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2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM Dual Sport reviews

4.8
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Reliability
5.0
Overall quality
5.0
Performance
4.6
Comfort
3.6

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Top 10 Dual Sport

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8 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Patrick

Clovis, California

Reviewed on 2008-01-01

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

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5.0
To be honest, I've never been compelled to write a review on anything I've bought before. I bought a 05 SM a year ago; I was looking for a dirt bike, but couldn't justify something I'd be riding occasionally on weekends. I also saw no reason to get an 80% dirt / 20% street bike and the SM fit the bill. With the street wheels, this is a 100% road bike that is a blast to ride in tight canyons, and 55mpg for a short commute to work is exceptional. Top speed is about 100 mph, and it will hold it without complaining. I've made several long trips and the only think I can complain about is the monkey butt and short 100 mile range (which I guess actually helps the monkey butt on long trips). But what about the dirt? It cost about $1000 for the whole conversion (new wheels, sprocket, chain, spare brake rotors, and a little engine armor). With about an hour quick change, swap wheels and a chain and you now have yourself a 100% dirt bike. The speedo cable didn't fit to the aftermarket hubs, so I figure I get free dirt miles. The way I see it, I spent my money and got 2 sweet bikes in one package. It's not the fastest bike, but with a 52 tooth rear sprocket it's got plenty of pep in the dirt for climbing steep hills and clearing table tops. The only catch here is the extra 50 lbs or so over other dirt bikes this size. And that's where I say, I am convinced this could be the perfect bike. It's a really fun road bike and an equally fun dirt bike... without sacrifice. I'm either street riding or dirt riding, there really is no in between, so why get an in between bike like the dual sport? Living in CA I will never have to worry about green stickers because it's plated, plus you get upgraded brakes and suspension with the SM, it just makes sense. Best bike ever!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

sam

hilo, Hawaii

Reviewed on 2007-08-08

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

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5.0
The most fun ever after owning 5 Ninjas, crusiers, and even more fun than my DR650SE. This bike fits me better too. It has so much more comfort and wicked handling to carve up saddle road, even on the gravel part!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

J

Tampa Bay, Florida

Reviewed on 2007-01-14

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

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5.0
Quick enough to keep ahead of the cagers, cruises at 75 on the freeway without complaints, goes around corners like it's on rails, stops on a dime, laughs at curbs, puts a smile on my face everytime I ride it, and does this all while getting 50-55mpg. Oh yeah, I can't break it. What's not to like?
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Vee

Vilnius, Lithuania

Reviewed on 2006-08-15

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

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5.0
I've been riding sports bikes for 6 years, mainly GSXR's, which were all mighty great bikes but not in the environment I was spending most of my time. I knew I was not completely honest trying to convince myself that a gixer was the best bike to have. In town it was cumbersome and intimidating and there are no nice fast twisty roads in the area where I live. The only real point to own a gixer was Track Days which happened like 2 or 3 times a year. So no real point then... It was time for some drastic measures. The reason why I ride is to have fun every minute I'm on the bike and not 2 or 3 times a year. And the SM fulfils the task admirably. It has such a playful personality it hurts. And its sooo easy to manage! Around town it will blow a sportsbike to weeds no questions asked. The ergos are perfect for city commuting and the bike feels almost weightless. It's a traffic jam ultimate weapon. Oh, and I was 3 times faster around the local go kart track first day I took it there then I ever was on my gixer. On tarmac it bloody rails! Just sort the tire pressures, set the suspension for ya and it will cut through any corner with laser precision. And if you had enough on the street just jump off the tarmac and make your way through that lawn or park. Thanks to this bike I'm starting to discover the pleasures and joys of dirt riding. It's just a set of dirt bike wheels away from a serious trail bike. But surprisingly the tires are quite capable off road and the bike climbs hills pretty well, just stay away from mud, deep gravel or wet grass. The motor is no monster, but it's healthy, smooth and has a modern feel to it. Actually it's a bit more than I expected it to be after reading some other reviews. The bike pulls to 60mph real fast and then tops out at around 100. By the way I suggest using mototune usa break in method. I rode it hard from 0 km, used mineral oil, changed it quite frequently and switched to synthetic a couple of days ago with 1500 miles on the clock. The motor feels really strong and never misses a beat. Pros: Looks funky, completely reliable, handles beautifully, seriously cheap to run, excellent build quality (I mean it), good adjustable suspension, breaks have good power and feel, and it's not intimidating to ride but tons and tons of fun. If you have never managed a rolling stoppie in your life you will on this puppy, trust me on that one. And it crashes well too: I looped it in 5th doing 80mph and all the damage went to the rear lights, kickstand and handlebar protector. Gixer wouldn't be even rideable after such one. Cons: Seat is hard and pain in the butt after an hour of riding, especially if you ride in jeans (leathers seem to do a trick and it's not so bad). Avoid highways or you will bore yourself to death. Could use another 50cc of motor. It's not a beast like other SM's from Husky, Husaberg or KTM but I prefer Suzuki's reliability instead. Radiators and engine cases are the weak points, invest on guards without thinking about it for too long. Standard Dunlops are ok, but not great, I wouldn't buy them again. Pilot Powers seem to be the choice for ultimate performance on tarmac and Avon Distanzias are the ones to go if you like to jump off the road occasionally and still have excellent grip on the road. Verdict: So is it a perfect bike? No, no doubt about it. It has its clear weak points. But for what I use it's probably the best choice. It's hard to find a better bike for city use and it's an absolute blast around a go kart track. Is it the most fun bike I've ever been on? Oh yes, no doubt about that either! Besides it's so much less expensive to buy, run, maintain and repair than a sports bike. I know many of you are hesitating like I was. But give it a try and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. I'm yet to hear of someone feeling sorry for getting this fabulous bike. Many of my riding buddies on sports bikes think I'm some kind of eccentric odd twat who dumped a mighty gixer for this weak mosquito. But I just keep smiling in my helmet and feel being one step ahead of them and somewhat smarter.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Rick Roetcisoender

