New DR650 Owner-Upgrade Questions

I just purchased a new to me 2011 DR650, got a great deal on a bike that already had a few mods such as the big tank, TM40 carb, skid plate. I just bought new Shinzo 244’s, wheel bearings, brake pads, chain, sprockets, some led lights front and rear, the Cogent fork upgrade kit, and the mid pipe-GSXR muffler. I am excited to be working on an adventure bike and I have big plans in the future.

Question 1: I ordered an OEM Suzuki countershaft seal retainer for the 2014 model, but noticed the countershaft seal changed part numbers from 2011 to 2014. Not sure why, same specs listed for both. I plan to use the 2014 seal with the retainer, any ideas on why this part number change?

Question 2: I would like swap in a DRZ400 shock but can’t find the complete details on this conversion. I am assuming the 400SM shock is preferred, but can’t really find the a complete post from start to finish with detailed instructions and report.  Several posts say it is a waste of time, the shock is too long, the spring is too light,etc. I am very interested in this conversion, but there is a lot of negative posts and not too many offering glaring positive results. Any thoughts on this proposed conversion?

Not sure why the seal retainer part number changed but it should work on your bike.

Not sure about the DRZ shock, I still have the OEM shock on my '03 DR (on the factory "low" setting).  If anything I'd send the stock shock to Race Tech and have them install their shock shaft which offers adjustable damping.  Keep in mind that in the end a lot of these conversions do not save you that much cash and the end result is so-so. 

Have you visited DR Riders yet?

Or ProCycle? (hide your credit card "BEFORE" you visit this web site):


Thanks for the reply Zig, I am use to the CRF230 forum and get plenty of help there, I thought nobody was here so glad you replied.

 I am very familiar with suspension conversions and not scared to try something different. I can find several threads about swapping the Drz400 shock, but none actually follow through with results.  The forks were easy with the cogent upgrade, but not a cheap fix for the shock since most say it is not worth the effort or cost to modify.  Aftermarket shocks start at aroun $600, so there the interest in the Drz400 shock.  There are 3 versions of the Drz400 shock, not sure which one is preferable but I think it is the SM.

The countershaft seal retainer was added in 2014, along with a seal part number change. I ordered both from Rocky Mountain OEM for about $10 total. ProCycle was asking about $39 just for the retainer.  It makes sense to use the new seal with the retainer, so no big deal here, just curious about the part number change between 2011 and 2014.

No problem.  Here's one posting in DR Riders on how one guy got a DRZ shock to fit a DR ( )  It took some minor machining (sanding) and a little searching for the right bearings and seals.  He estimated that it cost him about $300 to do it with the shock itself costing about $150 of that (in 2014). 

And that's where it started to rub me wrong (DRZ shock in a DR).  First off, an eBay shock is a question mark "maybe it's good and maybe it needs to be rebuilt".  Also, because you should most likely have the DRZ shock valved for the DR's heavier weight and higher spring load (heavier spring), the cost difference between that and buying the Race Tech or Cogent shock shaft starts to creep into the picture.  Sure, it'll still cost more but the end product will most likely be better.

If you do decide to go the DRZ shock route be sure to post your results!, I could always be swayed.

The stock DRZ shock is lightly sprung on the lighter DRZ. As mentioned before I would personally have the oem shock reworked unless you get one free.

I watched the auction site and snagged a gold valve for 100.00,bought a closeout spring and bearing from keintech,200.00 for everything,do it myself,take it to get the nitro charged and I am done,it will be good enough for the DR since I have a dirt bike for the rough stuff.

I don't understand the draw of the DRZ shock conversion.  The only advantage over the DR shock is the adjustable rebound.  You still have to respring it and revalve it for the DR.

If you need adjustable rebound both Cogent Dynamics and RaceTech offer drop in shock shafts with the rebound adjust, and they come revalved. 

Or you can just revalve the stock DR shock and live without the adjustable rebound. 

Cogent  revalved my stock  shock . It makes  a very  noticable  difference . I tried  a  few springs . 7.3 works best for me for a wide range  of  riding  from 2 up to offroad . The stiffer springs were nice on the street , but dangerous  offroad . 

I have a good drz 400  sm shock  for $50 if you  are  interested . 

Jeffrow,Bruce  Tripplett told me that the hagon  he sells for the Crf230  is the same shock  that they   offer  for dr650 . I know  that  you modify  cr230s,so maybe  you have something that fits already . Bruce  modified  my dr650  damper  rods . It made a very  big improvement . Using .55 springs  which  are decent . 

Anyway , best dr650  mod after  carburetor  is a seat concepts  or corbin

The dr650  is going  to  prove  to be one of the most  reliable  bikes you have owned  and more fun than  it should  be ! 

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