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Kickstart on a 2003 DR-Z 400 S...

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Compound question for the experts...

1) will a kickstart kit fit under the clarke 3.9 gallon aftermarket tank?

2) can you convert the S to kickstart only easily, and is it worth it?

I'm going to add a kickstart somehow. I like having that backup when you're out in the woods. I just want to know the answers to the above 2.

Thanks! :lol:

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1) don't know for sure but I think so.

2) depends on how you do the conversion. Just remove the starter and plug the hole - easy. Complete conversion to a kicker only configuration - not easy.

3) yes there is always a way. If there is interference between the gas tank and the kick lever, different tank or shorten the lever.

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I personally would just sell the S and buy or trade for an early kick model or E model. They are already set up with the "better" exhaust, cams & carb. And the early E model isn't that much heavier than the kick only model.

Are you doing it (removing the starter) to save weight?, or is there some other reason? And for what it's worth, if you order a gas tank specific to the kick model, it should work with an S model that has had a kicker installed. And FWIW I do plan on adding a kicker to my S over the winter, it's not that I really need it but you never know ...

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Compound question for the experts...

1) will a kickstart kit fit under the clarke 3.9 gallon aftermarket tank?

Yes

2) can you convert the S to kickstart only easily, and is it worth it?

Converting an S or E elec start motor to Kicker is cost prohibitive. You need a crank (or at least the left side) left side case cover, stator, flywheel, kick start kit, capacitor,. And the ability or $ to have the work done.

A partial conversion, would be to remove the starter, starter idler gear, battery, use a light weight flywheel, and call it good… Me I’d go real kicker or not at all.

It’s worth it if it’s worth it to you. . Some folks think spending any money but for gas, oil and tires for an out dated design is a waste, just go buy a XXXX brand and be done with it.

Some build for the fun of building, so money is less an object of “worth”

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Thanks guys. The important part was answered, so a kick start kit is in my future.

I was thinking either doing the battery upgrade kit, or replacing it completely with a kick only. For now, I'll just put the kicker kit on, and see if I want to go further.

Replacing the bike with a kick-only isn't really an option for me. I searched for quite a while to find what I wanted from a PO, and have an excellently maintained 2003 S, with all the mods I wanted to do except with a stock engine. Now it's my turn to play, and the first few mods this winter are going to be the kickstart kit, tail-light/turn signal replacement, and hard-wire for GPS and battery tender.

Thanks to p0diabl0, I've had a blast this fall on SM wheels. Now it's time to get it ready for ADV riding in the spring. :lol:

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I highly recommend adding the kicker. It takes a versatile bike and makes it better. I have a Clark 3.9 on my drz and I had to grind about an 1/8" off the top of the kickstart lever to keep it from rubbing the bottom of the tank(not a big deal and it doesn't look hacked either). The install is pretty simple and shouldn't take more than two hours. I find that even if never use the kicker(already had to) the peace of mind is well worth the investment.

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Have you done the free power mod?.....I'd start there and see if cranking becomes more acceptable....as it did with mine.

I was all ready for a battery upgrade and a kicker install....as I ride in the boonies But I don't feel the need anymore, after doing the FPM.

I had become extremely concerned about slow cranking speeds 'out there' and was willing to do whatever it took to prevent a no-start situation 25 miles from anything human.

Just a thought!!

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Done the free power mod. :lol:

If I don't ride for 2 weeks, it's very hard to start. Doing that off and on, I don't want to be stuck in the weeds with a bad battery. Was tempted to replace it with a kick, but I think I'll go with the kick as a backup, as mentioned by another poster above. Best of both worlds.

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Done the free power mod. :lol:

If I don't ride for 2 weeks, it's very hard to start. Doing that off and on, I don't want to be stuck in the weeds with a bad battery. Was tempted to replace it with a kick, but I think I'll go with the kick as a backup, as mentioned by another poster above. Best of both worlds.

Stuck in the weeds is a bad deal. I occasionally stall it while crossing a large puddle an I can now just IMMEDIATELY hit the e-start button and I'm underway again without sticking my foot down!!

Before the FPM I OFTEN had to stop, stick my foot down and try and coach it over compression to get a re-start.

I think a kicker is a reasonable back-up to a weak battery

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@Ford,

Nah, I was wondering if it was worth it to remove the starter and battery, and replace it with a kick and a cap. Some bikes are much easier than others. Seems more trouble than it's worth here, so I'm just going to add the kick as a backup.

Pooping before a ride is always a good idea, especially if you ride LD. :lol:

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@Ford,

Nah, I was wondering if it was worth it to remove the starter and battery, and replace it with a kick and a cap. Some bikes are much easier than others. Seems more trouble than it's worth here, so I'm just going to add the kick as a backup.

Pooping before a ride is always a good idea, especially if you ride LD. :)

Doing the home wrench "Bolt ON" version is easy, but in the end you have a less than 10# drop in weight.. if this your main weight MOD, not worth it to lose the E start.

Now, I have a Ultra diet DRZ in the works.... and a Kicker only motor is the plan for that one.. :lol:

Edited by E.Marquez

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Wasn't worried about weight. My other bike is a R1200GS. This one feels deliciously light to me. :lol:

My concern was a dead battery, and not getting stuck.

Thanks to everyone for input.

Every one of the mods except for internal engine/airbox mods have been done on this bike. Anyone found anything else, home-made or otherwise, that contributes to the experience while out and about?

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