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HOW TO: DR-Z400 Kick Starter Installation

This is one of the best realiaility modifications you can do to the DRZ400. Stock, the DRZ400 does not have a kick starter and this is something some people never feel comfortable with. This is “How to install a kick starter guide” for the DR-Z400.

How to install a kick starter on the DR-Z400

Credit to Mr-Cob at ADVrider for this guide.

This is one of the best reliability modifications you can do to the DRZ400. Stock, the DRZ400 does not have a kick starter and this is something some people never feel comfortable with.  With this Guide on how to install a kick starter on a DRZ400 you’ll have no problem making the DRZ400 mod!

The Kick Starter Kit, that is sold by Suzuki lists the kit as only fitting the DRZ400E, the kit WILL FIT the DRZ400S, the DRZ400S cylinder head is not machined to accept the manual decompression lever, so it and it’s associated parts are not used, the rest of the kit bolts right in.

In this gallery you will find detailed step by step photos and commentary describing how to accomplish this task.  This gallery has had photos added that MAKE CLEAR the installation of the kick starter stopper. Thank you “Mark Kanzler” for supplying these photos.

Step 1


Here is what I started with, a stock bike that does not have a kick starter to back up the electric start.

Step 2


Here I have removed the skid plate, the rear brake pedal, drained the oil and the coolant from the radiator.

Step 3


Now I am getting to the part where I must pay close attention. Here the clutch cover-side case has been removed.

