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Martin sent me these pictures of his Suzuki DRZ400 Motard- He writes:
I've sold my Triumph
Speed Triple and purchased a
Suzuki DRZ 400 SuperMoto. It's a very nice bike, great on the twisties even though
I find it slightly lacking on fast runs after the trumpet (what we call
Triumph's over here).
The new Suzuki DRZ 400 is something that's just
taking off in the UK, and I also believe your side of the
Atlantic too. The standard DRZ400e on which this bike is based is
the competition enduro version, plastic tank, more power than the road
version, etc. It does not come road legal as standard, therefore a
pro-circuit lighting kit has been fitted to the standard loom to allow
dipped and main beam headlight, indicators, horn etc.
So essentially, it's an off road bike converted to street use by
fitting 17 inch wheels and sticky sport compound tyres. I've added a 320mm wavy
front disc and
adapter bracket, full FMF race system, RM 250 decals, a trick trail
computer to allow for a correct speedometer reading with the smaller than
standard front wheel fitted. Thus a supermoto is born!
Click pics for larger size
The wheels are top quality components, Talon hubs mated
to Morad rims with stainless spokes. The cost to build a set of
these is around the £600-£700 depending on exact spec and size
The wheels are Michelin sport
compound tyres which are very sticky, almost supersport tyres for the
give an incredible amount of grip, enough when hot to get the pegs scraping on
the floor in corners! The front wavy brake disc is an aftermarket item,
standard off road spec is a 230mm unit. When riding off road, the top speed
attained is not very high. Now with the altered gearing for road use,
the speeds attained are greatly increased so a bigger braking surface is
The wavy disc is 320mm in
diameter and it has a petal like edge which is reported to aid pad cleaning
and prevent pad glazing and therefore give a constant feel, plus it looks very
trick! The stock caliper is used with an adapter bracket to space it out to
fit the bigger disc. Cost for the wavy brake disc and bracket is around the £200
The trail computer is a panorama unit which shows elapsed riding
time, top speed, distance covered, resettable trip meter, service interval
timer and a clock. This is easily set up for the road wheels via a magnet
attached to the front disc and a pick- up sensor on the fork leg. It can be set
for any size wheel to give a correct speedo reading. This is essential
since with the smaller
road wheels mounted on the bike, the original off road speedo reads approx 20mph higher than
true. The computer costs around £45.
The stock gearing in off road trim is 14/48.
In supermoto trim, it's now 14/38- a big change which increases
top speed greatly at the expense of bottom end stomp, but still enough to
easily loft the front wheel just by cracking the throttle and flicking the
clutch out. However, I may change this to 14/42 to get some back.
The little pucs on the axles are actually skateboard wheels
fitted to threaded bars through the axles. These act as crash
protectors in the event of a fall, same as frame sliders on sport
The idea is that the bike will slide on the plastic wheels
rather than cause damage to the rest of the bike. It's a popular mod
with supermoto racers over here in the UK. Only cost me about £5 all
in so cheap accident insurance.
The steering is very fast compared to my Triumph
Speed Triple which was a very stable bike in the turns. The Suzuki
DRZ needs very little
rider input to turn due to the high wide bars, light weight, and general
geometry set up. It took some time to get used to. I found myself originally over steering into a corner and
had to keep correcting the turn, but now it's a great laugh on roundabouts and
the like- chuck it in and power out the other side.
just under a ton, around a 100mph. The lack of wind protection at this figure is a strain on your
body and the up right riding position really
affects your neck, so this moment is brief.
So overall, on a twisty road it holds its own as long as the
speedometer sits just under 2000 RPM. Plus I have
the off- road wheels as well for the winter to do a bit of off-roading.
I did have the bike dyno'd, and although
it only kicked out just over 45bhp at the rear wheel, it was only 4 short
of a Pukka YZF426. So I'm happy with that.
As for future mods I may do? I fancy new
graphics and a seat cover to match over the winter and there are a few
bigger bore kits out there. Yoshimura has some tuning parts so I may
try to increase performance that way.
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