DRZ400E or S?

I am selling my 2001 CR250 and plan on buying something that I can ride On/Off road. Is it better to make the E street legal or put new tires on the S and live with the weight? Also, what should I look out for once I get the bike? This is my first thumper in 20 years.

It would depend on where you plan to ride the most. 50/50 is a tuff choice. I felt I would do more in dirt so got the E. I am in colorado and they say it is easier to get a plate here. I will probably try to get mine soon. There are other considerations like bigger Forks, bigger carb, higher compression and less weight as you mentioned. See if you can ride them both and then decide. I will have to spend some money to make mine street leagal but I don't plan on doing it all unless I have to. I am very pleased with my choice at this time. Just wish the sun would come out for a while. I feel like riding!

Pug38, I am very happy with my S. I guess it all depends on your intentions. If you just plan on riding on the road to get to the trails, then I would say convert an E if you have the bucks. But if you want a bike that rides decent on the road then go with S. I think converting a dirt only bike will not be as good on the highway. The S is quite capable on the trails once you add some things: skid plate, hand guards, more robust turn signals, and of course some more dirt orientated rubber. When I got my S, I thought I was going to do some casual trail riding. But guess what, I found that I love trail riding with the bike, because it lets me go almost anywhere. And to think I was even considering a KLR650. Imagine me try to take that on some tight trails. :) I'm sure the E guys will have a different opinion. :D

[ December 15, 2001: Message edited by: DR-ZEZ ]

[ December 15, 2001: Message edited by: DR-ZEZ ]

I agree, it really depends on the type of riding you do, but the determining factor for me in choosing the S was that most riders with experience thought that it was a pretty darn good dual sport bike right out of the box. There is a wide array of performance enhancing mods that you can do to any bike, but for a great on/off road bike right out of the box, It's tough to beat the S for price and performance!

I have the S mainly because I didn't want to go through any hassle there may have been in getting a dirt bike street legal. With it already legal, I can do the engine mods and weight reduction without worrying about whether or not I can ride it on the road. I'm new to all this dirt bike stuff, as I've been without a motor for at least 10 years and out of the dirt for even longer. I was originally thinking of getting a Honda 650L, but that was too heavy. I started thinking of the XL400R since I knew I wanted a mid size bike. I would have had to convert it to street legal though. The guy at the Honda dealer was who turned me on to the DRZ400S, saying it was a great mid sized bike, but he didn't have any. So there was my 400 that was already street legal. I would like to have the slightly better suspension, bigger carb and higher compression, but for a ride-out-the-door bike, and me being away from bikes for so long, I can add a little performance later and ride now.

I got the S. Again, I hadn’t owned a thumper for 20 years and thought it would be nice to do a little off road with my son but use the bike mainly as a 2nd vehicle for commuting to and from work (that was my excuse for the better half anyway!). The cost and hassle of converting a dirt model steered me towards the S.

Now it was a different story once I mounted the beast! It’s now 80% off road: I can’t get enough. This bike makes dirt biking addictive; to be really honest for a while I wish I had bought the E. Saying that, I am not sure it would make a huge difference with my limited riding skills but you know what it’s like, you keep reading about the better carb, forks, higher compression on the E etc and you wish you had all of that too, especially now your riding mainly off road. My point is once you ride the DRZ off road you are going to love it and those heavy road friendly features lose their appeal. In fact most of them are now in a box under my workbench.

I have spent a few wads on my bike to improve it’s off road performance/handling, more than it would have cost to convert the E.

Saying that my wife would not have let me spend that amount of money on an off road bike, get it home and spend more to dual sport it. So I have no regrets with the S plus I have had a ton of fun doing the mods. As Geetch says, “ for a great on/off road bike right out of the box, It's tough to beat the S for price and performance!”

I have the "E" and buy the time I was done changing everything to my likeing It would have been cheeper going with the "S".

I added all the lights, went to a bigger tank, bars, skid plate.......... Even now because I'm in cal. I still have a red sticker and have to use the plate off my other bike to dual sport.

Go with the S.

I regret buying the "s" everyday I thought I wanted to try riding on the street, but then realized I wasn't interested. Ever since I have been making my "s" into an "e" choose wisely take care erik

It was about $250 to convert my E to street legal in Nevada. I used hand guards with built in turn signals and a taillight with built in rear turn signals. The Ken Sean folding mirror from Baja designs is great. The E is extremely easy to dual sport because it already has a battery and charging system. I posted about it when I first converted it, check it out:


I am very happy with my E model, but I have not ridden an S yet to compare. The E model has some advantages that would be extremely expensive to upgrade to from an S model later (bigger carb, more adjustable suspension, plastic gas tank, higher compression, different cam, knobby tires, etc). That's why I chose it. The S has some advantages too like passenger foot pegs, digital speedometer, helmet lock, etc. I guess it depends on what features you value most.

I got the S model because I wanted a dual-sport bike that wouldn't get me into trouble with DMV or the law at some later date(California). I knew that the DRZS would be a comprimise. What I didn't know is how much I would like it. If you look at my signature you will see that I have some pretty cool off-road only bikes. Weather permitting, I ride my DRZS to work every chance I can. I would ride it every day if I could. Will it compete with my other bikes off-road? NO! But, it does well enough that I take it off-roading and still have plenty of fun with it. This is a tough decision. However, the whole thing can be reduced to just a couple of questions. How much on-road riding to you plan to do? How competitive are you off-road? If you are just doing moderate trail riding for fun the DRZS is a great bike IMO. Good luck, P

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