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DR650 Changes Year-by-Year?

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I've been trying find info on what has been changed on the DR650 over the years to better narrow down what year(s) to shop for. It appears there was a major change in 1996. Have there been any significant changes aside from colors/graphics since then?

Note that I did find this link when googling for info:

http://www.suzukicycles.org/DR-series/DR650.shtml

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Since the 96 remake, the Dr has remained nearly the same. 98 and early 99 models used a solid idler gear that can cause huge problems, commonly requiring a new engine as the cost of rebuild is too great. Also, earlier models have a base gasket that can leak eventually and will have to be replaced, I am not sure of the years for that, but my 2000 has the problem gasket I think, but has yet to cause issues (only 8000 kms on the bike). Other than that I think it is just colours. Anyone know the year when they started to use the new base gasket with the "tab"?

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I believe the base gasket was changed to metal sometime in 2003. My 2004 has the metal gasket.

Wayne

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There have been no changes aside from fixing the base gasket issue and starter clutch issue as oer previous posts above. Paint job/graphics and seat colour changes are the only differences, and these change annually. It's a very robust design. If I was buying a used one, I'd either go for a '96-97 or a 2004 or newer model to avoid the above mentioned mechanical/part issues. If you are getting a K4, make sure it has the metal base gasket, it's easily distinguished from a fibre one, and has a couple of metal tabs protruding from it.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I miss my DRZ400S, but figure a 650 dual-sport is closer to what I need (more street/adventure, less single-track/off-road). So the shopping for a deal on a lightly used bike starts. Found a '96 with low miles for under $2K, but a friend of a friend has first shot at it. If he passes, I may jump on it.

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