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DRZ400 vs Honda XR400

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I started a topic about this issue in the Honda section and would like to get your side of it. To keep it all in one spot please drop by https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=1444090&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=all&fpart=1&vc=1&PHPSESSID= and toss in any opinions that can help.

So far the Honda guys have been objective and extremely helpful other than the usual good natured ribbing.

Thanks guys

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I've never ridden an xr400, so I won't be of any help. Search the forum, this same subject has been discussed many times. It's always the same ol' air versus water cooling and kick versus e-start. Good luck 😢

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I've found lots of info about the two bikes but nothing so far that actually compared their charactaristics. Or perhaps I'm not hitting the right keywords.... I'm still looking though.

PS: OK, I tried something I missed... the obvious.

Search with xr400 AND drz400 and I got lots. I'm off to read up now. Sorry.

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Glad you found some info..that will help you make a decision. Try to ride the bikes first if at all possible. You know how they say a picture's worth 1000 words? Well, in this case, a ride is worth 1000 posts. Good luck either way 😢

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I had an xr 400 Best thing I ever done was sell it and get a DRZ400E. Best bike I ever had period, rock solid dependable. Electric start! 😢 Tons more power than the xr.

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I ride with a mate that has an XR400. I actually find them alot the same to ride. I find mine more comfortable probably because I'm used to it. I notice a little bit more power on mine but not heaps. I suppose theres not as much to go wrong with an XR but all the little extras on the DRZ is why I bought it!!! And love it!

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I ride with a friend of mine who has an XR 400. He loves it and I can't catch him to save my life. But he's a much better rider than me 😢

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Why don't you check out the CRF450X when they come out in 2005. 😢

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I almost bought one instead of the DRZ but I talked to a friend who is a dealer, he straightened me out. XR is old technology, DRZ is new, both are reliable but he assured me bottom line is the Z is a better bike.

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In my humble opinion, you should forget the 250 fourstrokes (CRF and WR). They are NOT trail bikes first and foremost. You must be honest with the kind of riding you will be taking on, and the skill level you are at/can achieve. I love the KTM, but for the riding I do, a fourstroke will be better.

I have a KTM 250exc 2 stroke at the moment, but I am trading it in for a brand new DRZ400. I have been agonizing over EXACTLY the same choices as you have. Let me give you MY feedback and findings:

XR400 - GREAT BIKE, without a doubt one of the best motorcycles ever created. I used a friends XR400 the other day. It was a 2002 model. Don't let anyone tell you they are hard to start, it's rubbish. My friends has NOT been uncorked and starts great now he has got to grips with the proper procedure. People who can't start the XR just don't know how it's done. It you have starting probs on the XR, you have an underlying jetting problem. Suspension was soft, power was soft, whole thing was "friendly". I liked the bike, but felt after the KTM it wouldn't be something I could grow with. Of course, people do all kinds of things to their XR's to make them go faster, but to me that misses the point. If you need to mod the XR to extremes, you chose the wrong bike. Sorry, that won't be a popular statement, but hey.

The DRZ400 is "like an XR on steroids". It can't be compared with my YZ400F, as it just doesn't have the same snap to it. The E-Start is a nice little extra, but shoudn't be a deal breaker. The fact that it has radiators is not a problem, and I really don't know why XR owners make such a fuss about it. You have as much chance bending a rim, bending handlebars, puncturing a tank, snapping a lever etc etc. No rads are not a major issue for me. If I break a rad, it's bad luck, that's bikes for you! I chose the DRZ because I wanted a more modern base to start on if I wanted to improve the package. Somebody mentioned that the DRZ needs to be wound up to make power compared to the XR's low end grunt. I think that's misleading. While the XR has low down grunt, it runs out of steam so quickly you're up the gearbox quicker than with the DRZ. The DRZ has a way bigger rev range, making for greater flexibility.

I hope this helps, but remember, aside from the facts (weight,power etc) the choice is just that, a choice. Weight is deceiving, more important is WHERE the bike carries it's weight. The XR is great here. It feels (when tipping it from side the side) lighter than my YZF, but that's not the case on paper. Power is the same. My KTM is way more powerfull than the XR OR the DRZ, but you try getting that power to the floor! Not easy where I come from!

So, drop the 250 fours, they are a big investment in your time and effort and offer no massive gains in useability than the DRZ or XR. They are lighter, yes, but they are not designed for trail riding (in my opinion).

