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Single Track Racing - How Can I Make My E Turn Faster?

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I have done three Enduros this season on my 2004 DRZ400E model (placing 2nd, fourth and second in Novice :banghead:. It seems here in Ontario, an enduro race is all about trying to get down a single track and between the trees as quickly as possible for four hours. I want to get faster for next season. Yes I know I could get a CRF250 or one of many KTM's but I have to stick with the DRZ for next season.

My question is how to get the bike to turn faster in the woods? This seems to be my biggest problem right down, blasting between turns (and trees). I have the rear sag set. Would lowering the forks in the triple clamps help?

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Personally...I've found that a steering damper helped me immensely with stability and confidence when aiming through narrow gaps in the trees...You have more stability hence you are able to keep on the gas and go faster...Without the damper I could still go fast but I was holding back a little because of ruts etc. that would throw you slightly off track so you would have to back off the thottle a little so not to smack a tree head on...I know it's not the cheapest alternative but after buying mine I thought it was worth every penny...Tires and traction too are very important...You wanna make sure when you're in 4th or 5th hard on the gas that your a$$ end isn't gonna let go sideways and then you smack a tree broadside (I've done that one before...ouch :banghead: )

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you could raise the forks in the triple clamps. that will make the forks a little steeper and make the turn a little better.

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you could raise the forks in the triple clamps. that will make the forks a little steeper and make the turn a little better.

That is what I have done, and it makes a difference.

BUT.

You could also raise the rear, either wind the pre-load up, which is not ideal.

Or the best way would be either a longer shock, or make a set of "shorter" suspension links.

I believe (but could be wrong) that Bronco78 made a set of longer links, maybe he (or 10guy) could offer you some advice on making a set.

Neil.

:banghead::banghead:🤣

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My DRZ turns better than any bike I've ever had. I think we need more information. What is happening that makes you think the bike needs to 'turn' faster. What are the conditions? Bermed turns ? Smooth turns? While making the turn, does the bike try to stand up straight ? What tires are you running ? What air pressures ? How heavy are you ? Is the bike stock ? Are you staying in the 'attack' position ? Details man, we need details.....

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My DRZ turns better than any bike I've ever had. I think we need more information. What is happening that makes you think the bike needs to 'turn' faster. What are the conditions? Bermed turns ? Smooth turns? While making the turn, does the bike try to stand up straight ? What tires are you running ? What air pressures ? How heavy are you ? Is the bike stock ? Are you staying in the 'attack' position ? Details man, we need details.....

Cool, here are the facts:

- novice enduro rider, can finish but needs to get faster

- 200lbs, 6ft tall

- stock bars

- Maxxis M6001 front and back, 12 PSI

- stock springs

- stock E gearing

As far as conditions go it varies from soft loamy soil with nice berms, cruising along fast in second gear to very tight track actually hitting the steering stops to get around trees, nasty stuff.

Most trails are not rutted out, some sandy sections, some clay sections, some muddy, pretty much everything. Tires work great, hook up everywhere.

I come into a turn, usually shift into first, dump clutch for engine braking and may or may not pull in clutch to let it out past the apex, maybe just give her the gas. I might hit the brakes lighly if I'm coming in really hot. I might overev to the next turn or shift into second depending on how far the next turn is, then repeat a few hundred times over the next few hours. Very seldom are the trails open enough to get into 3rd.

If I drop the bike lower into the turn, more often than not there is a tree on the inside the I will hit with the bars. If I put a foot down to pivot there often is a stump there that I will smash my foot into :banghead:

So, my idea is to come into the turn faster, turn faster, and get out faster without to much effort (these are LONG races). Right now I kinda cruise through the turn, but it isn't fast enough.

One guy mentioned pulling in the clutch, revving the engine to help keep the bike more upright, (centrifical force of the flywheel) then using the clutch the power out of the turn. I will try this but I still think the bike pushes to much on the front to turn faster.

Ideas?

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i used to race hare scrambles,cross countrys and did the odd enduro.the bike used was a yzf400.if you want to turn faster this is what i did

1)raise the forks in the triple clamps as far a they will go

2)shorten your wheelbase(take a link out and get the back tire as far forward as posible)

3)don't use wide tires in the front or back(on some courses i raced on they were so tight i put a 125cc tire on the back and i allways had a s12 on the front the skinny tire lets you roll from side to side way easier)

4)make sure you bleed the air out of the forks.if you don't the front will want to push

5)cut your bars (make them a little more narrow,you will miss those trees on the inside and not even know the tree was there)you will also turn quicker as well.

