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2001, keep or sell?

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Some of you may have seen this thread over on the other DR forum, but I realized I can probably get better advise here.  (I'm new here, lay off!)  So here it is:

Looking for opinions.  Bought a 2001 DRZ400S with 11,500 miles on it for about 2K last year, and it's been nickel and diming me ever since.  I'm deciding to continue to go through it and keep it, or to sell and buy something newer and hopefully save some headaches and money.  It does not appear to have been maintained from the previous owners, of whom I know nothing about.  It was very close to stock when I bought it, and in non-running condition.  Here's some details: I'm now at 12k miles.  I've just realized that the chain and sprockets need to be replaced, I have no idea what the head stock bearings look like but I'm about to order them, nor do I know what else to expect from a bike of this age.

Work I've done:

The biggest job so far, new piston and rings.  Fuel flooded the oil and wiped the piston.  The cylinder head was not replaced, but was within spec...mostly 😉  Has good compression now, and if I keep it a Big Bore is in the future because I like projects.

Other stuff includes rebuild carbie (Mikuni),, installed kick starter, lots of new wiring because I'm anal, some small bibs and bobs here and there like fuel tank petcock, etc.  Manual cam tensioner and other recommended precautions.  Bunch of cosmetic stuff I won't bother listing.  

I ride 75% of the time on road, but would like to take this thing to some more remote places soon.  She's never left me stranded but I have limped home a few times when I first bought it.

Now the thing looks and runs really well.  Starts 1st kick 80% of the time, 2nd kick the rest.  I really like the idea that this is now MY bike, I know it inside and out.  But now the chain and sprockets are shot, no clue what the other stuff looks like as I'm learning these machines as I go.  Wheel bearings?  No clue!  I think brake pads may be coming up as well.  So what would you guys do, take the cosmetic stuff off and get a newer bike, or just buy new sprockets and chain, head stock bearings, and take whatever else it as it comes?  There's not a huge market in my area but there's a few DRZ's poking around. 

Also in regards to the suspension and forks on the SM, worth it the time to swap to a SM from an S, for an amateur rider?  Swap the suspension myself? 

Thanks for reading!  You guys are a huge help.

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Yup make it your own!.  Parts are plentiful and cheap.  While your kneeling down to do the chain have a look at the rear suspension linkage bearings.  It may be wise (given the brief history) to check those.  Even if they are had it, they are relatively easy to replace - some maintenance one a year or so will see them good for a long time.  Wheels off - check your wheel bearings.  My last bike was a project bike, a 2007 DRZ400-e basically ridden into the ground until stopped from lack of oil.  I pulled it right down, painted - cleaned and renewed everything, now it's better than new.  Maybe it's wiser given the bike and it's age to plan on doing some of the stuff that it's been "nickel and dime"ing you for.

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Good looking DRZ.  There are threads discussing SM vs S. If you're planning to do much off road, and it sounds like you are, those familiar with both feel the S is a better choice as the SM is optimized for the road. The inverted forks on the SM might look nice, but consensus seems to be they offer no real advantage, particularly off road.  I've been upgrading an 05 400S for over three years now, thanks to a lot of advice from experts here, almost 17k miles and running strong.  It's mine and I don't see anything out there more reliable or satisfying regardless of brand or price.  You got the big problems sorted out, some nice upgrades, and you know the bike, I'd stick with it rather than taking a chance on something newer.  

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Keep it.  Youve got it to a healthy point.  Never sell a bike over chain n sprockets, brake pads, or bearings.  These are just wear items we all replace on every bike.  Every used bike ive bought has several things i must do right away before i ride it and to set it up how i like it.  Hang in there.  I suspect it nickel and diming u will slow way down.  Keep a log of what youve done to it at what mileage for next owner.  Will help your resale alot.  Now ride that sucker and enjoy your hard work!

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  1. Switching bikes is a PIA.  You know this bike now; eventually you'll know it so well that it will talk to you about its problems.  Be one with your bike and use its council to address your own issues.
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2 hours ago, OFS said:
  1. Switching bikes is a PIA.  You know this bike now; eventually you'll know it so well that it will talk to you about its problems.  Be one with your bike and use its council to address your own issues.

Wow that's deep and meaningful.

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Totally keep it! Good project and parts are crazy easy and affordable to get. Plus, I have a 2001 and am more than a little bit partial to the year.

 

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   I would keep it, I also have a 2001 and its been a really good bike for me.    But the 2001 does not have the best DRZ suspension,  I bought some used forks from a newer model for $120.00 cleaned them up and put in new oil, then my Girlfriend sold my old forks for $80.00.  I also bought shock off of a E for $80.00 and put in new bladder,  seals, oil and had it charged up with Nitrogen.   The Bike rides a lot better with the newer suspension. 

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On 7/8/2020 at 1:55 PM, OFS said:
  1. Switching bikes is a PIA.  You know this bike now; eventually you'll know it so well that it will talk to you about its problems.  Be one with your bike and use its council to address your own issues.

I don't know if I can argue with this if I tried...consider the bike kept 

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