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 knobbier tires and a little more torque. Read on for the full review!
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 more versatile . 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 fine cruising 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 the twisties! Because the bike is a dual sport you will have much more confidence in your turns since you will have more ground clearance and the suspension 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.
It 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 motor 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 modded airbox 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