The Gill Man
The Swiss army knife of duel sports
The DRZ400E is as reliable as they come. Yes, not perfect by any means but will get you there and back.
All of the fixes can be found on thumper talk but there are not that many anyway.
Buy a set of supermoto 17" wheels and you have two bikes in one.
Various sprockets are needed for the street and dirt.
Only 40hp but long service intervals mean more riding and less wrenching.
Cheap to buy, registration and insurance.
So many after market parts that it can be customised for everyone's needs.
Every bikes a compromise but this one ticks most of the boxes.
The bike that does all. :) 2007 Modal
What a fun bike. :)
Take it offoad, beach, Mud, to work, around town. No worries.
Starts first time,all the time. :) My 2006 KLX250 took a little bit of effect to start on cold starts. Drz justs goes.
I bought aftermarket seat (seat concepts) as i do a bit of highway too. Changed gearing to 15/47 to 15/44 and love it. The stock gearing if fine, but sits better on highway with 44t rear. I also added lightbar, rad guards..etc
Bought it with 5,000kms, now has 12,000kms. :) No issues, just servicing..etc
Still own it, and love it. :)
Great all round bike will take any thing you throw at it very reliable
Great bike with a few upgrades bigger tank bash plate radiator guards case savers 43 tooth rear sprocket for road use
Just did a 2500km ride through sand and rocky and main highway two Drz 400E one brand new and a 2007 model started from Wentworth NSW as far as QLD Innamincka back down through Broken hill and back to Wentworth over nine days two bikes unsupported and packed with tents swags tank bags rear racks panniers the bikes went through 35-38 degree days hot and dusty conditions handled sand riding and rocky surfaces we covered 600 km in one day with out any problems great reliable bikes good value go any where with some modification's
A bike with great potential, comes great as-is
I'll start off with this: "It's not perfect at anything, but it can do almost everything"
Honestly one of my favorite bikes, I scored a basically brand new 2016 model (<100km). It's a good bike as it comes BUT what's more important is it's a fantastic starting point to build the kind of bike you'll be happy with.
You could turn it into a motard, an adventure-tourer, a road bike, Motard - Pretty much anything within reason for this vehicle style. Converted mine to a motard (at the moment) but can swap back to dirt wheels at any time.
As it comes, it'll go most places off-road at a speed many 4WD's would not attempt - it's no hardcore enduro and it's not built for that but that's not to say it can't do a good majority of the same tracks - you'll just get there slower. I had to decide between a few other bikes, but this bike offered me the most of what I was looking for - good reliability, simplicity and flexible to my future needs.
I believe I'll be keeping this bike far into the future, because it's many bikes in one - and you only need one rego!
Get Off Your 250 cc
Wanna spurt the streets, enjoy the view, climb scrub or embarrass expensive cars - whether road, trail or enduro - this bike does it all. Yes bike feels overall heavy - but you don't get blown around on the freeway. No - bike is not that tall for a 400cc but - yes bike feels slightly top heavy - like Yamaha. Yes cheap plastics and ADR crap everywhere - just like the rest of em.
But it'll go anywhere - and it's road friendly - like a Honda. It has usable spread of torque, Change oil and filter and it's indestructible, Leans sweet - took over the Honda XR's role. Seat is slim so you can move around when you're cornering but you'll knee grip the tank a lot. Good for short riders. Wide flat bars and beef front suspension equals plant and corner. Rear end tracks like it's frame. Neat.
Only owned 3 old Suzuki's (70's and 80's models) - went Honda and Yamaha in the 90's. But this is a world class product. On the road you can fang it without nailing yourself - this is a fun toy. Think about it - how much power do you really need getting around town?
I sold this bike because it was too much fun - i'd already been hit twice and was still riding. But i'd go to bed early to get up and ride this mug till im sweaty. Would have ridden it into my bedroom if my girlfriend let me. Took me back to my child ''hood''.
A cheap and reliable ride
I've owned my DRZ for over a year now and still thoroughly enjoy riding it when I get the chance.
The bike is a great piece of machinery, it can handle short journeys on the road easily and will still be able to tackle most off road use. I've spent a lot of time working on and with this bike, it's a great bike for beginners although you might find it a bit tall if you're under 5'9".
