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DR-Z S and the decision and the plans.

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Ok. Well as of right now i have actually narrowed myself down to what i see as the perfect bike for me at this time. I already have a streetbike to ride so thats all good.

I decided that the DR-Z400S would be the ideal bike for me to get to begin my introduction into offroad riding when i return from Iraq. I find it to always be refered to as good at everything but great at nothing. I've noticed that all you ever get is people opinions on things and never fact. Eddie gives fact. Now if only i could somehow accumulate his wealth of knowledge and skill....

So i'm looking towards somewhere around said Colorado to go to as my next assignment. I'm wondering if anyone has any advise as far as placed that are closest to good riding in the states in that general area. I want a little of everything. I especially would like to try desert riding. I'm currently in alaska so i would be able to get all the other kinds of riding ones desires there. Usually the horrible nasty kind as i've experienced in the past offroading with my old jeep.

I'm just looking for people with the same general bike as me and there impressions of good riding on them. I plan on keeping the bike stock except for tires which will be dunlop d606's. I may go with some good handguards to save them and then maybe some protective things should i start getting into hairy situations. I'm going to take it very slow though.

On thing that has been on my mind is weight savings though. I've looked around alittle although not alot on the subject. It seems that there really aren't any substantial weight saving possable. It seems like maybe 10-20lbs all together without really stripping stuff off. Is that a noticable difference?

Sorry for the length.

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Well, if you get the S and make it as offroad worthy as you can, you'll be following a well-worn path and have a wealth of resources in this forum.

But as someone who has gone that route, and as many other in this forum will say, I think you'd be better off getting a used E model. Unless you need to plate the DRZ in a state in which the E cannot be plated, or you want/need the speedo, DOT head and tail lights, blinks, helmet lock, passenger footpegs, horn and fan, there's no advantage to the S.

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The whole point is it being street legal. I want to be able to ride to where i'm riding offroad. As i could end up anywhere for my next assignment i may end up where you can't "plate" anything. I don't really have an option to buy used. People just don't seem to understand this for some reason. There is hardly and used bike market in alaska for dual sports. There are tons of MX bikes and streetbikes and cruisers for sale used but no dual sports that i have ever seen. I will be buying new and it has to be something that is street legal everywhere. Hence the S. I would love to buy an offroad bike and make it road worthy or get one of the new KTM's or Husky's but i am trying to budget myself. I don't want to spend 8k on a bike to get into a new sport that i may end up not truly enjoying forever. At the worst i can take that S and make it an SM style should things go bad. At the best i find I love it and then get myself a strictly offroad bike or something like the legal Husky's or KTM's. That's the way i'm looking at it though. If i can get really good at riding offroad on the S then on a better offroad bike i should be able to rip it up. That's the main reason why it's staying completly stock. I'm not even doing the 3x3 and rejet. I'm using it to see. Then i will most likely start modding if i find i like it and want more power or better suspension or whatever. The only place I possibly fear it would be high speed desert but that just means i would have to take it slower.

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Well, if you get the S and make it as offroad worthy as you can, you'll be following a well-worn path and have a wealth of resources in this forum.

But as someone who has gone that route, and as many other in this forum will say, I think you'd be better off getting a used E model. Unless you need to plate the DRZ in a state in which the E cannot be plated, or you want/need the speedo, DOT head and tail lights, blinks, helmet lock, passenger footpegs, horn and fan, there's no advantage to the S.

bhd:

1.)Welcome to a great Forum, the folks here are really great!!

2.) Thank you very much for your service in defending & protecting our country.:p All of us greatly appreciate the sacrifices you and your family has made:thumbsup: :applause:

3.) WELCOME HOME!!!!! :applause:

Now............anything that harry says, take it to the bank, because he is one of the more knowledgeable people on this site. There are many others too, but you will meet them over time.

If you can get an E licensed in your state, go for it!! But get a 2006 model, or earlier as they have mellowed out the 2007 bike to just like an S model.

HOWEVER, if you're still moving around with your military service, licensing your E in other states might create "issues" :eek:

If this is the case, a S Model, with mods might be a wiser choice. :lol:

Either way, get some input from the guys that live in states where E models cannot get a plate. :lame:These might be some states that you move to in the military. One way around that is if you can get an E licensed in your home state...............you're golden!! (been there & done that with my 24 years of USAF Service).

Good luck & let us know how your bike is progressing.

Happy Riding !!

:cry: :cry:

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I went with the S b/c I wanted it roadworthy out of the box and like tinkering a little. Also, I found a brand new 05 for $5000 out the door.

I have since made a few mods, all of which have been pretty inexpensive except the SM wheels. For the amount of road riding I do, these have been excellent.

Look up a TTer named Aspencop. He is obviously in Aspen CO but he also has a good bit of DRZ and riding experience..

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Now............anything that harry says, take it to the bank, because he is one of the more knowledgeable people on this site.
If this is true, then I need to find a better DRZ forum! :applause:

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[quote name=beemerwolf

Now............anything that harry says, take it to the bank, because he is one of the more knowledgeable people on this site.

If this is true' date=' then I need to find a better DRZ forum! :cry:[/quote]

Shoot Harry, I try to hit the good ole' gas can to reward everyone that makes great posts that help me...........BUT IN YOUR Case, the system won't let me hit you because they say that I must pass around some of the love to others first!! :cry:

I wish that I could get a few more hits of the gas can like you + others do:cool:

............but I guess that I must come up with better advice first!! :applause:

Happy Riding !!

