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About Puttman

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    bikes and golf
  1. Puttman

    Best Dual Sport

    I second the DRZ 400S. Much lighter than the 650's and very close to their HP...great motor. I ride mostly asphalt and 70MPH is no problem at all. For hard core dirt you will need to gear lower and definately get better rubber. Since you already have a GS this is a no brainer. The only problem is you won't want to ride the big bike. I sold my FZ1 because the DRZ was so much more fun to ride 90% of the time.
  2. Puttman

    Please explain diff in SM & S suspension

    I'm definately no expert but have read post which say converting an S to SM is easier/cheaper than converting an SM to S for off road. That's what I did w/ my '01 S. My guess is that it may depend on what type of dirt riding you anticipate. If only graded dirt roads at low/medium speeds the SM probably only needs a 19" front wheel with better rubber, and will leave you with a better road bike than the S. If you want to push it off road or single track the S may be a better starting point. You really only need a 19" (or less) front wheel and tire to make the S a very compentent road bike. Dont overlook 'burned's' dyno jet-3x3 airbox mod with either bike. Either way you have the right bike in your sights, it may just depend on your road/dirt bias.
  3. Puttman

    Battery Disgust

    I had two batteries fail w/in a few years...very expensive lesson. This winter I finally got a battery tender...Yuasa for about 25 bucks and now no problems at all, takes about 5 seconds to plug it in as it has a quick connect that stays in the bike. It's definately the way to go with smaller batteries.
  4. Puttman

    ? from new SM owner

    What a great choice after so long w/o riding, well done! I have a 01 s (bought new) now with about 7k road miles. I checked the valves once at about 6k, still well within spec. From what I can tell from various post dirt riders advise valve checks/ oil & air filter changes several times a year, while road riders seem to go much longer. Probably the difference is stress and operating conditions. I feel comfortable with fresh oil 1/year or about 3-4k...about 2x what Suzuki recommends. The valves only take about a hour to check so about the same frequency is probably a good idea. I dont think I would pay the shop for a 600 mile service unless there were issues. I will pay the shop for regreasing the head bearings and swingarm pivot/links later this winter. Tom
  5. If you want a 'poor man's adventure bike' check out the wee strom. I'm thinking of getting one in additon to the DRZ for trips over a few hundred miles. Fire road only though.
  6. Puttman

    Questions about long distance DRZing

    It depends on your route, but if you plan on riding at 60-70 mph you will want to stay off freeways and ride red or blue line highways, they are usually more secnic anyway. I've driven the backroads from Seattle to Arizona several times and there are many streches where it may be 100 plus miles between towns, and when you get to the town you find the gas station closed 40 years ago. Even in a car you need to plan your gas stops.
  7. Puttman

    Questions about long distance DRZing

    I have an 01 S bought new w/ about 7k miles (not a lot of miles I know, had a FZ1 for a while). I ride 90% road 10% dirt road. I haven't toured on the drz yet but I would suggest; 1. Corbin seat is essential-huge improvement for road. 2. Windshield is essential in cooler weather like in the northwest, I have a cee baily - works great. 3. Stock gearing is no problem up to about 75. 4. Take a spare gas can (plastic) of at least 1 gallon, or buy a bigger tank. Out west fill-ups can span 100 plus miles. If you miss one you are s.o.l. I like the spare container as you only need to fill it when you need it and cheaper. 5. I recommend a 17" or 19" front wheel with a good, wider road tire. It makes the bike much more stable at highway speeds, cost is around 6-700 from east coast wheels, well worth it. 6. For road duty I think you are fine with new oil every 3k, suzuki says 6k I think. Probably best to be in no hurry if possible. Rest every couple days and dont press bad weather. Check out advrider.com for lots of info. Tom
  8. Puttman

    dr650 or drz400s?

    Based on the % of off-asphalt riding you indicate I suggest the 400s is the right choice. You can easily address the seat height by getting lowering links and/or a corbin saddle that lowers about an inch and GREATLY improves comfort on extended rides. I find the drz works best up to about 65mph after which it gets a little buzzy. The motor is a revver and really has no problem pulling 70+ all day. Somewhere I recall reading the drz makes about the same hp as the dr, less torque as you might suspect. You can improve the s with the dynojet kit and 3x3 airbox mod. The biggest reason to go with the drz for the type of riding you indicated is much lower weight and better suspension that the DR. These are critical advantages off road.
  9. JT, Glad you are alright and feel like riding again. Be careful trying to fix the DRZ, (or any bent motorcycle) there can be many more problems than meet the eye. I would press the insurance to total the bike and get a new or pristine used bike. Tom
  10. I talked to a Suzuki person at the Cycle World Motorcycle Show last weekend. He said Suzuki is very tight liped about plans, but said DRZ400 update probably not in the cards as they sell pretty well as-is. He suggested the DR 650 may be the next DS model to be updated. I'm hoping Yamaha or Honda gets into the DS and SM nich here in the US, that might get interesting. Tom
  11. Puttman

    Motard Wheels

    Pep, Since you seem to be more interested in improved high speed street handling and low cost I'll tell you my solution for that objective. I had a new front wheel built (East Coast Wheels) with 18" excel rim and suzuki hub, and mounted an Avon venom 100-90-18 tire. It greatly improved freeway riding, no more hunting in rain grooves, and very sticky compared to stock. Also quicker steering (good) but not twitchy. A 17" wheel would give you greater tire choices....but thats another story. I leave the stock rear wheel on and just swap the front wheels for street or dual sport riding. I think this addresses the greatest compromise in dual sport riding. Actually the Avon tire is such a improvement I now ride a lot more on the street. Total cost was probably 650 or so US. Don't forget to get the SM speedo drive gear to compensate for the smaller wheel..if you want accurate speedo. Tom
  12. Puttman

    Odometer accuracy solution for SM conversion?

    I had east coast wheels build a 18" wheel with excel rim and suzuki hub. The SM speedo drive is available from suzuki and fits perfectly. It feels accurate enough both for miles and MPH. Tom
  13. Puttman

    real comfy DRZ anyone ?

    I recommend the corbin seat, it is not softer, but it is much wider, and flatter which greatly improves comfort. For most people softer is not necessarily better. It takes about 2-3k miles to break in and for me was the greatest improvement for extended hours in the saddle. I use the cee bailey windscreen as I live in the northwest and ride in 40-50 degree temps on the highway. Actually, at 5'-8" I find the bike really doesn't need a screen on the highway other than to off set the temp. Pics of the seat and screen on a drz are on the companies web site. The other comfort improvement I suggest is getting new softer grips. Tom
  14. Puttman

    speedometer gearbox question

    gpdesign, I thought the same as you but noticed that it put a sharp bend in the cable. I checked at the dealer and all gearbox tabs were in front of the fork retainer. Nobel is right and probably best as delivered. Tom
  15. Puttman

    what street bikes are DRZers riding?

    I suggest looking at a DL650. I've owned about 15 bikes over 30 something years. Light weight is a big plus along with dual sport capabilities. I am interested in the wee strom but wish it weighed 30 pounds less. Tom