How many miles is a lot for a DR650?

13 replies to this topic
  • SixteenDOHC

Posted June 15, 2011 - 10:06 AM


Just bought a 2006 DR650 with 13,000 miles. I was a little leary of the mileage but bought it anyway because it seems to be well maintained and in good condition. If properly maintained, how long are the engines typicall good for on this bike? How long before a top end job is needed usually? Bottom end?

  • ProCycle

Posted June 15, 2011 - 11:14 AM


I don't think anybody ever wears out a DR650 top end just from accumulating miles.

  • crabnebula

Posted June 15, 2011 - 03:27 PM


my DR650SE has 13,243 miles (2009 year/model).

It is running strong. I have replaced the brake pads and cleaned the air filter as well as adjusted the chain a little, gone through a few sets of tires...

I ve had such great times with my DR.....I would check the HIGH ABOVE THE CHAIN...chain roller...mine broke off one day....I have know idea when but I had used a metal bottle cap hammered down and molded to the frame and JB welded the nuts out of it to keep water out of the frame.

Hope you have fun on your DR



  • pacaver

Posted June 15, 2011 - 04:51 PM


13K isn't much. If you do routine maintenance and aren't beating it to death every second you should have plenty of miles left. I crossed the 50,000 mile mark a month or so ago on mine and it runs fine.

  • 54321

Posted June 15, 2011 - 05:33 PM


Just bought a 2006 DR650 with 13,000 miles. I was a little leary of the mileage but bought it anyway because it seems to be well maintained and in good condition. If properly maintained, how long are the engines typicall good for on this bike? How long before a top end job is needed usually? Bottom end?

With the DR650 you never know for sure the true mileage as it's so easy to disconnect the speedo cable. If the seller was a straight guy then this should not be an issue. I'm sure you checked the bike over for unusual wear and did a test ride, so that mileage is probably accurate.

13K is nothing for a DR650. Good maintenance is the key. Make sure the air filter is serviced and installed correctly with a bead of grease around the sealing area. Check the valves (very simple to do) about every 3000 or 4000 miles. Keep the oil clean and change filters each change. Good quality Iridium plugs help and last long.

The only serious problem (that can be avoided) is the notorious NSU bolts on the clutch side. These two buggers hold the neutral sending unit in place. It's plastic so is not torqued down tight. A few DR650 riders have had the bolts come loose and destroyed gear boxes. They are more likely to come out at high mileage, but I would pull the cover and check them at some point. It's a relatively easy fix. Don't panic ... most stay in forever and overall the number of disasters is LOW, but worth a look. :ride:

My 2006 DR650 is now up around 40,000 miles. Still going strong. It's been all over Mexico and Baja and ridden hard on and off road. No oil use. Great power and really the same as it's always been from new. (I bought it used with 700 miles on it :lol:) Valves and top end show no wear and hold spec quite well. Very few stories of top ends wearing out on the post '96 DR650.
Bottom ends are tough too few if any blow up I've heard about.

Perhaps the weak areas are some of the bearings. Mine are all original and no problems ... but I will be checking them and changing some out soon. (wheel bearings, steering head bearings, and swingarm and linkage bearings.)

It's unlikely the swingarm bearings will need service but the wheel bearings might. Some DR owners have cooked rear wheel bearings after harsh use and lots of deep water riding. This mostly from some whackos down under in Oz. :lol:

The DR is pretty much tough as nails and will last a long time if cared for. I'm now ready to do some stuff that you would do to ANY six or seven year old bike. Nothing has ever failed or broken on this DR. So it's mostly been lots of tires, brake pads, new plugs, fresh brake fluid and regular oil changes. All good. Lots of info here and over on the big DR650 thread on ADVrider. Worth a read ... it will take you a couple months. Take your time and enjoy.

The biggest thing the DR needs is a better seat and better suspension. Everything else can be added down the road a bit. But better suspension kind of transforms the bike into a much more capable off road beast.

Good luck, have fun. :lol:

  • T30

Posted June 15, 2011 - 05:56 PM


13k on an 06? That's nothing....I've already gone past 20K on my 09. All too often I run it like I stole it especially offroad. I did a 500 mile run last weeked, everything from FSRs to long 80 MPH stretches on the interstate. Its never given me a bit of trouble. People usually overestimate wear caused by mileage on vehilcles. Its generally no issue if they are well maintained. Hell I have a Toyota Taco 4x4 I bought new in 98 that now has 381K and still runs great!

  • 4th_point

Posted June 15, 2011 - 06:14 PM


Where's Brian Wheelies?

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  • mxrob

Posted June 16, 2011 - 04:27 AM


Where's Brian Wheelies?

Yeah no kidding... He's got like 80K miles on his DR650. :ride:

  • crabnebula

Posted June 16, 2011 - 05:11 AM


Hi guys..

How do I check the valves, which I have NOT yet done....13000 miles later,..

what is the clearance, what tools any pictures would be great,...I am NOT one to neglect to maintain anything, but on this issue, i feel bad as I just am a little afraid of what I don't know and was going to have a mechanic do the valve check (and then show me how as well in the process) so I could do it in the future alone.

Any help would be great.

Also, what else should I be doing regarding the bikes maintenance?

I do not hesitate on oil/oil filter changes....I check the slack in the chain....I watch the tires and there wear....other than that anything else? check the carburetor? clean it?

well...guys, I must say that my 2009 bike....13,423 miles etc isn't much is great to hear as I am sort of feeling a little bad that during the spring summer and fall (and some days in the winter) I ride more than drive as it is less expensive and a little more fun.

I am very happy with the bike and hope that it will last longer than I do.

Thanks A lot TT forum

  • tomit

Posted June 16, 2011 - 06:32 AM


Re carburetor cleanliness - crack the bowl drain screw and see what comes out.


  • mxrob

Posted June 16, 2011 - 08:43 AM


DR650 Valve adjusting tutorial with pictures (pdf)

  • shu

Posted June 16, 2011 - 01:40 PM


36,000 miles on my 2008. Shows no signs of wearing out.

Posted Image


  • crabnebula

Posted June 16, 2011 - 07:17 PM


wow...the pdf could not have been more clear.

thanks very much


  • Wybs

Posted June 17, 2011 - 05:44 AM


53,000 miles here - all sunday rides to church
runs and handles like new - actually much better
3rd chain set, new rear axle and bearings all other bearings/pivots are in great shape
burns no oil, no smoke at start, valves hold adj well
not much to say they just keep going


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