DR350 Thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by leonphelps, May 16, 2007.

  1. abraham_lincoln

    abraham_lincoln Adventurer

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    Wow those came out really nice, right along the lines of what I'm wanting to do as well. I think making my own rack would be a lot of fun and allow for some personalization to fit my needs


    Just got back from my 1st test ride outside the neighborhood up some dirt roads. I've been a little weary gaining trust with a new bike, learning it's ins and outs making sure everything's solid. So far though the engine starts right up, idles good and pulls strong. No major leaks although a couple seeping leaks that are pretty minor and easy to fix

    [​IMG]

    Really the only issue I've discovered so far was I was hearing this weird noise while riding and it turned out my starter was stuck turned on. I think it drained my battery cause it was only at 8 volts when I got home (had it topped off a couple day before). Hopefully it's just the starter issue causing the low battery and not a problem charging (going to dissassemble the switch and renew with electronic cleaner). The previous owner said he did a mod so that it can run without the battery cause he got stranded once due to a battery terminal breaking on him out in the desert (if anyone has info on this mod I'd like to know more about it)

    All in all though I'm freaking loving this bike. It's a huge upgrade in power from my previous '83 Honda XL200R. Also liking the grip warmers, oversized tank and race tech front suspension upgrade. Put some fresh oil in it the other day and will be getting a new chain pretty soon. Once it's fitted for some luggage, new chain and AUX lights I'm looking to do some really fun road trips this upcoming spring!

    For $1,300 (he was asking $1.8k) I think I got a pretty good deal!
  2. gripnripper

    gripnripper Adventurer

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    I agree that the the float mechanism is the likely culprit with fuel overflowing from the float bowl, which is why I'm perplexed. I've replaced every part and o-ring in the carb, except the float itself. I've checked the float height and confirmed it's right on. I tested the needle valve and seat seal by removing the carb and removing the float bowl, hooking up a hose to where the fuel flows into the carb, and blowing into the fuel intake while lifting the float until it seals (if that makes sense). It seems to be sealing perfectly. Plus, if excessive fuel was flowing from the carb into the engine, wouldn't my spark plug be fouled? But starting without choke, that would suggest way too much fuel, which would make sense. I just can't make any sense of it. Some symptoms point to being too rich, some seem to suggest too lean. I guess I'll take it all apart and check everything again. Thanks for your feedback slartidbartfast.

    I'd still appreciate any feedback you all might have. Thanks!
  3. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    Thanks and yes, your purchase looks like a good deal with all the things already added to it. Not sure on the mod to make it run without a battery, as mine does that from stock. :scratch In fact just recently I had a battery connector issue when the lights, accessories and tachometer would suddenly stop working while I was riding, but the bike would keep running. It would do that intermittently until I figured out what it was and replaced the battery connectors. BTW - You might want to change that chain sooner than later. It looks to be in rough shape and also quite loose. I'd suggest looking out for a used sprocket cover. You wouldn't want to get some clothing caught in there. But the bike overall is already quite a ways along modification wise with the other things you mention. I did the same thing . . . just tweaked and added things over time. I'm now $6k+ and counting over the purchase price. LOL!!! :loco
  4. abraham_lincoln

    abraham_lincoln Adventurer

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    Hmm interesting about the battery ordeal. But then again I was still half asleep and zoned out for a minute while he was talking about it (he delivered to my house @ 6a.m. cause he was passing through town (saved me a 3hr round trip :D)) so I didn't catch what exactly he said. He may have just upgraded the capacitor or something perhaps. It is the SE model so not sure if that has anything to do with it.

    Also I've a gold plated x-ring chain in my shopping cart now along with about $100 worth of other tid bits, was just wanting to ensure the motor and trans was solid before dumping money into it. After today's run though I think I'm clear to go forward. Very stoked on the longer trips in store, the XL200R is a great starter bike but the 5spd/60mph top speed really held me back from longer rides with comfort

    Obligatory Honda shout out:
    [​IMG]
  5. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    That's a cool looking first bike! I like it. . . . The DR uses a dual magneto/AC alternator setup, so there are two sections to the stator. One supplies spark, the other supplies charging for the battery and running accessories. That's why it can still run without a battery. Perhaps he was just mentioning this and the new information sounded like he had done some kind of mod.

    Glad to see you're getting a good chain right off the bat. That's the same one I use. Here's an example of what I was referring to regarding a front sprocket cover. The other piece with it is a keeper/guard for in front of the chain. It keeps the chain on the sprocket if it ever becomes too loose and can often protect the stator cover if a chain breaks, so it's a good thing to have. I think the price listed on this example is a little steep, (considering you can get an entire rear wheel with sprocket and rotor for about $100), but they come up quite often. I still prefer a chain guard on the swing arm as well, if for nothing else to help keep crap off the chain and lube oil from the chain from getting all over the bike.

