2012 Suzuki DR-Z400S ReviewSuzuki | June 21, 2012
Balancing demands of the street & off-road rides is dual-purpose motor cycle’s cross for bearing. Some of the D-P bikes list along with the emphasis that is given for 1 discipline or other, like Husqvarna’s TE 250 which is just a dirt bike having requisite minimal legalities. But DR-Z400S of Suzuki, however, combines worlds of the off-road & the street riding along with equilibrium that is unmatched by the competing models.
DR-Z is the D-P bike of the Japanese origin displacing 400 cc. Kawasaki & Honda skirt this category along with the offerings for 230 cc (for Honda only), 650 cc, and 250 cc displacements and Yamaha gives 200 cc & 2 250 cc bike models. The Euro makers like Husqvarna, Beta, and KTM make machines that are comparable in 350 cc, 450 cc, and 310 cc and 350 cc displacements respectively but like afore mentioned TE 250 these motor bikes are just designed thinly for the off-road users.
DR-Z 400 cc bridges some gap between 250 cc bikes that are powered modestly and often times the over weight and 650 cc street biases models. As compared to the DR-Z650SE stable mate, this 317 pounds curb weight of 400 bests the kin by around 49 pounds and it produces very similar numbers of horsepower which is quite surprising. My test model of 400 S did give 31.2 horsepower and the 650 that I had tested previously gave 35.3 hp. Extra displacement of the big DR shines through the readings of torque, giving significant 10.4 ft lb more as compared to 23.5 ft lb of the 400.
Extra torque of the 650 is beneficial but for finessing bike over & around the different obstacles of off-road; I’d opt for lesser weight of 400 instead of advantage of power and the heavier weight of 650. I did get the Yamaha WR250R for testing last year, this 298 pounds wet machines out put 27.7 hp & torque of 17.0 ft lb. DR-Z weighs just nineteen pounds more as compared to Yamaha but has 3.46 more of horsepower a& torque of 6.52 ft lbs and I was really attracted to realistic possiblity of giving up some weight of 400 bringing it very close to that of 250 instead of attempting on closing on gap of 50 pounds between 650 and 400.
After one day of swapping Suzuki for a really Husky TE250, it’s my opinion that through some reduction of weight of DR-Z, stiffening the suspension and installing little bit of the aggressive rubber on the rim, this DR-Z may be transformed in to off-road serious weapon. Through shaving some of DR-Z down to 255 pounds wet weight of TE is quite impractical getting really close or somewhere below three hundred lbs is pretty reasonable.
Fully adjustable, 49 mm front fork having 11.3 inches travel that is combined along with rear shock adjustable for the compression damping and preload with travel of 11.8 inches is quite formidable components of suspension. The plush settings of stock smooth minor the imperfections of the street but it is easy for bottoming out in off-road aggressive riding. If you stiffen the rear and front components, it will let the rider explore capabilities of DR-Z in a better way.
It isn’t the best that I have ever tested to date but the stopping power from 250 mm front disc brake of DR-Z along with caliper of dual piston & 220 mm rear disc brake along with caliper of single piston is quite adequate. Front brake gives initial strong bite and it is very easy for modulating which 1 is important while off roading along with small knobby front stock tire.
Apart from the streetable rubber, the manufacturer has equipped DR-z along with niceties which are road going like cluster of digital instrument having meters of twin trip (along with capablities of substrattion and addition, clock, stopwatch, and timer functions. Also, there are foot pegs for passenger foot pegs, helmet lock & thick, but narrow, seat giving relatively more of comfort as compared to the dirt bikes.
While 398cc, liquid-cooled DOHC Single produces some usable amount of the low-end torque, Suzuki has equipped DR-Z along with 5-speed gear box which limits choice rider’s of the power delivery. Most of the 650 cc D-P bikes use five gears, but I would prefer 400 to get 6-speed gear box like majority of the small- & mid-displacement bikes of D-P.
Southern California high ways & the common 80 miles per hours traffic flow (when the traffic gets flowing) is bit much for DR-Z. Engine spins really fast for keep the pace which does make for buzzy experience. With 65 mph of speed & single-cylinder engine does thumps along at tolerable cadence. For 6th cog in transmission of DR-Z would go big way for making DR-Z better free way machine.
Glaring over sight of the engineers of DR-Z is simple omission of the brush guards. It certainly isn’t any deal breaker but when Suzuki DR650SE which is less dirt worthy version as comarped to DR-Z400S – comes along with the items which are off-road-inspired as the standard equipment, it simply makes you wonder why it wasn’t installed on 400. One more un-dirt bike-like facet of DR-Z is the metal tank. 1 wrong dis mount (which is accepted aspect in off-road aggressive riding) & DR-Z’s metal tank will for ever wear dented reminder of this event.
Suzuki DR-Z400 doesn’t have any direct competition for displacement & price, making the performance & MSRP $6,200 combination that is very hard for dismissing. DR-Z is really competent on street as it’s in dirt. For person who wants enduro which navigates single-track or the fire road and also perform daily duties of commuting & even some of the short adventure trips of touring, this DR-Z is D-P bike that is worthy of some consideration.