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The DR650 Thread


Jan 20, 2022
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I'll get the ball rolling.


Engine:644cc, four-stroke, single cylinder, SOHC, 4-valve, air/oil cooled, 43 crank hp (32 kW)
Bore & Stroke:100.0 x 82.0mm
Compression Ratio:9.5:1
Fuel System:Mikuni BST40
Lubrication:Wet sump
Final Drive:#525 chain, final ratio 2.8:1 (41/42T rear sprocket : 15T countershaft sprocket)
Overall Length:2255mm (88.8 in.), low seat setting 2235mm (88.0 in.)
Overall Width:865mm (34.1 in.)
Overall Height:1195mm (47.0 in.), low seat setting 1155mm (45.5 in.)
Seat Height:885mm (34.8 in.), low seat setting 845mm (33.0 in.)
Ground Clearance:265mm (10.4 in.), low seat setting 225mm (8.9 in.)
Wheelbase:1490mm (58.7 in.), low seat setting 1475mm (58.1 in.)
Dry Weight:147kg (324 lbs.)
Suspension Front:Telescopic, leading axle, oil damped, 10.2 inches of travel, (low seat setting 8.7 in. of travel)
Suspension Rear:Link-type, fully adjustable spring preload, gas/oil damped, adjustable compression damping, 10.2 inches of travel, (low seat setting 8.7 in. of travel)
Brakes Front:Single hydraulic disc, 290 mm diameter
Brakes Rear:Single hydraulic disc
Tires Front:90/90-21 54S
Tires Rear:120/90-17 64S
Fuel Tank Capacity:13 liter (3.4 gal.) 12 liter (3.2 gal.) CA model

The DR650 is a solid foundation for starting off on local roads, and can be built into a superior international, round-the-world, dual sport motorcycle.

First things to be looked at when buying a DR is going to be a little tinkering with the carb. Stock from the factory, the carb has a plug in the air/fuel mixture screw. The carb comes very lean from the factory to meet US restrictions. It may sound like a daunting task, but an hour and very basic tools, the bike will run better than you could ever imagine.

The job can be done with the carb on the bike, but it may be easier to handle with it removed.

First thing first, locate the brass plug on the underside of the carb:


I did this with a small drill bit, and threading in a basic wood screw about half a turn. Popped right out. This is your fuel mixture screw. This is what dials in your carb to run it leaner or richer.

I'd opt for an extended mixture screw from ProCycle.

After that is sorted, yank the snorkel out of the top of the air box. This will allow more air into the machine. Don't get too worried about getting water in there. I've had my bike pretty well up to the seat in water, and churned right through the stuff.

Lastly, shimming the needle. Some folks just used a basic washer from a hardware store. I wanted to be more precise, and used a .020" shim. Easily found on eBay and such. Pop the top off the carb, slide the needle out, install the shim, reinstall.

From there, put everything back together. Fire the bike up, and set the RPM to 1500. Now, take it for a spin. Run the motor a bit hard. Get it nice and warm. Turn in the needle just until idle gets rough, then out once the motor is smooth. From there, you should be good to go. However, my bike runs better at 1600 rpm. I can't explain it, but it just does.

From there, you're good to go. You bike should be running awesome.

Next thing I'd look at, is the fuel tank. Personally, I went with an Acerbis 5.3. With spirited riding, I get a bit over 200 miles on a tank. However, if I did it again, I may have gone with a 6.6 instead. Its all personal preference.



The tank itself is a straightforward install. Some folks said to relocate your blinkers, I didn't bother. Yes, at full lock they do contact slightly, but never enough to be an issue.

Third thing to look at. Skid plates. I don't how this is possible, but the DR does not come with a skid plate from the factory. I couldn't imagine not running one. I went with a Ricochet skid plate myself. Be sure it ties into the back of the frame as well. The Ricochet one I have is...ok. Its annoying to take on and off. There's these little c-clamp jobbers that hook on the frame rails. They're a pain to line up with the minimal room in there to tighten the bolts.

And fourth, is probably the seat. The stock one is a plank. Its a miserable piece of engineering. Corbin and SeatConcepts are popular companies. I went with SeatConcepts myself. Pretty simple job. Better with two people. SeatConcepts was great to work with. I'm really tall and wanted all the height I could get. I messaged SeatConcepts about adding 1" to their already Tall Version. I'm 99% sure I went through with it. And its AWESOME. I've done 700 miles in 17 hours and I was fine. The install was simple.

Remove the seat. Undo all the staples. Remove seating material. I can't speak about Corbin, but SeatConcepts the gel-like seat plopped right onto the seat pan. I did grab a pneumatic stapler for $20 from Lowes to staple the cover on. Took people was nice to have. One to hold the material in place, and the other to run the stapler.

Here's what the seat looked like after it was done:


Its held up great and haven't had any issues. I can ride all day long with no issue.

From there, the bike should be dialed in for 300+ mile days. As you go on, you'll find more things to alter. Bars, pegs, luggage, lighting, suspension- the list goes on and on. I'll delve further into what mods I have done.
I'm still running the BST 40. I've got it shimmed. Hasn't been that bad. It runs just fine so I really don't want to mess with the carb if I don't need to .

I've built up 3 DRs over the years, one's mine, HI790S, one for the missus and interlopers, HE650RS and one for a mate, GR650GG. All with fork swaps, Ohlins or Wilburs shocks, beefed up frames, upgraded cush hubs, Safari tanks, Yenkro fairings, FCR carbs and Nova gearboxes along with other bits and bobs. Mine also has a Procycle 790 piston and home brewed big valve head. HI790S is a bit of a grandfather's axe, but still with the original frame and engine numbers and over 160k kms all up.

Great bikes!
Pre-Stupidity Pricing, how much would a clean DR go for in America? I could see picking up a lightly used one some day.
I bought my current '01 for $1500 back in 2014. It was mostly stock with lowering links and the Suzuki gel seat. I had to clean the carb and replaced the brake lines, but ultimately I ended up replacing the carb and exhaust and will probably do the suspension and maybe get some supermoto wheels for the street.

But I routinely would see them generally selling from around $1750 and up depending on year and level of add ons. Right now it's probably hard to find one under $2500.
So I've heard. Certainly cheaper than my CRF450L.
Do KLR milk crates fit the Bush Pig, or do they require something else?
Milk crate? No way. That put weight up high and unsecured. Rec40 or similar soft bag set up with a small dry bag on the seat. And LOTS of rock straps. Landings cause things to shift.
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