Suburban Hooligan – Suzuki Dr-z News Bike Expert

14 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Suburban Hooligan – Suzuki Dr-z News Bike Expert
Suzuki DR-Z SuperMoto
Suzuki DR-Z SuperMoto

Suburban Hooligan – Suzuki Dr-z News

SUZUKI’S new DR-Z400SM follows hard on the heels of new street supermotos from Yamaha and Honda so is it more of the same or can it offer anything different?

The DR-Z400SMВ is a road-going, supermoto version of Suzuki’s DRZ400S trail bike. This official Suzuki factory version follows on from the recent street supermotos introduced by its rivals Yamaha – the XT660X -В and Honda – FMX650.

Suzuki says its DRZ-SM is designed to encapsulate Supermoto with a combination of handling and performance.

On paper, the engine’sВ 39bhp may not seem much, but it’s very light and makes up for its lack of power. It’s not going to rip your arms off or even scare the most timid of riders, but it’s pretty lively.

The motor spins up reasonably quickly for a single and seems to perform better the more you thrash it. Flat out you’ll just aboutВ see 100mph on the clock, but that’s in favourable conditions. Getting to anything above 75mph seems to take ages.

But around town, or riding tight, twisty switchbacks, it’s possible to hustle along, nipping through. The front will lift in the first two gears but you soon run out of revs if you’ve not got the skill to keep it there on the back brake.

At just 134kg it’s very light and the wide bars mean it will flick from one side to the other quickly. In tight turns just lay it over, stick out your leg and if it moves just pick it back up again. It makes mincemeat of mini roundabouts.

There’s lots of travel in the suspension to cope with kerb hopping, slight off-road riding and speed humps. But there seems to be too much travel in the forks – they’re very soft. Brake hard and the front tries to tuck its head under the road like a scared ostrich.

The brakes initially feel slightly spongy, but once the pads grip the large disc they bite hard. With the rear lightening you can get the back end to move around. But the gearbox doesn’t like been stamped down from top.

Suzuki DR-Z SuperMoto

It’s difficult to find neutral afterВ several quick down changes and gear changes require a positive action.

The seat is uncomfy, you’ve got just a 10 litre tank – just over two gallons, and motorway riding is a big no-no due to the windblast and vibrations.

If you’ve got a short journey to work, especially through town, it makes good sense. In London, this bike would be perfect. It’s light, quick, with good mirrors, a tall riding position and it looks good.

Running costs should be low, the engine is bullet proof and it should hold up well after a low speed spill.

If you want a bike to have fun with down country lanes or for the odd Supermoto trackday then it’s a surprising alternative. If you’re thinking about using it as a race bike or being able to hang onto the back of sports bikes then think again, it’s not got the power.

The SM is fun – on the right roads -В and easy to live with and servicing and insurance should be cheap. It looks the part, but, if you’re used to anything quicker you’ll hate it after few weeks due to its lack of power – especially if you regularly ride on quick roads. If it hadВ  another 20bhp this would be a cracking bike.

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