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Suspensions Upgrade Needed For 215 lb. Rider Plus 40 Pounds of Gear?

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I recently acquired a 2004 DRZ400S that has about 2500 miles on it. I really like the bike and have been riding on dirt with no problems so far. I am hoping to ride it on the TransAmerica Trail as well as some of the dual-sport roads in Texas. I won't be jumping it or doing any motocross stuff but I would like to hit some harder trails. I anticipate loading it with about 40 pounds of gear/luggage and then my 215 pound self which will be outfitted with heavy boots and clothing.

When I sit on the bike, it seems to me that the rear end drops considerably. This is my first true dual-sport bike so I may be overthinking it. My other bike is a V-Strom which barely moves when I sit on it.

A lot of posters say the shock and spring should be replaced. If I want to ride several hundred miles on dirt roads with that 40 pound load, should I do something about the suspension? If so, what do you recommend?

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I am around 210, 225 with riding gear, not considering carrying gear for a dual sport ride. I removed the forks and rear shock off my 2006 DRZ400S and sent them to Jeremy Wilkey at MX-TECH in and have them re-sprung and re-valved. I believe he put .48 springs in the front and a 6.0 spring on the back. It really feels great, on and off road. When I first got my bike, I set the race sag on the stock rear shock and that helped some. I rode it for about 1500 miles that way. No comparison to re-springing and re-valving.

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Have you set the sag? It is more than likely set up for a 150 lb rider. I don't see why the stock shock shouldn't be able to carry that weight. Do a search for race sag.

***edit*** actually, just click on the little red arrow in front of sag and that will give you the needed info.

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Set your sag up and that will help quite a bit....but, you will need to respring/valve some where down the road if you start to push the bike offroad. I had the guys at plano KX/RM set mine when I bought the bike...I'm sure if ya go up there early one morning they can do it for ya....dosent take em long....10-15min.

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