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Old 04-14-2012, 05:14 AM   #46
LadyCruiser
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Good luck!!
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:22 AM   #47
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Listened to the radio interview via the blog. Nice work getting the coverage.

Hope the last minute planning is going well and good luck for the trip. I'll be following it...

James
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #48
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Temporary stall...

We've hit a slight issue which is likely to cost us a few days on the departure date. We managed to get hold of some kick start kicks from Suzuki but whilst fitting managed to screw up the clutch basket. In hindsight it was a school boy error but we attempted to use the lugs on the basket to keep the it positioned whilst we tightened the main clutch bolt.

.... inevitably, one of them snapped. We're sourcing a new basket as I type and will hopefully only cost us a couple of days at max but it doesn't seem to be a part too well stocked here in the UK.



I'm gutted!!
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:41 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by UK Jimbo View Post
Listened to the radio interview via the blog. Nice work getting the coverage.

Hope the last minute planning is going well and good luck for the trip. I'll be following it...

James
:-) Thanks for following.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:38 AM   #50
Adv Grifter
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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!
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:00 PM   #51
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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: http://mr-cob.smugmug.com/gallery/136763

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.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:22 PM   #52
Adv Grifter
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Sounds good! Best of luck on your soon to be launch!

If your DRZ's are like my DR650, then the bike will bump start and run even with a dead battery. (be good to know this one way or the other) But I get your point, bumping starting in soft dirt or sand is a PITA. Also, can't recall on DRZ, but the DR650 headlight does NOT cut out when ignition switch is pushed like on some bikes. I know in UK many bikes have headlight ON/OFF switch. I would get in the habit of always shutting off headlight before cranking. Over long run will help battery life. I put a switch on my bike for just this reason.

Cheers!

Adv Grifter screwed with this post 04-14-2012 at 08:52 PM
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:36 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Also, can't recall on DRZ, but the DR650 headlight does NOT cut out when ignition switch is pushed like on some bikes. I know in UK many bikes have headlight ON/OFF switch. I would get in the habit of always shutting off headlight before cranking. Over long run will help battery life. I put a switch on my bike for just this reason.

Cheers!
+1 on installing a headlight ON/OFF switch. Not only a good thing when starting the bike.....but good when you're running electric vests, grips, gps, etc. Can't speak to the charging system on the DRZ, but on my DR650, there is not a lot of excess charging capacity. I suspect the DRZ is the same. So, if you're in a situation when it's cold, and you're running all the electrics....simply shut-off the headlight, and you won't run your battery dry. Obviously, you're much less visible to oncoming traffic....but being chilled to the bone is dangerous too!!

Really looking forward to your trip report, and best wishes on your journey
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:04 PM   #54
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To bad your not in the USA, as clutch baskets are a dime a dozen used on ebay. I've had difficulty using the kick starter when cold, but wanted it anyway as an emergency back up. Head light cutoff is easy and a worthy mod in conserving power. I would be leary of using too much electric gadgets on the DRZ, it's only 200 watts at best. If your running extra electrics you really need a way to monitor the voltage. Here's a handy little idiot light.

Here's an all things DRZ for a long list of mods.


This maybe too late for you, but watch the DRZ counter shaft for leaks. It is well documented on Thumper Talk, do a search, if it starts leaking it could be a warning that the tranny is going bad. I heartily recommend taking a counter shaft seal, spacer and O-ring, it's a 30 mm socket to remove the CS nut. PLus you better have a steel rear sprocket and not alloy.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:54 PM   #55
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Yeah that dash is scary.............About the cancer death rates being lower? Well, it aint about life style. Its all about lower reporting rates and lower life expectancy. Many cancers appear later in life. People in those countries dont usually see 70 to 90 yrs old which is when most of the reported cancers occur.
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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.

ALL BALLS would not have been my 1st choice for bearings. Yes, they are very inexpensive. Now why is that? 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!

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)

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? )

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.


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?

Bon Chance!
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:40 AM   #56
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Very cool!

That seat is near identical to mine. I also ride a DRZ400s and I have five discs missing in my lower back. With the stock seat I was in excruciating pain after 50-75 miles.

I snagged a used Russel Day Long seat on ebay with the same wing design. I have regularly done 300-400 miles in a day with no issue now. I feel that general seat design is a MUST for DRZs.

I will continue to follow your progress!
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:46 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteFoulkes View Post
We've hit a slight issue which is likely to cost us a few days on the departure date. We managed to get hold of some kick start kicks from Suzuki but whilst fitting managed to screw up the clutch basket. In hindsight it was a school boy error but we attempted to use the lugs on the basket to keep the it positioned whilst we tightened the main clutch bolt.

.... inevitably, one of them snapped. We're sourcing a new basket as I type and will hopefully only cost us a couple of days at max but it doesn't seem to be a part too well stocked here in the UK.



I'm gutted!!
Thought I was the only clown that done that...
RM125Z in my case...
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:00 AM   #58
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Good Luck!

THIS IS HAPPENING! Good luck guys!
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:26 PM   #59
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Nice choice of bikes, you're definitely prepared to take the roads - no, tracks less travelled.

I'm in for sure, have a good start to your trip of a lifetime!
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:52 PM   #60
One Less Harley
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all balls update- 10,000 miles rear wheel bearing on the caliper side shows wear and is a little gritty, seal is shot. BTW- best to use steel sleeved axle spacers. The AL ones don't last long.
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