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What the . . . ? DR650 Transmission

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In the process of replacing the clutch in my 2009 DR650. The bike has a little over 26k exclusively street miles on it. I use it for commuting (interstates). It's basically my primary form of transport unless the weather is absolutley stupid.

Anyway, I got the clutch plates out and as I am planning on replacing the basket due to the infamous clutch rattle, I was fiddling with it and not only noticed that the clutch hub has more and deeper grooves in it than the basket, but . . . the still assembled basket and hub and attached countershaft moves up and down about 3/8ths of an inch.

In looking at various exploded views and the maintenace manual, it appears that the only possible culprit is the bearing that holds the countershaft in the engine case. It must have fallen out or something, as I have no chunks of metal, only what would probably be normal shavings on my magnetic drain plug.

I'll know more tonight when I finish taking it apart, but has anyone ever run into such a thing? I mean, if this bearing just fell out (which would require the loss of multiple bolts), it could have caused a catastrophic high speed failure which could have easily killed me. With all the stories about the NSU screws (which were snug) falling out, is it possible that these internal bolts can fall out as well?

I'll take pics when I get it all apart tonight, but if this did in fact happen, Suzuki and I are going to have a long and very tense conversation. :smashpc:

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I will. I'be been riding for better than 40 years and have ridden dirt bikes until I cracked frames. I have always done my own work because I tend not to trust dealers. I have never, ever seen anything like it.

It will be an interesting night.

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The crankshaft bearing behind the clutch on my FZR1000 collapsed, causing the whole clutch assembly to move around by over half an inch and the one behind the stator plate (other side of crank to clutch) collapsed on my '85 DR600, so they can and do fail. On mine, it looked as if the actual race that holds the balls within the bearings had failed, allowing them to all bunch up.

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Interesting. Thanx! I looked into the engine as far as I could see last night and didn't see anything that looked out of place. Doesn't mean those ball bearings aren't rolling around somewhere. I'll find out more tonight. I plan to also run a magnet over the outside bottom of the engine to see if it collects anything.

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OK, here's the dirt. The bearing is there, but there's a lot of play. Almost 3 millimeters. That doesn't sound like much until you've got something heavy like the clutch on the end of the shaft.

There was also more metal shavings than I thought. When I dumped the oil, the magnet in my drain plug was missing, but I found it tonight. The time between the last two oil changes is only a week or two. I got this much last time as well. Oil changed every 2k miles. Amsoil motorcycle oil. 20/50 in the hot weather. As I said, exclusively street and all interstate highway. Pics and vid: (hope the links work.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=178180485593506&set=a.178180472260174.43656.100002046665206&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=178180502260171&set=a.178180472260174.43656.100002046665206&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=178180512260170&set=a.178180472260174.43656.100002046665206&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=178181285593426

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+1 That bearing is toast... so the magnet went missing on your magnetic drain plug and it got chewed up in the gears and stuck to spinning stuff it had no business being stuck to and destroyed your input shaft bearing? Hey wait a minute! I thought those things were supposed to remove stray metal from your engine... not add it. :smashpc: Bummer dude.

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+1 That bearing is toast... so the magnet went missing on your magnetic drain plug and it got chewed up in the gears and stuck to spinning stuff it had no business being stuck to and destroyed your input shaft bearing? Hey wait a minute! I thought those things were supposed to remove stray metal from your engine... not add it. 👍 Bummer dude.

The magnet did nothing of the kind. All that stuff is metal shavings from the oil. The previous oil change just a few weeks ago was worse in the metal department. I found the magnet very close to the drain hole. The play in the countershaft (input shaft) happened over a few weeks. It started like a clutch basket rattle and got worse and worse, turning into a whine when I pulled in the clutch, which stopped when it was put in gear, until the clutch was slipping. That's when I parked it. If I were to put the clutch back in right now, I could ride it. That shaft is rattleing around for some other reason.

I went to the dealer last night and they were vaguely condescending. One of them suggested that I had been doing burnouts (without ever seeing the bike). I'm 53. I'm a grandfather. I commute on the bike. I doubt it would even do a burnout. I have it geared for the highway, not the dirt.

They told me they would be happy to diganose and fix it on my dime and that I should call corporate, but not to hold out any hope.

I called Suzuki corporate who were slightly more understanding and said that they would look into it but that I had to have the problem diagnosed by one of their dealers. I would have to pay for this diagnosis because "the dealer's got to be paid for their time, right?"

Ummm . . . what about the customer?:smashpc:

So, they made a record of the call and I went to call the dealer to ask about their labor rate and how long they thought it would take to split the cases.

Are you sitting? Wait for it . . .

The Service Manager said he had no idea how long it would take because he had never done one before. I could barely suppress my laugh. I asked him to give me a guess based on a similar engine. He said "5 or 6 hours. Maybe more."

Anybody smell anything yet?

I thanked him and told him I would get back to him. From here on in, everything is in writing and everything is copied to Suzuki, the dealer (Pompton Honda in NJ) and the Better Business Bureau. I'm considering talking to an attorney about it.

I guess this is what happens when corporations are considered people. They get the right to jerk you around because they are better people. They have more money.

