New rider tips, guides, and reviews on great starter bikes.

Suzuki DRZ 400 SM Review

The Suzuki DRZ 400 SM is a great performing motorcycle with enough power to be fun on the freeways or in the city. It is geared more towards the street compared it's brother the Suzuki DRZ 400S which comes with nobbier tires and a little more torque. Read on for the full review!

The Engine

A Lightweight 398cc, liquid-cooled, dry-sump engine powers the DRZ 400SM and it is ideal at delivering strong, low end torque. This makes low speed maneuvers in tightly packed traffic a relative breeze compared to most top-end focused street bikes. This is the completely opposite of the Kawasaki Ninja 250 which really requires you to wind up each and every gear if you want some decent performance.

TheDRZ comes with a 5-speed gearbox which will let you keep up with the cars on the freeway too, this really opens up the options for this bike and makes it all the moreversatile . Some of the 200cc dual sports like the Suzuki DR200SE will have trouble keeping up with other cars at high speeds, but you will feel perfectly finecruising at 50-70mph on this bike.


Made for the Street

Although you can take the DRZ 400SM off-road the bike handles much better on the pavement than in the mud. In fact this bike handles as well as most street bike in thetwisties! Because the bike is a dual sport you will have much more confidence in your turns since you will have more ground clearance and thesuspension can handle all sorts of cracks and potholes that you might want to avoid on a super sport motorcycles. Even though I wouldn't do hardcore off-roading with this bike, light trails and dirt roads are no problem even with the street oriented tires.


drz400smwheelie_0.jpgIt seems like most dual sports come really limited right out of the box because of all the emission standards they have to meet, and this moto is no exception. If you are handy with a wrench then you will be pleasantly surprised at how much power you can squeeze out of the 398cc engine. Most people say putting an aftermarket pipe on is a must (I recommend Muzzy!), especially when combined with a moddedairbox and jet kit. This will provide a noticeable increase in both low end torque and top-end power that makes riding this motorcycle oh so much fun!

Don't bust out the toolbox just yet! Depending on the state you live in these aftermarket modifications might be illegal. That means a cop can pull you over even if you aren't speeding or riding recklessly! When it comes to the police I try to follow the advice a friend gave me once:

"Try and only break 1 law at a time."

If you are going to mod out your bike, then stick to the speed limit! If you are going to run your bike stock, feel free to be a little more liberal with the throttle :) So far that advice has kept me ticket free my whole life.


This is a really solid dual-sport and if I lived in San Francisco or some other big city I would probably get one of these instead of a street bike. I really like how you aren't limited to below 50mph like some of the smaller bikes, plus the stock suspension and stock tires are pretty darn good right out of the box. This would be the ultimate post-apocalyptic hooligan bike, or just your every day commuter as well.


  • Bigger engine lets you go higher speeds than smaller dual sports
  • Naked and therefore won't get damaged much in the case of a drop
  • Low end torque is much more usable compared to top end


  • The bike is as heavy as some other 650cc dual sports out there
  • Requires mods to really bring out the power (but that is good for a beginner!)


  • Displacement: 398.00 ccm
  • Engine type: Single cylinder
  • Stroke: 4 Bore x stroke: 90.0 x 62.6 mm (3.5 x 2.5 inches)
  • Fuel system: Carburettor. Mikuni
  • Fuel control: DOHC
  • Ignition: Digital/DC-CDI
  • Lubrication system: Dry sump
  • Gearbox: 5-speed
  • Fuel capacity: 2.64 gallons
  • Dry weight: 295.4 pounds
  • Seat height: 35.0 inches
  • Overall height: 46.7 inches
  • Overall length: 87.4 inches
  • Overall width: 34.3 inches
  • Ground clearance: 11.8 inches
  • Wheelbase: 57.5 inches
  • Front suspension: Inverted telescopic, oil-damped, adjustable compression and rebound damping
  • Rear suspension: Link-type, fully-adjustable spring preload, adjustable compression and rebound damping
  • Front tire dimensions: 120/70-17
  • Rear tire dimensions: 140/70-17
  • Front & Rear brakes: Single disc


Sam's picture

Submitted by Sam (not verified) on

I've been waiting for your review on this one. I'm glad to see that your opinion is pretty close to my own. I just put down a deposit on one, though I'm going to have to wait till the 2008's come out to get it. Lame. Anyway, I would add that the top two mods on my list are the seat and the tank. The stock seat is super hard, I'm going to see how mine breaks in, but I think I'll have to get a custom one if I end up riding any sort of distance. The stock tank is really small, I would estimate that the range is only 120-150 miles or so, which could be trouble in some places. There are a lot of aftermarket tanks for the 400s and 400e, and I believe that they would work for the SM too.

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

120-150 miles! That's about what I get on my ZX6R, lol I thought that was average, but maybe I need to investigate my riding habits (or a larger tank!). Out of all the Dual sports I've reviewed so far I think if I was actually going to plunk down the cash for one it would probably be this one, although I might get the S version instead of the SM just so I could take it into more aggressive territory :)


Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
yah i have an 2007 d-rz 400sm and i can get about 150KMS per tank its kinda shitty but most of the time i have a friend driving with me ina car with a jerry can. so all is well
Chicco's picture

Submitted by Chicco (not verified) on
ma parla come magni... che è meglio...
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

how many k's has your bike done. I was only getting that sort of consumption but now after about 5000 k's it really opened up & i get about 180 if i cane it, 190 k's to the tank if i go easy. I have no mods, the bike is stock

Murphy's picture

Submitted by Murphy (not verified) on

I own a 2007 DRZ 400 SM. My previous ride was a 2002 DR 650 SE. The dry weight of the two bikes differs by 29 lbs(324 lbs for the DR650, 295 lbs. for the DRZ 400 SM).
The DRZ carries its weight lower by using a dry sump oil pump and storing oil in a frame member. This allows the engine to be located lower.
The DRZ also has a smaller fuel tank located lower than the DR 650 tank.
These differences and others combine to make the DRZ 400 SM not only be lighter but feel far more nimble than the DR 650.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I've been researching this bike ever since a coworker suggested it to me. I just recently got my motorcycle license and am interested in this bike. has a lot of info on this bike and others like it. My only gripe is that I'm 6'2" 260lbs and am afraid this bike will look too small for me. I've stood next to one on the street and it is pretty tall. But I'm willing to sacrifice boosting my ego and just getting this bike to have fun in the summer and ride back and forth to work. Thanx for the excellent review.

