I'd opt for the DRZ over the XR any day.
No e-start on the XR. Valve clearances on the Honda are easier than on the DRZ but once adjusted, the DRZ's valves don't need checking for 15,000 miles which is why we chose one for Pumpy's 14,600 mile South America trip. Once home, i checked the valves again at 16,000 miles and they didn't need adjusting.
The only issues she had were limited to the plastic speedo drive in the front hub breaking up and the carb float sticking once. The only parts fitted during the trip were consumable service items such as pads, tyres, oil & filters etc.
She also achieved well in excess of 70mpg on many occassions despite reaching altitudes of 15,000ft on stock jetting.
All bikes have their particular issues, the DRZ is no exception and they're well documented. Aside from sensible pre-trip preparation, the only DRZ specific mods made were to replace the mild steel wheel and countershaft spacers with stainless versions. I also strengthened the aluminium subframe to ensure it dealt with the luggage loads but I'd have done that regardless of the bike she chose.
Pumpy's bike is still in regular use for on and off road rides.
Unfinished ride report here:
you have to live your dream. Solo through South America - ADVrider
I'm unaware of other DRZ specific weaknesses with the exception of stator bolts coming loose which I only found out about once her strip had started? Anyone care to enlighten me about others?
I believe that a large percentage of a bike's reliability factor is down to decent preparation? I recently heard of guys riding the TAT on high mileage bikes who never thought to replace their wheel bearings before shipping their bikes to the US and guess what failed............