Round the world on a DR-z400
It's finally happening....The end of a very hectic few months is in sight and on Friday of next week, a friend and I leave the UK on two DRz 400's to ride around the world. We’re both 28 and both from London. We will firstly cross the water over to France, ride all the way through Europe, over the Ukraine, in to Russia, Mongolia and then consider taking on the Road of Bones.
Once we've made it that far, we will fly the bikes over to Alaska where we will begin the second part of the trip and ride all the way down to Argentina.
Here is the route:
And here is the story behind the bikes:
Both Suzuki DRz 400 S models. One 2003, the other 2004. Both bikes around the 4000 miles mark. The 2003 model bought for £1600 needed a little more work than the 2004 moodel which came in at £2600 but we're fairly confident that both bikes should be ready to go by no later than the lucky Friday 13th April.
The past few months have involved some serious workshop time. Here is what happened:
Bearing replacement on the 2003 model:
I struggled to get any strong opinions on which bearings to use so we ended up using All Ball Bearings supplied by Wemoto. Front wheel, rear wheel, swing Arm & linkage bearings were all replaced. Not all of them necessarily needed replacing but for peace of mind, I figured it would be nice to complete the first few miles of the 25,000 we're about to cover knowing that most of the consumables were brand new. With the assistance of a paint stripper gun, the removal and application of new bearings was relatively straight forward.
We used BelRay waterpoof grease which is apparantly used in underwater pumps so no doubt it can handle a few Mongolian puddles.
Not only are we doing this trip for the ride of a lifetime but we are also aiming to raise as much money and awareness for Cancer Reserach. Given the nature of our trip we have been lucky enough to gain the support from a number of companies who have supplied us with either free or reduced after-market parts. Here is a few additions we made to the stock setup:
Barkbuster lever protection:
Ad-Tek Sump guard:
Bill Mayor custom Seat. She sure is a wide one but is so comfortable:
Front caliper pin replacement for ease of future removal
DRC wide pegs
Yoshi rs2 pipe to scare off the bears.
ktech upgraded springs
Blocked off the pair valve (not sure if this is present on U.S bikes anyway.)
Eibach front spring upgrade
CFC engine protection
Wolfman luggage racks, welded to Suzuki top rack for re-inforcemnet.
Rear tail tidy:
We have a custom dash in the making. More details to follow on this in the next post once its completely finished.
Still lots more updates to come including the fitting of the beasty 28 litre safari tank!
Be sure to stay tuned for the ride reports and stories from the road...
Nice project and great choice of bikes. I will be following your updates.
We've hit a slight issue which is likely to cost us a few days on the departure date. We managed to get hold of some kick start kicks from Suzuki but whilst fitting managed to screw up the clutch basket. In hindsight it was a school boy error but we attempted to use the lugs on the basket to keep the it positioned whilst we tightened the main clutch bolt.
.... inevitably, one of them snapped. We're sourcing a new basket as I type and will hopefully only cost us a couple of days at max but it doesn't seem to be a part too well stocked here in the UK.
Watch out for a friend of mine (Adam lewis/ ADV-Jedi master) coming the other way on a DR650. We also could ride home to the UK that way, see how we feel when we get to OZ.
good thing to do at home
Make sure to use a to use a torque wrench on the clutch basket nut. I didn't the first time, over torqued it and no clutch engagement - had to pull the whole thing back apart again!
great work so far, you have been busy bees.
I was chatting to a head honcho at Suzuki at a bike show, I cant remember the name of the chap he recommended, but the best place for spares is Suzuki Motorcycles, Spare Parts, New and Used Motorcycles, East Midlands, Motorcycle sales, Suzuki Motorbike Service and Repair redcar motorcycles, and the old chap there is meant to be a walking encyclopaedia and knows when how who when it comes to parts. Worth a try.
I'll be 6 weeks behind you on my DRZ, :-)
The only problem that I an see with your trip is that you've missed out on the entire continent of Africa! Why not go from Argentina to Cape Town and keep up the travels?
The bikes are looking good so far!
Looking forward to the rest of the story...
ah, you could go round the world in a boat and not even go across a single continent.
surprised you had to put the bash plate over the existing suzuki one, I have the same Adtek one and mine went straight on. Is your bike an E S or SM?
Like the cockpit!
Then you get to ride your bikes home which is way cooler!
Time for take off...
That's it. All the preparation is over. This is finally happening. We're leaving the UK first thing tomorrow morning so we should have some good ride reports coming up for you all in the next few weeks.
For now, I thought I would post a picture up of the finished product so you can see what it is we will be heading out on. Below is a pic of one of the bikes. The result of many many long hours in the garage.
If not, we'll save it for next time. :-)
It looks like you may be coming through Yuma, Arizona US going into Mexico--let me know if you are coming through here...
Around the world trip
Hey Pete ,nice work man ,hey my name is carlos ,Im also planning a trip for next year on Drz400 ,but just around Africa,2009 to 2012 me and my wife done a trip from Alaska to Ushuaia,we done around 115.000kms in 27 months on road,now we are planing for africa ,we leave 2 min from ace cafe just oposite stonebridge park station ,and i would like to know when u guys gonna leave ,and I would like to see your bike if is posssible?
if is let me know I come to your place my number is 07779587810 Carlos,would like to take some Ids about the bike coz im planning to use same bike next trip.
many tnx ,and good luck hv a safe trip
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Good luck on your trip.
Just one thing. The kick-start looks a bit iffy sat against the tank; if you move it round on the shaft a couple of splines, won't it "nest" nicely in the curve under the tank ?
All the best with your trip, looking forward to the reports. The bike looks great.
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