Chasf's picture

Submitted by Chasf (not verified) on

I'm 6'5" and 275 lbs. Not many bikes fit or feel right to me - Any of the DRZ 400 bikes do feel right. Last year I bought a DRZ-400s For doing 50/50 on/off road and have been quite happy with it. I upgraded the seat to the SDG for 1.5" more legroom.
If I was doing 80/20 Road/Off-road, I'd have gotten the SM: Anything up to 60 MPH is fine on the S -- but from 60+ the DRZ 400SM would likley feel more stable.

Good luck and happy riding,

r22eric's picture

Submitted by r22eric on
ok so we are on the same page, im 6'0" @240 and this bike is a sweet commuter, but ive been considering a winshield , ant suggestions??? im finding that im 90% road & 10%dirt/gravel forest service roads, etc. and am in the market for a bigger tank, a seat that causes less monkey but and hand guards, any suggestions? thanks fellas Eric in Mosier Oregon
dr-z 400 sm's picture

Submitted by dr-z 400 sm (not verified) on
CeeBaileys Check it out Their windscreen work very well. I have 08 drz sm Love it. I am 175lbs and 5'11' I have no problems with it. I want more power, but I can wait. I am really enjoing the ride. It is so easy to ride. I have rode my whole life. It feels like it was made for me. I have a Dl 1000 drit roads on it make you think, alot about your riding. The DR is a blast you will enjoy the back roads. My sport bike buds call me bad names I don't understand it only has 29bhp. Ranny Dalton, GA.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

im 6' 200 pounds been riding my whole life had crotch rockets and alot of dirtbikes and this bike is great!!!!! you might want to mod it to the 450 being a little heavier than i

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

i own a 650se
Murphy, can you pls talk more about the differences ?


Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I bought an 07 drz 400sm for my first road bike this past spring. I've been riding dirtbikes on and off most of my life so it was a natural pick for me. I must say driving in the city I felt like I was illegal! It is a great bike and lots of people make good comments about it including other riders when on the road. The only complaint for me is the seat. After an hour or so of riding, it truly does start to feel like a 2x4. I would recommend this bike to anyone who wants a reliable go anywhere do anthing utility bike. It's always a good feeling when people on Harleys and top end crotch rockets give the thumbs up!

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

I love the DRZ, if I had one dual sport to add to my stable of bikes it would definitely be that bike! I think it looks the best out of any dual sport too, especially the black version. Thumbs up!


Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

ray's picture

Submitted by ray (not verified) on

Check out the Corbin seat. It will change your ride for the better in a big way. Also might try a bigger gas tank, Acerbis makes a 4.25 gal.

Have fun and ride safe out there.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I agree %100 with all the posts regarding the positive comments - I LOVE THIS BIKE and do feel like a kid again and a hooligan riding it....handles like a dream - just thinking about a quick maneuver the bike turns where you want it. Or you can turn it with you legs and body - manhandle it or lean into it = a blast!! It's my first bike after taking the MSF course 5 years ago and after a week on it I felt very confident - now riding over curbs, fields, on and off sidewalks, skidding stops and it. Empty parking lots with islands are the can slalom around them or slow down and drive right over them and do it all over again....extremely mods yet but plan to. I have had many people comment on the bike including Harley guys and sport bikers....all love it...even cars driving by will honk!!! It's an attention grabber especially in BLACK!!!!
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

i got mine up too almost 100 on the freeway. That's with a stage 3 racing exhaust, jet upgrade, 3x3 intake mod, K& N racing air filter, charcoal canister taken off and some wieght reductions (rear stock lights and seat mod).

Reece's picture

Submitted by Reece (not verified) on

I'm thinking of getting me a DRZ400SM as a second bike for commuting to & from work. I'm a bit of a speed freak & own a GSXR1000 .. But Ive been told they only go about 75mph,??? My mates RS125 goes faster than that !! so come on guys give me some feed back & make me stay loyal to Suzuki.
Thank Reece.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

My DRZ hit 100mph out of the box. After jetting it, and a new pipe and airbox, it does around 110 mph--but it gets to 100 mph must more quickly.

Its not a bike you buy for top end--its a street legal dirt bike. Its a blast on the street, but the real fun is in the dirt--thats where the engine shines.

Eric DeHart's picture

Submitted by Eric DeHart (not verified) on
i commute down I-84 in the columbia river gorge 13 miles each way and 92-100mph is topped out, but EAST cruising speed is 75
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

i have an 08 drz 400 sm i have put fmf power core headder, tail pipe, jet kit and cut a 3x3 hole in the air box i weigh 220 my bike tops out at 104mph. but corner speeds are pretty much the same or higher than the sport bike riders i roll with and some of them race. i have alot of experince and i love this bike i have an 06 cbr 1000rr and the motard is more fun.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I have a drz 400sm & it is screaming its tits off at 140, revving its guts out at 120 but real comfy around 110 so i find it an excellent city commuter & with the dirt wheels it shits all over my mates s model (the blue & yellow one) out the bush cause of its suspension. However the s is better for power wheelies above first gear because of its lower gearing.

