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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 27 Jan 2002
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DRZ400s

Just wondering if anyone has any info on making the 2002 Suzuki DRZ400s into a full touring rig? Wondering if a 400 is too small an engine for highway running and if the rear frame would need to be beefed-up for hard luggage etc.? I would like to have the full suspension adjustability the bike offers but am not sure if I would have to change too much on the rest of the bike to make it a worthwhile project. Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 27 Jan 2002
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you're gonna be the first...

No, I don't think it's too small - so long as you don't treat it like an 1100 and run it at 80mph all day. Take one for a ride and see what it's comfortable cruise speed is. Ask the dealer's opinion. Maybe he has a demo or last years used you could take out for a run. It will be buzzy, definitely revving at extra-legal speeds, but at legal speeds should be ok.

Perhaps you need to gear it up a tooth or two. The KLR650 for instance comes geared too low for highway, but one more tooth on the front makes a big difference.

I would definitely not plan on using it as a mainly highway bike, but as a bike you could ride a long way on backroads and gravel/dirt roads, with occasional highway jaunts.

For around the world, I think it would be great, assuming you like the backroads. That's where all the good stuff is anyway.

All bikes need the rear subframe beefed-up for full luggage, especially for backroads use. If it's steel, and you can see a clear method to beef it up, go for it. OTOH, it may be hugely difficult because it's too tight a fit everywhere to add braces or support tubes. You may even have to make a new one, which isn't quite as difficult as it sounds - maybe. Some subframes are very simple, and a competent welder could make you a stronger one in an afternoon, complete with great brackets for luggage.


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Old 27 Jan 2002
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Steve,

I think the first thing you'd want is a comfier seat if you're going to be spending a lot of time on the highway. Even bikes (like my XR650L) with seats much wider and softer are notoriously uncomfortable after only an hour or two in the saddle. Unfortunately, putting on a wider seat might radically change the narrow feel of the bike when you're standing up in off-road situations, as it may push your knees out and force you to ride with your feet on the edge of your footpegs. I'm not certain though - this is what people report when putting Corbin seats on XR's.

Please let us know what you discover.

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