Round the world on a DR-z400

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by peteFoulkes, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    We also packed out all of the new bearings with BelRay waterpoof grease. This stuff is apparantly used in underwater pumps so no doubt it can handle a few Mongolian puddles.
    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    Ad-Tek Sump guard:
    [​IMG]

    Bill Mayor custom Seat. She sure is a wide one but is so comfortable:

    [​IMG]

    Front caliper pin replacement for ease of future removal

    [​IMG]

    DRC wide pegs

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    Getting there...

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    We have a custom dash in the making. More details to follow on this in the next post once its completely finished.

    [​IMG]


    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...
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Yellow Rider

    Yellow Rider Adventurer

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    Definitely green with envy! Hope you have a safe trip. Looking forward to the RR. :D
    #2
  3. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    *clicks subscribe*

    All the best for the ride, I think you definitely chose the right bikes, will be great to see how they get on.
    #3
  4. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Cool! Glad I found this link, thanks for the redirect!:D
    #4
  5. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    :clap:earGood luck on your trip, the DRZ is a good little bike for a good adventure ride. I modified my extensively for the Trans America Trail. Maybe too late to mention this but I hope you added some reinforcement to your rear sub frame, as it's weak Al and quite flexy. I tied the wolfman rack into the mainframe, link below if interested.
    #5
  6. Aces 6

    Aces 6 WTFO

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    Subscribed!! Good luck
    #6
  7. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Some nice Swag there mate. You'll love the Mayer seat ... the Mayer family have a long history in MC saddle making going back 30 years or more. Rocky is one of the best. I've been to his shop in Ojai, CA. That seat will be a life saver. That's a 12 hour riding day seat. :clap

    ALL BALLS would not have been my 1st choice for bearings. Yes, they are very inexpensive. Now why is that? :D They are roundly condemned by some in the off road world. Most get one season out of these bearings. Not good.

    They are low end Chinese made bearings that have been repackaged by a middle man/marketer. Fact is ...many bearings today are made in China ... even Japanese companies like Koyo out source to China. But the quality range is wide ... and apparently ALL BALLS tend to be at a low level. You can buy very high quality Made In China bearings ... ALL BALLS are not them! :eek1

    I would research which bearings on your DRZ's tend to wear out and take spares. A nice cleaning and light re-grease at tire changes or flats always helps ... but don't CRAM the bearings full of grease or they will get HOT and seize. Ask your Mclaren guy which bearings to buy. He should know.
    (I'd get OEM (Koyo) Suzuki ... they fit and they last)

    Don't forget your linkage bearings. Clean and re-grease before Mongolia and after. By the time the linkage is squeaking ... too late! Mongolian puddles for 2000 miles will likely be more a problem for link bearings than wheel bearings. Check/grease head bearings at about 10K miles. (upper and lower)

    Use Copper grease on brake caliper slide pins ... and a dab of Blue Loc-Tite on main caliper holding bolts. With mud jammed brakes, pads can get ground away very quickly ... with no braking! Spare pads or keep clean (if possible) :evil

    Yoshi pipes are L O U D !! May bring unwanted attention? ... but that's up to you guys. Very well made, high quality and light weight race pipes. Bit loud for me. (Got ear plugs? :ear)

    Dakar style Dash ....
    I know these Dakar Rally dashes are very hip in London and among the Adventure Cognoscenti ... but think about what will happen if you fall, hit a rut, bury the bike and STOP suddenly in mud or sand and get flung forward ... and your chest, arms or legs is forced through that solid Aluminum frame?

    The Dakar Dash is a beautiful thing ... but IMHO as a former desert/Enduro racer ... not safe. You will crash and if your body goes through that dash it's gonna hurt. Been there, seen it happen.

    Some may say; "Oi, all the Dakar guys use them!!" yea, true, and how many major Dakar champions are DEAD? and how many others have died? Highest death rate of ANY racing series. How many were impaled on metal hardware I could not say ... but I know it has happened.

