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DRZ400E Fork Upgrade???

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So...I’ve been contemplating weather to keep or sell my 2001 DRZ E model.
I trail ride maybe once a month in the cool desert season.
I’ll say I’m spoiled by my previous bike , a 450EXC with tweaked suspension.
But this lil bike does most stuff fairly well for as much as I ride these days. Kind of hauls ass for a 5 speed!


My question is, can the stock forks really be improved? They’re pretty rough over nasty stuff.
I live close to ESP Suspension. Had George do a few of my bikes. Revalving mostly.
Just don’t know how much can be done to upgrade these or if it's worth the time and money.

No complaints about the shock really, though I expect it too could use work. But the bike has pretty low miles too. Not a beater, a well maintained example.
Again, spoiled....

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I had my forks resprung and revalved, world of difference on the trail.  The forks aren't the latest and greatest but they can be made to work well.

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17 hours ago, RapidDog said:

So...I’ve been contemplating weather to keep or sell my 2001 DRZ E model.
I trail ride maybe once a month in the cool desert season.
I’ll say I’m spoiled by my previous bike , a 450EXC with tweaked suspension.
But this lil bike does most stuff fairly well for as much as I ride these days. Kind of hauls ass for a 5 speed!


My question is, can the stock forks really be improved? They’re pretty rough over nasty stuff.
I live close to ESP Suspension. Had George do a few of my bikes. Revalving mostly.
Just don’t know how much can be done to upgrade these or if it's worth the time and money.

No complaints about the shock really, though I expect it too could use work. But the bike has pretty low miles too. Not a beater, a well maintained example.
Again, spoiled....

i was looking at the same thing, I think revalving and respringing would be a good start..I dont know too much about forks, but head just adding gold valves is really easy and heard it really improves the drz400 handling and feel. I plan on using my drz400 as my double track/exploring bike on easy stuff so I think I will be doing the same thing, but ill try doing the work myself since its a relatively cheap bike

Edited by RideWithWill

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I agree with above comments. The forks are "ok" till you start pushing it off road, then they start blowing through the stroke, bottoming with a load clank and become quite scary at speed. Having the right spring rate and the hi speed compression damping improved, makes a world of difference. First time after doing my forks,  i hit an unexpected ditch at speed, i braced for the pain and the bike just smoothly absorbed the ditch, left me smiling, that was NICE !!!!!

Edited by bucket list
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Thanks, may be that having them revalved might be worth the $$$ then...

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Talked to Bud at ESP. He said the 2003ish later forks are definitely better.

Note (correction) this is a 2000 year bike.

From what I’ve been told forks were changed to a better cartridges for around 2003. That said, I wonder if swapping g forks to the newer type would be a big difference as compared to valving and respringing the older forks.... cost would be about the same.

an E the same as on the S?

Opinions?...

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I might be wrong but I thought the E has always had the better forks and it was the S that got upgraded to the E forks somewhere around 02 or so.

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Well I guess ptgarcia is correct...

Over at ADV, I'm getting 2confusing answers. My bike is an older 2000 E-model.

I would assume that would be an older style fork. Unless...

Quote

All E's came with the fully adjustable cartridge forks. 2002 and up S versions got the E forks. Only 00' and 01' S models came with the crappy forks. Easy way to tell which ones you have. The better forks have a rebound adjuster and an air bleed off set in the fork cap.

Then there's this: "I read somewhere that the E has a better carb and up until 04 the E has better front forks"

and same thread...

"The fork change took place after 2001 model year, that is, 2002 and beyond have the better and highly adjustable fork."

So I guess this is the correct answer...

Though it's an older bike, it still came with the better cartridge forks. Correcto mundo?

To confuse things even more...My suspension guy mentioned 2003 and newer had the 'better forks', but he wasn't sure if it was the S or E or both...

 

Edited by RapidDog

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I have a 2000 E model and had my suspension set up by George at Suspension 101 in Alpine, CA and I couldn't be happier. Forks and shock work surprisingly well. Worth every penny I spent to have it done.

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With regards to the fork, all you need to remember is the 2000-2001 S model forks are damper rod. All model year kicker, all model year E and 2003+ S model forks are the same and are the adjustable cartridge fork (compression and rebound, no preload adjustment).

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Yep genuine E model.

sending the forks off to George at ESP in La Crecenta on Monday for valving and springs if needed.

I'm 188 pounds bare nekkid

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Yep genuine E model.
sending the forks off to George at ESP in La Crecenta on Monday for valving and springs if needed.
I'm 188 pounds bare nekkid
Right on, be sure to report on the results. ESP isn't to far from me, maybe 45 minutes drive. I've been hearing good things about them lately.

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Well I guess ptgarcia is correct...
Over at ADV, I'm getting 2confusing answers. My bike is an older 2000 E-model.
I would assume that would be an older style fork. Unless...
All E's came with the fully adjustable cartridge forks. 2002 and up S versions got the E forks. Only 00' and 01' S models came with the crappy forks. Easy way to tell which ones you have. The better forks have a rebound adjuster and an air bleed off set in the fork cap.
Then there's this: "I read somewhere that the E has a better carb and up until 04 the E has better front forks"
and same thread...
"The fork change took place after 2001 model year, that is, 2002 and beyond have the better and highly adjustable fork."
So I guess this is the correct answer...
Though it's an older bike, it still came with the better cartridge forks. Correcto mundo?
To confuse things even more...My suspension guy mentioned 2003 and newer had the 'better forks', but he wasn't sure if it was the S or E or both...
 
That's why you don't waste your time asking questions about the DRZ any other place than Thumpertalk.
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