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Craig’s Motorcycles
1985 Suzuki DR600
The DR is the only bike I have ever bought new, and I wish I still had it. It was superb. I made my own side-covers and muffler and fitted grease nipples on the suspension linkages for easier maintenance. I smoothed the ports and improved the jetting. It flew. On twisty sealed roads it was more than a match for most sports bikes, and in the dirt it did everything I ever asked of it, though sometimes under protest.
In really tough, slow going the engine would overheat and lose compression until it cooled down again. This habit, its tall first gear (which made hill climbing a hairy activity) and the small amount of oil it used from new were its only faults. Otherwise, it got 60+ mpg, did over the ton (170Km/hr), crucially weighed only 136kg with the absence of electric start, had torque everywhere, and sounded great.
I took it on a pioneering adventure, riding from Melbourne to Sydney via dirt tracks through the mountains, intending, but never quite managing to write an article about the trip. I sold it to a friend with 30,000 Ks on the clock before heading overseas, but wish now that I'd buried it somewhere for later retrieval. What a great bike.

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