Question on changing a supermoto over to a dual sport.

Hello Thumpers,

 

This is my first post and will not be my last. Thanks for having me.

 

Well, I have been in the market all summer for my first bike which will be a dual sport. I have ridden many bikes over the years but never my own. The market has dried up for what I have been looking for in my price range, as expected, because the season is pretty much over. I sold one of my cars and have $3000 and possibly a little more to work with for a bike.

 

I really have had my eye on the DR-Z 400S and have had a few that I was very close to buying but were sold before I could get to it. Now there is a very limited selection of the S models around here in Western Washington and I am looking at other options now.

 

My options:

 

1. Wait and hopefully a DR-Z-400S will magically pop up on Craigslist in good shape that I can just flat out buy or:

 

2. Get one of the many DR-Z-400SM's that are all over Craigslist here, at a considerable price difference to the S models, and

convert it to dual sport or:

 

3. Buy a non-converted WR 400/426/450 and install the lighting kit myself and have it certified for street use. They seem to   have even a lower price for what you get than the Suzuki's. Of course the lighting kit will cost some dough.

 

My real questions are:

 

1. If I buy a Suzuki DR-Z400SM, other than new tires, what else would I need to do mechanically to make it be close or identical to the DR-Z400S model? Would it be cost effective?

 

2. What would I need to do to a WR, other than the lighting kit/speedo/mirrors and DOT tires, to make the bike street worthy to get me to the trails? Forks? Gearing? Would the be cost effective if I found the right bike?

 

I live in an apartment in town with limited parking and have tons of trails within 3 miles of my house, so thats why I'm so stuck on a dual sport. If any of you could give me a little insight on what my better/cost effective option would be, I will buy you beer. Thanks.

Edited by Skidder43

1.  Full Wheel/tire set front and rear. Simpler to convert the SM wheels to 18/21 than to buy full wheel sets. Nothing else of any consequence needs changing. The Jetting/intake/exhaust needs to be modded on all models, as it comes extremely lean and runs way too hot.

2.  Tusk dual sport kit, and that's it, and your local DMV requirements/paper work. A WR is less civilized for the street than a DRZ (buzzy-er, noiser) and MUCH MUCH better  for the dirt. Gearing is fine, suspension is fine unless you plan to ride at stand up speeds, then it will need re-working. This is the same for the DRZ.

 

The DRZ is heavy (70 lbs heavier than the WR!), but handles very good. It is heavy, and under-torqued, so it makes dead stop hill climbs difficult, and slippery terrain very frustrating.

Don't bother with a Wr426: too many issues, too old. The 2003 and later WR450 is a fantastic bike. No issues to speak of but the starter system, which was upgraded late in the same year.

The WR can be made into anything you want, and simple un-corking and tuning will make it an amazing dual sport.

 

I like mine!

 

IMG_0724_zpsc0bf5bf3.jpg

 

...and my first one...

 

DSCN7819_zpsaf6a06ab.jpg

Edited by Krannie

1. Full Wheel/tire set front and rear. Simpler to convert the SM wheels to 18/21 than to buy full wheel sets. Nothing else of any consequence needs changing. The Jetting/intake/exhaust needs to be modded on all models, as it comes extremely lean and runs way too hot.

2. Tusk dual sport kit, and that's it, and your local DMV requirements/paper work. A WR is less civilized for the street than a DRZ (buzzy-er, noiser) and MUCH MUCH better for the dirt. Gearing is fine, suspension is fine unless you plan to ride at stand up speeds, then it will need re-working. This is the same for the DRZ.

The DRZ is heavy (70 lbs heavier than the WR!), but handles very good. It is heavy, and under-torqued, so it makes dead stop hill climbs difficult, and slippery terrain very frustrating.

Don't bother with a Wr426: too many issues, too old. The 2003 and later WR450 is a fantastic bike. No issues to speak of but the starter system, which was upgraded late in the same year.

The WR can be made into anything you want, and simple un-corking and tuning will make it an amazing dual sport.

I like mine!

Posted Image

...and my first one...

Posted Image

DRZ? Under torqued? Is this from personal experience?

DRZ? Under torqued? Is this from personal experience?

 

Yes.

I have owned two.

The DRZ motor is 'peaky-er' than most other four strokes.

Compared to a Honda XR400 they are practically a two stroke (not that the XR is a better bike)

The torque curve doesn't peak until almost 6k rpms, which is very high.

At 4000 rpm it has less then 14 ftlbs of torque.

 

Compared to a WR450, which has usable torque at 2500 rpm, and remains relatively flat to high rpms.

 

dyno.jpg

 

wr450f_dyno_2.jpg

 

 

I'm not trying to say that the DRZ is a bad motor....it's just that the motor is based on street bike technology, where loss of traction is never an issue, so the power curve is not designed around slippery terrain issues. So, when encountering slippery or steep terrain on the DRZ, you must scream it to get results. It makes difficult terrrain more difficult.  If you are not going to ride that kind of dirt, then it won't matter much.

Edited by Krannie

Hey thanks Krannie for some advice and BTW, your current bike is the bee's knees. That's what I am picturing in my head for what I want.

 

A couple of questions though. What do you mean by "suspension is fine unless you plan to ride at stand up speeds". I will at points be running on the highway at 55+ for an hour or less to get to some trails I want to check out. You also said to forget about the 426 as they have had too many problems. What about the WR 400's though? Too old?

 

So, not much to do to on a WR450 to make it dual sport worthy? I weigh about 230lbs, so I am going towards the WR450.

 

Thanks again.

Suspension: The stock WR suspension is 'open bath', and cannot be tuned for both full bottoming resistance and full compliance over rocks/roots/ruts. You can tune for one or the other....or do a major fork upgrade internally. 

 

If you are going from an MX bike to a Dual Sport, you will be disappointed with the stock suspension. Otherwise, it's just fine.

 

400 and 426 are too old. More powerful than the 450, but not anywhere nearly as refined, and awful on the street.

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