XR650L VS DRZ400 XR650L VS DRZ400

In times the appeal of traveling around the world on two wheels has dramatically increased. Many adventurers are drawn to the excitement of exploring both roads and challenging, off road trails. Dual sport motorcycles have become the option for riders due to their versatility in handling various terrains. Among the range of choices two models, namely the Honda XR650L and Suzuki DRZ400 have gained significant attention. These motorcycles are renowned for their construction and established reputation making them top contenders, for those seeking to embark on an unforgettable journey.

XR650L VS DRZ400 Pros and cons

FeatureHonda XR650LSuzuki DRZ400
Engine & Power644cc, 40 horsepower398cc, 33.4 horsepower
Weight346 pounds (wet)319 lb (wet)
On-RoadStrong highway performanceAgile in city and tight corners
Off-RoadPowerful in rugged terrainsLightweight, agile in intricate terrains
Unique FeaturesUpdated graphics, electric starterDigital instrument cluster, narrow frame
ModificationsSuspension upgrades, larger tanksExhaust systems, skid plates
AftermarketStrong supportExtensive support
ProsDurability, power, simplicityReliability, versatility, balance
ConsHeavierPower limitations with heavy gear

XR650L VS DRZ400 Specs: Side-by-Side Comparison

SpecificationHonda XR650LSuzuki DR-Z400
Engine & Power644cc, 40 horsepower398 cc, 33.4 hp
Bore x Stroke100mm x 82mm90.0 mm × 62.6 mm
Compression Ratio8.3:111.3:1
TransmissionFive-speed5-speed manual
BrakesSingle disc (Front & Rear)Disc (Front & Rear)
TiresFront: 3.00-21, Rear: 4.60-18Not specified
Fuel Capacity & Consumption2.8 gallons10 L, 44.4 mpg-US
Seat Height37.0 inchesE/S: 935 mm, SM: 890 mm
Weight346 pounds (wet)319 lb (wet)
Top Speed & TorqueNot specified94 mph, 25.6 lb⋅ft
Price (as of 2022)$6,999 USDNot specified

Honda XR650L (2022) Specs and Features:

Honda XR650L 1 Honda XR650L 1
  • Introduction: The XR650L, often referred to as a “dinosaur,” has been updated for 2022. It combines the off-road chassis of the XR600 with the electric-start engine of the NX650, making it a highly capable dual-sport bike.
  • Key Specifications:
    • Horsepower: 40 HP
    • Torque: 47.2 ft/lb TQ
    • Price: $6,999
    • Release Date: April 2022
    • Color: White
  • Unique Features:
    • For 2022, Honda introduced new graphics on the tank, replaced red plastics with white, and introduced black wheels. They also replaced the “lollipop” mirrors with a more modern set.
    • The XR650L is known for its durability, power, and versatility. It’s suitable for both on-road and off-road adventures, making it a true dual-sport motorcycle.
    • The bike features a bulletproof 644cc overhead cam engine, electric starter, long-travel suspension, and is passenger-ready.

Read more:2023 Honda XR650L Review [30th Anniversary Retrospective](click here

Suzuki DRZ400 Specs and Features:

Suzuki DRZ400 1 Suzuki DRZ400 1
  • Introduction: The DRZ400 is Suzuki’s lightweight dual-sport motorcycle, known for its reliability and versatility.
  • Key Specifications:
    • Engine: 398cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single cylinder, DOHC
    • Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh
    • Front Suspension: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
    • Rear Suspension: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
    • Front Brake: Disc brake, single rotor
    • Rear Brake: Disc brake, single rotor
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.6 US gallons (10 liters)
  • Unique Features:
    • The DRZ400 is designed for use on both paved and unpaved roads. Its lightweight and compact design make it an ideal choice for a variety of riders.
    • It features a digital instrument cluster, which includes a speedometer, odometer, dual trip meters, clock, timer, and stopwatch.
    • The bike also boasts a compact design, with a narrow frame and seat, making it accessible for a range of riders.

Read more: Suzuki DRZ400 Review: Specs You MUST Know Before Buying(click here)

On-Road and Off-Road Mastery: XR650L vs DRZ400 Performance

The world of dual sport motorcycles is extensive. Two bikes consistently rise to the top for their ability to handle both, on road and, off road riding; the Honda XR650L and the Suzuki DRZ400. These motorcycles are specifically designed to conquer terrains. How do they stack up when challenged?

On-Road Capabilities

 When it comes to, on road capabilities the Honda XR650L stands out with its engine and 40 horsepower. It offers a ride on highways and urban streets allowing for overtaking and comfortable cruising at higher speeds. On the hand the Suzuki DRZ400 is known for its agility and speed in city commutes. Maneuvering through tight corners. With a 398cc engine and 33.4 horsepower it’s a popular choice for those looking for nimble rides.

Off-Road Adventures

In off road adventures the lightweight DRZ400 shines with its agility in challenging terrains. Its highly praised by riders who enjoy tracks and tricky routes due to its balanced nature. The XR650L despite being heavier surprises many with its adaptability. Its torque centric engine allows it to power through terrains effortlessly. Some riders even argue that its weight can be an advantage when carrying passengers or heavy gear.

