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  #1  
Old 17 Jun 2009
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High mile DRZ?

Hi all, is there anybody out there with a high mileage DRZ400?
What problems did you have on the way?
atb Floyd
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  #2  
Old 23 Jun 2009
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Depends what you mean by high mileage.

Mine has got 11,000 miles on it and although rattley (like all are), it runs fine !
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  #3  
Old 18 Jul 2009
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High Mile Drz 400

Hiya,
I have got an 05 model 400 drz S with 32000 miles on it runs as sweet as a nut been to Africa and just done a 1000 kilometre offroad charity ride through france, belgium and holland plus 500 miles of road work to get there and back never missed a beat and kept up easy with the big bike boys just love it.
cheers jim
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  #4  
Old 18 Jul 2009
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Have you owned it from new?
Regular servicing!
Any problems along the way?
atb
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  #5  
Old 19 Jul 2009
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Drz400

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Have you owned it from new?
Regular servicing!
Any problems along the way?
atb
Hiya,
No I bought a pair of them from a really nice couple off this site who did the africa part of the mileage, both bikes went really well but one of them needed a gearbox repair on route I think it was fifth gear that was the problem the parts were shipped out fitted and they carried on and I think that was all that happened, since they have been with me no problems even on the 1000 k very fast ride just done (apart from a small oil weep from the oil seal behind the front sprocket new seal now fitted this is a common fault)
I think regular servicing is the main thing to do and then they just keep going.
cheers jim
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  #6  
Old 6 Jul 2010
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I have a 09 with 14k as of today... only 8 months old... wouldn't consider it crazy high mileage.

the thing that's killing me is the 1k oil change. I've done 4 trips of 1K+ (3 1K's, 1 2.5k, and one 6k) sucks to carry the oil and filters just in case I have to do a change, and can't find an open shop (pretty strict about my 1k distance)

One plus is I've done a full day of superslab 790miles from the Mackinac bridge in Michigan (connects the upper peninsula to the lower) to Knoxville Tn... doing an average of 75mph... stock gearing and didn't burn a drop of oil. ( common from what I hear for extended high speeds for thumpers to burn a bit of oil)

I need to adjust my clutch as it seems to not want to start in gear with the clutch pulled in (creeps forward as it's cranking) never had the problem before...

proper jetting, the 3x3 mod (opening the top of the air box to 3"x3"), and a good exhaust really open up the motor. the bike is lean from the factory.

my stock suspension seems to need some work. I'm 190 with nothing on, so I'm at the top end of the suspension's range (if not over) and throw in my gear, and bags and I'd be at 250 easy.



one thing to check is to see if it has the free power mod. check Thumpertalk for the how to... but MANY if not MOST DRZ's have electrical issues steming from a small stator, and poor wiring. do the free power mod (basicly rewire from the rectifier to the bat with larger guage wiring) throw some LED lights in, and a 35HID light and you'll free up some power for GPS, more lights, or heated something or other.

good resource is
DR-Z 400 - ThumperTalk
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  #7  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Those are some serious miles on a DRZ. Stock Seat? Any trips planned?

I had an E model (bought new in '01) for 3 years. Never did any sort of long road rides but rode it hard off road. Fun bike.

What does Suzuki recommend for your S model in terms of oil change intervals? I'm guessing at least 3K miles for a street bike, no?

I would think that if you keep speeds down you could easily go 3K between changes. If you ever manage to get out of the USA you'll find going slower is not only safer but much more comfortable. Smaller roads, more traffic. If you get on dirt then speeds drop even further.

I like your stator and electrical mods. Great ideas. Might I suggest a new battery every year or so? TT is a great resource. I learned alot when I had my E model, which never missed a beat in 3 years of desert and Baja riding. I only put about 10,000 miles on it total ... but ALL off road.