Phoebe's picture

Submitted by Phoebe (not verified) on

im so excited about having this bike I can't stand it. But I'm only 5'4" and 135lbs. Will it be too tall!?


Craig's picture

Submitted by Craig (not verified) on

Does anyone know if I can swap my road tires off my rims and put some off road knobies for the odd time I might go in the bush? I would like to use the exixting rims....

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

I'm pretty sure it is possible, but I read somewhere that it is not recommended. I wish I could find the link, but basically it said taking the SM version of the bike (which is good for the street) and putting knobby tires on it (which are good for the dirt), would give you a bike that isn't great on the street, and isn't great in the dirt. I'm not sure how accurate that is since I haven't tried it myself, but that is what I have heard, although I admit that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Maybe try it out yourself and if it works post back here with the results!



Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Crackin the ton's picture

Submitted by Crackin the ton (not verified) on
If you wan't to improve off-road traction without compramising too much on road stability you should fit some 17inch knobbies. I've seen a set from corsair (can't remember the name) which have a very wide knobbie (by dirt standards) but with a deep groove. This way you should still maintain a high surface area (for the road) and not sacrifice too much for the off-road benefit (that being said it will only improve basic dirt handling (no reall help in ruts and washouts where you really do need a larger diametre wheel
TJ's picture

Submitted by TJ (not verified) on
To reply on the comment about dirt tires, there are several videos on you-tube of stunt guys with SM'S & a couplr of them have knobbie's and the bike looks smooth, i am sure it a trade off on the street for cornering.
Murphy's picture

Submitted by Murphy (not verified) on
If you want to dirt the SM you can buy wheels on E-bay for the S. Lots of riders are converting the dirt version to SM and selling the dirt wheels complete with tires. I have only considered doing this. If anyone has done it...did the wheel spacing, the brakes, the sprocket and chain, and the gearing all work out? How many minutes to make the switch over?
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
The S version used a conventional fork. The SM version uses upside down forks. The axle is different. Also, the SM uses a different swingarm, but I'm not sure if the axle is the same as the S model or not. Try for a lot of info on the DRZ 400.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
the dirt wheels will fit strait on using original spindls and spacers but you need to put sm brake discs on iv done it to mine
comadose's picture

Submitted by comadose (not verified) on
LOl do not try And put a dirt tire on a front 17' rim it looks very funny the rim is too wide for the sidewall of the tire considering the tires that are 17 are for like lil 80 cc bike er something i tried this and it doesnt work well for the front
Justin's picture

Submitted by Justin (not verified) on

i'm not thinking to go nobby but maby 60 / 40 street / dirt, instead of 90/10. i cant find the right ones. you got ne suggestions, maby the brand to look for? just for the full versatility. thax a bunch!!

MarkV's picture

Submitted by MarkV (not verified) on
I know there are tons of variations. What pipe/jet combo has been the most successful opening up this engine and keeping the sound "close" to legal? I definitely want more juice but I also want the option of riding "controlled" State Parks. Thanks.
Ballard55's picture

Submitted by Ballard55 on
I'm new to this group, but saw the comments on dirt tires for the Suzuki DRZ-400 SM. I put a set of Pirelli MT-21 on mine. 130/90R17 on rear and 120/90R17 on front using the stock wheels. Cost is only $60 per tire. I also put an 11 tooth front and 52 tooth rear sprocket from JT Sprockets on it. I know this will invoke the wrath of purists, but I'm 53 years old. I ride mostly on beaches and back woods. I like to putt-putt along while my dog chases rabbits and squirrels through the woods. I also like the ability to stop at the bottom of a hill and use the low gearing to climb without really powering up. With the stock set-up, I could only idle along at 10-12 mph. Now I can move along at 4-5 mph without trying to stall. I still run 30-35 mph on the street, but I don't get out of the neighborhood except a few blocks to the grocery store. I like the wider tires for sand on the beach and soft mud in the woods. They don't sink like a small tire motocross. My Suzuki is like an off-road truck I guess, but it suits me. The only modification required for the large rear sprocket was removal of that lower chain device.
g00d3gg's picture

Submitted by g00d3gg (not verified) on
hello everyone. novice rider here looking at the drz400. love the look of the bike, and most people seem to have nothing but great things to say. my only concern is that i'm only 5-9 and this bike has a 35 in seat height. i'm an avid cyclist and am a geek about bike fit.... so i'm sort of applying some of those same rules to my motorcycle purchase. (like should i be able to stand flat-footed?) i see that there's a "gel seat low" that will lower seat height by "just over an inch"... is there any tweaking that can be done in suspension to bring it down a little more? any ideas? and should i even be concerned about this?? thanx!
SuperMotoRider's picture

Submitted by SuperMotoRider on
I'm only 5'6". You'll fit on the SM just fine.
Steven Disser's picture

Submitted by Steven Disser (not verified) on

The Suzuki accessory gel seat is horrible. You do NOT want to invest the money in it! Yeah, it sits lower but you get the feeling you are constantly sliding toward the gas tank, plus it feels much harder on your tail than the stock seat. Waste of money! I'm 5'9 with a 32" inseam and have to lean slightly to one side at a stop, but nothing to worry about at all.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

i am 5'4" 129lb and with a 28" inseam. i put a 1 3/4" lowering link from kubalink, and pushed the forks to just under the handle bars. now i can touch the ground with the tips of my toes on both sides. with these mods you should be able to stand on the balls of your feet or more.

mark's picture

Did you get handle bar spacers?
Did you notice and handling issues after lowering?
Whats your thoughts on gel seat?
I picked up a 01 drz 4oo 4 months ago @ stop lights it would be nice to have 2 feet on the ground.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

im not sure how short or tall i am maybe 170cm but whatever, i can only touch the ground with my toes & only my toes & the ball of my foot if im leaning on only one leg. The bike is too tall for me & yet i always feel stable & throw it around like a toy. I even hit a round about side on at around 90k's & the thing just flicked me straight, I never even looked like coming off. I've had bikes my whole life, 25 yrs of riding & this is the most fun bike i've had, can't say enough about it. You won't go wrong with a drz400sm.

roadhogger1's picture

Submitted by roadhogger1 (not verified) on

these lowering links work great.