    You're going to really enjoy the DR and farkeling it. It's simple to work on, not too expensive for parts/upgrades and a great all-round, fun bike to ride. I have a BMW R1200GS as well and if I could have only one bike, it would be the DR.
    Boblosi111 likes this.
  6. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    My brother visited here (Tucson) for a long weekend. From Reno, where it's trending to cooler, tho nothing like the east. We rode out to Sagauro National Park and beyond, the park entrance is only 5 miles from my place. The Sonora desert here is more like a jungle--Sagauro, Prickley Pear, Cholla cactus, and Mesquite, Palo Verde, and Greasewood trees. Green and beautiful, we had recent fall rain, temp in the low 80's. The road, Old Soldiers Trail, is gentle curves, mostly great, smooth surface, riding was almost a religious experience and I got that feeling in my chest of "Yeah, this is what attracted me to riding almost 50 years ago.

    I'm gonna be 68 in less than a month, giving up riding was in the back of my mind. I started out in 71 on a 67 T250, the X6 Scrambler. Rare then, really rare now. And now, almost 50 years later, after riding a Transalp, large displacement big bikes, and ST1100 (top heavy turds) I'm back with a 97 DR 350, I got in about 2015. I wanted one since riding my brother's back in the 90's and finally got a one owner, from a guy my age, who used it as his camp bike. Low mileage, bone stock, and not at all clapped out.

    I've renewed my fandom of the DR350. It's fast enough and very light. Except for putting a pumper carb on it and pending tires and a chain, it's the way it was born. It doesn't disappoint. And takes me back to the beginning of my riding heritage. It is as good as it gets for me. And I'll take the oath: I'll never sell my wonderful Suzuki! (So much better than the KLRs I own or have owned in the past.)

    So much on the forums is aimed towards "improving" our motorcycles--I've been guilty in the past. Suzuki pretty much got the DR350 perfect.
    Thedktor and Boblosi111 like this.
  7. hoffguy

    hoffguy n00b

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    For just a top rack, I have a manracks rack and really like it. It's the closest thing I could find to the OE one.

    https://www.manracks.com/suzuki-dr350
    Boblosi111 and Greg Bender like this.
  8. abraham_lincoln

    abraham_lincoln Adventurer

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    I currently have a 15T front sprocket on the bike, if I were to put a 16T would I need to get a bigger chain guide? From as far as I can tell the sprocket is just held in place with a ring clip so I've been thinking of carrying a 14T and 16T and swapping in between whether I'm going to be riding more road or dirt. I will definitely be looking into finding a sprocket cover.. I could only imagine the hell it'd cause if my pants of shoelace were to get wrapped up in there D:

    Also are there any recommended aftermarket tach/speedo's out there? The one that's on there currently is speedo only and rarely reads an accurate speed let alone any speed at all. I would really like just a stock speed/tach but I've seen those running $250+. I'm able to ride just by sound and feel but it'd be nice knowing what RPM's I'm at and how close to redline since I would like to use this a little bit on the freeway (~70mph)
  9. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    15t is the biggest you can go "stock". The cover includes a case saver meant to jam up the chain in case it breaks, so that it doesn't bust the engine. The SE had one that would accommodate a 15th. The S would only accommodate a 14. You can grind out the SE case save so that it can work with a 16t. Because of this you can getnerally only find 15t as the biggest listed for a dr350. I think one of the other suzuki DS bikes fits: DRZ400?

    I swap between 13/14/15. I can use the same chain, just need to make an adjustment to the tension. I can also swap between a 41 and 43 rear with the same chain. 13/43 vs 15/41 is a whole different bike. I avoid 16 because I don't want to grind down the already thin case saver which saved my case twice (well once for each DR). And don't go down lower than 13 because it starts to wear the chain more making that tight bend. For the rear is you have a cush drive hub (kind of looks like it) 41 is the lowest you can get. I think you might be able to find one with a tooth or 2 lower but not listed for our bikes. Some Dr member also made his own 38(?). But the allen head were touching the chain.

    Speaking of which you should pull that chain tighter. I know you said you are getting a new chain, but in the mean time pull it in a click or 2 on the chain tension snail adjuster.

    If you really want to turn your bike into a hwy cruiser and 41/15 is not high enough , you can swap out your primary gear (and matching clutch basket gear) to the S (90-93) and get even higher.


