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Old 03-25-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
osu1177 OP
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Suzuki drz400sm first off road bike? Good idea?

Hi everyone,
I wanted to ask you if you think its a good idea for me to get a 400sm. I have no dirt riding experience, and about 1k miles of road experience, so not so much. Im looking for a bike to thump around town, with occasional off-roading...what do you think?

thanks
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Old 03-25-2007, 12:53 PM   #2
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No,

Get the S if you want to go off-road with some DOT knobbies. The SM tires will spit you down in the dirt, simply the wrong tool for the job. Get some more miles under your belt and if you feel the motard thing get a second set of wheels.

The SM may look like a dirtbike, but if its a dirtbike you want, get the S.
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:49 PM   #3
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ditto that it your doing proper off road youl need that 21in front wheel for sure .....
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:42 PM   #4
osu1177 OP
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well the intended use for the bike would be through town, for a few miles. The dirt riding would be on the side, in case the opportunity arises..or if theres a free weekend to check out some trails
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:52 PM   #5
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S
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:16 PM   #6
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+2 400S, It used to be better to buy the E and plate it, but the new E's have the S motor parts and carb, so get the more street equiped S model.

SM will work if want to drive gravel roads and such, but if mud and sand are in your future, forget about it.
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:59 AM   #7
allan16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apeirce
No,

Get the S if you want to go off-road with some DOT knobbies. The SM tires will spit you down in the dirt, simply the wrong tool for the job. Get some more miles under your belt and if you feel the motard thing get a second set of wheels.

The SM may look like a dirtbike, but if its a dirtbike you want, get the S.
+1
If it's 90/10 street/ offroad, the SM will do the job . If it's closer to 75/25 street/ offroad, the S is a better choice. Either way, if an extra set of wheels and tires are in the budget, it would make a world of difference.

note: the SM is a absolute kick in the ass on the street and may replace my F650 this year....but it won't see much, if any, offroad time
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apeirce
No,

Get the S if you want to go off-road with some DOT knobbies. The SM tires will spit you down in the dirt, simply the wrong tool for the job. Get some more miles under your belt and if you feel the motard thing get a second set of wheels.
Likewise, the knobbies on the S will spit you down on the pavement if you push it in the twisties or brake hard, simply the wrong tool for the job compared to the sticky rubber on the SM. Which bike is better depends on where you're going to spend most of your time. The SM will be fine if you just want to cruise along dry fire and gravel roads. Offroad wheels can always be fitted later if you want to ride harder in the dirt.
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:52 PM   #9
osu1177 OP
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thanks for the advice guys.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:50 PM   #10
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I would also get some armor. A few shattered cases from my 01 testify that a good skid plate is a good investment. Case guards would be good. The S or E model would be better than the SM, just for the sake of getting better rubber. More hookup, less fish-tailing.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:28 PM   #11
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I recon it just depends on what you "some dirt" means for you... everyone's different, and it's hard to understand what "riding dirt", "riding fast", "riding slow", etc means for everyone here without riding with people.

I bought the Uly as a bike I could have fun in the twisties like a sportbike, but still "explore" in "some dirt" at a "reasonable" speed. Which, relative to most of the guys on the "real" dirt bikes, is quite tame... but still a heap of fun for me, on that bike.

I did a ride a while ago with Yautja or whatever his name () is on here, who was on his DRZ400 set up for SM with some kind of dodgy street tyres (and 28 litre tank!). It guess it was quite a tame dirt ride, but he was still happy to go a bit silly, and we still had fun.

Here's a few photos; maybe you can see if this is the kind of thing you're thinking of when you think "some dirt".

It would probably be very exciting being a new rider with street tyres, but I mean, if you're happy just going slower and taking your time, then why not ay *shrug*.


What the?


Yeah, the Uly is great in the mud! Just I am not so great
Yautja was riding this kind of stuff on the SM DRZ just fine.




Wondering why his bike decided to slide 90 degrees and fall over... mighta been coz he was sliding with 100% road tyres haha. Looked very funny.


Freekin hell! He got Buelly through there too! After I got it stuck




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Old 03-27-2007, 08:16 PM   #12
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"Hi everyone,
I wanted to ask you if you think its a good idea for me to get a 400sm. I have no dirt riding experience, and about 1k miles of road experience, so not so much. Im looking for a bike to thump around town, with occasional off-roading...what do you think?"

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I can not think of a better first bike for someone who's getting a new bike as their first bike.
The SM is a BLAST to ride it's great around town it crashes well, it's almost theft proof and it holds up to in city riding really well.
And if you live where the roads are twisty it's even better.

The down side.
Dirt tires in 17 sizes are almost impossible to find.
There are some rains and some dirt track tires out there
And a few semi knobbies but the range of tire choices for off road riding is slim.

Then theres that whole 21" front wheel thing.

If you going to be riding mostly street like more then 70%
then go for the SM
If your wanting to ride real double or single track
Even if you mostly on road riding then get the S

You won't go wrong with either bike

Another idea is to get a used S and have supermoto wheels built for it
It cost's around 1000 bucks to do that
So if you get a used bike for more then say 1500 bucks less then the SM
get the supermoto wheels a second rotor and sprocket
and you will have two bikes for the price of one.
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:03 AM   #13
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Well let's see here . . . . . you never mentioned what kind of riding you are looking to do, so let me make a suggestion for you.

Go out and find yourself a clean used dual-purpose bike. One that has experience, but is not badly wounded. Now spend as much time riding it off road as you can. You will shortly find out that on road and off road riding are at different ends of the spectrum with regard to skills.

Remember, wisdom, aka skill, comes from experience. With your lack of it, try and keep the costs of the lessons to a minimum.

I would find a dual-purpose bike that is light, has parts available, light, a good following, light, electric start and light. Then spend the remainder of your money on good gear. Injuries are further between when you have good gear on. You will use that gear off road as the number of opportunities for experience happen at a much higher frequency.

Let us know how your learning progresses.

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Old 03-28-2007, 06:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apeirce
No,

Get the S if you want to go off-road with some DOT knobbies. The SM tires will spit you down in the dirt, simply the wrong tool for the job. Get some more miles under your belt and if you feel the motard thing get a second set of wheels.

The SM may look like a dirtbike, but if its a dirtbike you want, get the S.
+2
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:19 PM   #15
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Get the S not the SM.

If you ride an SM off road, you'll basically be riding a street machine on the dirt. Not much fun at all, compared to knobby tires and deep gearing.

Gear it down with a 14/47 sprocket set, and put a set of Kenda K760 DOT knobbies on it. Some skidplates, handguards, and case guards are a good idea, too.

I use my S almost exclusively offroad. It's a total blast...

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