DRZ 400S v. XR 650 R

7 replies to this topic
  • bigginhill

Posted September 05, 2003 - 08:02 PM


I'm trying to decide which one of these 2 bikes to get.
I am living in Tokyo and will have to do quite a lot of street riding just to get to anyplace to ride off road. My concerns are that the DRZ will be a better bike on road. The XR I am looking at is a new R model from Australia with road lights powered with a dynamo or whatever its called- i.e without a battery. I am thinking that this might be a problem cause it will produce a low output at low revs and no output if the bike stalls. Can anyone tell me what they think about this? The other concern is being able to ride 2 up on the XR- that seat seems real small and thin. I know its not a touring bike but is it OK to go say a 100 miles or so without too much pain or complaints from my girlfriend?
The reason I would like to get the XR rather than the DRZ is power...Is the XR considerably more powerful than the DRZ- does anyone know?
I appreciate your help- Thanks

  • loufish

Posted September 05, 2003 - 08:20 PM


Im not sure about the rest of your post...but I wouldn't try to put my girlfriend thru 100 miles on my seat! :)

  • Moredesert

Posted September 05, 2003 - 08:52 PM


The XR has lots more low end (Balls) than the DRZ. It will pull hard even when geared up for speed. The seat is nice on the XR and so is the DRZ. Depending on how fast your riding will determin which bike is best. The DRZ is electric start. For the street that is best when driving in traffic. It's a pain when you stall the bike and have to kick start the beast. The DRZ-S has cooling fans, again this is a plus when your in stop and go traffic. If your riding back country roads the XR is great.

As far as the lighting goes you can install a small battery under the seat. Look at Baja Designs web site for dual sport ideas. i.e. batteries for the XR. Both bikes are great but think of it this way. Do you want a quick sports car or a muscle car that you can drive WFO. Wide Freaking Open

  • bigginhill

Posted September 06, 2003 - 08:23 PM


Thanks Moredesert

Are you talking about the small Ni Cad batteries they sell?
I wouldn't of thought they would be able to power a headlight for very long without a charge- I really don't know though.
Thanks again.

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  • needsprayer

Posted September 07, 2003 - 06:05 AM



1) I rewound my stator and run a 100W H3 bulb. At low rev's the lighting will blind you.

2) Tall seat foam will make the seat better for both of you.

3) A homemade rear fender brace using 9/16" Electrical Metal Tubing will extend the subframe and keep the fender from breaking. There is also a nicely machined subframe extension ($$$) that you can buy. I would have to look around a bit to find the link.

4) Magic Button. This is where the DRZ shines. I am dual sported, but do not ride in the city. I have never had the XR quit on me while idling. Although, I have stalled the bike when tired and would not want to be kicking starting a bike in city traffic.

  • Duckatee

Posted September 07, 2003 - 07:46 AM


konichiwa bigg, i don't ride either but i have lived in tokyo so know what it's like there. no question, you'll be happier with the drz, if only for the e-start. i have a baja kitted XR600R and my next bike has to have the button, period. as much as i like my riding partner's XR650R, i'm holding out for honda to address this one short coming with that model, for which there's no excuse in this day and age. also take a close look at the annual opperating cost. license and registration costs are relatively cheap up to 400cc, but it gets expensive real fast beyond that. for commuting in tokyo, 400cc and below is the ticket.... good luck.

  • scorch

Posted September 07, 2003 - 08:02 AM


I too was considering the Drz, xr along with a few wr450's and Crf's.. I chose the xr650r. I have had 10 bikes in the past, and I currently own a r1. And the xr650r is by far the most fun bike I have ever had.

Its hard to do 100 miles with a passenger on the back of a dirt bike.. The seat is hard. If you are not riding in the dirt than it will hurt more. There are passenger pegs you can get for the big xr.

The big xr is not hard to start. And I love the power it has.. My xr is street legal, and pulling wheelies in 3rd is as simple and rolling the throttle.. If that is yo dang!

Personally it seems you will be happier with the drz400. It already has all the stuff you need. If you get the xr, make sure you get some nice boots, makes it easier to start.

650cc thumpers sound neat. :)

  • ill_caper

Posted September 07, 2003 - 12:52 PM


I know this isnt what you asked, however you may want to think about a wr450f. I had an '01 xr650r with all the mods and an edelbrock carb for 2 years. I loved it, its fast powerful and everything but the suspension is horrible. My friend has an '02 drz400-e. This is not as powerful as the xr but does have e-start. The suspension is MUCH better. I purchased an '03 wr450 and I absulutley love it. Very similiar low end power to the xr with a decent amount more up top. Much much better suspension, brakes and overall handling. The wr is more race orientated though so Im not sure how it will be on the roads. I ride mine on the roads quite a bit and it doesnt feel so nice on my butt( the xr felt just as bad though). All depends. If your doing more street riding than dirt maybe go with the xr. If your doing more dirt riding go with the WR if it an option. Hope it helped a little???? :)

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