choosing the right bike for me
April 23, 2008 at 4:30 pm #1299steveParticipant
I am looking to buy a bike to commute on a daily basis. I live 40 miles out of town and wheere i live is “offroad”. I havent ridden for 20 yrs. I am really having a difficult time finding the right bike. I consider myself a new rider. I guess i am looking for advise/opinions that may help me decide. I am leaning towards the suzuki 400 DR. My biggest concern is how tall all “dual purpose ” bikes are today. I really liked the Yamaha XT 250 but found out it really doesnt provide enough power / top end speed to wokr for me. Can anyone tell me if the 400 DR can be lowered 1-2 inches with out major work? It seems that all “off-road” type bikes have become so specailized that there isnt a “perfect fit” bike for me. I am 5’8″ and weigh”about 180. I have had all th esales pitches at the stores but i though maybe someone out there could offer some helpful advise etc. ThanksApril 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm #5786MattParticipant
There are lowering seats for the DRZ that will chop an inch or to off. As well, dealerships are, I believe, able to lower the suspension an inch or two (this is done by using a shorter stiffer shock, so it won’t be as plush a ride). I’d call a local suzuki dealership to find out what options they have.
If you need more speed than a 250 you might want to look at the Versys. It has a fairly long travel suspension, with a seat that is only slightly higher than sport bike. The tires are primarily road, but handle gravel and access roads.
Similarly the BMW F650 is short by offroading standards, but will handle light offorad duties.
Neither of these options are terribly cheap, as the Versys is new, and the BMW is,well,a BMW.
I’m not sure just how “off road” you are, but if a car can get down the road without special considerations, most bikes should be able to as well. Although, I wouldn’t recommend medium or higher speeds on such roads. I’ve ridden an old UJM down pitted gravel roads and it wasn’t fazed one bit at 35mph (I however was scared out of my skull).April 27, 2008 at 2:01 am #5834wishpoolParticipant
The factory lowering option for Suzuki dual sports is for the DR650SE. I had it done and it didn’t cost very much. Took the seat down 1.6″. (I’m 5’9″) If that’s not enough there’s a gel seat available that’ll take the height down another 1.5″. I think the gel seats are available for most of the DR/DRZ series but I hear bad things about the comfort of the Suzuki gel seats. As far as I know that’s the only factory options for the Suzuki dual sports. I gotta say, I love my 650 and I’m a new rider as well. I can’t say enough good things about it. Except perhaps it’s lack of storage capacity. Only options are a rack bag or backpack or both. Hope this helps….April 29, 2008 at 7:26 pm #5894SuperMotoRiderParticipant
The DRZ400S sounds like a good fit for ya.May 16, 2008 at 2:10 am #6336NetReddingParticipant
I think Suzuki offers a softer, gel seat for the DRZ400 that lowers the bike 1″.
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