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'Tis the season to sell motorcycles and I'm getting ready to sell my 1600 Nomad and the small scooter in hopes of picking up another TW and a slightly larger dual sport for the future tour biz. The slightly larger dual sport needs to be something light enough for me to pick up, but fast enough to make short interstate runs.

Tomorrow I am looking at a DRZ400. Does anyone on the forum currently own a DRZ400 (in any configuration)? Looking for opinions of the weight, capability, and durability of the bike.
 

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I don't own one currently but I think you're looking at what is a good choice, although you may want a lowering link. Did you look at the seat height? Is that an issue for you?
 

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This is my 2006 Suzuki DRZ400SM. I bought it used as shown about 5 1/2 years ago. It had pretty high mileage (about 22k), if I remember correctly. It is a fun bike to ride on the twisties, and I also have set of dirt wheels that I can swap on for offroad riding. It is great for fire roads, just put in second or third gear and just use the throttle.

It is definitely more high strung than a TW and is not very easy to work on because everything is packed together so tightly. It is okay for short highway hops, but I wouldn't want more than 45 minutes or an hour tops on the freeway due to the seat and vibration. They are pretty tall bikes, not sure about the weight. I have some lowering links for it but have never installed them. I had a screw let loose somewhere in the stator that chewed up $1,700 worth of parts and labor to fix. Besides that it has been a pretty reliable bike.

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Very nice Brian. It was you making mention of having both sets of wheels in past threads that got me to order SM wheels as a second set for my 701 Enduro. They're not in yet.. :( wow $1700.00 ouch.
 

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image.jpeg

Bought new in 2011 and set up for touring gravel roads and Hydro Quebec power lines. By the time I got the suspension sorted, a Seat Concepts seat and a set of Dunlop D606's on it the seat height was almost 40". DRZ's are also very top heavy. This picture is before those mods. I tried a lowering link but it softened the suspension up and even with a stiffer shock spring I started bottoming out if I got aggressive on the power lines. I only weigh 180lbs.

You definitely need case savers. The cases are magnesium and can break in a fall. The stock seat is a 4" wide medieval torture device that will leave you with a bruised taint. The soft bag protectors on mine were installed because there's really not much to grab when you're trying to pick one up after dumping it. I sold it because the seat height annoyed me around town and it was a real handful on side hill single track.

All ll that being said, there's not much else you can buy at the price point that has close to the same performance. It excelled at gravel touring and the power lines. With a set of SM wheels and sticky tires you can humiliate sport bikes with four times the power on technical mountain roads(like Hurricane Mtn Road in the White Mountains or the Appalachian Gap). While I didn't think it was a great only bike, it makes a terrific second or third bike in the garage. It has service intervals three times as long as a KTM, costs half as much and in my particular application was 90% the performance.
 

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LuvNot grab the links and the tank. I'm such a parts junkie I want to by a bike just so I can buy the parts!
 

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Add me to the list of TW owners that has a DRZ400. I have the S model, not SM. Its a great bike for sure. Like others have said, its really hard to beat in terms of price, reliability, and durability. I would like to think/hope that TW-Brian's experience is not very common. I bought mine with lower miles for other DRZ's i have seen for sale around here, mine had 7k miles on it, and i see them for sale around here between 12k-22k around here, and they still seem pretty nice and clean. I know a few guys that are in the higher 20k mile range and into the 30k miles around with very little major service needed.

They seem to be pretty bomb proof and not need too much done to the "right away" Like other said, case savers are kinda of a big deal if you want to ride it hard, but they are pretty cheap. Other than that, its really personal preference stuff. I personally would like a longer shifter, and I put some wider drc footpegs. I found a great deal on a yosh full exhaust and did that along with a dynojet needle and the popular 3x3 airbox mod along with a filter. Quite honestly it added some power, but even at the deal i got on the exhaust, in hindsight, I would have just left it all stock.

Bike is heavier, you will never get it to be as light as a KTM (seems what everyone "tries" to compare it to), but its also way less money, and requires way less regular service (i am a ktm owner also) and to be honest, i think its a better dual sport.

