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DRZ 400SM vs DRZ 400E

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I have a question regarding these two bikes after doing a bit of searching around. Is it better to do a supermoto conversion on the E or do a dirt conversion with the SM ? The reason why I ask this is because I wish to ride my bike in both dirt and on the road. The majority of people I have heard mostly said to convert the E to SM as the SM has terrible forks for offroad and will just blow fork seals. However,  I watched countless people on YouTube bash the shit out of their SM and nothing seems to be happening to their bikes.  Personally,  I prefer to get the SM just because I prefer the upside down forks as opposed to the telescopic and just by doing a quick search there seems to be a wider demographic for aftermarket components for the SM. Is there any mods I can do to the SM forks to make them more suitable offroad ? I heard they were like detuned RMZ 250 forks. I am no off road riding god but will hit the trails maybe once a week the rest of the time it will be used for commuting and hooliganism. 

Thanks, 

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If in Australia or UK the E model would be the choice as the engine has way more grunt than an SM.....Otherwise look at where you are mostly going to be doing your riding and decide from there...If mainly offroad I would tick the E ...Mainly going to be in road trim tick the SM

Edited by Craigo

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Just to add...The E has better Carby, Cams, Exhaust .This equates to 5 to 6 hp....Plastic tank E v's metal for SM....Both front shocks work fine in either environment  ..There are some outstanding  tyres like Pirelli MT 90 A/T  that provide extremely good on road grip that will fit straight up to your E wheels..I have been there , done that 

Edited by Craigo

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I like the SM simply because the suspension components are a huge improvement over the E. And to buy SM wheels can be costly. But you can't have the full travel suspension with the SM so it's wash... 

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my opinion is the SM is a street bike, they generally cost more and most of that is to look good in street trim, and the brakes and suspension dont convert to dirt as good as the other way around .. in other words, imo i think its a waste of a nice street bike to take it out in the dirt, and all your doing is deteriorating a nice bike into a pos .. the S or E's take SM rims and rotors just fine though and i think its a much better way to go if your looking to swap roles ..

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Yeah I heard about the E having the mechanical advantage but a lot of the SM riders do throw the FCR on it etc. My biggest concern is blowing fork seals on the SM the moment I go offroad, I am not concerned about the others because I am nowhere near good enough of a rider to be bothered the mechanical disadvantages the SM has (New rider). I will upgrade components as I progress. Like I said at most I will go offroad 52 times a year the other 313 days will be spent commuting and riding the hills. 

PS: Daym Monk, that SM looks sick on knobbies ! 

Edited by Electricfat

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Fat , the forks come from the rmz , do they blow seals , so why would they on the drz ? Like craig said , the E has the most power and it will cost around $2500 to get the SM up to a similar hp . When and if I do this again , I`ll get an E and put a big bore in it and probably get another set of wheels , all of which is cheaper ( $1500 ish ) greg

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my opinion is the SM is a street bike, they generally cost more and most of that is to look good in street trim, and the brakes and suspension dont convert to dirt as good as the other way around .. in other words, imo i think its a waste of a nice street bike to take it out in the dirt, and all your doing is deteriorating a nice bike into a pos .. the S or E's take SM rims and rotors just fine though and i think its a much better way to go if your looking to swap roles ..

I have the big rotors on my S with braided lines, absolutely necessary to ride the bike quickly and safely. The stock brakes on an S just blow. Modulation of crisp bite can be learned, grabbing ineffective handfuls of wooden feeling lever and not slowing appreciably is the worst.
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I used my E dirt only model converted to SM for a bit of time. Bolted on a pair of second hand DRZ-SM wheels with fresh dunlop Mutant tyres, 320 mm front disc brake plus a machined caliper's bracket to let it work with the bigger disc. 15-41 sprockets and a new chain cut to lenght. That's all. The conversion form dirt to street takes about an hour of work. 

I tried a Beringer kit to get better brake performance on pavement and it was good, way better and more powerful that the E standard (and also the SM standard) brake, but in the dirt it was no good, so I sold it 'cause I like my motard to work well in the dirt and just be fun on pavement.

 

That said I think that, if you could choose, you better start with the stronger motor and work out the suspension to suit your riding style. 

 

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9 hours ago, HeavyRotation said:


I have the big rotors on my S with braided lines, absolutely necessary to ride the bike quickly and safely. The stock brakes on an S just blow. Modulation of crisp bite can be learned, grabbing ineffective handfuls of wooden feeling lever and not slowing appreciably is the worst.

some day soon i wouldnt mind going to a stainless line on the front, its not easy getting a good feel up there, bleed the bejeebus out of it and with the SM rotor and wheel its fair but could be better  .. the rear even with the S rotor is ok on mine it will lock up at will even with a sticky street tire, not sure a stainless line would be a plus or make it less touchy .. maybe ..