If you do a long ride carrying oil would be even more of a pain, and getting good quality synthetic could be tough as well in Mexico or further South. I'd suggest slowing your blistering pace a bit. But with a modern, liquid cooled motor, I'm thinking its a lot tougher than you realize, can easily handle a longer oil change interval. I use Mobil One "High Mileage" 10-40 car oil from Wal-Mart ($21 for a 5 quart jug). This oil does NOT have "Friction Modifiers".

Used it in my DR650 and Triumph Tiger now for 40,000 miles. No slipping clutches on either bike. No oil use on DR. (Triumph has oil use issues, unrelated to oil type) Also used this same oil my WR250F and Vstrom DL1000.

I change every 3500 to 4000 miles on the DR650 and Tiger. 5000 miles on Vstrom, and every 40 hours on the WR250F.
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  #8  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Those are some serious miles on a DRZ. Stock Seat? Any trips planned?

I had an E model (bought new in '01) for 3 years. Never did any sort of long road rides but rode it hard off road. Fun bike.

What does Suzuki recommend for your S model in terms of oil change intervals? I'm guessing at least 3K miles for a street bike, no?

I would think that if you keep speeds down you could easily go 3K between changes. If you ever manage to get out of the USA you'll find going slower is not only safer but much more comfortable. Smaller roads, more traffic. If you get on dirt then speeds drop even further.

I like your stator and electrical mods. Great ideas. Might I suggest a new battery every year or so? TT is a great resource. I learned alot when I had my E model, which never missed a beat in 3 years of desert and Baja riding. I only put about 10,000 miles on it total ... but ALL off road.

If you do a long ride carrying oil would be even more of a pain, and getting good quality synthetic could be tough as well in Mexico or further South. I'd suggest slowing your blistering pace a bit. But with a modern, liquid cooled motor, I'm thinking its a lot tougher than you realize, can easily handle a longer oil change interval. I use Mobil One "High Mileage" 10-40 car oil from Wal-Mart ($21 for a 5 quart jug). This oil does NOT have "Friction Modifiers".

Used it in my DR650 and Triumph Tiger now for 40,000 miles. No slipping clutches on either bike. No oil use on DR. (Triumph has oil use issues, unrelated to oil type) Also used this same oil my WR250F and Vstrom DL1000.

I change every 3500 to 4000 miles on the DR650 and Tiger. 5000 miles on Vstrom, and every 40 hours on the WR250F.
Yeah.. 3,000 mile oil changes. I've been talking to some people who have crossed Africa on theres. Couple of people have burnt out rings and valves so i'm taking spares.

Stator can give up at 20-30k too. I'm not taking a spare though.
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  #9  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Those are some serious miles on a DRZ. Stock Seat? Any trips planned?.
Stock seat, but on my trips I use an Air Hawk Seat Pad... small pillion size. but that only on the trips 1k+ I'm bike only (no cage at all) so I ride this day in and out... 40miles a day commuting. longest I've done on the stock seat was 500miles... but that was damn painfull. I'm looking right now for a used stock seat to try and modify myself. if all else fails I'll be looking into a russel day long or bill mayer saddle.

I do have a couple tentitive plans, one fairly solid. Septemberish of 2011 I'll be doing the Trans Labrador Hwy... hopefully they haven't paved it by then (heard they're in the process)... the following year I want to Ride to Prudehoe.. and depending on where I end up( in the US Air Force) I'd like to ride the Darien Gap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
I had an E model (bought new in '01) for 3 years. Never did any sort of long road rides but rode it hard off road. Fun bike..
This is my first bike I've ever ridden off road. I came from sport bikes and honestly don't have that much riding experience to begin with. (3 years of ACTUAL seat time over the last 5 years... 25K miles in that time) I like to tour more than rail off road. I've tried single track with the DRZ... though honestly it was a week after I bought it and wasn't at all used to it and still had the Trail wings on it. After picking the bike up 50 times in 15 mins... I settled on dirt roads and jeep trails LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
What does Suzuki recommend for your S model in terms of oil change intervals? I'm guessing at least 3K miles for a street bike, no?

