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Race Tech visit for suspension upgrade

After the long ride to California to the LA area, I was very happy to be able to pull my bike to the main office of Race Tech on time for my scheduled appointment.  I arrived at 9am and met Erick, the salesman who I was talking to over email.  We went over various suspension options and weighed all my gear and plugged the information into their spring calculator on their website.  Erick then took the info over to techs and reviewed the settings and came up with a new suspension configuration for the DRZ.

Why alter the suspension?

Most bikes are designed for riding with either one or two people and not for touring.  This is particularly true for the 400cc Suzuki DRZ.  I did the first couple of thousand miles with the stock suspension unmodified.  The added weight of me plus my gear overloaded the suspension.  Riding straight down a highway, I didn’t notice that I had a suspension issue.  The problem comes when you’re doing anything else such as braking, riding uneven roads, offroad, and even potholes.  Basically the suspension would bottom out during any radical change in movement.  This was particularly a problem during braking with a full tank (7.3 gallons!).

I knew ahead of time with the added weight that I would need to change the springs inside the shocks to support my added weight, but the guys at Race Tech also recommended to change the valves in the shock to change the dampening rate.

The front and rear springs were resprung to a stiffer spring and the valve was also changed to alter how the spring rebounds.

Erick from Sales (and former racer) getting his hands dirty while removing my rear shock

Race Tech let me help (or rather, watch) them do the work.

Rear shock



The Race Tech is a truly professional shop / office / warehouse located just outside of LA in Corona, CA.  They did an excellent job with the suspension upgrade as well as even fixing my spacers that were too big for my luggage mounts.  It no longer takes me 25 minutes to mount up my seat!

Check out this awesome Police Edition KTM:

Kickass Cop Bike

Kickass Cop Bike with the Trail Tech X2 headlight

My first test drive of the new feeling bike was quite a surprise.  I am no longer able to put both feet on the ground– now I’m the points of my toes like I was before I started loading the bike with gear.  The highway ride is quite a bit more stiff but with the most immediate effect in braking.  I’m now able to ride with a full tank and fully loaded bike without having tremendous front-end dive when using the front brake.

I still haven’t taken her off-road yet, but I’m sure that’ll happen soon enough.


  1. Saul Goode says:

    How much does everything weigh? Have you set a DRZ-400 record?

  2. daveg says:

    Hehehe, like the name. I have about 70 lbs of gear plus my fat ass.

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