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Trouble Changing Gears On 2003 DR-Z 125

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I've had this bike for 5 years. Unfortunately when I moved it sat under a tarp at my Mom & Dad's for 2 years before someone finally hauled it here for me.  I replaced the carb, throttle cable, hand levers, brake shoes, tires, chain, sprockets, spark plug etc. recently. Put 4 stroke oil in and got it running great. Starts on very first kick most of the time and don't even have to use the choke. Then comes the problem.. :( .I can usually change down to 1st and back up to neutral no real problem but when the bike is off I have to rock it backward as I go through each gear on up. It also seems somewhat hard to shift when running. I rode it to the end of the drive and back when I was setting it up but not far enough to go through the gears. Checked the clutch tightness and seems fine. Could the clutch plates be sticky from sitting so long? Could it get better after a warm up and another oil change? (wet clutch) I have done all the work by myself so far and I will scream profanities if it is something major.  :banghead: Here is the before and after just to show how it looks now.

Before.JPG

Lil Yeller After.JPG

Edited by ladysuzukirider

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It looks that you did a great job so far .

imo, gears shifting issues varies and could involved many reasons resulting in bad performance .

Here's my humble thoughts :

First check the clutch cable play.

Second , if the weather you're running your bike at is cooler ( 25C and below ) better to use fully synthetic oil .

If the weather is warmer , go for w30-10 or higher .. This could help gearing shift .

If all not working better , it's possible that you tightened something too tight ..

Have you tightened the clutch spring yourself ?

Tightened these hard may result in poor gears shifting .

Hope this helps .

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Clutch springs tightening requires certain torque recommended by the factory.

Special torque wrench needed for armatures because pro tech just tightened it without using that tool.

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The only thing I did clutch-wise was having to connect the cable to the new levers. I have adjusted the play some because the tension was too slack. I haven't taken the clutch cover off yet until I absolutely have to. Trying to get some ideas from you that have more mechanical experience and knowledge since the first bike I have ever worked on alone. I have had conflicting advice at times like I was told that having a wet clutch on this bike that using synthetic oil could cause the clutch to start slipping. ?? I do have a torque wrench that I used when I put the countershaft sprocket on. If I had this shifting issue resolved I could finally hit the trails where I live so any help is appreciated. Oh and the temps here run from the low 70's to low 80's F during the day so that shouldn't be the problem, Thanks for the input.  :) The springs may be messed up from sitting for over 2 years couldn't they? :confused: .  Looks like I may be learning a new lesson in my newest undertaking of being my own bike mechanic but hey it has saved me hundreds of dollars already. :applause:

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I respectfully disagree. Theres no call for full synthetic oil in any air cooled trail bike, regardless of temp. I ran my DR190 in -30C ambient temperature, using Castrol Grand Prix MC oil with no issues. What oil are you currently running?

Furthermore, I've never used a special tool of any sort to torque down clutch baskets, just an old penny jammed between the primary gears. Same with springs, I've rarely even had to jam the primary gears, just put it in fourth and torque away. Sometimes, I've even just ran the bolts in with my impact driver and called it good, ran the mule for months like that with a SP100 primary and clutch basket.

My advice on the bad shifting is to file the stock shifter assembly in the proper scrap pile and run a stock 83-90 Suzuki DR100 shifter. It gets rid of the linkage and sloppiness in the stock setup. Dont let your parts counter guy tell you it doesn't work, either.

Do you have either a service manual or the item resembling one?

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The only thing I did clutch-wise was having to connect the cable to the new levers. I have adjusted the play some because the tension was too slack. I haven't taken the clutch cover off yet until I absolutely have to. Trying to get some ideas from you that have more mechanical experience and knowledge since the first bike I have ever worked on alone. I have had conflicting advice at times like I was told that having a wet clutch on this bike that using synthetic oil could cause the clutch to start slipping. ?? I do have a torque wrench that I used when I put the countershaft sprocket on. If I had this shifting issue resolved I could finally hit the trails where I live so any help is appreciated. Oh and the temps here run from the low 70's to low 80's F during the day so that shouldn't be the problem, Thanks for the input.  :) The springs may be messed up from sitting for over 2 years couldn't they? :confused: .  Looks like I may be learning a new lesson in my newest undertaking of being my own bike mechanic but hey it has saved me hundreds of dollars already. :applause:

if your clutch is the stock one, it's ok to use any oil you prefer. some after market EBC cluch plates doesn't works well with fully synthetic oil to be frankly. 

