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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.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

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


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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Old 1 Nov 2011
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Luggage/load: DR-Z400 vs DR650?

I've done a lot of reading and am choosing between the DR-Z400 and DR-650. The 400 is clearly lighter, which on the surface of things allows you to carry the same amount of gear a bit easier and more manageably (I'm declaring that to be a valid word.) But maybe it isn't as simple as that.

So can a DR-Z400 (with the appropriate spring rating front and rear and with appropriate load carrying racks etc installed) carry the same load as a DR650 (with the appropriate spring rating front and rear and with appropriate load carrying racks etc installed) equally as well, or can problems arise with the subframe strength and such things?

Now I hear the DR-Z400E and DR-Z400S have different subframes, does anyone have a pic comparing the two (or three if you include the DR650)?

Disclaimer: this isn't a question about the relative merits of each bike other than their load carrying capacities.
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Old 1 Nov 2011
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This is as much as I carried on my DR650SE. Pair of Andy Strapz and an Ortlieb. Didn't do any suspension mods but prob should have. I did find I ran out of room on the back a bit as my jacket generally spent most of the time there given the heat. So I did wish I'd put on a slightly larger rack, if only to carry food and odds and sods now and then.



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Old 2 Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinggis View Post
So can a DR-Z400 (with the appropriate spring rating front and rear and with appropriate load carrying racks etc installed) carry the same load as a DR650 (with the appropriate spring rating front and rear and with appropriate load carrying racks etc installed) equally as well, or can problems arise with the subframe strength and such things?
Don't know the DR650 at all (too heavy for me...), but have successfully campaigned a DRZ. The ally subframe on the DRZ isn't fundamentally very strong - hence my racks were designed to add some structure. But to partially answer your question as phrased: "with appropriate racks" the DRZ will carry just plenty. Plenty of people have travelled on DRZs without reinforcing the subframe, but it gave me peace of mind.

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Originally Posted by Chinggis View Post
Now I hear the DR-Z400E and DR-Z400S have different subframes, does anyone have a pic comparing the two (or three if you include the DR650)?
The E subframe and S subframe are different, yes. The E subframe basically stops at the rear mounting bolts of the seat. The S subframe has a tube running in a loop from there to the tailight and back to the other side to support the fender/taillight/small amount of luggage - but it's just that - one bit of ally tube forming a loop, no structure to speak of. You put heavy loads behind the seat without reinforcing this at your peril.

My rack below (the bike isn't so pretty now, 22k miles later...):


You can see my rack and the subframe mounting to the same mounting point at the bottom of the frame. The subframe member is straight, up to the rear of the seat - there's no structure to the subframe behind that point until the rack is added.

I was carrying (too much) as shown below - total luggage weight (front and rear) was 30kg:
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Old 2 Nov 2011
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Thanks guys! Great responses as always on this site.

dj that bike, and rack, looks absolutely trick. Beautifully sorted. do you have a link to a build description or anything like that so's I can be inspired?
EDIT: never mind, I found it. http://brighton2expeditions.co.uk/si...ikes/dans-drz/ for those reading this.


I was reminded today that our (Australia's) 400E has the same subframe as the 400S so that part of it is a moot point for me.
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Old 2 Nov 2011
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Thanks for the compliment!
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