Edited by MADurstewitz

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Bummer, I think Suzuki has a 12 month/unlimited mileage warranty. When was it sold? If it is out of warranty you are asking then for a goodwill repair so go easy. Anything (even just parts) is better then nothing. If it is still under warranty, shouldn't be an issue.

Bruce

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Going easy is a valid point. I'm actually probably going to tear the motor down and find the problem parts and replace. I'll probably do all the bearings as there are metal shavings everywhere.

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Glad to hear the engine "protector" isn't what took yours out. That is a rare issue... in fact the first case I've heard on the DR650. Bearings can fail though when Hooligans like yourself go doing 4th gear burn outs on their 36 HP DR650's. :smashpc: Where do dealers find these guys? Very sorry about your problem... it is certainly not anything even remotely a normal issue with the machine.

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Glad to hear the engine "protector" isn't what took yours out. That is a rare issue... in fact the first case I've heard on the DR650. Bearings can fail though when Hooligans like yourself go doing 4th gear burn outs on their 36 HP DR650's. :smashpc: Where do dealers find these guys? Very sorry about your problem... it is certainly not anything even remotely a normal issue with the machine.

Hooligans like myself. That's hilarious! Hey maybe during the rebuild I can get it up to 40hp! Then, I could trash it in good conscience and not have to blame anyone else!

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Sorry for your situation man. How long have you had the bike? You the only/original owner?

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Sorry for your situation man. How long have you had the bike? You the only/original owner?

It's an 09. Bought it new. Took delivery in Oct 08. After break-in and warranty service, I put amsoil 10/40 in it. The next summer I put in amsoil 20/50 and followed that pattern every 2k miles as I ride all highway.

Based on previous experience, it seemed like the best way to go. I had good luck doing this.

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I hope you're not trying to do "extended oil changes" with that synthetic. As a mechanic, I've seen alot of automotive engines go by the wayside from people doing this. We've got AT&T trucks with over 200,000, almost unbelievably abusive miles on 350 chevy's, using cheap low grade tank oil. But it is changed every 3000, on the spot.

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I hope you're not trying to do "extended oil changes" with that synthetic. As a mechanic, I've seen alot of automotive engines go by the wayside from people doing this. We've got AT&T trucks with over 200,000, almost unbelievably abusive miles on 350 chevy's, using cheap low grade tank oil. But it is changed every 3000, on the spot.

"and followed that pattern every 2k miles as I ride all highway"

I don't think this qualifies as "extended oil changes" Must be that d*mn Amsoil... :smashpc: This is a one off weird problem... he could have been running Manny, Moe and Jack reclaimed oil and got the same result. Probably a bad bearing from the git go.

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"and followed that pattern every 2k miles as I ride all highway"

I don't think this qualifies as "extended oil changes" Must be that d*mn Amsoil... :smashpc: This is a one off weird problem... he could have been running Manny, Moe and Jack reclaimed oil and got the same result. Probably a bad bearing from the git go.

I'm thinking it's the bearing as well. I'm careful about oil changes especially on an air-cooled engine. My 03 Tundra has 170k on it and I run Mobile 1 in that since break in. Change it every 3 tp 5k miles, though I try not to let it go to 5k. Thing runs like a top. It's going to be with me for a long time.

So will the DR when I get done with it.

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I'm thinking it's the bearing as well. I'm careful about oil changes especially on an air-cooled engine. My 03 Tundra has 170k on it and I run Mobile 1 in that since break in. Change it every 3 tp 5k miles, though I try not to let it go to 5k. Thing runs like a top. It's going to be with me for a long time.

So will the DR when I get done with it.

We have a Smart car. It comes from the factory with 0-30 Mobil 1. The suggested oil change interval is 10k miles. Not that you'd run an air cooled engine with tranny attached anywhere near that kind of mileage but in the proper environment synthetic oil is superior in all ways to dino oil. That being said I use Shell Rotella 15-40 in my DR... 3k intervals. Sooner if I've done any real abusive tranny banging dirt miles. (unfortunately not lately)

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We have a Smart car. It comes from the factory with 0-30 Mobil 1. The suggested oil change interval is 10k miles. Not that you'd run an air cooled engine with tranny attached anywhere near that kind of mileage but in the proper environment synthetic oil is superior in all ways to dino oil. That being said I use Shell Rotella 15-40 in my DR... 3k intervals. Sooner if I've done any real abusive tranny banging dirt miles. (unfortunately not lately)

A friend of mine is looking at Smart cars. Interesting little things. Kind of like VW beetles, in the early 60s, but hopefully safer and better put together. I often wonder how I survivied some of those. Cut my teeth working on motorcycles and beetles. Beetles required a lot of work . . .

Unfortunately, I have to keep a truck. I'm also a keyboard player and some of my gear is rather large. It also snows like crazy where I live and that truck will go anywhere in anything. Never seen anything like it. But, it likes gas, which is why I commute on the DR.

Although I do a lot of my own work on the truck, I occasionally have the oil changed by the mechanic I give the big jobs to, or those that I can't get to. Once in a great while, he forgets and puts dino oil in it. I can feel it before I get out of his parking lot. It just doesn't run anywhere near as smooth. I turn around and ask him to replace it. He always says: DOH!

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