Peter T.'s picture

Submitted by Peter T. (not verified) on
The DRZ definitely makes a great starter bike whether for city riding on a 400SM or riding the dirt on a 400S. You will definitely learn a lot more sliding one of these around the corners than getting some 600-1000cc sportbike and wadding it up. For those looking for modification ideas, here is a good guide I found..
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I had a 2006 KLR650 being 6'5" tall thinking I would need this monster. After laying it down with almost a full 5 gallons of gas a few times I hated it. It was so top heavy I was straining to get it back up. Oh it had power but weighed 420 lbs with the gas in it. The bike was red and gray and dorky looking and did about 95 mph stock. It got tangled up in burried bob wire in tall grass and was totalled out with a dent in the gas tank, hissing radiator and torn/scratched all over. I drank for a while and thought never again. Now I need to get this black thing and try again and I will love and pamper this for as long as I can. I will be riding 50/50 roads and think Ill be fine. CANT WAIT!
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I have a 07 drz 400s and after about 4 miles I realized the stock tires suck. no traction in the grass or anything with a little moisture. I ride about 45 street miles a week and about 75 off road miles every other weekend. I am way more concerned with keeping up with my dad on his 500 2-stroke so i need some tires that hook up a lot better in wet or loose soils. been looking at the dunlop 606, kenda trackmaster II, Perelli scorpion pro, and maxxis M6006. any advise?
eric's picture

Submitted by eric (not verified) on
i have a 2007 kawasaki klr 650 and luv it! but i made an impulse buy 08 drz 400 sm. best money ever spent. i basically use my bikes for "urban assalt" LOL wheelies mostly, i couldnt believe i could be happy w a 400 cc bike but this is the most fun hooligan bike ive owned. u cannot ride this thing without being an #@$^! LOVE IT
aj's picture

Submitted by aj (not verified) on
I've owned close to 25 bikes of every type since I started riding, and my 2007 DRZ400S is by far my favorite. I pound it in the woods and it just brushes off the abuse, and handles like no other dirtbike I've had. Look up the 3x3 airbox & jetting mod, which is well worth the minimal time and $ to get a decent boost in power. I run the Kenda Trakmaster II's in the soft Jersey sand, and can't complain, they hook up like flypaper. I won a IMS 4 gallon gas tank off of E-bay, and now I can ride seemingly forever (I'm empty long before the tank). Other hints/tips - unbolt the rubber pads in the footpegs - this is almost mandatory if you're taking it off-road. The cursed kickstand kill-switch has to be exorcised if you're thinking of any hard riding off road. I thought something was wrong with my bike in the whoops because the engine kept stumbling - it turned out the kickstand would come down just enough to interupt the ignition, then return. I figured it out after one particularly hard hit, which extended the kickstand on a landing, which killed the motor, and tossed me over the bars!!! Unplug that bastard and throw it as far into the weeds as you can! Just reconnect the ends to each other under the seat and live worry free. I did the same for the switch that makes you hold the clutch in to start. No particular reason for this other than I hated the bike telling me what to do. I changed my gearing to that of the E model for about $60, and now - along with the 3x3 mod, it holeshots like mad. You can score a trick billet exhaust tip (usually off E-bay for around $50) that really gives you that deep thumper sound, but will still pass the sound test. Also ditch the ugly tailight assembly and get a low profile LED one. Easy to do and looks the business. I'd looked at the SM model at the dealership, and wondered why I'd want a dirtbike with streetrims/tires, so I bought the S model. My friend also bought a S model with me, then got an extra set of SM wheels later. Takes him 15-20 minutes to swap them out. After one ride, I now know why I'd want a dirtbike with streetrims/tires. Totally freakin awesome!!! This thing will run rings around my sportbike handling-wise! I couldn't stop laughing, I just wanted to wheelie past everyone and jump off curbs. I'm in the process of saving up for a set now (check out The DRZ400 is like a Swiss Army knife, it can just about do it all. I joined a local motorcycle club and have went to one enduro race so far and was surprised to see quite a few DRZ's mixing it up with higher-classed all-out dirtbikes (WRFs, CRFs, KTM's, ETCs....). Plus, there were a surprising number of SM's out there with the S (or E) model dirt wheels on them, so the conversion goes either way, though I'd have to admit the SM with the dirt wheels looked tricker because of the upside down forks and sportbike-like swing arm. I talked to several of these guys and there really didn't seem to be an advantage either way so its up to you to decide which to start off with. The S is about $1000 cheaper in the begining, but the SM wheels are usually about $1000. You can start off with the SM and get the cheaper dirt wheels, but the intitial price of the SM is higher. Give and take, ying and yang, I doubt anyone would be dissappointed either way. I don't know all about the FCR carb and E head gasket stuff, or even the big bore kits for that matter. At this point, my bike is just plain incredible, and as reliable as an anvil. Ok, it is a little heavier (I knew the anvil anology would proke a comment) that your WRFs, CRFs, KTM's, ETCs, but save for some of the KTM's ($1000's of $ more), the DRZ S and SM have that all important blessing from the D.O.T. gods - a license plate. No fuss, no muss, no trading your title to Nigeria and having it reregistered with your sister's uncle in Montana to get a questionable registration on a dirtbike thats sure to draw the attention of your local law-enforcement sooner or later. If there's one bike that you must have in your garage, go check out the DRZ at your local Suzuki dealer!
Aaron's picture

Submitted by Aaron (not verified) on

Hey I was reading your comment about taking the kickstand off and realized that I need to do this. I was riding the other day and jumped some coverts on the side of the road and on about the second one I noticed the motor bogging down which about threw me off the bike. I would greatly appreciate the knowledge in detail on how to take this mo- fo off and like you said, throw it as far as I can.