i'd been using my 2006 DRZ125 for years without this issue . replacing oil from 20w50 in the late summer down to fully synthetic oil in the winter all works fine.

it's possible that your clutch plates been replaced to after market ones, so the guy advised you not to use fully synthetic oil is probably right specially if it's the stn grade clutch from EBC. 

check dennis kirk website and see the compatible clutch sets and you'll notice that the standard base class is not be run with syntactic oil .

 

https://www.denniskirk.com/ebc/standard-ck-clutch-kit-ck3318.p381864.prd/381864.sku

Edited by SUZUKI LOYAL

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I respectfully disagree. Theres no call for full synthetic oil in any air cooled trail bike, regardless of temp. I ran my DR190 in -30C ambient temperature, using Castrol Grand Prix MC oil with no issues. What oil are you currently running?

Furthermore, I've never used a special tool of any sort to torque down clutch baskets, just an old penny jammed between the primary gears. Same with springs, I've rarely even had to jam the primary gears, just put it in fourth and torque away. Sometimes, I've even just ran the bolts in with my impact driver and called it good, ran the mule for months like that with a SP100 primary and clutch basket.

My advice on the bad shifting is to file the stock shifter assembly in the proper scrap pile and run a stock 83-90 Suzuki DR100 shifter. It gets rid of the linkage and sloppiness in the stock setup. Dont let your parts counter guy tell you it doesn't work, either.

Do you have either a service manual or the item resembling one?

Hi

it's ok to have different opinions here . the climate here won't help you that much specially during mid winter . at around zero Celsius it's impossible to crank up your four stocker bike without using fully synthetic oil.  vise versa during the summer when the temp is around 44C , your engine oil will loose it's viscosity so quick that you'll wish that you never thought about riding it before sunset that day.

i'm using local 20W50 heavy oil during summer, and 10w40 castrol synthetic magnatic or US made equivalent oil from start of the fall to the end of the winter.

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I wasn't told by the seller but I read on some bike page on the internet about not using synthetic oil in my DR-Z. It was totally stock when I got it and you could tell it wasn't ridden a whole lot. The kid was a skinny 15 year-old  and at least 6'2. His Dad had kept it in storage for a younger brother but maintained like starting it and keeping fresh oil and gas in it. The big kid decided to sell it to save up for a full size 2 stroke. Anyhoo, I digress. I run Valvoline 4 Stroke oil in it right now. I used to use regular 20W50 when I first bought it but not long after went to 4 stroke oil. I've bought a lot of stuff from Dennis Kirk. Both sets of tires I've had I bought from the site. I have a repair manual on a flash drive that has all the specs etc. and I like the fact that I can print the things I need off it but I do wish I had a manual with the real pictures  (which i have seen online) and not the sometimes difficult to decipher diagrams. Before I take the clutch cover off to inspect will I need a gasket for the cover when I put it back on? I double and triple check everything before I start tearing even the smallest thing on it apart. I'm a fast learner but would rather at least attempt to do it right the first time. :thumbsup: I've noticed my fork springs are a bit mushy (as they seem to be on this particular model) but that's a problem for another day. :banghead:  Thanks guys! Keep the advice coming!

Edited by ladysuzukirider

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In regard to using synthetic oil, i assure you that i'm using it all the fall & winter seasons for years without any problem .

I'm doing so to make it easier to fire it up .. The cold dry winter makes it almost impossible to start the bike at weekends.

as long as your temps ranging from 70-80F the 20w50 is your best choice i agree .

As for the opening the clutch cover, me too i didn't opened it before , if you go back and check i have also a thread seeking best advises, and sorry to say that no one post any thing there .

I watched some youtube's vids about replacing the clutch plates , no one indicated to replace the cover gasket .

