The DRZ Chronicles

The Beginner's guide to the Suzuki DRZ-400




As with any offroad bike proper armor is mandatory for riding off pavement. 

First and foremost: purchase a skid plate.  I would recommend you purchase one from Tonn’s Racing as he made by far the best plate available for the DRZ, however rumor has it that he recently went out of business.  This is a major calamity as Tonn’s ¼” plate was extremely tough and bolted to the stock mounting points. In its absence, the White Brother’s skid plate (Part #: 31-939X available at your local dealer) would be my recommendation as it doesn’t rely on the annoying frame clamps as a method of attachment.

The stock magnesium cases on a DRZ are thin and can crack in a tip over. Adding case guards such as those from Derbi Cycles will also aid in protecting your bike in a crash.

The wide radiators on a DRZ, while good for cooling, are also vulnerable to damage.  Adding radiator guards such as these from Unabiker will help protect them from both front and side impact damage, although they do restrict cooling slightly.

Handguards are another necessity.  My personal favorites are theTusk Guards from Rockymountain ATV.   I’ve utilized these excellent guards on four of my bikes, and can say that they are extremely durable and provide excellent protection.  Several of my friends have thoroughly crash tested the guards as well, to which they have stood up superbly.  Ordering the guards with the spoilers is an added bonus as the spoilers can be replaced for $10 a pair - once they are thoroughly rashed, they can be made to look as good as new.  Installation can be tricky, but the secret is to install the guard with all of the bolts loose and then gradually tighten them.

Frame guards are an optional modification.  While not needed for to keep the bike running, they do prevent your boots from wearing the paint off the frame.  I employed both the Works connection and Light Speed carbon fiber guards on my bike, but would not recommend either as the Works connection guards gave poor protection to the rear master cylinder and the Light Speed guards wore the finish off of the subframe it was supposed to protect.  If anything, I would recommend purchasing some grip tape from a skateboard shop and applying it to your frame.


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