650R question


4 replies to this topic
  • Steve07

Posted July 23, 2005 - 12:15 AM

#1

I have an '05 DR-Z400E that I bought when I actually went to look at a used '03 XR650R. Saw a couple things that had been done to the XR that I did not like, and I got infatuated with the Suzuki. Anyways- paid more money for the DR, and over time have been thinking I should have bought red. Things I dislike on the Suzuki- thin magnesium crap that breaks, and requires a bunch of plates and shields and stuff right off the bat; the whole auto cam chain tensioner thing; the fact that the bike goes like a bat out of hell, but hammers the crap out of me on rough ground while doing it. I am not a racer, I just like open, fast riding- all off-road or dirt trails. Not into technical trails, like to stay on the ground. Love to just crank the throttle and pick the front wheel over whatever is in front of me. Like to just hit the gas and blow through ruts and bumps rather than trying to pretend I am a technical rider. The DRZ works well, lots of snap, but rides poorly at higher speeds, and needs LOTS of add-on protection. My question is this: would I be happier with a 650R? Considering that the XR is only 15 lbs more dry weight, I wonder what advantage the DR has? In stock form, is the XR suspension better set up to handle rough stuff going fast? I weigh 215lbs. It does not sound hard to uncork the XR, but I don't want to sink money into the Suzuki if I am further ahead going up to the 650R and putting the effort into it. Anyone here have any relevant experience? Thanks- apologies for the essay.

  • huntmaster

Posted July 23, 2005 - 06:36 AM

#2

There's nothing wrong with the DRZ from what I've seen of friend's machines. Like an XR they seem to be very durable, reliable and easy to maintain in an era of fragile MX based designs. If you are breaking a lot of stuff on the Suzuki you will probably do it on the Honda too. The 650R certainly has more power, and is probably a better open country bike. If you need it for that, sure, otherwise the 400 makes decent power, works well and has a button!

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  • mjlang

Posted July 23, 2005 - 09:42 AM

#3

I had a DRZ and rode 12K trouble free miles off-road. It was a great bike. I like the e-button, great turning and reliability. Down side was that it is fairly heavy for what it is. I spent some $$$ on suspension work and if you haven't it's worth the money. That will even the playing field significantly. I think a great suspension is like adding 50cc.
I have a 650R now that is completely race-prepped for baja and it's OK. After a lot of time and money it can finally out-run a 525 KTM. It has been uncorked, and I added a cam, full FMF exhaust system, Edelbrock carb, opened the air box, and the list goes on...
Bottom line, if I was gonna race a bike, the 650R gets the nod for long open races like the Baja 1000. Day-to-day riding, I'd spend 650.00 on a suspension for the DRZ, and work on the jets and exhaust a bit. It will perform just about as well. The 400 class bikes with their pumper carbs are amazing.

Although, if you itching for a new ride then ignore my senseless ramblings and do it! There is nothing like a new motorcycle between your legs.

BTW: If you really want a screaming machine go get the Husaberg. It will stomp the crap out of a 650R. The last two years has seen them become incredible reliable since KTM moved their production to Austria.

  • Moredesert

Posted July 24, 2005 - 06:29 PM

#4

Steve07,

I here what your saying. I have the XR650R and a DRZ400E myself. The XR is a fast wide open desert machine and I take mine to Baja all the time. I ride the DRZ 90% of the time because it fells lighter and more nimble than the XR. The handling on the DRZ is much better out of the box than the XR650R.

It's true there are some weak parts that need attention like the side engine covers and the cam chain tensioner but the XR has problems too like the choke plate. I lost my engine on a XR600 because of that. :applause:

The suspension on the stock XR stinks. I tried to ride my new XR the same way I can ride the DRZ and I crashed my brains out twice before I learned my lession. Now I raced an XR in the 1000 that had the suspension reworked by Precision Concepts. There was a couple of times I though I was dead meat but the bike pulled threw :) If I was on my stock XR I wouldn't have been so lucky.

No mater which bike you have your going to spend the same money fixing it's short comings. I put a Scotts steering stabilizer on both bikes. I saw the biggest difference on the DRZ. Speed is no longer an issue and works better in sand. The XR didn't change much. It handles great in the rocks but sucks in the sand :eek: The XR is now dual sported and I desert race the DRZ. Take a look at my bikes on my web site www.moredesert.com

  • Steve07

Posted July 24, 2005 - 08:20 PM

#5

I ride the DRZ 90% of the time because it fells lighter and more nimble than the XR. The handling on the DRZ is much better out of the box than the XR650R. It's true there are some weak parts that need attention like the side engine covers and the cam chain tensioner but the XR has problems too like the choke plate. The suspension on the stock XR stinks. I tried to ride my new XR the same way I can ride the DRZ and I crashed my brains out twice before I learned my lession.
No mater which bike you have your going to spend the same money fixing it's short comings.


Thanks Moredesert. That's the exact thing I was wanting to find out. If the XR is poorer on stock susp, then I would likely kill myself as I am pushing the DR-Z out of it's stock capability right now, but I can still keep upright. It just rattles the crap out of me. The side plates and ACCT and stuff are the nit-picky things I was wondering about cf. the Honda. I am finding out it has them too, like the footpeg thing and clutch and now the choke plate as you mentioned; the DR-Z will stay- might as well put the money there. I am attracted to the power of the 650, but I still manage to scare myself the odd time with the 400. Always rode red, but I guess I can swallow my disgust and ride a yellow one :applause: :eek: . At least until I decide to get a red one too!





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