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CO_ADV_2017 DRZ400e Resto/Build thread

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Thanks for visiting my 2001 Suzuki DRZ400e resto/build thread.  I picked up my DRZ this past summer shortly before getting my endorsement.  I have plenty of off-roading and wrenching experience although it’s all been focused on 4x4’s and mountain bikes.  A couple buddies and I all picked up project (of varying degrees) dual sports with hopes of exploring the northern Colorado national forests and good old adventure on 2 wheels.  The previous owner of this bike only had it for a short period of time and didn’t have much history on it.  It came with studded tires, a worn out ACCT, and running pretty lean.  This thread will document my resto/build with the intent of 25% street/commuting, 50% forest service road exploring, and 25% enduro-type trails. 

Here is a list of items I addressed shortly after acquiring the bike:

  • Tusk Motorcycle Enduro Lighting kit (bike is now titled and plated in CO)
  • New disc brake pads
  • Oil and filter change
  • New Tires… Kenda K760 Trakmaster II rear, Pirelli MT21 front
  • All Balls Wheel Bearing kits (front & Rear)
  • New foam air filter (Tusk)
  • New Tusk valve cover gasket
  • Thumpertalk MCCT
  • Pigtail for trickle charger
  • Checked valve clearance (all in tolerance)

A few other upgrades/mod’s that I can see have already been added:

  • Scott’s triple clamp
  • Air box has been opened up
  • Auxillary CPU fan on radiator
  • Radiator guard (not sure on brand)
  • Factory Effex seat (not sure if this is an upgrade)
  • Skidplate

Over the next couple weeks I plan to begin disassembling the bike down to the frame and here are the planned upgrade/maintenance items I plan to address (depending on funding) before the spring riding season:

  • IMS 4.0 Tank
  • Seat Concepts saddle (foam kit)
  • Tusk D Flex pro hand guards
  • ProGrip 714 grips
  • LED low/high beam upgrades with a customer headlight housing
  • Ram Mount Spring grip (iphone)
  • New plastics for front/rear fender and side panels (black)
  • De-rust stock exhaust and paint black
  • Service swingarm bearings
  • Gather a tool kit, first aide kit, and spare parts kit
  • Wider ebay pedals
  • Trackside 12v adapter to cockpit
  • Paint the frame (reading lots on paint vs powdercoat)
  • Polish wheels / de-rust spokes
  • Check jetting in carb… add JD Jet Kit as necessary
  • Thumpertalk case savers… may need to replace case on right side (damaged)
  • Smooth the back of the shifter near the folding tip it has kind of a sharp edge that can still damage thru the case saver
  • Delete clutch and stand switches
  • Free Power Mod
  • Go through wiring harness and shorten/clean up/re-do connections/silicone grease in every electrical connector
  • New Drive chain and sprocket(s)… still researching desired gearing (recommendations welcome)
  • Flush brake fluid
  • Flush radiator fluid
  • Maintain / tune suspension as needed

I would love for you all to join me on this journey and add your recommendations/opinions on upgrades, personal experience, alternative brands, things I’ve missed, etc.  I will be taking my time to post details on the upgrades I’m making along the way although I’m not bringing innovation to what you all have already accomplished.  Thanks again and I look forward to learning from and sharing with this community as I go!

 

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Looks like a good bike to start your project and it sounds like you already have a good handle on what your going to need, but that gearing is always a conundrum, even picking something in the middle leaves something to be desired on tight trails or hiways.
So i chose to be adaptable. A 42T on the rear allows me to use a 110 link chain and swap from a 13T front to 16T front depending on what type of riding i'll be doing. I've even rode 5 hours on my hiway gearing, then switched to my trail gearing when i got to my destination, i've got the switch down to about 10 min.
Hope this helps. Enjoy the bike

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That's the first time that I've ever seen a dirtbike on a commode.

Haha, I was about to say, nice toilet stand, lol.... surprised that toilet can hold the drz, it's a beast

 

 

Haha, I do have some neighbors with a toilet on their front porch, it's a flower "pot" lol

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I recently got a DRZs. My list is very similar to yours. My first mod was shaving the seat then lowering links. I have this winter to work on mine. Which is good and bad. ill be checking in to see your progress.

