Drz 400 common problems
OK so it looks like we are being harsh here, but if you buy new, the DR is quite pricey for such old tech. As a second-hand buy however, it's cheap as chips and will make you smile all day. If you haven't guessed where we'd put our money by now, you clearly have not been concentrating. Both the machines will provide hours of maintenance free enjoyment whether in the dirt trails of California or the forests of. Hi there, this is an interesting post for me. I am about to go on an off-road trip in Vietnam with my wife. She will be riding pillion. Which do you recommend will be most comfortable for her? We will be doing some moderate off road stuff, a little bit of hard stuff, but will be taking easy with her on the back so I just want to know which is going to be more comfy for her on the back? Any help much appreciated. As with all off-road Suzukis, the DRZ has armchair levels of comfort from the plush saddle– a must for long days in the trail. What is not so comfortable is lifting all that weight if you fall off. In a world now populated by lean athletic machines, the DRZ has the body of a shot-putter. If only they could have made it sexier like the RMZs– Oh wait they did it was called the RMX450 and didn't sell very well. . The DRZ has almost legendary durability– it's like 'The Terminator' of the trail world. The motor requires less maintenance than a rock and is about as tough. Cambodia, thanks to almost legendary reliability and rock-solid engineering. Both have been, or were in production for long enough to iron out the wrinkles and for an armoury of aftermarket goodies to be available. Similarly, both Honda and Suzuki have good enough global coverage to mean that getting hold of spares, even in remote locations, is relatively easy. We run fantastic tours in amazing locations. From blasting Royal Enfields across the Indian Himalayas to cruising the high plain in South Africa on BMWs, we've got it dialled. But here's the rub– while the Honda might be the choice of the two in this test, both are outclassed by the more modern machinery on the market right now. Although both bikes have proved more than up to the challenge of trail riding in the Cambodian jungle and riders around the world continue to love them, the reality is that they are both heavy and bulky compared to the new metal. From 2016 we phased out the both the faithful DRs and the dogged XR and replacing with them with the total wonderful Kawasaki KLX300 and Yamaha WRF450. Both are far more refined and purposeful than the DRZ and XR. Yet in fairness to the Suzuki, the liquid cooled motor is an absolute beauty. It has masses of power from low-end grunt to screaming top end punch– it's a fantastically linear power curve. The engine might be slightly harder to work on, thanks to the increased size of the water jacket, but it's so reliable that you probably will never have to do much maintenance anyway– change the oil once a year whether you need to or not! And if you are worried about the radiators, a full set of aftermarket braces will keep off all but the worst of the impacts. The Suzuki is happier on the faster tarmac road sections than the Honda, but for use on the backwoods around Phnom Penh, this is fairly academic– there are very few fast tarmac roads! While the DRZ does have more power, the opportunities to use it tend to be few and far between in the jungles of South Asia. I think that in your sort of environment a simple mechanical device is preferred; no electric start, radiator (and extra weight top end), DOHC = double the amount of parts on top. Just look at how popular the simple CG125 (born out the CB125 with OHC) is all over the world and it was created for a harsh enviroment with little maintenance, although I wouldn't want to take one on a trek but people do. Also the DRZ is trying too hard to get that mini-Dakar look. I think it's good but not as good and all-rounder as the XR. The XR is no longer made so everything is second-hand. As such it's beer money cheap for champagne fun. Parts are well priced and available globally. OK so what do you get for your money? Well, the major difference to the XR is that the DRZ runs a 398cc liquid-cooled double overhead cam, four valve lump, making the motor sound all together more smooth and refined. You might think that this would make the bike heavier than the Honda and although it certainly looks more bulky, the early kick-start only version is actually 5lbs lighter at 260 lbs, or 117 kg. Add in an electric boot that came as standard on all later models and that goes up to a chunky 277lbs or 125 kilos, and that's just the dry weight! But if you are stuck halfway up a snotty hill and your left leg can't reach the ground, that button is a lifesaver and you'll forget those extra pounds. . Spencer– You're right, parts for the XR's in Cambodia are very easy to get a hold of. That's not the case for the DRZ. I've actually put in an order for some more XR400s from America– just can't go wrong with them! Incredibly simple engine, incredibly reliable, performs well in the heat & dust and great to ride. The mighty Honda delivers a sledgehammer of power if you give it the full handful, but will still do the delicate stuff with an unexpected lightness. It may be a bit slower to pick up than the new four-strokes, but once you make the adjustment, it's fun from tick-over to top end. The XR is a highly dependable bike, from the motor to the running gear; it will not let you down. Some people however do experience difficulty kick starting these old bikes when they're hot. But for all this, the team at Ride Expeditions would choose the XR over the DRZ every time. OK it doesn't have an electric start, but with better suspension, handling and off-road performance and one of the best seats ever fitted to a dirt bike, the trade off to choose the red bike is an easy one. We travel to some of the most remote parts of the planet on our tours and for us the pure engineering simplicity of the XR400 is the obvious choice. we take on really challenging trails over 10 days, so the bikes we use need to ride well, crash well, be reliable and easy to repair– anything else is just window dressing. Ive been riding my DRZ for years and ive literally thrown the bike off a cliff and into a tree. it was still running when i got to it. The DRZ has enough power in that slightly ugly motor to drag a barge out of a canal. OK so it's not delivered in a particularly exciting way and the top end is just not worth looking for, but the mid to low is just endless and super strong, it's just that if you've ridden anything modern, you will be disappointed.