I would think that if you keep speeds down you could easily go 3K between changes. If you ever manage to get out of the USA you'll find going slower is not only safer but much more comfortable. Smaller roads, more traffic. If you get on dirt then speeds drop even further. .
yes Suzuki recommends 3k, but EVERYONE.. at thumper talk says 1k... 500 for hard dirt use. I'd love to go to synthetic but not if I'm replacing my oil at the rate of once every 3 weeks or so...

I've been toying with the idea of pushing it to 3k and going with synthetic... but this being my only form of transport... it'd be more than a pain if I started having issues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
I like your stator and electrical mods. Great ideas. Might I suggest a new battery every year or so? TT is a great resource. I learned alot when I had my E model, which never missed a beat in 3 years of desert and Baja riding. I only put about 10,000 miles on it total ... but ALL off road. .
Yeah I'll be going with a new battery this winter. Eddie on TT offers a larger batery setup that uses a larger battery for more startup power. thinking of going that direction but still not sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
If you do a long ride carrying oil would be even more of a pain, and getting good quality synthetic could be tough as well in Mexico or further South. I'd suggest slowing your blistering pace a bit. But with a modern, liquid cooled motor, I'm thinking its a lot tougher than you realize, can easily handle a longer oil change interval. I use Mobil One "High Mileage" 10-40 car oil from Wal-Mart ($21 for a 5 quart jug). This oil does NOT have "Friction Modifiers".

Used it in my DR650 and Triumph Tiger now for 40,000 miles. No slipping clutches on either bike. No oil use on DR. (Triumph has oil use issues, unrelated to oil type) Also used this same oil my WR250F and Vstrom DL1000.

I change every 3500 to 4000 miles on the DR650 and Tiger. 5000 miles on Vstrom, and every 40 hours on the WR250F.
humm... I'll keep that in mind...




Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Yeah.. 3,000 mile oil changes. I've been talking to some people who have crossed Africa on theres. Couple of people have burnt out rings and valves so i'm taking spares.

Stator can give up at 20-30k too. I'm not taking a spare though.
yeah I've heard the stators give up the ghost in that range... so I'll be ordering a new one this winter... I saw that RickeyStator offers one that gives another 50w... though i'm wondering if that is at the expense of power at idle (like most "performace" alternators and stators seem to) or if it's only availble outside the DRZ's rev range (again seen that many times too)

sent them an e-mail but no replies as of yet
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  #10  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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The 10.6 Battery mod is great... Really gives a lot of OOOMPH for starting and you can keep cranking and cranking it.

Don't buy the TT one.. That cradle just isnt nessasasy. Just cut the back out of your battery box and use a velcro strap or any tie, strap etc..

A few thick washers on the battery box to give the tyre clearance (Theres room to move outwards no problem)...

Look on my blog "prepping drz" page for pics.
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  #11  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebbs15 View Post
Stock seat, but on my trips I use an Air Hawk Seat Pad... small pillion size.longest I've done on the stock seat was 500miles... but that was damn painfull. I'm looking right now for a used stock seat to try and modify myself. if all else fails I'll be looking into a russel day long or bill mayer saddle.
Great solutions! Also check out Renazco racing: Renazco Dual Sport Seats bit cheaper, really understands dual sport bikes. Go to gallery to see DRZ-SM seats. (pretty much same as "S" model) Others are very good but pricey, IMO. Renazco specializes in dirt bikes/dual sports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebbs15 View Post
and depending on where I end up( in the US Air Force) I'd like to ride the Darien Gap.
This would be a great ride!
The US has 7 bases in Colombia ... maybe you can get posted at one of them? Great riding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebbs15 View Post
After picking the bike up 50 times in 15 mins... I settled on dirt roads and jeep trails LOL
Trail Wings won't cut it off road. Get some knobs on that thing! Start slow and easy, learn technique. Hang out with some dirt bike buddies ... they'll school you quick. It is not hard unless you really get into the woods. Dirt riding really will help your street skills as well. It all goes together, like cross training. Have Fun!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebbs15 View Post
yes Suzuki recommends 3k, but EVERYONE.. at thumper talk says 1k... 500 for hard dirt use. I'd love to go to synthetic but not if I'm replacing my oil at the rate of once every 3 weeks or so...
I've been toying with the idea of pushing it to 3k and going with synthetic... but this being my only form of transport... it'd be more than a pain if I started having issues...
Thumper Talk is about 90% dirt riders. Some knowledgeable guys there ... but ... many there are teenagers who have never ridden on the street. Very hard riding I can see changing every 1000, but otherwise not. Liquid cooled bike not hard on oil.

