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Author Topic: DRZ400 Tips, Tricks and mods  (Read 50843 times)
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Vstromcharlie
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« on: May 10, 2011, 11:05:48 AM »

DRZ 400 Mods, tips and tricks

So you got a DRZ400 eh?  It's a great bike but do your homework to make it an exceptional bike.  So, how do you do that?  Check and perform the ThumperTalk recommended mods on your DRZ and it will make it mucho better. You will find all the fixes and enhancements HERE ON THUMPERTALK.

First and foremost do these two mods!  If you don't, you risk blowing or severely scrambling your engine.

PPRIORITY FIXES

1.  Manual Cam Chain Tensioner MCCT if the bike is pre 2002 & it's not a bad thing to consider anyway
2.  Counter sprocket Locktite fix.


SUGGESTED FIXES

3.  Removal of the side stand relay
4.  Read through the oil change procedure to find hidden drain bolts
5.  Do the "Free Power" Mod (especially if you plan to run electronics (GPS and electrics (grips, vest)

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING

6.  Swap out signals and tail light to LED (helps to budget power for use with other goodies).
7.  At some point pull the rear fender and check the subframe for cracks near existing welds.
8.  Check your shifter lever and brakes for little sharp tits that can be pushed into the titanium case covers and break them, if they are there, file them round.
9.  Add Case Savers.
10. 3x3 Mod (airbox mods)
11. Consider after market Exhaust changes
12. If you change exhausts you MUST rejet

GEARING

You mentioned gearing, there are no mods (at this time) for changing transmission gearing.  However, there are several machinists and DRZ fanatics working toward this end. In the mean time, it is especially important to run the correct gearing on a DRZ.  Here is a handy tool for changing gearing on any BIKE.  The first time using this calculator is a bit wonky.  

Just choose from the bike list: Suzuki>DR>Z440s>Load Gearing

BE AWARE

DRZ's are prone to swing arm damage at the bearing end of the swing arm.  The reason for this is the chain geometry is changed by using a smaller than stock sprocket causing the chain to lay flat on the forward chain slider.  This in turn causes constant contact and chain slap that results in damage.  

The resultant damage is caused by the chain which and WILL (not may) eventually eat through the forward chain slider, into the swing arm and eventually the swing arm bearings.

To prevent this you should do a chain tension measurement.  

1.  Place the bike on a stand. Compress your rear shock until the swing arm pivot, counter shaft sprocket, and rear axle are all in line so that the three points are straight across from one another (I use a ratchet strap connected to my luggage rack and swingarm).  This is the point where your chain will be the tightest as you move through your suspension travel.

2.  Now adjust the chain per factory recommendations while it is compressed while compressed.

3.  Decompress the swing arm, take the bike off the stand and place it on it's side stand  

4.  Measure the distance (top and bottom) between the chain and the swing arm.  This is the distance you want to set ALL sprocket and chain set ups on your DRZ from here until you sell it.  Note the chain tension will change with gearing changes.


Staying stock (15) or greater reduces this risk.  Just change your gearing in the rear unless you want constant maintenance headaches with your swing arm.






« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 11:16:16 AM by DRZ Charlie » Logged
Kosmic
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 01:44:09 PM »

Nicely done Charlie,
Thanks for passing on your DRZ knowledge! What is the deal about the voltage regulator connector that needs to be looked at or replaced?
The connector can become corroded and cause excessive resistance, potentially leading to regulator and alternator failure?
What do you recommend?
Thanks man! 
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Vstromcharlie
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 02:00:49 PM »

Yes, the Rectifier/Regulator (R/R) OEM plug can become corroded easily and you will not have proper charging and also potential faults at the R/R.  

The cure is the "Free Power" mod..  In a nutshell you are cutting off the OEM plug on the R/R side and running heavier gauge wiring back directly to the battery with the red wire going to positive on the battery and black to ground.

This eliminates the need for the R/R to find it's way through the harness to the battery and you gain about a half volt of charging.  The real kicker is you eliminate a known fault while doing it.

