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DRZ 400S did great at 8600ft elevation with no jetting mods

Joined
Feb 28, 2017
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Fort Worth
I own a stock 2014 DRZ 400S. This past weekend I rode the NMBDR Section 1 route from Dell City to Cloudcroft and back. I'd read so many people on forums say that going from virtually sea level to that altitude would require a JD jet kit mod for it to run well.

Before I left I decided to call the Alamogordo Suzuki dealer and ask their opinion and they said she'd likely do fine. So I decided to take as is and see how it performed. To my great surprise I had zero issues and it ran great. Curious if other DRZ owners have had the same results?
 
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Jul 15, 2018
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US
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Trevor
Wow, that's awesome! I think its luck of the draw sometimes. I took my carbureted ninja 250r to monarch pass (11,000ft and 45°) and it struggled a lot on those steep climbs. It was jetted well for texas so somewhere around 1000ft elevation at 90°F. In the cold, high mountains it barely had enough power and I really felt it. That's my only experience taking a bike to high altitude.


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Joined
Feb 28, 2017
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119
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Fort Worth
Thanks for the feed back! That puts things into perspective. No doubt that added 2,500 feet in elevation would cause power loss without a jetting mod. I'll keep that in mind if I ever head to Colorado. Just glad I dont have to mess with it for any riding at 8,000-9,000 ft.
 
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Jul 15, 2018
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Trevor
Thanks for the feed back! That puts things into perspective. No doubt that added 2,500 feet in elevation would cause power loss without a jetting mod. I'll keep that in mind if I ever head to Colorado. Just glad I dont have to mess with it for any riding at 8,000-9,000 ft.
You might feel it less on a bigger engine that's got more torque. The ninja has all its power up high and I'm sure that requires a lot of air. The jump from 7500ft-11000 was definitely noticeable though so it's something to keep in mind for sure.
 
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Probably varies from one machine to the other but yeah, 10K seems to be the magic elevation... even when jetted for it you still just run low on O2. I quit rejetting the 530 years ago. The KLR however... benefits greatly.
 

thrill-billy85

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If you don't already have the JD jet kit, and stock jetting you're running lean at sea level. Probably only slightly, but still lean. Going up in elevation will only alleviate anemic jetting but only to an extent. Probably about 3-4000' you were spot on. Another thing that helps is your CV (constant velocity) carb. The engine is only gonna ask the carb for as much throttle as it can pull with vacuum. I can elaborate if need be, but that's it in a nutshell.
 
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Fort Worth
Thanks for that information billy85. Im getting more educated with these helpful tips. That makes sense that at around 3-4k the stock carb would be spot on. I dont currently have a JD jet kit and 3x3 air box mod.

If I did do those two mods, I understand that most (but not all) people think it changes the bikes performance for the better. However, have also heard that you can keep your stock carb and simply remove the side air filter cover at really high elevations allowing more air intake. I guess its personal preference. If the bike would truly run better, I may consider the mods. I have also heard that the jetting and air box mod eliminate the throttle surge that I experience with increased elevation.
 

thrill-billy85

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The surge you currently feel at altitude is a combination of overly rich mixture, and the CV carb. It's actually doing kinda what it's supposed to, per design.

That said, the JD kit, and 3x3 mod allow for both more air AND fuel. At altitude you need more air. I'd bet that if you had the 3x3 mod and current jetting, you'd be perfect at 4-6000' and barely discernable up to 10k. Past that, everything struggles. But the race off is it'd be lean at sea level-2500.... More lean, than it is now.

IF you did the JD kit, and 3x3, you'd be perfect 0-3000, but itd suffer more than current at altitude.

If you're happy with the power it has now, at home, leave everything alone and take solace knowing you can basically go anywhere. Watch it at high altitude when it's sitting there idling. The header will get red hot.

My buddy's dad has a BONE STOCK drz with well over 60,000 miles, and it hasn't exactly lived an easy life. I THINK he may have had the cam chain done at 20k per my recommendation, and a MCCT, but those are all preventive steps.
 
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Kingwood
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Billy
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I had a DRZ400S with JD kit/airbox mod/Yoshimira pipe jetted for sea level and made it to the top of Pikes Peak. I wasn’t sure if it would when I started up, but it made it. Pretty sluggish at the top and sluggish cranking over when I got ready to come back down. I was impressed.
 

thrill-billy85

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Hey, appreciate the link BornAgain and thanks for the additional information Billy85! That product looks intriguing. Im surprised its not mentioned more. Ive never heard it used but will read up more on it.
 

thrill-billy85

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Mainly cause they won't work on a lot of carbs, and (usually) require drilling a hole in the mouth of the carb.
 

thrill-billy85

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Lectron carbs respond well to them, but they're externally adjustable out of the gate, anyways.

Y'all outta check out lectrons. They're made in San Antonio, and they'll dial it in for you at their shop.
 
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Lectron carbs respond well to them, but they're externally adjustable out of the gate, anyways.

Y'all outta check out lectrons. They're made in San Antonio, and they'll dial it in for you at their shop.
What he said^. I'll have one of their reps out at my place riding dirtbikes sunday. I've ridden a stock motor yz250 and one with a lectron and I will say it makes a very noticable difference in power delivery
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
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2,651
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East Texas
I own a stock 2014 DRZ 400S. This past weekend I rode the NMBDR Section 1 route from Dell City to Cloudcroft and back. I'd read so many people on forums say that going from virtually sea level to that altitude would require a JD jet kit mod for it to run well.

Before I left I decided to call the Alamogordo Suzuki dealer and ask their opinion and they said she'd likely do fine. So I decided to take as is and see how it performed. To my great surprise I had zero issues and it ran great. Curious if other DRZ owners have had the same results?
Glad you had a good trip. I started riding CO in '81 on a bone stock Honda XR-L 185. Since then have used two XL600s, one XR600, NX650, three XR400s. Only slight changes to the XR4s, all the others stock OEM jetting. Never an issue. I think this jetting deal is highly overdone by most and usually a waste of time. Just my experience.
 
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