My tried and true method for gauging conventional oil condition is simple. I look at it. Once it goes totally opaque and changes color, time for a change. If any clarity remains, its fine. YMMV, IMO, etc. etc. No oil wars here! With synthetic, you can go further. And further.

You can switch to synthetic ... yes more money but much better in high heat, high stress conditions. Lasts longer too. The evidence in favor of synthetic is overwhelming. Synthetic will not break down as soon, protects better overall. Yes, more expensive ... and worth every penny, IMHO.

The Wal-Mart Mobil One deal is pretty good. Works out to only $4.20 a quart. Not bad. Guys will tell you your clutch will slip ... BS, it won't if you use the "High Mileage" Mobil One (sold only at Wal-Mart) or any synthetic oil without Friction Modifiers. If you use Mobil One made specifically for bikes, now that is expensive .... as they ALL are. About $9 to $15 a quart, depending. Experts say Mobil One for bikes is just plain Mobil One without friction modifiers. I don't doubt it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebbs15 View Post
Yeah I'll be going with a new battery this winter. Eddie on TT offers a larger batery setup that uses a larger battery for more startup power. thinking of going that direction but still not sure.
What stresses your stator and Reg/rectifier is a low battery. That is where the trouble starts. Even if it still starts the bike ... it may not be at 100%. When the battery gets weak your Stator is working overtime, reg./rectifier too.

My solution for this on the road is to switch off my headlight in daytime. I've installed a switch. If I hit my High Beam switch, light comes back on.
This gives me an extra 55 watts back. This means I can run my Gerbing jacket and heated grips at 100% all day. (thats about 100 watts total) I don't know the wattage output of the DRZ, my DR650 puts out only 200 watts total. (not much!) LED's are good to save juice. A bigger battery would be good, but NEW is best.

Most rewound/rewired stators put out less power at low RPM's (idle up until to maybe 2K rpm) At cruising speeds, output is higher than stock. The solution is when going through town, idling and such, switch off headlight and all accessories. Once back to cruising RPM, now you have additional watts available.

I would do the rewind yourself. Not that big of a deal. You are simply re-arranging the hook up order. Lots of stuff on line on this.

Great riding!
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  #12  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Great solutions! Also check out Renazco racing: Renazco Dual Sport Seats bit cheaper, really understands dual sport bikes. Go to gallery to see DRZ-SM seats. (pretty much same as "S" model) Others are very good but pricey, IMO. Renazco specializes in dirt bikes/dual sports.
Yeah I've thought about them too... and honestly would probably go that route as they, as you said, specialize in dirt/dual sport bikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
This would be a great ride!
The US has 7 bases in Colombia ... maybe you can get posted at one of them? Great riding.
No unfortunatly the AF doesn't have any bases down there... sucks cause it would be right behind Europe on my Dream sheet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Trail Wings won't cut it off road. Get some knobs on that thing! Start slow and easy, learn technique. Hang out with some dirt bike buddies ... they'll school you quick. It is not hard unless you really get into the woods. Dirt riding really will help your street skills as well. It all goes together, like cross training. Have Fun!!
Yeah I've since done some dirt and light trail (read power line trails and forrest service roads) with some D606's... great tires... I think the tight and twisty single track that we have local here was just not my thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Thumper Talk is about 90% dirt riders. Some knowledgeable guys there ... but ... many there are teenagers who have never ridden on the street. Very hard riding I can see changing every 1000, but otherwise not. Liquid cooled bike not hard on oil.

