Jun 27, 2000
Anyone who has a drz 400 please, tell me all the good and bad about them. I rode ups mans today at dirtweek. Thanks, upsman. It seemed like it was a good bike. Wanted to know if anyone is have any problems with them? I am ready for the magic button. :D The old wr 400 is making one leg longer than the other. Thanks;)


Aug 5, 2001
I have no personal experience with the DRZ's. However, I have heard nothing but good things about them. I've heard them described as modern day XR's, which is definitely a good thing in my mind.

The usual airbox and exhaust mods really wake them up, and suspension work/tweaking may be an issue, depending on how you ride. Then again, what bike don't you have to do this stuff to???

Do a search for DRZ400 at the link above and read up. There has been alot of discussion from experienced owners. Good luck. Keep on thumpin'!


Aug 22, 2000
We've had our DRZ since may - it's set up for dual sport riding and is just about perfect for this application.

We have two other DRZ's in our riding group, one is the kickstart model, one is the street legal model, ours is the E model. All three behave admirably, and have run without a hitch. The two others are over a year old now, and the only problems we've seen are "rider error" type stuff (they fell over and broke stuff).

We've had a few really ugly crashes, and the plastic seems to hold up relatively well (better than other Suzuki's we've seen). Engine-wise, they've been bullet-proof.


DES-I had my Z for just over a year and I flogged it for all I was worth, modified it every which way you could and never had a problem out of it. There is one guy that has been riding his for a lot longer than I had mine and he is one heck of a fast rider and his has also performed flawlessly for well over a year now. The magic button is gold! The bike feels and handle much lighter than it is and the only time you'll feel the weight is when you have to pick it up!


Aug 16, 2001
The good: Very nice all around general purpose trail bike. My 400E has had great reliability. E-start is wonderful and worth the weight premium for my needs. With 1200 or so off-road miles nothing but normal maintenance has gone into it. Many feel the suspension is too soft and make a number of modifications, but with proper settings it has worked fine for me. The bike has been great for the riding I have done, tight woods to logging roads run at a moderate clip.

Not so good: The bike is heavy which to me is really only noticeable when ridden seriously. When she starts going over on the rough stuff its usually too late to save it. I have seen very few running hare scrambles, for 2 hours of fast riding there are many lighter rides perhaps better suited. The rear fender is not braced and I can see it being replaced soon just from vibrations of riding. Handlebar bends easily (like most stockers). Plan on rejetting early since they ship out too lean.

Would I buy one again? I'm a year back into riding after taking 20 off and I am back into serious riding again. For me instead of DRZ upgrades I'll be looking at KTM or maybe WR when it gets E-start.


May 6, 2001
I've got 2600 mi. , all dirt, on mine and it's been a great trail bike. I ride rough and rocky singletrack & twotrack, and have no regrets. I have flogged this bike hard in Colo. Utah and all over Az. with no mechanical problems. If I was racing enduro or harescrambles, I might look at a KTM or Gas Gas, but for a good all around performer, the DRZ is a great bike. I don't feel the weight at all unless I drop it. You need to keep an eye on the countershaft seals as they tend to go if you let mud work its way back there. I'm on my second. If you're into des. racing or MX you might look at another bike. I don't think the DRZ would be good at either w/o some expensive mods.


Nov 12, 2000
You should have come talked to us @ DW. You could have ridden mine with the yosh pipe and MX-Tech suspension and my cousin's stocker. I owned a WR and feel the DRZ makes a better woods racer as well as all around play bike. The WR power was better for mx and I don't feel there is enough weight difference to matter. The Z feels lighter and handles quicker. I mx'd mine with stock suspension and it was fine if you caught the downside of the jumps (70'+). I have had no reliability issues with mine. My cousin has had some overheating problems with his though. We have been trying to isolate the problem, but have not been able to put our finger on it yet:( Tim


Dec 8, 2000
I have had mine for 6 months now and I love it. The suspension is very soft at high speed. I had RG3 in southern california revalve it, man what a difference. I havent had any promblems with it yet (knock on wood) I also plan to race it in this fall Hare Scramble Series. As far as the KTM. I is a good bike and I almost bought one. But the bike it self is $7000 stock . plus all the mods you would do to it, pluse the cost of stock repair parts is way to much and sometimes hard to get. But it is a damn good bike
Jun 27, 2000
Thanks guy's, I a, looking for that magic button.. I have a wr I love the bjust hate stating it when I am spent. It is great other than that. I would love to have that magic button. Then Kevin B couldnt give such a hard time. I think everything he has, has a magic button... even his push lawn mower. I rode one at DW (thanks UPS MAN). It was a sweet ride. Felt very under sprung on the frount end had alot of head shake at high speed. But, it was not set up for a 250lbs ridder i am sure.
thanks guys


May 15, 2000
I've had a DR-Z400E since Feb 2000. I think I got one of the first ones that came into the USA. I have put about 2000 miles on mine........ 2000 TOUGH miles. I ride tight trails and race B-Class Harescrambles. I also take a yearly ride in Colorado. There are a few quirks the bike has, but they are few and not of real consequence.

