Trip Prep 1: DRZ first set of mods, Visa, etc.

Update over the last two weeks:

I got my Russian Visa!  I’m thrilled.  I got it through and those guys were great.  I also got my CA motorcycle license, passed the Popsicle test on my first try and did not have to take the weekend course to get the license.

I’m applying for a border permit for some backpacking in the Altai region and have a Russian friend helping me on that.

Have major bike mods done 4 smaller remain.

My stock DRZ on is in the photo on the left and the modified DRZ on the right.  I’m doing all the mods myself as I figure I need to be able to work on the bike in the coming months and this is a good way to familiarize myself with the mechanics of the bike.

The ones you can see in the photos are the new 4 gallon IMS gas tank, the Squadron Pro Headlight, and the Cycra hand guards.  Right now its still looks ‘motard’ like, but that’s going to change a lot here in the next day or so.

I booked my flight to Morroco on Royal Air Maroc.  I fly the 25th of May to Casablanca.  The bike is going to fly Air Canada for $1500 on May 21st.  That will give me a day in Casablanca without the bike so I can have a look around.

Bike Mods Part I:

So basically you want to modify the bike to make it more suitable for a RTW trip.

I relied a lot on videos on youtube and a whole lot on the DRZ 400 community at

So far I have done these ‘mods’

-rejetting the carb using the JD jet kit, I figured out an easier way to get the carb back in the bike and posted on thumper talk.  The video is here for those interested: DRZ 400 Carb Removal Replacement tip

– a 3X3 air box mod which I changed so the holes could be plugged when crossing rivers

– emissions mod (we won’t go into that one)

– skid plate

– hand Cycra hand guards

– clutch case guard plates

– Add of a wider/ softer Seat Concepts seat, I did the ‘DIY upholstery’ install and it came out great.

-Unabiker radiator guards.  A bit of a challenge but the real work came with the new 4 gal gas tank

– completed the install of a 4 gal IMS gas tank.  I think that was the worst decision I made as far as product.  It literally would have been easier to just build my own tank from scratch.   The IMS tank looks great, but the fit quality is non-existent, I had to grind down corners of the Unabiker radiator guards, then the bottom screws were out of aligment the radiator brackets they screw into.  Finally the seat would not fit back on cleanly and that turned into a wresting match.  Its complete and looks good but major PITA.

Installation of the Baja Designs Squadron Pro lights, I posted a detailed set of instructions for the community at :

I got my side and top rack, my new windshield (its huge), and my larger rear sprock and will try and get those mods done on Sunday or Monday.

I pushed the trip back 5 days because I was a bit behind and think it will help with what looks like a heavy run-off situation in Siberia and Mongolia.


2,867 thoughts on “Trip Prep 1: DRZ first set of mods, Visa, etc.”

  1. I would like to take the ability of thanking you for your professional direction I have always
    enjoyed checking out your site. I’m looking forward to the
    commencement of my college research and the entire preparing would
    never have been complete without consulting your website.
    If I can be of any help to others, I might be happy to help through what I have discovered from here.

  2. This is a new list for today. I’m sorry about the last two lists. You may find some proxies not working the way they should. There was also duplicates in the list. I’m still learning about free public proxies. I hope you can make good use out of this list.