Suzuki has been on a roll lately. With standout motocross riders like Ricky Carmichael, Ivan Tedesco, and newcomer Ryan Dungey consistently earning podium finishes, the future looks bright for Team Makita Suzuki led by motocross legend Roger DeCoster. One of the upsides to this success for us weekend riders is that the technology they're using to win races is being integrated into the bikes on the showroom floor, much like competition rockcrawling technology has made its way to our rigs.
One of the cool bikes in the Suzuki lineup that benefits from some of this technology is the DR-Z 400E. This is engineered to be a do-it-all bike that you can ride on a variety of terrain. It's powered by a 398cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, dry-sump engine that produces a load of torque across a wide powerband. It features a forged-aluminum piston, four-valve cylinder head, automatic decompression system, and SCEM-plated cylinder. As a bonus, it features a handy lightweight electric starting system so you can skip the kick and concentrate on the ride. The engine is topped with a KeihinT FCR39 carburetor (outside California) that provides lightning-fast throttle response. The sum of all this technology is an engine that not only produces gobs of torque, but also generates the wicked pull you expect from a class-leading dirt bike.
The four-stroke engine rests in a chromoly steel frame that is designed to be torsionally strong, but light in weight-clearly, a great combination. The backbone tube, front down tube, and steering-head gussets form the dry-sump engine oil tank. A bolt-on aluminum subframe helps reduce weight and simplify maintenance. The long-travel 49mm cartridge-style forks are fully adjustable, so you can dial them in to the terrain you're riding on. The rear shock is also fully adjustable, and it works in conjunction with an aluminum swing arm for precise rear-wheel control.
When it comes to reining in the 262-pound bike, the grippy hydraulic brakes are up to the task. The front utilizes a big 250mm disc brake and a dual-piston caliper. In the rear is a 220mm disc brake with single-piston caliper.
The DR-Z 400E comes standard with a bright 55-watt headlight so you'll be seen in the daytime and you'll see well at night. Out back is a compact, bright, and durable LED taillight that is mounted in a flexible base, so when you wipe out ripping down the trail, it has a better chance of surviving.
So there you have it. Due in part to the technological trickle-down effect from Suzuki's racing program, the Suzuki DR-Z 400E is fast, agile, and adaptable. What else is there?
Vehicle model: 2007 Suzuki DR-Z 400E
Base price: $5,199
Type: Four-stroke, single cylinder, DOHC, four-valve, liquid cooled
Displacement (cc): 398
Bore x stroke (mm): 90 x 62.6
Compression ratio: 12.2:1
Carburetion: KeihinT FCR39 (Mikuni SBR36 in California)
Starter: Electric (kick available)
Final drive: No. 520 chain
Front: Telescopic, cartridge-type, oil-damped, adjustable preload, 14-way compression damping, and 18-way rebound damping
Rear: Link-type, fully-adjustable spring preload, adjustable high/low compression damping, and adjustable rebound damping
Front: Single 250mm hydraulic disc, dual-piston caliper
Rear: Single 220mm hydraulic disc, single-piston caliper
Weight (lb): 262
Ground clearance (in): 12.8
Fuel capacity (gal): 2.6
Seat height (in): 37.2
Wheelbase (in): 58.1
Overall length (in): 88.0
Overall width (in): 32.5
Overall height (in): 37.2