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2 hours ago, 74jimbo said:

Haha, I was about to say, nice toilet stand, lol.... surprised that toilet can hold the drz, it's a beast

 

 

Haha, I do have some neighbors with a toilet on their front porch, it's a flower "pot" lol

I thought you all might appreciate that.  This throne was not one of the new, high efficiency toilets.  This is a late 80's model, they don't make me like they used to.  With the skid plate, you'd be surprised how stable it was!

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2 hours ago, bucket list said:

Looks like a good bike to start your project and it sounds like you already have a good handle on what your going to need, but that gearing is always a conundrum, even picking something in the middle leaves something to be desired on tight trails or hiways.
So i chose to be adaptable. A 42T on the rear allows me to use a 110 link chain and swap from a 13T front to 16T front depending on what type of riding i'll be doing. I've even rode 5 hours on my hiway gearing, then switched to my trail gearing when i got to my destination, i've got the switch down to about 10 min.
Hope this helps. Enjoy the bikeemoji106.png

Thanks for the advice!  That approach makes a ton of sense, especially with the type of riding I have locally.  Anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours of 60 mph riding gives access to a great trail network.  My current setup is a 15/47 which feels like it's revving really high even at 45mph in 5th.  This is my first bike though so I'm probably a little sensitive to the noise/RPM's.

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1 hour ago, Padilen said:

I recently got a DRZs. My list is very similar to yours. My first mod was shaving the seat then lowering links. I have this winter to work on mine. Which is good and bad. ill be checking in to see your progress.

Congrats on your DRZ!  I'm having a blast, I hope you are as well.  

I'll have to look more into the lowering links.  Not sure what my inseam is but I'm 6'1" and I'm not flat footed as the bike sits today. I hear that the standard Seat Concepts saddle rides about 1" higher than stock.  I'm not sure their low saddle is the solution though.  How tall are you and how have those mods effected your positioning and comfort?  

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I'm not 6'1 I'm almost a foot shorter. I'm about 5'3" and on top of that fused right ankle. No issue with the mods, but I didn't get kick stand cut down yet. That has caused some issues. It likes to trap my foot!
I've only rode bike for about 100 miles. It need some work ASAP and it's fall in Northern Michigan. Which means cold and wet, either rain or snow or combo.

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Congrats on your DRZ!  I'm having a blast, I hope you are as well.  
I'll have to look more into the lowering links.  Not sure what my inseam is but I'm 6'1" and I'm not flat footed as the bike sits today. I hear that the standard Seat Concepts saddle rides about 1" higher than stock.  I'm not sure their low saddle is the solution though.  How tall are you and how have those mods effected your positioning and comfort?  

Ya look into the lowering links, you will find most people that know their suspension will steer you away from them. If you start riding the bike at higher speeds through some rougher off-roads, you will REALLY appreciate getting the valving and spring rates modded to suit your needs, with the stock links and full suspension travel.

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Ya look into the lowering links, you will find most people that know their suspension will steer you away from them. If you start riding the bike at higher speeds through some rougher off-roads, you will REALLY appreciate getting the valving and spring rates modded to suit your needs, with the stock links and full suspension travel.

At 25$ for lowering links it's s cheap way to lower a too tall bike. Since I'm really short it's an easy way to try. Fast easy, and easy to return to stock. If I get comfortable and my health issues allow me to continue riding. It may be swapped to suspension lowering. AlsoDRZ is in need of some work, so money is need for other issues. Many with lowering links have many happy miles, so I'm not to worried, about using links.

 

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I agree with you, just don't expect the suspension to work the best on higher speed rough sections.

There's much better bikes out there for shorter people.

