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New (to-me) DRZ and an unusual noise from rear suspension

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So here's the story. I started riding (legally) in 1999 on a brand new DR350SE. Great for learning, built up some off road skills, but college meant I didn't have a lot of time to ride. Dad bought Harley, and I did too. 10 years of riding that, and I picked up a cheap Buell Firebolt to rebuild. Fell in love with Buells. Picked up a Ulysses for commuting and touring, but ended up taking it off-road with a set of TKC80 tires and learned lots of trails with the local ADV Rider Group. After chasing the "true" dual sports on the trails (I can catch 'em in the straights!) I decided it was time to get back to my roots and started looking for a DRZ400.  (But I still have the Buells, Harley, and now the DRZ!)

I picked up this 2006 DRZ400S from about 3 hours away - and it's VERY stock. (The only thing added was a set of PM Racks that came with the bike.) It's definitely been down once or twice in the grass (who hasn't dropped a DS) but it was mostly ridden on the road and only had 2400 miles. The price was very reasonable - low enough that I was able to come in under my budget even AFTER all the modifications and parts I purchased for it.



I have a few mods planned, but one thing I noticed when unloading the bike was an unusual noise - if the suspension was completely unloaded (as in picking up the rear to move it) and then allowed to compress, I got a metallic clang.  I've looked, and it doesn't appear to be a broken spring, but I'm at a loss as to what could be causing it.  I've ordered a new shock spring anyways, so I'll be changing that out soon.  But if anyone has any suggestions as to what the cause may be, I'm open to suggestions.  (I will also be getting a friend to pick up the bike so I can listen/look more closely)


Youtube video for the problem


Hopefully I can get that resolved soon.  


Since I did quite well on the price for this bike, and had quite a bit left in my planned budget... so I'm really going all out with the mods.  Here's the list of parts that I have already ordered:

Item Manf Part Number Area Vendor

  • Pro Taper EVO Bars CR High Bend 024006 Controls Amazon  
  • Pro Taper Universal Bar Mount Kit 02-2821 Controls Amazon
  • Dunlop D606 Dual Sport Front Tire - 90/90-21/-- 31-8169 Tires / Wheels Amazon
  • Dunlop D606 Dual Sport Rear Tire - 120/90-18/-- 31-8170 Tires / Wheels Amazon
  • IRC Heavy Duty Tube - 2.75/3.00-21 - TR-4 Stem IRC-91 Tires / Wheels Amazon
  • RC Heavy Duty Tube - 4.50/5.10-18 - TR-4 Stem T20057 Tires / Wheels Amazon
  • IRC Rim Strips - 21" 87-90621 Tires / Wheels Amazon
  • IRC Rim Strips - 18" 87-9058 Tires / Wheels Amazon
  • Ram Mount Motorcycle Handlebar Clamp Base RAM-B-367U Controls Amazon
  • Pro Taper Pillow Top Lite Grip 024891 Controls Amazon
  • DRC Short Clutch Lever D40-03-508 Controls Wheeling Cycle Supply
  • DRC Short Brake Lever D40-13-408 Controls Wheeling Cycle Supply
  • Edge 2 w/ 12 O'clock board EDGE2 / DRCE2 Lighting 12oclocklabs.com
  • JD Jet Kit JDS005 Fuel / Intake JD Jetting
  • Kientech Fuel Screw JDFM050 Fuel / Intake JD Jetting
  • Case Covers Thumper Talk Engine Thumper Talk
  • Spare Key made N/A Controls Local Locksmith
  • Skid Plate - Tonn's Fabrication N/A Guards Tonns Fabrication.com
  • Rear Shock Spring SRSP 672760 Suspension Amazon
  • Kick Start Kit 26300-29815 Engine Amazon
  • HDB NexGen Handguards HDB NexGen Handguards Guards Highway Dirt Bikes


Better lighting, a radiator guard, IMS 4 gallon tank, MCCT, and a few other minor things are still on the "wish list", but will probably be ordered soon.

For mods, I plan on doing the loctite fixes, free power mod, changing out all the fluids and filters, smoothing out the shift lever, and of course, the 3x3" mod.


Edited by StarWolve

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Part # 3 in this diagram will get some play in it over time.


Not unusual in older high mileage bikes.

While you have the shock out, it would be worth disassembling the linkages and swingarm, clean, inspect and grease.

It doesn't seem like there would be enough play in that part to make the noise.


I still haven't had a chance to locate the noise - I've been too busy to work on the bike other than a few minutes here and there.  The new hand guards I bought are most likely going to interfere with the display, so I'm looking at a smaller display (vapor maybe?) and relocating the ignition switch to accommodate for the risers.  I really need to take a day off to do all the mods I have planned.

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In which case, pull the shock out, disassemble linkages and swingarm, clean, inspect and grease.

Being a 2006 model, chances are it has never had the suspension serviced, there is little enough grease when new, let alone now after 8 odd years.

Also inspect wheel bearings.

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Disassembled the rear suspension.  Previous owner had greased it, it looks good.  I found the noise - the shock was loosened up all the way, there was actually slop in the rear spring.


I have a new race tech spring I'm installing, and I'll put a bit more grease in and put it all back together.  Then all that's left is the 3x3 mod and the Vapor computer install, and all the mods are done (for now!)

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