Buying Advice - Things to look for

I know this is a newbie question (and that's what I am), but here goes...

I'm in the process of looking for a used DR-Z400S (probably a 2000 - 2002). I've tried to searching for a post with advice, but no luck. What kinds of things should you look out for, as far as problem items? I figured to ask about a MCCT, but what other things are there?

thanks, Ed

2000-2001 has really shitty suspension. Probly wanna make 2002 your earliers year to purchase for an S model.

The suspension of the 2000 or 2001 S would keep me from buying them unless I got them cheap enough to aloow me to afford upgrading them.

What state do you live in? Perhaps a 2000 or 2001 E model would be a good choice for you if you can register in your state. It has the better suspension on it already.

After 2002 both models used the better suspension.

Look for excessive wear and evidence of good care. For example...remove the skid plate if it has one and check for cracked cases and so on.

thanks for the info. I live in NC so the E is out for me, if I ever want to ride it on the street.

thanks, Ed

The list can go on as long as you have time to listen...

as others have said (without even knowing how you want to use the bike :cry: ) The suspension on the pre2002 S is less adjustable,, and not as desierable.. You could still have a fine time on the bike for a lot of trails,, but it simply is not as good as the later S suspension, or what comes on the E (same as S 2002 and later)

Pre 2003 any modal,, and the CCT is an issue

Look for any signs the bike has been crashed, then find the damage that will go along with it. Check the bottom of the bike for dings and dents,, signs that it has hit stuff hard.. And of those clues and look for case damage.

Put the bike up on a stand,, feel for loosness in the rear suspension,, or any creaking sounds (dry bearings, loose=worn)

Insist on having is cold for the first start up. How does it start? Smoke? did it need the choke (if temps are cold )

Any sign of leaks? water pump leak is something that can hit and year of DRZ, or not at all..

Look at the countershaft area.. any sign of oil? is the CS nut tight? This is an area that many a DRZ have had an issue with.. Perform the right procedure, and it is not an issue, skip steps.. and the CS nut will come loose.

Ride it, brakes? shift ok? clutch feel? is there 3mm or so free play at the clutch lever?

What has been done to it MOD wise? Suspect poor install, damage relative to part being replaced,, Check well. It may be fine,, but there are lots of folks out there that should not be allowed to own tools.

How does the steering feel? Any excess play? Or notchyness (sp) DRZ’s are known for coming from the factory with little to now grease in the steering stem,, and the grease used, is not enough to protect the bearings for long.

Stock bars? (gray steel) If it has been dropped, they are most likely bent.

Look at the engine side case... these are very thin and made of magnesium.. easily damaged and should be protected with guards. Look for dings, dents, and repairs.

Check the radiators.. do they have guards? Are they bent, leaking.. Ask to remove the shrouds so you can get a good look at them.

There is lots more,, but this will get ya started

The list can go on as long as you have time to listen...

as others have said (without even knowing how you want to use the bike :cry: ) The suspension on the pre2002 S is less adjustable,, and not as desierable.. You could still have a fine time on the bike for a lot of trails,, but it simply is not as good as the later S suspension, or what comes on the E (same as S 2002 and later)

Pre 2003 any modal,, and the CCT is an issue

Look for any signs the bike has been crashed, then find the damage that will go along with it. Check the bottom of the bike for dings and dents,, signs that it has hit stuff hard.. And of those clues and look for case damage.

Put the bike up on a stand,, feel for loosness in the rear suspension,, or any creaking sounds (dry bearings, loose=worn)

Insist on having is cold for the first start up. How does it start? Smoke? did it need the choke (if temps are cold )

Any sign of leaks? water pump leak is something that can hit and year of DRZ, or not at all..

Look at the countershaft area.. any sign of oil? is the CS nut tight? This is an area that many a DRZ have had an issue with.. Perform the right procedure, and it is not an issue, skip steps.. and the CS nut will come loose.

Ride it, brakes? shift ok? clutch feel? is there 3mm or so free play at the clutch lever?

What has been done to it MOD wise? Suspect poor install, damage relative to part being replaced,, Check well. It may be fine,, but there are lots of folks out there that should not be allowed to own tools.

How does the steering feel? Any excess play? Or notchyness (sp) DRZ’s are known for coming from the factory with little to now grease in the steering stem,, and the grease used, is not enough to protect the bearings for long.

Stock bars? (gray steel) If it has been dropped, they are most likely bent.

Look at the engine side case... these are very thin and made of magnesium.. easily damaged and should be protected with guards. Look for dings, dents, and repairs.

Check the radiators.. do they have guards? Are they bent, leaking.. Ask to remove the shrouds so you can get a good look at them.

There is lots more,, but this will get ya started

I agree with burned, but my 03's has had no issues yet but I really need to take time and check my valves!!!

But it is still under suzuki 12 month care. :cry:

I can't comment on DRZ specific things since I just bought mine last Monday, but one thing I look for when buying any used bike is normal wear related items. I look for worn out chain & sprockets (rust, stiffness and/or slack spots in chain, pointy tooth shape), tire condition, how much brake pad is left, etc. These things aren't show stoppers for an otherwise nice bike, but should be kept in mind when negotiating price. Don't pay Blue Book for a bike that'll need several hundred dollars worth of replacement parts right off the bat.

I also look for signs that the bike was stored outside. Rust/corrosion on rims, spokes, fork tubes, etc.

thanks for all the great info. I was just making sure I covered all my bases on things that go wrong with DRZ's.

I did see some guy selling a stainless front sprocket spacer on ebay and wondered if this was an issue with this bike or not.

thanks again, Ed

I'll sell you mine. I haven't had it that long, everything works. The guy I plan to ride with most of the time has his eye on an '01 that he can get cheap. It already has a bunch of extras and the price is incredible. I think I might try to buy it before he gets the chance... What a friend I am huh... :cry:

:pHey Ed! Go get that DRZ so we can ride... As soon as I'm trail worthy again. :cry:

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