The corrosion in the OEM plug can (over time) cause R/R failure.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 02:09:16 PM by DRZ Charlie » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 02:14:13 AM »

DRZ 400 Mods, tips and tricks
BE AWARE

DRZ's are prone to swing arm damage at the bearing end of the swing arm.  The reason for this is the chain geometry is changed by using a smaller than stock sprocket causing the chain to lay flat on the forward chain slider.  This in turn causes constant contact and chain slap that results in damage.  

The resultant damage is caused by the chain which and WILL (not may) eventually eat through the forward chain slider, into the swing arm and eventually the swing arm bearings.

To prevent this you should do a chain tension measurement.  

1.  Place the bike on a stand. Compress your rear shock until the swing arm pivot, counter shaft sprocket, and rear axle are all in line so that the three points are straight across from one another (I use a ratchet strap connected to my luggage rack and swingarm).  This is the point where your chain will be the tightest as you move through your suspension travel.

2.  Now adjust the chain per factory recommendations while it is compressed while compressed.

3.  Decompress the swing arm, take the bike off the stand and place it on it's side stand  

4.  Measure the distance (top and bottom) between the chain and the swing arm.  This is the distance you want to set ALL sprocket and chain set ups on your DRZ from here until you sell it.  Note the chain tension will change with gearing changes.


Staying stock (15) or greater reduces this risk.  Just change your gearing in the rear unless you want constant maintenance headaches with your swing arm.

I saw your post in the other thread too and it's good stuff. The DRZ is the most fun I've had on 2 wheels. My only regret is not getting one back when I started window shopping them in 2007.  ricky

That said, out of all the faqs and topics I've read on the DRZ I think this is the first time I've heard about the forward slider being an issue. I've been thinking about how the chain hits that thing ever since I first noticed it a couple of weeks ago but I figured it was just going to a be a regular wear item. Given that the "E" models run 14/47 gearing do they just have to be replaced more or does the 47 tooth sprocket hold the chain up enough to keep it from being a real issue?

What can you tell us about suspension mods? I'm thinking of getting some motard wheels for my S in time for next winter (when I'll end up out of the dirt for a while) and was thinking about running things as is for now suspension wise. But lets say I wanted to revalve to a street setup and I did that. Is it possible to raise the forks in the clamps and run a lowering link in the rear to mimic the geometry of the SM? Or will it make little difference to me until I have a few track days under my belt?
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Vstromcharlie
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 09:18:13 AM »

A suspension guru I'm not.  Best to go over to THUMPER TALK'S SUSPENSION FORUM for advice.  Be as detailed as possible when describing what it is you want to do.

As for lowering, yes raising the fork tubes is very easy, and so is the dogbone.  The stock gearing will not wear your chain slider as quickly, but when you service the bike take an extendable inspection mirror and check the top of the swing arm for damage.  I keep two extra chain sliders here as spares now.
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 10:14:55 PM »

So, what is the scoop with the James Dean Jet Kit for the DRZ, compared to a Dyno-Jet Stage One kit?
I figured I would install a Dyno-Jet stage one kit in the DRZ, but now that I have heard about the James Dean kit I may consider it.
Is the James Dean jet kit is meant to be used with the 3" X 3" hole in the air box?
In other words, did they specifically tune their kit to work best with the 3 X 3 mod?

I have noticed that the DRZ air filter stays really clean, and I like that. I am concerned that doing the 3 X 3 mod will introduce more dirt into the air box and cause me to have to clean the filter more. Also, does the mod create more noise emanating from the intake?
Are these trade-offs worth the better performance the 3 X 3 mod provides?
Thanks dudes!
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jackpiner57
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2012, 11:41:59 PM »

Quote by Kosmic


So, what is the scoop with the James Dean Jet Kit for the DRZ, compared to a Dyno-Jet Stage One kit?
I figured I would install a Dyno-Jet stage one kit in the DRZ, but now that I have heard about the James Dean kit I may consider it.

The James Dean kit is more refined, with better taper on the needles, great instructions and superior results. There are two needles to choose from and they will cover everything from sea level to 12,000 feet elevation.  I've read about many people pulling their hair out with the Dynojet kits. The stage one kit is a waste of time and money. With more fuel, you need more air!

Is the James Dean jet kit is meant to be used with the 3" X 3" hole in the air box?
In other words, did they specifically tune their kit to work best with the 3 X 3 mod?

Yes the kit is tuned specifically to the 3x3 hole.

