The mighty DR, I have just finished a fantastic adventure ride from Melbourne Victoria north to Karumba Queensland following the trails blazed by early pioneer explorers Burke & Wills.
This was a well organised ride put on by Maschine tour company with about 25 bikes starting in Melbourne, most of the bikes were the big twin adventure bikes, BMW’s, KTM’s etc 800-1200 cc huge machines. My Suzuki DR-Z400E was the smallest bike in the fleet with full knobby tyres front & rear. The DR did the job superbly, when the trails turned into loose sand or mud, huge sand hills, the mighty DR was running rings around these huge heavy machines. I have travelled the length of this large continent on the Suzuki DR-Z400E and have no hesitations in doing it again, they are a great machine built to handle our vast outback and so economial to buy and maintain.
The little engine is a gem! It happily bops along all day with out making a fuss, chewing down everything you throw at it. The chunky midrange is where the fun is to be had with this motor. The useful torque that starts down low allows you to lug up that snotty hill or make a few errors with gear selection on the trail.
The suspension is a great story, It’s a comfortable bike and the suspension is super forgiving, it handled everything that I pointed at it. It soaked up rocks, roots and ruts with ease and only complained a couple of times when landing from erosion jumps. I had the most fun on the DRZ blasting down flowing ridgeline tracks with a few erosion jumps thrown in to keep me on my toes. Pounding into fast corners keeping the motor in it’s midrange was fun. The grin on my face gave me sore checks after a while. As for hills, you just picked a line in second or third gear and before you knew it, you were at the top watching the others trying to do the same.
Excellent bike that goes anywhere the more fancier bikes can go with less fuss and surprises and you don’t need to set a schedule for oil changes every 500klms like the other enduro weapons.