2021 Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Suzuki/)
- Simple and reliable single-cylinder engine
- Easy to ride
- Retro vibes
- Affordable price tag
- Mirrors provide a great look behind the rider and offer plenty of adjustability
- With its long run on the market there are plenty of accessories available
- Retro lighting and dash in an advanced-tech world
- Footpegs provide not a whole lot of real estate
- Master cylinder needs to push more fluid through to the hydraulic brakes to enhance stopping power
Retro from the overall design to the speedometer cable making its way to the front wheel, the DR-Z400SM provides some old-school charm for those looking for entertainment on a street-legal supermoto.
Since its production in the early 2000s, the Suzuki DR-Z400SM has been bringing fun to the pavement as Suzuki’s supermoto spinoff of the DR-Z400 dual sport. Its reasonable price in the market, tried-and-true engine, and flickable characteristics make it an attractive offering in the supermoto realm. Its street legality makes the world your go-kart track.
Updates for 2021
The DR-Z400SM flaunts different graphics as well as a black colorway that replaces last year’s gray one. It also sees a $100 price hike from the previous year.
Pricing and Variants
Suzuki’s supermoto has an MSRP of $7,499 which is more than a few thousand dollars cheaper than KTM’s returning 450 SMR and Husqvarna’s FS 450 (both $11,299) competition-only models. Kawasaki’s new KLX300SM, however, has a cheaper retail price of $5,999.
Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The DR-Z400SM is powered by a carbureted 398cc DOHC liquid-cooled single. Yes, carbureted. This helps Suzuki pass emissions and sound regulations and contributes to an overall smooth-running engine.
A couple of years ago we ran the DR-Z400S dual sport on our in-house dyno where it delivered 32.4 hp at 8,400 rpm and 24.6 pound-feet of torque at 5,900 rpm, so similar numbers can be expected with the SM’s single.
“It definitely has some zip in the lower gears…and a top speed of around 93 mph,” . The clutch does not require a heavy grasp, making it friendly for novice riders.2021 Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Suzuki/)
“It is very light, very maneuverable, very easy to put where you want. You definitely feel some of the big bumps through the suspension, but in all the other smaller stuff the suspension goes over the bumps fairly well,” Adam Waheed stated.
The 49mm inverted Showa fork is sourced from the old RM250, and the swingarm and rear Showa shock is pulled from the RM-Z.
One unique element of the SM is that it has tubed tires, the reason other manufacturers might forgo the tubed tire option is that there is less reciprocating mass and less weight at the wheels. Tubed tires do have their advantages in that if the dreaded flat does occur, a simple tube swap is all that is needed to go about your business.
Stopping the bike are hydraulic disc brakes, front and rear. The front brake has enough power to slow down the bike, but the master cylinder doesn’t have the power to push fluid through it and requires a firmer grasp at the lever to really slow the bike down, Waheed said.
The brake lever and brake pedal are both adjustable. ABS is not equipped on this machine.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The 2.6-gallon fuel tank (2.5 gallons for California) is large compared to the KTM 450 SMR’s 1.9-gallon fuel tank, for example. Miles-per-gallon figures are currently unavailable.
Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility
When Waheed rode the bike, he stated, “When sitting on the bike it feels like a dirt bike. That’s because it is a dirt bike.” He loved the slimness as well as the Renthal Fatbar with its upward bend that results in a commanding stance.
One main complaint Adam fielded was with the small footpegs. A little more room would provide more of a base to stand up on. The 35-inch seat height may also be somewhat intimidating to newer riders, but it is slightly lower than the DR-Z400 dual sport’s 36.8 inches.
Following suit of its retro vibe, the bike offers rider aids and tech that are kept to a minimum. No ABS, no LED lights, no fancy gauge. The speedometer can be calibrated to varying tire circumferences if a swap is made, which is a nifty feature. Sometimes the bare essentials are all you need to have fun.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
This supermoto has a one-year unlimited-mileage warranty.
Some may be looking for a fully up-to-date supermoto, but the charm of the Suzuki DR-Z400SM is its retro looks, reliable engine, and street-legal fun.2021 Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Suzuki/)
2021 Suzuki DR-Z400SM Claimed Specifications
||398cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled single; 4-valve
|Bore x Stroke:
||90.0 x 62.6mm
||Mikuni BSR36 carburetor
||Wet, multiplate; cable operation
||N/A/Electronic ignition (CDI)
||49mm inverted Showa fork, compression and rebound damping adjustable; 10.2 in. travel
||Hydraulic Showa shock, fully adjustable; 10.9 in. travel
||Axial-mount 2-piston caliper, floating 300mm disc
||1-piston caliper, 240mm disc
||Die-cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5 in. / 17 x 4.5 in.
||Dunlop Sportmax D208; 120/70-17 / 140/70-17