- Location: Tararua
- Bike: DR650
I went through the same thing a few years ago. Started doing more road (gravel) rides and less trail rides. The DRZ400E started becoming unbearable on longer trips. A lot of vibration. The real issue for me was the close ratio gearbox. I was forever swapping sprockets but could never find a combination that would do everything I wanted.
I had a drag against a mate on a DR650. He beat me just. We swapped bike…and he beat me again. Perhaps he’s a little lighter (or more agressive on the throttle). The bikes were identical.
So, I bought a DR650. First thing I noticed was the agricultural feel of the bike. Certainly not as nimble or balanced. Also there was no peaky top end. Once I learnt to change up the gears and ride the torque instead of ringing its neck, I found the power much more usable. The extra weight makes the bike more planted and stable on gravel. Way less vibration. The 650 is also surprisingly capable offroad…nah…who am I kidding. It’s a dog in the real tight stuff compared to the 400. As said above, needs serious suspension work for off road, but fine on gravel.
DRZ400 = Great trail bike. I’d get another one for offroad with short road sections. I found 300km days were enough.
DR650 = Great all rounder. Capable in most situations and can carry more gear. 500km days are not a problem.
You’re obviously doing serious miles on your bike. Borrow someones 650 and try it out.