There is no doubt Suzuki has made a name for itself in the automotive world, but true motorcycle enthusiasts know the Japanese company had its start making vehicles of the two-wheeled varieties. Following the end of World War II, this company made motorcycles for lower income citizens in need of affordable transportation around urban areas. It didn’t take long for Suzuki to realize they could take advantage of the popularity of its bikes and design models for off road use as well. Those bikes, along with some of the original designs soon found their way onto dirt and paved race tracks with a great deal of success. Interestingly enough over the passing decades the Japanese bike maker didn’t necessarily adapt their bikes to the changing trends and fashions like many of the other manufacturers. Instead it focused on the tried and true designs and adapted those to in many cases, more than compete with the changing times. For this reason, the DR-Z 400S, much like many of Suzuki’s other high quality products has continued to enjoy the same success as the models that came before it.
In the 2008 edition of the DR-Z 400S Suzuki sought to create a bike that worked well off road, but had the added advantage of being street legal as well. This design ensured the DR-Z 400S could find a home with buyers looking for one or the other, as well as appeals to the buyer without an income to support buying more than one motorcycle. The end result is this model does both well, but there are decided elements that aren’t as ideal for either situation. For example, the seat on this model works very well for off road riding, but on the street or open highway leaves a bit to be desired. The seat is firm enough to support the rider on most off road terrains, but is too firm for long jaunts on the road. However, the rest of the bike’s design fits in well in either set of circumstances. The low handlebars provide a comfortable hold with the rider lying across the gas tank and body. This placement ensures the rider remains in control of the dirt bike with little unnecessary movement. Suzuki also managed to make this motorcycle look cool. You won’t find any extraneous parts or large components, but the streamlined appearance of the DR-Z 400S keeps in character as a sporty, fun bike.
This model is equipped with a single cylinder engine with lots of pep and spirit. Paired with a five-speed transmission, it is well equipped for taking on uphill roads and trails as well as taking things a bit slower for a pleasure ride. Additionally, handling and maneuverability is everything you would expect from an off road two-wheeler and is sure to please just any rider, experienced or not. With its kicky engine and supportive tires and wheels, the 2008 Suzuki DR-Z 400S has plenty of possibilities for the rider looking for an adaptable bike they can take just about anywhere.