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Washington Elevation of Washington trails and Carbureted bikes

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Long story short, please bare with me.

 

I'm moving to Seattle and am seriously considering a DRZ400S in order to ride around the city a little bit, and ride up to all of the best Cascade foothill and mountain dirt trails.

 

Problem is I'm concerned a Carbureted bike will not do well at high elevations. And there leads me to my question.

 

How high up are most of the good trails in the cascades?

 

 

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Long story short, please bare with me.

 

I'm moving to Seattle and am seriously considering a DRZ400S in order to ride around the city a little bit, and ride up to all of the best Cascade foothill and mountain dirt trails.

 

Problem is I'm concerned a Carbureted bike will not do well at high elevations. And there leads me to my question.

 

How high up are most of the good trails in the cascades?

 

You will generally not be any higher than 7000 ft and most trails will stay in the 3500 to 5500 range. Jetting and carburetion ( is that a word?) are easy.....twice a year : warm and cold seasons.  A note about the DRZ is that I have heard people that have had them comment on how heavy they are in the mountains on our challenging trails.

 

Joe

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If you're living in the Seattle area riding a DRZ400S to the mountain trails will be a long scary drone IMO. City driving, check, forest service roads, check. Single track, doable. I90 and the other highways out here, I would not ride one for 1.5-2 hours but that is just me.

Joe's got it right for jetting. -Ed

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I ride at sea level and up to 7000 feet with a carbureted 2 stroke. Just adjust the air screw at high altitude. Or try a Lectron carb for automatic adjustments.

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I ride an 06 drz400s all over the foothills of the pnw. In one day I rode from my place near Snohomish over Stevens pass, had breakfast in Leavenworth, over Blewett pass to ellensburg, up into our hunting camp in the naneum canyon (in the snow) and then back over Snoqualmie pass and back to Snohomish all on Trackmaster knobbies and without adjusting anything.

I have run the frostbite grand prix ( when it was at Reiter) and the desert 100 and a bunch in between and the Drz400 has been rock solid through it all. Yes, it is heavy and yes there are trade offs with any dual sport but trail elevation will not be an issue, especially with the stock cv carb.

To be fair, I typically will throw the z in the truck for trips to walker valley or tahuya instead of riding to the trails but that's more of a comfort and security measure than it is necessity.

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I've been riding bikes with carburetors in the Cascade for several decades with sea level jetting and adjusting the  mixture screw is usually all that is needed up to 6000feet, the exception being on hot summer days but suffering some rich blubbering for a day ride is usually easier than dropping the needle and/or changing the main.

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In Idaho we have similar elevations in the mountains and I used to run a DRZ-400 on the roads and trails. three things will help you greatly.

 

1. Get a Seat Concepts seat kit. They help the butt pain quite a bit.

 

2. Lectron Carb. No more jets to play with, no more needles, more power down low, good from sea level to 11,000 feet. More MPG too. 

 

3. Get some case savers if you haven't already. 

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Stock jetted drz fine anywhere in WA,  we've taken several to higher places than wa, and they only get fussy at ~ 9000.  

Edited by highmarker
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Big thanks to everyone. I appreciate all you guys taking the time to give your thoughts and share info. What an awesome community this is.

 

Feel much better about getting a bike without fuel injection. Now I need to find some people to ride with and maybe a little harbor freight trailer to tow a bike. I sold my pickup and currently have a trail ready YZ250 just sitting and collecting dust in my garage.

 

I used to live in Port Angeles and had a blast riding in foothills below hurricane ridge.

 

So cool how the DRZ has such a cult following. I know they are little heavy, pretty outdated, and not super powerful, but their owners seems to really love them nonetheless.

Edited by coolbeans2000
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I miss my DRZ, I beat the piss outta that bike and it just kept running. I don't miss picking it up though. 

 

IMG_1114_zps84f52020.jpg

IMG_1060_zpsc7282b6c.jpg

IMG_1113_zpsb96f76a6.jpg

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I've never experienced any elevation related issues either.   My XR600 gets a little cranky above 4000' but only on cold startup.  

 

@coolbeans... I lived in P.A. form '88-'96... I rode the hell out of my YZ250 at Sadie Creek, Black Diamond, Happy Valley and had a friend that lived across the road from the track on Deer Park Rd. 

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I had a 2002 DRZ 400s and didn't ever have jetting issues riding from sea level and the Cascade's trails.  IMO the DRZ is still the best true 50/50 dual sport (reasonably priced anyway) out there  Like Backwoods Bomber I also did the Desert 100 on it which is a testament to it's versatility.  I finally got tired of dealing with the weight on the mountain single track and also wanted a better distance bike so I ended up having to replace it with two bikes - a plated CRF 250x and a 990 ADV.  I kinda wish I kept the DRZ since it still is a nice fit in the middle of those two and was a hell of a wheelie machine but my CRF is night and day better on trails than the DRZ ever was and the 990 smokes pavement and fire roads.

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You will be just fine. Don't jet it too rich. I tend to run the stock MX jetting. I've been to the highest places you can get in the state with carbed bikes, never touched the carb at any time. 10,000ft at the crater of baker

 

14317665584_5ddb81574b_h_d.jpg

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You will be just fine. Don't jet it too rich. I tend to run the stock MX jetting. I've been to the highest places you can get in the state with carbed bikes, never touched the carb at any time. 10,000ft at the crater of baker

 

That photo is incredible.

Edited by coolbeans2000

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aug_20_11_020.jpg

This is Hurricane Harry, he rode his DRZ all over Washington State from his home in Seattle.
No issues at all.

 

For this ride he camped out and met us the next day.

We packed our bikes in and out in our trucks.

He rode home on his DRZ.

You won't have any issues with your DRZ as long as you have it jetted for the majority of your riding area.

A JD Jet Kit if you don't have one and ride away.

 

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