I've got a choice to make and need your help

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Scrubadubbdubb, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Scrubadubbdubb

    Scrubadubbdubb n00b

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    Hey guys and girls,

    I've creeped on here for way too long just wishing I could get myself a dual sport bike and go adventuring! Thankfully, it looks like that time may be very near in my future but I need a little help from the experience of you all on here to help me decide between two.

    I'm about 5' 5" and weigh in at 140lbs. Around where I live now, 85% of daily places to go require using the interstates to get there. While ideally I would be using this bike around 50/50 road/dirt I estimate it will be more like an 85/25 or more commuter.

    The first model choice according to the dealer is a 2013 DRZ650S but on Suzuki's site is seems this is a DR650SE, the second choice is a 2011 DRZ400S.

    I have been leaning more towards the 400 because it will be lighter and easier to maneuver on the trail AND I expected the seat height would be as least slightly less than the 650. According to Suzuki specs the seat height of the 400 is 36.8 inches where as the 650 is only 34.8 inches. The dealer said they could lower the 650 if I wanted, I'm thinking they could do the same on the 400.

    I believe my main concern is that I don't want to feel like I'm lacking power on the interstate or killing the bike if I was on the interstate for a few hours. (Note: I have seen areas around here where the speed limit is 75mph)

    Obviously I am not a huge guy so the weight of the 400 appealed to me in that sense, on the road I don't think its such a big deal but depending on the trails, I wonder if the 650 would be a bit gommy.

    Okay, I know I'm being long winded but the last note is that I am not looking to do any modifications at this time so please bear in mind the decision is pretty much between the completely stock versions of these two bikes.

    Thank you in advance for your help and wisdom =D
    #1
  2. Cobain

    Cobain night owl

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    If your choosing between these bikes get the DR. I say that because your doing so much highway, and the 400 will be too stressed for a long hard run at 75. The 400 WILL do it, and many do, but the 650 is more ideal for the 80/20 you say. On another note, you could be riding the 400 on trails and be passed up by a ktm 990. Its all about the rider skills. Either bike will do it and you will have a lot of fun!
    #2
  3. tjanson

    tjanson Adventurer

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    Are you committed to Suzuki?

    Because.... a Yamaha WR250R costs only $200 more, weighs a good chunk less, will do just fine on the highways, get great gas mileage, has fuel injection, and will do much better on trails that the Suzukis.

    But I'm a 250 guy :)
    #3
  4. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    Never ridden a DR or a WR, but my first bike was a DRZ and I put a good amount of miles on it, given that i'd go: WR->DR->DRZ. Some people like them but a DRZ has to be one of my least favorite motorcycles of all time.
    #4
  5. dman

    dman Been here awhile

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    I own a 650 and bought it after trying a 400, thinking its newer technology would compensate for its smaller displacement. For 80/20 type riding that wasn't the case. Neither bike is an interstate cruiser, and neither is a great single-track dirt bike. From an overall perspective, either bike is fine.

    By the way, if your dealer actually suggested a DRZ650, find another dealer, or at least another sales rep. I am actually sympathetic with sales people who have to know a complex and changing product line, but the DR and the DRZ have been in Suzuki's lineup unchanged for 15+ and 10+ years respectively.

    -dman
    #5
  6. PatrickM

    PatrickM Been here awhile

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    Where are you riding?

    A 250 for east coast woods should be plenty of bike, and give you what you need for that area.

    Out west, I'd be hard pressed to suggest a 250 because of all of the wide open spaces (and nutty drivers) especially in CA where you can lane split legally.

    I'd agree. For me, I needed a bigger bike for the open areas (think burning man desert) and the WR250R was my 2nd choice because of the wide ratio transmission, the price and the happy riders.
    #6
  7. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer

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    I think his question was between DR650 & DRZ400. From what he has described I would opt for the 650.
    #7
  8. Hurricane Bob

    Hurricane Bob Long timer

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    Choose wisely.....


    You want a 200lbs trail bike to run hiway speeds or a 400lbs road bike to handle trails....not gonna happen.

    You need to offer more info for the inmates to help you.

    Number of years of riding and type.
    The area your looking to ride, the terrain type, single track, jeep roads etc.
    Physical condition, age etc.

    Don't get hung up on seat height or HP ratings, you need to hang out with local inmates and throw a leg over a few different rides.


    :freaky
    #8
  9. Scrubadubbdubb

    Scrubadubbdubb n00b

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    Thanks for all the replies so far!

    I am as TOM mentioned I really am looking only between the two I mentioned, although in all honesty my bias towards Suzuki mostly comes from an 1980 something Suzuki that was my first dirt bike when I was 9. (Ironically that bike burnt a good portion of skin from the inside of my leg when I couldn't control it's lean...)

    In reply to bomber1965, my experience is from between the ages of 9 and 15 riding trails in the beginning and towards the latter years some dirt jumping on closed tracks. Consequently I feel quite confident on trails but as far a true technique and skill I am unsure.

