do-it-yourself DRZ400/klx400 motard INFO pack
frequently asked questions
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PLEASE NOte: we no longer supply the laser cut parts!!!
The rise of cheap motard wheel sets and the increasing lack of Honda CBR wheels has led to virtually no orders for these laser cut parts, so unfortunately we no longer supply them.
However, you can right click and save the dxf file here to have your own disc adapter plate laser cut from 4mm mild steel plate if you take this plate to a laser cutting service. If you need the dxf file for the caliper adapter plate for the Suzuki or Yamaha conversions, right click and save the dxf file here and have this cut from 6mm mild steel plate.
The good news? If you use the three-spoked CBR250R wheels and the 310mm front disc these come fitted with, you won't need the disc adapter, but only the caliper adapter plate and these are quite easy to make if a laser cutter is going to charge you a lot.
See our DRZ400 wheel chart to decide on which info pack below suits you best:
Free download of the DRZ400 three-spoked CBR250R parts kit info here.
Free download of the DRZ400 six-spoked CBR250RR parts kit info here.
You must read and agree to our legal disclaimer here before any download of info packs or purchase of laser-cut parts.
are the recommended wheels easy to find, and cheap?
In most countries, yes. The info packs use either:
- three-spoked wheels, Honda CBR250R (MC19)
- six-spoked wheels, Honda CBR250RR (MC22)
- five-spoked wheels, Honda VTR250 (MC33) 1998-2010 *not the earlier 3-spoked ones!
Don't email us about the new CBR250R recently released by Honda, it's a totally different bike.
These bikes were 'grey imports' around the world. They are extremely common at bike wreckers in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Less so in Europe and the United Kingdom, and scarce in the USA. Don't confuse the 2012+ CBR250R with the models above, it definitely has different wheels and our laser-cut parts will not suit.
If you are in the USA, it might pay to focus on the six-spoked wheels. You can actually use the six-spoked 16 inch front wheel from the CBR600RR and CBR900RR; these wheels are very common and cheap in the USA and worldwide (but will need a higher profile tyre as per the info pack to get the correct rolling diameter). Please note you do need to loosen your disc bolts to allow fitting of the caliper with a 310mm disc due to the smaller diameter 16" wheel - this adds a few minutes to your change over time - or just opt for your standard disc instead.
If opting for the three-spoked wheels, you can also use the 17 inch Honda VTR1000 front wheel (1997-2006 SC36/H687) which has the wider 3.5 inch rim to allow use of a 120 width tyre if desired.
front disc options and disc adapter choice
If you use the three-spoked CBR250R wheels, you can use the 310mm front disc on the Honda wheels. All you will need to do is drill out the 6mm holes on the disc adapter plate to 8mm so you can bolt it on to the Honda wheel (we keep these to 6mm to suit the six-spoked wheels and keep costs down by staying with one type of adapter plate). Read more about the disc adapter plate here. This disc adapter plate will also allow using the stock DRZ400 front disc if wanted.
If using the six-spoked CBR250RR wheels, by default we mail you the same disc adapter plate as above. This will allow you to either bolt your standard DRZ front disc on, or the 310mm disc from a DRZ400SM (available cheaply on Ebay).
why do you only use honda cast wheels?
Unlike most cast wheels, the rear hub is quite narrow despite the cush drive, so does not need expensive machining and are much lighter than most cast wheels. The axle and disc sizes are much easier to adapt to most bikes too, and there are plenty of cheap aftermarkets parts for these Honda wheels because the CBR250 models were so popular. The CBR models are very popular track racers, so these wheels are designed for 45 horsepower output and a bike weight of 132kg - great for the typical DRZ400 motard.
If you decide to use other wheels anyway, our general info pack may be of use.
is there much work involved to motard my bike?
Unlike most cast wheel adaptations, no. There is no messy expensive machining of the rear hub which is normally needed on the rear hubs. Here's all you need to do:
- buy the specified wheels, rear axle, snail cams & discs from wreckers or Ebay etc
- buy the specified high tensile bolts and nuts for the supplied caliper adapter plate
- get the spacers and shims machined as per supplied diagrams
- get an electronic speedo if for road use.
Three-spoked wheels use the Honda discs front and rear, or you can bolt your stock front disc to the supplied disc adapter. The five-spoked and six-spoked wheels use the Honda rear disc, but the front hub is wider so use the disc adapter to bolt a 310mm DRZ400SM on and use our supplied caliper adapter plate, or just use your stock DRZ 250mm disc.
what buyer protection do i have? and should i get postage insurance?
We are happy to accept Paypal payments which protect you as the purchaser. The only other payment option is by direct bank transfer (within Australia). You can use your credit card to pay via Paypal. Aust Post is very reliable but select insurance if wanted as no responsibility taken for loss in the post.
As of 2014, in seven years we've only had one item reported as never arriving within Australia, and two cases overseas - one in the UK and one in the USA.
how soon will i get the parts?
We will normally email the disc adapter and caliper adapter plate within 24 hours of payment being received. If I'm working out west, add another day as I rely on mates of mine to post parts for me. These are usually sent separately to reduce postage costs and sometimes arrive a day or two apart.
do i need to modify my bike?
The chain guard bolts on the DRZ need to be ground down a bit to allow fitting, you would need to do this for any set of motard wheels due to the extra rear tyre width. If fitting the six-spoked wheels on the DRZ400 you'll need to file a few mm off the alloy tabs on your fork leg that hold the speedo drive in place - very easy to do and won't affect your speedo drive.
