Took the KLR up to Pemberton to check out a cheap DRZ-400S. Sort of a leisurely trip as there was no point in getting there before the seller got home from work… except that as with all motorcycle trips, it took longer than it should have, or he quit early or something … he was there when I got arrived. The ride was interesting. Fantastic scenery through most of the trip, nice twisty highway, especially at the far end, but watch for the frost heaves if you’re on a tightly sprung bike. Temperature was _very_ varied. Cold going through Whistler, but generally quite nice for the rest of the ride. Dark and cold by the time I got home :(
The DRZ? It kinda sold itself. The guy let me take it for a ride, it pulled like crazy and when I found an undeveloped subdivision to play in, it seemed to go through ditches and over rocks like they were not really there. “Climbs walls” was my summary. That said, everything else pretty much sucked. Brake light was stuck on, no headlight, insanely loud, weird-arse front tire where every second knob had been sanded off, and the remaining ones half sanded off diagonally, so they were all sloped… but IMHO they were sloped backwards… the front wheel should be used for braking, so the sharp edge should be the front edge, and sloping to the back… well this was the other way around. Most of the plastic was scratched and there were some pretty good breaks in it too. Radiator overflow bottle was badly smashed (rad was full though, more so than the oil). Hand guards were falling off on one side and totally scratched on both sides. In other words, the bike had been abused… but for a half-price DRZ, where the suspension, brakes, and motor all seemed good, it seemed like an ok deal… even considering it was going to cost me about $320 in ferry fares and gas to come back and get it the next day with a trailer.
Oh, yeah… turns out it was a DRZ-400SM not a 400S. J.P. Thought the rear rim had been grabbed from a SM bike. It was the front rim that was non-stock. The upside down forks and rear swing arm are definately SM components. Not sure of my thoughts on the matter, the SM is more expensive, but the springs are apparently firmer than in the S, and for off-road, I’d rather have the softer springs (given the bike’s 12″ of travel).