Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/)
-   Welcome to HU (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/welcome-to-hu/)
-   -   New DRZ 400 s rider (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/welcome-to-hu/new-drz-400-s-rider-8475)

Todd Bellew 14 Jun 2003 11:22

New DRZ 400 s rider
Hello all. Just wanted to introduce my self a little and rave on this site. I've cruised a long time, even before we were "allowed" to us the net and we called phone to phone to each other. And I must say the internatinal mix of users here is the most varied and useful I've ever seen. Many Kudos to the Johnsons, very well done.

Anyways. I own a DRZ400 s and used to (and still ocassionaly) race off road. I love High adventure and travelling. My mind is working over time thinking of all the places and adventures I'd like to go on.

Anyways, I noticed the Suzuki section gets very little use. Which I hope will change. My plans for RTW world tripping is to build my bike around the DRZ 400s. So I'll be throwing ideas out there and supporting the idea that this bike would make an excellent Long distance adventure bike. Truthfully, Suzuki makes few bikes I like. But, the DRZ is one of the best designed MOtorcycles for dual purpose. I really like mine.

I have a degree in mechanical engineering and have owned several motorcycle and racing companies. I even currently work for a Honda/Suzuki/amaha dealership managing the service department.
So I'm hoping I can add a little technical asstiance to the HU community.

Any one else using DRZ400s or dirt converted cousins(400e/kick) for long distance adventure riding?
If not, what limiting factors have been seen with use around the world. Not being to far out side the US I'm not familar with problems around the world. MOstly curious about most places. But, The UK, Australia, Mexico, Canada(especially, the Yukon) , Alasaka, Brazil, and many places in the US are what I'm really interested in.

Good evening everyone.

Todd Bellew

Grant Johnson 14 Jun 2003 12:03

Welcome Todd, and thanks! Good to hear you like the site, it's been a lot of work, but worth it. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif

We always welcome expertise, you're most welcome to help out with the Suzuki forum.

I don't know of anyone using a DRZ for long distance travel, although that doesn't mean there aren't some out there. The DR650 is more popular, but the DRZ should make a great travel bike. On the even smaller end of the size range, the TS185 is getting a following! See posts in this forum, and the which bike forum.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

Todd Bellew 15 Jun 2003 00:45

Thanks for the welcome. After reading through the site I was really impressed with the varied nature of the site. I keep telling all my friends about it and One thing I couldn't believe.
In one of the other forums a person mentioned using camels to cross part of the Sahara I believe. A person replied with unbelievably detailed knowledge of where to rent the best camels for desert crossing. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif I was blown away.

I noticed the TS185 thread. I'm familiar but, I don't think those are sold new in the States anymore. And if they were they obviously wouldn't be street legal. Not that they couldn't be converted some places, of course. I figured they were still real popular in countries with less restrictions on two strokes.

But, I actually love two strokes. Its actually my specialty. I have built and currently still do build two stroke motorcycle race engines mostly for karting and some for MX. Actually have a little site I maintain. www.zenengines.com

My company is Zen Engineering but that was taken. Its not as well kept as your site but, I do service the forum there vigilantly.

This may be my chance to alter my tuning/engine building mind set. I talked with a friend who said "you know, building a motor for maximum RELIABILTY is every bit as hard and requires a specialzed set of skills as building for PERFORMANCE." Hes right.

Thanks again,
Todd BEllew

[This message has been edited by Todd Bellew (edited 14 June 2003).]

[This message has been edited by Todd Bellew (edited 14 June 2003).]

Slugnugget 25 Jun 2003 21:32

hi all i should do the intro thing myself,better late than never i say,my name is Jason i am from Geelong,Australia,i have owned three bikes thus far,TT-R250 YAMAHA 96 XTZ660 2000,and currently a YZF600 97,but i am thinking of going back to the dirt real soon,seems there is a bit more adventure off the bituman,i might even get a Suzuki..see Todds got me thinking yellow! i agree,this is a great site and a wealth of info on just about everything,top stuff keep up the good work Grant.

All the best,Jason

Todd Bellew 26 Jun 2003 08:51

You should definatetly look at the DRZ. Its the first bike I've owned in a long time.

When I found this site I couldn't believe all the people from such wide spread places.

I work for a Honda Yamaha and Suzuki dealership. So I have a little experience with riding a bunch of different bikes.

The ttr250 is actually a very nimble bike I think, If it has suitable power for you it may serve you well. Its built pretty beefy being more off road bike than MX racer.

BUt, When I think of Australia I imagine(never been) LONG straight lonely roads between major towns. I could see the fun in that YFZ 600.

Todd BEllew

Slugnugget 4 Jul 2003 14:48

G'day Todd
yeah the TT-R was a great bike,i could not fault it,had a lot of fun on that bike,i priced a new DR650 today and they are a bargain at the moment,a bit soft for my liking but just about the perfect mount for riding around Oz,the YZF is also great fast, comfy,and a real hoot,but some of the goat tracks that pass for roads over here,can make you wish you were on a duelie,and on a roadie you cant just go up that track you past,i love the thing but it's limited to the tar only...oh well the price you pay i spose.
Cheers Slugnugget

spakur 4 Jul 2003 21:06

Hi Todd!

