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Desert Racing

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I am just curious...Everything that I have read about the DRZ speaks to its fantastic reliability.

However, it doesn't seem that many folks are riding them in the big desert events like Baja. Is there some reason for this? I think last year there was ONE DRZ in the field (might have been 2 years ago). Obvsiouly the availability of aftermarket parts is good and the stock platform gets rave reviews. Why does Honda own the scene? Is it the way the classes are set up or some bike issue?

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DR-Z 400 is not a RACE BIKE!!!🤣

If you want to race it, throw a lot of $$$$$$$$$$ dollars at it and talk to "Burned" :banghead:

Its an enduro/play/trail bike. :banghead:

I have about 5-6K miles pre running Baja on mine. 2001 🤣

My .02

Corky 🤣:busted:

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Yep, what corky said. It's just a playbike, but one that can be raced for fun.

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I race my '02 400E in District 37 (So. Calif. desert) all the time, it's my only ride. I've done nothing to it I wouldn't have done to any other new bike: Scotts stabilzer, suspension revalve and respring (I'm 6'2", 230 lbs..no bike is setup for that weight), larger bars (KTM has 1 1/8" stock), radiator guards, huge skid plate, endurance computer, hand guards. If I bought any bike I'd have to do this work.

True, the DRZ is the heaviest next to the XR650R which is another popular bike raced in our desert. In fact Mikey Childress who races our district won the Baja 500 this year with Mouse McCoy on the 650 so I don't buy the weight argument. I still believe a slow rider on a fast bike equals a slow ride. A lighter bike would help on uphills, and it would help in sandwashes where the DRZ just sucks, I've never been able to feel comfortable in sand washes, bike has a mind of its own. It also has horrible ground clearance and I've smacked my boot on way too many rocks, if anything it is my biggest gripe with the bike.

But the bike is just rock solid reliable, maintenance easy, fast, and works great for me. It's all personal preference, you can race it just like any other bike. I was thinking about this earlier in the year and did a comparison:

Bike Ground Clear. (in) DRZ Diff (in) Wgt(lbs) DRZ Diff

DRZ 12.8 262

XR650R 12 0.8 in (lower) 277 -15 lbs (heavier)

CR450X 13.7 -0.9 in (higher) 250 12 lbs (lighter)

WR450 14.57 -1.77 249.1 12.9

KTM525 14.96 -2.16 249 13

I don't know, 13 lbs just isn't enough for me to give up the reliability of this workhorse, the 2" of ground clearance might be though, I'm test riding a KTM 525 in two weeks.

Bill Westby

02 DRZ-400E

http://photobucket.com/albums/b182/westdrz/?action=view&current=wheelie.jpg

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A DRZ kicker is only 249 lbs. dry. I think it would be fairly race worthy machine......

After.... :

Suspension setup - Should be done on any bike.

440 Kit or 450 Setup - $$$

Exhaust - $$$

Bars, skidplate, rad guards the usual.

TTer More Desert seemed to be heavy in the desert racing if I recall????

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Geez , is that a 10 gallon tank ?

Seriously , my 525 has way more motor than my 400,but the DRZ is pretty much stock.Now if the suzook had that much power..........

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MotoChris it can make a lot more power than it is..... The E and K models even in stock form are leaps ahead of an S.

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yeah, a drz modded to 50hp will out pull any stock ktm.

be much cheaper to get there too.

what's she doing in the sand? front end plowing with rear waggles? might pump up the sag 10mm's at a whack and peel off a few clicks compression front and back. you can make her behave better. just takes some fine tuning.

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Knock: I'll try the adjustments, and yeah it's exactly as you describe, rear end all over the place and the front just dives way too much.

By bump up the sag you mean increase it? I'm using the default from the suspension shop which is right at 3.9".

Thanks for the tips.

Bill Westby.

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that's 100mm's and it sounds about right. try 10mm's both ways (90mm/110mm) through the same sandy section and see if you can feel an improvement. do you run a damper? back end won't flop as much with one.

suspension isn't nearly as tricky as it seems sometimes. the tricky part is getting the balance right for your conditions. this can mean a number of changes and even more compromises.

if the front has been resprung and is stiff on the clickers, the harshness will cause the front tire to knife into the sand. that's why i suggested backing them off 4 or so clicks. if you know you won't be g-ing out off any big jumps, soften it more.

also, tires have a lot to do with front end wallowing. when i ran d606's i noticed they were worthless in the sand, partially my fault, ie; over-inflation, and partially due to their narrow design. if you can find a wider tire, it'll help some. taller profile tire might even shift some weight to her aft section, lightening the front end. desert conditions vary and chances are, yer riding in some nasty, sharp rocks so you won't be able to under inflate much, so find a wider/taller front and keep the pressure as low as the conditions will allow.

one pretty obvious reason why the xr650 guys can rocket through the sand is all that torque they have on demand. torque keeps the weight off the front end. enough of it and you can sit in the saddle and keep the front unloaded. there's a coupla ways to handle this on suzi. bore her out or keep her in the meat of the band and realize, she's gonna wallow when you let off.

either that or spend the whole time with yer butt over the tool kit on the rear fender. and that's pretty tiring... wear yerself out quick if you've much sand to navigate.

one thing to remind yourself of is that sand is sand and a 300lb dirt bike is gonna sink no matter what you do. so practice in it...

good luck bill!

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