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New (2 hand) DRZ400e

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Hi all,

I bought a 2001 DRZ400E last week and have a few small issues. I'm in Australia and we can ride the E's on the roads here, so I'm using it as a commuter on weekdays and an offroader on the weekends. This is my first dirt bike and I don't know much about them. My riding background is about 4 years of road bikes (ducati monster, honda fireblade) and I'm a track day junkie with the blade :applause:. Mechanically I'm pretty useless! I can change chains, sprokets, brake pads and bleed brakes etc, but have no real experience working on bikes, or with carbs. Oh and I've ordered a Clymer manual, but it's about a week away so won't help me yet.

Anyway I don't think the issues are major, but want your collective experienced opinions so I can decide what action to take. Here's what I've noticed:

1 - Poor throttle response off idle

After the engine has heated up (15 + minutes of riding) the throttle response is what I'd call 'rubbery.' Kind of like the throttle cable is a rubber band. When idling, if I roll on the throttle to take off easily, there's a delay of a few seconds before the revs build up. And when the revs do come, they come on suddenly. Like a rubber band recoilling.

The result is I don't have any fine control of the revs off idle. I keep finding myself with too few or too many revs for the situation/obstacle at hand. I've never had this issue on my road bikes and it's making slow speed manourvering difficult when communting in heavy traffic.

Could this be a dirty pilot jet (keep in mind I don't know squat about carbs :lol: )

2 - Occasional engine cut out when idling

At idle, the engine occasionally cuts out unexpectadly. The engine is well warmed, appears to be idling fine, then it just cuts out suddenly with no warning signs (like lugging or struggling). In a 30 minute ride around town, it might happen once or twice.

Sometimes is starts easily, other times I've needed to give it a bit of choke to get going. It's not fun sitting a traffic lights after they've turned green trying to start your bike :lol:

Pilot jet again?????

3 - Broken Choke

My choke won't stay out. If I pull it out and let it go, it goes straight back in. I assume this is not the normal operaton for chokes on Aussie E's? Not sure what carb I have. I think it differs depending on model and country right?

I suppose I could get the choke assembly replaced? I wonder if this might have something to do with the first two issues???

4 - Slight coolant leak, possible overheating?

When riding in heavy traffic (eg stop...crawl...stop...crawl for 10 minutes) there is a slight coolant leak from somewhere on (or near) the radiator. I can never tell where it's coming from, but a few drops are definitely escaping when she get's real hot.

The overflow resoviour also fills to the brim and I can hear the radiator making a boiling sound when I turn off the engine. Is this something to be concered with?

Oh...bike is pretty much stock as far as I know. It had no baffle at all. I've had a temporary baffle (piece of pipe with a few holes and crimps) welded in there by the local exhaust shop to reduce the noise until my B&B baffle turns up.

Thanks for your help. I hope I explained everything clearly. Let me know if you need any more info.

Cheers

Greg

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Hi Greg, and welcome,

I see your question is already on page 3 and still no answers. If nothing else, I'll get it bumped back to page one where more knowledgeable folks will get another shot at it. I've inserted some responses based on a little previous experience. Look inside your quote...

1 - Poor throttle response off idle

Could this be a dirty pilot jet (keep in mind I don't know squat about carbs :applause: )

--> My experience is limited with this bike, but my cruiser acted much the same when the pilot jets were clogged, so I'd say this is a safe assumption.

2 - Occasional engine cut out when idling

At idle, the engine occasionally cuts out unexpectadly. ...

Pilot jet again?????

--> Ditto.

3 - Broken Choke

My choke won't stay out. If I pull it out and let it go, it goes straight back in. I assume this is not the normal operaton for chokes on Aussie E's? Not sure what carb I have. I think it differs depending on model and country right?

--> I have an E and my choke stays out when pulled. Since I have to pull the clutch in with the left hand and hit start button with the right, I'm wondering where the third hand is to hold the choke out? Sounds like something's broken. I haven't had my carb out or apart so I don't know what the mechanism is that holds it out. However, there are many on this forum that DO know, so hopefully they'll chime in.

I suppose I could get the choke assembly replaced? I wonder if this might have something to do with the first two issues???

--> Again, when my cruiser had the pilot jet problem, it would only run well at low RPMs when the choke was ON, and it continued to run fine at higher RPMs even with the choke still ON. Since yours won't stay ON, you don't have the fuel enrichment provided by the choke. Therefore, if the pilot circuit is clogged the bike sucks at low RPMs. By the way, if my cruiser "choke" is typical of bikes, then it NOT really a choke in the traditional sense, but is really an enrichment circuit - the difference being a choke cuts down the air supply while an enrichment circuit adds extra fuel. Hence, with the "choke" ON, a bike with a partially clogged pilot circuit will run better (the enrichment circuit is adding the fuel the clogged pilot circuit is not providing), and will continue to run fine at higher RPMs with the choke still ON.

