Suzuki introduced the DR200SE as a fun motorcycle which doubles the action and the excitement. A great way to learn trail riding, the DR200SE dual sport bike helps you build your confidence as you learn to ride. Weighing only 278 lbs (curb weight) and with a seat height of 31.9 inches, this Suzuki dirt bike also offers a headlight and mirrors making it adequate for pavement incursions once the trails are mastered.
Suzuki’s DR line of products was completed in 1996 with their new introduction called DR200SE, a motorcycle which promised a lot and until this day it kept its promise. The bike had a strong heritage coming from the previous DR200 model, the trail machine that introduced many people to off-road riding throughout the eighties and until the mid nineties. But Suzuki decided that their small dual sport motorcycle needed to be brought up to date and after a complete redesign the bike featured electric starter and pretty much all of its today characteristics.
In its first years of production the color available was yellow and although it changed decals through the years, in 2001 the bike was offered in a blue and white color scheme.
Suzuki DR200SE sold in 2008 either black or blue painted, so the blue and white color scheme was only a transition to more diversified colors, others than yellow. In 2009 they stuck to simple Black.
Dual purpose motorcycles have always been enjoyable but also real work horses and that is why Japanese manufacturers try to cover every single kind of rider satisfaction.
Yamaha does exactly that with the 2010 XT250 model, a more potent piece of machinery due to the 249cc air-cooled, SOHC, four-stroke single-cylinder engine, one that reduces it to only 73 mpg, compared to Suzuki’s 105 mpg. Also, the seat height is exactly as in the case of the Suzuki (31.9 inches from the ground) while the long-travel suspension and 11.2 inches of ground clearance make it an ideal trail motorcycle.
The manufacturer’s retail price goes as high as $4,890 and you will also benefit of an electric starter, so displacement and refinement makes the difference and ads the extra bucks in this case.
When thinking about buying a motorcycle every rider or future rider in this case puts in balance the bike’s power to weight ratio, price and other important factors but even though he’s thinking at reliability, affordability and maintaining costs, the image in its mind puts a lot of weight on the “go ahead and buy it” thought. Suzuki understands a riders needs and satisfies them but sometimes the desire of owning a great looking motorcycle is bigger.
This bike was designed as an always ready to go machine with a high front fender covering the front wheel which, like the rear wheel, features great looking spokes creating a cool look in contrast with the color available for the 2010 model: Black. The square headlight manages to show you the way in trail riding, but the mirrors which complete the overall look of the bike have the purpose of reminding you where you started from.
I decided to first check the 199cc engine for smoothness concerning power delivery out on the streets. The bike is destined to be ridden by beginners and safety is a must but let’s face it: did you ever thought that the DR200SE would harm you with its power? That’s what I thought too but don’t get me wrong, the bike is no scooter!
The smooth delivering engine pulls with a satisfying amount of energy throughout the transmission’s five speed and the sensations are enough to accommodate a rider with what’s about to come out on the trails but mostly for bigger dual sport motorcycles. Before I got to the trails I had to stop for a few red lights and I have to admit that being first when the green light comes on is quite a challenge, but the DR200SE makes sure that you live to fight another day (at least I did).
As soon as this motorcycle starts spinning its wheels off the road, the real fun begins: it is like those clean tires didn’t had anything to do with the bike and the trails totally transform the bike’s behavior as the suspensions start to accommodate you with the real environment of the DR. The front telescopic, oil damped suspension together with the rear oil damped adjustable preload weren’t even present out on the open road except the times I was powerfully braking but on the trails were talking another business. Once the small monster starts to manifest its off-road abilities, the rest of the package soon follows it and the result is a unique riding experience given by the suspension and its reliable brakes which are composed from a single disc brake in the front and a rear mechanical drum.
Handling the DR200SE is not a difficult task even on rough terrains. After a few hours of riding a balance is created between managing the throttle and hitting the brakes depending on the type of surface and obstacles encountered and that is another benefic aspect encountered on the DR.
The bike didn’t give signs of disappointment at any given moment of my test ride although I have to admit that I expected some. Despite its small cylinder capacity, the DR200SE offers enough power to meet any situation and even beat it with success. Together with the comfortable suspensions and seat, reliable brakes and controls at quick reach, the DR is composed as an unbeatable package out on the trail and a decent one on the road.
A motorcycle that stands as the beginning of trail riding for every adolescent who also needs to take it on the street should be offered for no more than $4K. Suzuki managed that with the 2009 model year, which turned out to be a cheap and faultless way to get into action, but we’re still waiting for the official price announcement.
Even though not revised, but continuing the beautiful story of blending perfectly in asphalt riding with that in less friendly conditions, the 2010 Suzuki DR200SE remains a favorite among both starter and experienced riders. As it is decently powered, versatile and closely positioning its rider to the ground, the DR is more than just a commuting mean, it is a fun and practical two-wheeler for both male and female riders.
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