2006 Suzuki DR650 dual sport thumper

Motorcycle sales are dominated by cruisers (50-75% of total sales, depending on who you believe). Dualsports are a tiny minority, something like 3% of all motorcycle sales. I can ride for a month and not physically see a DS bike other than my own, and I usually go for several months between actually seeing one running on the streets. I don’t know why they are so overlooked. DS bikes are swiss army knife bikes, tons of fun and cheap to run.

I don’t know why they don’t dominate the market. Maybe they are too goofy looking.

bike + GPS

I have used a blue Garmin Legend, a yellow Venture CX and a 60cx. on a Garmin handlebar mount that was presumably designed for bicycles. They work fine. Garmin 201 (which appears to have been replaced by the high-sensitivity Garmin 301 )

How I found my way to a DS

I took the MSF Beginner’s Course in the late 80s. We rode little dualsport bikes provided by a local dealer. I think it was an Honda NX125.

I was pleased at how light, well-fitting, and FUN the little bike was. Then I understood why the Europeans I saw when stationed in Germany were transitioning from sport bikes to dualsports; they are wicked commando commuting tools. I started thinking about a bike like an NX, TransAlp.

BMW Dakar boxer etc. Saw the bike escape in Deep Impact and thought some more.

deciding on the dr650

15yrs later I finally pulled the trigger. I bought this bike on 17 Aug 2006 from Honda Suzuki North (HSN) in Carrollton, Tx. Salescritters Smokey (and Scott, when Smokey was away) treated me with respect and got me a decent price.

So although I shopped all the Zuke shops I saw listed in DFW, I bought from HSN.

I love love love this bike.

what is great about this bike

dead simple bike. A plus in my book, but maybe not in yours.

easy to buy. MSRP is $5099. My out the door price was very close to that number.

inexpensive to run, easy to repair.

easy to insure. Liability, comprehensive and collision cost me less than $300/yr through progressive.

can be lowered for short people. It’s already lower and lighter than the wildly popular klr650

thumpy sound is nice but not loud in stock configuration.

they are not perfect – things you should know if you are considering one

many people hate the seat. It doesn’t bother me. Dualsport saddles are narrow so you can reach the ground from that high stance. -)

it’s a tall bike. 34+ seat is real. I can flatfoot it on both sides but I am 6′, 190#. Shorter or lighter folks might need to do the shortening conversion.

no gear indicator, tach, or fuel gauge (but there is a trip odometer). I hit reserve at 130m with about another 30-40 in reserve..

almost none of these on the used market. I guess people hold onto them forever.

stuff I changed, aftermarket stuff

handlebar gps mount

shortened sidestand

eBay rack

aftermarket chain rollers from Jess (see below).

Suzuki DR 200 S

Kryptonite disc lock and cable lock

bike cover

fully synthetic motor oil, albeit a III rather than II. I was looking for Mobil 1 10w-40 but couldn’t find any, so I went with Castrol Syntec. Seems to shift easier now.

crampbuster (wide)

Why the dr650 and not the dr200

The 200 was not tall enough to fit me.

ATGATT- All the Gear, All the Time

My gear doesn’t match because it dates from different times when I owned different color bikes. -)

Vega fullface helmet

Fieldsheer Titanium Air mesh armored road jacket

Fieldsheer road boots, rubber armored shins

Hein Gericke Streetline leather armored road jacket

semi-armored road gloves by Shirt

insulated leather winter road gloves; don’t know who made them.

On the day I wrote this paragraph I was making my armored way home behind a hog rider wearing flipflops, a tanktop, shorts and sunglasses. Oh, and straight pipes. And riding right in the middle of the grease stripe in the middle of the lane.

But I’m sure if he gets squished it will be a consolation to blame the damage on a damn cager. Best of luck to him.

Suzuki DR 200 S
Suzuki DR 200 S
Suzuki DR 200 S
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