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The New, Lightweight, Four-Stroke Dirt Bikes – Get Ready To Be A Believer

I have to admit that I am a dyed-in-the-wool two-stroke fan when it comes to dirt bikes. Having trail ridden and raced motocross off and on my whole life, I could never come to grips with trading the light weight and explosive power of a two-stroke dirt bike for (my stereotype) a cumbersome, heavy and slow four-stroke dirt bike.

Even with the introduction of the YZ400 a few years ago, I continued to ride my KX250 (recently sold) and my son’s YZ125 – whether trail riding or riding on a motocross track. I just couldn’t buy all the hype about the YZ400.

My attitude just got adjusted. Yesterday, Temecula Motorsports allowed us to test a 2000 Suzuki DR-Z400E. This is Suzuki’s answer to the Yamaha WR400 enduro. We took delivery of the bike just in time to ride it up and down the block, and then put it in our garage before traveling to round two of the AMA Supercross series in Anaheim, California.

Today, I rode the bike approximately 20 miles off road in varying conditions (mostly trail riding, but brief riding on a motocross track, as well). Man, is this thing fun! The powerband is a mile wide, and the bike is deceptively fast. It also handles extremely well.

We’ll be riding and reporting on the four-stroke DR-Z400E (which is the trick, offroad model – with the optional electric start) this week, and I don’t want to get into the details tonight. Tonight, I simply want to say that I now believe the hype about lightweight four-stroke dirt bikes. They are easier to ride than two strokes. They don’t tire you out as much as a two stroke 250, for example. The powerband is much wider, and the power is put to the ground much more effectively.

Stay tuned.