I’m extremely impressed with this bike
This bike is the bomb. I live on a farm and this bike can do way more than I will ever ask of it. From rounding up the cattle and just going around the farm. I also get asked by my boys to go riding in the bush with them. They are crazy I gave up trying to keep up however I do go and I have dropped this bike lots of times. Other than scratches and one broken clutch lever you wouldn’t know and it’s in excess of 10 stackes.
Highly recommend whether it’s for a work bike or a play bike.
Only negatives are
Horrible on road unless you get tyres changed to road tyres short distances however not a problem
I’m 5 foot 11 and to be able to touch ground I had to put a lowering kit on it.
This is a negative but remember you can play hard on it but it’s an ag bike not a motor cross so no crusty demon jumps
Only problem for me is a hard seat.
I've had the bike just over a year with no problems, the only problem I can say is the seat is a bit narrow and I get numb nuts after a ride, but really it's a nice bike. The only thing that I had to do was put a 1 tooth bigger sprocket on the front that has stopped it revving too hard at 60 kms.
I know they're not KTMs or any of the sought after European style bike, but they're great fun, inexpensive & very reliable.
The rear suspension probably lets it down if it had to nit-pick, but it's easily rectified.
Looking forward to doing some bush trips in the Flinders Ranges & beyond.
Steve . Plumber
Loving my Drz
Had my Drz 3 months now and still love it. It's not the fastest bike in its class,. U need to do some simple mods to bring it to life.
But it is easy and forgiving to ride and has the torque to pull you out.
Had a yz250 2 stroke ( I'm a 2 stroke fan) before this and it was a bich to ride, so happy with the Drz,
I've owned 15 bikes in my time so ridden a few.
I call it the Toyota hilux of bikes. Not the fastest, lightest , most powerful, but solid, easy to ride and ultra reliable.
I can still wheely it in 3Rd without clutch so I'm happy.
It's no show ponny but a good bike. They hold there value well and spares are plentiful.
Dislikes - would be great if it had a sixth gear. Revs high at 100kms hour, this can be sorted with different sockets, but I then loose bottom down power for wheelies.
Great compromise between highly strung and low maintenance
Great bike as per other reviews. A decent yet low maintenance (but slightly heavy) enduro bike. Just make sure you get the suspension properly sorted to suit your weight. Standard settings are for a 73kg rider and way too soft for most riders. Lots of aftermarket parts to customise and it has been in production for 17 years and counting. Post 2005 have had the bugs ironed out.
Bulletproof Bush Pig
A great first bike with only a very few minor quirks that need very simple (and often free) mods to correct.
The installation of a MCCT (manual cam chain tensioner) is pretty much essential, '00-'02 models had an issue where the ACCT applied to much pressure on the chain and over stretched it, this was supposedly correct in all post '02 models however a manual tensioner allows for perfect setting, avoids any potential issue and only needs checking every other oil change.
Then installation of "case savers" the DRZ uses magnesium composite covers on both stator side and clutch side which are (comparatively) fragile. Buying and installing ~$40 worth of case savers will protect these expensive covers (and in some cases stator and clutch itself) in case of a drop.
As mentioned in several other reviews, a bash plate is a good idea.
Swing arm pivot needs removing and greasing from new, Suzuki does not use enough grease and if that sucker gets stuck you risk ruining your engine (pivot runs through lugs bottom end of engine as additional mounts)
With these "mods" and regular oil changes your DRZ will last you for many many years with minimal care and attention and practically "forever" with routine maintenance.
Springs can be a little soft for some riders however the DRZ has 22 clicker positions which allow for a reasonable amount of adjustment to suit the beginner rider.
I know this reads like a list of things to "fix" a "faulty" bike however any experienced bike owner will know any given bike has its list of quirks and quibbles that "need" sorting out. Don't let this put you off buying what can be a very fun first bike.
Great all round bike with modifications
Brand new, the DRZ400e is average. With several mods the bike is a weapon. Here are the mods I have done.
