shorter chain yes or no ?will it help?

I have a Drz 400 s and put a 14t sprocket on

which in turn put's my chain adjuster almost at

it's limit,should i take a link or two out?

And by doing so it will move the rear axel

forward shortening the wheelbass will this help

and be noticeable in tight woods?


No don't worry about it.

it moves the axle so slightly forward nobody could ever tell the difference.

Hey Dizzy,

I don't know about you street guys, but in the dirt, the extra inch or so of wheelbase (correct term?) actually helps to keep the bike more stable feeling when screaming through the rough stuff. I know several people that have added extra links to their chain just to achieve this added stability. I think that the only negative effect that this may have, is a very slight decrease in the sharpness of the bike's turning ability. My "E" turns so well now that I would not be at all concerned with this possible trade-off for the added stability. I have been thinking about doing it myself, if I could only find the master link on my chain..............

My $.02

what have you done to achieve better turning stability?


I really wouldn't think 1" would make a difference in anything.


Any difference in "stability", would be in the straight line tracking of the motocycle, not in the turning. As it was explained to me, if you are able to increase the overall length of the wheelbase, you help to improve the vehicle's ability to stay in a straight line. This means less "wandering" or sideways movement of the back end in relation to the front wheel (when the steering remains constant or straight).

Furthermore, by lengthing the wheelbase, you actually will increase the turning radius of the vehicle. This in turn, (no pun intended) will decrease the bike's ability to turn sharply or "carve" through the turns.

Finally, I'm not sure if only one inch or so (aditional length in wheelbase) would even produce a noticable difference in the straight line tracking or in the turning, but I do know that a lot of the factory MX guys will run longer swingarms ($$$) to accomplish basically the same thing. ***NOTE*** I also remember reading that the factories have spent a lot of testing (time and $) to come up with the ideal length of swingarm extension that will maximize high speed stability without sacrificing turning quickness.

I'm not an engineer, (only a carpenter) so maybe someone else out there could better explain this effect.

Any help? Keep roosting.

If you refer to DR.Billz's comment on the topic "Handling and Stability at speed" he said add a link too. I haven't done this yet but I will give it a try the next time I go riding. It sound like he knows what he is talking about so it's worth a read if you haven't already.

This DRZ thing is new to me, I've been a hard core XR man for years. Each bike is different and the DRZ's have a shorter wheelbase than the XR. so what works for the XR may not apply to the DRZ. Give it a try.

If you want to improve handling in really tight single track switch back stuff then shortening the wheel base does help. Even if it is only a couple of inches! Additionally, raising the forks will help turning response. However, the DRZs are already pretty good in the front fork department. Shortened wheel base is good for any bike in tight single track conditions. Good luck, P

DRZ DOG 321 the DRZ comes with a endless chain

which im sure you are aware of,so what i was going

to do is cut out two links and put in a master

and if there is room i may take another one out

Being most of my rideing is tight single track

and steep rocky stuff,it should help the bike

turn at a sharper radius,i may give up a little

high speed stability,but hey if i wanted to go

super fast i would have bought the 1000 GSXR.


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I am thinking of shortening my chain to shorten the wheelbase. I am concerned mainly with getting the front wheel off the ground to clear obstacles. The DRZ400E seems real nose heavy and a bear to get the front wheel off the ground at low speeds. I think it has more to do with it having more front end weight bias but maybe the shorter wheelbase will help a little. My DR350 would pop the front wheel just off idle with very little effort. The DRZ400E feels like it has a cinder block tied to the front fender. Maybe it is those massive forks.


Perry........crack the throttle. I have no problems getting the front end over anything. Well, that train was a bit of a problem, but........

I agree with the good DR.billZ, I have no problem getting the front tire air born. :)

Done that Bill. Ok maybe I am exagerating but the front end is heavy but the good thing is it climbs better than my DR350 cause the front end does not come up so easy.


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