Driving report Suzuki DR-Z 400 S and short test DR-Z 400
No, S does not stand for sport. The inconspicuous sister of the Matschos DR-Z 400 wants to be a well-trained friend for every floor.
Okay, effect-demanding muscle play and the exhaust noise that is damaging to the hearing are not their thing. But let’s be honest, if you like pulling your arms and wheelies and are looking for a sweaty sparring partner, you will look elsewhere anyway.
And a few hours in the narrow saddle of the DR-Z 400 S would be enough to convert many a power freak. Because little Suzi goes along with (almost) everything. No matter whether on the fast gravel road studded with treacherous waves and nasty volcanic stones or sand surfing on the deserted beach? Sister S is up for any fun. The only limits here are the low profile tires suitable for road use. As long as the ground is not too slippery, despite this small handicap, progress is unbelievably fast.
Setting the pace: The task of the water-cooled, nominally 42 hp high-tech 400er, which delivers its power spontaneously, evenly and, thanks to the balance shaft, with low vibration. Essentially, the everyday variant differs from the almost 50 hp propellant of the competition model DR-Z through the smaller 36-series constant pressure instead of the 39-series slide carburetor, the slightly lower compression as well as lush soundproofing and a secondary air system.
But be careful, Sister S is ?? in contrast to the evil yellow brother – a friend of the quiet tones. It’s like in real life: sometimes her talent for movement and her dynamism are underestimated just because she prefers to express herself more discreetly than to trumpet deafening.
The sensitive chassis is also largely programmed for stress-free easy riding. The conventional 49er Showa fork and the shock absorber, each adjustable in compression and spring base, prove to be a good compromise between sensitive responsiveness off-road and adequate firmness for brisk road use. That means precise feedback despite ample reserves. Even after enduro-like jumps, there is no rough acquaintance with the stop buffers. But the next resident comes faster than expected and, oops ?? the front wheel slips straight after turning. Fortunately, the nearly three hundredweight of the handy playmobile can be caught easily. Next attempt: keep sliding on the tank and accelerate. Already it works better.
In addition to rapid movement, slow pace is also part of the Suzuki’s repertoire. Regardless of whether it is trial insoles on smooth coastal rocks or rough volcanic stones, the slim silhouette with only subtly protruding radiator hoods and tight-fitting elbow offers sufficient freedom of movement. But the S can’t please everyone: As so often, people over 1.80 meters want a higher handlebar mount in order to be able to stand more comfortably in the pegs, while those with short legs want a little less seat height. Suzuki should also give the S the engine protection of the sports version – frame beams and water pump will thank you. After all, first gear could have a shorter gear ratio for tricky passages, especially since the engine tends to die off at very low speeds. So always keep two fingers on the smooth-running coupling.
At some point, the starting radiator fan documents that the four-valve engine is slowly getting hot and hums the signal to leave. No reason to mourn, the all-rounder shows no nakedness on the asphalt parquet. Under the motto “The closer the better” you go through the twisting curves of the Canarian volcanic island. Here, the 40 PS have an easy job with just under three hundred pounds of Enduro. The tires don’t want to spoil the game and offer enough grip, so that the courageous driver whispers so quickly through the meandering that the pursuer on an almost twice as strong four-cylinder middle grader drops the jaw.
Road adventurers are supported by the neatly shiftable five-speed gearbox and the easily controllable brakes, which act precisely and sufficiently effectively both at the front and at the rear.
In general, the handling of the electric starter Suzi is everyday and user-friendly. A mechanically driven but digitally displaying multifunction speedometer with two trip meters, time and stop watch, tool bag on the rear fender and removable rubbers on the claw footrests and foldable gearshift and footbrake levers round off the entire equipment. Unfortunately, the S has to do without a grease nipple on the light metal swing arm and the reversing levers. To compensate for this, you can fiddle around with the old-fashioned handlebar lock when parking.
W.hey, the consequent-looking sister S has, like her predecessor DR 350 S, what it takes to inspire “less is more” ?? although there are more displacement alternatives for 11,990 marks.
Short test sports enduro Suzuki DR-Z 400
Short test sports enduro Suzuki DR-Z 400
After the thoroughbred sportswoman was allowed to show her talents in the driving report (MOTORRAD 25/99), now the moment of truth came on the scales and the test bench. With a full tank of 128 kilos and a peak performance of a good 47 hp, it just misses the paper form, but is still in the class average. The weight already includes the road kit consisting of a lamp mask, rear fender, handlebar fittings and illuminated digital speedometer. In terms of noise development, the yellow one carries the red lantern – it roars annoyingly loud from the damper. The bearish performance characteristics of the ?? compared to the competition – DR-Z with a slightly longer stroke. Above all, the full, always controllable increase in power in the middle speed range creates enthusiasm and consoles the fact that the spontaneity of the four-valve engine is a little less on top. The newcomer’s chassis design is almost too agile. The comfortable front section in particular seems nervous. If the compact Suzi tends to understeer slightly when braking on soft ground, the pilot has to reckon with occasional banging of the handlebars when accelerating on washed-out slopes. With the fork lowered and the damper setting changed, calm returns.
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