You can sure of one thing: Which ever bike you choose of the two, you are getting a MEGA bike. They are both excellent, and do the same job perfectly, just in slightly different ways.

Hope this helps................

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My xr 400 was easy to start, unless you crashed it.Lay the xr 400 on its side for 30 seconds, then see how easy it is to start. You will kick your a$$ off. On the other hand, with the drz, just push the little button, smile, return to racing. I would never even consider buying one without the button. Just my opinion.

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In my humble opinion, you should forget the 250 fourstrokes (CRF and WR). They are NOT trail bikes first and foremost.

If the WR250 is not a trail bike, then I don't know what is. 😢

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I think it depends on what trail, and how far your going and what you will be carrying.

Short jaunts in the woods would seem ideal for a light 250. Longer trips carrying gear...or going cross country would require something a little less over worked.

Just my opinion in the matter.

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250 4-strokes are great Hare Scramble bikes for people under 200 LBs. I love the DRZ. I have the E model (pipe, jet, airbox, bars, 13 front sprocket) and weigh 220 LBs. XR is very comparable, except for the magic button. That is a deal breaker for me, as said before, after a lay down, the XR is a bit*h to get started. No button, no buy!!!!!!!!! The CRF is another story as far as performance, it is quicker that the DRZ, but no button. I believe the 2005 CRF will have a button though.

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I think it depends on what trail, and how far your going and what you will be carrying....

Yep. That pretty much defines my confusion. My buddies don't camp so it's "out and back's" only. But I know of lots of folks that gear up for a 2 or 3 day excursion and that sounds like fun too.

I'm starting to think that I might be better to start "small" with a 250 and then trade up or pass on the 250 to the wife, who's thinking that some log roading would be fun. She's been listening to me ruminate about all this and is getting quite enthused about the sights to be seen up these seldom used roads.

And one thing for sure, There's NO question in her mind about what form of engine starting magic is to be used. For better or worse the XR option is fading down unless it's MY bike only.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback so far. It's helping a lot. Granted it's mostly helping the confusion so far but it's all gelling in my grey cell and will eventually form a decision.

PS: Trick, I answered your great post in the other thread.

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My ridin bud and I have the situation your talkin about My drzfo and his xrfo, there are more simularities than differences. But the comment about the electric start not being a deal breaker needs to be considered. My buds xr starts easily, but when dumped, expect to do some kikin. Where the big advantage of the electric start comes in is on tight steep single track sidehills for example, when its awkward to kick, or coming down after failed hill clinb attemps that little button really comes in handy. DRZ FOR ME BEST BIKE BUILT FOR THE MONEY:usa:😢:cry::EVER:usa:😢:cry:: Mike in Modesto 😢

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Okay so I know this topic has been covered many times but I'm unsure about one thing ... what kinda power does each bike put out ? XR400 vs DRZ400S ? I know the E has 8-10 hp more than the S but what about the S vs XR. I looked at both bikes a couple of months ago and although I am a Honda fan I'm more than pleased with my DRZ-S. One of the reasons I bought the DRZ was the fact that I thought it had more power than the XR. But reading a couple of posts recently is very confusing. Some same the E and XR has comparable power while others say the DRZ has lots more power ? I know XR's has great bottom end power but surely an aircooled motor that has it's roots in the 80's should not be able to hold a candle to a much newer design as the DRZ has ? Is there any actual dyno figures avaliable for both the XR and S model ? I have not ridden a XR400 but I owned a XR250 and rode a friends XR600. The 250 is alot slower than the S but the 600 felt at least 15% more powerfull than my S.

Back to the question - I love my DRZ and would not trade it for a XR400 ! I agree that the DRZ has to be the best bike for your dollar. Very few people have been dissapointed after getting a DRZ !

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The xr400 is 27hp according to my brother in law who has one ( he looked it up somewhere). The S is about halfway between the xr and the E model if I recall correctly.

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The xr has a lot of grunt off-idle. I always loved the off-idle snap of that bike. On top it suffered compared to the drz. Always wanted more top end even with it uncorked and properly jetted. Overall it felt a little lighter and more nimble than the DRZ. The suspension was pretty decent as well. It is however dated technology. The ergos of the bike drove me crazy; the ski slope they call a seat would rack your nuts constantly! Also, when properly jetted it would start pretty easily, but as others have mentioned, when tipped over or stalled when hot, it was a b**ch to start!

😢

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