    But all this is your choice.

    [​IMG]
    Ouch!

    Should be an Epic trip for a worth while cause. Maybe you guys can even do some research as to why Cancer rates are so low in places like Mongolia, parts of Africa and Latin America. Diet and lifestyle per chance? :bubba:hmmmmm

    Bon Chance!
    #7
  8. Hogslayer

    Hogslayer motomaniac

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    Sounds like one hell of a trip will try and follow along on this one for sure, wish you guys the best, it should be a great ride and adventure. :evil
    #8
  9. docsherlock

    docsherlock Been here awhile

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    Should be an Epic trip for a worth while cause. Maybe you guys can even do some research as to why Cancer rates are so low in places like Mongolia, parts of Africa and Latin America. Diet and lifestyle per chance? :bubba:hmmmmm

    Bon Chance![/QUOTE]


    Less meat, more fruit and veg.
    Harder physical life (= more exercise).
    Less sugar consumption.

    Three possible reasons....
    #9
  10. docsherlock

    docsherlock Been here awhile

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    #10
  11. muskeg

    muskeg Been here awhile

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    Very nice start!
    #11
  12. hookeniggy

    hookeniggy Been here awhile

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    Agree, dash is way to solid,
    leave it at home or construct it so it can brak easy, just good advice, seen many guys get hurt (myself included),:trp:trp
    #12
  13. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    #13
  14. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Hi Grifter
    Disappointed to hear your comments about the bearings. We posted a threads on various other forums and All Balls seemed to get a fairly good review. It's too late now to be re-changing them all so we will go with what we have but will definitely consider your comments when it comes to purchasing the spares we will be carrying.

    As for the Dakar dash...Yeah, I see your safety concerns. It's been something we have considered but decided to chance it. Fingers crossed we make it round safely. If we deem it too dangerous along the way we can always loose it.

    Really pleased with the Bill Mayor. Hopefully we will get the chance to stop in and thank them for their work en route.

    Thanks for your input.
    #14
  15. Pete-NZ

    Pete-NZ Been here awhile

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    If yer want a deep groove ball race that will last get FAG bearings..
    the numbers of the bearing will be either 62XX or 63XX..
    read the number off the bearing go get a good brand with that number..

    how bearing numbers work...
    6 = deep groove ball race.
    2 or 3 = bearing OD - usaly 2 ODs in each bore size.. a few have 3 sizes "4"
    XX = bore size ---- 02=15mm / 03=17mm / 04=20mm / 05=25mm
    So a 25mm ID bearing will be either...
    6205 ...52mm OD x 25mm ID // 6305 ..62mm OD x 25mm ID // 6405...80mm OD x 25mm ID..
    #15
  16. Rocket_Rookie

    Rocket_Rookie Learning the ropes!

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    All the best with your trip!
    I am excited to read more about it!

    If you decide to keep that dash, try and pad it as much as you can... And I mean really pad it up! If you hit that thing at speed with your head or your chest, it may just be fatal.
    Think wisely. Still, it is your choice; but keep us ADVriders' comments in mind!

    Safe touring!
    Keep us updated

    Rocket_Rookie
    #16
  17. Rocket_Rookie

    Rocket_Rookie Learning the ropes!

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    And by the way, those bearings should be just fine. I would suggest you change them in 10 to 15 thousand km's, depending on the terrain, just to be safe.

    Waterproof grease is a good idea!
    #17
  18. dasvis

    dasvis Been here awhile

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    The seat is definitely a must. Looks good. Is it built on a stock Suzuki pan or ?
    I need to get me one of those........
    #18
  19. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    You guys are taking on a huge piece of work here, you did your homework, prepped your bikes the best way you saw fit at the time, now GO RIDE! Enjoy and know that we will be living vicariously through you while on this voyage! :freaky
    #19
  20. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    :beer Spot on. Rhetorical question on my part.
    #20