I came up with a purchasing DRZ checklist

So my brother wants to buy a DRZ motard like mine. He's looking at a high mileage one and I figured I'd come up with a checklist for him as I can't go look at it with him.

Let me know what you think and if I should add anything

DRZ Checklist: Look at ALL this stuff so you don’t buy a bike that needs a lot of maintenance like I did

- Look at engine oil: is it clean and fresh? Ask him what the oil capacity is. If he does an oil change often he should know that it’s about 2 quarts with filter change. Ask him what the oil check procedure is. Again, if he does it often he should know to start the bike up and let it idle for three minutes then shut it off for three minutes, then check the oil.

- Does it have a manual cam chain tensioner or an automatic one? Anyone who is up to date on DRZ stuff should have swapped in a manual one. Look up a picture online so you know what it looks like

- Did he do the common Locktite fixes on the stator bolts and countershaft sprocket?

- Ask for whatever paperwork he has regarding valve checks since he says he didn’t do them himself. Does the engine crank for a while before it starts? This could indicate low compression and bad or misadjusted valves.

- Blue or black smoke on startup? Indicates bad rings and burning oil. White smoke is ok.

- Look on the bottom of cases by the shifter and brake levers: case repair with JB weld? Common problem, not a big deal, but be aware of it

- Look at the bottom of the frame below the engine: scratches, dents and rust mean it was ridden off-road

- Look at the air filter: is it clean and sticky with oil? If it is really dirty or dry, don’t buy the bike. This is one of the most important things for engine health. Look inside the air-box too, is it dirty and full of sand?

- Does he have a factory manual? Anyone who works on their own bike should have a manual. Look to see if it has greasy fingerprints all over it to see if he actually reads it.

- Does he have the idle set really high? Might be compensating for bad jetting. See if it will run when you turn it down really slow.

- Ask him if it was re-jetted for the slip-on. I actually think you might not have to since a slip-on really doesn’t do anything for HP and only makes it louder. The headpipe is the restrictive part.

- See a 3x3 hole cut in the top of the airbox when you remove the seat? Then it had better be re-jetted

- How does the wiring look under the seat? Nice and clean or does it look like it’s been ****ed with?

- Look at all the engine fasteners for cases and stuff: do they look rounded and/or buggered? Maybe somebody split the case for engine work.

- Throw it up on a bucket under the skidplate. Wiggle the swingarm side to side and look for play. Turn handlbars to see if head bearing have binding or play.

- Spin wheel and look for wobbles and bent/broken spokes.

- Check chain and sprockets for wear. Chain slack should be 2 inches total up and down when on the kickstand.

- Ask him about suspension oil change/ rebuild. The bike has 18,000 miles, he should have had it done. Look at fork stanchions for scratches or dents

good effort

white smoke is not ok

the primary nut and balancer nut need loctite

check for free power mod and main fuse holder condition

check the condition of the case around the sump plug ... look for cracks etc

check the wiring around the steering head

make sure it is not stolen

hope this helps :cheers:

Thanks for the additions :cheers:

I was under the impression that white smoke on startup is just condensation in the exhaust burning off.

If it smoking white all the time and smells like burnt coolant = headgasket?

yes .. but your initial wording could be misleading

You forgot a very important check: look inside the gas tank! It should be free of rust and the gas should look fresh. If there is rust in the tank forget about it!

This one helped me. Figure get this in one place for a good searcher.


Join Date: Sep 2008

Location: Washington

Posts: 260

I guess this goes for any used bike.

Dirty air filter, coolant and oil.

Leaking, very soft or bent forks.

Have a friend or seller ride toward you, crouch and look straight at front tire. Also look for front and rear tires tracking the same line. If off frame,forks or triples could be bent.

Bent radiators.

Bent subframe, look from the back of the bike while crouched.

Bent rims, lift bike and spin tires watching rim edge closely.

Stretched or freyed cables, is the adjuster all the way out?

brake pads thin?

Difficult to cold start. Tell seller NOT to warm it up before you arrive.

Black sooty or brown burnt looking spark plug.

Shifts through all the egars smoothly

Nuetral difficult to find

Creeps forward with clutch pulled in

Uneven tire wear, more one side than the other is not good. Center only is ok.

Idle speed set really high? Could be a bitch to cold start if so.

Rattling timing chain, clicking valves.

Blue or black smoke from muffler. Some white is normal during warm up.

If it has brand spanking new plastics ask to see the old ones. Might be covering a crash.

Same goes for new levers or turn signals; espcially if they are on one side only.

Severe sprocket and chain wear is a typical sign of poor service.

Badly dented skid plates are signs of hard off road use.

Bring a flashlight and don't be afriad to really get in there and look at everything. If you can't see what you want ask seller to remove some of the plastics.

Some repairs are always needed. Simple things like brake pads, tires and chains are no biggie. Clutches, engine noise and blown suspension are a lot more money.

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