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Old 12-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #16
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Prescott AZ
Oddometer: 4,079
DR 650 all the way
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:50 PM   #17
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Central CA
Oddometer: 1,421
We recently found ourselves going down this same path. We decided on the DR650. While I'm far from an expert rider, and don't want to fool you into thinking I know all, I can go over some of the highlights of this particular debate.

Seat height. The DRZ is high. Like ~38 inches high. I'm a six foot tall guy with a long inseam, and I thought it was a bit high... The DR is at about 35 in the high setting, 33 in low. Did you know there are two settings? Our dealer didn't. It's a fairly involved process to make the change (mostly the rebuilding of the front forks), but it can be done.

Air cooled vs. water cooled. Long standing debate. Pick your own side, but it is a major difference.

Highways. I don't know where you hail from, but if it's out west, I'm sure you already know that our highway speeds differ greatly from what you'll find on the other side of the Rockies. While neither one of us wants to go 90mph on a dualsport, we didn't want something that had nothing left to offer above 70mph either. Sometimes you need to get out of the way. There are also significant areas where the only way to get from here to there involves roads where traffic flows at 70mph and up, you don't want to have to run all out just to keep up.

Aftermarket support. The DR has a huge following, with offering of all sorts. Choices and competition are nice in the market place.

There are/were others, but those are a few to think about for right now. Now I'll shut up and let others with more knowledge chime in.

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Old 12-28-2012, 11:13 PM   #18
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Location: That buzzing in your earhole, NorCal.
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Are you stuck on the two 'Zukes? Because the DR650 is way too heavy for you, and the DRZ has it's own limits-gearbox, tall seat, suspension, etc.

A WR250R would be much better suited for the riding you described and your height/weight.

In any case, good luck.
Wedding(s) = $30,000
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:35 PM   #19
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Holmdel,NJ
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you seem to not being to do much offroad,i think you stated 80 on and 20 off? i would look into the the Husqvarna tr650 terra. they are awsome bikes,and will cruise on the highway all day long,and you can do some mild off roading,check'em out.Those zukis are just old to me,been same way since the 80s,so much better bikes out there for what you plan on spending,just my personal opinion.

only reason i would get a dr400 is if i bought a used one(which you can find nowdays for a reasonable price) and only planned on riding around town,doing errands,popping some

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Old 12-29-2012, 06:51 AM   #20
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Oddometer: 5
All this feedback is great and has had me running all over the net researching the points you all have brought up!

The WR250R did peak my interest with its EFI and other technology but I don't like the idea of needing to buy premium fuel and I'm also nervous that the advanced engine means more difficult and expensive repairs/field repairs. Both the DR and DRZ seem to have a great track record for reliability and ease of maintenance/repair.

Must be the 2 year difference between the bikes but the insurance for the 650 was going to be almost $450 dollars a year more.

Anyways, after working out the budget, my better judgement has won and I will be holding off on buying right now and as ryguy mentioned, probably go used (if only just slightly). The idea of financing at 0% for the life of the loan almost had me!

Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions and insight
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:34 AM   #21
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Iceland
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Originally Posted by Scrubadubbdubb View Post
Hey guys and girls,

I've creeped on here for way too long just wishing I could get myself a dual sport bike and go adventuring! Thankfully, it looks like that time may be very near in my future but I need a little help from the experience of you all on here to help me decide between two.

I'm about 5' 5" and weigh in at 140lbs. Around where I live now, 85% of daily places to go require using the interstates to get there. While ideally I would be using this bike around 50/50 road/dirt I estimate it will be more like an 85/25 or more commuter.

The first model choice according to the dealer is a 2013 DRZ650S but on Suzuki's site is seems this is a DR650SE, the second choice is a 2011 DRZ400S.

I have been leaning more towards the 400 because it will be lighter and easier to maneuver on the trail AND I expected the seat height would be as least slightly less than the 650. According to Suzuki specs the seat height of the 400 is 36.8 inches where as the 650 is only 34.8 inches. The dealer said they could lower the 650 if I wanted, I'm thinking they could do the same on the 400.

I believe my main concern is that I don't want to feel like I'm lacking power on the interstate or killing the bike if I was on the interstate for a few hours. (Note: I have seen areas around here where the speed limit is 75mph)

Obviously I am not a huge guy so the weight of the 400 appealed to me in that sense, on the road I don't think its such a big deal but depending on the trails, I wonder if the 650 would be a bit gommy.

Okay, I know I'm being long winded but the last note is that I am not looking to do any modifications at this time so please bear in mind the decision is pretty much between the completely stock versions of these two bikes.

Thank you in advance for your help and wisdom =D

650. It is a lot better on the blacktop where you will spend most of your time. It has a lower seat height, the 400 is a pretty tall bike. As a commuter the 650 is superior, and will be WAY better at speed on the highway.

The 400 is better offroad, but you probably wont be running real knobbys anyway and therefore not capable of pushing hard offroad.

Get the 650, put it on some blacktop friendly dual sport tires, enjoy a decent commuter and live with the somewhat limited offroad capability. Offroading is great fun, slow or fast.
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