Suzuki DR650SE

One of the most affordable new motorcycles in 2018 is the venerable Suzuki DR650 but is it special? The DR650SE is a dual purpose motorcycle with on and off road capability. It’s essentially like the modern day SUV or a ‘Trail Rated’ Jeep  for example.  The DR650 has been on sale for since 1992 nearly 30 years in basically the same design and specification. The latest model is called the Suzuki DR650SE and priced under $9000 AUD on the road.

It’s key selling points are that it is a trail bike and that it is LAMS or learner compatible. There only real competitor to the Suzuki DR650 is the Kawasaki KLR650 is priced at  $9449 also at a on road price. The slightly lower pricing in one factor the Suzuki is my choice and that the current KLR looks a little silly with wicked witch claw front mud guard.

In terms of design and looks the DR650SE is pure trail bike design from the late 1980’s. It is such the stereotypical design used by many Japanese and other manufacturers over the years it could be called  iconic as Suzuki has not changed the design. You could arguably call it a retro motorcycle. Since retro is the current ‘in trend’ in motorcycles this Suzuki is good place to start.

Mechanically the DR650SE is simple even by modern motorcycle standards. The most retro part is the carburettors no EFI here!  Other retro parts include  the single disc brakes and 5 speed gearbox. It’s old age means that there are plenty of aftermarket parts and problem solving if you encounter any problems. The alloy rear swing arm is one of the more modern parts on the DR650. The ride height may be a concern to normal size people, so there is a ride height reduction kit from 885 to 845mm.  Critically the lack of any changes also imply the lack of real competition from any other manufacturer. Of course the imminent emission regulations will mean that the DR650 will be discontinued or revised.

Is the DR650SE a special motorcycle? Yes it’s been around for decades essentially unchanged which means it’s a good thing and most of all  any rider can buy it and ride away to virtually anywhere they want.

Suzuki DR650SE Key Specifications (2018)
Engine: Single cylinder SOHC 
Capacity: 644cc
Power/Torque: 34Kw @ 6400RPM 50Nm @ 4650RPM
Gearbox: 5 speed
Kerb Weight: 166Kg Approx
Performance: 0-100kph NA seconds Approx
Max Speed NA Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 13 litre fuel tank
Approx 4 litres per 100km
Seat height: 885mm
Dimensions: L2255 x W865 x H1195
Recommended Retail Price: $8,990 (2018) On road
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