Suzuki’s updating their DR200 for 2015, but if you blinked, you’d miss the changes.
When it comes to long-running motorcycle models, the DR200 is close to being the king. It’s essentially unchanged since the mid-80s, when it arrived in some markets as the SP200, and was kickstart-only. They sold it in 1987, and it’s not clear from sales brochures, but it might have been available even earlier than that (in some markets, a two-stroke trail bike wore the DR200 name for a while).
Aside from the electric start, what has changed since the 1980s? Not much. Year after year, the bike has got a coat of Bold New Graphics, yet the price for the 2013 model remains in line with entry-level dual sports from the competition, most with bigger engines. Honda’s CRF250L and Yamaha’s XT250 have EFI, Kawasaki’s KLX250 has a better suspension, and even the Yamaha TW200 (its closest competition) has those freakish balloon tires that set it apart.
Canada’s Suzuki site hasn’t announced the price for the updated 2015 model.
This year, Suzuki’s given the 200 an update. There’s no EFI, there’s no bump in displacement; as far as we can tell from press releases in the US market, the bike is getting a slightly updated seat and a new fuel tank (down to 12.5 litres, from 13 litres). The one thing the DR200 did well was fuel range, and even that’s shrinking.
According to Suzuki, the changes to the 200 were inspired by the RM-Z dirt bike line. However, with the same motor, carburetor, and what seems to be identical suspension (they didn’t say it was updated), it’s hard to see how anything but the colour (now available in yellow and black) is similar.