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:
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.
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.
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:
Ad-Tek Sump guard:
Bill Mayor custom Seat. She sure is a wide one but is so comfortable:
Front caliper pin replacement for ease of future removal
DRC wide pegs
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:
We have a custom dash in the making. More details to follow on this in the next post once its completely finished.
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...