Suzuki DR-350 Owners..?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Doug Grosjean, May 11, 2004.

  1. Doug Grosjean

    Doug Grosjean Writer, Photographer, Dad

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    Northwest Ohio, USA
    I'm starting the process of putting my 1993 DR-350 (street-legal kickstart-only model) back on the road, after having been stored in a barn for about 4 years.

    No troubles, no request for help.... the bike seems to have compression, so I may get lucky and it'll fire right up after 300-400 kicks. If not, I'll check compression and go from there. I may end having to spend some money and buy some parts, which it deserves - it already has 42,000 miles on it. But I've owned it since new, so I know the kind of care it's had, and what it's like to ride. It's in decent shape mechanically, as far as I know, and cosmetically it's OK for a dirtbike.

    Plan is to ride it for awhile, show my SO what dirbikes are like, and if she enjoys the experience we'll purchase a KTM-950 Adventure. If she doesn't, I'll solo to Colorado next summer on the DR and explore ghost towns for a couple weeks by myself. All my SO's miles have been on the back of streetbikes, including riding pillion to Bike Week from Ohio in February, and Ohio-Arizona in July, but she's game and looking forward to cruisiing through the Michigan woods.

    So my question is: how many others here ride DR-350s? Any problems I should watch out for with such high mileage?

    I'm asking, but somehow I've got a hunch that nobody here has kept one this long, or put this many miles on it...

    Oh, and will keep the Kawasaki Concours. It's paid for too, and is reasonable cheap to run for a big bike.

    Best,
    Doug Grosjean
    Luckey, Ohio
    douggrosjean@wcnet.org
    #1
  2. motojoe

    motojoe Arrest Cheney and Bush

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,416
    Location:
    Chaingolian Dynasty
    I ride a 1991 DR350S a 2001 concours and a 1997 KLR650
    The dr350S only has about ten thousand miles, but its been really reliable, but hard to start. You could try a bit of ether to help start it.

    Good luck with your kicking and keep us posted what happens to get it going

    joe
    #2
  3. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,819
    Location:
    Northern NSW
    I had a 1990 model DR250 (basically the same as a 350) that I sold with approximatley 80,000k's on it. Apart from top end rebuilds at 40,000 and 75,000 the bike never gave me any problems and being my first bike and only form of transport for quite a while it copped a flogging. The second rebuild revealed a cracked head but I think that was due to the crap fuel that we had at the time causing it to run lean.

    The only area that is probably worth looking at is the bolt on the gear selector behind the clutch. Apparently a few 250's and 350's were found to have loose bolts which if not tightened caused false neutrals and eventually worked their way out until they obstructed the clutch basket (with obvious results). Luckily I had heard about the problem when my bike started picking up a couple of false neutrals (between 4 & 5th mainly) so I popped the cover off, tightened up the loose bolt and never had a problem with it. If your bike starts missing gears it may be worth a look.
    #3
  4. donesian

    donesian Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Near Boulder, Colorado
    Doug,

    I have a 1993 DR350S (kick start only) with about 5100 miles on it. I have the little 3 amp battery in it so I installed a headlight off switch. That way when I am fussing around starting it or riding off road I can kill the headlight. By the way, plenty of juice to both run the headlight as well as an Aerostich electric vest, on the street. I have 6 bikes, which is why I don't ride it real often. A great machine, though. After you get the hang of it 2-3 kicks will fire her up. Have fun.
    #4
  5. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,886
    Location:
    Nebraska
    #5
  6. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,710
    Location:
    Bow, WA USA
    like mentioned here , they dont like old gas, I use a shot of ether to get it going in the beginning of the season ( with zero prep over the winter, its lucky if I drain the carb) once thats done mine fires right up 2-3 cold kicks. I donnt ride mine as much now as i have 7 bikes.

    i flogged the shit out of mine as a dirt bike, ghosted it off a 25 ft drop in California with no damage..
    (mine is 93 DRS350) not sure the mles as the speedo odo were in a box when I bought it . worn out a clutch , sprocket & chain. tough as hell bikes, light compared to electric DR400S ( yeah lacking power and E start)

    yours is the high miler I have heard of. I rode with a girlfriend on back , not comfortable for her as cramped leg position (small lady) .
    #6
  7. arroyoshark

    arroyoshark Needing some space

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,133
    Location:
    Fin del Sendero, NM
    Jeebers, Doug....you've ridden a DR 350 42,000 miles and you're askin' if there is anything to look out for...... you could probably write the book on it!

    As has been mentioned in another post, seems like top ends are the main thing that require attention. Is camshaft carried in a bearing or does it ride in aluminum head, like Hondas? Other than that, rusty mufflers, headset bearings, sagging springs, etc.

    I say :thumb
    #7
  8. Mountain Goat

    Mountain Goat Wandering Bike Dude

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Texas
    Mine is electric start so no starting problems. It is a fantastic little bike and very reliable.
    #8
  9. BlitzBike

    BlitzBike LC4 Pilot

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    800
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL near Alligator Alley
    I had a 1993 DR-350. The oil pump failed and without an "idiot light" to tell me things were getting critically HOT, I cooked the top end. I was wary of this happening again but, the dealer said "Well its like... Does lightning strike twice?"
    A small fortune later it was rebuilt with the White Brothers 445 bore. Not long after this, "Lightning struck" AGAIN--- all within 16,000 miles. I went out and bought a 1995 KTM LC4 620 and never looked back. Some time after this I was riding my KTM home after service and the "idiot light" came on. I stopped and checked the oil and, found that the mechanic had certainly DRAINED the oil but,
    had neglected to FILL the oil!! Its amazing the catastrophic problems that can be avoided with a simple Temperature idiot light.
    #9