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Bike Review - DRZ400SM

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by nathanshnoz, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Hey all, after being told i should write a review on my new bike i have finally decided to get off my arse and do it. So here goes.

    YEAR: 2009
    KM'S SO FAR: 1,600
    PURCHASE PRICE: $8,590 on road

    When i purchased this bike it was a big toss-up between the DRZ-400E (enduro/off-road model) and 'tarding' it, or simply purchasing the SM model straight from the start and maybe looking at 'dirt-ing' it at some stage.

    My decision process was as follows:

    The DRZ-400E:

    - 39mm Mukuni slide carburetor
    - dirt tires
    - is claimed to go noticeably harder (stronger acceleration) than the SM model
    - LAMS legal

    - looks like crap (my personal opinion, especially with the 'right-way-up' forks with the rubber boot seals)
    - would have to spend a good $2k to motard it up to an acceptable level
    - poorer front brake then SM model
    - no rear pegs for possible pillion in future
    -less adjustable suspension
    -no tachometer

    The DRZ-400SM

    - looks sexier than Jessica Alba naked (my personal opinion)
    -Larger front brake for better handling/braking
    -rear pegs for possible pillion in future
    - already kitted up for road use
    - still useable off road
    - comes stock with renthal fat bars
    - more adjustable suspension

    - 36mm Mukuni slide Carburetor (not the 39mm)
    -soft suspension not suited to off-road riding
    -no tachometer

    That’s about all that came into my decision process, so I weighed up which points were most important to me and the fact it was road ready to go without spending another 2k on top of purchase price was a very big pro for me, and also the oversize front disk played a pretty big part too, and looks lets not forget looks

    Power: Considering I came off a 250 anything would seem powerful, but let me say it has plenty of get up and go! Cranking the throttle wide open will initiate ‘hold on for dear life syndrome’ and this thing was made for wheelies! That said, if you shift your weight further forward and then crank it up through the gears the power delivery for a LAMS approved motorcycle is very impressive. I have pushed it out to about 140kmh and could push it to 150 I think. Not a good idea. These bikes are not designed to compete with Casey Stoner. Gearing changes would help, but I would want to compromise the low-end torque, as it comes very nicely spread throughout the rev range from stock.

    Acceleration: This really surprised me. From a stand-still, if you hammer it hard through the gears you wont get out of 3rd before hitting the big 100. And for a LAMS motorcycle, shit it gets there fast! As mentioned above, this thing just wants to get on the back wheel. Acceleration out of corners is excellent and this bike has no problem powering through.

    Braking: The front brakes get my stamp of approval, very nice indeed. A little getting used to at first as they were very responsive compared to my old bike, but that was a cruiser so is to be expected. The rear brake is not very impressive, and doesn’t do a great deal, but on these types of bikes a rear brake is rarely applied anyway, although I will be looking at braided lines soon to help improve the performance as I’m not overly happy with the back brake.

    Cornering: This is what the MOTARD was made for. When you reach the entrance to a corner and start to lean in, especially on the sharp twisties, the bike just pulls you in and helps you pick a line. The front wheel drops straight into the corner and glides you gracefully (or not so – depending on how your trying to corner :p ) through and out the other side. The amount of ground clearance is incredible and I have no doubt that you will reach your riding limit in corners well before you reach the bikes limits. (unless you’re a damn good rider!)

    General Handling: It’s narrow, it’s light and the wide bars mean the slightest pressure on either end will drop the bike very nicely in the direction you want to go. Riding this bike is like a dream. The seat is the biggest let down, along with the rear brakes. It’s not so much that the seat is really hard, its just that it has sharp edges, and being such a narrow seat, they cut right up the middle or each arse cheek. Luckily a Gel seat (I have one on order at the moment) with much smoother edges and an overall comfier feel is available for around $260, if you know where to go. The bike is so easy to stand up on, that u can stretch your legs and relieve your arse of the pain regularly, but no amount of pain will wipe that dumb grin off your face that only comes from riding a super motard. Standing up can be done easily, even at 130 down the freeway. Wind is not an issue as the bike is very easy to handle, but I never found it an issue on my open cruiser either. It’s got a pretty damn fat tyres (can’t remember specs) which helps a lot with stability in the wind.

    Summation: Since buying this bike, riding has gone from a general interest, to a passion, to a fuggin obsession! You could put Megan Gale on my bed next to me, begging me for sex. But if it was a beaut day for a ride you better believe I would grab my helmet and be tearing up the GOR or the spurs in a matter of seconds, rather than bone a superbly attractive model. THAT IS HOW MUCH GODDAMN FUN THIS BIKE IS.

    If the shop rang me tomorrow, and said they needed it back because of some ‘Suzuki recall’ or something, I’d tell them to piss off. I wouldn’t give it back if they offered me 10 times what it’s worth.

    Want a good commuter? GET ONE
    Want to go fast around corners? GET ONE
    Want to feel more adrenaline than ever before? GET ONE
    Want to reach 200km/h? DON’T GET ONE
    Want to fit where no other bike will? GET ONE
    Want a bargain price for a new bike? GET ONE
    Want sex to be at the top of your priority list? DON’T GET ONE
    And now for a pic below, I have put a yoshi exhaust on mine, and it sounds very, very sexy now. I wouldn’t know if it made any difference from stock as I never rode it with the stock muffler on.

