Ride the Lightning: Suzuki DR-Z400 Street Tracker

Suzuki DRZ400 Street Tracker

Black Cycles Australia builds a 400cc street tracker… 

Introduced back in 2000, the Suzuki DR-Z400 remains still one of the most popular dual-sports on the market, boasting an especially strong aftermarket and rider community.  While the performance isn’t in line with the European hot rods from KTM and Husqvarna, it’s a highly versatile, bulletproof machine that will run forever — in fact, our friend Isaac Siegl of Speedy Siegl has done 100,000 miles on his DR-Z!

Stock DR-Z400S…

Here at BikeBound, we’re big fans of flat track racing, and American Flat Track’s AFT Singles class consistently offers some of the closest, best racing in the world. The bikes are production-based 450cc off-road machines specially prepared for flat track, sometimes known as DTX bikes.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

We’ve often thought that a DTX-inspired street tracker would be a load of fun, but the frequent service intervals, narrow gearing, and non-street-legal nature of a 450cc motocrosser doesn’t make for an ideal street bike.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Enter our friend Noel Muller of Black Cycles Australia, who had the idea of turning the DR-Z400 into a street tracker. The one you see here is actually his third such build, and probably the last:

“This one is the third (and probably final) DRZ flat tracker build, as we want to keep the builds as unique as possible!”

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Starting with an ’07 DR-Z, Noel outfitted the bike with a set of 18″ KKE wheels wrapped in Dunlop’s K180 street-legal flat track tires, while XXX Rated Suspension lowered the forks 18 cm and the rear was dropped via an adjustable rear link.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Noel then fabbed up a 26mm square-tube subframe to support the bespoke aluminum tail / fender and custom seat, and also made the 1mm aluminum fuel tank and front number plate from scratch. Highsider headlights are recessed in the number plate, and the bike is running ProTaper bars, HEL Performance brake lines, GPI radiators, and a digital enduro gauge.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Other highlights include the custom 316 stainless exhaust, handmade aluminum overflow reservoir, and a blacked-out engine with the Black Cycles logo laser-etched into the covers.

Just at Popbang Classics wired the bike and also painted the bike in matte black, white, and aqua blue. Says Noel:

“As an old Metallica fan I’ve named the bike ‘Ride the lightning’ to go with the lightning bolt paint scheme!”

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Below, Noel gives us the full story on the build.

DR-Z400 Street Tracker: In the Builder’s Words…

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Towards the end of 2022, a new customer, Joe, contacted us from North Queensland, as he had seen the previous yellow DR-Z400 flat track build and wanted something very similar.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Soon after we purchased a good low mileage 2007 Suzuki DR-Z400 as a base to build from. This one is the third (and probably final) DRZ flat tracker build, as we want to keep the builds as unique as possible!

DRZ400 Street Tracker

First thing was to order a set of KKE racing wheels, and as they don’t come in an 18″ / 18″ set, we bought an extra 18″ rim and have it laced in for the front. Next were some Dunlop K180 street-legal flat track tyres and wave brake discs as well.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Once these were on the bike, we worked out the ride height (how much to lower the suspension) and had Chris at XXX Rated Suspension rebuild and lower the conventional forks 180mm.  Next was to make a heavy-duty adjustable rear link set-up to drop the rear.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

All original plastics and seat were binned and a 26mm square tube subframe was fabricated (originally it was 20mm tube from memory).

DRZ400 Street Tracker

A completely handmade 1mm aluminum fuel tank, tail, and front headlight plate were built, and then a custom seat, which was later covered in perforated black by Adam at Carman’s Auto Trimmers.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

A pair of low rise ProTaper bars, digital enduro gauge, GPI radiators, GPI black silicone hoses, black Unifilter, sports bike lever set added, and also front and rear HEL Performance brake lines made to fit. Not forgetting the Highsider Satellite headlights and Kellerman Atto all-in-ones.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

We fabricated a low-slung 316 stainless steel (slightly oversized) exhaust, finished off with a stainless steel motocross style muffler. A handmade aluminum overflow bottle was also made.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

A number plate mount was built to sit behind the rear tyre (mainly due to clearance issues in the usual position)!

DRZ400 Street Tracker

The motor was blacked out on this bike in a “matte” and side cover protectors were laser-etched with the Black Cycles logo and font.

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Justin at Popbang Classics handled the wiring and knocked it out of the park with the “matte” finished tins in black, white, and a custom-mixed aqua blue (which happens to be owner Joe’s company colors)!

DRZ400 Street Tracker

At this point Joe is yet to receive (or even see) the bike yet, as he is 16.5 hours away from Brisbane. The bike starts and runs beautifully but is yet to be ridden, as we’re going to change to a heavier rear spring before it leaves for its new home…

Builder Thanks

Special thanks to Joe for being the perfect patient customer.

Justin @popbangclassics
Adam @carmans_auto_trimmers
Chris @x.x.x.rated.suspension
The guys at @helperformance

DRZ400 Street Tracker

Follow the Builder

Black Cycles Australia: Black Cycles Australia | @blackcyclesaustralia

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  1. Michael Bingham

    LOVE this build.

  2. Elam Blacktree

    Very nicely done. Respect!

  3. Looks good

  4. Definitely eye-catching! However, I know these bikes reasonably well (having owned one), and lowering links are a no-no on these things. Lowering the seat up to 2″ isn’t problematic, but if we’re talking about lengthening the swing links (as opposed to redesigning the knuckle link, which I’ve never heard of anyone doing for this bike) 2″ is the limit. At that point the leverage ratio has changed enough that yup, the spring is easily overwhelmed and the action suffers. They say they’re going to change to a heavier spring, so there you go. But then for decent riding the damping might not be able to compensate for that spring rate increase. Better to internally reduce the shock shaft travel. You can also get a 2″ seat height reduction that way on the stock spring before you encounter the need to get a shorter spring. You won’t have issues with bottoming the wheel on the inside of the fender or lousy shock action. Basically, making the bike look a certain way has its limitations. Lots of lowered/slammed bikes have been done the cheap/easy/simple/wrong way.

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