6) ok alittle off topic get some pro tapers or something similar,i used to run j.button hi's and went through 3 a year i've never bent my pro tapers.drop your bike with stock bars and they are toast.

7)put a bigger sproket on the back between 1 and 3 teeth.you'll have more gears to play with

8)make sure your suspension is set up for you.you should be bottoming at least twice on the course.my yzf was set way soft.i'm about the same weight and height as you.

try all of these mod at once and you'll be turning on a dime.good luck :banghead:

btw- i;m glad there is a vet a &b class because i not alowed to race novice after you've race expert.the day i was allowed to go in the vet class was a good day(stayed up front all day) :banghead:🤣

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If you were closer to NY I'd trade you my KX for your E but sinnce your not...Ditch those stock bars and get a set of kx or cr highs then cut them to 30 inches. It will make your Z feel wayyyyyy more nimble in the rough.

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I raise my forks up in the triple clamps and run the sag at 90mm instead of 100mm. My bike turns pretty damn good.

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I have added heavier springs in the front of mine and gold valves plus upgraded the rear shock.

The bike handles 100 times better now and turns into corners with more confidence.

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All good stuff. No-one mentioned it, so - get your mind right. Do what you can to avoid putting the bike into first gear. You're probably afraid that you'll stall the bike so you shift down into first gear, but you want to go fast so stay away from putting the bike in the slowest gear. I noticed someone mentioned moving the rear wheel forward as far as possible. This may require shortening the chain. That is the single biggest improvement in steering that I made to my bike. When the rear wheel is moved well back, my bike gets loose and comes close to cross rutting - it doesn't but it comes close. When the rear wheel is moved ahead as far as possible, it never even suggests that it will cross rut. Have fun. If you're a novice, use every race as a learning experience. Try new things. Don't worry about someone passing you. You don't have to always feel like you should win. That'll come.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to try raising the forks in the clamps and going lower on the gearing so I can run second gear instead of revving the hell out of first.

I'm also playing with the idea of moving the battery from the stock location on the back of the sub-frame (the worst place for handling), to beside the left engine side under the tank. This should move alot of mass lower and to the center of the bike, helping out with the handling. I will let the forum know how it goes.

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I wouldn't waste time trying to move the battery around. You would be better off spending that time practicing. You want to turn faster...practice, practice, practice.

I have raced a DRZ in enduros, and still do on occasion...(when the WR isn't available).

The 2 things that I would do are:

1) raise your forks by about 5 mm at a time. You should be aware that raising you forks will have an adverse affect on how you front suspension handles rocks, roots, and logs. If you find that your front tire is bouncing from side to side every time you hit a rock or a log that is at a funny angle to the trail, (and it wasn't doing this before) you might have raised your forks too high.

2) Buy a 50 tooth rear sprocket. This will make 1st gear almost worthless, except for climbing hills, but you'll get added acceleration, and find yourself shifting less. Everyone I know racing a DRZ in the woods, has a 49 or a 50 on the rear. This will also give you the added benefit of moving your rear tire forward without having to take a link out of your chain.

3) Seat time, and get on the gas sooner. Whenever the fast guys pass me during a race, I've observed the same technique over and over again as I chase them through the 3 or 4 corners that I am able to keep up with them. They don't hardly ever use their brake! As I watch their rear tire, I will see them brake for just a second as they come into a corner, but weeeellll before the apex of the corner, they are on the gas and spinning the rear tire. Then I watch them as they steer the bike through the corner using the rear tire and the throttle. Now, I don't practice what I'm preaching here...I try to, but I still brake slide into corners...but I do try to crack that throttle wide open as soon as my front tire is around that tree....

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I want to move the battery because it will give me something to do while the snow starts flying. I gotta tinker with the bike!

I agree the secret to riding faster is to get out and ride more. There is no substitute for practice. The 50 tooth rear sounds like a good idea. I'm also going to shorten the bars as much as I can to make it a little easier to get through the trees. I also got figure out the best way to turn fast WITHOUT leaning the bike over (because there is no room to lean over).

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stay in shape over the winter,get the cardio working.that will help make you faster when the snow flies

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