Originally Posted by thump!
I'm sure some will disagree but reading the thumper treads here and on thumpertalk reveals a fairly consistent reoccurring theme for me. I think cutting the airbox or removing the lid makes a kick start single harder to start. Since a single gets only one opportunity to fire for each two revolutions there are about 540 degrees of revolution when air isn't moving through the intake tract at all. Unlike electric start that keeps air moving thru the intake repeatedly in rapid succession, the kickstarter DR350 passes thru only one intake and compression stroke per kick and there is a relatively long pause while the operator resets to kick again. Doesn't matter how hard you kick it, the gearing of the kickstarter provides only ONE chance to fire so conditions need to be right at that precise moment. I'm not sure WHY the lack of airbox resistance results in hard starting on kickstarter bikes but I'm convinced it does.
It's because carburetors work on pressure differential, if you change either side you've screwed things up (valve timing exhaust, air cleaner etc).
I've had my 96 DR350SE for six years and run the stock CV carb and airbox, no issues, great power, excellent gas mileage. Leave the stock carb on and go riding.