2012 Suzuki DR-Z 400 S Review

2012 Suzuki DR-Z 400 S Review Take the DR-Z400S down a twisty forest trail and its off-road performance will get your heart pounding. Its lightweight, compact design provides crisp handling everywhere from tight trails to wide-open fire roads. Its advanced suspension front and rear soaks up tough terrain with ease. And it's liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine boasts strong low RPM torque and a crisp throttle response, allowing you to blast out of corners and accelerate hard down the trail.

Suzuki has been selling the DR-Z400 since 2000, and since then has developed a huge network of loyal customers. With the ultra-popular DR350 as a predecessor, the 400 has built on that success and continues to this day as a simple, effective dual-sport machine. The last time we tested a DR-Z400 was back in 2003, and the company was still offering a kickstart-only model. These days, Suzuki only offers the 400S (dual-sport) and 400SM (motard/DS), neither of which come with a foot-operated starter.

Off-road or on the street, the DR-Z400S provides strong torque across the powerband and amazing throttle response. And it features remarkably smooth performance, complemented by conveniences such as electric starting and a compact, easy-to-read instrument cluster.

On the street, the great little motor and willing gearbox easily propel those 317 pounds as though riding a ballerina around town. Firm suspension is even firmer on the road, and the seat feels like a loaf of frozen bread—neither of which would be so bad if the ground weren’t so far away. For me, every stop requires full perineal pronation. If you’re six feet tall and weigh about 160 with a well-padded butt, you might love the DR-Z. It’ll zot right up past 90 mph or so, and it cruises okay for short hops at 70.

2012 Suzuki DR-Z400S Specs:
• Bore X Stroke: 90.0 X 62.6 mm (3.543 X 2.465 in)
• Displacement: 398cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single cylinder, DOHC
• Compression Ratio: 11.3 : 1
• Fuel System: MIKUNI BSR36, single
• Starter: Electric
• Lubrication System: Dry Sump
• Ignition: Electronic ignition (CDI)
• MPG: 65