Step 4
Here the six bolts that hold the clutch pack have been removed allowing the removal of the entire clutch pack as a unit. the clutch throwout bearing rod can also be removed at this time.
Step 5
After the clutch pack is removed, I straightened the lock washer that secures the large nut holding the clutch hub sleeve. The tip of the small screw-driver is pointing at the bent over edge of the washer that must be straightened. After the washer is straightened, remove the nut. I used an impact wrench, if you don’t have an impact wrench, you must block the clutch hub sleeve from rotating, this can be done with a special factory tool, a bent a piece of metal or a small wedge made of wood.
Step 6
Here the clutch hub sleeve and the and the primary driven gear assembly have been removed.
Step 7
Now I removed the spacer retainer. I used a hand impact driver and a hammer to loosen the two screws holding the retainer. After you remove the retainer, remove the spacer that is on the drive shaft. Once this is done, the tear-down phase of the operation is complete, and the kicker installation begins.
Step 8
Here you can see the what the bike looks like when all of the disassembly has been done. The bike is now ready to have the kicker kit installed. Sit back, pop a cold one and READ the instructions that come with the kit, some of the writing and drawings that accompany the kit are not the best.
Step 9
The first step to installing the kicker is to bolt the “kick starter stopper” in place, there is another part that is installed in this step, it is hidden BEHIND the part that is shown with the outward-rear facing tang. I used blue Loc-Tite, to secure the small gold colored Allen bolt that holds these two parts in place. Make SURE the top part is mounted with the “STOPPER” pointed out-wards.
Step 10
WARNING make sure that when you install the kick starter stopper that BOTH parts are installed one behind the other as shown in this photo. Thanks to “Mark Kanzler” for this photo.
Step 11
Here the “kick starter drive gear”, has been installed onto the “kick starter shaft”, then the “washer and cir-clip” were put into place. Make SURE that the cir-clip is SEATED in it’s groove.
Step 12
Here I have installed the “kick starter spring” onto the “kick starter shaft”.
Step 13
Once the spring is in place, the “kick starter spring guide” can be installed onto the “kick starter shaft”. Make SURE the spring guide is installed with the flange placed against the kick starter gear.
Step 14
Now it’s time to install the “kick starter” onto the “kick starter shaft”. There is a “punch mark” on the kick starter, there is a “line” machined into one of the splines on the kick starter shaft, make SURE the punch mark and the line are ALIGNED before proceeding any further.
Step 15
Place the “kick starter spring” onto the kick stater shaft.
Step 16
Place the “spring seat” onto the kick starter shaft. At this point my hand was full of parts that had to be carefully handled so as not to lose anything, go slow we are now ready to put this whole assembly into the bike.
Step 17
CAREFULLY install the whole kick starter shaft assembly into the bike. After the kick starter shaft assembly is in place, carefully twist the long tanged end of the kick starter spring until you can insert it into the hole that is already drilled in the crank-case.
Step 18
Remember a “spacer” was removed from the bike, now a “bushing” is installed in it’s place on the “drive shaft”.
Step 19
Install “kick start idler gear” on the same shaft that used to hold the bushing. Make SURE the smooth side of the gear faces outward.
Step 20
WARNING, the instructions that come with the kit DO NOT make this part of the reassembly process clear. The retaining bracket that once held the bushing in place MUST be reinstalled to prevent the idler gear from walking into the back of the primary driven gear. Make SURE it is replaced in the proper orientation, the curved relief must be installed towards the top so that the kick starter gear can move outward as it operates.
Step 21
This photo has been retouched to show how the parts are clocked when properly installed. Thanks to “Mark Kanzler” for the photo.
Step 22
Now the primary driven gear, is installed. Be very CAREFUL, make SURE all gears are aligned before pushing the primary driven gear to it’s full “in” position.
Step 23
The clutch hub, is now put into place. DON’T forget the thrust washer that goes in-between the primary driven gear and the clutch hub.
Step 24
Install the lock washer, then the clutch hub nut. Tighten clutch hub nut.
Step 25
After the clutch hub nut is tight, make SURE the lock washer is bent over one of the flats on the clutch hub nut. In this photo, the lock washer is bent over the flat on the left side of the clutch hub nut.
Step 26
Reinstall the entire clutch pack, and the throw-out bearing operating rod.
Step 27
Install the clutch drive plate. Install the six clutch springs, use a cross pattern to slowly bring the springs into full compression. Tighten the six spring bolts until the bolts just bottom in their threaded holes.
Step 28
I used a short extension and a socket that just fit into the starter shaft bore to remove the pressed in plug that sealed the stock crank-case side cover. This plug is easily driven out.
Step 29
Here is the stock crank-case cover with the plug removed.
Step 30
After greasing the inner lip of the “kick starter seal” I carefully pressed it into place from the outside of the crank-case, using a short extension and a socket that just covered the outer diameter of the seal. Drive the seal into the crank-case cover until it bottoms. Make SURE it is installed SQUARE and not tilted.
Step 31
At this point all of the internal work is done. using a NEW gasket, replace the crank-case cover.
Step 32
Install the “kick start lever”
Step 33
Reinstall the coolant hose. Reinstall the rear brake pedal assembly. Refill radiator with coolant, replace oil in tank. Reinstall skid plate. Replace left side radiator shield. START THE BIKE WITH THE NEW “KICK-STARTER”
Step 34
These parts are NOT used when installing this kit on a “S” model DRZ400. Thanks to “Mark Kanzler” for the photo.
Step 35 – ENJOY and Go Ride!

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11 Responses


will you help me please. I wont to know wat the shaft is called that my kick start site on it for a DRZ 400 please. thank


Hi, i can not see the pics to your blog. Can you tell me why?


I’ll add some soon, I promise!


DRZ400 Kick Starter Install pics added. Enjoy.


nice guide! but 1 thing i don’t get: if this mod works on a DRZ 400 S it also works on a DRZ 400 SM right?

P.S: where can i buy the kit?


Yes, you can add a kick starter to the DRZ400SM. Here are some good deals on the DRZ400 Kick Starter Kits


that kickstarter looks huge, does it cause problems with the oversized tank? Do you have any pics of your whole bike


you ok grant if your still knoking around this is there site
and details,check out there great prices ,tell them m hoopson said you would sort him out


No probs, works great.


wow!! thank you.
material drz400s Look for .


total time for installation??

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