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Buying a used DRZ400S?

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I am new here and want to ask the experts on a purchase. I am looking at buying a 2004 DRZ400S with 1,600 miles on the clock. I would like to ask if there is anything specific I should look for when I see the bike. It looks like its in great shape from the pictures and apparently has hardly seen dirt.

Thanks for any sugestions.


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The “How to buy” a used bike is a four page article, or more if your buying a high end bike and having it inspected in depth (yourself or another Tech)

On a DRZ, besides signs of wear, crashing, and how it starts, shifts, does in breaking, suspension feel..

• Your tiring to get an idea what if any issues it might have now.

• What was the service interval?

• Has the rear suspension bits every been serviced?

• The steering head bearings serviced?

• Does it have an OEM ACCT? or after market MCCT?

• Does it have side case guards? Look closely at the side cover by the shifter? Any dents or signs of repair? Is the back side of the shifter rounded and smoothed over?

• Has the suspension been modified, serviced? Front or rear? Springs? Oil? Valving?

• Check the oil drain plug, both frame and engine, broken engine cases at the drain plug are not common but happen often enough to be a thing seen in a internet forum ..The frame drain plug,, look like it’s been removed? Ask the oil to “tell you how to do an oil change” If he is a do it your selfer and does not talk about removing both plugs to drain oil, cleaning the frame screen on the frame oil line at least once while the bike is in service, talk about the TWO O- rings in the oil filter cover ./ filter.. I’d be a little concerned and ask some more questions.

• Serviced the brake fluid front and rear?

• Done a coolant service?

• Look at the top of the frame, just back from the steering head,, hard jumped DRZ’s have seen cracks there.. a few, just a few.

• Look at the rear fender and sub frame / exhaust. They are bent often.

• Ask the PO if he has done any reliability fixes in the engine? Stator, starter gear, primary nut, counter balancer nut, countershaft sprocket and nut?

Edited by E.Marquez

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Hey, thanks for the detailed info. I can't imagine a bike with htis low miles have any of this, but you never know. Hopefully I can recognize some of these things.

About the oil caps, what is the top one for at the handlebars? I guess I better look at the engine diagrams.

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Check everything as Eric said..take it for a good ride a see how it runs..look for smoke from exhaust ,having a buddy ride behind you to check..

If that mileage is original and checks out ok, it could be a good buy..What is the asking price??

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Yes, I think it might be a good deal. He has it listed for $3,400. Looks clean from the pictures, but i will have to look close.

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I bought my 2003 a few months ago with supposedly only 1200 miles on it. It was a mess, and it wouldn't even run. There were areas that were so packed with dirt and dried mud that I was half certain that it had been ditched in the bottom of a pond for a few years. Other areas were reasonably clean, so I suspect that they had been replaced after a wreck. This was not a good bike to buy unless I wanted to do a lot of work.

Actually, I intended to tear it down and do everything I could think of other than lower motor work regardless of the shape of the bike. Since I plan to ride it on back country (and out of country) dual sport rides, I wanted to know it inside and out. I'm also getting a feel for what spare parts I might need to carry. Doing the work in a nice warm and dry garage is a better way to learn how to repair the bike than on the side of a dirt trail or road, in the dark, in the rain, while a banjo plays in the distance, ad I don't even carry a bow and arrows on my rides. You may have a different perspective, but this is what I had to do to a older (half trashed) DRZ with only 1200 miles:

Cleaned out some of the mud

Replaced broken clutch lever

Clutch cable inspect/clean/lube

Install Unabiker radiator guards

Install TT bash plate

Removed more mud

Install TT case guards

Grind shift lever anyways

Remove clutch safety switch

Remove kickstand safety switch

Cannisterectomy performed

Helmet lock removed, may reinstall if it fits with rack & tool tube

More mud cleaned out

Clean & pack all swingarm & link bearings & bushings (replaced bad seals)

Cleaned mud out of headlight & replaced bulb

Rewire/remove/replace 7-pin relay w/automotive FL552/536LL flasher realy

Install new Edge brake light & plate holder and rear turn signals

Perform 3x3 airbox mod

Re-jeted carb: blue needle, clip in 3rd position, #155 main jet, #25 pilot jet, fuel screw 2.75 turns

S.S. float bowl screws & extended fuel screw installed

Found and removed more mud

Tried to repair stock muffler - weld failed, may try again later, someday, maybe

Checked & ended up adjusting three valves - one out of spec tight

Install manual cam chain tensioner

Change spark plug

Installed headlight low-beam disable switch

Installed new Clarke tank and Yamaha petcock

Replace both tires, tubes and rim strips

Install new air filter

Lubed speedo cable

Flushed radiators

Install new chain

Flushed brakes

Changed oil & filter & cleaned oil strainer screen

Install new hand guards


Install Powerlet outlets

Install fan thermostat bypass switch

Install fuel filter

Tension and true wheels


Install rear and side racks

Fab & install tool cylinder

Clean & pack headset bearings

Service forks and determine springs & valving

I learned everything I needed to know to do all of the above right here at TT. I'll be sponsoring the site as soon as I find out how to do so without a PayPal account. In fact, I better check on that today.

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I hope they just gave the bike to you. This one does run, I'll get to see it soon and I will keep all this good advice in mind. Some things will be impossible to see, i'm not a mechanic but I can get around some things. I'll take it out for a ride, looks for any odd sounds, see if it tracks straight and get it a good lock over.

Thanks for eveyones in put here.


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