Odd action on DRZe shock

I'm slowly turning my cheapo DRZe into a keeper and it's time to turn to the suspension. I'm 193 naked so I know I need heavier springs front and rear. But - when I sit on the bike the rear compresses normally for 2-3" and then seems to abruptly get much stiffer. Feels like I'm bottoming out when I'm nowhere near actually bottoming out. I'm wondering if the swingarm and other suspension components are rusty/worn and need to be replaced. I'll find out when I tear it apart but just wondering if that's a common characteristic when rebuild is needed?



The shock you have may well need servicing. Action like you describe is typical when some of the damping fluid has leaked out.

Thanks William - I was hoping that was NOT the case but I knew it was a possibility. Never serviced a shock before. Looks like I get to learn a new skill.

Send it off - I dont know if I'd want to try to service a rear shock myself.

You can do most of the servicing yourself without special tools though they certainly make life easier. You will have to find a shop to recharge it with nitrogen though.

As Ryan states, send it off, I do.

Thanks guys. I had already done a search and now am looking for a suspension shop in Maine. Any Mainers have good experiences?

The shock is not all that complicated, but is much easier once you have done a few.

For sure you would have to find a shop to charge the shock.. Most only get a few bucks to do so.

If your not sure, then send it off to a suspension shop. The shock is Small enough it can be sent via mail to any shop you want. John Curea of MX-Tech East Coast Suspension is a good choice if you want to go non local.

Can you put air in the rear shock?

Can you put air in the rear shock?

No, not stable

Dam - I'm just getting my 2000 DRZ E out of storage and the suspension is doing something similar. It still has a fair bit of travel but reaches a point where it seem to suddenly get tougher.

Could that be normal or is it same as above?

I was going to borrow somebody to help lean on the rear to see if it will go past this stiff point - could that cause harm?

Dick - that's mine as well. I can continue to compress the shock/spring but there's a discontinuity in the rate. Thanks to all for the input.


Before you remove you shock from your bikes, unscrew the spring adjusters to remove all tension from the spring. Once the shock is out/off the bike, You can easily remove the spring. Work the shock. If the damping does not feel consistent, then you know for certain, you have to get the shock serviced.

I didn't notice the OP mentioning anything about the condition of the shock linkage & swing arm bearings. It's cheap and easy to clean, inspect, and re-lube all your bearings & bushings to ensure nothing is corroded and binding.

Yeh, that was my plan. I was going to wind out the spring and force the full travel of the shock while still on the bike. Don't think I'm going to need to now.:thumbsup:

After whipping off he CRD tail pipe to fit my MCCT I noticed that this newly installed pipe is fowling on the rear spring. :thumbsup: I put the seat back on and jumped on her a few times and the travel seems to be back to how it should be - so for me I think it was the external obstruction causing the issue.

I'll reassemble it after work and if needed the tail pipe tube will be gaining a dent to give more clearence:bonk:

I didn't notice the OP mentioning anything about the condition of the shock linkage & swing arm bearings. It's cheap and easy to clean, inspect, and re-lube all your bearings & bushings to ensure nothing is corroded and binding.

If it's me you mean then yes, the linkages were very dry. The grease was turning to oil and dripping out of some of them. I tried quickly to removed the main trailing arm bolt but no joy - way too tight. So for now I just forced grease into the nipples. I can tell you now that this hadn't been done much in the past.

I've owned the bike for a few years now but haven't ridden very often and not in bad/wet conditions. Each grease point took what seemed like a maximum amount of grease to fill the channels. I must have emptied half of my grease gun into them!

