It started (like all good ideas seem to) at the Adventure Travel Film Festival at Sherbourne in 2013. Mr Mondo Enduro (Austin Vince) had taken himself off on Mondo Sahara with another group of maniacs, and seemed to have had an excellent time. The DVD is now available from Amazon
At this point I was still hauling a GS1150 around, and at the end of the weekend, with a minimal load of camping gear, I struggled to get it off the sidestand. I did, but it hurt my back. Now the GS isn’t a great technologically complex thing (unlike the the new watercooled GS1200) but it still has some black boxes to go wrong.
The other issue is that the day job ain’t great, and I need some distractions for the winter evenings, so the plan that evolved over the next week was to get a thumper (big single cylinder bike), rebuild it, upgrade it and then drive it somewhere interesting.
In the end I couldn’t find a Honda XR400, so I went for the Suzuki DRZ400S
DR-Z 400 S 2003
- Overall Length: 2,310 mm (90.9 in)
- Overall Height: 1,245 mm (49.0 in)
- Seat Height: 935 mm (36.8 in)
- Ground Clearance: 300 mm (11.8 in)
- Wheelbase: 1,485 mm (58.4 in)
- Dry Weight: 133 kg (293 lbs)
- Engine type: Water-cooled 398 cc DOHC 1-cylinder, 4 valves.
- Power: 39 Bhp at 7,600 rpm and 39 Nm at 6,600 rpm
- Tyre sizes: 120/90/18 Rear 90/90/21 Front
- Fuel: Capacity 10 litres; average fuel consumption 45 mpg; Tank range 100 miles
Parts Diagram from Bike Bandit
This is the story of how sucessful that idea was