    I wish I could give some more info on the trails around here but I honestly don't know, the major reason of this bike is to go exploring and have adventure and so I have no idea what is waiting out there =P

    So along with that, I eventually plan to use this bike for some camping excursions when I have money to put some sort of luggage racks on it. Plus since I plan on having this bike for a lengthy period of time, I have heard the maintenance and trail repairs on DR/DRZ are much less hassle

    Also, I am 20 years old and I would say reasonably fit but not a body builder by any means.
    #9
  10. plugeye

    plugeye unforgiven

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    if i weighed anything near your weight, a 250 4-stroke or 125 2-stroke would be big enough
    #10
  11. Cobain

    Cobain night owl

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    Bad idea you don't want a 125 haha. Go big-bore or go home, If your a decent rider you will have no problem mobbing on the 650 off road, even stock.
    #11
  12. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    the drz has low gearing.... good off road, not so good on the hiway. I did a guy a trip with a guy that had a wr250 when they first came out a couple years ago. he's about 175 pounds & packed light. we did a bit over 1000 miles, 30% gravel roads, the rest was pavement, lots of 75-80 mph for long stretches (gps miles per hour,,,, not off the stock gage). he kept up with my (highly modded) KLR650 no problem. he was packed pretty light, but I was impressed. for real off road riding... no comparison, the WR is lighter & more maneuverable than the drz. only down side is it wants premium fuel.... it will run on regular, but it won't pull 75 up hill like it does with premium
    #12
  13. Steveman

    Steveman Been here awhile

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    I'd take the DRZ 400, a great bike, light in the woods good on the pave, easy to handle, long service intervals, known as very reliable, good dealer net and looks way better than the DR. :D

    Cheers
    Steve
    #13
  14. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Fill out your profile with your general location. You might have riders local that would let you try their DR, DR-Z, WRR, etc.

    For what you describe, unless your location has only seriously-technical singletrack, I'd suggest the DR650SE. Mine rides like an overweight trailbike off-pavement. It rides slab nicer than my Yamaha Radian streetbike.

    The big DR has the torque, stability, and the gearing spread for cruising slab in relative comfort. The DR-Z doesn't have as much torque or gearing spread, so it's not as happy going from dirt to slab. The big DR also isn't known for being buzzy on the slab, while the DR-Z tends to be buzzy unless the sprockets are swapped to taller cogs.

    Either bike can easily be made MUCH better than stock, but neither is a full-on race enduro. Either bike can be lowered, but the DR is usually easier.
    #14
  15. 0ldhippie

    0ldhippie Been here awhile

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    If ya are stuck on these two the 650 is a better dual sport because the close ratio gearbox of the DRZ allows it to either be a dirt bike or a street bike depending on sprockets. They both make about the same 35hp stock, weigh within 20 pounds of each other but the DR is lower which is nice on the street and not a big deal off-road because ya aren't gonna be jumping or really burning on either. There are much better street bikes, dirt bikes and dual sports out there but a DR650 will do the interstates and off road exploring without much drama. If ya want more power, less weight and better handling. KTM/Husky/Berg... have it.
    #15
  16. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer

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    DR 650 all the way:clap:clap
    #16
  17. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    We recently found ourselves going down this same path. We decided on the DR650. While I'm far from an expert rider, and don't want to fool you into thinking I know all, I can go over some of the highlights of this particular debate.

    Seat height. The DRZ is high. Like ~38 inches high. I'm a six foot tall guy with a long inseam, and I thought it was a bit high... The DR is at about 35 in the high setting, 33 in low. Did you know there are two settings? Our dealer didn't. It's a fairly involved process to make the change (mostly the rebuilding of the front forks), but it can be done.

    Air cooled vs. water cooled. Long standing debate. Pick your own side, but it is a major difference.

    Highways. I don't know where you hail from, but if it's out west, I'm sure you already know that our highway speeds differ greatly from what you'll find on the other side of the Rockies. While neither one of us wants to go 90mph on a dualsport, we didn't want something that had nothing left to offer above 70mph either. Sometimes you need to get out of the way. There are also significant areas where the only way to get from here to there involves roads where traffic flows at 70mph and up, you don't want to have to run all out just to keep up.

    Aftermarket support. The DR has a huge following, with offering of all sorts. Choices and competition are nice in the market place.

    There are/were others, but those are a few to think about for right now. Now I'll shut up and let others with more knowledge chime in.

    MV
    #17
  18. Off the grid

    Off the grid Unsmooth Operator

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    Are you stuck on the two 'Zukes? Because the DR650 is way too heavy for you, and the DRZ has it's own limits-gearbox, tall seat, suspension, etc.

    A WR250R would be much better suited for the riding you described and your height/weight.

    In any case, good luck.
    #18
  19. ryguy83

    ryguy83 Adventurer

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    you seem to not being to do much offroad,i think you stated 80 on and 20 off? i would look into the the Husqvarna tr650 terra. they are awsome bikes,and will cruise on the highway all day long,and you can do some mild off roading,check'em out.Those zukis are just old to me,been same way since the 80s,so much better bikes out there for what you plan on spending,just my personal opinion.

    only reason i would get a dr400 is if i bought a used one(which you can find nowdays for a reasonable price) and only planned on riding around town,doing errands,popping some wheelies..lol



    -ry
    #19
  20. Scrubadubbdubb

    Scrubadubbdubb n00b

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    All this feedback is great and has had me running all over the net researching the points you all have brought up!

    The WR250R did peak my interest with its EFI and other technology but I don't like the idea of needing to buy premium fuel and I'm also nervous that the advanced engine means more difficult and expensive repairs/field repairs. Both the DR and DRZ seem to have a great track record for reliability and ease of maintenance/repair.

    Must be the 2 year difference between the bikes but the insurance for the 650 was going to be almost $450 dollars a year more.

    Anyways, after working out the budget, my better judgement has won and I will be holding off on buying right now and as ryguy mentioned, probably go used (if only just slightly). The idea of financing at 0% for the life of the loan almost had me!

    Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions and insight
    #20