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Bill McKenzie

DRZ Scrambler build

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I bought a 2015 drz400sm last year in mint condition as a donor bike for a scrambler project.  I know many people will ask why I have gone this route so here was what I set out to do.  I wanted a bike that looked like a vintage scrambler that I could take on dirt roads.  It was as simple as that.  Here is a couple of pictures.  My total cost was just under 10K Canadian dollars but this included new tires, new FCR carb and a new subframe. I'm not all that mechanical so I paid about 1K to have certain fabrications done and the gas tank by the time it was done cost me 1K.  I know I could have bought a good KTM or similar but I will be the only one with a bike like this one, at least around here. 

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That's actually pretty cool! If you are a social media person, I recommend joining drz400 owners group on Facebook.  I think they would love to see this project. How do you like it?

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That is sweet!

Just needs a little more aggressive tires to be a little more sand capable when you hit some...:-)

The tank looks kind of DT-250-ish, but larger.  Maybe?

Any details on the build?

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For obvious reasons, I approve.  I would really like to see photos of the subframe and any modifications you made to it. To me, that was the part that I struggled with the most on my conversion. How’s your cooling with the single side of a radiator?

Edited by Gary in NJ
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Thanks for the positive comments.  You always worry when you use a perfect bike for a donor and then spend more than the bike is probably worth.

1.  I can't comment on the single radiator yet as I haven't started it up yet.  As I mentioned earlier I am not that mechanical so I am waiting for a friend to start it with me.  The radiator will be one issue and tuning of the FCR with a modified air box will be another.

2. The tank is from a 1978 TS250.  I had to buy a whole bike ($400) to get the tank and then I had to have all the dents removed before painting.  I saw this tank on the Ellaspede special (my inspiration) and realized after looking at many many other tanks that this really suited the bike.   Unfortunately, with the high exhaust the radiators would not fit even with quite a bit of modification so I went with a single knowing that I don't go in traffic and I don't enjoy riding in the heat. I will report back later if I was correct or not.

3. The subframe was purchased on ebay and it is the E subframe which is much cleaner than the other subframes.  I cut off anything that wasn't needed and my friend welded lugs to fasten the side panels and the seat in place. I will try to find a picture of the subframe prior to powdercoating.  Behind the side panels the original airbox is attached but almost completely gutted so it is only an attachment part for the carb and the rear fender.  All the electrics are on an aluminium shelf handing from the top of the subframe. The rear light assembly came with the original bike so the frame end was made to fit it. Hope this helpsDSCF0641.JPG.e442474163994d2d19e6354276caa103.JPG

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Forgot to mention that I got the front fender at a flea market so I have no idea what it is from.  I am not completely happy with it so I may look for another one.

I am not sure of the weight now but it must be considerably lighter because I took off, or cut off a lot of parts, and I replaced some of the heavier pieces like the headlight with lighter ones.  I think I gained weight with the tire switch.

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THAT Looks GREAT!

Those tires are not going to be too good on dirt though, unless your flat track'in!!!😄

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That's pretty cool, I was thinking of doing something similar but from the other direction by getting and midsized twin street bike like a ninja or a FZ-07 and making a dirt tracker out of it that is street legal.  I've seen some good builds, I'm just waiting for the right deal on a street bike to come along.  Then again if I keep waiting a used Indian FTR might go low enough to just buy it instead of build my own.

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Again, thanks for all the positive comments.  I will only be going on gravel roads so the tires should be okay.  They are Avon Distanzias rated for 20% dirt, 80% road so I won't be going off road.  If nothing else they will be better than the Pilots I took off.  Before I got the DRZ I had a Super Sherpa thinking I would do some trails etc. but reality soon set in when I discovered there are no legal trails around here.  If I was living in Arizona I would have much different tires, but then again I would probably have left the bike as it was.

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Posted (edited)

Nice i like it.

 

re: the front fender, maybe just radius the rear of the fender to match the front ?  

Edited by RetroRanger

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2 hours ago, Bill McKenzie said:

Forgot to mention that I got the front fender at a flea market so I have no idea what it is from.  I am not completely happy with it so I may look for another one.

I am not sure of the weight now but it must be considerably lighter because I took off, or cut off a lot of parts, and I replaced some of the heavier pieces like the headlight with lighter ones.  I think I gained weight with the tire switch.

Yeah it needs a high fender to look right for me. You could beak it out a little like an adv bike. Id get a plastic SM fender and start carving on it, they're cheap and presumably you have one already lying around. 

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12 minutes ago, Doctor Shakalu Rotazion said:

Yeah it needs a high fender to look right for me. You could beak it out a little like an adv bike. Id get a plastic SM fender and start carving on it, they're cheap and presumably you have one already lying around. 

+1 on what @Doctor Shakalu Rotazion said about the front fender. I have this one on my XRL.

352084494_Acerb.SMFfend.thumb.jpg.6c5bb11630af31ac2bc6bf50499516db.jpg

 

At $29.95 U.S. its cheap and would be easy to mod to fit. (maybe trim the nose to regain the vintage look of a rounded beak.  ALSO the back of the fender wont impede flow to the radiator and would be easy to trim for clearance if necessary.

https://www.acerbis.com/motorsport/en/product/plastics/front-fenders/0008033

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