DRZ400S vs DRZ400SM Opinions

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DRZ400S vs DRZ400SM Opinions

Postby 4Strokes » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:11 pm

Topic: Get a DRZ400S or DRZ400SM? opinions??
Author: DRZ_Sport
Posted: 04/27/2007 5:23:56 PM

Ok, I've been looking at a few DRZ400's and assessing my needs and trying to decide over a 400S or a 400SM. Here's where I'm hung up.... the suspension... I don't know much of anything about spring rates, compression, rebound, etc...

I do want to use it for a combination of off-road and street cruising. More off-road and/or local driving more than anything, but I do want the ability to occasionally take it down a nice mountain or canyon road.

If I get a DRZ400S, I plan to get a set of DOT knobbies on one set of wheels and a set of Sumpermoto wheels on another (just like the 400SM). Yes, I realize I'm looking at close to $1000 for the second set of wheels, and I'll want to upgrade the brakes for street use as well.

If I got a 400SM I'd have the street wheels and brakes already... I just need a second set of DOT knobbies and wheels to swap out.

My question is, how will the 400SM suspension hold up to moderate - moderate/aggressive trail riding? Some of your newer MX bikes have the USD forks. I imagine I would I need new springs and/or re-valve to handle off road demands though... correct? However, my street use will only be light to moderate use. I'm new to the street scene so I'd have to work up to "full lean" ability anyway. (I do realize this will never be a crotch rocket though). But I want the best of both worlds where possible.

My thoughts... upgrading to better brakes and getting street wheels/tires will cost me some serious bucks in addition to the cost of a DRZ400S!!! A 400SM will already have them, but I'll need a set of DOT dirt wheels/tires which don't cost quite as much, and maybe modify the suspension.

By the way... I only weigh about 145 lbs.

(I have kept in mind that some items I may be able to find on eBay)

What do you think?

Reply by 250f canuck on 04/27/2007 6:35:45 PM
I think that you should get the 400SM if you know that you can get some decent knobbies for it. The thing that I would be concerned about is having to get a new set of off-road rims also, or was that your plan from the beginning. If anything at 145 lbs you will be a touch light, but the USD forks on the SM will be better off-road than the conventional forks on the 400S, more stable and won't flex.

When I first saw the DRZ400SM the first thing I asked myself was why doesn't Suzuki put inverted forks on all of their DRZ400 models. It makes sense to do that, they would sell more IMO.

Talk with the guys at the shop and get their input, but I think the SM with good dirt wheels/tires would be the way to go.

Reply by DRZ_Sport on 04/28/2007 01:20:58 AM
Originally posted by 250f canuck
If anything at 145 lbs you will be a touch light, but the USD forks on the SM will be better off-road than the conventional forks on the 400S, more stable and won't flex.
That was one of my thoughts as well. I'd like the extra stability and improvement in handling since it might see allot of road time. I was already looking into doing a USD swap as well, I just wasn't sure if I'd need to re-valve to make them more "off-roadable".

Yeah, I figured, with whatever model I get, I would be buying an extra set of rims (wheels) and tires. I want to be able to just swap them out if I'm hitting the trails for the day, and then swap back to the street wheels for daily driving. I don't want to have to mount and remount tires every time I want to go somewhere else. I'll just have to make sure I get a good system going to get a good alignment each time I swap them.

I was going to go by the shop today and ask, but didn't make if before they closed. Maybe I'll try tomorrow...

Anyone else have some input? I'll take all the opinions/advice I can get... I still have some time before I'll have the cash available. Thx!

Reply by tomass on 04/28/2007 08:06:04 AM
Actually, I have a question. Will the rims of an S model simply bolt to an SM model? The SM rims appear to be wider at the axle. Is it just a matter of spacers or are spacers even needed?

Reply by 250f canuck on 04/28/2007 10:32:04 AM
Originally posted by tomass
The SM rims appear to be wider at the axle. Is it just a matter of spacers or are spacers even needed?
The same thing had crossed my mind also when swapping from the SM wheels to the off-road wheels. Try to get your hands on a parts fiche for the front and rear wheels and see how it all goes together. I think that the forks on the SM are off of the RM/RM-Z race bikes, you might be able to get RM wheels and spacers and have it all fit. Like I said, talk to the guys at the shop, it really sucks when parts don't line up.

Reply by DRZ_Sport on 04/30/2007 01:32:30 AM
If I do, in fact, get the SM, I'll be purchasing the second set of wheels/tires with the bike so I can finance whatever I spend over my cash amount. Actually I'll probably do the same even if I get an S, but so far everyone recommends the SM so I'll probably just go that route. So it would probably be good to know if there are any differences between the wheels. I'll find out what I can when I stop by the shop this week and let you know.

Reply by tomass on 04/30/2007 08:18:39 AM
If it comes down to finding that you can't interchange the rims then I would go with the S model. At least then you can ride street and dirt. Otherwise you're mainly limited to street.

Reply by DRZ_Sport on 05/01/2007 12:44:58 AM
The only question is IF the S & SM wheels are the same. It just comes down to the size of the hub on the wheel. If they are the same, you just buy a second set of wheels. If they are not, you simply have wheels made using the hubs you want. Depending on the brand you go with, it really doesn't cost much more. Wheels are still gonna run $800-900 to buy them new.

Wheels aren't the issue for me. It's the handling characteristics and suspension differences that are my concern. If they meet to my satisfaction that wheels will be the simple part.

Reply by DRZ_Sport on 05/09/2007 10:26:37 AM
Originally posted by tomass
Actually, I have a question. Will the rims of an S model simply bolt to an SM model? The SM rims appear to be wider at the axle. Is it just a matter of spacers or are spacers even needed?
I checked with the dealer and the HUB of the wheels are EXACTLY the same between the S & SM. Same part numbers! The only difference is the SM rim is made wider for the wider street tires. But otherwise, the Wheels/tires are a direct swap between the S & SM.

The only other difference on the wheels is that the brakes discs and sprocket are different sizes. You can get supermoto wheels for your 400S, but you will have to use the stock brake discs or upgrade them. Same goes for the 400SM. You will have to swap the discs over to the new wheels. The sprocket is just a matter of gearing. Swap it out to your own preferences.

I also spoke with the dealer about the suspension and apparently the SM has a little bit stiffer suspension than the S. (almost like "Sport suspension" like a car might have.) Could be a little rougher off-road, but nothing too serious, and they'll be able to soak up a little more air. Not much, but a little more. The S suspension is a little soft for any "big" air. Stock for stock, the SM will allow you to get a little more without bottoming.


So it looks like I'll probably be getting the 400SM. As soon as I sell the Banshee, it looks like I'll be headed down to the dealer with a fist-full of cash! I put it up on Cycle trader and a few other websites this week. Hopefully I'll get some hits soon!

Reply by 250f canuck on 05/09/2007 1:07:59 PM
Awesome, I hope it works out for you.

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