Davedogsdad's picture

Submitted by Davedogsdad (not verified) on
.. Ive been riding motor bikes since i was about 4 years old ... Im now 42 ...... started off as a baby motorcross rider and had 2 stroke enduro,s gallor as a teenager and in my 20s . i never liked 4 stroke trailies as they where all so sluggish back then .. and i didnt mind doing a full engine rebuild every 5000 or so miles .. then i when on to big 4pot 4stroke street bikes .... CBRs and GSXs and the like .... i recently had a ride on my mates DRZ400sm ... when i got off it i had a bigger smile on my face than a bike has given me for ages.. proper jaw aching ear to ear grin.. a "lets have a quick ride" ended up with me being out for over 2 hours .. I even had to fill it back up with fuel .. .. it sort of made me realise how pointless an 1100cc elephant size bike is for the sort of riding i do nowdays. most of my riding is a quick blast up the shops or a few miles down the country lanes .. . it was just excellent riding the DRZ...light and agile and powerful enough not to have to wring its neck ..... so ive just bought a brand new 400sm that i pick up in a few days ..... HE He he .. I just cant wait to get it ...
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
DRZ 400 SM k7.. I just love this bike .... i havnt been able to really give it some welly coz its not run in yet but ive still had smiles and smiles of fun on it .. it handles so well and makes such a change to my old GSX750 .... i must admit that i have been going a lil bit mad on it though ... but the bike just loves to be flicked around and blatted about ... had a few near misses that the bike coped with very well indeed ,,,, had a woman rush across the road in front of me .. slammed on the anchors and sat back in the saddle and came to a swift/straight stop inches from her ... and had the usual to**er pull out on me from a side street and had to make split second decision to swerve behind him , hit the kerb and go up the pavement .... in both instances the DRZ did exactly what i wanted it to do and performed like magic ... and both other parties involved got a proper mouthful of &&*6&*^&%%$$ from me ..... My only concerns so far are the stock seat does get a tad uncomfortable after an hour or so the standard set up of the front forks is a bit soft for me ............ but all in all its just a superb bike .................
qbal18's picture

Submitted by qbal18 (not verified) on
hello i just got a 2001 DRZ 400 sm modle and it feels like th emotor has tons of power but i just can harnes most of it. if i work hard i can lift the front in 1st but aftert that its real hard other then changing the gears is there anyhting i can do thats ceap to give a bit more power or what woudl be the top thing to do kinda in order for a few hundred.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
The DRZ400SM did not exist in 2001 dude!
Travis C's picture

Submitted by Travis C (not verified) on
I recently bought a 2005 DRZ400sm and I love it. It is the first street bike I have ever owned. Being 5'10" and 170 this bike is super easy to manuver and manhandle around. I am no speed demon but this bike will easily do 80+mph with no modifications. Definately a head turner, and I agree with everyone, totaly feels illegal riding this bike on the road.
RydRy's picture

Submitted by RydRy (not verified) on
so I have to first say thanks BEN for the awesome site and great review- I am signed up for training course etc- and have been researching hours upon hours, I really love the ducati monster 695- but think Ill take everyones advice and start elsewhere first- I love the look of this bike and can see it making a nice practice bike that I keep beyond- I live on a dirt raod in vermont so that alone is nice- next I need to commte so being able to combine these seems perfect-
Ted's picture

Submitted by Ted (not verified) on
I've seen comments on other forums about the SM cutting out. Anybody here had that problem? (I did see the comments about the S cutting out from the kickstand cutout). This looks like the bike for me as a starter. I'm 6'6", 250. The KLR 650 fits fine, but this bike seems a lot cooler, and better for more street riding that I'd be doing. Thanks.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I believe this is an issue with the California model. This happened to me on my DRZ400SM (California model). The California model has a charcoal canister that takes the fuel vapors from the tank so they don't get released in the air. My understanding is that if you top off the tank, fuel can get in the charcoal canister and can cause the bike to stall after the motor warms up. If you look at the specs in the manual, the Tank holds 2.6 US Gal, California model 2.5 US Gal. For me, after riding for about an hour it was an immediate cut off, no feeling of running out of gas. I heard another person having the same issue, and another that said it happened after doing some hard dirt riding, possibly the gas splashing around caused the problem. I disconnected the charcoal canister and have never had the problem since. The DRZ400SM is a great bike that I love to ride.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
How many miles per gallon does the drz-400sm get?
SuperMotoRider's picture

Submitted by SuperMotoRider on

I get 75 highway / 68 city. AND 35 offroad :-P

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I'm just starting to learn how to ride, but am thinking about getting a bike in a few years. Right now, I'm torn between the Ninja 250 and the drz 400sm. I really like the supermoto style of bike, and the sm seems like a good bike, but my only concern is the fuel range. I don't plan to do any major touring, just around town riding and some fun day rides, but less than 100 miles to the tank seems low. Is this fairly standard for motocycles, or on the low side? How much money/how hard is it to get a larger tank?
davedogsdad's picture

