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Review of the 1986 Suzuki DR 600 R Dakar:
A stout, big-bore dual purpose fireroad blaster
Author: Brendan, 2004-10-08, viewed 139 times.|
The 1986 Suzuki Dakar 600 holds its own in traffic and in the back-country.
Make no mistake. This big-bore bomber has what it takes to slice through heavy city traffic at rush hour while giving you enough off-road capabilities to hammer down fireroads at high speeds or pick your way through some of the more forgiving single-track trails you may find.|
Tight woods riding is not this machine´s strong suit, although an offroad sprocket setup and rear knobby will at least give you a chance to pick your way through the tighter twisties if you really have to.
It´s predictable power delivery and stable handling even give you enough confidence to ride on the more mellow -- no big air, please, I´m old -- outdoor moto tracks you may find. It eats up those nice, berm corners well for a ´heavy´ bike. The generous amount of bottom-end torque also gives you the confidence to climb fairly steep slopes. If it starts to labour, just kick it down a gear and keep going. It delivers.
I also like the fact that you can strip the bike of its blinkers, rear doubling peg frames, rear licence plate mount, rear bag and frame and that front fork boot. It looks decent and works really well without all that extra gear on it.
Where this bike really excells is on those great dirt roads in the back-country and/or most probably thumping across the Baja. Speeds over 100 km/h are easily attained on this machine and it´ll track nicely with little effort on these kinds of roads. I find that when you´re really gunning it, you just stand up on the pegs and float -- like the rear swingarm says, Full Floater.
That said, our rides, in the Pacific southwest region of Canada, are a mix of decomissioned forestry roads, access roads and all the trails and dry riverbeds we can find over the course of a day´s ride. The big bonus, of course, is the cavernous Dakar gas tank that gives you gobs of range. I haven´t calibrated it yet, but I haven´t run out of gas yet, either. As far as I can tell, it´ll go at least 120 kms of on-the-throttle riding before getting to reserve. My two-stroke riding companions can only dream of that kind of mileage.
As for reliability, I´ve only had the bike for a couple of months. It cost me the equivalent of about Dollars 1,500 US. Talk about cheap thrills. But I´ve owned several Suzuki products, including one of its predecessors in the SP 500, and all they´ve ever done is run.
Mine has 31,000 kms on the clock and there is still plenty of compression. I had the fibre clutch plates replaced along with the springs at a Suzuki dealership for the equivalent of around Dollars 250 US, with oil, filter and labour all in. I will have to go back to have things like the front brake pads, compression release mechanism (intake), fork seals and, most probably, the coil tended to, but it´ll probably be worth it.
They just don´t make ´em like this any more. Besides, when the pot finally does blow, I´ll be able to get a Wiseco 628 kit into it.
This review of the 1986 Suzuki DR 600 R Dakar was posted by a visitor on Bikez.com and does not necessarily reflect facts, truth or Bikez.com's opinions.
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