TLC for the Wolfmobile

When we found the Wolfmobile in a backstreet of the Mission district in San Francisco its undercarriage was dripping oil and a few drops of fuel were hanging from the carburetor bowl. We quickly diagnosed a leaking base gasket and dried up carburetor seals. Convinced these would be easy fixes, we brought the bike home for some love and care.

1998 DR 650 base gasket

TLC_6.5_head_gasketIn its struggle to save a buck, Suzuki had equipped early models DR650s with paper base gaskets. Those gaskets showed an alarming tendency to leak prompting Suzuki to replace them with a metal gasket [11241-04F20].
Replacing the base gasket requires disassembling the engine top end including distribution. A task not recommended for beginners but otherwise accomplished engine in the frame in about 3 hours.

1998-99 DR 650 Solid idler gear

An other area where Suzuki tried to make economies, before reconsidering, is on the idler gear of 1998-99 models. Single cylinder engines have a tendency to rotate backward for maybe just a quarter turn when shut down. That force is passed on to the electric starter gearing and can break the bearing bosses those gears are mounted on. The 1998-99 had a solid starter gear that got replaced by a unit that includes a torque limiter able to dampen said backward rotation [12600-12D01] This is a rather easy fix but requires several OEM parts sold separately. For your convenience, the complete list can be found in the below table.

We therefore brought the Wolfmobile to the surgery table to fix those problems, and since we were at it, we gave that ugly purple frame a lovely gray powder coat.


Head gasket11141-32E00$29.50
Cylinder gasket, metal11241-04F20$13.96
Stator cover gasket11483-32E00$15.99
Spark plugCR10EK
Oil seal, shift shaft09285-12006$5.99
Oil seal, countershaft (24X44X)09283-25096
Odometer wedge light bulbT7MM3W$1.15
Limiter assembly

Bushing12618-31D01$18.49 (x2)
Washer08211-10221$1.67 (x2)

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