Scoot Commute

Elsa’s One Year Anniversary!

Posted in Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Elsa) by sbahn on 2011/02/20
My perfect motorbike

My perfect motorbike

Today is the one year anniversary of me buying the DR-Z400SM from Jesse in Dudley, Massachusetts. It was warm for a February Saturday morning when the boyfriend and I drove the Honda Fit up to Jesse’s house where I picked up the bike. I stalled it trying to turn out of his driveway as it was on a crazy incline. Every time I buy a bike, I stall it once trying to get out of the driveway so I knew this bike was going to be good.

I rode it home on backroads through northeastern Connecticut. I reenacted part of the ride last Friday when the temps were in the mid-50°Fs. If you’re looking for some whoops, the frost heaves on Route 171 west of where it comes into 169 gave me some fun, along with Route 94 in western Rhode Island.

Suzuki DRZ400SM with S wheels, Yetter Hill Rd, Connecticut

Suzuki DRZ400SM with S wheels, Yetter Hill Rd, Connecticut

In the time I’ve had the bike, I’ve ridden it to commute to work, on a handful of day rides with the boys on Fire Service type dirt roads, on a tiny portion of the Pachaug trail, on several multi-day camping trips including to the Green Mountains National Forest and to Rice-o-Rama, and on a multi-week camping trip up through New Hampshire, Maine and into the Canadian maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I absolutely love this bike. It can do anything I ask of it, and a helluva lot more. But I keep on learning so she’ll be put to more abuse this year than last.

I’ve done some modifications because I wanted to do things with this bike that Jesse didn’t. No swing at him; he got himself a sweet Honda CBR which probably suits him much better, what with him being a twenty-something wise-ass fireman-in-training and not some scooter-riding geeky academic.

The Mods:

  • Renazco seat in black and pink vinyl
  • Lynx fairing with HID low-beam, halogen high-beam
  • Tonn’s skidplate
  • DeVol rad guards
  • ThumperTalk case guards
  • Pivot Pegz Mark 2
  • Barkbuster Storm hand guards
  • Doubletake mirrors
  • Pro Grip 714 grips (I have these on all my bikes; they’re that comfy!)
  • UFO Taillight
  • TCI Sequoia rack
  • complete set of S wheels
  • Reinstalled the stock muffler

I haven’t done anything with the carb; it’s something I go back and forth on. I want this bike to be dead boring reliable, but I understand that doing the 3×3 mod and changing out the jet would give me better performance for probably no cost in the reliability. But do I want to find out that that is not the case halfway up a mountain in West Virginia?

One set of wheels is never enough

One set of wheels is never enough

Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, CT

Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, CT

I just love this bike. It may be slow, heavy, old technology and not particularly good at anything, but it’s perfect for me. And dressed up Schiaparelli style in pink and black, no one will ever want to buy it. Lucky me!


One Response

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  1. Pepper said, on 2011/02/24 at 12:12 am

    I look forward to your blogs. Peace

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