Well first and foremost we don’t usually write blog posts/reviews about bikes we have bought off fellow bikers but as the owner of anybikebought I felt it only right to review such motorcycle with such character.
There it was sitting in the warehouse just screaming ride me ride me. To be honest out of every make and model of motorcycle that comes through the doors at anybikebought seeing a DRZ400s took me back about 16 years when I actually owned one and loved it to bits. It was such a great bike because it just did everything well. And let’s not get this confused with a full on enduro bike because it's not that and nor would you want to do a full on enduro on it. But saying that I am sure someone has and yes it can be done if you're pretty hardcore!!
The reason the DRZ does everything well is because it’s a proper dual sport machine, ok I remember meeting up early on a cold Sunday morning with fellow bikers whilst we navigated the beautiful Kent byways on our bikes and I say bikes because I don’t like to use the expression “dirt bike” because it could easily be misinterpreted as a non road legal motorcross bike, the reasoning for the use of the word bikes is simply because some of us would be on enduro bikes such as Yamaha WR’s or KTM EXC’s whilst there I would be on the DRZ400s, anyone who owns a DRZ400s will probably have heard the expression “they are heavy” well yes of course they are heavier than your average enduro bike because they are not an enduro bike that's why. They are however a dual purpose trail bike and what a trail bike they are!!
When you actually consider what is available in the new Trail Bike field in today’s market there is not much to choose from unless you have deep pockets something like a CRF450L comes in just shy of 10k new is about 14kg lighter than a DRZ400s but is only 25bhp out the box unless you buy an additional power up kit which increases this but is a further cost on what is already an expensive bike. The CRF450L has a few more NM of torque than a DRZ how noticeable that is is debatable. If you went for something like the CRF250L which is at a more sensible price point it actually weighs near on the same as a DRZ400s which is surprising considering it’s only a 250cc, one issue we found on the CRF250L is ground clearance and lack of adjustment on the suspension, the DRZ is paradise for the compulsive fiddler when it comes to adjusting suspension settings. Our one had an aftermarket exhaust on which allowed the bike to breathe better without being overly loud and offensive to other byway users. Loud exhausts on byways are a little obnoxious and can scare horses so it’s always best to use an exhaust that is within the legal limit.
So why do we like the DRZ400S?
Because it’s just from that era when bikes were well made, it doesn’t have the short service intervals of an enduro machine and reliability is strong on the DRZ400s you know it’s going to get you home at the end of a days trail riding. The S version of the DRZ is very competent on the road it has excellent road manners and even though it’s a 5 speed box, geared correctly you don’t feel the need for a 6th gear on the road. This bike will go where any enduro bike will go and makes for the perfect commuter bike during the week and weekend greenlaner. The engine is mellow and soft at no point do you feel like you are stressing the engine on the road. It handled all the byways we rode it on well and was not tiring to ride.
Such a shame you can no longer buy a new one in the UK. Suzuki please bring the old girl back!! For one last dance!