The Suzuki DR600 was introduced in 1984, a 44-horsepower dual-purpose thumper that the sales brochure called a “Bi-Formance Enduro.” The DR had decent dirt etiquette despite the high saddle height and tall gearing, and the bike could reportedly do 102 mph on the open highway.
This 589 cc dual-sport often gets overlooked, living in the shadow of its longer-lived successor, the much-loved DR650. Fortunately, Barcelona’s Vintage Addiction Crew likes to do things a little differently. As they like to say:
“To lead the orchestra, you gotta turn your back on the crowd.”
They decided to bring this 1989 DR600 out of obscurity, a fresh break from the preponderance of Honda NXs and Yamaha XTs rolling out of garages across the globe. We will let them give you the full story below.
DR600 Dual-Sport Scrambler
The Vintage Addiction crew likes to describe this ’89 Suzuki DR600 as “off the beaten track.” They wanted to give one of the original DR models a shout, with so many NXs and XTs getting all the love.
The bike was built for a friend of theirs, Luke “Milky” McEvoy, who is a big supporter of the bike scene in Barcelona through his Garage Artists’ Short Film Nights. Luke received the donor bike as an unfinished project, but ended up not having the time or tools or tinkering skills to finish the build.
His vision for the build was a slimmed-down adventure bike, a lighter-weight machine for burning up the trails in the mountains of Cataluña. After a few beers, the crew developed a look that would be a nod to the 70s motocrossers, without sacrificing the DR’s toughness and Dakar spirit.
The donor bike was in a bad state, but started on the second kick even without a decent wiring loom or airbox–a testament to the DR600’s legendary durability. The crew removed the massive Djebel adventure tank and moldy seat, then rebuilt a new subframe to accommodate a flatter seat. They were trying to get away from the “broken back” look of the original frame.
Custom supports allowed for front and rear Montesa chrome fenders, and Luke scored a 1979 Suzuki TS125 tank from the US. It was in bad shape–dented and rusted–but friend of the crew, Kilian from Pic-AStudio, restored the tank to perfection, with a silver and “Petronas Blue” paint scheme.
They strengthened the front end with DR750 forks, complete with new oil, seals, and gators. They cleaned up the engine and carburetor and added an off-the-shelf exhaust, then gave the frame a new coat of black paint, new cables and lines, bear trap rider pegs, and relocated the ignition under the tank.
They totally rewired the bike with an OEM loom from the wrecking yard, and then added one of our favorite features of this build: custom “plug-and-play” slots for the attachment/removal of headlights and indicators, as necessary.
The crew added custom-polished side covers to hide the original airbox, matching them to the custom exhaust heat guards and bash plate. They kept the original spoked rims and added tracker-style bars, 70s motocross grips, and the custom aluminum race plate.
To the original rims, they added:
“100% super knobbies for those days when you just want to quit your job for month of rainy Sundays in the dirt.”
That sounds like heaven to us!
Making of the DR600 Photoshoot
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