I'll keep an eye on it after the exhaust is refitted but in a few months I plan a massive maintenance session and that's when the rear suspension will be broken down and inspected.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By BikeChimp
      I'd like to turn my UK 2004 DRZ400S back to stock airbox (snorkel) and jets, needle shim position etc
      When I bought it the PO had fitted a Sigma6 kit and done the 3x3 mod but is doesn't have a tapered needle like the JD and other kits. Took me ages to get it running right, however it still runs rich and I'm fed up of arsing around with it. 
      So I've bought a standard airbox without 3x3 hole, stock exhaust.
      Q1 The Suzuki manual says this Mukuni BSR36 (29FA) carb should have a 142.5 Main Jet but the Clymer manual say its a 135.  In UK everything's from sea level to 1000m. I'm in Sheffield so nothing gets above 500m even in the Peaks (Hills). Any UK owners or anyone else know what the correct jet should be?
      Q2 Says the original needle is a '5DH36-2nd'. The needle has 5 notches on it. Currently set at 2 clip from bottom. The Suzuki reference says needle is 5DH36-2nd, Does the 2nd bit mean 2nd from top or bottom?
      Q3 - Does anyone have a detailed photo of the shim order just in case it was assembled wrong. (mine is attached)
      I know most people on here are going to be horrified I'm taking back to stock but any help on above would be really appreciated.

    • By Bgringo
      I've read a lot of threads about this but still haven't found exactly what I'm looking for.  I'm pulling my 2004 DRZ400S out of storage sometime this week and getting it ready for the season.  I live at 9,000 ft, but my first ride of the year is probably going to be at around 5,000 ft.  I was going to pull the 145 main jet I'm running and put in the 150 adjusting the needle from the 2 clip to the 3rd, then re-jet once I got home.  I already have the extended fuel mixture screw in place so I started thinking that I should just run the 150 jet set up and adjust the fuel screw to compensate for the higher elevation where I'll be doing most of my riding.  I will be going down in elevation for rides until late May or June depending on snowfall, but riding on the street when I'm able.  Are there any disadvantages with this?
      I'm new to posting on this forum, so please forgive me if I didn't get the right search words in and there is already a post about this.
    • By Markl5557
      I am currently running 10w 40 Belray non synthetic and I want to switch to full synthetic amsoil .... is it ok to switch from regular to synthetic? I have read it’s not safe to go from synthetic to regular can someone explain if it’s safe to go from regular to synthetic!? Thanks !
    • By RockyMtnMark
      Good Morning,
        Last night I measured my valve clearances for the very first time (I know...) on my DRZ400S.  It's a 2002 and I've owned is since 2011.  I bought it with t's got about 15,000 miles on it and most of it's miles these days are on dirt.
      Intake specs are 0.10-0.20 mm.  Exhaust specs are 0.20-0.30
      My intake valve clearances are in spec, forgot to write them down.  My exhaust valve clearances are between 0.1778 and 0.2032 which is slightly out of spec.  They are no more than 25 microns out of spec.  My question is, do I really need to shim these?  Will this kind of out-of-spec cause performance, mechanical, or other losses?  As far as I can tell, I'd have to buy a whole shim kit which is like $80.  Thanks!
    • By Zach440
      Selling my 2009 Drz400sm. Been a great bike but it’s time to let go . Not looking for any trades - spring is just around the corner ! Located in northern Virginia . Cash only $4200- willing to negotiate I have some wolfman luggage options available as well. Love to make a package deal for someone 

      -11640 miles . Mild off-road never wrecked.
      -Oil / filter changed every 1500 miles
      -New did chain , brake pads , front sprocket at 10400 miles .
      - valves checked and within spec at 10,000
      - jetted with JD kit and 3x3 mod
      -doubletake mirrors
      -waterproof usb wired and located next to Speedo
      - drc large foot pegs , barkbusters with integrated turn signals . 12oclocklabs tall delete with upgraded circuit board
      -thumpertalk case savers
      -sergeant seat (amazing) and Clarke 3.9 tank (190mile range )
      - fog lights wired in so they shut off with high beams
      -Shorai lithium battery
      -led headlight

      - stock gas tank and seat will be included

      The bike is dirty in photos and I apologize my water is currently disabled outside due to freezing temps . Radiator guards and skid plate NOT included but can be for some extra $$. Rear tire could be replaced but front is fine .