It is a bit harder to work on, things are cramped in there like other people have said, getting the carb off to do the jetting was a pain, and there is not a lot free real estate on the machine, but that really doesnt bother me.

The seat height is taller when compared to the tw200, i am 5'10" 190lbs, and come from a pretty competitive moto/dh mtb background, and i find the bike comfortable with the 1" lower gel saddle that Suzuki sells as an OEM accessory, although i have been temped to try the seat concepts setup, but I use my DRZ ALOT offroad for trail riding and some serious dual sport stuff, so I appreciate the narrow/stock style saddle for that stuff, not sure if the wider seat concepts saddle would bother me for that type of riding or not.

Unlike some others, I do take my TW on the highway frequently and it does not bother me, stay in the right lane, and I can hold 60-65 for a good clip, (70 with the right conditions, lol) but no hesitation at all to jump into the left lane and make passes on the drz if need to. Not sure of the top end on it, and where it shuts off or flattens out, but i have never needed/wanted much more than 75mph out of it.

The other good thing around here is it seems to be "in demand" When they come up for sale, and they are nice, they dont last long, and seem to hold their value well. For a minute I considered selling mine for a KTM 500 or 530, i posted it up on craigslist pretty high with 2 build options, 4k for the bike as it sat, and 3k for the bike pretty much stock, my phone was ringing off the hook, and I even had guys asking to fly in and ride the bike home from other forums. I decided i loved it too much, and I didnt not want another high strung ktm, so I kept ol' reliable in my garage.

Before the 400, I also had the DR650, great bike, amazing on the highway, super comfortable for long trips, and super simple bullet proof engine also. It was fun offroad, but to really "get it" offroad, it would have taken a good bit of coin to get the suspension and other items where I would want them be, when the 400 came up, i kinda jumped on it. I do miss my 650, and will probably try to add another one to the stable someday, but I am pretty content right now....maybe when time allows for longer trips than a day I would love to get one.

A lot of people rave about the SM wheels, and I am on the fence, i guess I just use mine offroad too much, but I would love to try them, but those wheels are pulling a premium. DSC_7773.jpg

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I was looking at DRZ400 today as kind of a impulse purchase. I was selling my Slingshot to a dealer that wanted it and saw one there. I do welding for a living and weld for a few motorcycle shops, one of the guys is a huge DRZ swinger! So I (tried) to sit on it and didn't feel comfortable at all. Im 5-10 180 pounds. Looked right behind it and saw a TW200, fell in love with it! So purchased the TW and they are delivering it tomorrow for me.

I am really looking forward to doing some mods on it, mostly performance. I am trying to read up on the list of parts, but not much luck yet. I am going to make a new post on it. Just wanted to put my 2 cents in here.

BTW, great post @Jut8
 

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Mobil man welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sadly, the bike I went to look at today sold a half hour before I got there :( No biggie. Not meant to be. Another will come up.

I've been on the fence about the DRZ400 vs a larger engine because I do love long trips. Everything from the DR650 to a CB500 or Versy/V-Strom 650... I've been doing some reading and watching a lot of review videos. The DR650 was high on my list, but after watching a series by YouTuber eveRide ADV (check him out if you haven't yet), I really started thinking about the capability of a smaller engine. The DRZ400 is relatively light, seems nimble, can run on an interstate as well as rough dirt track, and basically fulfills all my needs at the moment.

Being a visual person who is data driven, of course I had to create a chart :rolleyes:

DualSportComparisonChart.jpg

The list is sorted by total score where lower numbers are desired. Obviously, the TW200 and smaller 250 engine models are at the top of the list, but the 250's are too similar to the 200 to justify unless I traded in the TW - and that's NOT Going To Happen. Next size up, the DRZ400s/sm, seems to fit the bill in every way. Well, except for seat height. At 5'4", having to scoot a cheek off the seat every time I stop is rather concerning. But it's the only negative. As long as it's light enough to pick up again, I should be fine.

