Lowering a dual sport? (DRZ400)

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Murf2, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Murf2

    Murf2 Been here awhile

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    I've got a kinda generic question for you guys. If I lowered the rear about an inch without lowering the forks how exactly would that effect the handling. Would it make the front slower/ more stable or quicker/ more twitchy? I would use this for gravel roading not any single track. Comming of street bike this bike seems plenty fast handling to me. Slower steering might not be a bad thing for me.

    I had been looking for a DR650 but found a good deal on a DRZ400 so I bought it. It's just a little tall for me and I am trying to plan my mods before I start.

    Thanks again, Murf

    Sorry, I'm in the wrong place!
    #1
  2. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    It will make the steering less responsive, and handle like a boat through mud. I would recommend you lower the front and rear. Since you are using it on gravel roads only, ground clearance shouldn't be an issue.

    You might be surprised how fast you get used to the taller ride height, though. Maybe lower both ends half an inch, and give it some time to see if you can get used to it?
    #2
  3. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    It is commonly done, KLR's, WR's, etc., lowering links easy to come by. It might fiddle with the "fine tuning" a bit, but you will appreciate being able to touch the ground, which is safer at this point.

    Once you get used to the bike, consider pulling em out and giving it a go.

    Lots of people do this, and still drive some of those bikes around the world.
    #3
  4. greer

    greer Long timer

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    Murf,

    It's easy to slide the fork tubes in the clamps and keep it balanced on both ends. Don't forget to loosen the fork boot clamps at the top. Kouba has good info on lowering the DRZ http://koubalink.com/

    Good luck, holler back and let us know how it goes.

    Sarah
    #4
  5. Murf2

    Murf2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks everyone! Can someone walk me through sliding the forks up in the trees? Can I do it both sides at once or do I need to remove the wheel and do one side at a time?

    I didn't get an owners manual with the bike & haven't found a service manual yet, so any advise would be very welcome.

    Thanks again!
    Murf
    #5
  6. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

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    I left my front forks alone for now, but I did the rear lowering links which droped the back end 1 1/2". You won't notice hardly any diffrence in handling. I've heard the same thing about the loss of handling over the years, and this might be the case on paper, but it only made me faster on the single track and in the off road being that I can get my feet down when needed.

    I knew that I would drag bottom a lot more in my off road/ single track, so I did the full width belly pan.
    I run at top speed on the grass cut lines and loose rock logging roads with out any problem in handling or bottoming out. once I got the spring and vaulve adjusted. Drop the bike and twist the throttle friend.

    From Jeathrow Bowdean PS: Here is a helpfull site of DRZ dudes with lots of info. You will get lots of good feed back from these dudes.

    DRZ Forum
    #6
  7. Rockaway

    Rockaway Gregtiger800

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    Good morning. DRZ's are terrific bikes. 'Ive got two of them. Here are some helpful lowering ideas. Seat height can be changed many ways.
    1. Suzuki makes a gel seat that is fairly comfy and is significantly lower.
    2. Kouba lowering links work well but are final after installation. Adjustable lowering links are wonderful. "Soupy's lowering links are amazing". I've used those on two bikes for my wife. DRZ and Triumph Tiger 800. Both turned out great. Easy to install with inches of adjustability. As my wife's confidence grew we simply raised the suspension to give her more ground clearance.
    3. As you drop the rear of your bike you'll want to drop the front forks about 1/3 the distance. Example: I dropped my wife's bike two inches in rear suspension with the adj. lowering link. I then loosened the triple tree, front forks, and dropped those about 5/8". I also installed bar risers for handle bar clearance.
    4. Retighten the lowering links after a day of riding. Be sure to use lock tight on the threaded bolt adjuster.

    I hope this helps. Enjoy our riding.

    Greg
    #7
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Rockaway has a good point about the handlebar clearance, and you may be limited on how much you can slide the fork tubes up before hitting the bars. It sounds like it may not be that big of a deal to lower the rear more than front on the DRZ. It did on my Honda, but the DRZ probably has much better suspension.

    The way I moved my tubes was to support the bike under the engine so the front wheel is off the ground. Then I put a jack under the front tire and raised it until it touched the tire. Loosen all the bolts in the triple clamps, then raise the jack until the forks are where you want them. Jiggle the bike gently to make sure there is no binding and the forks are even, then tighten everything back up.
    #8
  9. Starchamp

    Starchamp Rebel Scum

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    You'll probably want to replace the seat at some point anyway, so maybe start with a Seat Concepts short/low seat and not mess with the suspension just yet, beyond setting sag and preload appropriately. Best $160 you'll spend on the DRZ.
    #9
  10. Murf2

    Murf2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks again guys! I've been messing around & if I mount it like a horse, using the foot peg with the kickstand down it ain't too bad.. I am a FF so do you think I'm gonna snap the kickstand in two doing this? A better seat is on the short list. I see a member has a gel seat for sale but they seem to get mixed reviews. Any thoughts on the seats that are available?

    Thanks,
    Murf
    #10
  11. Murf2

    Murf2 Been here awhile

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    Bringing this back up for some more input. I'm getting along pretty well if I get on & off while the bike is on the side stand. Do you guys think the stand/frame are up to it or am I going to fall in a big ol pile on of the days? I'm a slim trim 280 lbs.

    Thanks, Murf
    #11
  12. pennswoodsed

    pennswoodsed lizards,bugs and me

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    I would bet that if your weight is on the bike while it is tilted on stand it is bent already. If you are stepping on it and standing it up under you maybe not. I am only a few pound less than you and have some difficulty getting on tall wide bikes . It could be reinforced with angle iron(less attractive. Or heavy wall tubing ,better. Some one here has certainly done it .
    #12
  13. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

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    I have heard mixed reviews on seats as well. If I was going to do a seat, I would get a person to re-do the one that is on my bike.

    There is a new hard gel foam that came on the market in 2011 and it dose not sluff on the sides like the medium or soft gel.

    The new gel foam they say is way better and you have to options to make it wider, and put a small rolling hump in it like the V-Strom 2012 seat. The nice thing about the new gel foam is that it will give you much more support. the foam fells hard at first, but over a few miles it starts to form to you and it is aewsome.

    You would think that the high hump is un-comfortable, but it is the best fit for most humans, or Suzuki would of never put it on thier V-Strom's. Go to a show room, and sit on one, and after 3 minuets you will be sold on the set up of that style of seat.

    From Jeathrow Bowdean
    #13
  14. cycletlh

    cycletlh Slower than yesterday!

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    Buy an extra set of top clamps and longer bolts. Place one set of top clamps upside down under the bars and the other set on top as they come from the factory. This allows the fork tubes to slide up the correct distance for your lowering links.
    #14
  15. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    Dropping the forks an inch in the triples equals roughly 2 degrees of rake. I don't know how much st expierence you have but 2 degrees is immediately noticable to me. The steering is slowed down considerably for tight riding. The DRZ may be setup with a steep steering head angle in which case you'd be easing that situation somewhat but since it's a street legal dualsport, I doubt that's the case. There's plenty of riders will purchase new triple clamps to change their geometry 2 degrees. I've used the lowering link on another model bike and it required lowering both ends to get it to turn properly.
    #15
  16. Murf2

    Murf2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks Guys!

    RideFreak, I'm still a little confused. Are you saying that if I drop the forks the steering will get slower? I assumed that if I lower the back & left the front it would steer slower. Is this not the case?

    Murf
    #16