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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not the be all-end all of performance, but I found these few things to be a great improvement in the bike for a small investment in money. An MRD exhaust, big bore kit, cams, and FCR would be great, but that is a 2 grand investment.

First the JD jet kit, if you have a DRZ you probably already know about this but I had to include it because it really makes an improvement over the stock lean tune. JD Jet Kit or JD Jet Kit
Be sure to get an extended idle mix screw while you are ordering. It will save you some trouble doing minor adjustment Extended Mix Screw

Also the 3x3 mod, some may not know what this is. You are cutting a three inch square hole in the top of the airbox(under the seat). With the JD kit this is a nice little kick(Or at least makes the intake honk more noticeable. :) 3x3 mod video These guys cut the hole the hard way, but you get the idea.

Next is going to a 14T front sprocket. I found this to be a great improvement off the line and in top gear roll on. It moved the meat of the torque curve down a bit so I was in it when rolling 50mph. rather than needing a down shift to accelerate. I can still roll on at 65-70, but around town(Speeds below 55) it is a big improvement over the 15T. If you commute on the Highway this may not be the change for you, but it only takes about 15 minutes to swap, so give it a try. Sorry no link, but you can pick one up from the local moto shop or a dozen places on line.

Last, the game changer. Go tubeless. This is aimed at SM models as they have the right bead to hold a tubeless tire on the rim even when flat(The 400S front rim does not have the correct bead lip, it is a bad idea to convert that rim)
First, you get the ease of repairing a flat with a tubeless repair kit and C02 rather than removing the wheel and struggling to get the tire off to patch a tube. Second, the tire will run cooler because there is no longer the friction of the tube against tire.
The big reason, UNSPRUNG WEIGHT REDUCTION. I dropped one pound nine ounces from my rear wheel and one pound four ounces from the front(That is a lot of unsprung weight). This gives a small but noticeable improvement in acceleration. It gives a big improvement in bump response and turn in. The bike transitions so much quicker it has me looking for a gymkhana. It responds to rough pavement so quick I am going to have to redial my damping. Absolutely the best thing I have done to the bike.
This is a cheap mod, but it takes a couple of days to do it right. You have to take the tires off, you have to be clean and thorough, and you have to be patient and let stuff dry. If you cannot do these things, consider having someone like Woody's Wheels handle it. If you want to tackle it, look around on the web there are several threads on it(including here at SMJ). The method I followed is this one(This guy claims over 90K with no trouble) Tubeless conversion

If you have the money , an exhaust and carb are great, but consider all of these mods. I did the jet kit and 3x3 the first week I got my SM but only recently changed the gearing and went tubeless. I wish I had done it 10,000 miles ago.


JD jet kit $75(Extended screw $14)
3x3 mod FREE
Tubeless conversion $10
14T sprocket $25
 

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i'll agree with the improvements, but for the amount of money- $100-200 range, i'd say just run that much gas through it, with leathers on.
 

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For the money range in question, I wholeheartedly agree with the OP. My bike was jetted so lean when new it was actually dangerous. The 3x3 and JD jet kit should be a must for every DRZ.
 

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I can't understand gearing the bike even lower. I went to a 16t and couldn't be happier here in the Smoky mtns. Cruises waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better up around 60-65ish now. Even stock, it was wound out way too early for my taste. As for roll on..just downshift 1 gear. The only place I have to focus somewhat, is technical offroad, since 1st gear is a bit taller. Still very doable tho.

With the slightly higher gearing going across a tight curvy road like the dragon, no out-of-towner could touch it, regardless of what they were riding. So why gear it lower(?), is the point I guess. In the meantime, and on such a tight road, I don't stay in '4th and 5th gear only' to whole dang time. I can use almost the entire gearbox while using the very wide powerband. Much better imo.

Just my 2 cents is all. Carry on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Almost all of my riding is below 70mph, which the bike will still do with the lower gear. In traffic and urban riding the lower gearing is great, much punchier, better accel. If I cruised the highway, I would consider the 16T(I have heard that it is a very close fit on the SM) Either way, for the cost of a sprocket and the quick change time, it would be worth it to give either a try if you were curious. I would put my 15T back on if I were taking a trip.
 

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I can't understand gearing the bike even lower. I went to a 16t and couldn't be happier here in the Smoky mtns. Cruises waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better up around 60-65ish now. Even stock, it was wound out way too early for my taste. As for roll on..just downshift 1 gear. The only place I have to focus somewhat, is technical offroad, since 1st gear is a bit taller. Still very doable tho.

With the slightly higher gearing going across a tight curvy road like the dragon, no out-of-towner could touch it, regardless of what they were riding. So why gear it lower(?), is the point I guess. In the meantime, and on such a tight road, I don't stay in '4th and 5th gear only' to whole dang time. I can use almost the entire gearbox while using the very wide powerband. Much better imo.

Just my 2 cents is all. Carry on.
I still need to try the 16T on mine. Good to have you back around man.
 

