DR-Z 400 SM Road-Riding Style tips please

I’m a DR-Z 400 SM newbie with another stupid question!

I come from the world of sports touring machinery and haven’t ridden anything quite as light and nimble as a DR-Z since I took my test. The DR-Z has been a breath of fresh air and has re-ignited my love of motorcycles following the reluctant sale of my VTR-1000 due to neck problems.

On the VTR I was used to getting my weight forward over the tank during acceleration; putting weight on the inside handlebar to get the bike into turns; and shifting my body to the inside into and through the corners.

This much is probably quite obvious and standard fare for this type of bike, however, on the DR-Z I’m still trying to find a happy medium in terms of my riding style as there’s so much more room for manoeuvre on the machine.

I’m still finding myself trying to lean off the bike and push forward during acceleration, although I have been adopting a more upright style as the miles have gone by and have experimented with pushing the bike ‘down’ into slower corners whilst I remain more upright. High speed cornering still has me a little perplexed as I’m keen to get down and forward a little bit but don’t want to overwhelm the bike with big steering inputs as I’ve noticed it is very sensitive to movements at higher speeds.

So, strictly in terms of road riding have you guys got some usable real-world tips please?

TIA and sorry if I’ve missed some obvious sticky article or FAQ.

i own both dude sports bike and a drz sm you can thow the drz around much easier faster in corners and out of them :thumbsup: always on the back wheel and stoppies just ride it like you would your sports bike rag it hard mine begs to be thrashed just i get 40 miles to the tank its only a toy tho lol enjoy dude

personally I ride it sitting right up on the gas tank. I Use to lean off the bike but quickly realized that its wasn't really necessary, just make large aggressive inputs into the bars. My biggest tip though is to let you leg lead you turn when doing a hairpin (motocross style). It has save me washing out the front end at least twice when I've hit some gravel etc.

There is a big riding style thread over on supermoto junkie. It comes down to what your comfortable with and your background. typically most the dirt background guys ride leg out, and the street guys knee. Just put some miles in and youl get comfortable and be able to find what works best for you.

I came from sport bikes also and found myself trying to hang off the side of my DRZ right when I got it. I soon realized this isn't necessary but still have the habit of sticking the knee out. It takes a while to figure out what works best but I noticed there isn't a need to do much other than finding a comfortable spot on the seat and just using the bars and leaning to do high speed turns.

I tend to mixed the two styles. For tighter turns/slower speeds I use the leg out motocross style. For faster turns I hang-off with my knee down(I do have knee pocks on my leather).:thumbsup:

try getting ur knee down on the deck on a sm gd fun :thumbsup:

I don't think the OP is only asking about the knee out vs. leg out riding style, but rather road riding style in general.

Generally, I ride relaxed with my butt in the lowest part of the seat, feet on the pegs and sitting upright. Through most turns, my body stays mostly upright, elbows up, eye looking ahead and not right in front of me. Leg only goes out in a turn if I'm getting after it and banging gears (usually in mountain twisties or the track, not in town). I've tried the knee-down, hanging-off thing and it just doesn't feel right for me. I find that just letting the bike move under me while my body stays upright feels natural and very comfortable.

For me I ride relaxed but in attack mode at all times Street or track :thumbsup:


I had a CBR600 before my DRZ, and would never go back. I'm also an avid dirt biker, so I tend toward the foot-out super aggressive bar input crowd. Flick it into the corner, and get the foot out if it's tight. I have also made a few saves that way, and also had a good tuck-n-roll step-off at about 45 when the front washed in one of those "10mph recommended" turns. I'm pretty sure if I was flaring a knee out instead my leg would have gone missing. Rode the bike away 30 secs. later. These things hit the ground just as fast as they flick into a corner. If I'm doing a 90-degree turn, I like to get a foot out and crack the throttle to loosen the rear toward the turn exit as well, if nobody's around... :thumbsup:

Thanks for the feedback folks.

The main thrust of my question was around a general style for road riding – gone are the days of me wearing knee sliders or such like but I am keen to 'make progress' with the minimum of fuss, smoothly and safely.

So it seems the more upright approach is common, making use of the bars as a tool for cornering and not shifting weight around on the bike too aggressively. I’ve tried the leg out thing a couple of times at low speed whilst keeping the body more upright and it definitely feels right so it’s something I’ll likely adopt where appropriate.

I’ll check the supermoto junkie thread too…

Thanks again


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