Submitted by davedogsdad (not verified) on
.. there are a few larger tanks available for the DRZ .. check EBAY ... but in my opinion ... the people who designed the bike spent many hours figuring out the best size for the tank .... ie .. the bigger the tank , the more weight (of fuel) at the top of the bike , this makes the bike more High Up heavy , so makes it harder to throw about gives the bike an imballance that it was not designed for ... 100m to the tank is not bad .. there are plenty of petrol stations around where i live so i just make sure i fill back up to the brim as soon as possible after i put it on reserve ,, 100m is a LONG time to sit in the saddle ,,, and the DRZ is such a cool bike to show off in the petrol garage ......
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i started looking into this bike when my bro mentioned a trip down the baha and up thru central america. problem is i am a 5' 4" female, and although i have nearly 10 years of sport bike experience under my belt, and ALOT of highway miles riding coast to coast.....the dual sports as a whole are way to tall/big for me. so someone recommended this one, which size wise, seems like it would be okay, but for those who have it good enough to keep up with the 'bigger boys' on the roads of central america?
bi7ch's picture

Submitted by bi7ch (not verified) on
just got me a 08 drz400sm....grin factor is unbelieveable...i'm 5'1!!!! the shop put a lowering link on for me and i had the seat skimmed and O MY GOD... i love this bike it's so much ain't run in yet, can't wait till it is, never thought i would own a bike like this with being so short but i'm really glad i bought it, i can actually touch the ground without struggling now, and it's so easy to ride anyway.
Good Ol' Rich's picture

Submitted by Good Ol' Rich (not verified) on

When I first was aware of a SuperMoto factory ride (stock m/c) from Japan; I FREAKED!! (2004)
After getting "RIFed" from the OEM dealer networks nearby the Washington D.C. area, (atfter 25 years of getting "PAID too MUCH"), I started cashing in my retirement accounts and just went back to my Post-VietNam-experinence desire of just wanting to RIDE!
I've (so far) owned 38 bikes, currenty own "ONLY" 4 DAILY RIDERS,. My "Stock" DRZ400SM (with only hand tools) is ONE of the Favorites.
If you frequent the Southern Maryland/Washington, D.C. area.
Come Ride with me..
Good Ol' Rich
p.s. to RIDE is to ride...nuffsaid

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I've been really interested lately in purchasing a DRZ400SM and trading in my 03'Ninja 636. My only concern is that I won't feel that it is fast enough. Can anyone shed some light on my situation? Most of my friends ride r6's and think I'm crazy, but I'm pretty convinced I will like the DRZ better... I just don't want to be left in the dust on every twisty road.

Tony's picture

Submitted by Tony (not verified) on

Greetings from Germany.

I purchased a new 600 Suzzie Bandit, nice. Took a 1200 out, and made my mind up to part exchange in the first mile. Rode it for 2 years. This 1200 was as fast as anything on the fastest roads on the planet. I was never left at the lights, until I took a Sunday enduro rider on!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haunted me for weeks. I wanted an enduro, but was so scared of loosing all the 1200 power and muscle. Took the plunge with a XTX 660 Yamaha, and have put 5,000 KM's on the clock in a year, and a permanent smile on my face. The XTX is a total blast, it will leave any car at the light, and most Power Rangers on their sports bikes as well. It is so light and easy to chuck a round, it's like go-karting. You will not miss the sports bike, not one bit, trust me, I was in you position for months. I am after another bike and of the hundreds out their it looks like the SM 400 DRZ has won the vote. Left in the dust on a twisty chance. They will catch you on a motorway, but in a city or town road they will look like flies in your mirror. Go trial run one out for 20 minutes, come back and kiss the Ninja goodbye. Let me know how you get on. God save the Queen.

andrew mc's picture

Submitted by andrew mc (not verified) on

i just recently has the exact same decision to make.... i no longer have the 636! my 636 had cams, full akro system, pc III, k&n filter,m the usual crap bla bla bla but that bike didnt excite me until i was doin very silly speeds. i swapped mine for an older drz 400 that the mechanic at the local suzuki shop had modded for himself and i havent looked back. i cannot fairly comment on the 400SM becuase mine is a 2000 drz400E, but it well and truly can handle the bends with the best of them. i am way faster through my local section of twisties because of getting back on a dirt bike i am comfortable on.
mine is the conventional forked 400E with an athena 440 kit, bigger carby, big cam and a rull yoshi system, forks springs have been changed for stiffer ones and set up lower, has 17in fat excel rims and a set of pilot powers and geared quite tall to stop in doin wheelies in all the gears, this bike is fuggin insane, it has enough power to destroy crotch rockets until about 150km/h, and is soooooooo manoverable, you can absolutley feel exactly what the bike is doing. im getting similar fuel range too. the seat is way too hard but well worth the change!!! if the stock 400sm is too slow, bomb the engine :p

Lloyd's picture

Submitted by Lloyd (not verified) on

I bought a used 05 DRZ 400 SM with only 1000 miles on it this spring. Have owned many bikes since 1979, I'm 46 years old and 5-10 @150 lbs. My last bike was an RZ350 Yamaha. But it was like GI Joe riding an angry Chiwhawa (sp?) on crack. Riding the bike on wet roads just wasn't an option. The DRZ is a great bike and the only thing I was worried about was whether it would hold freeway speeds without reving too hard. No problem. Likes to cruise 65 mph all day long. At 55 mph feels like engine is lugging in 5th. So it sorta has a overdrive. Live up on Mt. Hood and spend alot of time on the twisty roads and take it up gravel roads and trails to get to great climbing and rappeling spots. The only problem I have is the bike seems to waiver a bit at a steady speed. Kinda makes me feel dizzy. I'm not sure if it is the altitude. Live at 1500+ ft el. and cruise up to 5000 +ft. Bike seems to do it regardless of the elevation. Have done no mods to the bike. Other than fab'd a rack on the back to lay down a loaded backpack. And a piece of Aluminum to replace the small plastic tailpipe protector and keep my pack from getting burned. Bike has no tach, but then again you have to look "down" with your head to see the gauges. Not like a street bike where you can see gauges without moving your head. Very fun bike and will be awesome when I get rid of the slight herkyjerky's. On gravel throttle response is what it's all about with street tires. And my particular problem Makes it an unnessasary handful.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

If you purchase a dual sport, do you have to insure it ?