Pros: Exceptionally smooth power delivery with good amount of power. Excellent suspension that is plush, yet not overly soft. Deflections are virtually non-existent with the suspension. FEELS light, yet it's weight actually helps(no deflections, good hook-up, good momentum). Has been pretty reliable(see below for problems I have had). BUTTON, BUTTON, BUTTON!

Cons: Weight can be a little problem to those that drop a bike a lot, ride slow(beginners) or are of small stature. I have broken some things that are weird:
-return throttle cable....I usually take them off anyway, so no big deal.
-timing chain adjuster....happend at 12,000 in Colorado. I fixed it on the trail, but I'd bet most folks would have been stuck.
-right intake valve wore out fast...keep it adjusted and use a lead substitute.
-starter wire broke...it is very thin wire. I had it zip-tied down tight and that contributed to the problem, but thicker wire would be nice.
-clutch switch for the starter fails every now and then....but I eliminated it anyway and thai is no big problem.
-fuse blows for no reason some times... assuming water, but carry extras. I have by-passed it to get out of the trails before(because I didn;t ahve an extra).

It's a reat all-around bike that can do it all. It's good in the mud, which is rare for a 4-stroke. It can be MX'd, but is not an MXer.

Final word:................................................. BUTTON !


Sep 2, 2001
I have both the 520EXC and the DRZ400e, and I love them both. However, they are virtually night and day. The KTM is the ultimate machine, without doubt, but it's truly an all-out type of bike. I've seen lots of posts about the cost "plus all the add ons," but there's virtually nothing you have to do other than some tuning, bark busters if you're so inclined, etc. So the cost is justified, and it's bullet-proof if you're even reasonable about maintenance. I use it primarily in desert riding and truly nasty rocks out at the family place in southern New Mexico. I've never ridden a better bike, anywhere, anytime. That said, it's more money, more attention to detail, more cost on parts, and it really is not the best trail/plonking bike because of the tremendous power-to-weight ratio.

The DRZ, on the other hand, is THE ideal trail bike (except for maybe KTM 200EXC, but I don't two-smoke, and I don't do the louder-than-a-Kiss-concert thing, either). It is virtually maintenance and trouble-free, and it handles great. Smokes the XRs that are close in weight, and doesn't handle like a rhino compared to the XRs that are faster. I mostly ride it here in Georgia, but have ridden my Dad's (67 year old former fighter pilot and enduro crazy) in the west. Does great virtually anywhere. Weighs a little more, but so what? The weight is low, when trail riding I'm not doing freestyle MX, and the overall demeanor of the bike is great. I can ride with my beginner son and not leave him frustrated (the KTM would be too much), but there are few who are so much better that I can't keep up with them on their bikes (whatever they are) when I'm by myself... and if I can't keep up with them, then they're probably so good that they could smoke me on a 125EXC! Finally, if you're even thinking of dual-sporting, the DRZ is perfect. However, if you're one of those folks who wants to do a big hop-up (beyond a couple of great ideas for freeing up power for less than 10 bucks), then you should go right for the 520EXC.

The only other e-start option is Husaberg, but check out any Husaberg board and you'll see what a hassle it is to keep those things up. Appears even the new ones are still finicky and rough on bearings. Have heard that they are working hard on this and the bikes are absolute banshees, but they are truly exotics for those with lots of talent (in the garage as well as on the track) and spare time.

Hope this helps. I think you'll be happy with either bike, or even the KTM 400EXC. Just keep the oil coming!


Oct 5, 2001

I beleive there is currently no better all rounder trail bike than this, it also performs when MXed. Motor so far has been bullet proof and has never let us down. I ride only vets mx and trail and have found that stock or modified its great.
Mine is now highly modified for MX as I have a rider who races it for me (I am a mechanic and not a fast rider)
Now has-
upsidedown forks,RM250 tank, seat, subframe, air box, 19"rear,Ohlins(longer shaft),RM pegs,etc
Motor is now 440, yoshi cams and exhaust plus my head mods etc.
It performs great and is easy to ride, it still has that wonderfull power curve that gets it all to the ground.
I havn't tried a button start but am sure they are just as good. I have had YZ, WR, 520 and XR before and have just got another DRZ because of the all round performance.


Sponsoring Member
Nov 27, 2000
Okay, Here is a view from a re beginner, After 20 years off a motorcycle and asking opinions from Dirtrider.net and friends I selected the DRZ400 Kick version. At first the bike was intimidating, but after 7 months of riding it I can tell you this bike is VERY forgiving, easy to ride, and Fun.
It does have a few bad point also, If you drop it and it's hot it is a bear to start, The Radiators have no real bracing (Fixed with Works Connection Braces). Yesterday while riding hard at Rockey Ridge I had several chances at get offs but either due to the bike, myself or luck I was able to save them all.

Bottom line is this is a great bike, I have resprung it because it was way to soft, and I really do enjoy the bike because I can lug it when needed, climb hills without having to overrev, and can go fast when I want.
I will be racing TORO this season so I will give a more detail report when it starts.


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