Single track crash-athon. Any advice?

Well after a long winter I finally got my chance to get my newly aquired 2001 400E down to the Hatfield McCoy trails just south of my home. I spent the winter doing all the fixes/repairs detailed here, as well as lots of overdue regular maintenance. I had a great time but I took one hell of a beating, as did the bike. I don't really enjoy mixing it up with the four wheelers so I headed straight for the singletrack sections. I was at the Little Coal River trailhead which has a couple really nice singletrack sections, one is rated 192 and one 194 which means nothing to me, but I think they are pretty difficult as they just zig-zag back and forth and up and down the steep hillsides. It turned out to be a bit above my skill level as I had to abandon ship and drop the bike probably a half dozen times, and in addition to that I probably had a dozen or more minor offs and hundreds of stall outs, spin outs etc. The bark busters the PO installed did a good job of saving the grips and levers, and I managed to pull one of the radiator shroud mounting points out of the gas tank when I hit a tree, but overall the bike fared well and apprears to be very durable.

It was still fun, but wow am I sore. The biggest issue I had was stalling the bike in the tight slow sections. It's geared very low already so I guess I need to use the clutch more. Most of my "abandon ship" moments were caused by these stalls when they happened on steel slopes and technical switchbacks. When it would stall and stop in it's tracks it made for a long fall when I came off on the downhill side. (which is seemed I always did) I find it difficult to feather the clutch when I'm doing a lot of turning and weight shifting. It's much easier to just chug along in 1st.

So to you more skilled single trackers I ask, should I be using a lot of clutch in these tight slow sections?

Could it be the carb settings? I just had it in for service this winter and the Suzuki mechanic said he had to replace a diaphram in the carb and while he was in there said he rejetted it 10% to match the Yoshi RS3 that the PO installed. I noticed that even when sitting idling with the bike warmed up it will stall if I try to rev it quickly. If I gradually increase the throttle it revs right up, but if I twist it fast it will die every time. I thought maybe that could be one of the things making it stall out in the slow stuff.

Also any ST setup tips and tricks you can think of will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long winded post!

I noticed that even when sitting idling with the bike warmed up it will stall if I try to rev it quickly. If I gradually increase the throttle it revs right up, but if I twist it fast it will die every time. I thought maybe that could be one of the things making it stall out in the slow stuff.

Doesn't matter sitting still or on a stand. What does the carb do when you are riding and you give it a quick gas?

The biggest issue I had was stalling the bike in the tight slow sections. It's geared very low already so I guess I need to use the clutch more.

What is it geared at? When I rode HatMac a couple of years ago I had on 14/48. I have since switched to either 13/48 and 13/49 for mostly riding in MT, WY and CO. With the bike properly jetted and geared as it is now, 1st gear just starting out is practically walking speed. 1st gear is pretty much useless except for really tight, slow stuff.

Doesn't matter sitting still or on a stand. What does the carb do when you are riding and you give it a quick gas?

What is it geared at? When I rode HatMac a couple of years ago I had on 14/48. I have since switched to either 13/48 and 13/49 for mostly riding in MT, WY and CO. With the bike properly jetted and geared as it is now, 1st gear just starting out is practically walking speed. 1st gear is pretty much useless except for really tight, slow stuff.

I was having a stalling issue when I blipped the throttle and I just tweaked the idle screw a bit and it went away. Hope that helps...

I feel for you, pardner. Your ride description sounded just like my first couple of years on my bike (just a couple of years ago). I finally figured out that if the thing was moving at all I could keep it up. Trouble was, my clutch hand didn't want to cooperate. I wasn't learning the fine points of clutch control. I wanted to - the left hand just didn't want to once it got tired (arthritis didn't help any). The Rekluse autoclutch saved my butt. Singletrack is soooo much fun now.

Your bike stalling would be a large part of your problem. Try increasing the idle. Time spent in the saddle will be your best friend learning fine brake, clutch and throttle control which will come with practice. I run 14/48 gearing and i find personally this set up works well for me off road especially in the slow sections. My next mod will be to get my suspension properly set up. Good luck

Lets just say that momentum is your best friend when it comes to a DRZ. It is a top heavy bike and as long as you keep her moving she will stay upright. You might need to adjust your clutch so that you can pull it in with one or two finger and it stops on your other fingers so that the clutch is fully disengaged. This will give you the ability to feather the clutch more around tight corners.

I run 14/49 gearing in the tight single track of NorCal. With that gearing I rarely have to use the clutch unless it's real steep or an extremely tight switchback. If the carb is tuned properly you should be able to chug around at about 3 miles an hour if necessary.

I spent a lot of time on my arse as well when I first got my DRZ. Having it run right is key. Most of all though is momentum.

Here is another strange theory I use often when cornering tight stuff. Use the throttle to save your ass. The throttle will get you out of more trouble than the brakes ever will. As I enter a turn and lean in, right at the point where I fell it's going to fall over just give her some more gas and if your balanced properly it will pull you right up and out of the corner faster.