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Yes of course , if its on the street and tagged , it needs insurance ( if your state requires it )

CBennett's picture

Submitted by CBennett on

I would have no intent to go off road with this(most likely :) ) but would this be a good first bike for someone that wants something nimble and good on gas? I actually like the looks and its "different" than a regular cruiser or sports bike..I was looking at a 250 Ninja and a Buell Blast..but this seems to get good MPG(near 65-70 i guess) and handles great...what do you think? Would be a first bike for someone thats never ridden before.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I am looking at the next size up from 250cc for a commuter bike on the theory that
a slightly larger engine wont have to rev so hard to maintain freeway speeds and
will last a lot longer and perhaps get just as good if not better gas mileage than
a 250 screaming at redline. The 400cc is the only thing I see here on this
site and I'd like to plan on keeping the bike for 12 -15 years. Would this be a
bike that could last a hundred thousand miles or should I consider
one of the scooter models with automatic or constant speed trannys ?
Which commuter bike will have the lowest over all cost over
fifteen years including fuel , repairs, bike replacement etc ?

kevin g's picture

Submitted by kevin g (not verified) on

The scotter will be the cheapest route for any commuting but you will have a lot more fun on the SM. The repairs are not expensive either, compared to a KTM, husky or aprilia dual sport. I would not get the scotter, unless you are partially handicapped or disabled. This bike is a lot of fun to ride and well worth the cost of any maintenance. If you are somewhat handy you can do oil and air changes yourslef without any special tools.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Have I lost my marbles?

I got this little 1978 Honda twinstar (180ccs) redid the carb and valves, new cables top end gasket, oil, plugs, plug wires (had to helicoil one in as it had been JB welded into a stripped threading) I threw on new cables and a new chain too.

I’ve ridden the devil out of this little bike I think I have put on 2500 miles on it since Mid June.

Probably taken it some places that it shouldn’t have gone, but it cleans up and and runs strong nonetheless.

I am considering the Suzuki Drz400 S or the SM version. My main concern is riding in the rain. I want to have maximum road grip with my tires. I will be riding an old concrete road in to work (bout 11 miles each way, on 50 year old concrete with more cracks than slab) I’ll also be commuting to school 3-5 days a week on the I-5 interstate for about 7 miles each way.
Now I am not talking a little rain, I am talking a winter commute that is dark and drowning. The kind that you couldn’t use a snorkel for, because it would just fill with water.

The kind that you have to gear up for in duck hunting gear… soaking Pacific Nw and dark more hours than light.

I am not planning on much off roading with it, I just want to keep it upright in the rain and sand through the turns. Would I be better off with the 400 S and an 80/20 tire or with the SM and a straight up wide street tire?

Sounds like the SM might be better for what I aim to do, but I want your opinions.

kevin g's picture

Submitted by kevin g (not verified) on

SM will hold up fine in dirt. unless you go into tight trail riding get the sm is awsome. it cannot competer with any dirt bikes n trail riding because of the inverted forks and wide tires. It holds well in any forrest rails, grass, or open dirt. if you want to ride in tight close spots do not get the sm.
Ho0wever, the sm is fun to ride wheelies on and the s mopdel will not ride wheelies nearly as good as the sm.

Christine's picture

Submitted by Christine (not verified) on

I say straight up SM and I don't know much about all of this so far.

jebh's picture

Submitted by jebh (not verified) on

Hi all.. I really like what u guys have said about the DRZ 400s... Im planing on getting 1 myself but i wonder how does it ride with 2 peopleon it?

daley2604's picture

Submitted by daley2604 on

they handle very well with 2 people on im 18 stone and my mate is 6 ft 4 and when we go out i can still throw it about so no problem really

kevin g's picture

Submitted by kevin g (not verified) on

never ride 2 with with another guy, people will start talking, it will work for a while, maybe 10 miles

roknjs's picture

Submitted by roknjs on

Anyone compared this to the Yamaha W250X? Is a review planned for the Yamaha?

I'm a new rider. I've ridden 3 and 4 wheel ATVs Quite a bit, but no motorcycles. I just completed the MSF basic riders course and now I'm stoked. I think I want to get something like the DRZ 400 or the W250X because I eventually want to get one of the BMW Enduro bikes. My thought is that these bikes will "sit" similar to the BMW's since they are taller, etc... Does this sound like good thinking to you guys or not. I'm not interested in sport bikes, and only moderately interested in cruisers. I really like the Dual purpose bikes and will ride 80/20 road to off-road (mostly gravel roads). I'd appreciate any advice.

t-man's picture

Submitted by t-man (not verified) on

I'm looking at buying a used 2002 Suzuki DR-Z 400. Have there been any essential changes since the 02? Just wondering if I should stay away from it. The bike has several aftermarket parts including: Race Tech revalved suspension and professionally installed and jetted Yoshimura pipes. Would appreciate any feedback. Oh ya the bike only has 1700 miles on it. Also what's the difference between the E and S models?


Jens's picture

Submitted by Jens (not verified) on

Does anybody know how many horses the DRZ400 SM has? Also, I am interested in 0 -100 Km/h data.

I think it is a pretty cool bike. I lived in Germany until a couple of years ago. I rode FZRs and R6s over there. I found that the traffic is so damn slow in the Chicago area and I don't have a race track close by. under these conditions I think that a Supermoto is an excellent choice. Escpecially, with all the holes in the road.

Thanks for the review.

Did anybody ever see a Yamaha TDR-250 on US roads? That is also a beast. 2-Stroke, 50 hp, 135 Kg, a serious competitor to the DR.