I have noticed that the DRZ air filter stays really clean, and I like that. I am concerned that doing the 3 X 3 mod will introduce more dirt into the air box and cause me to have to clean the filter more. Also, does the mod create more noise emanating from the intake?
Are these trade-offs worth the better performance the 3 X 3 mod provides?

I'm not sure if you'll get more dirt, but it's sucking air like hell even with the snorkel on. I haven't noticed an increase of dirt in mine, but of course that would depend on conditions.

The 3x3 hole does create a bit more noise, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. One guy lined the interior of the airbox with an adhesive sound deadening material with great results.

Yes it's definitely worth doing! It was the best thing I've done to the bike without question. It runs PERFECT, and so do the other DRZ's I did this mod to.


Thanks dudes!
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« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 11:57:26 PM by jackpiner57 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 05:44:01 PM »

I just ordered the JD and look forward to installing it.  I bought my bike used and it had some mod done much like the 3x3 plus additional holes in the side cover.  It was rather loud.  Last week a friend handed me a stock side cover he had.  Much quieter.  We looked into the carb mods and it was neither a JD or DJ as far as we could tell from DJ website pictures.  The needle was thinner than the stock needle example we had for sure and also thinner than the JD high altitude needle.  We didn't have a ready example of a JD low altitude needle.  The main jet was a 142.5, needle circlip in the top position and the fuel metering screw was set to 3 turns.  It ran fine but I didn't do any comparo with another DRZ and fuel mileage was 50 or so.  But getting the small spring back over the needle proved to be futile with the washer on top per instructions.  I used the next lower groove to get some purchase for the spring.  It ran like crap between 1/16 and 1/4 throttle.  I only want to wrestle the carb out and in one more time so I decided to replace it all with known parts so that's why I bought the JD kit and an extended fuel metering screw.
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 06:29:32 PM »

I love my DRZ... but it's out of commission again, with a leaking pet cock... this will be the 4th petcock I've installed in 25000 miles (2 years)... and this one didn't even get a tank of gas through it... I installed it just before I took my trip to get the Dakar... and so it's sat...

starting to wonder if the ethanol is eating the gaskets...  baldy
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2012, 08:04:49 PM »

Ebbs, I had the same thing happen with the DR650.... So I took it all apart and cleaned all the surfaces with a scotchbrite pad and greased the surfaces with silicone grease that the gaskets interact with and no more leaks  ( Well,  Roll Eyes  accept for the fuel filter outlet  )
Is yours leaking at the tank ? or at the control area ? mine leaked at both.....
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2012, 09:51:06 PM »

min is the actual petcocks that leak... first two acted like they were gravity rather than vacuum petcocks... this one... actually leaks from body it self... like the gasket thats sandwiched between the front and rear halves is leaking...

but, you may be right... I may just pull the tank and verify that I didn't jack (or is it Tom lol) something up on the install.. 
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 07:18:05 PM »

 
  In regards to JD needle.... Run the blue needle on the 3rd notch. Try the 25 pilot vs 22.5 and a 145 main with the stock header and muffler. The real key is to drill out the fuel screw plug, put in a Kientech adjustable needle and set it to 2.25 turns out. of course you must 3X3 the box! You will not believe how much better this bike can run like this on the bottom and midrange!!!!! About $100 well spent to make your bike more tractable everywhere in the rev range. And it works sea level to 7K ft too!
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 01:36:01 AM »

I Know this is an old thread.  I just bought a 2011 DR-Z400S and have been reading up on a lot of MODS. 

Kosmic how is the James Dean kit on your bike? 
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2013, 03:02:07 AM »

I have had similar issues with Dirt Bikes.  Nothing that a little Vasoline or Bearing Grease won't solve if it's leaking near the seal off the tank.

Whenever I do gasket work I use one of those two products.  Makes the seals last longer and keeps them in place for installation.

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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2013, 09:26:13 AM »

I Know this is an old thread.  I just bought a 2011 DR-Z400S and have been reading up on a lot of MODS. 
Kosmic how is the James Dean kit on your bike? 
Howdy OIF! Thanks for asking! I actually decided to install a less expensive kit by DynoJet. The DynoJet kit makes the bike start easier, and pulls better from down low. The motor is much stronger feeling through all the rpms.