And to be honest with ya, I had to be honest with myself and realize the biggest reason I'm giving up my beloved Kawasaki Nomad is because it's just too heavy for me to lift anymore. I'm a month from being 48, have the body of an office-jocky, and a bad back. Although it pains me to admit it, I just don't have the strength to lift the Nomad - or any large bike - anymore. And that's one of the things I promised myself I'd always do is ride at my limit. So the Nomad will be retired :crybaby2: , hopefully to a good home that will love him as much as I do.

I'll keep looking for another DRZ400. In the mean time, the RV conversion bus, sports scooter, and Nomad are all up for sale. Gotta start thinning the fleet, fixing up the house, and throwing out stuff in general in prep for selling the house and getting one step closer to starting my own biz...
 

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Awesome Chart! :)


Sadly, the bike I went to look at today sold a half hour before I got there :( No biggie. Not meant to be. Another will come up.

I've been on the fence about the DRZ400 vs a larger engine because I do love long trips. Everything from the DR650 to a CB500 or Versy/V-Strom 650... I've been doing some reading and watching a lot of review videos. The DR650 was high on my list, but after watching a series by YouTuber eveRide ADV (check him out if you haven't yet), I really started thinking about the capability of a smaller engine. The DRZ400 is relatively light, seems nimble, can run on an interstate as well as rough dirt track, and basically fulfills all my needs at the moment.

Being a visual person who is data driven, of course I had to create a chart :rolleyes:

View attachment 78841

The list is sorted by total score where lower numbers are desired. Obviously, the TW200 and smaller 250 engine models are at the top of the list, but the 250's are too similar to the 200 to justify unless I traded in the TW - and that's NOT Going To Happen. Next size up, the DRZ400s/sm, seems to fit the bill in every way. Well, except for seat height. At 5'4", having to scoot a cheek off the seat every time I stop is rather concerning. But it's the only negative. As long as it's light enough to pick up again, I should be fine.

And to be honest with ya, I had to be honest with myself and realize the biggest reason I'm giving up my beloved Kawasaki Nomad is because it's just too heavy for me to lift anymore. I'm a month from being 48, have the body of an office-jocky, and a bad back. Although it pains me to admit it, I just don't have the strength to lift the Nomad - or any large bike - anymore. And that's one of the things I promised myself I'd always do is ride at my limit. So the Nomad will be retired :crybaby2: , hopefully to a good home that will love him as much as I do.

I'll keep looking for another DRZ400. In the mean time, the RV conversion bus, sports scooter, and Nomad are all up for sale. Gotta start thinning the fleet, fixing up the house, and throwing out stuff in general in prep for selling the house and getting one step closer to starting my own biz...
 

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Can you expand on your scoring criteria? I think it's spot on but I'm wondering exactly how you computed it.
 

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Like your style buddy! I do have the say the DR650 was great for longer road trips, but in the woods it was bear. Honestly after i dropped it twice, i did not want to pick it up anymore. if it fell on the dry flat (which never happens, lol) it was OK, but anything off-camber, wet or muddy was rough. It seems like you know what you want, the drz400 does a good job at fitting the bill.
 

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The WR250r, is not like any other Japanese 250.
I looked at the DRZ 400s and the WR250r and went with the Yamaha as it had more suspension and a 6th gear.
They can be lowered and many say it should be lowered to mitigate a supposed chain wear problem.
I only got rid of mine as I wanted Linda to join me on a few adventures and I could not justify having 3 motorcycles insured in BC - home of expensive insurance.
It does not have the torque of the 400, which I solved by changing the final drive, but it will hold 70 mph easily.
Optimum set up for most use would be running a stock 13 in the front and moving to a 45 or 46 at the rear.
I ran 12 / 50 gearing for extreme black diamond trails to 14 / (48 or 50) for adventure riding.
I know a few DSBC members who have traded in their DR650s and KLRs for WR250s as they make great adventure bikes.
 
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