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Looking for a bike to ride some dual sport rides, etc.  My riding ability and skillz don't warrant and never will warrant a KTM, etc.  My wallet loves the the price point of a 2019 DRZ, but then the devil on the other shoulder say for 3/4K more you can have a bike with all the updates and goodies...

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Suzuki DRZ400S:

  • Pros: electric start, disc brakes, dual-sport features, 2.5 US Gallons, 5-speed transmission, carburetor, and 36.8-inch seat height.
  • Cons: curb weight of 317 pounds, conventional forks, and no kick start.

Honda CRF450L

  • Pros: electric start, disc brakes, dual-sport features, 289 pounds, 6-speed transmission, fuel injection, 49mm Showa inverted forks, and 37.1-inch seat height.
  • Cons: only 2.1 US gallons in the tank, it's taller than the DRZ, and maintenance will be harder.

Ultimately, it will come down to which bike feels better, maintenance abilities, length of trips, and trails you will be riding. Which bike will pose a positive effect on your riding?

Easy maintenance - Suzuki wins

Long trips - Suzuki wins

Technical trails - Honda wins

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Gatorade88 said:

Suzuki DRZ400S:

  • Pros: electric start, disc brakes, dual-sport features, 2.5 US Gallons, 5-speed transmission, carburetor, and 36.8-inch seat height.
  • Cons: curb weight of 317 pounds, conventional forks, and no kick start.

Honda CRF450L

  • Pros: electric start, disc brakes, dual-sport features, 289 pounds, 6-speed transmission, fuel injection, 49mm Showa inverted forks, and 37.1-inch seat height.
  • Cons: only 2.1 US gallons in the tank, it's taller than the DRZ, and maintenance will be harder.

Ultimately, it will come down to which bike feels better, maintenance abilities, length of trips, and trails you will be riding. Which bike will pose a positive effect on your riding?

Easy maintenance - Suzuki wins

Long trips - Suzuki wins

Technical trails - Honda wins

 

 

Thanks!

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IMS makes a larger fuel tank for the CRF450L:crf450L_ims_tank_native.jpg

While the DRZ will have longer maintenance intervals, the Honda is easy to maintain, you'll just do it a bit more often, mainly oil. But, that's not a huge deal IMHO. I've ridden both and while the DRZ is a good bike, the 450L is just a whole lot more fun. If the budget allows for it, for dual sporting with buddies, I'd do the 450L. It's good out of the box for the vast majority of riders.

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2 hours ago, Gatorade88 said:

Suzuki DRZ400S:

  • Pros: electric start, disc brakes, dual-sport features, 2.5 US Gallons, 5-speed transmission, carburetor, and 36.8-inch seat height.
  • Cons: curb weight of 317 pounds, conventional forks, and no kick start.

Honda CRF450L

  • Pros: electric start, disc brakes, dual-sport features, 289 pounds, 6-speed transmission, fuel injection, 49mm Showa inverted forks, and 37.1-inch seat height.
  • Cons: only 2.1 US gallons in the tank, it's taller than the DRZ, and maintenance will be harder.

Ultimately, it will come down to which bike feels better, maintenance abilities, length of trips, and trails you will be riding. Which bike will pose a positive effect on your riding?

Easy maintenance - Suzuki wins

Long trips - Suzuki wins

Technical trails - Honda wins

 

 

woah.  how is the 5speed on the drz a pro?  It's got to be the most complanined about thing thru the entire 20yr run of the bike 😃.  lol i'll just assume u put it in the wrong place.

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If you can afford the Honda, you can afford a KTM....

Do you want dirt bike with a plate?  Get the KTM, or Honda.  If you want a bike that you can ride down dirt roads and easy trails with longer service intervals get the Zuke.  Maintenance on the Honda or KTM isn't harder, its just more frequent.  I recently bought a KTM 500EXC after the Honda was introduced because after seeing the weight of the Honda, the service intervals being similar I decided to drink the orange kool-aid.  So far its been pretty tasty.

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Just now, f12517 said:

If you can afford the Honda, you can afford a KTM....

Do you want dirt bike with a plate?  Get the KTM, or Honda.  If you want a bike that you can ride down dirt roads and easy trails with longer service intervals get the Zuke.  Maintenance on the Honda or KTM isn't harder, its just more frequent.  I recently bought a KTM 500EXC after the Honda was introduced because after seeing the weight of the Honda, the service intervals being similar I decided to drink the orange kool-aid.  So far its been pretty tasty.

