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Old 01-21-2019, 07:28 PM   #1
MX500
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DR650 engine failed, best repair for highest resale value?

I had the new to me 2003 DR650 engine fail on the freeway a few months ago. The connecting rod is damaged as well as the cylinder and of course piston. The head actually looks great!


Would I be best off rebuilding with a 790 big bore kit or new stock cylinder and piston? I will be using a new connecting rod and having the crank rebuilt either way. Obviously the 790 will be the most fun, however they seem to fail almost immediately due to poor craftsmanship during the builds or last 20-30k miles compared to 40-100K miles like the plated OEM cylinder. I'll be rebuilding it myself with the machining being outsourced, no worries here, I am and engineer and used to work as a mechanic.

The other option would be waiting to find a low mileage used engine on the ebay and installing it. Then it would no longer have number matching cases.

A used engine would be a couple hundred dollars cheaper than a full oem rebuild or the 790 kit. But then it's a used engine.


Which option would you feel has the highest resale value? I would like to ride the bike a bit before selling after the rebuild, so it'll likely have another 2,000 miles or so on it by the time I went to sell.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:47 PM   #2
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is there a decent option between 650 and 790?
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:16 PM   #3
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Most folks that are looking to purchase a DR650 are looking at them for their reliability and longevity. Not their outright performance. If I were coaching someone looking for a used DR650, I would certainly steer them towards the cleanest, lowest mileage, and unmolested example.

The only thing that might add value in my estimate is quality suspension components, big tank, and perhaps offroad accessories like a skid plate or hand guards.

There are certainly exceptions when it comes to buyers, but its why we call them exceptions.

Just my opinion, but the biggest market for your bike is going to want a stock motor. Therefore for resale value, I would rebuild it stock cc with OEM or OEM quality parts. Take pictures and keep the receipts. Just my opinion, others may vary.
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I'm looking for 1970 or older project like a CB350 or Triumph 650. Cheap and complete. PM me if you have something - will provide it a good home.

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Old 01-22-2019, 12:31 AM   #4
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Don't buy one that Merlin has owned =P

I think your best bet is to either get a good used engine or find another bike and transplant the engine.

What happened to the stock engine? Run out of oil? I've beaten mine to hell and it still runs. I am running the Procycle hicomp piston kit with mine though. It runs hotter than a stock DR at high rpms =/ To really wake up the engine with the hicomp piston you need to get a hotter cam and some head/porting work. Then there's the carb, intake, and exhaust etc... I did research on the cam and some people are bending valves though, your supposedly have to put the engine together and put some clay on the piston and see if the valve is hitting the piston. If it is you need to cut some valve reliefs into the piston. Not really a drop in operation.

The 790 kit sounds nice but it's so expensive. I have never gotten a chance to ride one though, would be nice to try one out.

Last edited by HadesOmega; 01-22-2019 at 12:36 AM..
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:45 PM   #5
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I'm not willing to buy a second bike for an engine, I'd rather sell my roller and buy a new bike if that was my goal.

I got the bike at 7500 miles, decently farkled. tm40, hayabusa muffler, resprung suspension, acerbis tank, rear rack, and some other little things. As far as the engine, a high compression piston was put in it around 2000 miles when the P/O replaced the paper base gasket. Sounded a bit knocky and was hard to start when I bought it, the bike was also painfully slow (its the slowest bike I've ridden in 15 years) I made an offer knowing it was likely to fail. No clue what the previous owner did to injure it before me. It had an extreme amount of blowby, filled the airbox with oil every 50 miles or so. It ran itself dry on my way home from Livermore and started to seize, piston rings were missing on about 1/3 of the piston, ring lands gone, wrist pin got loose, and the piston was rocking side to side. The piston was a few minutes from coming apart based on the cracks starting near the wristpin bosses.

Overall, it was a very comfy platform, it was just mortally wounded when I got it and didn't like being held at 80% throttle at 80-90mph all day. I will admit it was very fun, I just know I need more power (and reliability) for my riding style.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:47 PM   #6
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For the record, it made it about 225 miles in this fucked up condition. They'll limp home for quite a while...
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX500 View Post
Overall, it was a very comfy platform, it was just mortally wounded when I got it and didn't like being held at 80% throttle at 80-90mph all day. I will admit it was very fun, I just know I need more power (and reliability) for my riding style.
Rebuild it stock, sell, and buy yourself a KTM 690. Been my experience you can build these thumpers up with big bores, high compression pistons, cams, pumper carbs........ but then reliability really suffers and you still have a pretty heavy bike with dated suspension. Or enjoy the DR for what it is.

Better off buying something that was designed from the Factory with more HP if thats what you have to have. Find a used one, freshen up the top end, and enjoy! I'd have one if the funds allowed.

BTW, killer Z in your avatar. I had a 240, 260, and 280... Z cars rock.
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I'm looking for 1970 or older project like a CB350 or Triumph 650. Cheap and complete. PM me if you have something - will provide it a good home.

If you think me being naked is offensive, dont look!

"You find the biggest meanest bull, chop off his balls, dangle them in front of him, then hop on his back. That should give you some reference point. Either that, or shove a shuttle rocket up your ass. Take your pick." Colin Edwards

'Cycles is a mean toy lady" Big Halsy

Last edited by OaklandF4i; 01-22-2019 at 03:01 PM..
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:07 PM   #8
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I'd rather buy the dr650 with a stock engine. Let the next guy make it a 790.

This from a woman with a dr650 that has 50,000+ miles on the original engine.
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:29 PM   #9
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Just note that you'll have to go to CHP and/or DMV to have them inspect the bike to change the engine number on the title. That, or savvy buyers will knock a good chunk of change off the price of the bike, if not walking away completely.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MX500 View Post
For the record, it made it about 225 miles in this fucked up condition. They'll limp home for quite a while...
That's a similar story to my Mitsubishi Galant VR4. I bought it drove it home then to work one day. Then as I was driving home car loses power suddenly. Get the car towed home then the next day I find out the timing belt broke. I drove it like 500 miles then poof had broken timing belt and 3 bent valves.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 295566 View Post
Just note that you'll have to go to CHP and/or DMV to have them inspect the bike to change the engine number on the title. That, or savvy buyers will knock a good chunk of change off the price of the bike, if not walking away completely.
I doubt most buyers even check VIN, let alone EIN.

I didn't until I got bit in the ass by it, and that was a bike I bought from a cop (who bought it from a dealer, and I imagine never checked rather than having knowingly sold a bike with paperwork that didn't match - 2 bikes were registered under the same VIN).
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:59 PM   #12
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Well, it seems we are more alike than I thought. I always prefer to buy stock vehicles over modified, this instance further reinforced that belief. I'll be making it stock and enjoying life in turtle mode for a while before selling. That is unless someone wants to buy it as is for a fair price.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by two wheel tramp View Post
I'd rather buy the dr650 with a stock engine. Let the next guy make it a 790.

This from a woman with a dr650 that has 50,000+ miles on the original engine.
Does it burn oil or have any notable loss of power yet? That's the kinda mileage I like to read about.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:06 PM   #14
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If you wanna sell the roller, PM me, I have an SV650 engine that needs a home.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:28 PM   #15
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^ That sounds like a good use of the bike. PM sent.
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