DRZ Frame and parts swap

Over the years and 34.000 miles we have learned a lot about the Suzuki DRZ. On our old DRZ’s we have done a lot of small things and some big.
Now that we know the model there is a lot of things we wanted to fix or change before going on our big adventure.
We have made this list of all the things that we have done to the bikes and why. We hope this can help other who have chosen this bike for their adventure, daily commute or just for fun.

If you have any questions just ask in the comment form down below. 

Change tires

We had an extra set of tires so we put those on Camilla’s bike. When we can we get Dunlop 606 tires. We really like those even though the front tire tend to get really “fun” to ride when they are almost worn out.

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Install OEM muffler on Esbens bike.

The one bike we had an aftermarket exhaust and it was really loud.  So we installed one from one of the old bikes. Its just not fun riding behind a LOUD pipe for weeks. 

Swap all plastics from old to new (fuel tank included)

We wanted our new bikes to look older and we might as well make the old bikes more pretty before selling them. So we moved all the plastic fairing from the old to new. Including the 4 gallon fuel tanks

Yes this is the old bikes.. 34.000 miles and look like new!

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Install new tubes (Michelin Ultra Heavy Duty 4mm tubes 18” and 21”)

We have always been using these extra extra thick tubes and have in 2×34.000 miles only had one flat tire. And to be fair, that was a big old rusty nail going all the way through the tire and tube.
We also make sure no dirt or water will enter the rim a the valve stem. If it does the valve stem will rust pretty quick.

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Add longer shifter on Esben’s bike

I REALLY don’t like the stock shifter on the DRZ. I think the OEM shifter on the bike is just way to small but then its a good thing you can buy one that are 1 inch longer. 

I once lost my shifter far away from civilization in Alaska and don’t want to try that again. So I put safety wire on just to make sure.

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Switch kickstand from old to new bike.
Since Camilla’s bike are lowered almost 2 inches the kickstand is going to be too long and the bike would fall over. So we had the kickstand on the old bike made shorter. This time we just took the old one and put on the new bike.

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Add grease in svingarm pivot point and suspension

From the factory they don’t really use a lot of grease in the bearings so its a good idea to take the svingarm apart and grease up all the bearings.

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Switch Kouba lowering link on Camilla’s DRZ

This is how we lowered Camilla’s bike. In the rear we change out the OEM svingarm links with some that are a bit longer. A longer link, lowers the bike.

In the front we just let the forks slide up a little in the triple clamps. In the rear Camilla’s bike is lowered about 1,5 inches and 2 inches in the front.

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Adjust front and rear suspension (height, Sag and Rebound)
Again suspension adjustment in not what I am best at so again our Friend Douglas helped out.
But in general we just tightened up the rear spring. On mine (Esben’s bike) we screwed the big nut all the way down and on Camilla’s we screwed it down almost all the way.
We would like some harder springs but they are pretty expensive.
Douglas made a few adjustments to the dampening and rebound. Made both much slower.


Ad side case protection on both bikes (Thumpertalk case savers)
The sides of the engine on the DRZ are very thin and brittle. So what you can do is get a metal cover for the part over the clutch and stator.

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Add aluminum bashplate.

Also a aluminum bashplate is a good idea. We are using the ones from our old bikes and they have saved our bikes many times.

The bashplates was so messed up that I had to straighten out with a big hammer to make them fit on the new bikes.

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Secure tank rubber fittings underneath fuel tank

Underneath the fuel tank there is 2 little rubber things that hold the fuel tank in place. These are just fitted on loosely and fall of pretty much every time you take of the tank. We drilled small holes and secured them with safetywire.

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Install custom fuel tank bracket from old bikes

The large fuel tanks are meant to be bolted on to the radiator but we don’t really like that. So we had a custom bracket made that secures the fuel tank to the frame instead of the radiator.

We think it works really well and protects the radiators much better.

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Change OEM petcock to Yamaha Raptor petcock

The old petcocks were leaking all over the place to instead of installing new gaskets we got new petcocks from a Yamaha Raptor. These a not vacuum controlled but just simple on/off/reserve.
Also remember to block the vacuum hose.

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Add fuel filter

There is a small fuel filter inside the fuel tank but we like to have an extra one added between the petcock and the carburetor.

We think its more fun to change a filter than having to clean the carburetor.

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Install rear fender from old to new bike.

My new bike had a fancy rear fender and license plate holder. I looked good but we just want the large ugly OEM mud guards. So we used the rear fender from the old bike.

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Add chain lube system (Loobman chain loob )

You can get several kinds of chain loob systems. But the Loobman chain oiler is the cheapest and works really well. Just push the little nob and the chain will get a little oil.
What we do is to loop the chain often. It makes a mess but cleans the chain and make it last many more miles.

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Secure license plate

I have lost a license plate before and its trouble to get a new one when your far away from home. So we have our license plates secured with 4 bolts and locknuts.

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Switch handlebars from old to new (Renthal double wall 1 1/8 )

The OEM handlebars are soft like butter and will bend the first time you crash. That’s what happened for us so we got some really nice Renthal handlebars. These are pretty indestructible. We have crashed soooo many times but never ended up with bend handlebars.

Install ROX Risers

To have a better position on the bikes we have added ROX risers. They rise the handlebar and they can pivot back and forth. On Camilla’s bike they are also necessary to be able to move forks up.

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Install new Grips

The old grips was really really worn so we got new ones. We like the full pattern in the hardest rubber blend we can get. We put grip glue underneath and added safetywire too.

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Switch or ad new barkbusters

My barkbusters are not pretty but they still work so we just moved them from the old bike to the new.
Camilla’s the really really worn so we got a new set from Cycra.

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Move luggage racks from old to new

We are using most of our our luggage so we took the old luggage racks from the old bikes and moved to the new bikes.  

Remove upper chain roller on Camilla’s bike

Since Camilla’s bike is lowered the chain rubs on the chain roller a lot. It will wear out very quick so we just took it of now. It protects the coolant reservoir but we are removing that anyways.

Remove fuel vapor system

The DRZ’s we got is California models so they have strange vent tubes that are just not needed. So we ripped them of.

Make fuel tank vent tube.

I have a tank bag on mine and the fuel tank vent tube tend to bend underneath. I added a small 90 degree fitting so the tube does not have to bend.

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Add locktide on as many bolts/nuts as possible
Among these:
Bolts under front fender, luggage racks, bash plate All bolts on handlebar (mirrors, brake/clutch/brakes ect.) Rear mudguard,Signal lights
and lots of other little things.

Remove OEM Cooler fluid reservoir and do the turkey baster mod


This is really easy to do. Just remove the original cooler fluid reservoir.

Buy a turkey baster where you can fit the tube from the radiator on the bottom end. The overflow tube goes on the top end.

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Add Front bicycle racks.

We wanted somewhere to add just a little light luggage. We found two cheap bicycle racks online and mounted them over the headlight. We added some aluminum plated under  the headlight too to strengthen the plastic.

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Install cargo nets on the front of each aluminum pannier.

We wanted a place with easy access where we can have 2 motorcycle covers to use when parking in cities. So I added some ´small loops and ziptied a small cargo net on.

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