2016 - 2020 Suzuki DR-Z400S / DR-Z400SM
Pitting the fuel-injection fans against the carburetor fans, we score a point for the latter with the DR-Z400S and DR-Z400SM from Suzuki. Fuel injection hasn’t yet made an appearance in Suzuki’s dual-sport lineup, which was a good thing or a bad thing, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. For 2020, the DR-Z siblings haven’t yet been touched by the FI update. Sharing the same engine as the 500EXC from KTM, the DR-Zs come on a different chassis with progressive-link rear suspension. The “SM” — the SuperMoto of the family — and the “S” feature a six-liter air box with quick-release fasteners trouble-free access to the air filter and special low profile mirrors that rotate hoping to avoid damage, both are pluses when you’re playing in the dirt.
Suzuki continues strong in the adventure market for 2016 with the V Strom family. The 1000 and 1000 Adventure share the stable with their 650 cc counterparts for fun on-road and off-road in grand touring style.
If you’re looking at an adventure bike for the first time, understand that this isn’t a sport bike with off-road capabilities. Don’t look at that 1000 cc engine and get a chubby like you would with a crotch rocket. These V Strom 1000s are adventure bikes – tall seat, tall tank and suspension squishier than a street bike, but not as much travel as a proper off-road bike. Is that a bad thing? No, as long as you know what you’re looking at.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki V Strom 1000 and V Strom 1000 Adventure.