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2008 Suzuki DR-Z400S Bike Test Photo Gallery
2008 Suzuki DR-Z400S
We had plenty of time to evaluate the mid-size dual-sport before our riding season ran out, and if there’s on thing we discovered, the 2008 DR-Z is completely comfortable in its own skin. Check out the full story in our
2008 Suzuki DR-Z400S Bike Test
Cult followings of enthusiasts and a strong support network give even more intrinsic value to an already attractive machine.
The 2008 Suzuki DR-Z400S is one of the most popular middle-weight dual-sports and one of the main reaons Suzuki sponsored the AMA National Dual Sport Tail Ride Series.
The only thing we’d like to see are rim locks for the 18- and 21-inch aluminum. We think it’s capable of some pretty serious off-roading with a willing rider, so we would like to see them included.
With demand for affordable, versatile transportation at a premium, Suzuki has done well to leave the DR-Z400S alone.
This could just as easily be a curb at the local shopping center. The DR-Z is popular for lots of reasons.
The dual mirrors are usable but inoffensive on the trail, signals and lights offer safe amounts of visibility and all the controls are simple to use.
Bear Camp Road is a blast, but we constantly wanted to leave the pavement and go exploring on the network of surrounding logging roads.
We abused the clutch much more with the additional weight and finesse required in tight sections, but it showed little fade and the pull is reasonable.
The motor is a little cold blooded. Carburetion from the 36mm Mikuni suffers a burble off the bottom which is exacerbated if not allowed to warm up fully.
Our 400S test bike came equipped with Dunlop 606 tires, which aren’t standard from the factory. But, since we fully intended to beat this thing on the trails, Suzuki was kind enough to mount up a set of the more aggressive DOT-legal knobbies.
The DR-Z isn't meant for long road trips along the highway, and the Dunlop 606 tires we spooned on aren't either. However, the 400S can handle it if you can.
Starting is simple with a key, ignition switch and thumb starter. When we did stall, the electric system was flawless and got us moving instantly.
Suzuki technicians told us that the 2008 model got a stronger spring for the automatic cam adjuster, but we still heard plenty of rattle as the chain stretched over time.
As accustomed as we are to rip-snorting motocross and enduro bikes, and even some wicked middle-weight dual-sports, the DR-Z still provides enough to be effective and evoke grins.
It's possible to man-handle the Suzuki, but at 317 pounds it takes some effort at times.
We tried to stretch the 2.6 gallon tank further than intended on two occasions, and even though we had a throttle-happy lunatic in one instance and a reserved, eco-minded fuel Nazi in the other, they both had the engine cut out at exactly 81 miles.
The DOHC motor keeps things interesting but aftermarket companies have developed tons of product to boost performance.
Suzuki has been selling the DR-Z400 since 2000, and in the time since has developed a huge network of loyal customers.
Eight years of refinement have created a solid DS platform.
Suzuki has stuck with its winning formula of care-free DS fun in a manageable dirt-oriented package. We were glad to find that the Z400S is undeniably geared toward riders who spend more time off-road.
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