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Old 04-14-2012, 01:00 PM   #51
peteFoulkes OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: May 2011
Location: London
Oddometer: 157
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Bad luck, but doesn't look fatal. Other than breaking the basket, how did the install of the kick start mechanism go? Anyone in the UK who knows how to do this install properly? Hope so!

In very early days of the DRZ400 here in the US, Suzuki offered the kick start option for the "E" model version for just $200 (this included Labor!)to anyone who bought a new bike. I never did it, as reports on battery life and starting reliability were very good. My bike never failed to start once in 3 years of ownership, all on original battery. But for your trip, I can understand doing this. Hope it wasn't to expensive.

In 2000, the US initially got 2 DRZ400 models. The "K" (kick start only, off road) and the "E" model (electric start only, off road). But within a year (by 2001 or '02 I believe) the DRZ400S was brought in. That is the model you guys have.

It is a substantially different machine to the "E" or "K" models. Different head, cams, carb, timing, different sub frame and more. I believe the Stator and electrics are also substantially changed from the E and K models.

But the changes to the "S" model bodes well for a RTW travel bike, IMO. A "real" charging system and stronger rear sub frame can only be a good thing on an Adventure bike.

Good luck with the Kicker install ... I hope you never need it!
Hi Grifter
Other than the silly error we made, the install is relatively straight forward. There is a superb step by step guide here:

It includes crucial info not contained in the instructions supplied with the kit so be sure to check it out if you ever install one. We didn't know if the kick start is necessary or not but we started considering being stuck in the middle of a marsh or bog in Siberia for example trying to bump the bike. Not a nice thought.
The successful installation of the kick start on the second bike fired the bike up on the second kick. It works like a dream and is remarkably easy to turn over.
I must add... the kit is not light. Heavier than I expected but for the peace of mind it brings, I'm happy we went ahead with them. We've managed to source a new clutch basket so with any luck it's only stalled the departure a couple of days.
Read more about our round the world DRz 400 trip on our website here:

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