Bike prep

bike ready for some work

Next weekend I am planning on going down to Conneticut and entering the Hoot Owl 100 turkey run.  This is not a race but is a non-competitive trail ride that follows a lot of the same trails they use for enduro races.  It is 100+ miles of 40% back roads and 60% trails.  This will be probably the most trail riding I have ever done in a single day so should be a good workout for me.  So, I decided to finally do some overdue maintenance and upgrades on the DRZ.

After my trail ride a couple weeks ago I decided that I really needed to lower the gearing.  The bike came with a 15 tooth front and 44 tooth rear sprocket.  I am switching it to a 13/47 which should give me much better slow speed control on the technical trails.  It will reduce the top end speed but that isn’t much of a concern right now.  Also I have never really dug into the bike to really check things over like you really should always do on a used bike.

I quickly had the bike stripped down so I could access everything.

When I pulled the front sprocket I was a little shocked to see the condition.

old front sprocket

Notice how not only are most of the teeth really worn but 3 of the teeth are essentially gone!  The bike is long overdue for this to be replaced even if I wasn’t changing the gearing.  So the bike will have this replaced as well as the rear sprocket and of course a new chain.

Also I added some radiator guards:

radiator guards

I also replaced the throttle cable which had been sticking a bit and unmounted the old tires and cleaned up the wheels a bit and installed a fresh spark plug.  That was all I got done on Sunday but I have a few things left on the list to do:

  • wire up a cigarette lighter plug to power my GPS
  • install rim locks in the wheels
  • new tires
  • replace the clutch+brake levers
  • new front brake pads
  • cut the new chain to length and install it

Hopefully that should about do it and I should be all set for next weekend.


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