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NothingMan 17 Mar 2006 15:04

which suzuki to choose for RTW
hi there. I am currently planning a trip around the world going everwhere, south america, africa, asia, ect. i like the suzuki bikes and am wondering which bike would be best. The things i want out of the bike is to be reliable, easy to fix, being able to find parts around the world, and capable of going through the sahara as well as doing long days on the high way. i am a big guy at 6'1 235lbs so wondering which bike would be best.

the bikes i'm lookign at are:

1. DR650SE



reliablity i have to say is my main concern and being able to find parts around the world.

Lone Rider 17 Mar 2006 18:50

The 650.

There isn't a moto made that has parts available 'everywhere'.

El Aleman - Jens 17 Mar 2006 23:23


I did already some tours on Suzukis and I like a lot the DR 650 SE, put a big Tank on the bike and thats it. I also made some tours on a DR 350, for very tough roads perhaps even the better bike(Jungle etc.)

I know a girl who did Alaska - Tierra del fuego on the DR 350 - no problems!

Have fun - Jens

amcwillie 18 Mar 2006 01:50

Ride whatever bike you like and fits you well. As has been said before, there are no parts anywhere in the world for any bike you are riding. Heck you can't even find tires most of the time.

So ride what you want and know how to service it and carry wear parts with you.

And most of all----have fun!!!



Stromboli 31 Mar 2006 07:33

You might want to consider the DL650. It has lots of room for luggage, is reliable as a brick, and comfortable. Off road, the bike has a smooth tractable powerband and aside from being a bit heavy compared to the DR, is pretty capable. Consider installing cartridge emulators and an upgraded rear shock, as well as crash bars and a bash plate though. I've gone on dual sport rides and had no problem keeping up with the KLR's etc on two track, and on the highway it's no contest. 60 MPG is nice bonus as well. Not a bike for tight single track, but when reliability, economy, and comfort are needed, this is one you might want to check out.

Lone Rider 9 Jul 2006 22:16

The DL650 is a nice bike, but suffers from a lack of ground clearance.

It's not a bike to take curb hopping, up/down stairs, crossing over deepish ruts or trails with babyheads.

Dry weight is approx 90lb greater than the DR650, before requisite amour is added.

A broken chain can lead to a broken clutch actuator rod which stops the bike from running in any gear except neutral.

It's very quick, reliable as an anvil, has excellent fuel mileage and good range.

A friend of mine has this bike and he loves it.

wiese 10 Jul 2006 13:09

"capable of going through the sahara as well as doing long days on the high way. i am a big guy at 6'1 235lbs"

If it was ME, i would say DR-Z400S. Capable yes, but i am trying to avoid "long days on the high way" and you got a pound or two or nearly 100 on me.

check out this thread will have so much info for yea.


take care

i keep toying with the "which bike", it is down to DR-Z400S or XR650R, but this is just for ME, it is what ever works for ya nothingman.

wiese 10 Jul 2006 18:33

MY thoughts are there is no right bike. I also feel there is not a correct way to go RTW. With this said there is not a right or a wrong way to RTW, it is what ever works for YOU.

I tried to say the only Suzuki I would think of RTW is the DR-Z400S/kick. I tried to show this with the capital ME. (“If it was ME”)


As for, “six feet of crap piled up on the rear rack of your bike” you could not pay me to RTW with that. Nor would I ever think of RTW on a 50cc or a BMW 1150/1200 but people do it. Do people go around the world on dirt bikes yea and I am soon to be one of them.

You may also want to check out that ADVrider again and look into DRZmaui. You know, the guy who has taken his all over the world, Siberia, Mongolia, Egypt and etc. I think he is now on his second one after putting 100+k on his first one.

“To gain more insight into this, go check out my other comments on the other threads here on Suzuki tech." Thank you, but you may wish to do the same my good friend. Do a search and plenty of people traveling 3rd world on DRZ.

Nothingman, it is what ever works for ya. Get on them both and see what feels right. When it comes time to decide, don't listen to anyone but yourself. Good Luck with it and don't worry you will be happy with what ever you are on.

