When riding to +Cape York there are several river and creek crossings, so we are going to start with one of the problems riders face when going to the Cape.
River Crossing at Cockatoo Creek heading to Cape York
De - Watering a +Suzuki DRZ 400 (The Yellow Submarine)
The +DRZ 400 is the bike our tours provide for riders as it is reliable, got great guts and easy for most riders to adjust to.
There are 2 ways to drown your bike. The first is a partial drown, the second a total submerge. Logically a partial drown is easier to resolve. A total submerge on the other hand can be a little more tricky. Here is a step by step guide to dewatering techniques for the +DRZ 400.
Partial Drown -
- First remove the air box side cover to see whether any water has entered into the air filter box. If there is no water, check the exhaust has not been under water and filled the system because this would create another, separate issue which would fill up the engine cylinder with water.
- If the exhaust has a lot of water in it, it will be necessary to remove the spark plug and carry out the full submerge procedure. Do not attempt to start the bike. If you do and the engine is full of water, you will bend a con rod, requiring an engine removal and a hefty repair bill.
- We have established that the exhaust is clear and the airbox is clear. Now it is a simple matter of tipping the bike to the left hand side so that the foot peg reaches the ground. This will drain the carby bowl of fuel and water from the overflow tubes. No need to remove the carby drain bung at the bottom of the carby - this is a real nightmare to remove and replace.
- Hold the bike in that position for 15 seconds, then bring the bike upright, try the starter with the choke on and no throttle. The bike should start.
- If the bike does not start, open the throttle wide for 5 seconds. Then release the throttle and try starting the bike again. If it starts check throttle response - if it hesitates and cuts out there is still water in the carby. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the bike starts.
Total Submerge -
- Assuming the bike has been completely submerged underwater, the first thing to do is remove the side air box cover. Also remove the bottom drain grommet from the bottom of the air box and let the water drain from the air box. Then replace it.
- Remove the air filter and let it dry out in the sun.
- Remove the drain bung from the bottom of the carby (14mm). Drain out all of the fuel and water.
- Remove the seat, tank and spark plug.
- Next, up end the bike vertically by lifting from the front wheel so the exhaust is pointed to the ground. Excess water will run out from the exhaust.
- Crank the engine over but do so with caution - water in the engine will be forced out the spark plug hole.
- Once all excess water is pumped out lower the bike back to the ground.
- Replace the carby drain bung, get a cigarette lighter and heat up the electrode of the spark plug. This will dry out the plug and help the bike to restart. Replace the plug in the bike.
- Sit the tank on the bike and hook up the fuel line, turn on the tap, leave the air filter out.
- With the choke on, give the throttle 2 full turns and try to start the bike, leaving the throttle wide open fora couple of seconds whilst starting. If the bike doesn't start, close the throttle and try to start the bike again.
- If it fires but doesn't start, open the throttle slightly, while you start the bike. When the bike fires and runs then let it run with the throttle quarter open for a minute.
- Now you can install the air filter, squeezing out any excess water and replace it back in the bike with the motor running.
- Last mount the tank and seat back on the bike, if the bike hesitates with engine running, lean the bike over on it's left hand side to help drain any remaining water from the carby.
Now your ready to ride. I hope this has helped with anyone encountering this problem with their +Suzuki DRZ.