I bet the JD kit will give even better results since you have to put a 3" by 3" hole in the airbox. If you want maximum performance the JD kit is probably the way to go. However I am happy with DynoJet.
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2013, 03:08:25 AM »

Thanks Kosmic.  I ordered the JD kit and we'll see how it goes.  I'll post once I get It installed and get it tuned properly.

So you decided not to do the 3x3 mod and just replaced the needle? 


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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2013, 03:57:21 AM »

Has anyone changed out the stock breaklines/Clutch line with braded steel lines?  Have heard that it can increase break and clutch response.  Plus there are a lot of options out there with color and fitting color options. 

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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2013, 10:20:07 PM »

Thanks Kosmic.  I ordered the JD kit and we'll see how it goes.  I'll post once I get It installed and get it tuned properly. So you decided not to do the 3x3 mod and just replaced the needle? 
Howdy OIF, yes the dynoJet kit comes with a needle, an assortment of main jets and you remove the factory plug that covers the low-speed fuel adjusting screw and set the screw at 2.5 turns.
I decided to not go as far as the 3X3 mod because I noticed the the DRZs air filter stays very clean and the air intake is quiet with the stock airbox.  I bet I am missing some extra power though by not doing the 3X3.
I just tend to be conservative on bike modifications.
I will be interested in hearing about your JD jet kit installation - I hear its awesome!

Replacing the front brake line with a stainless line should give improved braking and remove some of the spongy feel at the brake lever.
Cheers!
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2013, 03:42:40 AM »

Looks like the JD kit has a better elevation range.  I will be driving the DRZ as a Daily driver but have plans to go back to Washington State to drive thru the Cascades.  I think the JD kit will be best for me.  Have ordered everything else needed.  The Extended Fuel mixture screw, Float Bowl hex screws, and the extra jets needed to make proper adjustments.  I am gonna do the MOD at the end of July.  I am in the process of moving back to the U.S. and will have my tools (hopefully) by the end of the month. 

Have a couple of more things to do to it as well.  Need to do the Free power mod and eventually the Manual Cam Tensioner.  But with my bike being 2 years old i'll wait on the Cam Tensioner for a little bit. 

I have been looking at places to ride in San Bernandino County California and looks like Lots of trails to ride.  Looking forward to getting back out there and getting some Mudd time.

I appreciate your help and a lot of info on  this site.  It's great to hear that everyone is still in love with there DR-Zs.  I know i'll love mine for many many years.
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2014, 01:17:05 PM »

Hey Kosmic, I'm just curious , using the dynojet kit and pulling the snorkel... are you still happy with it that way... I'm get tired of doing all the latest and greatest stuff and being disappointed by the minimal gains.. I was going to take the baffle out of my pipe and use the dynojet kit and pull the snorkel... Not looking to get tons of power just better running then it does at present. Thanks.
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2014, 07:44:48 PM »

Hey Kosmic, I'm just curious , using the dynojet kit and pulling the snorkel... are you still happy with it that way... I'm get tired of doing all the latest and greatest stuff and being disappointed by the minimal gains.. I was going to take the baffle out of my pipe and use the dynojet kit and pull the snorkel... Not looking to get tons of power just better running then it does at present. Thanks.
Yes I am very please with using the Stage One Dynojet kit. My exhaust muffler is stock and the airbox is stock too.
Now the bike starts without choke, pulls much stronger through the mid-range and is way more fun to ride!
I could not believe how restricted the bike was before putting in the jet kit. Well worth the $50!
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2014, 08:28:14 PM »

Hey Kosmic, I'm just curious , using the dynojet kit and pulling the snorkel... are you still happy with it that way... I'm get tired of doing all the latest and greatest stuff and being disappointed by the minimal gains.. I was going to take the baffle out of my pipe and use the dynojet kit and pull the snorkel... Not looking to get tons of power just better running then it does at present. Thanks.
Yes I am very please with using the Stage One Dynojet kit. My exhaust muffler is stock and the airbox is stock too.
Now the bike starts without choke, pulls much stronger through the mid-range and is way more fun to ride!
I could not believe how restricted the bike was before putting in the jet kit. Well worth the $50!

Thanks, I am looking into that.... just don't want to turn this into a money pit project.... beer
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