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2008 Suzuki DR650 DS Photo Gallery

We took our reigning 650cc dual-sport champion, the Kawasaki KLR650 and pitted it against a challenger from the opposite end of the DS spectrum, Suzuki's DR650SE. Check out how the 2008 Suzuki DR650 DS did in our 2008 650 Dual-Sport Challenge.

Suzuki's DR650 turned out to be a competent dirt machine. We would rather spend time riding trails on the 'Zook than pounding pavement - the opposite of the Kawasaki.
As far as where it stands in the Suzuki lineup, it's more like riding an oversized DR-Z400 than comparing to the V-Strom, and that's something we consider a positive.
We took a visit to the ice caves in Central Oregon with these two dual-sports.
Standing up on either bike isn't much fun, but the DR is narrower between the knees and gives more reason to get up on the rubber-mounted pegs with its off-road potential.
The last time B. Madson tested a Suzuki dual-sport he crashed the beans out of a DR200. He was still willing to take the 650 into more off-road than he was with Kawasaki's beast.
A 290mm front disc and two-piston caliper made the Suzuki a definite favorite for one of our testers.
Twisty roads were the Suzuki's domain so long as the speeds were lower. Once the pace picked up the Kawi makes up ground with its stability and smoothness.
There is no wind protection whatsoever on the DR. Go fast, get blown around; it's that simple.
Both bikes have five-speed transmissions and comparing shifting is a wash.