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Keep the DRZ-SM or jump ship?

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I normally don't ask for a bunch of input when making purchases. But I need to make a decision on whether I should continue to mod my DRZ to suit my needs or move on to another bike and not sure what the best option is. Here's what I've been thinking about...

I have the FCR, full RS-3, and 3x3 on my '05 SM. I love most everything about it but really feel it's geared too low. I commute to work (45-65 mostly), do the occasional interstate run, and some around town. 1st gear is basically useless. I've been starting out in 2nd unless I'm on an uphill incline. I feel like I'm really wringing the snot out of it when I do extended 70-75mph trips. I know all those issues can be solved with gearing. But I'm afraid I'll lose the 2nd & 3rd gear power wheelie capability if I regear. I'm going to try a 16t countershaft sprocket just because it's cheaper than the rear. If it loses that beloved front end lofting ability after the gearing change will a big bore and cams restore it? I'm trying to get the best of both worlds while maintaining the rock solid reliablity I've grown accustomed to.

The alternative is to sell the DRZ and look for a 625SMC/SMR610/SXV5.5. My local dealer has a 625SMC but it's 8 grand out the door. I've located an SMR610 for 7-ish out the door, and that same dealer said he 'may' have an SXV5.5 available for $8700 plus. The KTM is nice but I don't like what I've heard about vibration. The Aprilia has the drool factor and that sweet v-twin but I'm worried about reliablity and factory support. The Husky is my 1st choice of the 3, but if I can mod the Zook to match the Husky's power and have less dollars invested that works too. I love the SM format but basically just need more top speed while retaining the hooligan ability. The KTM 950SM is too big. I want the 'dirtbike' feel. Also willing to convert an mx bike (WR,CRF-X,etc) but need that DRZ reliability. Am I asking for too much?

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It sounds like you want a dirt bike Harley... :thumbsup:

Seriously, I would do a big bore, and leave the 16 off. I have read a few things about it being hard to fit. The DRZ runs hot basically, it revs hard and high when its going fast.

If you gear it for higher speeds you will lose bottom end and I am not sure you will actually get any noticeably lower RPMs on the highway.

There are some guys with tons of miles on their DRZs and have no reported problems. You have dumped tons of cash into your bike already. Dumping it now would cost you about $3,000 in add ons or so, I would guess.

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I run almost WOT all day long in SM mode. That is 80+ MPH. Wringing the snot out of it really is not big deal. It likes it just fine.

A KTM or Aprilia can proably do the job for you...but you will probably have a great deal more money in it other then just the show room stock retail price.

All said and done...and all out DRZ will nearly double the stock power and give you ability to use the entire RPM range regardless of gearing and still be cheaper then the showroom price of the more exotic options.

Forget about doing an MX bike. If you do that take everything you don't like about your SM and double it. 4 Speeds is not going to give you happy street SM performance...not to mention the more extreme duty cycles of these motors.

I am going to push the envelope of my DRZ. That is what I would recomend for you too.

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The DRZ is plenty happy with higher RPMs. I am not sure where your complaint is? You don't like the higher revs? Or vibrations or what? 70-75 should be no problem at all. With 15-41 (stock gearing on an SM) I used to cruise to work at 85+ every day mostly freeway.

Mine can still break 100 with 14-41 gearing. (11k CDI).

So the point is ya it may rev kind of high but it wont hurt anything. Furthermore any KTM will make your hands and your ass numb in short order. Guaranteed. They are nice bikes. But if vibes and comfort are your complaint those aren't going to be any better.

Husky.... can't comment.

Now as far as the SXV5.5..... I have ridden the SXV4.5 Thats a sweet machine. I can't make any mention of the reliability however.

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Here's my plan if I keep the Zook... Athena 440, hotcams in/out (whatever the bigger 'stage' is), E base gasket, 38t rear sprocket. I don't want to go any further than that mod-wise. I'd like to cruise at 70-75 but with the same rpm's I'm turning now at 60-ish. 70-75 is 'buzzy' and the RS3 is WAY loud in that range. Call me a whiner but I just don't like holding it there for very long whether the bike is fine with it or not. Kman, my mods were only $600. And no, I don't have enough tools to own a Harley!! :thumbsup:

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Bump the gearing first see if you can live with the power and rev's

If it doesn't have enough go power and you are happy then do the bore and cams. No point in doing that only to find you still don't like it.

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And no, I don't have enough tools to own a Harley!! :thumbsup:
Haha you would go broke replacing the bolts you keep loosing also.

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Well, I do work for a fastener supplier...maybe I'd be the perfect Harley owner!

