 week or more of sitting, it only takes a max of 3 kicks (not including decomp stroke) to get it lit. It actually is easy enough that I can do it while seated on the bike.

Fork emulators would probably smooth out the forks for you. Also, you don't know if someone changed the fork oil either. Most people who hop on mine comment about what a plushmobile the thing is. Plus, even though you don't get an E-start button, you get a nice tachometer, a bigger tank, and more HP.

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