[Note: as the new board software 'lost' threads from Nov 21-27, this is a re-post of the initial question and a _copy_ of member responses (though they show my nick) up thru Nov 27th. Any posts after Nov 27th will appear correctly with the posters nick] _____________________________ This rookie rider is ready for a bike upgrade early next year....and would appreciate some input from the knowledgeable members. I really like my '01 Suzuki 250XC "Djebel". Never burns oil, never fails to start; a very reliable machine. Just basic maintenance and go. However, it just doesn't have enough zip for the open road...I'll cruise at 90-100kmh so as not to strain the engine which maxes out at 127-130kmh. I've often tried shifting to that elusive 7th gear, to no avail . It's a minor drudgery taking the open road to Cambo or Laos, much less touring in Thailand. About 20% of my riding has been off-road and there the Djebel suits me just fine. Some folks recommended I get an XR400R...reliable and great for having available parts/accessories in SEA. But...I've read it's fairly heavy, has a kickstart [yuk] and a measly 75 watt stator...and I like a powerful headlight and some annoying horns. So, my alternative seems to be a Suzuki DRZ400S...electric start like the Djebel and a 200W stator, but I'm concerned about availability of parts if needed. Many on Thumpertalk seem to worship the DRZ400 as a very reliable steed, but it concerns me that many on that forum also post of their problems with the DRZ, as well as the initial adjustments that need to be made to avoid future problems. I also like the idea of the inexpensive 3x3 mod for a little extra power. I've already gotten one quote of 235K, including reg/license for a 400S. They said it would be for an '05 or '06 model, and if I decide that's the bike to get, I'll seek other quotes as the weak US$ is putting a hurt on me. Your input on the DRZ or suggestions for alternative choices (and why) will be appreciated. Thx!