Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.


LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 17 Jan 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rehab
Posts: 68
What are the DRZ 400 SM essential mods?


Ive junked the idea of an SV650. I have managed to find a new 2006 DRZ400SM in a Riyadh dealer discounted to 19000R / $5100 / 2640 GBP (I work in Saudi).

I would appreciate advice on basic mods as follows, suitable for 50% Road/50% desert/rock. I have waded through loads of DRZ posts but would appreciate your own recommendations:

AT Tyres

Larger plastic tank min 4 gallon UK

Sump plate and casing guards

Bars and levers

Crash bars

Pannier rack and panniers (Aluminium lightweight preferred)

Tank bags

Poss. front light & alternator upgrade

Carb mods

Suspension mods


thanks in advance

'Peaches are better than Tanks'
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Jan 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rehab
Posts: 68
Oh, and a seat

I forgot.. a comfy seat?
'Peaches are better than Tanks'
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Jan 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Eureka, CA USA
Posts: 326
IMHO forget the SM and get the dual sport S model if you plan on going off road. While the SM can so some light off road, the S model is much better. The SM is a real great bike on the pavement and can really out turn the S model, untill you get off road.
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Jan 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Africa, Swaziland, Mexico
Posts: 5
It is mostly about the tires

The DR-Z400S model has knobbies, the SM has fatter street tires.
Reply With Quote
Old 24 Jan 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 998
The guys at www.thumpertalk.com know as much or more about this bike than Suzuki does.
This will be your source.
Reply With Quote
Old 2 Feb 2007
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ashford Kent UK
Posts: 141
as for the seat try a sheap skin cheap & comfy & you can sit on/off the bike on it & sleep on it only down side is it will raise your seat hight . Just used one on N/W Africa trip on BMW & it worked great . I also have a DRZ & got some cheap case gaurds off ebay as ive been told you can put your gear change/rear brake pedal through the cases.
Cheers Kev
Reply With Quote
Old 16 Feb 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rehab
Posts: 68
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Why you have choosen the SM model is beyond me.
It has ZERO advantages on a RTW ride or combined off road/on road tour.
The S model is the one you want.

Err excuse me? how about this:

Riyadh dealer is a small outfit (bikes are not big business here 50+C in summer, crazy driving). Available bikes are:

1 GSXeR's, 750 & 1000

2 Intruders (various sizes)

3 SV1000 (Not V strom)

4 Various quad bikes

5 One new discounted 2006 DR-Z 400SM at £1500 below UK list

Trust that explains my decision. Thanks for the other answers, Im still buying the 400SM. With the money I save I'll buy a bigger tank, better seat, do the various mods and look at a set of off road wheels.
'Peaches are better than Tanks'
Reply With Quote
Old 16 Feb 2007
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,246
Go For It!

That is a great deal!

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 02:55.
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Feb 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rehab
Posts: 68
Dr Z 400 Sm

No worries Patrick.

The price works out at 2500 GBP, which I reckon is a bargain for a new 400 SM. No tax of course

No S models. It's pretty much a case of whatever they have.. orders can take a while unless you are buying from the BMW or Harley dealer in town. Its also getting hotter now and we will not be able to ride from June until September.

Sports bikes are the main deal here, although the dealer has a few hard core RM's for dune bashing.

My mate Jarkko (mad Finn) has a Dominator and I reckon I can set the SM up for less than $1000. We will do about 30% tarmac & 70% rocky/gravelly trails, with the odd bit of sand thrown in.

I like playing with bikes so will look at getting the subframe strengthened here, doing the mods and getting an aluminium rack and panniers made up.. some good welders and labour rates are low (and I am a Structural Engineer, which helps). Will keep posting when (if ever) I set off back from here!


'Peaches are better than Tanks'
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Essential Reading Richard Jakobek Southern Asia 0 8 Dec 2005 18:48
Mods for type c (euro model) KLR lee5500 Kawasaki 1 13 Jan 2005 20:05
w650 mods south america imthadon Which Bike? 1 29 Nov 2004 03:29
mods for XR650L Tank tarisius Honda Tech 2 16 Jul 2002 01:27
Ténéré mods john Yamaha Tech 3 5 Jan 2001 12:53


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:26.