The dual sport segment is alive and well in 2022. It seems like more and more people continue to realize just how versatile these motorcycles are. In a place with such a diverse geographical landscape like Southern California, you could ride a dual sport from your house, up into the mountains, down to the desert, to the beach, and back home—all in a single day. And that would include single-track, fire road, and pavement riding—all on one bike.
There are many options to choose from in the dual sport market for such adventures, some more capable than others. One bike that has stood the test of time in this segment is the Suzuki DR-Z400S. Sure it’s still carbureted, is rather heavy at 324 pounds wet (as measured on the Dirt Rider scales), and hasn’t enjoyed an update in many moons. But it has plenty of potential with some modest modifications, as test rider Evan Allen proved with his DR-Z400S project bike build.
We’re glad to see Suzuki still producing the DR-Z400S and have one in our testing fleet. A quick few runs on our in-house dyno revealed peak figures of 31.8 hp at 8,400 rpm and 24.3 pound-feet of torque at 5,800 rpm. Now that dyno runs are done and dusted, we’ve mounted a set of proper DOT knobbies on the bike—Dunlop Geomax EN91 tires, to be exact. Now it’s time for on- and off-road testing. Perhaps a Tour de SoCal is in order?