The 500 is more a dirt bike with a plate for all intents and purposes. The 450L splits the diff between that and the milder/softer/heavier DRZ a bit more. Good news is all the flavors that we get to choose from! I certainly don't think that if someone can ride the 450L they'll not be able to handle the 5 hunny. :thumbsup:

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The Honda for sure. Nothing wrong with a drz but take the extra power and lighter weight. I’m sure someone has statistics but getting more power and less weight on the drz has to be one of the highest topics of discussion (besides rotella t). I loved the drz , but I got rid of it for a ktm 250excf just for the less weight . And I only hit the road about 1 percent of the time

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My main ride is a BMW R1200GSA.  I used to have a KTM 350exc-F that I sold, I did not care for it.  I am a bigger dude and the 350 felt small.  I have a couple of buddies who ride dual sports and I wanted to go along on the organized dual sport rides they attend.  So the bike may get used 6-8 times per year.  My riding level on dirt doesn't warrant a KTM's abilities, as I don't want nor need broken bones at my age.  This is what has led me to the DRZ, it's a just a plain old pig that will lug my ass around thru the woods.  

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14 minutes ago, ejm4 said:

My main ride is a BMW R1200GSA.  I used to have a KTM 350exc-F that I sold, I did not care for it.  I am a bigger dude and the 350 felt small.  I have a couple of buddies who ride dual sports and I wanted to go along on the organized dual sport rides they attend.  So the bike may get used 6-8 times per year.  My riding level on dirt doesn't warrant a KTM's abilities, as I don't want nor need broken bones at my age.  This is what has led me to the DRZ, it's a just a plain old pig that will lug my ass around thru the woods.  

Buy a lightly used DRZ400S and if you hate it, you won't lose much if anything but a little time. It's certainly good nuff for plunking around the woods and backroads. You might even consider a DR650SE honestly as a bigger guy or even XR650L for that matter.

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1 hour ago, timmy.g said:

woah.  how is the 5speed on the drz a pro?  It's got to be the most complanined about thing thru the entire 20yr run of the bike 😃.  lol i'll just assume u put it in the wrong place.

I've heard a few complaints about the 5-speed, but it still reaches about 95 MPH tops. I do prefer 6-speed transmissions though. I agree with the CRF450L as well.

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If this is a second bike, get a nice used DRZ for $3-4K. Much higher value than a $10K 450L. Either bike will do what you describe.

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2 hours ago, ejm4 said:

it's a just a plain old pig that will lug my ass around thru the woods.  

pretty well sums it up.  i think u chose ur next bike 😉

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I would add the Yamaha WR250R as a contender. Light, reasonable power (will cruise all day at 75 MPH), better handling and lighter than the DRZ, modern design with 6 speeds and fuel injection. Unlike the Honda, it's been in production since 2008 and has a very solid aftermarket accessory availability.  Very long maintenance intervals (Like first valve check at 26,000 miles).

 

I own a pair of them, and have ridden over 50K Miles between the two. Do I love 'em? You bet.

 

ktmhmCB.jpg

 

One set up as serious off road with motocross knobbies, the other with a choice of dual sport or super moto tires. The best of all worlds, IMO.

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Benny Bloss is 6’5” I’m sure it’s a problem most of the time but most dirt like dual sports are roughly the same height and width if a 350 felt small

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2 hours ago, Bryan Bosch said:

Buy a lightly used DRZ400S and if you hate it, you won't lose much if anything but a little time. It's certainly good nuff for plunking around the woods and backroads. You might even consider a DR650SE honestly as a bigger guy or even XR650L for that matter.

If you do go with the XR650L and are a bigger guy (More than 190#s) get heavier springs in the front and rear suspension and use a heavier fork oil in the forks. A fork brace is a nice upgrade as well to stiffen up the front end.  Stock forks will about throw you bars under heavy braking on harder surfaces.

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The OP asked for a rifle shot – 450L or DRZ – so natch he got a shotgun blast including other bikes (less trail-worthy than these two), how to mod those bikes, and a reference to some MXer (whom I've never heard of).  😩

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Honda 450 and KTM’s are both based on their MX brethren, and not in the same league as the DRZ. DRZ are slower heavier, underpowered, soft suspension, and made more for street than dirt. However, DRZs require less maintenance.

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