Everybody thinks their favorite type of bike is better than the rest. Truth is that where SM bikes “corner better” is really low-speed, tight turns, where the steering geometry and handling characteristics of sportbikes are the limiting factor to quick turning. Due to their light weight, among other things, you get astounding confidence just throwing the bike around at low speed. Also, it is very typical in SM riding to slide the rear, allowing further tightening of a turn. Put an SM bike on a go-kart track and it’ll murder a supersport. Put it on a large track, with long straights and sweeping turns, and it’ll get left in the dust.
As for the things I mentioned, they were not meant to be seen as dealbreakers (obviously, I love my DR-Z), but rather just as minor points that a new buyer might overlook. And let’s be honest, wouldn’t most people take some kind of fuel indicator over nothing? The difference in trip mileage between hard riding and mild riding can be 2x, and especially with the DR-Z’s tiny tank, a hard ride can empty your tank surprisingly quickly. I may or may not have learned the hard way (heh, nobody expects their bike to run out of fuel after only 60 miles).