Good Luck as I have felt the pain of spending more time on my arse than riding. Worst part is not falling but having to pick that beast up again. Hehehe

Lets just say that momentum is your best friend when it comes to a DRZ. It is a top heavy bike and as long as you keep her moving she will stay upright. You might need to adjust your clutch so that you can pull it in with one or two finger and it stops on your other fingers so that the clutch is fully disengaged. This will give you the ability to feather the clutch more around tight corners.

I run 14/49 gearing in the tight single track of NorCal. With that gearing I rarely have to use the clutch unless it's real steep or an extremely tight switchback. If the carb is tuned properly you should be able to chug around at about 3 miles an hour if necessary.

I spent a lot of time on my arse as well when I first got my DRZ. Having it run right is key. Most of all though is momentum.

Here is another strange theory I use often when cornering tight stuff. Use the throttle to save your ass. The throttle will get you out of more trouble than the brakes ever will. As I enter a turn and lean in, right at the point where I fell it's going to fall over just give her some more gas and if your balanced properly it will pull you right up and out of the corner faster.

Good Luck as I have felt the pain of spending more time on my arse than riding. Worst part is not falling but having to pick that beast up again. Hehehe

+1.... couldn't have said it better :cheers:

I've had similar problems, but not as scary as you falling downhill off a switchback under a 300 lb bike - yikes!

Another suggestion in addition to all the good ones that others have posted is to lower the seat so you have a better chance of stopping a low speed fall by putting your foot down. I cut over half the foam out of the seat. I am 5'-9'.

Thanks guys for all the useful replies. I just got around to looking and it appears to have 14-48 gearing. I increased the idle and I think it has helped some, but it still stalls pretty easy. My TTR 225 will chug merrily along at a crawl and stay running and it is stock which has me wondering if the big open pipe (RS3) isn't contributing to the problem since it's made for maximum flow. I wonder if it the lack of back pressure isn't making it less "chuggable." I will admit though that many of the stalls are due to my weak clutch metering skills.

Thanks again for the responses.

- Allegeny Nation Forest, when I ride there its 13 / 50 or 14 / 48 or maybe somewere in there,,, like other poeple said 1st will be realy not be used. First riding teck-trails, most of time you will shift one or two gears, thats it. Riding 2 to 3 or 3 and 4, not using the 1 to 2 shift, you will never hit neutral mistakably, or if the shift lever hits something it will just simply go into another gear and not rev-out in neutral,,,

Also if I come up on slower riders, atvs, mountain bike, whatever, I can go to 1 st, and save the clutch, and the same is true for climbing up hills, you can concentrate at the job at hand and dont have to think about fingering your clutch. When your burning up your clutch all that :cheers: is now in your oil, the same oil that is in eng, and gear case and back into the clutch :thumbsup:

you can find good used suff online for cheap,,, find something that works for you then get good new stuff that you know you will be happy with :thumbsup:

Try to find a good low end set-up,,, then see what works high end for example a 13 / 50 and a 15 / 48 can use the same chain size ( I think maybe ) you get the idea, like 13 / 48 for trail and then just change the c/s and 15 or 16 / 48 for roads, hope that helps. Happy Trails

autoclutch will help you

do you stand or sit when you ride? I have MUCH better control standing up, makes those slow turns easier, watch trial competition videos for inspiration

Thanks guys for all the useful replies. I just got around to looking and it appears to have 14-48 gearing. I increased the idle and I think it has helped some, but it still stalls pretty easy. My TTR 225 will chug merrily along at a crawl and stay running and it is stock which has me wondering if the big open pipe (RS3) isn't contributing to the problem since it's made for maximum flow. I wonder if it the lack of back pressure isn't making it less "chuggable." I will admit though that many of the stalls are due to my weak clutch metering skills.

Thanks again for the responses.

With that gear ratio you should be able to chug around corners at about two miles an hour without a stall. You have carb problems or jetting issues.

With that gear ratio you should be able to chug around corners at about two miles an hour without a stall. You have carb problems or jetting issues.

He has an '01 E and therefore the FCR. He should probably do the Eddie Mod, grinding the stop on the accelerator diaphragm and wiring the AP linkage to alter the fuel delivery. I had the same problem on my '03E and it was much improved after doing the mod.

Here's a thread that details the Eddie Mod:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=890079

Edited by MandoThumper
added eddie mod link

I have an 01' kicker and had the exact same problem, mine would die if i blipped the throttle idling or riding the bike, if i ramped the throttle slow it was fine only when you hit it fast and hard from idle, like if you need to lift the front tire over a log, after alot of adjusting the jets (with much help from Eddie, William1 and CraigoDRZ400sm, thanks alot!) once i figured i had the jetting right i did the Eddie Mod and it TOTALLY fixed the problem.:thumbsup: just make sure you wire them good and tight.

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