DRZ400E vs. WR450F

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Zapp22, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. murgatroid42

    murgatroid42 Great Adventurer

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    Let me start by saying my dirt riding skills really suck. I'm getting better, but I still suck. So my experiences may not be comparable to yours.

    I had an XR650L. The slow, heavy pig, far different than the XR650R. I crashed in sand, and decided to replace it. I asked neduro if an XR650R would be easier to ride, since it weighs 50 lbs. less. He told me that the XR650R would still be a handful for me (6' 0", 165 lb. nerd who was never athletic). He recommended the DRZ instead, knowing that the S version actually weighs more than the XR650R. I test rode an XR650R, and it still felt topheavy. I now have a KLX400SR (green DRZ, street version), and it is great, for MY riding skills. It is far more nimble than the XR650R, even though it weighs more, and I am more confident on it. Why? :patch Balance, weigh distribution, power curves, whatever. :dunno It just works for me. neduro (who is a local demigod) was correct. :bow

    What do you want from the bike? A 105 mph enduro? Get the XR650R, the DRZ won't go that fast. A trail bike for the woods? The XR650R will do it, but it is heavy. Bikes all feel different. It is more than comparing weight and HP stats. Get one that you personally like, one that feels good for you. If you make the wrong decision, then sell it and get another.

    Regarding "if electric start is removed from the equation?". A friend has an XR650R. He loves it. But he was riding slow trails in Oregon, and the bike got hot enough to start boiling the fuel in the tank. He stopped for a short rest. He then spent the next half hour :eek1 trying to kick start the beast. Yes, he did all the mods to reduce overheating, but still... I like my magic button. Esteban (another local demigod) loves to make fun of kicker dualsports. YMMV.
    #41
  2. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Banned

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    You make alot of really good points, and I agree that the 650R does feel top heavy, sometimes I can only get it to turn with heavy doses of throttle to force that rear to come around. I also owned an xr650l briefly in college before it got stolen, it was not very confidence inspiring. I am just up the road from you in cheyenne wy and likely moving to FTC after the new year, we will definitely have to do some riding down there.
    #42
  3. murgatroid42

    murgatroid42 Great Adventurer

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    Sounds good to me. :thumb
    #43
  4. Jutta

    Jutta Into the remote places

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    The KTM 450 EXC has it all over a DRZ400E in the dirt and even shades the hard core WR. Much lighter (than the DRZ) and lower seat hight, fantastic motor and handling. The Kato is great for novices and experts alike. If you take your dirt seriously get the Kato, if not get the DRZ400E or S.

    The XR650L is much more road orientated and poles apart from a WR450. A great bike for long distance travelling.
    #44
  5. Colorado

    Colorado Trail Boss

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    Hiya Dan :wave

    I loved that XR and sold it in a moment of weakness. I hope DurangoBiker is enjoying it.

    There's no comparison between the XR and DRZ just yet. I've just got 24 miles on the DRZe (doing the mototuneusa break-in) and did the first oil/filter change yesterday. Haven't even had it off road. The DRZ seems to have just a bit less grunt off the bottom (it's still getting broke in, though). But it revs to the moon compared to the XR400. Once I get it set up (and my knee is back in shape) I'll bring it up to your neck of the woods (Berthoud) and we can do some riding.

    Are you still loving your DRZ?
    #45
  6. Colorado

    Colorado Trail Boss

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    Yeah, this is the key point AFAIC. I bought the DRZ as a 90% trail bike. It is just street legal enough to get me to and from and between the trails.

    By "trail bike," I just want to explore places that would be too much work on my KLR650. I'm not trying to do 3rd gear wheelies on singletrack. I want to be able to clean a gnarly section of rock boulders and ledges, take some pictures and have some laughs. So for me, a bike with a racey engine (EX/C or WR) is less fun than one with smooth power delivery, great suspension* and low maintenance (XR or DRZ).

    *I'm sure the KTM and WR suspension is even better but, for exploring and trail riding, any difference wouldn't be noticeable.
    #46
  7. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    Because it's a better trailbike, IMHO. I enjoyed the pig on trails, but the DRZ is a friendlier and more usable mount for most trails. And after having the button with the 525... I no longer regard that as an insignificant issue.

    To me, the biggest difference between the DR-Z and XR is not horsepower, nor weight. Both have somewhere between plenty and too much of each. It's a more general "character" which is hard to sum up. The DR-Z is a great trailbike and works well in a wide variety of situations. I would not choose to race one anywhere (not that it can't be done, obviously, but to me it doesn't FEEL like a racebike). I'm not picking on it, that's not necessarily a bad thing...

    The XR will do everything the DR will, a little less well where it's tight, better where it's open. But it has a certain flair/ competence/ panache/ name your adjective on open stuff that makes it feel like a racebike. The front end sticks really well, the power makes it easy to drive hard off corners and it sucks straights down with a voracious appetite. I enjoy that, and that's why I owned one for so long and miss it even now.

