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Why so high?

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I just saw a Suzuki DRZ400SM at a dealer, would love to have one, but I'd have to add an extra $1000 to have the suspension lowered. The 35 inch seat height is 3 inches taller then a little guy like me can handle. 32 inches is the max these short legs can handle. Which leads me to my question.

Why are SM bikes so tall? Wouldn't a lower bike with a lower center of gravity be better? The SM jumps are not SX type. Don't need ground clearance to speak of. So why so high?

I race flattrack, and a lower center of gravity can be a good thing. My nephew races a CRF250R that after suspension mods, has a seat height of 31 inches and that's with 19 inch rims. The bike handles great on the oval track, and on asphalt. With 17's the seat height would be roughly 30 inches.

I know I'm missing something here, so educate me.

The DRZ400SM looks like it would be a blast on the roads. The highway that goes right by my house has a stretch of road about 20 miles long, along a river, that has continuous twists and turns, guarded by heavy tree cover on both sides. Speed limit signs are 30mph to 45mph. I'd love to see if I could average 60 / 70 mph on that road.

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$1K to lower the suspension seems high. It might be that high if you are looking at new springs, revalving, etc - but you'd probably have to do that anyway. Check you the Kouba Links and shave the seat foam for two cheaper alternatives.

19" rims don't add any height to the bike compared to 18" rims (the tires on the 19s aren't as tall). The DRZ is also one of the tallest of the modern, offroad bikes out there to begin with. Probably not intentional - just the way the frame had to be built to fit the motor.

At to why the SM bike is still high...probably two reasons.

1. Cost to suzuki. They modified the offroad DRZ to make the SM version. Like most big companies, they are going try tomake as few changes as possible to save money.

2. For true SM riding, ground clearance is more of an issue than you might think. The dirt sections have enough jumps to actually require the suspension to do some work. I rarely hit any dirt on mine (a few fire road here and there), and my skidplate already has some dings.

Get one. Lower it. Ride it. You'll love it.

Seph

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I

The DRZ400SM looks like it would be a blast on the roads. The highway that goes right by my house has a stretch of road about 20 miles long, along a river, that has continuous twists and turns, guarded by heavy tree cover on both sides. Speed limit signs are 30mph to 45mph. I'd love to see if I could average 60 / 70 mph on that road.

That will be too easily acheived :thumbsup:

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The factory DRZ-SM is actually pretty low already, for a SM. Possibly the one you sat on had too much preload; with your weight the bike should sag around 3". All that suspension helps absorb crappy back road conditions that these bikes excel at and it gives you more available lean angle. It's also very nice riding in traffic that high up, gives you a good view of what's going on up ahead. A few of the things you can do, all pretty cheap-

-Gel seat(pretty cheap on the forums- got my like-new one for $60) or have an upholsterer just dish out your stock one a little.

-Dial out a bit of pre-load to drop the rear.

-Slide the forks up an inch.

-Kouba links.

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