Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Suzuki Tech
Suzuki Tech Suzuki Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to Suzuki riders only.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 21 Jul 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: England
Posts: 22
DRZ with 28 litre tank - how does it perform?

I'm considering a DRZ 400 for a trip around Africa. I am particularly interested in this bike because of the 28 litre safari fuel tank that is available - and because i am told the bike is very easy to handle.

My question is how practical is the bike when equipped with what sounds like a whopping 28 litre tank?

- How much does a tank this big affect the performance of the bike? Is it considerably slower when full?
- How is the weight distributed? Does it give the front forks a hard time?
- Is there a noticeable difference in handling?
- how many miles can you get off a full tank when travelling say a consistent 65mph

Apologies for the somewhat vague questions - i hope you catch my drift!

If you could help with any of the above or pass on any of your experiences that would be great!

Many thanks!
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Jul 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 994
I don't have any direct experience overlanding with a DRZ400 with or without tank but the only problems I have come across with them have been snapped rear subframes, so weld in some bits of bar as struts to sort that out. I do however have some experience riding bikes with large high tanks and it doesn't seem to affect the handling too bad. I believe that the large tanks for the DRZ have a fair bit of storage down each side which helps reduce the 'sloshing effect'. This is only realy a problem turning in for corners on tarmac as the fuel moving over means you tend to lurch in.

As for the forks getting a ahmmering this will depend on what you ride on and how you ride on it. As there will be more starting weight than normal it would probably be wise to put in harder springs and heavier oil in the forks and increase the preload on the rear shock. If you intend on giving the bike a proper pounding fully loaded maybe a heavier spring....

As a health warning I would also wait for advice from someone with direct experience of this bike and tank!!
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Jul 2008
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,350

A friend of mine has a DRZ with 28 litre safari tank. It looks extremely cool, I'll say that for it!

The tank looks massive on what is quite a wee bike. However, my mate thrashes it around off road willy nilly. I've seen him pound around an enduro track, getting quite good air (as far as I'm concerned) with the tank on. Although he does empty it so its only got a few litres in it when he's off-roading. As Henry says, the Safari tanks come quite far down the sides which keeps the centre of gravity a bit lower, although this apparently renders some fuel unobtainable by the fuel line.

Despite being fiercely loyal to my XT 600 as an all-rounder, if I was going somewhere where many of the roads were dirt it is exactly that set up I'd choose. DRZ with 28 litre safari tank, with Andy Strapz soft panniers on the back.



*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Jul 2008
colebatch's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London / Moscow
Posts: 1,913
How many miles .... ?

Now I am no rocket scientist, but if you have a 6.15 UK gallon (28 litres) tank and you get about 70mp(UK)g (cruising at a steady 60-65 mph) ....

Anyway, I agree with the other posters that a DRZ400 with a 28 litre tank and as little luggage as possible makes for a very interesting dirt touring proposition

Last edited by colebatch; 22 Jul 2008 at 14:10.
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Jul 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 82
Before my trip to Libya last winter I borrowed a 27-litre tank from a friend of mine and compared it with my 16-litre Clarke tank. I filled it up completely and rode some tracks I know and can take as a benchmark. I have a 2003 DR-Z400S (so she has the newer suspention) and did not have any luggage with me on these test rides. The tank was made by Johann Hartmann in Swizerland, name of the version is "Ksar Ghilane".

Handling of the bike was more different than expected, the center of gravity moves up quite a bit. So it felt like balancing a pear on its stem. The fork had a hard time to support the extra weight and some of the spring travel was lost. For non-transient use I would concider changing the fork springs for progressive ones.

Seat comfort wasn't too good either. The tank has a steeper angle at the back where the seat is fixed. And it is longer. So I had to stretch my arms longer then I am used to which forced me into a position I wasn't comfortable with.

Maybe with some more effort, other fork springs and a real need for that much petrol on hand I would have decided different, but I unmounted the large tank and went with my standard equipment.
Reply With Quote
Old 6 Sep 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3
I've got one of the 28 liter tanks and the motorcycle handles fine with the extra weight and without a noticeable decrease in top speed. My DRZ with 15/41 gears got around 45mpg touring around Canada but I was going over 65 on paved roads but spent most of my time on graveled roads. If I switch to 14/47 gears my mileage is about 10 mpg worse at high speeds, but the top speed is the same if not better. The DRZ isn't the most comfortable bike for long distances, but it does admirably considering, not to mention a blast once you are off the pavement. A
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
8 Litre tank for LC4 640 E Burtieboy1200 KTM Tech 4 22 Dec 2007 23:43
40-45 litre tank for Adventure 640 RichLees KTM Tech 16 26 Dec 2006 01:52
WTD 45 litre fuel tank for BMW R80G/S ChrisK TRAVEL Equipment for Sale / Wanted 1 17 May 2005 06:20
35 Litre Tenere Tank? Fish Yamaha Tech 2 18 Oct 2003 18:57
Anyone with an 18 or 20 litre LC4 Tank? Ian KTM Tech 0 11 Jul 2002 02:45



Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.



  • Queensland is back! May 2-4 2025!

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!

Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.

Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

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 R80G/S.

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 all over the world with the help of volunteers; 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, or ask questions on the HUBB. 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.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:12.