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If you find one that's capable of highway speeds, can haul enough gear for a weekend +. And as cheap to buy and mod as the DRZ. With plenty of used available for less than 3000. Basically a solid platform that's been proven for years. Please tell us as many have bought the DRZ and lowered without knowing such a bike is available.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Padilen said:

If you find one that's capable of highway speeds, can haul enough gear for a weekend +. And as cheap to buy and mod as the DRZ. With plenty of used available for less than 3000. Basically a solid platform that's been proven for years. Please tell us as many have bought the DRZ and lowered without knowing such a bike is available. emoji3.png

 

 

You got me there too. Those are all the reasons I love the DRZ also.  The CRF250L comes to mind as better for short inseams and could keep with the DRZ with a few mods. I only speak like that cuz I did some pro MX back in my younger years and still like to attack some narly off-road. But my choice to lower the rear of a bike would be to pull the shock apart and add a spacer below the topout bumper inside the shock, then you don't screw with the linkage ratio's that the factory designed into the suspension. Still not ideal, but better than using the lowering links and I can do it for less money than the links.

I'm not disputing that some use the links and are happy with them, I just know their not riding hard off-road.

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On 11/13/2017 at 5:39 PM, CO_ADV_2017 said:

Congrats on your DRZ!  I'm having a blast, I hope you are as well.  

I'll have to look more into the lowering links.  Not sure what my inseam is but I'm 6'1" and I'm not flat footed as the bike sits today. I hear that the standard Seat Concepts saddle rides about 1" higher than stock.  I'm not sure their low saddle is the solution though.  How tall are you and how have those mods effected your positioning and comfort?  

My standard Seat Concepts seems about the same as my stock seat, just more comfortable on long rides. Do you need a solution to tippy toes at lights? How much riding do you do at lights compared to roads and trails?

Here's mine in trail trim and adventure trim.

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17 hours ago, bucket list said:

My standard Seat Concepts seems about the same as my stock seat, just more comfortable on long rides. Do you need a solution to tippy toes at lights? How much riding do you do at lights compared to roads and trails?

Here's mine in trail trim and adventure trim.

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Great looking bike!  Thanks for the feedback on the standard Seat Concepts saddle.  Right now, I'm pretty comfortable with the stand over height both on the street and trail although if a seat was going to add an additional inch I think I'd be a little concerned on the trail.  Keep in mind I've only been on one legit trail so far.

What model windshield is that?  Looks great and functional.  What's been your favorite, game changing mod/upgrade for your adventure riding?

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5 hours ago, CO_ADV_2017 said:

Great looking bike!  Thanks for the feedback on the standard Seat Concepts saddle.  Right now, I'm pretty comfortable with the stand over height both on the street and trail although if a seat was going to add an additional inch I think I'd be a little concerned on the trail.  Keep in mind I've only been on one legit trail so far.

What model windshield is that?  Looks great and functional.  What's been your favorite, game changing mod/upgrade for your adventure riding?

Your going to love exploring with that bike and you've probably got the best area to do that.

Listing my favorite mods. would have to start with my Trailtech Voyager GPS dash unit.

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It's just a simple monochrome gps, but has tons of bike and atmosphere info. I scour google earth for where i want to explore, draw the lines and load them in for turn by turn navigation. Then use maps on phone or tablet for "the big picture".

That rally screen from Parrebellum is great for reducing fatige from the wind if you have to spend any more than 1/2 hour on the hiway. But i would like it a few inches taller and a few inches lower for the trails. I may add another piece over top with slots so i can adjust it out there.

I concidered a larger gas tank, but settled on just adding a 1 3/4 us gallon roto-pax tank on my rear rack. When i'm trail riding and don't need the range, i've got the nice slim stock tank. I'd rather have the extra weight behind the seat, then over the front end of the bike. Your E model doesn't have strong rear sub-frame like my S model though.

The thing i'm most proud of is my homemade side racks and my soft saddlebags which i modified and made into hard mounted soft bags. They stay put now and don't flop around like when they were just strapped on and come off and on in seconds.

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Forgot your E model also has a smaller lighter headlight and shroud that probably wouldn't support that screen, but you could probably find other models.

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Day 1 of disassembly went pretty well.  As I suspected, this bike has received very little attention and maintenance.  New items added to the fix list:

- front fork alignment

- bent handlebars

- rear chain guard missing plastic section in middle

- the jury is still out on the bullet connectors that came with the Tusk lighting kit harness

- radiator guards have done their job well and will need some reforming

- every bearing, bushing, and metal wear areas need major grease

 

Nothing catastrophic and really pumped to be at this stage.  Hope to wrap up disassembly tomorrow.  Toilet still doing its job!

 

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