XT660R Heaven

XT660R Heaven
Life on the road is fab...

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Kevin's DRZ 400S 2014

This is a great little bike, it's nice & fairly light, (Roughly 300lbs dry), yet with enough uuumph to play on the tarmac roads with the rest of the boys... It's Kevin first dirtbike...

Kevin bought the bike specifically for this trip, then did a load of modifications to it, see the list below...

Things he's added are:

Devol bash plate
Acerbis hand guards with shorty levers, they look a bit like mountain bike levers...
IMS shift lever & footpegs
Baja Worx screen
Fisher handmade saddle
Trail Techs Vapor dash
Oxford heated grips
Pro Moto Billet rear luggage rack
Clarke 4 gallon fuel tank
Tusk gas cap
K&N air filter
Double Take folding mirrors
Wolfman luggage rack & panniers
Renthal fat bars & bar clamp
Bags Connection tank bag
A manual cam chain adjuster
A kick start kit, as these bikes don't have one as standard
Oh & the Garmin Zumo satnav systems & a Delorme In Reach two satellite communicator.

The bike was $6600, which was a pretty good deal at the time, the additions cost about $1800 to make it ready for the TAT. Kevin has decided he's gonna upgrade this bike to a KTM 500 EXC though as he's fell in love with the dirt bike riding & wants something even lighter...

Things Kevin likes about this bike are the DRZ reliability, it's been around for a long time now, it's well proven & has a solid history. The overall riding experience is pretty good & the additions have made it both more personal to him & a better bike in the long term.

Dislikes are carbs, at altitude there is a lag in the throttle response & a loss of power & it's a bit underpowered, both off & on road. Kevin made changes to the sprocket sizes to try to improve this but still feels there is more to be had.And he's not interested in any of the 3x3 carb mods and the like.

The bike feels heavy, especially with the luggage on as well, so it's a bugger to pick up when you drop it, but its also slow into the more tricky terrain & the weight can often throw off your balance.

The suspension also feels a little too soft which maybe could be sorted with either a proper set up from a professional or change the rear shock, front springs, etc, but its easier to go get a KTM!!

So although its been very handy on the TAT & generally really reliable, with one minor fuel issue in the middle of nowhere, the bike is showing it's age in design & details, no doubt Suzuki are on the case to sort this at some point, for example the DR 400 E that we get in the UK is a lighter & more powerful version of this bike I think,  or maybe its just more dirt orientated...

On the whole though it's a great little tool & it has dealt very well with all that's been thrown at it on this trip... watch this space for the sale price!!