THE LAZY BOY VS. TECATE– MAY 7
Racing the world’s best trailbike
Little known fact: Suzuki DRZs actually are the easiest starting four-strokes even when they don?t have the electric start option.
Better known fact: Who cares?
The truth is that the button makes life better. Why fight it? Understanding the fundamental concept that easier is better, we took the next logical step. What if we were to make the DRZ even easier to ride? What if we made it an Autozuki? Last month we tried a Husaberg with a Rev-Loc centrifugal clutch. We loved it. The clutch engagement was smoother and more precise than most riders could accomplish with their own hand. We immediately ordered a Rev-Loc for our very own DRZ for more extensive testing.
First things first. The Tecate start is a dead-engine, straddle the front wheel procedure. Usually it?s a demonstration of sheer klutzhood as riders try to dance around the bike, start it and go. With the Lazy Boy the biggest challenge is not to get run over as the bike goes by. The start was definitely cheating.
The rest of the bike was perfect for Tecate. DRZs are powerful bikes, especially once you have a pipe and all the jetting sorted out. The two biggest problems are the soft suspension?Stroker installed Progressive fork springs to handle that?and the weight. We didn?t do anything about that, but luckily there were no steep downhills where the mass could take over. The race went well, despite an early learning curve. Jimmy Lewis won with enough time to drink a beer at the last check. Tim Morton was second and Ron was third on the Lazy Boy. Here are the two important parts: the bike was never stalled and Ron?s arms never pumped up.
When you stay on the bike and keep the engine running, steep hills are no problem. Engine braking is normal, for the most part. The clutch disengages at such low rpm that it?s no factor. The only way to get it to freewheel downhill is to push the bike off the top without ever blipping the throttle. The first time you give it a little gas, the clutch stays engaged.
We took everything apart after the first few rides and the clutch plates looked like brand new. The Rev-Loc actually clamps the plates with much more force than normal springs, so plate life should actually be extended. The ball-ramp device looked new, too. The only real problem was that you have to remove about a zillion screws to take everything apart, and those screws can strip out. Get extras.
We have dozens of bikes in the Dirt Bike garage. Right now the DRZ is the clear favorite for any given trail ride. We never designed it to be a racer, but the fact that it can be raced is awesome. It?s just that it?s so much more fun to be lazy.