2019 Suzuki DR650S review: lowered Dual Sport motorcycle


2019 Suzuki DR650S review:
Lowered and tested on dirt and street

I love myself only one. There’s nothing quite like the satisfying and safe traction of all that torque, especially on a mid-size engine, so it’s no surprise that I was immediately home and happy on the dual sport bike. Suzuki DR650S 2019. Yes, I’m gender predisposed, having started my two-wheeled street life on a dual sport bike, so I’ll be making this warning right off the bat.2019 Suzuki DR650S review - dirt road

There is nothing sexy or particularly modern about the DR650S. The base model has been around for almost 30 years, with some valuable improvements. The turn signals, headlights, mirrors, plastic and the dashboard look more like the last century. But who cares ? What’s important is how well the DR650S accomplishes its dual task of handling household and city chores during the week, and going out on the dirt on the weekends for a little fun. The DR650S is a great package because it’s reliable, low-maintenance, and will take you just about anywhere with a smile on your face.

The SOHC air-cooled engine with oil cooler uses a 40mm Mikuni carburetor, so you will need to use the choke when starting except on hot summer days. Once warmed up, the 644cc thumper is ready to go. Yes, you will need to keep an eye on how many miles you have driven since the last time you put gas in the 3.4 gallon tank, as there is no fuel gauge. Just reset the trip meter and make sure you can reach the tap without looking in case you need to turn back to reserve on the freeway. (Yes, it may have happened to me once.)

The 2019 Suzuki DR650S is big, as you would expect from a true dual sport machine. The standard 34.8 inch seat height is too much for me, especially in the dirt. However, Suzuki designed the DR650S to be easily lowered, and by offering 1.6 inches, I can touch more than the toes when stationary.Suzuki DR650S 2019 test - dual sport motorcycle

To remove the frame, the spacers are removed from the fork legs and shock absorber, and the upper mounting point of the shock absorber to the frame is moved. Suspension travel is lowered to 8.7 inches at both ends, compared to 10.2 inches in the standard configuration. Ground clearance is also reduced from 10.4 inches to 8.9 inches. In doing so, the Suzuki low sidestand ($ 60) must be installed and we added a Suzuki accessory skid plate ($ 160), as reduced ground clearance means the housings are more susceptible to impact.

At 366 pounds, the DR is reasonably light as the 650 is legal, and that’s not a problem for me and my 30.5-inch crotch. Suzuki also offers a Low Gel seat ($ 200), but it has the effect of increasing the relative height of the handlebars and footrests, changing the original ergonomic triangle of the well-designed rider. It is also important that the lowering process is factory approved, so that it does not produce unwanted handling or hanging behaviors.

It’s hard to stress how different the DR650S feels with the lowered chassis. Years ago I ran over a DR650 on a bumpy street when I couldn’t touch the tarmac at a stop. In this lowered configuration, the DR650S actually looks more like the novice-friendly DR200S than a big thumper.

Dual-sport bikes make great commuters, and the DR650S is no exception. The upright ergonomics and higher saddle, even with the lowering kit, give me excellent visibility when mingling with four-wheel traffic, and the long-travel suspension takes care of poor road conditions at the same time. on surface streets and highways. The DR650S is also narrow, making it easy to navigate traffic and maneuver confidently at low speeds, even without being caught off guard.

At highway speeds, the upright seats, wide handlebars, and lack of a windshield make themselves known, but only when the needle of the analog speedometer dances in the mid-1970s. wind is a big problem, although my ride was less than 20 miles each way. Reassuring, the bike is completely stable at these speeds. The counterweight handles the vibrations of the single cylinder well, with little hum from the pegs, bars or seat. The responsive square mirrors – as vintage as the speedometer – reflect a crisp image at almost any revs.

The Bridgestone Trail Wing tire combo handles the surface of diamond-grooved highways surprisingly well with their semi-knot tread. So even though the DR is too narrow in the tank area for me to have good grip with my knees, I feel totally safe on the bike. He doesn’t stray and feel vague at high speed.2019 Suzuki DR650S Review - MSRP Price

The well-matched 290mm single disc up front adds confidence in highway speed. With less rubber touching the road thanks to the dual block sport tread, a single rotor does the job. There’s the expected forward dive when you hit the brake hard, but I wouldn’t give up the plush ride.