Please note: other than the factory Suzuki DRZ400SM wheels, no motard wheels will be set up to use your existing speedo drive, but will require an electronic speedo like the Trailtech (more info below). One possible advantage of the three-spoked wheels is that you can adapt the relevant speedo drive to work although it's fiddly and we'd still recommend the Trailtech. This mod is not possible with the six-spoked wheels, and you will definitely need the Trailtech.
how much will the conversion cost me in total?
This depends initially on how much you pay for the wheels, discs and rear axle at the wreckers. Expect to pay between AUD$400 to $800 - wreckers will often sell cheaply if they have too many sets so it's worth starting at the bigger wreckers first. The six-spoked wheels will generally be a bit more expensive than the three-spoked wheels.
We recommend using a Trailtech electronic speedo; these are around $90 to $155 depending on the model (check Ebay or buy direct from the Trailtech site here). If using the five- or six-spoked wheels then you can buy a new DRZ400SM 310mm front disc on Ebay for around $160 and use the disc adapter you can buy with the info pack, or save money and just use your stock DRZ front disc. If you machine your own spacers this should be all you have to spend on your complete kit.
do i need approval to use these on public roads?
Any vehicle modification is likely to be subject to the need for inspection and approval by the relevant government department in your country. It would be your responsibility to pursue this. Of course this would apply to any set of motard wheels you happened to buy, spoked wheels or cast wheels. Again, it would be your responsibility to check this out. Don't assume you will be able to sell the bike with these wheels on - keep your trail wheels for selling your bike registered. We've never seen anyone raise this as an issue in the motard forums so it would seem that motard wheels are legal in most countries, or the cops don't bother checking this particular vehicle modification.
will this work on a drz400sm factory motard model?
No one has done this to date, but we've included the info on how to do this on the last page of the DRZ400 info pack for the six-spoked CBR250RR wheels.
are you a business?
No. A group of us have been trail riding for years but family commitments meant very little time for this any more. Our fitter and turner mate adapted cast wheels for his DRZ and gradually did the same for the rest in our group. We've been flooded with enquiries everywhere we go, and eventually put this site together because we love motarding. It's not about profit; the cost of these info kits helps to maintain this site so we are just sharin' the lurv... I work in the mines out west but have mates who will ensure postage of parts when I'm out of town.
what gearing would you suggest? can i use the same sizes between my motard wheels and trail wheels?
The info pack looks into these issues. If you don't mind some compromise in your road/trail gearing you can use your existing chain.
what tyre sizes are used on these rims?
The standard rear tyres on the rear rim are 140/70-17 or 150/60-17 for all these Honda wheels. The 140/70-17 is cheaper, but not a common tyre, so moving up to the 150 range gives you a much wider choice of tyres.
The standard front tyre on the Honda 250 front rims is usually a 110/70-17. Riders who race the 250s find plenty of grip with this, and the Japanese 250 sports bikes are the same weight and have a much higher power output than the DR650SE, so this tyre is more than up to the task.
However, if you use the CBR250RR six-spoked wheels, you can opt for the 3.5 inch wide 16 inch CBR600RR or CBR900RR front wheel and use a 120/80-16 tyre for maximum rubber on the road. Many Fireblade riders sell these to swap over to the 17 inch front wheel for stability at high speed. The higher profile tyre brings the rolling diameter to around the same as a 7 inch wheel.
If using the three-spoked wheels, you can opt to use a Honda VTR1000 wheel which is a 3.5 inch rim and takes a 120 width tyre.
are the wheels properly centred? i've heard wheels can be deliberately off centre?
It is important that your front wheel is centred. We've experimented with putting them off centre and found that the handling did not change, but it makes sense to get it right! Having said that, the six-spoked CBR250RR front wheel is mounted about 1mm off centre due to some clearance issues, but it in no way affects the handling of the bike.
Because of the way steering geometry works, it is not crucial to centre the rear wheel because it is trailing the front. Deliberate off centring does occur in motard competition as the rear tyre often needs to be off centre so that the wider tyres they run don't rub against the chain. The degree of this offset can be quite pronounced as tyres as wide as 170 or more are squeezed into enduro bike swingarms! The rear wheels in our kits are typically 4 to 6mm off centre and there will not be any chain rub with the 150 tyre you can fit to these rims. We haven't tried a 160 tyre but the offset might allow for it, and you would need to remove your chain guard permanently to allow tyres around this width. A 160 would be getting very close to the swingarm too. In our opinion you simply don't need a tyre wider than 150 unless you are an extremely competent motard racer, in which case get a quality pair of spoked wheels.
do you have advice on performance mods?
No, other than getting the E model derestricted with the 3x3 mods. You can spend a fortune on the DRZ400 to get extra performance so generally we just advise doing the 3x3 mods which will give you about a 10% power increase and leaving it at that.
If you haven't bought your DRZ400 yet, then we would highly recommend buying the DRZ400E model if you want performance. The stock DRZ400E puts out 10% more power than the S or SM model due to higher compression, different cam, wider header pipe, bigger carbie and less restrictive exhaust. It's usually cheaper to just get the DRZ400E model then motard it, not the other way around.
In our experience, anything you spend after that only gives you small increases in power and will always be limited by the basic design of the entire engine to not be a screamer. And while a loud pipe will make you think you are going faster, you'll just be annoying the general public.
As mentioned, no responsibility is taken for the information, parts or wheel kits. All efforts are taken to describe items accurately, but no responsibility can be taken for any injury or damage arising from using this information. It is your responsibility to ensure your wheels are thoroughly checked by a mechanic or relevant engineer for safe use, and undergo any approvals needed by law for use on public roads. You must read the disclaimer here before purchasing any item or using the information on this website.
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