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DRZ 400 in the sand

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Just wondering how a DRZ400 will go in the sand. Where i live I want to do a bit of riding along a soft beach. I like DRZ because of it's reputation for 

robustness.

What are your experiences...............

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Which DRZ are you referring to? The surviving S and SM models are factory detuned, gutless, and overweight. The original kicker only or the "E" model are much better performers. That's not to say the current models can't be made to rip, it's just takes money and specific modifications.
The additional weight isn't as easily removed.

Riding on sand is hard on any machine. It gets everywhere and eats seals and bearings. For beach cruising, a properly jetted and derestricted DRZ will get you there. If you want to rip up the dunes you'd be wise to choose a different machine.

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I had a DRZ400E when I lived in Moab, Utah.  I love the bike but soft deep sand is it's weakest link, IMO.  The engine is good for sand with strong pulling power thru the whole rev range.  The suspension is good enough with lots of adjustability with it's clickers.  But the front end is heavy and wants to plow down, dive deep.  A good front knobbie is essential.  Get one that is well respected for the desert (Baja), one that is known for handling sand, not a hard track mx race tire.

My riding buddy had a KTM and when we swapped bikes I was amazed how much lighter his steered at the White Wash sand dunes.  The KTM floated on top.  I changed to the same Michelin front knob he had and it made a big difference, but the DRZ still wasn't as good.

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I've done a lot of sand duning, a lot , but it's been on quads ,  been is sand with my DRZ up north where the Nat'l Forest roads and trails are pure sand and it wasn't my favorite thing , my Husky and WR are much more enjoyable but still prefer my quads up there . Tires are the #1 thing , low'ish pressure, and sitting back ,keep the rpm's up so the motor can pull easy . You can feel the weight though. I had an LTZ400 with the same motor and it did ok , had the old Hot Cams and the typical airflow mods , could spin dual paddle tires and go up some awfully tall dune faces so it can handle it in the bike , even better with mods . I wouldn't willfully take it out in the dunes though , much , better bikes for that ,maybe if it's all I had but specific sand tires would go on .

If you keep the bike clean with no oil or grease seeps I haven't had any seals or bearing go out in any of my toys from sand . The seals do there job , even chains don't notice it as long as they're not covered in sticky lube .  Outer Ware's or Filter Skinz a MUST .

 

 

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Edited by jjktmrider

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Took mine down to Ocotillo Wells last year to ride with a bunch of work folks that had true offroad beasts.  They laughed.

Bike was shod with Michelin Desert Race front and Pirelli MT-43 trials rear, 14/44 gearing and 3x3 mod with mikuni stock carb and stock exhaust.

I'm too old to jump dunes but as for riding around, going through the washes, up the hills and such, it kept up and handled just fine.

It's no race machine but if you just want to have some fun, it's more than capable.

 

 

 

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Edited by trc.Rhubarb

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Took my S model bike to the beach this past April. Sand near the water is great but deep sand is a challenge. My front end dug often. I don't see myself riding up dunes anymore after trying with the drz. I'll rent a bike at the dunes or purchase a better machine

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1 hour ago, jjktmrider said:

There's 3 if not 4 flags missing .  Glamis has been on my "have to go once" list but it's a long way for me .

Bikes don't seem to carry flags at Ocotillo.  I've not gone to Glamis just because it's a crazy scene over there.  This was one of the last days of the season and only in the high 90's or so.  The most fun was had at night but the amount of drinking and riding/driving at sometimes ludicrous speed kept me in my tent.  We watched at least 2 trucks take massive damage from our camp spot and when the LS3 powered buggies came out... it was more fun to sit and watch

 

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9 hours ago, trc.Rhubarb said:

Took mine down to Ocotillo Wells last year to ride with a bunch of work folks that had true offroad beasts.  They laughed.

I had mine in that area (Borrego Springs) over Christmas. Had a blast and I thought the DRZ did fine in the washes. Seemed that deep sand riding was more about the rider than the machine. I sucked on the first day. By the end of the week I was doing fine though I think my bike has pretty good power (3x3, FCR MX 39, JD jet kit, MRD exhaust) compared to a stock one I test rode when shopping.

The first pic is an insane (for me) set of sand steps of very deep sand. Middle two are Fish Creek on the first day. Other two guys on big KTMs. Last one is Grapevine Canyon which was my favorite of the whole trip.

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