DR400 vs. DR650


22 replies to this topic
  • jbobst

Posted 25 April 2006 - 03:27 PM

#1

Does anyone know why the DR400 cost more than a DR650? And what is the reason they make the DRZ400SM? I really like that dark color scheme option for the 2006 model year, but why take a dirt bike and throw a small street only front tire on it, along with a slick rear tire? They must have a market for street only bikes that you sit high and upright on. Seems strange to me though.

I currently own a '00 DR650 and I really like it. However, I would like to buy a new one in the next 12 months or so. Should I be considering the DRZ400S? (not the super moto version...just the regular dual sport one) I really enjoy off roading and commuting to work on my current DR650, but I would sure appreciate a lighter and smaller bike when off-roading. The DRZ400S is more expensive though, and I can't figure out why. Seems like it should be the other way around...After all, the DR200 doesn't cost more than the 650.

  • pelikan

Posted 25 April 2006 - 04:11 PM

#2

drz400 is newer technology, plus the demand is greater (?).

  • tuck9mm

Posted 25 April 2006 - 05:16 PM

#3

The 400 costs more because it has better instrumentation for one thing. I think it even has a digital tachometer. If I remember right, it is also water cooled. One thing to remember is that the engine in the 400 has real high compression, and I can't imagine it running on less than 93 octane gas. The one big thing I remember about it is that the 400 is a LOT higher off the ground than the 650. I couldn't come close to reaching the ground on that thing, so I didn't even consider buying one.

  • pobo

Posted 25 April 2006 - 07:44 PM

#4

The DRZ400 IS the better bike, lighter, more powerful, whips the DR650 all the way around.
I have the DR650 and would have the DRZ400 in a heart beat if I could only reach the ground on it!

  • nmdeselle

Posted 25 April 2006 - 08:04 PM

#5

I just bought the 06 DR650 and I was asking all the same questions. The replies I got were mostly broken down to do you want a better commuter or a better dirt bike. The 400 is taller but at 5'11", I can touch OK at the light. I don't think you'll be happy flying down the freeway at 70 plus on the thing for very far though. And you won't be any happier thatn I was the first time I jumped my 650 :crazy: Very heavy. I mostly commute in traffic and this bike is great for that. Plus, easier to work on.

  • jbobst

Posted 26 April 2006 - 10:45 AM

#6

One reason I don't like the Honda XR650L is the height, and that at highway speeds, the wind is probably pretty bad. However, my DR650 is also very bad in the wind and has no wind protection. Could it be any worse on a DRZ400? I am not complaining, but rather just making an observation. These bikes aren't designed specifically for highway cruising, and I love them none the less. If I wanted a better bike for the highway, I would go with the V-Strom 1000.

  • MN_Paul

Posted 26 April 2006 - 08:06 PM

#7

Look at the price of a Honda or Yamaha 250 enduro (another 1000 more than the DRZ 400). You pay for the light weight, water cooling, higher performance, better suspension and crummier seat.

The DRZ is more for serious off roading but is street legal. The DR is a good compromize between street and dirt. A V-strom is only good for gravel and fire roads. You would never get it through anything resembling an off road trail.

I recently went on an off road trip in the Mark Twain National forest in Missouri with a guy with a Kawasaki KLR 650 and another with a DRZ400. The DR650 fills a gap right betweeen the 2, plus I can touch the ground. With knobby tires, a skid plate, heavier springs, a jet kit and 14/45 gearing, it does a pretty good job off road.

Paul

  • cherokee

Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:15 AM

#8

I think that the DRZ is more of a dirt bike that can go on the street, and a DR650 is a street bike that can go on the dirt.
But I am with others here, I looked at the Honda, the DRZ, an LC4, an Tiger, And a BMW they all felt heavy and VERY tall. I wanted a dual sport like we had in the 70's

  • SACANDAGA

Posted 27 April 2006 - 10:33 AM

#9

I had an 02 DRZ400S that I loved. I got a bug up my butt and sold it in 04. It was a tall bike though, I had a gel seat on it and it was managable, but still tall in the rocky/uneven stuff. I'm only 5'8", so it's my fault, not the bikes. It was geared kind of low for 65mph cruising on the street, definately more of a dirt bike.

I just bought an 06 650 and it's a tank. I utilized the factory lowering option front and back and now I'm flat footed on the bike, but it kinda looks strange with so much less travel in the front end. I have not had it off road yet, and just installed a 14t front sprocket, but it definatly does not have anymore power than the 400 had.

So in short, I guess I liked the 400 more, even though it was taller. I can't see myself holding on this 650 very long, it's kind of boring. I don't want to screw with pipes or anything, just have barley enought time to ride once and a while. Anyone who can afford the 400 and it not vertically challenged should buy it over the 650.

  • FatChance

Posted 27 April 2006 - 12:09 PM

#10

Anyone who can afford the 400 and it not vertically challenged should buy it over the 650.

Unless, say, they wanted a bike to ride to Baja and back or wanted to use it differently that you would.

  • 2fst4u

Posted 28 April 2006 - 01:23 AM

#11

the dr400sm is also detuned compared to the dirt version 400's.

i think they hit a good thing with the plastics. bike looks sweet in black, and thats about all i can say about it. if i were to buy a drz400, id buy the black plastics to add on.

  • Goebz

Posted 28 April 2006 - 08:48 PM

#12

The 650 is 10+ year old technology. The 400 is aboot 4, 400 is water cooled, modern dry sump eng with oil in frame. Better instruments, newer fork tech, shock everything.
I just picked mine up today and its a blast.