I just got back from a weeks guided offroad trip from Sweden to Norway on gravel roads and the guide road a DRZ400S. It looked like a nice bike and as far as I can remember the only mod he had made was a bigger tank. However the bike broke down on the fifth day and had to be left in Norway. The problem was that the engine sounded bad. One part of the problem was a broken valve chain tensioner, but after fixing that the problem still remained. I have no idea what had happened to the bike. The bike had been used 15000km or so I think.


Todd Bellew 6 Jul 2003 05:49

The cam chain tensioner problem is pretty well known. They have an updated part and a company makes a manual adjuster that works great.

They should have known. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif

It is one of the odd Suzuki problems. All high performance 4 strokes ask a lot of their cam chains. Suzukis has its share of adjuster problems.

But, its still a great bike.

Todd Bellew

ekaphoto 6 Jul 2003 10:39

How do I check to see if my cam chain tentioner is working correctly? I have a 2003, do they have that problem fixed in this year? Any advice would be appreciated. I am a firm believer in prevenitive maint.


"The older I get the better I was"

MarkHenri 2 Nov 2003 09:15


<font face="" size="2">I just got back from a weeks guided offroad trip from Sweden to Norway on gravel roads and the guide road a DRZ400S.</font>
I'm really interested in the DRZ 400S. How was the overall comfort of the bike... specifically the seat? I'm interested in doing some 1-2 week trips on it in addition to lots of dirt riding and wonder if this will work?

[This message has been edited by MarkHenri (edited 02 November 2003).]

ekaphoto 2 Nov 2003 10:58

I'v had my drz 400S for several months now. The standard seat is a bit hard, ok its hard as hell. I replaced the seat with a gel seat from the dealer and recommend this. Haven't done long distance, but have been on the bike all day doing about 120-150 miles in a day including trails, back roads and freeway. On very tight trails the gearing is a bit high, but manageable. I bought a front sprocket one tooth smaller that I can put on. It takes me about 15 min to change them out, and I am not an expert. The sprocket costs about $15.00. Off road the bike does very well. On the highway it does well, although it is not a cruser. I hadent ridden for 15 years, but I jumped on this and had no problems. It is easy to ride and handles better in the curves thaen I thought a duel sport would. It is not a sports bike however. The tank is small, but the bike gets 50mpg consistantly, if not better. I added an IMS 4 gal tank to extend range. It fits very well. If I could do it all over again I would get the DRZ. I highly recommend it. Also one of the high points is low maint. The schedule calls for checking the valves at 15,000 mi. Thats right 15,000 not 1,500. Take care and I hope this helps.


Mercenary 7 Nov 2003 20:32

Hey there. I am wondering how the DRZ does in the power department. I used to own a KLR 650 and I was quite pleased with how much power it had. I see that the DRZ is rated similarly in the power dept (both have 36-38 hp) Does the DRZ feel as powerful or even more powerful than the KLR?

ekaphoto 8 Nov 2003 10:54

I have never ridden a KLR, however I have had a DRZ for several months. It seems to have plenty of power. I weigh 230 lbs so it is pulling a pretty good load with me on it. As for the HP department the DRZ is lighter than the KLR. HP alone isnt as important as HP to weight IMHO. As for speed it goes freeway speed with ease. I once had it up to 80 MPh with throttle left. I am sure it would do 100, but if I wanted speed I would get a sports bike. I puled the snorkle and noticed better mid range top end power. Over all I can recommend the DRZ.


Mercenary 8 Nov 2003 14:57

Thanks E! Thats pretty well what I wanted to know. We weigh about the same so your findings should apply to me

Todd Bellew 11 Dec 2003 03:39

Been gone a while but glad to see the old thread hanging on.

The DRZ is a great bike. ONe of the best Suzuki makes. All of Ekaphoto's comment are right on. I didn't have to many problem with the seat however. But the sprocket advice is very good.

IF you do a few searches on thumpertalk.com about the cam chain tensioner you see more than you need to read. Generally you can hear a lot of chanion noise when they aren't working properly. Often you just live with the noise.

AS far as power. There are a lot of products avialable to make the engine more powerful. The engine is one of the most high tech pieces you'll see on any bike talked about here. SO there are quite a efw parts avialable. Even restricted is produces more than enough power to get itself around even loaded. I've ridden dr650s and felt they barely had more power to offer.

The bike can lok a little intimidating becasue of size. And like I said before thats what kept me off it. BUt, you must ride it to belive how well it handles. Even when hustlin it is very controllable. I know, with the stock tires you get a lot of chances to test it. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif

Anywasy glad to be back.

Todd BEllew

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