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Thread: DRZ400e motard or not to motard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    21st July 2013 - 14:28
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    '17 DRZ400, '13 Ninja 300
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    auckland
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    DRZ400e motard or not to motard

    Probably a question that's done the rounds a few times, but I couldn't find clear answers or discussion.

    Basically, I'm buying a used DRZ400e and I've ridden for a couple of years and owned, DRZ250 (knobblies), Yamaha MT03, Kawasaki Ninja 300 (Current).
    I have commuted on all these bikes the 10km to and from work over the bridge in Auckland.

    With the DRZ's I've loved the idea of going places, gravel or off road. However, I haven't really done much of that.
    I've commuted on the DRZ250 on road legal knobblies, however moving to road bikes makes me realise how much the brakes are made of cheese and the dive that comes with braking.

    With the 400e I'm about to buy my questions are:

    1. Do I need to convert to the e for road duties? or will suspension,wheels and brakes suffice given some better road tyres?
    2. If I do look to convert whats the best path. Wheels/tyres first? or do i need to go wheels/tyres,brake upgrade and suspension adjustment all in one hit?
    3. Can the idea and just buy a factory SM?
    I've gone with the e as the idea it could go better off road, but predominately it will be ridden on road. The e also has more power.
    Not sure I want to get an SM, then look at carb and open it up and do cams. Seems like the e is the better starting point. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I know this is subjective but any advice appreciated.

    Cheers, Rob.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    22nd April 2005 - 21:18
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    Personally I'd go with the motard setup on the 400E (wish I had gone that route rather than the SM). Start off with some 17's using the stock caliper and brake and see how that goes then if you need more stopping power go with the 320mm disc. You may need to stiffen the suspension up but that's about it. Chuck a full exhaust system on and you're golden.

    At 90kg I was always chasing more power with my SM. So what I spent on hot up parts could've gone towards a larger displacement bike. The 400E is halfway there with the larger carb and open airbox. In saying that though, I had a really good time on my SM. I just felt bad for it since it was pinned 90% the time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    22nd April 2005 - 21:18
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    There's this nice WR450F (480 kitted) on TradeMe at the moment. May be something to take a geeze at.

    https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/mot...9454a6ad5139fe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    21st July 2013 - 14:28
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    '17 DRZ400, '13 Ninja 300
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlangMasterJ View Post
    There's this nice WR450F (480 kitted) on TradeMe at the moment. May be something to take a geeze at.

    https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/mot...9454a6ad5139fe
    Thanks for your reply.

    I've seen that. I've already pulled the trigger on the DRZ.
    Maintenance is a big one for me since I commute. Has kept me away from WR's and ktm's.

    Are there good 17's to buy? I was looking at the torpedo7 set thought I could get a speedo drive and some tyres probably set me back around a grand. If I then looked at brakes and anything else would add up quickly.
    This is what started me down the path of considering the SM.

    I guess getting a set of wheels for the e means I can always swap back to dirt when/if needed.

  5. #5
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    3rd February 2004 - 08:11
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    Brother-in-law motarded his DRZ400 - CBR600 wheels and bigger brake on the front. Even with the rear suspension dropped as far as possible it was still very twitchy due to the (now) steep fork angle.

    It's back to standard wheels now.
    it's not a bad thing till you throw a KLR into the mix.
    those cheap ass bitches can do anything with ductape.
    (PostalDave on ADVrider)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    21st July 2013 - 14:28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete376403 View Post
    Brother-in-law motarded his DRZ400 - CBR600 wheels and bigger brake on the front. Even with the rear suspension dropped as far as possible it was still very twitchy due to the (now) steep fork angle.

    It's back to standard wheels now.
    Twitchy on road? I've only heard good things of people moving to sticky rubber on 17's. Appreciate the rake change will change handling.
    But I hadn't heard its detrimental.

  7. #7
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    9th January 2011 - 22:25
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    ive motarded (is that a word?) many bikes, yz490, xr600, wr400, crf450 among others, my current motards are a 2008 ktm 530 with over 700 hrs on the original crank and a zx636 sporting shinko 805s (more an adventure bike).

    my advice between the 2 would be drz400e on dirt wheels with a larger front disc and gearing for the road, better stopping and avoid high revving to stretch out valve service intervals, road orientated adventure tyres to reflect your dirt / road commitment.

    this would be somewhere to start then you can work out what you want, if its more power buy a bigger and racier bike, maintenance is the key as all motards require plenty of attention, good luck.

  8. #8
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    3rd March 2008 - 11:55
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    My 400e came with road tyres on the standard wheels and gearing to be usable at 100k on the open road, was great fun around town and acceptable on the open road, the only thing that still needed sorting was the plank of a seat to travel a decent distance.
    Riding cheap crappy old bikes badly since 1987

    Tagorama maps: Transalpers map first 100 tags..................Map of tags 101-200......................Latest map, tag # 201-->

  9. #9
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    27th November 2012 - 11:25
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    just buy some BT45 tires in 21" / 18" you'll have almost as good grip without the huge cost of rims / tubes / 17" tire tax ;p / discs + brackets.

    but yeah regear if you plan on doing longer 100kph cruises ~ 15/39 or so, 15/41 etc etc as the 14/47 is very short (but fun for 0~90kph)


    a respring / fresh fork oil will fix the front end and is cheap -- the drz suspension isnt that bad :-P it wont be a road bike with only ~120mm travel, means you can ride over curbs and do crazy stuff in comfort

    over your DRZ250 it has much taller 1st gear and shorter 5th (and no 6th) so will ride a lot differently and be much less smooth than pretty much all road bikes -- also the E is the only model you want, the SM is a dog unless you swap the carb with an E model and the cams if you can be bothered... however it is loud and the baffle in the muffler tend to shit out in the older ones so will be loud and rowedy much more so than the DRZ250 or pretty much any road going bike tbh so pack some ear-plugs and wave at all the people staring daggers at you in the city

    good choice of bike though, makes me want another... would be my 5th @_@

    they are also a thirsty girls with a small tank so an aftermarket tank might be a go if ou want to ride out of the city to do some gravel roads (such as great ones found south and north of auckland) can show you some great ones south if you're keen

  10. #10
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    22nd April 2005 - 21:18
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    21st July 2013 - 14:28
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    '17 DRZ400, '13 Ninja 300
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    auckland
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlangMasterJ View Post
    I know if only this was up sooner.

    I picked up my DRZ on the weekend. Suffered a flat rear tyre south of Warkworth and a dead battery. (Had been sitting some time)
    New shoes and battery on order. Went ok, but still restricted by at least the snorkel.

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