Ask yourself 2 questions:

1. Where do I ride? 650 better hiway 65+mph, heavier, more stable. 400 way better dirt, lighter, more nimble.

Who do I ride with? 250-450 mxers? 400 rules. Big adventure bikes, get a BMW or a big KTM.

PS I'm 6'4" 350+ :crazy:

  • BusterBrown

Posted 30 April 2006 - 01:34 PM

#13

I have a DRZ400E (plated for the street) that is a great dirtbike for an old fat guy, but which I wouldn't consider as a serious street bike. I have heard all kinds of riders bitch about the inadequacies of the DRZ400S as a street bike. OTOH, my buddy picked his 400S over his KLR for a trip to Copper Canyon, and was tickled by his choice. We had two days of about 300 mi (to and from Chihuahua); everything else was on dirt or gravel, about 60-100 miles a day, never more. I am usually faster than my buddy, but on this trip he easily outpaced my DR650, on which I felt pretty comfortable.

Seat height does not need to be a consideration; with Kouba links you can drop the seat of a DRZ almost 2". You lose some ground clearance, of course, and the increased leverage may dictate a stiffer spring, if you can't get the sag right via preload adjustments.

For most commuting and DS touring, I would stick with the 650 or a KLR650, but the DRZ impressed me on this particular trip.

  • a14victory

Posted 14 May 2006 - 06:26 PM

#14

had a drz400, xr650 and I have a dr650 now. 400 was a blast in town, good dirt bike. xr 650 did nothing good, it sucked big time. The dr 650 surprises me that something that good on the road can cut trails just as effectively. It makes me want to do the supermoto 17" tires just to see.

  • bucho

Posted 15 May 2006 - 05:55 AM

#15

Do it. The 17s rule. Its cool nobody can figure out what the heck your riding.

  • SgtMike

Posted 15 May 2006 - 07:16 PM

#16

The DRZ400 IS the better bike, lighter, more powerful, whips the DR650 all the way around.
I have the DR650 and would have the DRZ400 in a heart beat if I could only reach the ground on it!

The DRZ400/KLX400 is lighter,more nimble, and has a much better suspension making it easily the better choice for the trail but as for power, sorry but there has been many, many 400's fall behind my DR650 on pavement or flat fire road.
Its not even close. My 650 pulls away easily every time!
I was told by the dealer (as I think that maybe you have)that the 650 wouldn't see a DRZ's tail lights. But it isn't so.
My bike is lightly modded with just air box mods,jetting, and a pipe true,but half the DRZ's I've run have had the same mods. When I brought the bike back to the dealer last summer for a clutch, they admitted that they'd have to eat their words after test riding my bike. They were amazed. Most see the 650 as a big heavy pig with old tech and no hope so it gets over looked. Give it a little work and it can fly. Add a bit of suspension work and with the right rider it'll hang with KTMs in the woods.
Seen R Little do it, even hung with him a bit myself with white knuckles and a bit of his patience.
Got to get my suspension done too, though it seems like every time I set the cash aside, something else always takes priority. :ride:
Anyway don't short change the 650!
Mike.

  • Inertia

Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:58 AM

#17

Well i also just bought a DR650SE 06 , and love it! it does everything u want it to off the road and then you can ride it home! i looked at the 400 but when i rode it on the street for a test i rode it straight back and tried the 650, instant sale! luved the 650's ride!

But thats for me and im 6'3" ! so i have had to raise the 650, and it's actually very easy!

  • R_Little

Posted 16 May 2006 - 07:01 AM

#18

Got to get my suspension done too, though it seems like every time I set the cash aside, something else always takes priority. :ride:
Anyway don't short change the 650!
Mike.


Mike, would you be interested in buying my modded forks off my 650 by any chance? I'm thinking of putting a set of RM forks on my 650 as I already have 2 wheels to fit. You could sell your stockers too even. The were revalved by ESP and have the 44-64 progressive springs in them.

Jesse has the valving for my shock on hand and he can make you a shock just like mine if you are interested. your shock could use a rebuild by now I'm sure.

Something to think about.

Hey, I'm riding the Pine Barrens enduro this sunday...wanna come and try a bit of it?

  • smashinz2002

Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:32 PM

#19

Both are good, neither is faulty for what they are intended for. So really it comes down to personal preference.
I have the 650, and for me, it's the ideal dual sport bike because; e-start, super smooth on any type of pavement, will cruise 70 all day easily, works good enough on easy trails, maintenance is very low with the air/oil cooled engine, and the price is right.
I've owned mine for nearly two years now, ridden it both off and on road quite a bit, and I would sell my street bike before I would sell this great dual sport bike. !
L.L.

'05 DR650
'05 B12
'04 KX500

  • SgtMike

Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:55 PM

#20

Mike, would you be interested in buying my modded forks off my 650 by any chance? I'm thinking of putting a set of RM forks on my 650 as I already have 2 wheels to fit. You could sell your stockers too even. The were revalved by ESP and have the 44-64 progressive springs in them.

Jesse has the valving for my shock on hand and he can make you a shock just like mine if you are interested. your shock could use a rebuild by now I'm sure.

Something to think about.

Hey, I'm riding the Pine Barrens enduro this sunday...wanna come and try a bit of it?

Rich, yeh the suspension is getting pretty tired so i'll give it alot of thought. As for riding the physical therapy has helped my shoulder and actually its feeling pretty good :ride: but I've been working everyday for the past few weeks and will for about two more so thanks but I can't go.
Damn!
I still have to work on the brakes though before I take it down to Florida next month. They are thinner yet and the fluid is just as dirty as the last time you saw the bike. Yeh, I know,not good. :banana:
Mike.




 
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