I've always held that a good dirtbike is a great streetbike, and our 2008 Suzuki DR-Z400S long-termed has been proving me prophetic ever since I launched a leg over it. There is simply no other motorcycle I know of that can do everything I want to do, from single-track, high-mountain dual-sport ridding, to canyon aerobatics, to horizon-inhaling combat touring - and do each nearly as well, if not better, than the specialists bikes I know
In Bangkok, the Suzuki DR-Z400S is light, comfortable and deliriously whippy. If a hole opens in traffic, it's through it like a hornet up a pant leg; it's like driving a small displacement bike with supercharger. And if you don't like the way traffic is going, you can always improvise - over the curb, along the shoulder or across the roadside noodle shop (Tickets from the boys in brown, are your own responsibility).
At stop signs the wide steering bar upright stance and impeccable balance let met stop without putting a foot down. And wheelie away, feet on the pegs as Suzuki intended. On the freeway, the DR-Z400S is surprisingly capable for a 400cc 4-stroke 4-valve single cylinder liquid cooled engine.
The seat is fine, the wind protection adequate and the vibes well controlled, even with the rubber pegs inserts and the handlebar weight sitting in the garage. It'll go 135km/h all day, and hit an indicated 163km/h if you hold the throttle open long enough.
The Suzuki DR-Z400S uses a single cylinder with a 90mm bore and 62.6mm stroke with a compression ratio of 11.3:1, the official displacement of the Suzuki engine is 389cc. For carburetor Suzuki selected the trusted Mikuni BSR36, which is one of the most reliable carburetors around.
Suzuki uses for the front suspension, regular telescopic oil-damped, adjustable compression and rebound damping. For the rear suspension Suzuki selected a mono-shock swingarm with link type fully adjustable spring preload with adjustable compression and rebound damping.
With its 10-liter fuel tank, though, it'll also run flat out of gas at 126 kilometer if you do. An optional 15-liter fuel tank is optional, this cured the range problem; it took a little pushing and shoving to line up all the bolt holes, but once in place it's trouble free. Of course if you buy the bike to do some occasional touring there is no need to pay more for the larger fuel tank.