:applause::lol:

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Get the S, its legal in all states, and a decent enough bike for a new dirt rider. ( or a older slow one like me) I think it will fit your needs, and can be modified later if you decide its needed. If not, since used dual sports are hard to find, you wouldnt have a problem selling it?

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Are you planning on riding any single track?

I ride in New Mexico and Colorado. No desert Colorado riding though... trails and old roads over passes / backwoods. I like my DRZ-400S for that, but I do have to say it is probably not the best single track bike (for my skill level). It is too tall and too heavy for me to be comfortable on. I have long legs but would like an extra little bit on some of the switchbacks.

The nice thing about the DRZ-S is that it also comes from the factory with rear pegs. Even if you are planning on only riding off road, we are getting hit with lots of new laws, including laws about riding with passengers. I don't believe you can legally ride tandem on a bike that was not originally set up to accommodate two folks.

Having the S model was great this summer... we rode from 30 mile campground near Creede, over Stony Pass to Silverton. Rode down into Silverton, got gas, food, toured a little, then rode back. Best ride of my life, and Silverton is a very, very, bike friendly town.

I weigh 180 and my bike was running good at 13k. I would not have wanted to be on a 250 thumper like the Kawi (too wimpy). The river crossing would have made me nervous on anything more heavy like a 650.

You won't find the perfect bike for everything. The DRZ does almost everything very well.

BTW... get handguards, radiator guards, and a different sprocket :-)

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I'm not home yet...haha. I was feeling the S because it is legal in all 50 states so I would get no headaches over it.

Well i'm not sure if there is much of a market for dual sports up in alaska. Most people buy offroad/mx bikes for such riding. Either that or they do the whole adventure/sport touring type thing with the KLR650's and the like.

The places i'll be riding are all places i went with my Jeep. I would assume that would be no single track. I may end up going to some tighter places just cuz i can if i find them but to start out i was planning on some of the milder jeep trails. Why is a sproket change necessary? If i need more i can make power mods and the like. I need to be able to travel highway speeds easily as well as ride offroad. Don't they not make anough power now to top out in 5th? Why would i need to change the gearing?

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You might be fine with the stock gearing but once you venture off to tighter slower trails and roads its nicer to gear the bikes down to handle this terrain better. I run 14/47 and it works fine for off road and also handles the highway well but if I was going to run the highway a lot more than ride off road I would go back to stock. It is a easy mod and also very cheap and you can play around with it untill you find the combination that works best for you.

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Like ncotton is saying, the higher 15/44 gearing on the S isn't well suited for certain types of offroad riding. The jeep tracks around here can be pretty gnarly, so lower gearing like 14/47 gives you more control and more grunt when going slow.

But gearing isn't the deciding factor in the S vs. E decision. Sprockets are relatively cheap. The E, which can be bought used for a good price, comes which a very desirable offroad carburetor -- the Kehein FCR39 -- which alot of guys who own the S and SM have spent up to $500 to replace the stock Mikuni carb. The E also comes with higher performance cams and a higher compression engine, which also make for better performance.

Either bike, S or E, is going to give you tons of offroad riding fun. But if you think there is the slightest possibility that you might someday want a bike that has better throttle response, accelerates faster, and is a bit lighter, you'll save $$$ in the long run getting the E.

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Unless I want the bike to be street legal in a place an E can't be plated.

Also if i really start thinking about spending thousands of dollars to improve the S i will just say hey....i'm going to get an actual offroad bike instead. Since i can throw say $4k at the S and make it fairly well at performing offroad or i could go spend $7-8 for a street legal offroad bike like a Husky or KTM. I will be back in the lower 48 for that as well so dealers and good deals will be much easier to come by. I have 1 dealer for each brand up in alaska at the moment. None for Husky. There is a Kawi dealer that is also ducati and KTM. Honda is their own. Suzuki is there own. I think their is also a yamaha place but i'm not really intrested in yamaha's in any way. Basicly i have the brands to compete against eachother. Suzuki is the only one who makes a bike for what i want at the moment. They also happen to be the only one who makes a 750 at the moment. I wish Kawi did. I'm not gonna pay $9k for the new ZX-6R when i could go get a new GSX-R750 for 10...haha. That's just me though. Suzuki seems to be good at having what i want at this point in time. I would love to just go buy a KTM or Husky but they are more than I want to spend and not quite as road worthy as i need for the time being.

P.S. If i ruled the world I would let any bike be plated. Then perhaps i would get an E. If i didn't have to worry about laws i would get an E. I like the fact that they are better and are cheaper. It's just to bad they don't make it street legal. Go figure. Maybe i will become an S fanatic and tweak it out to be better. Maybe I won't. For now it will be a good bike in stock condition to get into the sport. I'm taking it slow and easy and seeing how I like it. At the worst as i've said before the S get turned into an SM and I stop riding offroad. I don't want to do that before I get to do some desert riding though.

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To bad you just can't stay in Alaska. As you know there is more riding there than you could do in a thousand lifetimes. I was up there in July for the second time. Couldn't believe how many people had 4 wheelers up there. Probably cause there so many places to ride. Good luck on your choice of DRZ's. Me I bought the S and think it's just fine. Then again I sunk some $$ into it too.

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Maybe i will become an S fanatic and tweak it out to be better. Maybe I won't. For now it will be a good bike in stock condition to get into the sport. I'm taking it slow and easy and seeing how I like it. At the worst as i've said before the S get turned into an SM and I stop riding offroad. I don't want to do that before I get to do some desert riding though.
Good thinking. The S will do you fine.

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