Drz 400 Not Running Right. Please Help!

Hi guys, I own a 2001 DRZ 400E model that I converted to Supermoto. Today I was out riding and everything seemed normal. Then after about 40 miles into a ride. I noticed that in fifth gear I would pin the throttle and it felt like the clutch was being held half way in. So the bike would rev high and not go any faster until after about 3 seconds of pinning the throttle. At first I didn't think much of it. However, after another 30 miles or so. Now when I am in 2nd gear, 3rd, or any other gear. The bike does the same thing. The bike just revs high when I pin the throttle, and then gains power after about 3 seconds of pinning it. It is so bad now that the bike won't even pop a wheelie in second gear anymore. Even if I try to clutch it up. It's very disappointing. :-( 

I have checked my clutch cable, and I assume it is adjusted properly, only because when it is in first gear, and I pull the clutch all the way in, the bike does not try to roll or move.. 

Could this be a cam chain tensioner issue? Or is it time for new clutch plates? Or could it be something simple? I am really stumped here, and don't know where to begin. I really don't want to pull my clutch plates out if I don't have to... Are there any DRZ experts out there?! Please help!



Here is a picture of my bike.


Sounds like the clutch is fried, but it's strange that it would remain grip after a few seconds.

It does sound like the friction plates have worn in your clutch , but while you are at it check out the springs . !3 years is a good run for any component and they may have lost some tension . If you check the plates and they are in spec then I would check the springs for sure . Nice colour scheme on your bike also , have you any more pics so we can see it better ? greg

Edited by hinksy

What oil was used?

Thank you for the responses guys. Much appreciated!

I went ahead and ordered a complete EBC clutch kit, with new plates and springs. I'm assuming all I have to do, is unbolt>replace plates and springs> tighten> go ride? Do you know if the springs have to be torqued to a certain spec? Or if they just need to be snugged in? I have heard of people stripping these out because the case is aluminum, and they are "oiled bolts". Apparently, oiled bolts tend to have a different type of torque tension, and are easily stripped? Especially in aluminum. So this is something I need to look out for. I was planning on just getting them "snug". Should that be okay?


BlkRawb I use Lucas motorcycle oil 10w-40 Jaso MA-2



Hinsky, do you want more pictures of the bike itself? Or pics of the clutch cover off, and the internals of the clutch basket?

Edited by SuzukiRiderDRZ

Just make sure you tighten them diagonally , yes , be gentle when you tighten .

might be a silly question but you didn't put car oil in it did you?

He uses Lucas that is properly rated, which is why I asked. Was hoping the clutch didn't get a bunch of friction modifiers.

I used to work on heavy equipment and to test clutches we would put them in gear and lock the brakes then try to take off. If they free revved a little you knew the clutch was toast, if it stalled it out then you could tell the clutch was good. I don't know if this is effective on bikes or not

My guess would be a toasted clutch, once it heats up from slipping it'll start to grab a little harder. When I first got my drz the clutch cable was a little looser than it should be so the clutch would drag at idle, which used up a bit of the clutch life fairly quickly, make sure you adjust this after you change your clutch!

Thanks guys! You guys helped out a lot. So did the chat room. Thumpertalk is awesome!

I should get the new plates an springs in the mail on Thursday. I will post the outcome!

Okay guys so I am back with an update... I have installed a brand new EBC clutch kit. I followed this guide here: http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/569655-clutch-maintenance-and-inspection/


The guide states to use the OEM springs that were already in the bike, if one of the clutch plates inner diameter was larger than all of the rest. Which it was, so I re-used the stock springs. However, all the plates are all brand new.


The bike is still revving high in gear and not grabbing the gear until half way through the RPMS. It is a lot better than it was, but it still does it. I cannot figure out why. My basket was not grooved badly at all. It had a little wear on it but it looked identical to the picture in the guide. He stated that if they looked like his, then it wasn't bad. So I left it alone.


The only thing I can think of is to go ahead and replace the OEM springs with the new springs. Could this cause the bike to still do this? Or what else could it be? Please help! :-)

Edit: I installed the new clutch springs just to see if it would change... It still hangs up. It revvs high for about 2 seconds... then gradually gains momentum. Like as if I am easing out on the clutch as I'm revving it... However the clutch is not engaged at all. I'm lost and don't even know what to check at this point. Does anyone have any suggestions?


I have checked my clutch cable, and I assume it is adjusted properly, only because when it is in first gear, and I pull the clutch all the way in, the bike does not try to roll or move.. 



Your test doesn't determine if you have free play.  You need free play to let the clutch springs fully push the plates together.  You should have 1/2 inch of play out at the tip of a stock lever, probably 2-3mm at the perch end.

Your test doesn't determine if you have free play.  You need free play to let the clutch springs fully push the plates together.  You should have 1/2 inch of play out at the tip of a stock lever, probably 2-3mm at the perch end.

The cable just needed proper adjusting! thanks!

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