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I'm a brand new rider purchasing within the next 2 weeks. The dealer is offering a new 05 650 at MSRP or a new 03 650 at a "discounted price." (Not yet determined). Are there any significant mechanical or reliability issues between the two years? Any recall issues with either bike?

What would be a fair price for the 03?

By the way.........Excellent site for gathering info!
 

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Hmm, it would be tough. How much of a discount?

$ 500 difference, I would go for the 05
$1,000 difference I would go for the 03

As for OTD (out the door) price, that varies per dealer.
I'm just looking at the difference.
 

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I like the new overdrive in the 05, quieter trans, clear turn signals, etc. It's all in what you want. Remeber to count the depreciation for two years in the overall deal.
 

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Hi Bill. :hello2:

I bought an '03 650 last year. As of tonight I'll have 10,000 trouble-free miles on it, including a ride from the Canadian Border to the Mexican Border and back last summer (doing it again this July).

The early '03s had an issue with a gear in the CVT. No recall, but a service bulletin was sent to all dealers regarding a fix. Many were caught at the factory prior to shipping, and fixed there. Have your dealer check to see if the one he's offering you falls into the affected series, and whether the work was done (the service bulletin will describe a punch-mark on the engine casing made after the fix as a signal that it was good to go).

As mentioned above, the '05s have a six-speed manual instead of a five-speed, and a correspondingly wider automatic range, and include an overdrive feature that is giving a reported 5MPG or so increase in mileage. The instruments on the '05 include an ambient temperature guage and a fuel-economy guage that are not on the older models. Lastly, there is a reduced clutch-force that gives a slightly smoother starting and stopping, but in my testing it was nothing that I'd consider to be a deal maker by itself.

All the other changes are cosmetic; new color, clear turn-signal lenses, and so on.

I'd say, if the price break on the '03 is significant, go for it. If the newer bike was an Executive, then there'd be no question. But since it's not (unless you're in Canada or Europe, and even then probably not) it's really almost a toss-up.

HTH.
 

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Actually, the real issue was with the clutch. It could lead to catastrophic clutch failure in as little as 500 miles if not addressed. There was a specific serial number range of early '03s affected. As Brian stated, the majority of these were repaired before they were sold (mine was one of those).

There is a separate service bulletin on the noise at idle from the CVT on the 03's. There is a modification that can reduce that noise a little. There is no reliability issue associated with this if it isn't addressed though.

Just clarification.
 

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serial range affected is 661-2335

My 04 650 is 335, and I've had no problems...

Kneel down on the left side of the bike (kickstand side) and look at the side of the engine case. You'll see a rectangular area where the engine serial number is etched into the metal. Right above the first letter of the serial number there is a tiny dot made by tapping the engine case with a punch (if it's in the affected range). Once in a while the person who does the work forgets to do the punch mark. So if you are in that serial number range, and don't see a punch mark, they can look up your bike on Suzuki's website and find out if the work was done.

The 05 650 overdrive may not be everything everyone says it is. I'd be interested in an Executive model to get the adjustable shield and MPG readings - but nothing more. I already have the same backrest, and I prefer my color scheme. You might want to look at both of them - because if you're partial to one color or the other - you may want to take that into account.

The 03 should be discounted enough to compensate for the Blue Book resale/tradein difference. between an 03 and an 05.
 
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