Author Topic: DRZ Modifications (Note:KLX400R is the same bike)  (Read 6485 times)


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DRZ Modifications (Note:KLX400R is the same bike)
« on: January 28, 2013, 08:49:49 PM »
I feel an awesome (wait, I reserve that word for Acts of God and Thunderstorms) large responsibility for writing the opening remarks in a completely empty forum. This is not my forum but I have some suggestions/hopes for it: 1.Be Nice 2.Be Informative - endless comments about how "bad ass" something is or "cool dude" don't really further the discussion and add nothing to the sum total of human knowledge. 3.Be Precise - If you have info to share don't assume that everyone is a DRZ 400 /400E aficionado and knows all the jargon, acronyms and obscure references to all things DRZ. Take the time to explain the subject so the less informed can become informed. 4. Stay On Topic - I have read brake repair threads that ended up discussing owner's girlfriends riding abilities. 5. Humor is Good but not if it violates #1.

So having veered Off Topic in violation of request #4, let me veer back on.

I have owned a Bultaco shop (no, youngsters that is not a Mexican fast food joint) and worked in 4 other shops. I was out of dirt bikes for about 30 years. I got back in about 4 years ago after a reunion with my co-owners and the discovery of MAGIC BUTTON dirt bikes (leg injury kept me out of the dirt). At the same time (talk about kismet) a person I know sold me an '05 Honda CRF250X with 28 miles on it for $2000. This was a sign from above (or given the expenses since incurred perhaps below) to resume riding dirt bikes (at 64).

Last summer I purchased a very clean DRZ 250. The Honda X had been completely dualsported but I didn't like riding it on the road because it wears out the tires and the engine is high strung so maintaining it would be much more frequent if i used it for exploring. The DRZ was meant for gravel road riding and exploring new riding areas. It worked well but the low power air-cooled engine didn't keep up with the 450 KTMs on the uphills (fine in the corners though). I could tell it had potentially good suspension and handling but springs were way too soft (220 lbs.). Probably only good for about 175 lb. rider. Kismet struck again and somebody offered me $400 more than I paid for it after I had added fork springs and a Trail Tech Endurance computer. I took the money and soon after scored a 2004 DRZ 400E with 300 miles on it. Hard to believe but in late 2012 this bike still had the original, like new Dunlop 756 knobbies with the yellow stripe on the tire not worn off yet and not a scratch on the plastic or decals (maybe the cheapest decals ever put on a Japanese bike).

So, I've since then (about 10/2012) racked up the grand total of 40 miles on it. It was so clean that I just rode a little in dry woods and road to see what needed to be changed on it. SPRINGS! The fronts are .43 kg/mm and the RaceTech spring calculator said .48 (same as for the CRF250X) found a new pair on Ebay (Factory Connection brand) for $70 instead of the $120 from RT or FC. The rear recommend was a 5.6 kg/mm to replace the stock 5.3 spring. As luck would have it '04 -'08 Honda CRF 250/450R and '04 - '12 CRF 250/450X rear springs fit the rear shock because it is the same Showa shock on DRZ (not so CRFR after '08). The stock 450 CRFR shock is 5.5 and they can be had for as little as $40 on Ebay which is what I paid for mine. A tad softer in the rear is OK because it won't be ridden like the Honda. Not sure on the shock settings until I ride the new setup a little harder. Some suggest heavier oil (7 wt. instead of stock 5wt) but this can be done later as the forks are very easy to work on.

Carb clean: The bike had been sitting for a long time and needed the carb gone through including a new Accelerator Pump diaphragm (that's the one on the bottom not the Coast Enrichner on the side which, along with all its rubber plumbing, can be taken off if you plug the holes). The 400/400E has the performance oriented Keihen FCR carb. I went to a 42 on the pilot air screw and a 150 on the main (most people are recommending 160 but I will have to ride it awhile to see). I pulled the fantastically well designed  3 inch square rubber plug with the air "snorkel" in it to open up the air box. So neat you don't have to cut anything. I added a Flying Machine Factory (FMF) Q (Quiet)4 muffler. This saved 3 pounds and is designed to be Forest Service sound (<96 db) and spark arrestor approved. Also it is my concession to MC Bling. It is louder but not obnoxiously so and it lets you get full use of the last 1500 rpms in the motor.

FARKELS: The bars were slightly bent and made from pot metal. A set of TUSK (Rocky Mountain ATV) CRF-HI aluminum bars for $39 (Tusk products are a great deal) are slightly taller but the same bend, work great. Also Tusk bark busters and matching plastic hand guards (bought separately so you can choose color) were about $60 total and are super strong. Took off the 0-99 odometer and replaced with the new Trail Tech Endurance II computer. I think the Endurance was better featured but it is gone now. A front wheel spacer from Wheeling Cycle Supply took the place of the removed odometer drive on the front wheel (WCS has a lot of electrical dual sport products for DRZ 400 also). An Otterbox (check them out, they come in all sizes and make for an indestructible, waterproof toolkit for $11 - to as big as you want for $xx I get mine from Amazon). Black side plastic from Acerbis (about $45 to replace the soon to be BROWN white stuff that is stock). A Mount Guys/RAM DeLorme Handle bar mount (the one for bicycles) GPS holder ($19.95). A LED running light for about $5 (Ebay)to be used as a brake light with a $8 hydraulic switch from Ebay. A brake light is not required on converted, plated bikes in Ohio but most of my friends think they are finally catching me when I'm actually slowing down so I'm tired of being run over in the woods. WCS also has a very cool almost flat (3mm) LED license plate light (I've had the same one on my CRFX for 4 years) to meet the lighted plate requirement in Ohio. Factory FXects (?) Decals in stock configuration to replace the stock junk that falls off as soon as your knees touch them.

FUTURE: Two things I've done to the CRFX that I hope to get done this winter on the DRZ are: Shorai Lithium battery (saved 3!! lbs over stock 5amp CRFX battery and went from 70 CCA to 130 Cold Cranking Amps). And a NuTech Tubliss Rear tire insert. Go to their web site and watch the video and read the explanation. It is a little more work than they would have you believe to install if you do a SANITARY job but being able to ride home on a flat (which becomes highly unlikely with this set up) will be a pleasure. You may not even know your rear IS flat. My measurements show that the Tubliss weighs about 6 0z. MORE than the stock tube/tire lock but the security is the point.

CAUTION: Check other sites on loctite for starter parts and proper oil change procedure (3 drain plugs - only use TWO). E owners be good to your batteries.

I hope this helps someone and I'm looking forward to any mods others do to their 400s