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Get the E and Motard-ify it. No sense in starting with the heavy, government regulation satisfying, street bike. If you are able to street register an offroad bike there, and don't care of it has a helmet lock or steering lock for going to the mall, the trade off in performance will be worth it (and money you will probably save). You can dial in the E suspension to work well for both. If you want the upside downs because they look cool, you could add them later if you feel like you are missing out. Now, if you want to go one step further and get more bare bones and even lighter bike, with a quicker revving (lighter crank mass) motor, get a kick start only dirt model. I'm quite biased though ;)

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Just now, Timisoreano said:

I used my E dirt only model converted to SM for a bit of time. Bolted on a pair of second hand DRZ-SM wheels with fresh dunlop Mutant tyres, 320 mm front disc brake plus a machined caliper's bracket to let it work with the bigger disc. 15-41 sprockets and a new chain cut to lenght. That's all. The conversion form dirt to street takes about an hour of work. 

I tried a Beringer kit to get better brake performance on pavement and it was good, way better and more powerful that the E standard (and also the SM standard) brake, but in the dirt it was no good, so I sold it 'cause I like my motard to work well in the dirt and just be fun on pavement.

 

That said I think that, if you could choose, you better start with the stronger motor and work out the suspension to suit your riding style. 

 

 I have an 03 E that I may convert to SM, Where did you get your machined front brake caliper bracket from? Also, did your Es' axles and spacers all work with the SM wheels? What about the odometer housing on the front wheel, does that need to be changed?

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The E is actually a street legal bike over here in Australia and also the most common of the DRZ family.The SM wheels should just bolt up but what about the rotors ? The SM has like a 320mm and the E has a 250mm.I'm guessing some kind of caliper work must be done. How does the bike go in the dirt with the bigger rotors ? I know there is a forum post dedicated to the E to SM swap so I don't want to get too much into it.

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Its all aboot the spacers , they have different forks , so you`ll need the correct spacers and maybe axle . And a different speedo drive if you want that to work aswell . The disc is a 310 on the sm . You could get a wheel set and just have the same size disc fitted or you can get a caliper locater to change the mounting point and then put on a larger disc 310 or 320 if you like . There are a few options , greg

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some day soon i wouldnt mind going to a stainless line on the front, its not easy getting a good feel up there, bleed the bejeebus out of it and with the SM rotor and wheel its fair but could be better  .. the rear even with the S rotor is ok on mine it will lock up at will even with a sticky street tire, not sure a stainless line would be a plus or make it less touchy .. maybe ..

I'm used to road racing brake set ups, too touchy isn't a thing for me, I want full braking power in the first 1/2 inch of lever travel. The stainless line and 270mm Galfer wave rotor with sintered HH pads is the ticket. I don't think you'd regret going to a SS line on your SM, if you've got the 320 already, switch to a sintered HH pad, way better feel and modulation at the limits.
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12 hours ago, Dmouse said:

 I have an 03 E that I may convert to SM, Where did you get your machined front brake caliper bracket from? Also, did your Es' axles and spacers all work with the SM wheels? What about the odometer housing on the front wheel , does that need to be changed?

The SM wheels come equipped with 310 mm and 240 mm brake discs. I changed them to 320 and 220 mm: the latter is mandatory to work with the E rear brake, the first one is not because you can fabricate a bracket that moves the caliper to accomodate the SM oem disc (as I've done when I first got the wheel set).

However the best solution to go with is to buy the machined bracket that Valenti Racing (the Italian importer of Suzuki's mx and off-road bikes) sold years ago as part of a kit that included wheels and other goodies to convert the dirt only E to SM. It's solid and cleverly designed and replaces the standard nissin bracket.

You can contact them at: http://www.valentiracing.eu/contatti/ but I really do not know if Valenti has spares left: the last DRZ-E sold NEW in Italy has seen the light in 2008 due to new pollution regulations... However you may find them used on e-bay: they usually sell (II hand) around 50 €

Axles and spacers from the E model work perfectly with SM wheels as well the odometer's housing...but you will get a false reading 'cause of the different front wheel diameter.

 

 

 

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Another "hot" set up, is to grace an E frame and engine with SM swingarm (it allows to mount a "160" rear tire more easily that the E one, plus you can retain the std SM brake disc...but you need an SM rear caliper and bracket) and front fork. Front disc brakes from Discacciati/Beringer/Braking 310/320 mm plus a specially machined braket that allowes to mount a Brembo Gold Series caliper and master cilinder (it is very common to find them II hand from disassembled Ducati Monsters )

Edited by Timisoreano

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Just now, hinksy said:

Its all aboot the spacers , they have different forks , so you`ll need the correct spacers and maybe axle . And a different speedo drive if you want that to work aswell . The disc is a 310 on the sm . You could get a wheel set and just have the same size disc fitted or you can get a caliper locater to change the mounting point and then put on a larger disc 310 or 320 if you like . There are a few options , greg

 According to Timi from Italy, the Es' axles, spacers and speedo drive work on SMwheels? From what I understood, a front brake caliper bracket and a different size rotor on the rear is what is needed

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