    As for speedo, here is one for $150. Do you still have a key ignition if you don't have the OE instrument cluster.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/97-SUZUKI-...130542?hash=item547095fc6e:g:6bAAAOSw-PFc8aY9

    I ditched my OE speedo years ago, but I is a nice unit. Most aftermarket people use the trail tech vapor or similar. I have one that I am not very fond of. Wires keep getting ripped out and the tach never works right. Aftermarket forks and triple so no stock mounting location.

    On my 95E I went with a cheap bike computer. I REALLY like it. So simple and has never given me issue. Don't get the wireless ones too much distance between the disk and the bar, and it wont work. Even the wired ones will need to have the wire lengthened.

    as far as red line goes you are probably not close. redline is at 9K. at 7K the bike sounds/feels like the piston is going to rip through the head. I think there is also a rev limiter built into the CDI. I have never hit it before.
  10. abraham_lincoln

    abraham_lincoln Adventurer

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    All good info. I guess if I feel the need to change out sprockets maybe I'll start by dropping the rear then switch with a 14 and 15 up front to compensate. I'm a little surprised I'm able to pull uphill in 6th gear in this thing, I feel I can heighten the gearing without much power loss. I've a feeling the previous owner did some jetting cause he chopped a square hole straight out the top of the airbox.

    Also the current dash is custom made, basically a painted sheet of metal with LED's for the brights, neutral and blinker drilled into it with a mount for the AM speedo and a section for the ignition and grip heater switch.



    I do have slight oil leaks I'd like to fix up, it's a little hard to pinpoint where it's coming from because the airflow is spraying the seeping oil around.. but as far as I can tell I believe it's coming from the external oil lines highlighted in the image below (had already wiped it down before taking the photo, but it seems to be pooling around this section)

    [​IMG]

    Now does this braided oil line screw into the metal fitting? Is there an o-ring I can replace? Is it possible to just put a layer of Hondabond around the seal? Or is this one entire unit that needs to be replaced as a whole? It's not leaking at a high rate but is seeping more than I'm comfortable with which left a couple oil drops on the ground after parking today.
  11. brianpeck

    brianpeck Been here awhile

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    I used a hacksaw to cut through the silver metal parts just enough to pull them and the hoses off the black metal pieces. You’ll find a hose barb underneath, you can replace the hoses with appropriate tubing that can handle hot oil and hose clamps. Mr. Bender has more info: http://www.thisoldtractor.com/dr350_oil_hose_replacement.html
    abraham_lincoln and Greg Bender like this.
  12. mwitt08

    mwitt08 Adventurer

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    Just tried my first side. Didn’t turn out terrible. 1/2” emt and a conduit bender.

    IMG_0827.jpg
  13. abraham_lincoln

    abraham_lincoln Adventurer

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    I'd be lying to say I wouldn't be a little nervous about hacksawing my oil lines. I think I'm going to try a layer of hondabond to make sure that's the actual source of the leak, and if confirmed I'll go forward with replacing the line. I'm assuming oil will pour out of the lines when removed? Or could I tip the bike on it's side to avoid losing oil? Just did an oil change and probably only has ~40 miles on it so far

    Although I did find a replacement of the whole oil line setup for like $20 on Ebay but that could come with leaks of it's own so I'll rather diy I suppose

    That looks really clean! I can only imagine getting things to line up wouldn't be as easy as one might think. Seems like it'd be a lot of fun making a rack though, would be cool to have a little basket tucked away that can hold a small gas & oil container. Or maybe a section to mount a chainsaw or rifle. I would probably end up getting a little carried away lol
  14. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    I've tried a few sprocket combinations and I swap between 13T and 16T front and stock 41T on the rear, period, full stop. Yes, you need to make the chain a bit longer so you can just change the front sprocket and rear wheel position, but it lets you keep the stock chain guides/guards. A bigger rear sprocket can cause issues with the rear lower guard, plus the chain length might not work with other sprockets. I tried a larger rear sprocket and while it was good for off road, it sucked on pavement and limited me too much. The 13T gave me pretty much the same ratio, so the combo mentioned above gives me the most flexibility with just two sizes. I can count the chain links for you if you are interested in the same setup. I fabricated a keeper for the 16T sprocket with an indent in it to stay away from a bolt boss on the cover and let it be a bit thicker otherwise. I'm using the stock keeper for the 13T, but will probably make a custom one for that soon too. I could send along some instructions and pics if you're interested.