    The only "problem" with the DR-Z is that there is nothing it does, that something else doesn't do better. But, the things that do any given thing better, don't do everything else as well as it does... in my opinion, that makes it a great trailbike.

    Don't you just love these threads? How many ways can we dissect the same words? :lol3
    #47
  8. Colorado

    Colorado Trail Boss

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    If you look at the DRZ forum at Thumpertalk, you'll see that many S owners remove the fan. The fan assembly is 3# and the fan never comes on anyway.

    High octane gas isn't required at high altitudes.

    As far as riding at altitude extremes, CV carb do adapt better (so I hear). But 4k to 11k feet kinda goes hand-in-hand with street riding, which is only 10% of the E's mission. For the 90% trail riding I do, the FCR will work better. I can't think of anyone who would trade an FCR carb for a CV carb - if you wanted to, I guarantee there would be a lot of takers at Thumpertalk.
    #48
  9. murgatroid42

    murgatroid42 Great Adventurer

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    Yes, I am. The suspension and handling are much better than the XR650L, no comparison really. The limiting factor is still the rider, :wink: but I'm learning to stop overanalyzing riding. If I just use the skills neduro taught, and trust the bike to stick, it will. If I death grip it all the time, I will get tired very quickly.

    The downside is that I could do 400+ mile days on the XR650L without any discomfort, but 200 miles on the KLX400 is uncomfortable. It needs a better seat for touring.
    #49
  10. Colorado

    Colorado Trail Boss

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    Seat? I thought it was butt floss.
    #50
  11. murgatroid42

    murgatroid42 Great Adventurer

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    Thinc2 describes it as a "concrete pyramid". :lol3
    #51
  12. MihaiVeniamin

    MihaiVeniamin Been here awhile

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    Hello, I am Mihai (Mike) from Romania and right now I own a Suzuki DR 650 SE T '96.I done some enduro in mud and it is okay, but I'm thinking to buy a DR-Z 400 E because is lighter and powerful than the big 650.

    My question is: DR-Z 400 E is reliable ? because the 650 SE is fantastic.

    A friend of mine has a Honda XR 650 R from 2004 and is a beast compared to Suzuki DR 650 SE wich is heavier and less powerful but we ride togheter and it was no problem.

    I also experienced Honda CR 250 but is to race for me.

    I realy like and love the looks and performance of DR-Z 400 E.
    If I take it I can follow my friend with XR ? or I can follow up guys with WR 450 ??

    In Romania the DR 650 SE is not available and the DR-Z 400 E is the cheapest....I think is the best choice......what do you think ?
    #52
  13. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    Durable, yes. Powerful? not without lot of mods.
    Not the power of the WR450
    Not the power of CRF450
    not the off ROAD suspension of either ... or RMZ for that matter

    But a good all-around hare-scrambler it is :D . Relatively low maintenance once everything is set correctly.

    #53
  14. fnord

    fnord Hail Eris!

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    Guts Racing seat does the trick. Mine is very comfortable. I'm not a racer but I think the WR is a great all around bike. Mine has been extremely dependable.
    #54
  15. stevh0

    stevh0 Super Retard.

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    good read! +1
    #55
  16. Pimpdaub

    Pimpdaub n00b

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    I just picked up a drz400e that was converted to street using the baja designs kit & I must say it is a dream. I was lucky enough that the previous owner added the necessary mods to put the Drz over the top of the other bikes your comparing. Yoshimura trs titanium full exhaust, jet kit, manual cam chain tensioner. A few must haves if you can.
    #56
  17. Pimpdaub

    Pimpdaub n00b

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    Also...the "e"model is lighter & has 10 more hp then any factory street legal Drz
    #57
  18. ssmschulz

    ssmschulz Sherpa Rider

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    I have a 2001 DRZ400E. I love it. Had a CRF 450X and to me I like the 400E better. I just recently had the ACT wide Ratio gears put in, run 14/47 and it does very well in tight woods and the ACT gears make it sweet up to about 80 MPH. You can haul ass on the freeway, in the open, run it all day in 1st and 2nd single tracking, and then at super moto wheels on it and have a blast in the city. Also, they are cheap so you can spend the extra on tuning your suspension to you. which is by far the most important mod.
    #58
  19. hobes

    hobes Adventurer

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    I agree,

    I ride my second DRZ now for 10 years and I rode it 8 years in competition in technical very difficult terrain.
    I only changed the cam chain in these years (of cours oil and filters too).

    My competition bike now is a Beta 400RR because it got 12 kg less weight but I still ride my DRZ because I think that the DRZ engine is one of the best enduro engines because it's very smooth (especially compared to the KTM RFS engine) and got enough power (at a race some years ago there was a straight of several hundred meters after a slow corner and I could follow KTM 525, WR 450 several times without loosing a meter).

    I rode once a XR 650R for a very short time in the dunes of the Sahara and compared to the DRZ (I changed directly from the DRZ to the XR) I got the impression that it was a heavy bike with too much power (not too bad in the dunes) for technical terrain.

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    #59