Although Suzuki categorizes the DR-Z125L offroad motorcycle as a ""kids"" bike, the DR-Z provides more than enough power for adults looking to hit the trails. The DR-Z’s diminutive air-cooled, SOHC motor is fed by a tiny 20mm Mikuni carburetor, but the DR-Z zips nicely if you keep the throttle pinned. Ultimately, this light, decently powered thumper is perfect for beginners and experienced riders alike, although with a front drum brake inherited from Suzuki’s early RM-Z racing models, heavier riders might find that the DR-Z has trouble pulling up.
Modeled on Suzuki’s popular and award-winning RM-Z dirt racers, the DR-Z125 features aggressive, Supermotard-inspired bodywork that makes the yellow chassis stand out like a streak of lightning.
The first Suzuki DR-Z models made their entry into the highly competitive off-road scene at the end of 2002 as 2003 models, and they look more or less the same today as they did way back then. The Suzuki DR bike features a kick-started, carbureted, air-cooled, 124cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder, SOHC two-valve engine, developing 12 horsepower at an impressive 9500 rpm and 7.3 lb-ft of torque at 8600 rpm. The power plant stands on the same steel frame and swing arm, while the heavy-duty suspensions (long-travel, oil-damped front fork and link-type rear unit) make for a smooth introduction to relatively rough terrain. Suzuki has seen little reason to change the DR-Z in recent years, even though some riders have complained that newer models should have come equipped with a more contemporary front disc brake.
In terms of power and performance, the DR-Z is perfectly middle-of-the-road. The bulk of the 125L’s power is strung in the middle of the curve, yet good torque and average top-end pull bookend the practical midrange.
The off-idle hit of the Suzuki DR-Z is mellow and almost disappointing, though this translates to friendliness for tentative spouses or kids who want to throw a leg over and ride along. The DR-Z’s basic suspension package feels slightly springy and obviously soft, but the fork doesn’t blow through on super-hard hits like you’d expect it to. And with a dry weight of just 194 pounds, the DR-Z is a feather-weight thumper that can handle even the tightest twists and turns.
With a seat height of 775mm, tall riders feel right at home on the Suzuki DR-Z. In fact, the DR-Z may be a bit too tall for riders under 5’5”. However, with the high saddle, bumps and logs are no problem for the DR-Z’s ultra-springy suspensions.
If there is one thing that sets the DR-Z apart from other dirt bikes on the track, it’s the style: Suzuki’s distinctive yellow chassis is eye-catching to say the least, and the aggressive side panels inspired by Suzuki’s RM-Z racers give the DR-Z a throw-back look. The high-mounted fenders, front and side number plates, and narrow tapered seat all testify to the fact that this bike was built to race. Additionally, the Suzuki DR-Z features a compact, all-digital instrument cluster with a speedometer, odometer, programmable trip meter, clock, timer, and stopwatch.