Most Common Trail Side Repairs on a DRZ 400
I wanted to compile a list of the most commonly experienced trailside repairs you (DRZ 400 riders) have made on your bike while out on a ride, wether it be commuting, single track, adventure touring....whatever. The reason I wanted this information was to form a list of common problems that come up on an adventure so I can build a toolkit with bike specific tools for any repair commonly encountered. The goal is to develop a list of the most common tools needed and sizes, specific torque for fasteners and hopefully design or build a light weight, trail kit with high quality tools. I know there are some kits out there to address this, but it is not quite as bike specific as I am aiming for. Thanks for your time.
Feel free to put in whatever you feel like, a short and sweet list, or share some experiences you had while trying to repair your bike. Thanks for your help.
Get some good tire irons and learn how to change/repair a flat. :thumb
most recently while on trails with my drz i snapped a throttle cable, and threw my fork tubes out of parallel on a dump. both are pretty simple fixes requiring minimal tools. carrying extra cables is a good idea as i found that its not easy(if not next to impossibe) to swap the return cable for the pull cable on the throttle. Be sure to have a handy set of allens and everything needed to take the tank off to access the guts of the bike. Its a really simple machine, so in reality its not the quantity of tools in your tool bag, its the ones you possess in your skill bag. practice taking the tank on and off, and geting to that pesky carburetor in its tight spot. Then lay out all the tools you used to do that a couple times, and theres everything you need. That and as said above, tire irons and a patch kit. Flats in the woods are the worst.
Thank you both
Thank you both for your contributions. I will be sure to get some good tire irons and a patch kit.
My bike is brand new (2011) and I still have stock everything on it. I am going to look into getting some different tires for it, but I am mostly on pavement for the moment. I am hoping to use the bike much more for commuting this year. I am looking for some spots to ride, so I will need some better tires. I will practice tire changing when I get some new rubber. Thanks again.
Such a reliable bike, all I ever really had go wrong was the odd flat tire. I did have a bad crash in Baja and it beat up the relay that controls the turn signals and clutch interlock. If you're comfortable not having that hooked up you might want to bypass that, along with the kickstand switch. It sucks if you can't start the bike because the system to make it idiot proof got damaged, which happened after the crash. It would bump start but not electric start.
The DRZ is pretty reliable, but it never hurts to have a good toolkit.
That said, don't forget some of the preventative equipment to avoid some problems. Some barkbusters to avoid snapped levers, some radiator guards to protect the DRZ's fairly vulnerable radiator, a decent skid plate.
A broken clutch cable isn't uncommon. The one I witnessed was a DR350, though.
Shifters and rear brake levers can get broken when you fall in rocky terrain.
It *is* a simple machine but it's still a machine.
As was mentioned - handguards, skid plate, case guards and radiator guards will go a long ways toward preventing damage. The old 'ounce of prevention' thing.
The only trailside problems I had on my green DRZ-S were caused by cables. The speedo cable failed in Montana while on the Great Divide Route.
I'm not sure what happened; did the speedo mechanism spin? I posted this picture on thumpertalk.com, and did not get a good answer, only flames. :lol3 I installed the wheel correctly and always torqued the bolts. Maybe it got caught on a branch? :patch I removed the cable and rode home without it.
After eating dust for hundreds of miles on this same ride, my throttle tube had so much dust in it that it was very sticky. That was not fun when riding on a narrow, twisty dirt road on the side of a mountain. I cleaned the tube, but had to replace the tube and throttle cable when I got home.
If the bike is stock, case savers are a must. At a Four Mile Freakout, a rider from Illinois got a rock stuck between his skidplate and side case (without the saver). The rock punched out a quarter-sized hole and dumped all the oil on the trail. He was trucked back to the campsite, where a quarter and JB Weld fixed the hole well enough for him to ride back to Illinois. You don't want this to happen to you. :deal Pack JB Weld anyway, and flat-packaged duct tape.
Get another clutch cable and route it along side the one already installed. The backup cable can then be easily installed, without removing the tank, when the primary one breaks. Finding a clutch cable in the middle of nowhere is hard. You can also be the hero to a KLR who broke a clutch cable and was stuck north of Walden on a Sunday, when you give him your spare. Who knew that a DRZ cable works on a KLR, if you just route it over the tank? :D
Check the oil regularly, especially if you ride at highway speeds. Some bikes burn a lot, however, mine used less than 6 oz. of oil during a 2700 mile ride, even with 1200+ miles of highway riding. YMMV. A small can of chain lube is useful.