One of the nicest aspects of the DR650S is its torquey engine. It shifts from idle to upshift, and I don’t need to downshift to pass on the highway. Even though it’s a five-speed, I’ve never found myself looking for a sixth gear. The power band and wide-ratio drivetrain are perfectly tuned, making the DR easy to ride just about anywhere. There is so much satisfaction in a bike that doesn’t need the attention, but can accelerate intelligently.

On weekends the DR650S does a good job on dirt roads and moderate trails. I expected that I would find it a bit tricky as it’s not the lightest dual sport available, and it’s a 650. I usually stick with smaller engines when tackling. to dirt. At 115 pounds, I don’t need the extra horsepower, nor the seat height that comes with a full ten-inch suspension travel. So, I was especially happy to test the lowered version of the DR, because the confidence that comes with being able to land when things are moving under your tires is enormous.2019 Suzuki DR650S Review - Specifications

The loss of 1.5 inches of travel due to lowering is unimportant to the suspension capabilities and further lowers the center of gravity. The DR’s 21-inch front wheel rides reliably over rocks and ruts, with the ventilated Trail Wing rubber doing a better job than expected on slippery hard ground and when picking in loose, scattered rock conditions. I wasn’t riding on a single technical track, but I didn’t stick to fire routes either.

The DR’s willing and pleasant manners are particularly attractive off-road. The low-end growl and smooth power delivery allow me to work my way through tough sections, then hit the throttle and shift gears for a climb. The feel at the front brake lever is appropriate for off-road conditions with a smooth initial engagement. Likewise, the rear pedal does not overreact to input.

When transferring between off-road sections, the Suzuki DR650S is a great fun canyon bike. Dual-sport rubber works for this application, and the motor makes everything easy. Even with the soft suspension, the DR650S holds its lines well in the corners. Once you get used to it, you can have a good time on the DR due to its relatively light weight and plentiful torque.

As expected on a dual sport, the DR has hand guards, off-road style grips, and a firm, narrow seat, although nothing to do with high-performance Euro dual-sport motorcycles. Hand guards are more used to protect yourself from the wind than to tackle stray branches on the trails.

The 2019 Suzuki DR650S continues to be a strong dual-sport workhorse that benefits from a strong fan base. No need for bells and whistles, because this well-developed all-rounder offers a reliable and easy ride at an incredibly affordable price.

Photograph by Don Williams

RIDING STYLE
Helmet: Fly Racing F2 Carbon MIPS
Glasses: EKS Brand GOX Flat Out
Jersey, gloves + pants: Fly Racing Women’s Lite Racewear
Protective vest: Alpinestars Stella Bionic Jacket 2
Hydration: Fly Racing XC Hydro Pack
Knee pad: Pod K4
Boots: Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro

Get the gear you see here on MotoSport.com!

2019 Suzuki DR650S specifications

MOTOR
Type: Single cylinder
Displacement: 644 cc
Bore x stroke: 100 x 82 mm
Compression ratio: 9.5: 1
Valvetrain: SOHC, 4 valves
Cooling: Air with oil cooler
Refueling: Mikuni BST 40 mm carburetor
Starting: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh
Final drive: DID 525 O-chain
FRAME
Front suspension; travel: fork adjustable in height; 10.2 inch (8.7 inch as tested lowered)
Rear: height adjustable, linkage assisted, adjustable preload and rebound, stacked reservoir shock; 10.2 inch (8.7 inch as tested lowered)
Wheels: metal spoked with aluminum rims
Tires: inner tube type
Front tire: 90/90 x 21; Wing 41 Bridgestone Trail
Rear tire: 120/90 x 17; Bridgestone Trail Wing 42
Front brake: 290 mm floating disc with 4 piston caliper
Rear brake: 240mm disc with 2 piston caliper
DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 58.7 inches
Seat height: 34.8 inches (33.2 inches as tested lowered)
Ground clearance: 10.4 inches (8.9 inches tested down)
Fuel capacity: 3.4 gallons
Curb weight: 366 pounds
Color: plain black
2019 Suzuki DR650S Price: $ 6,599 MSRP ($ 6,819 depending on testing)


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