XR650L or DR-Z400s ??

First I want to say hello to everyone. This is my second post on the forums, and I have a specific question. Before that I want provide a little background. I live in Florida, I am 37 years old, am very happily married, and have a 2 year old son. In a year or two I expect to get my son started with either a 4-wheeler, or a little 50. To join him I was going to get a dirt bike for myself as well. My brother in law has a CRF450X, and his kids have a 4-wheeler, CRF50, and a CRF70. As you all know, off-roading is great family fun. My original plan was to get a CRF250X. Then a while back I got the idea of getting a DUAL SPORT. It just seemed like a more practical option. I'm historically a Honda man all the way, so I initially went to see what Honda offered.....which is basically the XR650L. After looking around, I realized that the Suzuki DR-Z400S, actually appeals to me more. It's hard breaking the brand loyalty thing, though. Right now, I'm seriously considering going with the DR. It just seems more modern and lighter than the Honda.

My question: Does anyone have experience with both bikes, that can shed some light on my decision?

Get the DR.

Find a good used one and save some $$$.

Get the DR.

Find a good used one and save some $$$.

I like my drzs. It's a great play bike, and bullet proof as well. 2 wheels is best for the kid too, me thinks. Anyone can ride a quad IMHO.

Neither

...if this will be your first bike (or 1st bike you actually plan to ride a lot), I'd recommend a super light, easy to start, used trail bike (xr250...or if you're a bigger guy - xr400). Don’t get a "race bike," or motocross bike...or a brand new shiny bike (too much $ and by the time your done with it, it'll be hammered) Get a mellow air-cooled scoot, that’s easy to start and easy to maintain. Learn to ride it good before you get a bigger bike - and before you get a Dual sport. It's better to outgrow a bike (more fun, and faster progression) than it is to have too much motor, and not enough skill.

i started with my xr650l as a first bike it wasnt bad at all. took a little bit to get used to the weight but its all good now. i second gettin a used bike hurry up tho i have a feeling they are goin to be harder to find with th eprice of gas goin up

Drew

Neither

...if this will be your first bike (or 1st bike you actually plan to ride a lot), I'd recommend a super light, easy to start, used trail bike (xr250...or if you're a bigger guy - xr400). Don’t get a "race bike," or motocross bike...or a brand new shiny bike (too much $ and by the time your done with it, it'll be hammered) Get a mellow air-cooled scoot, that’s easy to start and easy to maintain. Learn to ride it good before you get a bigger bike - and before you get a Dual sport. It's better to outgrow a bike (more fun, and faster progression) than it is to have too much motor, and not enough skill.

I could definitely appreciate your comments and perspective, but I'm not a total newbie. I got my first motorcycle when I was 11, which was actually a dual sport ('79 Yamaha GT-80). It only topped out at 45mph, but it had headlight, tail light, and blinkers. My next bike was a '82 Yamaha YZ80, when I turned 14, and I'll NEVER forget the rush of going through 2-stroke hyperspace. My next bike was a Honda CM-400 when I turned 16. Shortly after that I got into cars, and haven't owned another to this day, but ridden plenty (2 different CBR600s, SuperHawk, RC-51, and most recently the CRF450X). I think I feel comfortable getting either the DR-Z400S or the XR650L, but just wanted some input from owners out there to help with my decision --- especially from those that have ridden both.

By the way, I'm 6'1" and weight about 185.

Keep the comments coming.....I appreciate all of them.

Go with the one that "stirs your soul". They are both very competent machines are both basically bulletproof and should serve you well. Go with the one that really calls out to you. I currently have a 02 Goldwing, 05 Suzuki DR650, and a 05 Honda CRF450X and everyone of them is a hell of a good bike. You can't make a wrong choice. Do you like red or yellow better? LOL!

damn i was just gonna recomend a crf450 or try a xr600

I have owned serveral XR650L's (went to college on one) and although it was a great bike during the time it was rolled out, it is highly antiquated now. You would be much better off on a DRZ (which is just as powerful, not having the torque down low, but pulls harder on top) and is not nearly as top heavy. I currently own a DRZ400SM and I have worked at a Honda dealership for the last 7 years.

As far as maintenance, they are basically the same. Shim under bucket valve train on DRZ will allow for greater adjustment intervals ( 14000 miles for DRZ vs 4000 miles for XR ) although I would check mine sooner for both. Watercooling has it pluses, especially in a hot environment with stop and go traffic. I have ridden many DRZ's and they are definitely a superior bike for about the same price. With either bike, just change your oil frequently and you will see many many miles of trouble free performance barring any quirks that can arise now and then.

I just got my 06 xr650l and love it so far.

You cant get much easier starting then pressing a button lol.

I just rode 100 miles on mine today, mostly all stop and go side street riding (just got my ca riders permit, not suppose to take the freeway lol) and it was 85 out, no trouble with the air cooled engine.

Go with w/e you like most. I got the honda because of its simplicity and rock solid track record, i like to ride more then wrench.

Ive had suzukis, and never had problems though, but they were motorcross bikes not dual sports.

Have fun above all.

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