Choosing the perfect bike for a trip like this is a daunting task….that is because there is no “perfect” bike. Of course I read thousands of reviews and changed my mind more than once but ultimately settled on something that met 3 criteria:
1. Perform Offroad. This is, afterall, an adventure. Traveling into the unknown is the antithesis of predictability and THAT is what we are after.
2. Reliable. Prior to this trip I have owned a DRZ400SM for about 2 years and ran the snot out of it….never missed a beat. For a guy that has blown numerous engines this is quite a feat. I know the KLR and XR and DR are right there if not even more reliable but I am comfortable with the DRZ as being a reliable performer.
3. Road Side Maintenance. I needed something that I (or any average shop mechanic) could work on. Whether I am in the big city or on the side of a road, I wanted to be able to quickly make repairs/fixes. I have read some good things about EFI but I have struggled with my Husqvarna Supermoto and am still leary of advanced electronics on the bike.
I have a lot of other reasons for choosing a DRZ over other models and if you want more information don’t hesitate to ask…..I enjoy sharing the knowledge!
So withouth further adieu……I give you a pampered 2001 DRZ400S that I located on 9/15/12 with a whopping 600 miles.
So I’ve basically been writing this blog as if Alex and I on are on the same page and doing the same things. This is NOT the case. Alex has yet to get any vaccinations, he has yet to make copies of any paperwork, and he has certainly not prepped the bike….I guess I am lucky that he has a bike and passport at all. Hell, he just got his motorcycle endorsement about 2 weeks ago (just before X-mas)!
So Alex shows up at my place on Saturday (10 days before we depart) with a couple boxes of accessories and we go to work. Alex is funny to work with….he has an attitude that I find very difficult to embrace but am also jealous of at times. Nothing wrong with it, just different for me. Basically he doesn’t give a shit. There is no possible way to stress this guy out. This dude is totally prepared to do this ride the poncho and flip flop way.
So we get to working on the bike, if something doesn’t fit right you either hit it with a hammer or just say fuck it and toss back in the box. If a bolt is missing, grab some duct tape (or zip ties). Alex’s bike is a 2005 DRZ400S with about 5,000 miles on it. I believe the only aftermarket part on the bike was a plastic rear rack (which Alex managed to crack/break) and a Corbin seat (which Alex managed to tear) during our equipment install day. So we basically took a bone stock DRZ400, spent a few hundred bucks and 3 hours of work and now it’s ready for the trip of a lifetime.
This is me after pulling the carb and throwing in a JD jet kit: