Originally Posted by 38thfoot
Planning my retirement adventure, hopefully either a transam trail or continental devide trip.
Mostly been considering an XR400 with soft panniers but have started to get used to the electric button, especially as I am short and very rarely get two feet down. For that reason and because of some of the trip reports I have read looking at an electric start DRZ4.
What are the pros and cons of each, given that I am a mechanical simpleton....
Personally, I like the XR 400. Why? well, I have one. Its simple in design, lighter tha the DRZ, and once you';re used to it the kickstart is a doddle. I am not so tall (5'9"/174cm).
I should point out, I've never owned or ridden a DRZ, but I get the impression they are very capable little bikes...
It is a simple design. Air-cooled: no cooling system to go wrong, no radiator to puncture. Generally a lower state of tune, hence should be pretty solid. This is aht esame aircooled single design that has been used on the DOmmie, the XR600, the XBR500 etc.... its been around for a while and these are all relialble bikes on the whole.
Mine has an Edelbrock Quiksilver II carb, a K&N filter and standard pipes. I recnetl;y rode it back from the UK to my home in Estonia. It consistently got about 75mpg!!! This was most, but not limited to cruising at 50mph or so, but heavily laden with all my crap. This, added to the 22ltr (just under 5 gallons) Acerbis tank I have on it, means I had a big tank range, if I wanted...
They can be bought very cheaply now and with possibly very few miles (althouhg they may have been off-road!)
My biggest gripe is the seat: it is lethal, being a enduro bike, but a whole day and almost 500 miles in the saddle on the way here and I needed medical assistance for my posterior!! Get a new seat!!!
Lower power. Given the weight, the performance is great, but on paper it does make fewer bhp than say the DRZ. I've never ridden a DRZ, so I can't say how differently they perform side by side, but its not a race its a trip, so it probably should not matter, provided you can cruise at a decent speed on the motorways....
Other than that, the only other gripe is no electric start. Not a major one for me, just a pain if you stall just as the lights go green. Once you get used to it, its OK, and it saves you another few Kgs over a lecky start bike.
Really, the best way to decide is try and have a go on each, you may find that you simply prefer one over the other. After all, other peoples opinions and experience can narrow you choice to a point, but for the final decision, its got to be your gut feeling...