What actually does …: Test Suzuki DR 800 S

What actually does …: Test Suzuki DR 800 S

Doctor Big is alive

Haven’t heard of the thickest series single-cylinder in the world for a long time. But don’t worry: The Riesenhuber is doing well and has stayed the same over the years.

My dearest brother You are absolutely right ?? As usual: It’s time to lose a few bars over your oh-so-revered DR 800 S again.

The last test was four years ago. And not only you are wondering: What is she actually doing, the fat one?
Well ?? she lives. Still in the Suzuki program. Except for a few tiny design modifications and a price increase of 690 marks, nothing has changed since 1994. That’s why it has become so quiet about the largest single-cylinder that ever went into series production.
Your letter, however, moved us: It is in fact unacceptable for such a remarkable motorcycle to be hushed up just because it has not had a facelift for years. Incidentally, a fate that the DR shares with a number of colleagues. And last but not least, it is thanks to your application that these god-forgotten creatures now have a forum in MOTORRAD. Under the heading: What actually does…?
You will probably remember: the DR passed its last aptitude test on the Stuttgart / Genoa track, where it had to defend its reputation as a talented travel enduro against the BMW F 650, Honda Transalp and Yamaha XTZ 660. It did not come off badly: very good wind protection, comfortable seating position, enormous payload, long range, usable luggage rack. However, she did not become the undisputed ruler of the competition. And please, don’t start again with how many characters such a DR compared to these? what else do you call her? Oh yes ?? Has “nipples”.
The pithy blow of the huge piston is of course a rarity. Something is really happening. Feels like nothing or nobody can harm this engine. And thanks to two balance shafts, it runs surprisingly with little vibration. The emphasis is on “poor”. At higher speeds, which are often applied due to the short overall gear ratio, there is a lot of tingling in the framework. But that’s part of it, I totally agree with you.
However, to this day I cannot understand what turns you on about this performance development. Yeah, maybe I’m spoiled. Maybe I lack the necessary amount of empathy. Nevertheless, I stick to it: the part does not come off that intoxicating. For my taste, you have to change gear too often on winding roads.
Have you ever been to the Odenwald? Maybe there are roads there. Small, small, small. This time the DR had to prove itself there. And again the monster amazed with its handiness. You think: the load is about to hit the embankment, but it slips around the corners as if it had nothing to do with this 226 kilogram total weight. You can let it rip unchecked. Quickly gets used to the slight swinging of the rear end and at some point probably also to the deep dive and significant twisting of the fork when braking.
The long suspension travel not only brings advantages, it makes up for every crater, no matter how deep, but on the other hand is responsible for a relatively indirect driving experience. In addition, they drive the seat height to dizzying heights. Okay, okay: The DR is an enduro and does away with the tar world? one should hardly think it possible? actually something. But hand on heart, brother: Who needs 240 or 220 millimeters of suspension travel for normal enduro hiking? A slightly better padded bench would make more sense. In the long run, the soft foam will sit through.
A.I can see that we don’t seem to agree this time either. Let’s leave it and stay until the next time: The Suzuki DR 800 S is a pretty good travel enduro, can cope with highways, mountain roads, easy terrain and passengers, it has a lot more character than I do, and it would be a It would be a shame if this motorcycle didn’t exist.

Model history

The DR Big started out as a 50 hp 750 series. At the end of 1987 at the Paris Salon. The world had never seen such a thick production single-cylinder before. But not only the gigantic displacement caused a sensation at the time, the daring design with a 29-liter petrol barrel and duck bill also heated people’s minds. In 1990, Suzuki thickened the stew: 727 cubic centimeters became 779, and the stroke had to be increased from 84 to 90 millimeters. From then on, the fat company traded under the name DR Big 800 S. The big breakthrough was still denied. Suzuki was already twitching and wanted to stop production, but decided at the last minute for a general overhaul. In 1991, the DR presented itself in the form we know it to this day: two rear silencers instead of one, 24-liter tank in a plastic jacket, 223 kilograms combat weight. Incidentally, the giant single lost its nickname Big in 1994, but among insiders it remains forever: the good old Doctor Big. The DR 800 S in MOTORRAD: Test 18/1991. Comparative test 20/1991. Concept comparison 18/1992. Comparative test 9 and 19/1994. Used purchase 26/1997.

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