4 - Slight coolant leak, possible overheating?

When riding in heavy traffic...The overflow resoviour also fills to the brim and I can hear the radiator making a boiling sound when I turn off the engine. Is this something to be concered with?

--> Definitely doesn't sound right to me.

Again, I'm hoping some guys with direct experience will see your post and give you better answers.

EDDIE, WE NEED YOU!!!

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Regarding No. 1, I'm not exactly sure but I think some, maybe all DRZ/KLX400s have throttle slide limiters fitted inside the carb, mine's been taken out or so I've been told. This might be a cause as you don't have the full throttle range to play with, but don't quote me on it, I've never ridden a bike with a throttle restrictor, it's just a stab in the dark. Can you twist the throttle on heaps? Is the spark arrestor still fitted (can you stick your finger all the way into the muffler)?

Regarding No.2, my '04 DRZ400 used to do that cutting out thing. It started happening only once or twice a ride but after awhile the bike was nearly unrideable. I even dropped it on the road once cause it cut out mid corner just after taking off...but thats another story : ( My father in law was a bike mechanic (handy!), so I got him to adjust the valve clearances and I cleaned out the carb. It's been perfect since.

Hope this helps

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If your bike makes a boiling sound when you turn it off, its deffinately overheating. If im not mistaken, the E model doesn't have a fan on it, so sitting in traffic is something that needs to be watched. When there is no air moving through the radiator, its gonna get hot pretty fast. Maybe look into getting a fan off of one of the SMs.

Other than that, check that the radiator cap is keeping preasure in the system, change the coolant, try to find the leak, and go from there. I know the water pumps are suspect to leaking that motor.

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I have an E and my choke stays out when pulled. Since I have to pull the clutch in with the left hand and hit start button with the right, I'm wondering where the third hand is to hold the choke out?

EDDIE, WE NEED YOU!!!

Te he! Yep for the first couple of days I was hitting the starter button with my chin :lol:

I had the clutch and side stand switch removed as soon as I could. I bet me starting the bike with my chin looked blimmin funny though :applause: If anyone was watching, I'd stand on one leg as well to make sure I freaked em out :lol:

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Regarding No. 1, ...

Can you twist the throttle on heaps?

Yep can twist the throttle all the way. I get good throttle response once the revs get up a bit.

Is the spark arrestor still fitted (can you stick your finger all the way into the muffler)?

Nope its gone.

Regarding No.2...

I even dropped it on the road once cause it cut out mid corner just after taking off

That's what I'm worried will happen. I'll be taking off from standstill straight into a tight turn (or something) and the revs won't be there, so I won't be stable, then they'll come on too strong and I'll bin it or turn wide and hit something :applause:

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If your bike makes a boiling sound when you turn it off, its deffinately overheating. If im not mistaken, the E model doesn't have a fan on it, so sitting in traffic is something that needs to be watched. When there is no air moving through the radiator, its gonna get hot pretty fast. Maybe look into getting a fan off of one of the SMs.

Other than that, check that the radiator cap is keeping preasure in the system, change the coolant, try to find the leak, and go from there.

Yeah I think it was overheating, but not sure if there's something actually wrong with the bike, or if it's just a shortcomming of the the E's. Maybe without fans, the E's just can't cope with 10 or 15 minutes of "stop, crawl, stop" traffic without getting too hot. This is during an Australian Summer as well, so it's pretty warm weather.

For normal rides where there's only minimal stops at traffic lights it's fine. No coolant overflows into the overfolw resoviour and it does not sound like it's boiling when the engine's stopped.

The addition of a fan sounds like a good idea since this bike is going to be a commuter as well. I think I've read on here about people putting on PC fans. Anyone have pics of their fans mounted on an E?

I know the water pumps are suspect to leaking that motor.

The water pump is on the right hand side, sort of under the engine/radiator correct? (Sorry I don't have a manual yet so am just guessing from what it looks like) The drops of coolant I've seen have been on the radiator itself and on the frame that runs up the middle of the radiator, so I don't think it's the water pump.

Thanks for the help so far :applause:

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You bogging is most likely a issue with the Accelerator Pump (AP). Take a read of this:

http://www.thumperfaq.com/ap_mods.htm

It explains how to check and set up a standard FCR.

Tks William.

Here's another bit of info...if I give it heaps of throttle when idling, the revs come on just fine. There is no apparent bog. The bog is only when I twist the throttle a little bit when at idle, like when you take off slowly in heavy traffic. Throttle response at higher rpms is good.

I'm pretty sure it's not being unfamilar with the bike and simply not giving it enough gas. I turn the throttle and hold it in that position, and the revs do come, they just take a few seconds to arrive.