    Hope this helps for anyone thinking of getting one, if you have any questions feel free to ask.


  2. Thanks for a good read mate. I actually quite like the look of it. Enjoy.
  3. If you get that pumped about the DRZ you've got a lot to look forward to with others in the class. Looks like Megan Gale will be missing out for many years to come.
  4. OMG...what are you doing? Now i HAVE to get one :p

    Na really good review i like your use of megan gale. But obvisously if it was jenifer hawkins it'd be a different story surely. :twisted:
  5. Great write up Nathan...but sorry dude if you have Megan Gale in your bed and you would rather ride your bike than do other things with her..it means your gay :p :LOL:

    PS: I have a question...

    If I got one of these do you think it would help me attract a more "mature aged" woman? :grin:

  6. it was a figure of speech.......lol....i think Megan Gale would be too young for me :p

    gay? i can handle that. haha.

    attract a mature age woman?

    yes, yes it would :p
  7. I just picked up my DRZ400SM on Friday and took it for a rip down the GOR and back the forest way. So much fun! I have a stock muffler on mine and it has plenty of power to up and go. I had the back end slide out on me while I was in the middle of a turn which scared the crap out of me but the bike seemed to handle it better than I did. I'm still getting used to the new riding style.

    How did you get such a good price on the bike with a yosh exhaust?
  8. Nathan lied.... His decision process was as follows....

    Nathan - "So which one should i get, here are the links for the 400SM and the 400E. I really like the E"

    Me - "Dude...."

    Nathan - "I'm gonna get the E"

    Me - "Get the fcuking SM you knob jockey! Looks waaaaay sexier and is already tarded"

    Nathan - "...... ok"

    Carry on :)
  9. nice Nathan

    fit a Keihin FCR39MX and it will really wake up!
    What tyres you running?


  10. :eek:wned: :---) :grin:
  11. This was the bike I had in mind to replace the Bandit with if (a) I get a bit of a financial windfall and (b) the Bandit eats my license. This review has confirmed that - quick enough to have fun on, but enough fun at lower speeds to make the license a bit safer.

    Now just waiting on the (Lotto) balls to drop, I guess... and if course, with enough of a windfall it could be 'complement' rather than 'replace', which would be ideal.

  12. that price wasn't including the yoshi exhaust mate, i'd nearly be too embarrassed to tell you how much i paid for that exhaust (seven nine nine) ...but was worth every cent!

    the stock dunlop D208's. Handle pretty well on road, i have done about 3 low sides on the grass, just got a little excited 'blipping' the throttle and lost the load faster than a 14 year old's premature ejacutlation! :p thankfully these babies don't even get a scratch from low speed stacks. hard as a rock! so no dice for off roading really. might get some pilot powers on for size or some road/trail distanzias not sure yet gotta wear these out first doing a good job so far :)

    at this stage im thinking pilow powers roads and get a set of dirt rims and some cheap knobbies for the fun stuff.

    yeah 39mm carby sounds good mate, just waiting for the ye olde funds in the bank to build up a bit first :twisted:
  13. Very nice Nathan. Congrats.

    I know I can check elsewhere but wtf I'm lazy. What's the seat height?

    I want a bike like this for upgrade. Thanks for the write up.
  14. Oh and re: the soft suspension (for offroad)...can it be adjusted/tightened?
  15. seat height is 890mm (I'm 5ft 9inch and can touch the ground pretty easily) plus i just got a gel seat which brings it down a litle more so seat height has not been a problem for me even though i'm short.


    Front and back are both preload and rebound fully adjustable. i think the preload is 21 point adjustable and the rebound is 12 point. so if you cranked up the preload and slowed the rebound down it would stiffen up a fair bit and make for a nicer ride off roads :)
  16. Thanks Nathan. Too high for me.

  17. Where did you get your gel seat from and for how much? I found one on eBay for $130 plus shipping of $35 USD. Having a hard time finding anything already in AU.
  18. Actually, I found it to be a pretty crap wheelie bike. I was quite disappointed with the power and how much you have to flog it to get it up. Having ridden one or two better motards I'd say it's a pretty average example. Not a bad bike per se, just not as exciting as a motard should be.

    Get that bigger carb as soon as you can, I have no idea why they'd neuter a 400cc motard.
  19. I've not ridden a DRZ400SM, but there are NO problems lifting the front and keeping it there on a DRZ400E!
  20. Hey ya'll.

    I have a mate who just purchased one of these less than three weeks ago. He can't wipe the smile of his face each time he gets off it.

    Went for a ride down the great ocean road a week or so ago with him...he managed to test the crash protection within his first 200km on the bike!! Was in gravel and lost the front end....I jumped off my bike and helped him pick it up...and to my amazement there was like ZERO damage. The only thing that got scratched was the right hand side handle bar knob...which takes about 2 seconds to replace and costs less than your lunch. I couldn't believe it! Needless to say he loves it even more now!

    Seems like a nice bike and the look of it grows on me each time I see it.