So the question is.... Does your DR-Z leave you wanting more?
Not really. Even though I've been riding the DRZ since the summer of 2006, it still amazes me at times compared to the two DR350s I previously had. It's the same weight, but handles different - probably because it slimmer. I can still scare myself on it once in a while.
Do you find yourself in situations where you have to pick up the bike now and then during a days outing?
If I only have to pick it up once every 3rd or 4th ride, I'm doing good. Picking it up only happens during a bad negotiation of something on a single track trail, like if I hit something that shoots me where the front wheel goes off the trail, or maybe the rear washes out and goes off trail. I've ben wanting a steering dampener for it.
Do you find yourself not going places you'd like to go but the bike seems just a wee bit to unweildy? If so a big bore EXC might be just the ticket! Otherwise stick with the DR-Z, cheap and reliable, even when abused.
Nope, not yet anyway. I've taken both 350s and the DRZ on some pretty technical stuff here in Washington - Miller Peak, Manastash Ridge, and all the trails on the south side of Manastash. I've had the 350 on a number of the less challenging trails at Gifford Picnhot Natl Forest too. Both 350s, but not the DRZ have been to Horsehead Pass, Deadman's Pass, Foggy Dew, Devil's Backbone (Lake Chelan area),
All three have been to most trails around the Upper Mad River area.
Most of the Naches stuff is a cake walk for me. Around the Liberty, WA area, Miller Peak / County Line have some scary spots, but I don't consider them too technically challenging. At first I did, but that was back in the beginning when I first started riding single track. They are definitely not beginner trails.
Any single track that is too challenging to take the DRZ on, is a trail that no matter what bike I had, I wouldn't ride on.
I suppose I should just keep riding the DRZ and stop getting sucked in by bright shiny objects (new bikes) at the dealer!
Getting sucked in by seeing the 500 EXC and finding out the 12's are fuel injected is exactly what happened. LOL. Another part of it is money burning a hole in my pocket.