You don’t have to sacrifice the agility of a two-stroke motocrosser for the power of a large-displacement four-stroke.
Or lose the sheer power and torque of four-strokes up rocky enduro slopes in favor of skimming over hare scramble whoops. Now, you don’t have to make any compromises when selecting your off-road weapon of choice. You just have to choose the new 2000 Suzuki DR-Z400.
The Big Squeeze.
The mission was to build a high-tech, high-torque 400cc four-stroke no bigger than a 250cc motocrosser.
Here, before you, is the result of an Integrated Design Approach pioneered by Suzuki. Some of the industry’s best engine, chassis and electrical engineers worked hand-in-hand to make every part and assembly smaller, lighter and more efficient. This was a challenging and continuous process throughout the DR-Z400’s development. Consider the goal of placing the engine as low as possible within the frame for better control, yet above the frame rails for protection from debris. The solution was a dry-sump oiling system to reduce crankcase size, an engine design feature, working in concert with an engine oil reservoir built into the frame, a feat of chassis design. And to make for a narrower and smoother clutch cover, a clutch-actuating pushrod was designed to go through the transmission input shaft.
The Integrated Design Approach. It created what is now Suzuki’s lightest and most compact four-stroke off-road motorcycle ever.
Nestled within the snug confines of the DR-Z400’s compact and lightweight frame is a textbook example of high-performance four-stroke technology and design. 398cc of displacement, a DOHC with four huge valves and liquid cooling are just the beginning. Add in forged pistons, 10% lighter than ones conventionally cast, an L-shaped top piston ring to reduce blow-by and copious use of aluminum and magnesium for lower weight and better heat transfer and you have an engine with power that belies its size. And what you get is big four-stroke power and torque with all the benefits of two-stroke stature.
All Together Now
The very same thought and energy spent on the DR-Z400’s groundbreaking chassis and engine went into its components as well. With rubber boots to protect it from rocks and dirt, the race-ready, long-travel front fork features large, 49mm stanchion tubes. And the rear suspension features an even-longer-travel rear shock connected to an aluminum-alloy wingarm by a progressive linkage system. Then, for extra bite, there are the powerful disc brakes, front and rear, featuring a dual-piston caliper up front and a single-piston caliper out back. Lightweight wheels are built with necked-down spokes and aluminum-alloy rims, hubs and nipples. And well-placed grease nipples keep the swingarm moving smoothly.
One could go on forever. But, simply put, these and a hundred other refined and reworked components make for one serious off-roader.
Take It Easy. Hardcore off-roader, yes. Uncivilized, no. The DR-Z400 features lots of little surprises that make your life easier. Like removing the clutch cover for routine maintenance without having to drain the engine coolant. A large, six-liter airbox with oiled-foam air filter you can access with your bare hands. A sidestand that when retracted rides above and close to the swingarm. Or a forged aluminum-alloy rear brake pedal that features a folding tip. And don’t forget how freely you can move and shift your weight for easier control on uneven terrain. For that, you can thank the DR-Z400’s super-smooth transitions between the specially shaped ten-liter fuel tank and seat, the fuel tank and dual radiator covers, the seat and side panels, and the side panels and rear fender.
Everything considered, there could hardly be an easier bike to ride or maintain. With the arrival of the DR-Z400, you no longer have to choose between the agility of light weight and the power and torque of four-stroke technology. You now have the dirt-kicking, mud-slinging and hill-climbing ability of the DR-Z400 at your beck and call. You now have everything you’ve ever wanted in an off-road motorcycle.
Power and agility. It’s all yours with the DR-Z400.
|Engine type||1-cylinder, 4-stroke,
DOHC liquid-cooled Bore x stroke 90.0 x 62.6mm
|Oil capacity (overhaul)||1.7l|
|Ignition||DR-Z400:DC-CDI (digital electronic) Starter system
|Electric Lubrication system||Dry sump|
|Transmission||5speed, constant mesh|
|Primary drive ratio||74 / 25 (2.96)|
|Final drive ratio||47 / 14 (3.357)|
|Frame type||Double-cradle (steel)|
|Rake/trail||27.6 degrees / 114mm (C.W)|
|Suspension||Front 49mm telescopic fork (cartridge type),
18-step rebound / 14-step compression damping
Rear Swingarm, progressive linkage, 21-step rebound /
26-step compression damping, adjustable spring preload
|Wheels||Front 21 x 1.6
Rear 18 x 2.15
|Brakes||Front 2-piston caliper, 250mm disc
Rear 1-piston caliper, 220mm disc
|Overall length||2,235mm (88.0 inches)|
|Overall width||825mm (32.5 inches)|
|Overall height||1,245mm (49.0 inches)|
|Wheelbase||1,475mm (58.1 inches)|
|Ground clearance||325mm (12.8 inches)|
|Seat height||945mm (37.2 inches)|
|Dry weight||DR-Z400 113kg (249.1 lbs)DR-Z400E 119kg (262.3 lbs)|
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