When I was first riding it, I'd roll on the throttle, get no revs (hmmm), give it a bit more throttle again, revs come on and...BRRRRRRMMMMMMMMMM...too many revs, roll off the throttle a bit and take off :applause: Not fun when negotiating city traffic :lol:

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Yeah I think it was overheating, but not sure if there's something actually wrong with the bike, or if it's just a shortcomming of the the E's. Maybe without fans, the E's just can't cope with 10 or 15 minutes of "stop, crawl, stop" traffic without getting too hot. This is during an Australian Summer as well, so it's pretty warm weather.

I recently got my Vapor hooked up and have been watching the water temps as I ride. Granted it's been in the 60's on those rides, but what I'm seeing is that as long as the bike is moving at least 10-15 mph the temps stay well below 200F. However, they get to 220F quickly when the air flow stops.:lol: Your weather and traffic would do that quickly it sounds like. The PC fan might be a good idea.:applause:

Ride safe.

Oh, I meant to say in an earlier post - the subject line seems to be really critical in getting everyone's attention. I'm still learning how to word mine. If you have a carb/jetting issue, be sure to get that in the subject line so it will get Eddie's and other's attentions.

Again, welcome to the forum.

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Oh, I meant to say in an earlier post - the subject line seems to be really critical in getting everyone's attention. I'm still learning how to word mine. If you have a carb/jetting issue, be sure to get that in the subject line so it will get Eddie's and other's attentions.

Again, welcome to the forum.

Tks. I'm hoping there's nothing wrong and it's just an E short coming that I can rectify with a fan.

As soom as I created the post and saw the subject line I thought it was wrong. I tried to update it but could not. I suppose you have to get it right when you create the post the first time.

Cheers

Greg

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The bog I'm getting when throttleing on from idle is definitely I big problem. I'm going to end up dropping the bike in traffic. Starting from standstill and riding at a crawl pace is very difficult. I definitley need to get this sorted.

Thanks for everyone's help so far.

Cheers

Greg

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I'd definitely get the valves looked at. Like I said, my bike ran sweet as after getting some shims fitted. No "idle bog" at take off and the motor runs much nicer.

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To fix you idling problem

I'd play with your air fuel mixture screw (on the carb) a bit. Sounds to me like your pilot circuit is too lean. I had the exact same symptoms and just turned it out a 1/2 turn and it went away.

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Well I made it home from work alive...JUST! :lol::naughty::eek:

I'm not joking! The bike died completely on a freeway bridge section where there is a 1 foot road shoulder separating the railing (with a river on the other side) and the lane of traffic. :lol::worthy::ride:

I had to push it for about 200 feet, hugging the small shoulder for safety to get it off the bridge to a spot where there was a normal road shoulder. I made it without anyone clipping me or sending me tumbling either into the lane of traffic or into the Brisbane river. I guess it was hot so a swin would have been the preferable option. Holy s**t it was dangerous.

The bike was doing about 40 mph when it just cut out completely. Tried to restart it while coasting but no joy. On the lead up to that on the way home from work, it was cutting out every time I slowed down and let it idle. It had never done that before. On the ride into work that morning it did not die at all :lol:

Now that I've made it home it will start again, but I don't trust riding it. I think I'm going to hand this one over to my mechanic to get solved.

If anyone has any more info that I could suggest to my mechanic, please chime in :applause:

Cheers

Greg (almost freeway roadkill) Eaton

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should have pushed it into the river sounds like youve bought a lemon:crazy: in perth brand new drz is now$8300 rideaway.if you like the bike go get 1 of these:ride:

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should have pushed it into the river sounds like youve bought a lemon:crazy: in perth brand new drz is now$8300 rideaway.if you like the bike go get 1 of these:ride:

Even after all this, I'm still happy with the deal...I only payed $2000 from a guy at my work who was being transferred to Thursday Island. He just needed to sell it quick!

I still don't think it'll be something a $300-$500 bill at the mechanic's won't fix. Second hand DRZ400's are going for over $5000 here, so I've got a lot or room to pay for repairs to get it reliable before I regret the purchase.

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I'm thinking of asking my mechanic to do the following:

  1. Valve check/adjustment
  2. Carby clean/overhaul/adjustment
  3. Choke assemble replacement
  4. Accelerator Pump check
  5. Spark plug replace(while he's in there may as well do it)

Is there anything else I should ask him to do to make sure the poor throttle response and engine cutting out issues get sorted?

I've decided to hold off on the possible engine overheating. I'll look at doing the fan mod after the more important issues are sorted.

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you could have dirt or moisture in the petrol tank , why not empty the tank and fill with fresh fuel ?

drain the carb and then let the carb fill with fresh fuel and drain the carb again .

start with the easy things first and then get serious

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