Springs- Standard are too soft. Get the correct one's based on your weight. I got RaceTech and they have been great. Handlebars- Std are cheap rubbish... get a quality set and get some bar raisers as the std bar height is too low. Increase bar height by 40mm or so. Bashplate - Get rid of the plastic one and put on a new allow bashplate. Jetting - The standard needle taper is too lean off the bottom... get a JD jetting kit and adjust for your riding. Seat - get an SDG tall seat for more comfort and control. Exhaust- get a free flowing exhaust. I have FMF Q4 which is great. Radiator - get some quality radiator guards and bracing. Bike has 10,000ks (with only 1 valve adjustment) and keeps up with anything in tight single track or snooty hills. Gearing is 14/48 which is great in just about everything.
Great reliable work horse
First things first, this ain't no Husky 450. So lets no compare it to the new breed of high revving high maintenance bikes. Sure they are 20kg lighter and have better suspension but there a different beast altogether.
If your after a reliable hard working bike to thrash around through the bush and be able to ride along the road to and from your best riding spots then this is the bike for you. Yes the styling, handling and mechanics are from yester year, but if you forget an oil change it will forgive you. Suspension does the job it was designed for, if you want to go an jump motocross all day then buy something else. Power, well its down on the current breed of 450's and even the 250's will leave it for dead, but there is enough for most situations, where as the Husky occasionally scarred the crap out of me, the DRZ is all to tame, but still fun.
At the end of the day, I guess the biggest decider is power and handling versus, low maintenance and rugged reliability. If power is what you want, don't buy the DRZ. If however you want, moderate power, great torque and reasonable handling, with the advantage of heaps of spares and accessories, then this is the bike for you.
my dad, uncle and my dads friend all got one at the same time because they all recommend it for a first bike. But no way would I recommend for first bike. Heavy as led bad handling not a good bush bike only good for long distance trips wouldnt recommend for people going up bush
I bought my 2009 DR second hand with low klm and all the protective gear fitted. As I was in Weipa the first thing I added was a 28lt Safari tank, not many fuel stops on Cape York. As it was then, with a bit of clutch and throttle work it would walk up walls, really surprised myself there. And the bigger tank is not a hassle in the dirt, you don't need to fill it up, and the weight is down low. Since being in civilisation, I've changed the rear sprocket to a 42 and Metzler Enduro3 Sahara tyres. With her like that , and a sheep skin on the seat, I rode from SE Queensland to the Snowy Mountains last year. She chewed up dirt back roads and highways alike. Definitely heavier springs for the front and minimise the road gear. Other than that start her up and enjoy yourself.
Great all rounder
New handlebars, bark busters,50 tooth rear sprocket, B&B bash plate, redo the front springs,remove stand switch, remove clutch switch, Radiator guards, Yosi power pipe and you,ve got a good bike. Mines great now but look at what I,ve had to do! Still not finished.
Overall excellent, highly recommend MSC damper and raiser, bash plate, bark busters, radiator guards. Suspension too soft if you are over 100kg. 15/47 gearing pretty good all round. Need to put loctite on front sprocket and primary nut under clutch casing to avoid vibrating loose. Have had, XR 650, CRF450X previously, would suggest if buying new have a close look at KLX450, also a great trail but needs aftermarket, pipe, bars, bashy and fuel tank which starts to add up given price difference, however has better gear ratios and awesome broad power right thru. DRZ is awesome if you want a great bike without tying too much coin if you are weekend warrior
Robust, strong and low maintenance
Gearing to low and a little bit heavy
Bulletproof, solid fun bike that will do everything
Ive had these things for the past 10 years. I only sold my first one for financial reasons and now that ive bought a second one it will never leave me. If you want a cheap, fun solid bike that you can use for EVERYTHING get one! Ive sucked water all through the motor-my fault-and you can get them going on the trail.
Get the usual bash plate, gaurds etc and a lithium battery, new handlebars and your away. On my 2 bikes i have done 70,000km with no issues. get one
handlebar position, weight, some poor quality parts, needs 6th gear, fuel injection
Simple, reliable and strong bike. Added: Kick-starter kit, good tyres, bark-busters, B&M bash-plate, force radiator guards, higher handle bars.
Needs a 6th gear. The factory restrictions need to be removed in order to use the thing.
Price. electric start. reliable. easy to work on. easy to install kick starter and modify the bike.
Comes with side stand and clutch lever kill switches however these are easily removed. The speedo is bulky.
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