DR-Z 400 SM bottom end engine knock

Just had the bike in the workshop for some minor work and they’re advising me its got a knock on the bottom end, sign of imminent bearing failure they say. They’ve also advised that it is common on these bikes and I’d be better off selling it. Assume it’s an engine out job, anyone advise of approximate costs in terms of hours of labour for this? Want to be sure I’ve got an idea up front before I commit to anything.


Edited by Princepugh

Well I got down to the Workshop today and we compared the engine noise to that of another bike with the same motor - a noticeable difference. They reckon it's a good days work minimum and have advised me against riding it.

Interestingly enough, they reckon the DR-Z has a weak engine which is prone to bottom-end failure and they avoid buying them!?

On the upside, they've re-jetted it for me (155) as it seems the aftermarket Remus can had knocked the fuelling out.

Discussions in-progress with the dealer now to see if can be done under warranty, so-far-so good but we'll see. Really hope to sort it as despite the advice I've been receiving I'd really rather keep the bike, as it's the most fun I've ever had on two wheels.

just wondering since it's still under warranty:

how many miles on the bike?

how many miles between oil changes & what oil?

Not under manufacturer warranty, just that agreed as a second hand purchase from a dealer.

It's done just over 7000 miles and I've done 100 miles since purchase! :smirk:

Early service history was good but I've since discovered, after some digging, that it was run low on oil and had a new barrel and piston so it probably did the damage to the crank too but was never addressed.

Head is telling me to ask for my money back, heart is saying get them to fix it and keep it – I don’t do massive miles and don’t live on the redline.


Edited by Princepugh

quite possibly big end

I've had 3 failures

they go at 15K miles +/-1K miles

If yours has been run low on oil they yes, big end is likely

where about's are you in UK?

I am on 15K. Does it happen to every DRZ. Bikes 2 and 1/2 years old.

Hiya, I'm in South Yorks - couple of decent Indies in the vicinity and SMC Suzuki dealer.

Still hoping the dealer will take the job on, although I'd prefer my local Indie to sort.

My big end went at 7500 miles. Had full oil change every 300 miles (quality oil) and never really ridden hard. Maybe there is some truth in the arse ends, but i still have it and wouldnt sell it :smirk:

My big end went at 7500 miles. Had full oil change every 300 miles (quality oil) and never really ridden hard. Maybe there is some truth in the arse ends, but i still have it and wouldnt sell it :smirk:

Did you get/ heed an audible warning, or did it go on you whilst riding? Also, did you sort yourself or did a shop do the work? Approx costs?

Well, I've been quoted for the parts, including conrod, plus 7.5 hours labour so it's not an insubstantial sum of cash. Currently wrangling over warranty with supplying dealer so the DR-Z is going nowhere until resolved, which is a crying shame given the weather we've had here in the UK recently - hoping we've not used up our quota of sunny days for the year! :ride:

DRZs are very reliable bikes.

they dont have weak engines

your bike was damaged when you bought it from being run low on oil

they should fix it or give you your money back

OK fellas, here's what the engine sounds like through a mechanics stethoscope, placed near the bottom end.


Anyone venture an opinion?

Bike going back to the dealers next week for investigations so fingers crossed.

Be nice to ride it this summer at some point :ride:

Not an engine problem, but a user error.

You can't blame the DRZ for lack of oil. The shop is wrong. Using oil is a more common issue.

BTW, plenty of guys on here have been well over 15K +- 1K without failure.

17K on mine, with a BB. I don't treat it easy when I ride, but I guarantee it always has the right level of oil in it.

i've never listened to mine with a stethescope, so no comment on that.

as far as the bike goes, the dealer sold a shit bike. the engine shouldhave been replaced.

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