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I still need to try the 16T on mine. Good to have you back around man.
Thanks. I hope to get out there some. I'm gonna be sumo only. And no more racing:D I'm too old and busted up.
 

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Thanks. I hope to get out there some. I'm gonna be sumo only. And no more racing:D I'm too old and busted up.
Nothing wrong with that buddy, I've slowed down a lot myself this past year also. Gimme a shout sometime after tax season, and we'll go cruise around and look at the scenery. I might be able to keep up with your cruising pace, maybe. :D
 

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Good luck, I get pissed off trying to fit a 15T in there.
A 15t is what it comes with, stock. It should never be a problem unless something is being done improperly.
A 16t isn't difficult either, as long you grind down the area that it contacts on the guard/guide with a Dremel.
 

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^^Huh, interesting. To be honest, the gearing is the one thing I haven't touched in almost 20,000 miles. I should have the added power over a stocker to pull a 16T, I just worry it will kill the 3rd gear clutch up wheelies.
 

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Use 2nd then shift. :)
 

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Yeah, but clutching up third on a girls bike really messes with the guys on the high dollar exotics. :D
 

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I can't understand gearing the bike even lower. I went to a 16t and couldn't be happier here in the Smoky mtns. Cruises waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better up around 60-65ish now. Even stock, it was wound out way too early for my taste. As for roll on..just downshift 1 gear. The only place I have to focus somewhat, is technical offroad, since 1st gear is a bit taller. Still very doable tho.

With the slightly higher gearing going across a tight curvy road like the dragon, no out-of-towner could touch it, regardless of what they were riding. So why gear it lower(?), is the point I guess. In the meantime, and on such a tight road, I don't stay in '4th and 5th gear only' to whole dang time. I can use almost the entire gearbox while using the very wide powerband. Much better imo.

Just my 2 cents is all. Carry on.

16 is UP one tooth right?

I was MAYBE considering trying it (since its so cheap) as an experiment to a question I had that no one seems to have an answer to. (add 5-6whp, I am betting going up a tooth keeps the punch to at least stock level, with much better 65mph cruising)
 

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Great Thread!

I've done a lot of cheap (and free) mods that may or may not make a difference, except psycologically.

I gutted the stock exhaust, and this year I'm going to cut it down too to shave some more weight.

Wrapped the header, and put reflective heat shield on the bottom of the tank. Cooler gas adds HP (I read).

Cut the passenger peg/exhaust mount to shave weight. This year I'll add some aluminum BMX freestyle pegs.

Turned my clutch perch/mirror attachment upside down and mounted a "Third Eye" bicycle mirror. Toss those stock mirrors, they weigh 49 pounds! (exaggeration)

I went up 3 teeth in the rear, (taller). Much easier to swap sprockets if I want to go back, and got a good price on a lighter rear at Sprocket Specialists, (more weight savings).

Going to add a Trail tech X2. Not really a cheap mod, but will make it much easier to switch out for track days. Besides, I don't like the stock light, (and it's heavy).

Also plan to do the tubless mod.

And much much more, but you get the idea.
 

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Great Thread!

I've done a lot of cheap (and free) mods that may or may not make a difference, except psycologically.

I gutted the stock exhaust, and this year I'm going to cut it down too to shave some more weight.

Wrapped the header, and put reflective heat shield on the bottom of the tank. Cooler gas adds HP (I read).

Cut the passenger peg/exhaust mount to shave weight. This year I'll add some aluminum BMX freestyle pegs.

Turned my clutch perch/mirror attachment upside down and mounted a "Third Eye" bicycle mirror. Toss those stock mirrors, they weigh 49 pounds! (exaggeration)

I went up 3 teeth in the rear, (taller). Much easier to swap sprockets if I want to go back, and got a good price on a lighter rear at Sprocket Specialists, (more weight savings).

Going to add a Trail tech X2. Not really a cheap mod, but will make it much easier to switch out for track days. Besides, I don't like the stock light, (and it's heavy).

Also plan to do the tubless mod.

And much much more, but you get the idea.


the expense of trying to lighten a drz is pointless. drain the tanks on two drz's. fill one to the top, and the other with a 1/2 cup of gas. ride both and see how different it feels. nothing. that's the highest point on your bike.

1 gallon gas = 6 lbs


lithium batteries, cutting off 4 ounces of subframe, deleting a radiator, all silly.
 

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the expense of trying to lighten a drz is pointless. drain the tanks on two drz's. fill one to the top, and the other with a 1/2 cup of gas. ride both and see how different it feels. nothing. that's the highest point on your bike.

1 gallon gas = 6 lbs


lithium batteries, cutting off 4 ounces of subframe, deleting a radiator, all silly.
Like I said, it's mostly psycological :lol:

Who deleted their radiator?

And who said my mods were expensive?
 

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Like I said, it's mostly psycological :lol:

Who deleted their radiator?

And who said my mods were expensive?
not expensive, expense, as in, it costs $$$ to replace good working parts with lighter versions of similar parts.

titanium bolts, lithium batteries, super light wheels, etc
 
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