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I wasn't told by the seller but I read on some bike page on the internet about not using synthetic oil in my DR-Z. It was totally stock when I got it and you could tell it wasn't ridden a whole lot. The kid was a skinny 15 year-old  and at least 6'2. His Dad had kept it in storage for a younger brother but maintained like starting it and keeping fresh oil and gas in it. The big kid decided to sell it to save up for a full size 2 stroke. Anyhoo, I digress. I run Valvoline 4 Stroke oil in it right now. I used to use regular 20W50 when I first bought it but not long after went to 4 stroke oil. I've bought a lot of stuff from Dennis Kirk. Both sets of tires I've had I bought from the site. I have a repair manual on a flash drive that has all the specs etc. and I like the fact that I can print the things I need off it but I do wish I had a manual with the real pictures  (which i have seen online) and not the sometimes difficult to decipher diagrams. Before I take the clutch cover off to inspect will I need a gasket for the cover when I put it back on? I double and triple check everything before I start tearing even the smallest thing on it apart. I'm a fast learner but would rather at least attempt to do it right the first time. :thumbsup: I've noticed my fork springs are a bit mushy (as they seem to be on this particular model) but that's a problem for another day. :banghead:  Thanks guys! Keep the advice coming!

Are you using proper motorcycle oil? It should be rated for Wet Clutch, or JASO MA certified. Castrol GP is good stuff, and readily available at Walmart or other like stores (I get mine at Canadian Tire for $6 a bottle)

You'll need a gasket for sure, but you can get a full kit off ebay for ~$30. See HERE. The clutch is easily changed, but I'd trash-can the stock linkage shifter for sure. There's a reason MX bikes don't use linkage for shifters.

 

Hi

it's ok to have different opinions here . the climate here won't help you that much specially during mid winter . at around zero Celsius it's impossible to crank up your four stocker bike without using fully synthetic oil.  vise versa during the summer when the temp is around 44C , your engine oil will loose it's viscosity so quick that you'll wish that you never thought about riding it before sunset that day.

i'm using local 20W50 heavy oil during summer, and 10w40 castrol synthetic magnatic or US made equivalent oil from start of the fall to the end of the winter.

How nasty is your local climate if bean oil won't flow at 0? I used to run Shell Rotella year round, but they're changing the formula so back to Castrol GP. 

We did a day on the ice with some guys at work, and my DR190 ran smooth and strong all day. 

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Are you using proper motorcycle oil? It should be rated for Wet Clutch, or JASO MA certified. Castrol GP is good stuff, and readily available at Walmart or other like stores (I get mine at Canadian Tire for $6 a bottle)

You'll need a gasket for sure, but you can get a full kit off ebay for ~$30. See HERE. The clutch is easily changed, but I'd trash-can the stock linkage shifter for sure. There's a reason MX bikes don't use linkage for shifters.

How nasty is your local climate if bean oil won't flow at 0? I used to run Shell Rotella year round, but they're changing the formula so back to Castrol GP.

We did a day on the ice with some guys at work, and my DR190 ran smooth and strong all day.

It's really arctic but dry cold here during winter .

If you uses regular 20w50 oil in mid Jan you'll break your leg trying to kick start the bike .

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Are you using proper motorcycle oil? It should be rated for Wet Clutch, or JASO MA certified. Castrol GP is good stuff, and readily available at Walmart or other like stores (I get mine at Canadian Tire for $6 a bottle)

You'll need a gasket for sure, but you can get a full kit off ebay for ~$30. See HERE. The clutch is easily changed, but I'd trash-can the stock linkage shifter for sure. There's a reason MX bikes don't use linkage for shifters.

 

How nasty is your local climate if bean oil won't flow at 0? I used to run Shell Rotella year round, but they're changing the formula so back to Castrol GP. 

We did a day on the ice with some guys at work, and my DR190 ran smooth and strong all day. 