Make sure you have a socket or wrench to remove the axle nuts. Bring allen wrenches, including a 3 mm for the carb bolts (you did replace those JIS 'Philips' carb screws with allen bolts, right?), and one for the long seat bolts.
An aluminum tube used to prop up the bike to remove a wheel is unstable and dodgy, but useful. Get a good pressure gauge and bring a backup, along with a manual or small 12V electric pump. I added a 'cigarette lighter' socket to my bike to power accessories like this pump - it can also be used in reverse to connect a battery charger when I don't ride the bike.
Bring a selection of nuts and bolts. Just throw them into a bag. I wished I had them when my XR650L lost all the bolts holding down the gas tank, and I had to use duct tape to keep it in place. :bluduh Also, you can be the hero to a guy on the trail with a KLX300 that lost the 3 in. bolt that holds the muffler on. I don't know why I had that particular bolt in my toolbag, but he was really happy when I gave it to him.
I bring a few nitrile or latex gloves for repairs. They are small and don't weight anything.
Don't worry about torque specs when doing trailside repairs. You're not bringing a torque wrench with you, are you??
heres what i carry: but its not a full kit so don't rely just on this:
guerrilla grip metric allen key kit
10mm-14mm small socket set: (pep-boys for approx $2)
one small 3/8" drive ratchet
spare front tube (in a real jam you can use the 21" on the rear temporarily to get you out to civilization)
spark plug socket and small extension
high output head lamp
2' length of 12g wire and wire stripper
mini sports-ball hand pump
spare clutch/throttle cables (as of last weekend)
Home cheap-o multi bit screw-driver (extra compact size)
aluminum water bottle with water (if you run out of gas, your buddy can fill this up with his petcock fuel line to get you a splash, or the water for radiator issues, or just to have a trailside drink)
Im def forgetting some things, but this is what i can think of off the top of my head without walking out to the shed
this is my basic day trip in the woods survival kit, just about everything fits in my wolfman tank bag. I strap the water bottle on the back fender with a few bungees and towels so i can grab it quick.
Thank you all again
Again, thank you all for your replies. I live in Western New York. I haven't bought any armor yet but since it is winter time I plan on getting some stuff and installing it. I am just going to put armor on it. My bike has no performance upgrades on it. I need to figure out which handlebars I want to run and which tires I want to get. I have not even attempted any kind of jetting change or fuel screw setting change since I bought the bike. It runs fine on the road, but I have nothing to compare it with, this is my first bike. Thank you again for all your comments. This will go a long way towards building up my list of things I need. :clap
That small tube of JB Weld is a must to me also. The shifter can go through the engine side casing during a drop, even with protectors/guards installed. The JB Weld can seal it up long enough to get you to your destination. I like the quarter trick mentioned above!
Also congrats on your DRZ it's really a nice and durable machine.
Safe Riding :ricky
I have one radiator shroud bolt that has come out before and loosens up every time I ride any amount of time. Last time it fell out it was replaced by a Zip-ty. So I carry a spare shroud screw. Every one is different as to it's vibe center. My buddies DRZ jiggles the left side seat bolt loose every ride! So just learn your bike and check out all the nuts and bolts and carry a spare/loctite where you can. A lot of trailside problems can be cured by just knowing your bike.
Still figuring this out myself, but here are some suggestions:
JB Weld should be the Quick version
alcohol swabs for degreasing
Cable-ties (zip ties)
heat shrink tube
flashlight / headlamp
In tire change kit, in addition to spare 21" tube and tire irons:
a few milliliters of dish soap or small WD-40
valve core remover (stem cap)
extra valve core
tube patch kit with unopened glue
My tire change kit (without tire irons):
I have since vacuum-sealed the tube with some talc
as mentioned above... the shifter can puncture the case in a crash. I took my lever off and welded a plate to it (about the size of 2 silver dollars). the side covers are thin.. get a good crash guard.
I like that epoxy in a stick. it's like a little log... cut off a piece & kneed it until its all one color.... 5 minutes later its hard as rock. I patched broken side covers a couple times with it (not on my DRZ, others)
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