Take care

Lone Rider 12 Jul 2006 00:54

From the manufacturers' websites, so it's always suspect...:)

1200GS Adv - 564 lbs wet
1200GS - 496 lbs wet
F650GS - 425 lbs wet
DL650 - 427 lbs dry
DR650 - 324 lbs dry
DRZ400S - 291 lbs dry

'If' these numbers are correct (big if), then the DL650 is:

27 lbs heavier than the F650 (dry)
35 lbs lighter than the 1200GS (dry)
103 lbs heavier than the DR650
136 lbs heavier than the DRZ400S

From my personal experience, 10 miles of hellacious (and possibly dangerous) off road conditions, can quickly nullify any comfort had over the previous 3000 miles...:)

What are you preparing for........

lecap 21 Jul 2006 11:14

I would surely appreciate someone recommending me touring bikes like Suzi DL and BMW R after I asked SPECIFICALLY about DR 400 and 650SE?

Apparently the OP has given it some thought and narrowed down to three lightweight semioffroad Suzukis.

IMHO there is not much of a difference for you between the three bikes you consider. I like the 650SE very much and ride it a lot myself. I currently have four of them and they are very reliable. 100000km is no problem for the engine. Whilst the 400 definitely give you better off road performance the 650SE scores a few points on tarmac being more road orientated and the engine running at lower rpm at highway speed in top gear (might influence fuel economy and range).
Problems on the 650 are rare and maintenance is very simple.

I would go with the DR as it comes. Try to cut down your luggage to 30kg. Get quality tools to replace the onboard ones plus tire levers / 2 inner tubes & patches. Also feeler gauge and Suzuki tool to adjust valves.
Extend your fuel range with a 10l jerrycan. If that's not enugh travel in convoi with cars.
Spares to take: Clutch and brake levers, duct tape and cable ties.

Traveldog 12 Oct 2006 08:07

2 Attachment(s)
If you weren't such a big guy, I would say DRZ400S for sure.

I rode 18,000 miles on mine, with simple mods an extremely capable and comfortable overlander. DRZ400 with the 3x3 mod has power comparable to the DR650, albeit a bit less torque. It is light and you can venture off road should you choose that. It is reliable. Simple. Inexpensive.

The basic mods: for long distance comfort: modified Cee Bailey windshield, Renthal bars and Rocky Miller seat.
Plus: 41 T rear sprocket, case and radiator guards, 3.9 gallon Clarke tank, Pro billet rack, Avon Distanzia tires with heavy duty 4 mm tubes (no flats ever). Motosport panniers (mounting rack had to be welded repeatedly).

Not a whole lot of mods. Solid bike. Do not mess with the engine apart from the 3x3 mod.

Wish I did:
Red loctite on the front sprocket. Came loose after 12,000 miles.

Only one other problem I had: one of the electric connectors burnt out. Otherwise an extremely solid bike. No problem cruising 75 mph all day long with above mods.

If I were to go around the world now, without a doubt on a DRZ400S.
Can't imagine a better bike that could handle dirt and tarmac this well.

Let us know what you picked.

Traveldog 12 Oct 2006 08:07

.....double .... post ....

Gipper 17 Oct 2006 05:07

Hey Traveldog,
What fuel consumption/range were you getting from the 400 with the Clarke Tank ?


Traveldog 2 Nov 2006 23:51

I would average about 50 mpg on tarmac, less on the dirt roads riding in lower gear.

So the range was about 200 miles with a full tank, plus I had a 1 gal fuel cell on my back rack.

Generally in Mongolia, Russia, Europe and the U.S. 150 mile range is all you need. Once I did run out of gas in Siberia when a gas pump in a village was closed, and I was also sharing my gas with another guy who had worse gas mileage. In the end we both ran dry, but easily hitchhiked to the nearest pump.

Mounting the Clarke was straightforward, and 18,000 miles later I have no regrets for buying it, good product.

mrdnd 24 Nov 2006 07:30

dr and drz
I have owned the dr and drz both. I would choose the dr for around the world the way I would do it. Taking a little bigger bike would let me take some camping gear and put presents for my family on the back until the next post office, pass the annoying truck on that corner just that much faster and cruise that booring stretch of road at 90 mph without a blink. It is weird for me; I know that both bikes have about the same horsepower but the 650 is a very noticeable difference in power delivery for me. Either bike would do just fine.

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