Federal Way, Washington

Reviewed on 2005-10-12

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

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5.0
I loved the bike's handling in stock form but was not happy with the performance. I had many performance mods planned but after putting on a Leovince slip-on and re-jetting (not required, but I would suggest it) the bike now runs and sounds like it should. I originally used the quiet insert but it sounded to close to stock - still, a good increase in power. However, I put the loud insert in and it sounds like a healthy 4 stroke. It will now do roll on wheelies in 2nd gear and easily pull to 100. I also put on hand guards and a UFO fender to clean up the back. The one word all my sport-bike friends say after they ride it is "fun". It is also fun waiting up for them!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Chris Armitage

Kalamazoo , Michigan

Reviewed on 2005-09-21

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

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5.0
As an owner of a DRZ 400E (the electric start dirt version), I was already well acquainted with the performance of this powerplant. The new fork is especially noticeable as is the over sized front disk. It is difficult to keep the REAR wheel on the ground during hard braking. I will pipe and jet this bike to get that extra oomph. I have never leaned over so far on any bike I have owned, those tires are sticky.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

John Swanekamp

Hamburg, New York

Reviewed on 2005-08-19

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

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4.0
I bought a voulsia a couple of years ago and was not to thrilled with a cruiser. I wanted something FUN to ride. I found a dealer with a black drz400sm that was willing to deal. I rode home with it. It sure is a lot more fun. It is light and quick. I am getting 55 mpg back and forth to work. It has a 5th gear that is good for 50+mph. Cruises comfortably 60-70 mph. Not a sport tourer but a great commuter. Needs a seat if you plan to spend more than 20-30 minutes at a time sitting on it. Corbin makes a nice looking one. There are also some custom seats available.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
2.0
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Voted most helpful review

Rick

Seattle, Washington

Reviewed on 2005-08-18

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

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4.0
This bike is a blast in the tight stuff and it's fun to embarrass the sportbike squids. After riding the dirt version I was a little unhappy with the performance. It's a bit busy at 70 and geared tall so it doesn't wheelie as easily as I like. However I plan to correct this with a full Yoshimira exhaust/Dynojet jet kit/Notoil airfilter. I will post a new review when this is done. I considered the Husky 610SM but after having a Triumph Speed Triple and having to go at least 50 miles to the nearest dealer I like having a bike I can go to a dealer close by no matter where I live. I've been getting 57 miles per gallon and it's nice to have the option to go off road. However I will be putting different tires on first. (Pirelli MT60's). Oh yeah, insurance is 200 per year for full coverage!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
3.0
Comfort
3.0
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