Back to the subject...if money and possible reliability issues were no object, I would be signing up for an SXV5.5 ...something like 70 rwhp with a smooth v-twin and capable of 115+. I know the DRZ will never be in that league...just wondering if it was worth upgrading it or better to dump it and go for a bigger displacement bike. That's why I was thinking the $12.99 16t front sprocket would be a cheap way to find out if it solves my dilemma or just creates more issues. If Suzuki would just put in a 6th gear we wouldn't be having this conversation...who cares if it won't pull to the limiter? FYI the Husky is a 6spd...

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My two pennys: Invest in a 38t rear, the bike should have come that from the factory. Bike felt to me like it a nice sweet spot at about 55 to 60 max, that's now at 65 to 70ish.

Makes the tranny much more usable and I didn't notice a significant drop in felt power, but my bike is still stock so it's not making much to lose!

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After seeing what it cost to get the 475 project bike up to 58hp (15 grand?) and knowing that a stock SM610 makes 54-ish without an aftermarket pipe, etc, for 7 grand the Husky is getting more attractive by the minute. I will try the 16t front first. I have to confess the idea of owning an Italian bike makes me a little giddy.

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I have gotten myself down on the DRZ before. But the more I ride it the more I like it. I put 8500 miles on it in my first yr. My friend has a 450x and yes its faster. (Right now) but the DRZ feels better. I can still walk away from him in the turns and all I have done is the 3x3, E cams, RS3, jet kit. You just can't give up the reliability of the DRZ. All I have had to do is put gas in it check the oil, air, air filter. and ride it. You won't be able to do that with the other brands. I would rather be riding than working on my bike anyday :thumbsup:

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70-75 is 'buzzy' and the RS3 is WAY loud in that range.

I wonder if the loud pipe is one the reasons you feel like its reving way too high. Get more HP, gear it down to get rid of the buzz, and get a queit exhaust and you will probably like the bike a lot more.

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....and knowing that a stock SM610 makes 54-ish without an aftermarket pipe, etc, for 7 grand the Husky is getting more attractive by the minute.

I hear ya! I just saw an ad for the SMR450, went to the Husky website and saw the pics and specs and started drooling. I attempted to make the point on another thread that for $7299 retail (or $7499 for the 610) the 450 with its 6 spd, FCR, more power and light weight looked very attractive for "not much more than $1000 over the $6199 SM retail". I got bagged on by people telling me they spent $4000 on their DR-Z and must be nice to have extra money laying around. Well I spent $7000 out the door on my SM with the $600 Athena 440 big bore kit installed.

Like others, I 'wing' my SM at 80 mph on the freeway, but I feel safer doing that in the 'slow lane' vs. trying to do 85-90mph to "keep up" in the carpool lane. Going that fast doesn't leave much 'headroom', and buzzing it that high just feels a little too much to me even though people say they do it all the time. I too have thought about changing the rear sprocket, but I don't want to loose my acceleration in the lower gears. I rode my Suzuki SV1000S to work today and boy was that nice to be loafing along in 6th gear at 85mph in the carpool lane. (Once I got on the city streets, I wished I was on the SM though).

I'm going to have to see if my local Husky dealer has any of the SMRs to check them out.

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After seeing what it cost to get the 475 project bike up to 58hp (15 grand?) and knowing that a stock SM610 makes 54-ish without an aftermarket pipe, etc, for 7 grand the Husky is getting more attractive by the minute. I will try the 16t front first. I have to confess the idea of owning an Italian bike makes me a little giddy.

It didn't take 15 grand to reach 58HP. You could get pretty close for about $1500. You could probably reach 60 hp for $2500 or less.

If you think the KTM is what it will take to make you hape though...then by all means...that is what you should do.

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You could get pretty close for about $1500.

You could probably reach 60 hp for $2500 or less.

Can you break those two options down? What parts for each?

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i would keep the sm for now.going and buying a husky or ktm or what ever else is out there will be cool at first then that dreaded disease called moditis will strike you again.and the cost to mod one of those exotics will put huge holes in your pockets.i have every thing you have + a couple of more things(cams and e-base gasket)and i'm happy.mine dosen't really start to pull good till after about 60mph.if the noise is bugging you put the sa back in or wear ear plugs.

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I know, I know. It feels like I'm thinking of leaving the faithful wife to run off with the hot chick I met at a bar. Thankfully in real life my wife IS the hot chick and I don't go to bars! I must be losing it...comparing bikes and wives...not good!

I am also very interested in knowing how to get to near 60 hp for $1500. Do tell!!

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Burneds bike made 55hp with the 475 and a stock head using Hot Cams.

My 475 kit (not yet installed) cost me about $850. I bought a spring and valve kit from RHC for about $400.

Even with stock cams this should approach 50+ HP.

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