Well, i went ahead and ordered the gasket. Looks like a good quality one and under $10 USD. The clutch kit runs around $89 if I need it. I am thinking about getting rid of the linkage shifter and it might be a silly question but I've never done a shifter change out so do I need the shifter lever AND the shaft that goes with it or just use the one I have. Also, I have a small foot. Size 6 in women's. Will the DR 100 0r DR 200 be too long? I have a brand new pair of Thor's I bought 5 years ago but couldn't get under the stock shifter. I realize my bike is a trail/play bike and I only use it in the woods and on dirt roads, pastures but in these mountains they would probably still be useful on the rougher and heavily wooded terrain so a little longer shifter might not be a minus. I've worn work boots and a helmet, sometimes gloves until now. Too much rambling I know but I might as well get help while you both are willing and generous enough to help me out. Thanks again. When I hear from you about the shifter I will go ahead and order one. Saw a few a good prices on ebay. 

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Ordered a gallon of Maxima Premium 10W40 4 stroke oil that is "wet clutch safe" that is recommended for  a bike like mine. Sorry but I just can't justify or afford putting out a lot of money for a quart/litre of Silkolene or Amsoil (like over $20) for a 12 year-old trail bike that except for the clutch/shifting problem runs fine. It's better than running car oil or some cheapo junk and I'm willing to try it to see if it runs better or as good as my regular 4 stroke oil. Still haven't heard from you 500XC about the gear shifter. I rode the bike up and down the road a little and it's safe to say it's messed up. Thinking you're shifting up and letting off the clutch lever only to hear and feel your rear tire spin because you're still in 2nd was jerky and irritating. I'd love to hear from you guys soon as I will be tearing into the clutch cover sometime next week. Have a great weekend!  :ride:

Edited by ladysuzukirider

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Sorry, I didn't see this until now. The DR100 shifter fits on the stock shaft. 

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Hi 500XC. I couldn't find a gear shifter for the DR 200 yet but I found this one on ebay. Will it work? It's for a couple of different size DR's but I need to know if it will be too big. I took the shifter out and man the linkage was so sloppy it was like a limp wrist. I'm ready to get rid of that crap! The shifter shaft was moving a little in and out and when I tried to go into second gear the teeth end was sticking out on the other side and not aligning with the teeth on the gear. (Does that make any sense?) Also the spring on the clutch side of the shifter looks sprung maybe because it turns to one side and the shifter won't go through the middle like it should. It popped right off when I was going through the gears with the clutch (not started of course). Anyway. Thanks so much for the help! Karen Here is the shifter on ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Folding-Gear-Shifter-Shift-Lever-Pedal-Suzuki-DR250-DR350-DR650-DR-250-350-650-/201397489359?hash=item2ee439cecf&vxp=mtr

Edited by ladysuzukirider

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The shifter you want is LEVER ASSY, GEAR SHIFT

25600-42A00

Your shift shaft should look like this under the clutch cover (disregard the lack of kickstart pinion). The spring should form a fork around the boss. Yes, when your clutch over is off your shift shaft can pop out easily. 
clutch004.jpg
 

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Yep. Looks like mine exactly.

I looked all over for the shifter and even with the part number above the pic is the same as the aftermarket one on ebay. My other alternative is to pay $35 USD + $8.95 shipping  because I don't need anything else to make it $49 and get free shipping. What a rip-off. This one is from a european or some kind of site but it has the same number. Not ordering from there but it looks like the one from ebay. Everything was fine until this shifter BS started on the bike. Here it is:http://www.cmsnl.com/products/lever-assy-gear-shift_2560042a00/#.VddAL_lVjZ0 I'm getting pretty frustrated that we have one more month of summer and I've yet to ride.  :thumbsdn:

Edited by ladysuzukirider

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OK  500XC. I ordered the LEVER ASSY, GEAR SHIFT 25600-42A00 today. Hope it solves my shifting problems. The clutch plates are fine as is the basket, pressure plate, etc. If I'm not successful this time stick a fork in me cause I'm done. For now wish me luck!!

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OK 500XC. I ordered the LEVER ASSY, GEAR SHIFT 25600-42A00 today. Hope it solves my shifting problems. The clutch plates are fine as is the basket, pressure plate, etc. If I'm not successful this time stick a fork in me cause I'm done. For now wish me luck!!

That should help your problem, but I would check the shift ratchet assembly aswell. I havent had a bad one yet, but that doesnt mean much

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