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Old 12-08-2004, 04:54 PM   #1
Burren Rider OP
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Building a Supertanker (DRZ400)

This thread really should be titled "The trails and tribulations of modifying a dirt bike". The original plan was simple enough, buy a DRZ and set it up for some serious adventure work. Things started easily enough with a quick call to Vince Strang at Inverell and before long a new DR was winging it's way there. A week or two later I picked it up in the ute and had it home and in pieces before the chain lube had a chance to dry.


The philososphy of pulling a brand new bike apart before it is ridden is one that is lost on those around me, but I pursued it anyway. I got Vince to grease the steering head bearings during the assembly process but there was still work to be done. Most accessible bolts were removed (those without Suzuki bond from the factory anyway) and loctited in place and the suspension linkages were greased via the handy nipples provided.

Sitting around looking at the DRZ I decided to unbolt anything that wasn't necessary or could be replaced by something lighter and more robust. The poxy rear guard extender was first to go, closely followed by the glass headlight. Removing the headlight involves sliding the fork legs down to slide the clamps out and it is here that there that a bit of trivia can be useful. The new axles require a bloody huge allen key but if you scratch thru the standard toolkit you will find that the spark plug socket is a perfect fit for the inside of the axle. Additional ballast was also tossed into the back of the shed to live a lonely, cobweb riddled existence.

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Old 12-08-2004, 05:11 PM   #2
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An Acerbis tail light assembly was wired ino place and after that things kinda got out of hand. Seeing the need for some essential adventure modifications (at least that is what I tell myself) I decided to bolster the local economy and put some great Aussie products to use.


An MSC steering damper and bolt-on clamp were the first to find there way onto the bike. The ignition key was relocated to the top triple clamp bolts and a spacer was made up for the speedo out of square alloy tube. Unfortunately there is a clearance issue between the key in it's new position and the alloy hand guards that I had laying around off the V-Strom so I will have to swap them over for the Rallyguards on my wifes DR250 when she is not looking.

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Old 12-08-2004, 05:17 PM   #3
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The standard muffler really isn't too bad in Oz. It's crappy note can be overcome with a B & B baffle but it it is a bit ugly and still isn't a Staintune so it had to go.




It migth sound extravagent to some, but Staintunes are near on indestructible and the quality of workmanship is worthy of a gallery.

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Old 12-08-2004, 05:27 PM   #4
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The DRZ has a reasonable range with the standard tank (by dirt bike standards) but I was really looking for something better. I had an IMS tank on my old 400 and had major problems with them (yes there were more than one ) and the Acerbis tank only fits the kickstart model. Luckily a local company called R & V Aqualine stepped up to the challenge a while back and started building well thought out long range tanks for the DRZ and others like it. The construction is solid and utilises an alloy brace at the front to protect the radiators from crushing. If this DRZ is anything like my old one (it should be), then a restrained run should see around 500km out of the 28 Litre tank.


Yeah it's big but it sits well and Australia is a big country with plenty to see.

Unfortunately the front brace of the tank collides with the Staintune header, nothing is ever simple, but hopefully it can be fixed with a tweak in the right direction.

The rest of the bike is still in progress at the moment but hopefully I'll get time to tidy it up on the weekend and take her for a run. There has been plenty of rain on the coast lately and there is nothing quite like a good dirt bike on a wet sand track through the scrub.

Burren Rider screwed with this post 12-08-2004 at 05:41 PM
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:41 PM   #5
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Do you know if those tanks are available in the US?

Whatcha doing about a new headlight?
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:55 PM   #6
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G'Day Lone Rider,

Not sure if they are available in the US but you could e-mail them and find out (enquiries@rvaqualine.com.au). The tanks are around $650-$680 Australian ($500 US) so they might not be the cheapest tank for those in the US? (Acerbis stuff is even dearer here)

I have an Acerbis DHH Certified light ready to go in the shed. I have also got a set of twin lights on custom made alloy brackets that will find themselves on the DR for outback trips.
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Old 12-08-2004, 06:58 PM   #7
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I'm a few months away from biting the nut on a 'light' adv bike and the DRZ is at the top of the list.

I appreciate the info you're tossing out.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:03 PM   #8
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A new scoot and a tons of widgets to toss onto it...
What could be better?! Looking forward to more pics.

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Old 12-09-2004, 02:10 PM   #9
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Hey BR, nice new toy When I went to the off centre rally I rode from White Cliffs to Innamincka with a guy called Les who has a brilliantly sorted DRZ400:


Looks like you have the same tank. He had the rack custom made, I think its stainless too. Everything on the rack and the small backpack visible at the bottom of the bike is all he carried for a 2+ week camping trip. Believe me when I say he was lacking nothing, on the second day at Innimincka the flies were super bad and Les just pulls out a net to go over his hat while everyone else is forking over $6 a pop at the shop He even had a clothesline and a few pegs in there, I know you are the master of packing light (I've read one of your V Strom ride reports), but I was impressed!

He spent most of his money on the suspension, he reckons they are crap right out of the factory and gets the rear shock rebuilt and set up for his weight. Ditto the front forks.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:34 PM   #10
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That tank gives me wood, but for $500US, wow. The Clarke still seems like the best bet for the S.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apeirce
That tank gives me wood, but for $500US, wow. The Clarke still seems like the best bet for the S.
Just tossed a Clarke onto my old XR400 and it fits better than the stock part.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmiwinks
When I went to the off centre rally I rode from White Cliffs to Innamincka with a guy called Les who has a brilliantly sorted DRZ400
G'Day Lemmisinks,

It is a nice looking setup but it seems a bit odd to spend that much on an outback tourer and leave off the handguards and bashplate? His attention to detail in the packing department is impressive though.

Are you still heading down to the High Country in January?
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:15 PM   #13
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Hey Burren
Looks like your having way too much fun down there on this project. Stop it now and go ride that things will ya.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apeirce
That tank gives me wood, but for $500US, wow. The Clarke still seems like the best bet for the S.
Unfortunately the IMS and Clarke tanks are around $500AUD and the Acerbis is something like $690 so the Aqualine tank looks like pretty good value here in Oz.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhead
Looks like your having way too much fun down there on this project. Stop it now and go ride that things will ya.
G'Day Steelhead,

I'm getting there. The blinkers turned up today so hopefully I will be able to to get it on the trail this weekend. My mate has just bought an XR4 too so we should be right for some quality riding over christmas.
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