Comfort and Handling

When it comes to comfort and handling both bikes have their strengths. The XR650Ls seat height and design may suit riders better while the DRZ400 is often praised for its feel. However without modifications neither bike provides comfort during long journeys.

Rider Experiences

Different riders have their preferences when it comes to choosing between the XR650L and the DRZ400. Some riders favor the XR650L because of its torque and performance, on roads while others lean towards the DRZ400 for its off road capabilities and overall balance. Ultimately the best choice depends on preferences and the kind of adventures one plans to embark on.

Modifications, Customizations, and Aftermarket Support

The world of dual sport motorcycling is, about the joy of riding and personalizing your machine. Both the Honda XR650L and Suzuki DRZ400 are well known for their ability to be modified with a range of aftermarket options to enhance their capabilities for round the world (RTW) travel.

Modifications Available

When it comes to the XR650L popular modifications often include upgrading the suspension for off road handling adding fuel tanks to increase range and installing windshields for improved aerodynamics. On the hand the DRZ400 commonly sees enhancements such as performance exhaust systems for added power skid plates to provide protection and luggage racks to carry essential items.

Importance of Aftermarket Support

 The availability of an aftermarket support system is crucial for long term motorcycle travelers. Both these bikes have an aftermarket ecosystem due to their popularity. This ensures that riders can easily find parts receive assistance when needed and customize their bikes according to their requirements wherever they may be exploring.

Impact on Performance

Modifications like upgraded suspension or better tires can significantly improve off road capabilities. Meanwhile additions, like fuel tanks directly affect the bikes range. For adventure riders going on journeys these adjustments not enhance the overall riding experience but also guarantee reliability and comfort throughout extended trips.

Real Riders Speak: XR650L and DRZ400 User Reviews

Real Riders Speak XR650L and DRZ400 User Reviews Real Riders Speak XR650L and DRZ400 User Reviews

To truly grasp the capabilities of a motorcycle it’s invaluable to hear from those who have riding experience. Adventure riders have often favored both the Honda XR650L and Suzuki DRZ400 providing us with insights.

Insights from Riders

 Many riders who have experienced the XR650L praise its torque and on road performance. They emphasize its reliability in areas. However there is some contention regarding its weight particularly when maneuvering through off road terrains. On the hand enthusiasts of the DRZ400 appreciate its balanced nature for both on road and off road usage. They applaud its nimbleness particularly when tackling terrains.

The Cons

The XR650L receives accolades for features such as its engine and simplicity which reduce potential failure points during long journeys. As for the DRZ400 its extensive aftermarket options allow for customization possibilities. However some riders have mentioned power limitations when carrying gear.


 For riders who prioritize on road performance but occasionally venture off road the XR650L proves to be a choice. Conversely those who lean towards terrains and desire a balanced ride may find the DRZ400 more suitable, to their preferences. Ultimately selecting between these two motorcycles comes down to travel needs, planned routes and personal inclinations.

 Preparing for RTW Travel with XR650L & DRZ400

Embarking on a dream motorcycle journey, around the world is something that many people aspire to. However it’s important to remember that the preparation for this adventure is just as important as the trip itself. One crucial decision that riders have to make is choosing between two models; the Honda XR650L and Suzuki DRZ400.

Planning Considerations

When planning a round the world (RTW) trip riders should carefully consider the type of terrain they will encounter along the way. The XR650L performs well on both dirt roads while the DRZ400 excels in navigating single tracks and technical terrains. It’s also essential to think about how much time will be spent off road compared to on road as considering the total weight of your gear. For example Chasbo, an aspiring RTW traveler aims to keep their gear weight under 40 pounds recognizing the benefits of traveling light.

Know Your Bike

Having an understanding of your chosen motorcycles mechanics is key. Being familiar with issues and carrying spare parts can be a lifesaver during long journeys. In areas where help may be scarce having a bike like the XR650L with its simplicity and absence of features like electronic fuel injection (EFI) or water cooling can prove advantageous.

Expert Advice

When seeking advice on this matter from RTW travelers one common theme emerges; personal preference plays a role, in making this decision. It’s crucial to conduct research and determine which bike aligns best with your needs and priorities.For example there was a traveler named Ted who went to Cape Town on a DRZ400 and later owned an XR650L. He liked the XR650L more but he did mention that there could be some challenges, with finding parts for it in Europe.


The Honda XR650L and Suzuki DRZ400 are both contenders, in the world of dual sport motorcycles for those planning an adventurous round the world (RTW) journey. The XR650L has a reputation for reliability and power while the DRZ400 offers a balance between on road and off road capabilities with support from aftermarket options. Experienced riders have shared their real life encounters, with both bikes highlighting their strengths and challenges. For example the simplicity of the XR650L can be advantageous when riding in areas whereas the versatility of the DRZ400 shines across terrains. Ultimately choosing between these motorcycles depends on preferences, intended routes and the nature of your journey.

Whether you lean towards the torque-rich XR650L or the versatile DRZ400, both bikes promise a thrilling and memorable RTW experience.

Read more:

DRZ400 vs DR650: A Comprehensive Comparison(2023)