BoOZe P-ti Motard's picture

Submitted by BoOZe P-ti Motard on


Solomolo Rider ;D

Solomolo Rider ;D

daley2604's picture

Submitted by daley2604 on

i have just swapped my urban tiger fireblade for a drz 400 k7 sm and was wondering if any one could advise me on how easy it is to get a set of off road wheels/tyres to fit for weekend green laneing as i use the sm wheels for my week day comuting to work any advise on where would be the best place to get some if its possible to do it would be greatfully appreciated

achey breaky wrists's picture

Submitted by achey breaky wrists (not verified) on

I have the green (Kawasaki) '03 version, the KLX400r.
I bought it used, it came with the stock city tires.
I have put on 50/50 dirt/street knobbies and continue to ride it to work as much as possible at speeds up to 60 mph. It was freaky at first, especially cornering in the neighborhood. But as they have been broken in and maybe roughed up I am back to leaning on the debris free corners.
Replace the rear turn signals with low profile "sport bike" signals from ebay. Drilled a hole and mounted them where the old stalks used to stick out-- no more breakage.
Put a new bigger parcel shelf on the rear, also from ebay.
Put on a Moose bar after bending OEM bar.

Generally speaking, the pros are: very unique bike, very visible, great visibility too, comfortable sitting position though the seat is not.
The cons are your butt will go numb in 10 miles, air blasts of big vehicles and over bridges are baaaaaad. No tach, no passengers.

I bought it because it looked to be a good mix between commuting to work (~10 miles) and taking camping.
And in theory it is the perfect bike for that.

Probably though, the bad thing is that I am not an experienced off road rider and am a danger to myself. Perhaps I should have gotten a small and light 200 to learn this new hobby on. I've been down each time I've gone out and come back bruised or packed up in ice.
And speaking of hobbies, I really have enough, so I am thinking of selling and getting a true street/commuter bike-- I really don't someone to have to wipe my butt for me because my wrists are in casts. :)

Brian's picture

Submitted by Brian (not verified) on

I have had my 2007 DR-Z 400 SM for about 6 mo. It is my first motorcycle. I love it. But it is not stable on the freeway. Now i am sure there are a ton of guys in here who will say they ride theirs at 80mph for hours with no problem. And i am sure they are telling the truth. And after i have ridden motorcycles for 10+ years i could do that too. The first time i took it on the freeway i scared myself half to death. Then the next day my buddy let me ride his SV650 and it was a whole different animal.

Like the review says if you live in a densely populated city like San Francisco it is the perfect beginner bike. If you dont i would consider something that will let you comfortably get on the freeway.



PS- if you dont believe me look for SMs on Craigslist for sale. One in 4 will say they are selling for something better on the freeway.

PPS- If you do get one, mod it up. 3X3, Carb, Pipe, Tail lights, Hand guards, steal front break line!!! And jump a curb next to your buddy on the R1.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I live in the foothills of Northern California - LOVE this bike for learning to ride on hills and curves! I am a new rider and took the safety riding class on a crusier - HATED IT! This bike is so much easier for a beginner - the stance is comfortable, the bike handles well, and shifiting gears is so fluid on it. Would definitely recommend the bike.

old man's picture

Submitted by old man (not verified) on

if you want to steady out the high-speed handling of the dizzer, lower the forks tubes all the way down in the clamps. this will raise the front of the bike, taking some weight off of the front twheel. gives a much more stable ride, but the quickness and sure-footedness in the twisties will be affected. experiment with different heights for best results. i commute on mine (87 miles one way, bitches!) and sometimes have to scoot back on the seat to quell the front end. i had the tubes lowered for a while, but it really took my confidence away running the ragged edge of mt hamilton. i roll at 70-75mph, with more than the occassional blast to 85 or higher. for those guys (and gals) comparing a 250 ninja to a dualsport, there is no escaping the fact that 4 cylinder sport bikes make power further up the tach than a single. more useable power down low, right off idle, is a big deal when you're learning to modulate the clutch leaving stoplights. you might lose a little top end with the drz, but you really don't need to break the ton until you've got some miles on yer arse. just something to add to the decision making process.
if you drop a sportbike, it looks like a sportbike with cracked pieces that will be expensive to repair/replace, and kill resale value. my sm looks freakin meaner since i laid it down on morgan territory road!
wheelies, stoppies, slides, and decent gas mileage. how can you go wrong?
whatever you get, have a blast and BE CAREFUL, PAY ATTENTION TO IDIOTS!!!

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I took my 08 to check perfomance on grades - I live in the foothills. I'm a woman so my weight might be less, but did a 7% grade at 70 mph no problem - not even at full throttle. No hesitation, just a bit more throttle. It was awsome. This really is a great beginner bike for anyone, but women especially, because it handles so easy.

Christine's picture

Submitted by Christine (not verified) on

Hello All,

I have been enjoying reading what everyone has to say. I am a new rider, just passed the safety course and the DMV written test and viola!...I have my M1 license. Now I need a bike. I have narrowed down my search to the DRZ 400S and the DR650S. I am in the new rider quandry of which bike would be the better one to have. Yes, I am a beginner, yes I am a woman, and I am 6' and weigh over 200 lbs.; athletic, that helps. I found the perfect '07 DRZ 400 in blue and white with a bigger gas tank already and radiator gaurds. Then I came across the perfect '08 DR650 in my preferred color, black. Which bike would be better....400 with bigger tank, radiator gaurds and liquid cooled, or the 650 which feels more comfortable to sit on, air cooled and in my color!! I am going to be looking at them both this Saturday and hopefully will able to putt around on each of them..... Not everyone wants to let buyers test drive their bikes (newbies esp.) so I think the decision is based on what feels right from just sitting on them

I want to go off the road for some scenic fun and challenging riding and I also want to be able to get there in comfort and style with some decent power.

Hey, thanks for listening. It feels good to blurt this stuff out!!! Any suggestions?...




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