My tried and true method for gauging conventional oil condition is simple. I look at it. Once it goes totally opaque and changes color, time for a change. If any clarity remains, its fine. YMMV, IMO, etc. etc. No oil wars here! With synthetic, you can go further. And further.

You can switch to synthetic ... yes more money but much better in high heat, high stress conditions. Lasts longer too. The evidence in favor of synthetic is overwhelming. Synthetic will not break down as soon, protects better overall. Yes, more expensive ... and worth every penny, IMHO.

The Wal-Mart Mobil One deal is pretty good. Works out to only $4.20 a quart. Not bad. Guys will tell you your clutch will slip ... BS, it won't if you use the "High Mileage" Mobil One (sold only at Wal-Mart) or any synthetic oil without Friction Modifiers. If you use Mobil One made specifically for bikes, now that is expensive .... as they ALL are. About $9 to $15 a quart, depending. Experts say Mobil One for bikes is just plain Mobil One without friction modifiers. I don't doubt it.
I've run synthetic in my both of my previous bikes, and had planned on running it in the DRZ but the frequent changes made it cost prohibitive. when I do change my oil at 1000, it's very dark... black almost. but to be honest, I just change it and move on to cleaning the chain and other "down day chores"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post

What stresses your stator and Reg/rectifier is a low battery. That is where the trouble starts. Even if it still starts the bike ... it may not be at 100%. When the battery gets weak your Stator is working overtime, reg./rectifier too.

My solution for this on the road is to switch off my headlight in daytime. I've installed a switch. If I hit my High Beam switch, light comes back on.
This gives me an extra 55 watts back. This means I can run my Gerbing jacket and heated grips at 100% all day. (thats about 100 watts total) I don't know the wattage output of the DRZ, my DR650 puts out only 200 watts total. (not much!) LED's are good to save juice. A bigger battery would be good, but NEW is best.
yeah the DRZ and the DR I believe share the same stator... both 200w... I think I'll put in that switch... I found a switch that looks almost stock (and apparently the DRZ actually has an unused plug for just that purpose) I'll have to find that link again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Most rewound/rewired stators put out less power at low RPM's (idle up until to maybe 2K rpm) At cruising speeds, output is higher than stock. The solution is when going through town, idling and such, switch off headlight and all accessories. Once back to cruising RPM, now you have additional watts available.

I would do the rewind yourself. Not that big of a deal. You are simply re-arranging the hook up order. Lots of stuff on line on this.

Great riding!
nice... never thought of it... I really gotta get in the mindset of doing more stuff myself, as my goal is when I retire from the Miltiary in 12 years, to take 4-5 years and ride RTW... living on my military pension.


and just registered for the Colorado AND North Carolina HU meetings... can't wait! (a good excuse to ad 6 states to my 22 I've hit on the DRZ)
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  #13  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Don't worry too much about the oil colour....

Iv dropped oil which is 5 minutes old and it's been black !
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  #14  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Don't worry too much about the oil colour....

Iv dropped oil which is 5 minutes old and it's been black !
good to know... looks like my next oil change will be in synthetic and in 3k... or just before I head to CO.

really appreciate the insight guys!
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  #15  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Don't worry too much about the oil colour....

Iv dropped oil which is 5 minutes old and it's been black !
Got a good point there Ed (the DRZs are good at making oil go black), although you forgot to mention the oil dye reservoir, I do suggest you top up the oil dye reservoir every 50k miles otherwise your oil will stay clear.

*tongue in the cheek here*

DRZs are fine... they go wrong like anything... I love mine, and would replace her with another if she was beyond repair.
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MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




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