Motorbike

Suzuki DR-Z400SM DRZ400 (2005 - 2009) review

Suzuki has cut to the chase and given us a road-oriented version of their wicked little DR-Z400. Good work!
Details
Manufacturer:
Suzuki
Category:
Supermoto
Price:
£ 4599
Overall
3
Considering the DRZ was intended as a 'dual sport' bike, in its supermoto guise the chassis is brilliant. The front brake is nothing short of awesome
The DRZ400 SM is a great fun and a top city bike
...but needs more power

Why Suzuki didn’t do this years ago beats us; after all we’ve seen many a home built DRZ. Well, they have now so it might save a few of you the bother.

It's finished and it's the dog's pods. After spending half a day on the dyno at BSD in Peterborough the little DRZ is now kicking out a healthy 44.5bhp, a huge leap from its standard 29 ponies.

A recent trip to Ty-Croes circuit in Anglesey gave me two days of solid thrashing with her. After my first session on track I made a few suspension mods, maximum pre-load on the front forks and maximum compression damping, then I dropped the forks through the yokes 20mm. At the rear end I wound a load of pre-load on the shock until all the static sag had gone, compression damping all the way in then back two clicks. Back on the track and the bike was flying, the amount of corner speed it carried was unbelievable - although I had very little feel from the front tyre. I checked the pressures, 30psi front and back. The sticky Pirellis didn't look like they had been working so I dropped the pressures to 26 front and 28 rear.  Back on the circuit and I could now feel the tyres, and so I could push harder in the turns.

Considering the DRZ was intended as a 'dual sport' bike, in its supermoto guise the chassis is brilliant. The front brake is nothing short of awesome - the 320mm wave disc, braking caliper, braided hose and Discaciati master cylinder have a real easy time of stopping the lightweight Suzuki. Normally big brakes on light bikes don't work because they are too sharp and have little in the way of feel, but the Discaciati set-up (16mm master cylinder bore instead of 19mm) equals no problem. My 400 had the legs on all the supermotos I came across on track and now the motor has loosened up a bit it's probably making a few more ponies. The bike was geared perfectly for Anglesey with a 14 tooth front sprocket and a 43 rear, but on the road and other tracks it revs so quick you keep throwing gears at it until it hits the limiter in top (5th gear) at around 100-105 mph, so I will have to experiment with that.

Why Suzuki didn’t do this years ago beats us; after all we’ve seen many a home built DRZ. Well, they have now so it might save a few of you the bother.

It's finished and it's the dog's pods. After spending half a day on the dyno at BSD in Peterborough the little DRZ is now kicking out a healthy 44.5bhp, a huge leap from its standard 29 ponies.

A recent trip to Ty-Croes circuit in Anglesey gave me two days of solid thrashing with her. After my first session on track I made a few suspension mods, maximum pre-load on the front forks and maximum compression damping, then I dropped the forks through the yokes 20mm. At the rear end I wound a load of pre-load on the shock until all the static sag had gone, compression damping all the way in then back two clicks. Back on the track and the bike was flying, the amount of corner speed it carried was unbelievable - although I had very little feel from the front tyre. I checked the pressures, 30psi front and back. The sticky Pirellis didn't look like they had been working so I dropped the pressures to 26 front and 28 rear.  Back on the circuit and I could now feel the tyres, and so I could push harder in the turns.

Considering the DRZ was intended as a 'dual sport' bike, in its supermoto guise the chassis is brilliant. The front brake is nothing short of awesome - the 320mm wave disc, braking caliper, braided hose and Discaciati master cylinder have a real easy time of stopping the lightweight Suzuki. Normally big brakes on light bikes don't work because they are too sharp and have little in the way of feel, but the Discaciati set-up (16mm master cylinder bore instead of 19mm) equals no problem. My 400 had the legs on all the supermotos I came across on track and now the motor has loosened up a bit it's probably making a few more ponies. The bike was geared perfectly for Anglesey with a 14 tooth front sprocket and a 43 rear, but on the road and other tracks it revs so quick you keep throwing gears at it until it hits the limiter in top (5th gear) at around 100-105 mph, so I will have to experiment with that.

Length (mm)2220
Width (mm)870
Height (mm)1185
Dryweight (kg)134
Seats0
Seat Height (mm)890
Suspension FrontInverted telescopic, coil spring, compression :15-way adjustable rebound :19-way adjustable
Suspension RearLink type, oil damped, coil spring, Spring pre-load : fully adjustable. Rebound: 21-way adjsutable. High-speed comp: 3.5-turn adjustable. Low speeed comp: 20-way adjustable
Tyres Front120/70 R17M/C
Tyres Rear140/70 R17M/C
Brakes Front2-piston caliper, 310 mm single-disc brake
Brakes Rear2-piston caliper, 240 mm disc brake
Wheelbase (mm)1460
Cubic Capacity (cc)398
Bore (mm)90
Stroke (mm)62
IgnitionElectronic
CoolingLiquid Cooling
Fuel DeliveryEFI
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveChain
Max Power38.8
Max Power Revs8500
Max Torque28.2
Max Torque Revs6300
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH88.7
Standing Quarter Mile - Time14.36
Top Speed95.6

The DRZ400 SM is a great fun and a top city bike
...but needs more power