I’ll be on a KTM 1290 SAR to give River Road a go(minus Black Gap probably). I only have one bike so it has to do the trick. I just hope my *** isn’t too sore from the Houston to BBNP ride. Anybody else coming out on a large adventure bike?River Road west can have some sandy patches that if you go too slow on will be a challenge. I rode it last March with my DR650 with fully inflated Shinko 700 tires without a problem. I've had more dirt oriented tires before, these are apparently 60 street / 40 off road tires. My bike is heavier than your DRZ so if you have decent tires it shouldn't be a problem. Rode Old Ore last week with a squared off and balding Shinko 700 rear and didn't have a problem except one section that was sandy and I was going too slow. I'm hopefully getting a new tire this or next week.
A few years back River Road got a good rider on a 1200GS a few times, at least that's how many times I helped him pick it up. Bike was fully loaded for camping too. The last time it went down he got trapped under it and I lifted it without help, was pretty tired at that point. I would suggest a lighter bike. After the sandy part he was fine the rest of the way.
If you don't want sand or very little stay on River Road east and Glen Springs roads. Old Ore is more challenging, Black Gap is the most challenging if you have little off road experience. I did BG once and am fine not doing it again. Old Ore is fun though and scenic. Mariscal Mine is a neat place to visit.
I need to make reservations, would also hope to be staying at Chisos Mining Co. I've stayed there 3 times before. Going out Wednesday if it works out, going home Sunday.
There was a very experienced hiker that died a few weeks back and another that made the local news a few months ago. Speaking last week to a fellow I know that is involved with the Terlingua EMS station (he's on the board of directors) said there's a lot more of that going on than makes the news. Hydration is key as you probably know, even in cooler months. Still lots of folks hike without issue. The nearest hospital is in Alpine, 90 minutes away. There is a Paramedic in Terlingua which is nice, they're more qualified than EMT's.