AZRoadRunner

DR650S or DRZ400S -- which do you suggest?

30 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

If I were to buy a new 2018 model, the 400 is only $200 more than the 650.  The 400 is about 50 lbs lighter.  I plan to ride mostly street with the occasional gravel road ride, but no serious "dirt" or "trail" riding.  I am 6'2" and about 210 lbs so I can reach the ground fairly easily.  My riding will be mostly city streets and back roads with very little interstate (super slab) riding.  I'm torn between these two models , the DR650S and the DRZ400S. I don't want a KLR650 or an XR650L and I definitely don't want the more expensive BMW or KTM.  I live in the desert so the water-cooled 400 may be better than the 650, although I think the 650 with its oil cooler would be just fine here.

So, which one of these two would you buy?  Why?

 

Edited by AZRoadRunner

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I would get the 650,a few little fixes on the suspension and carb and it will run forever,I like the simplicity of it,air colled 2 valve motor.I have one and never considered the 400.

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The 650 is a much better street bike. Lower revving, wider transmission spread, better torque and more comfortable. (With a mandatory aftermarket seat)

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I have both and for your purposes, the 650 is a much better bike.

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Thanks for the replies.  I will try to have some patience and wait (for a while) for a good used late-model DR650S to pop up on Craigslist.

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they sell fans for the oil cooler too since you live in the desert. I had a Dr 350 and I would never go back after getting the 650. so much more comfortable all arpund

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I had a real itch for the DRZ400, went with the DR650 after riding a 400 and never looked back. Ride like you describe, Sargent low seat made it an all day ride. joe 

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The stock DR650 seat will probably be fine for me.  I'm an old guy and just ride 50 miles or so -- but I do ride almost every morning, all year round.  My cross-country trips and 1000-mile jaunts are in my past, I think.

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The stock DR650 seat will probably be fine for me.  I'm an old guy and just ride 50 miles or so -- but I do ride almost every morning, all year round.  My cross-country trips and 1000-mile jaunts are in my past, I think.
See if you still say that after spending some time on the stock seat.
Oh, another plus for the 650 is the factory lowering option. If you're not riding off-road it's a good way to go, much nicer at stoplights.

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2 hours ago, central joe said:

I had a real itch for the DRZ400,  . . .

Yeah.  Same here.  50 lbs lighter and water cooling (because I live here in the desert).

5 hours ago, 13gagewoods said:

they sell fans for the oil cooler too . . .

I logged that in my notes.  Thanks.

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9 hours ago, troy1160 said:

I would get the 650,a few little fixes on the suspension and carb and it will run forever,I like the simplicity of it,air colled 2 valve motor.I have one and never considered the 400.

Simple is better, sometimes.  I like the fact that it has an oil-cooler.

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2 hours ago, nobade said:

Oh, another plus for the 650 is the factory lowering option. If you're not riding off-road it's a good way to go, much nicer at stoplights.

I'm 6'2" and sort of long legged so I'll probably be all right without the lowering kit.

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would definitely recommend a new pipe and modified or new carb. I couldn't stand how quiet and slow it was stock. my 350 felt quicker honestly. but with the carby mods and a procurcuit t4 it's a beast. pulled the pipe of a Kawasaki as well as the front and rear suspension. I call my bike the kawasuki lol. I'm used to light track bikes so I removed absolutely everything to make it as light as possible. it's a fun challenge for me.

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DR650 is mechanically superior to the DRZ400S.  It is more durable, less complex, and it makes more torque.  A DR650 can do anything that a DRZ400S can do.  Its also better on the roads.  

DRZ400S is a good bike.  But it is definitely over rated these days.  

And heres the answer to a question nobody asked: the XR650R is probably the best motorcycle for your application.  Liquid cooled thumper with serious off road prowess.  Theres a reason that the desert riders still regard it highly.  Don't get the XR650R confused with the XR650L.  it is very much not an xr650l

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??????
You can get more power with a pipe and pumper carb, around 10hp. But countless people try and end up with a poorly running, very loud bike they wish they had left alone. The changes to a stock DR to get it optimized are well known, and all you need to buy is a carb needle. Once you start making major changes you need to be a fairly astute tuner to optimize it. That said, I run a cut open airbox, twinair filter, and a TM-40 pumper carb with the stock pipe. I really appreciate the response riding off-road. If I only rode it on the street I'd keep the CV carb and enjoy the better fuel mileage. I also feel all those repackable mufflers are too loud. The Leo Vince and the Procycle one are acceptable and don't need repacking but are quite expensive. But that's the beauty of the DR, there is so much aftermarket support for it you can build your bike into anything you desire.

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If it only had the magic button...

DR650 is mechanically superior to the DRZ400S.  It is more durable, less complex, and it makes more torque.  A DR650 can do anything that a DRZ400S can do.  Its also better on the roads.  
DRZ400S is a good bike.  But it is definitely over rated these days.  
And heres the answer to a question nobody asked: the XR650R is probably the best motorcycle for your application.  Liquid cooled thumper with serious off road prowess.  Theres a reason that the desert riders still regard it highly.  Don't get the XR650R confused with the XR650L.  it is very much not an xr650l
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Posted (edited)

I think you would prefer the DR650 for what your looking to do. You may want to add a oil cooler aux cooling fan for when your stuck in traffic or riding slow in high heat for an extra piece of mind, is it needed?  probably not. 

 I went with the DR and feel as if I made the right choice between the two. For mods I did the airbox mod, twin air filter and needle swap and the bike deffinetly runs stronger, Im still saving for a procycle SS1 or Leo Vince exhaust. If I was heavier and did more off road I would address the suspension sooner. If I rode more in the the southwest I would consider an oil cooler fan for piece of mind, knowing many have used these bikes in hot conditions without. I prefer the simplicity and torquey nature of Dr650.

Another thing to consider is the gearing of both bikes, I have read where the Drz400 gets buzzy over 65mph.

Edited by Atlas762

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