    The 16T is really great for around town and on the highway. I took the 13T with me on a recent trip for the WABDR and ended up not using it. For that ride the 16T worked fine even in the tough stuff. But if it was more technical, I'd have swapped in the 13T. On the highway sections getting to the start of the WABDR and back home afterward with the 16T it was no problem and enjoyable. I used the 13T in MOAB and it was frickin' awesome! The DR was like a mountain goat at times. So for me, those two sizes are all I need. Keep in mind I have the 441 BB and pumper carb, but I think that same sprocket combo would be fine for a stock machine too. (I rode mine stock for a couple of years before the upgrades.)

    As to gauges, I prefer the retro look of the old analogue speedo/tach and it was one of the factors that drew me to this bike. Call me old fashioned, but for dual sports it was one of the most attractive gauge sets to me for around that time. Even better than the DR650 IMHO. I've since tilted the light cover forward about an inch and put in a metal console adaptation with digital Temp and Volt meters, along with the oil pressure LED. But there are lots of cool features out there now for digital gauges and Trail Tech seems to be a leader in that space.

    BTW are you sure the tach and speedo are actually broken? Could the tach be due to a wiring issue? Might it need a new speedo cable? My speedo cable broke on the WABDR trip (thankful for the GPS as backup). I just recently replaced it and my speedo is now steady and working great, whereas before it was "pulsing" at times. Pull both ends of the cable and see if there is any drag at all. It should spin easily and smoothly. A new Motion Pro speedo cable is not that much money. But make sure the tach can be verified before spending money on a cable. That is unless you want to go Digital anyway, then I guess it's all moot.
    abraham_lincoln likes this.
  15. brianpeck

    brianpeck Been here awhile

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    Even if you get replacement oil lines, you're going to want to drain the bike to do the swap. If your oil is fresh, you can always just drain into a clean container and reuse it.

    Cutting off the old ones is slightly intimidating, but it's an easy job. When I bought my bike, pretty much all my oil lines were weeping oil. Slowly, but I'd get drips on the garage floor after long rides and I wasn't a fan of that. So after finding Greg Bender's site, I decided to go for it - it was one of the first things I ever did wrenching on a motorcycle, period, but once I got going it was easy.

    CAE31FBC-4E72-4275-8850-64529B4702C7.JPG
    Here's a pic just for fun, from about a month ago on a ride in the hills above Santa Barbara
  16. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    Welcome! . . . I wanted to say I applaud you for keeping on riding. In 2008 an acquaintance of mine, Bob Harrison, died at 84 and he was still riding the day prior. (He passed peacefully in his garden.) He track raced in England as a young man and rode pretty much every day he could right to the end. He was very inspiring and his life story very interesting. He rode a lot of old British bikes, but a friend helped him realize that at some point he needed to get back to something light and easy to ride to keep going. On that friends advice, his choice was a Yamaha TDR 250, which is close in weight to the DR. His example said to me that if I want to ride to the end too, I'll need to pick a bike and the DR350se was just right.

    Bob on TDR.jpg Bob on his TDR

    So yes, I am "improving" my DR, but it's more like "modernizing" it. Plus, I'm a consummate "feddler" like many inmates here and we do it as much for fun, curiosity and learning as much as anything. The 441 piston and a pumper carb really made the decision easy for me as it transformed the bike quite a bit. But yes, the stock bike is still powerful, mostly bullet-proof and well behaved. For me, this is my last bike, (meaning it will be the only one I have once I reach a certain point), so I'm putting money into it now to make it a comfortable Adventure Touring/Camping bike as well as a good "hooligan" bike for around town. I'm hoping to keep it going for the next 20 years, so I'm stocking up on consumables and replacement parts before things start to become rare.

    I'm 63 and intend on riding as long as possible. I watched a video a while ago that I wish I could find again. It was a short documentary on a small group of off-road riders in their mid-to-late 70's. They were having a hoot and doing some pretty challenging stuff. Their secret was to never let go of that feeling you get when you ride, adjust your riding style as you age, all the gear all the time, and make sure you're doing some form of exercise, stretching and physical activity every single day. Very inspiring. . . . So welcome to the craziness of the 3,000+ thread. :loco
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  17. plugeye

    plugeye MC rescue

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    [​IMG]
    as mr. pulldown said, taller primary raises gearing 12%. carry a 13t & 15t, chain will be perfect for road riding & on the loose side for off-roading. i have this set for sale.

    no need for any instruments really beyond an odometer for gas gauge, since the motor is happy in the higher revs & protected by a rev limiter.
    only reason i added a dr650 speedometer was for gas gauge with the big gas tank
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  18. plugeye

    plugeye MC rescue

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    looks good. what forks are those?
    i can understnd how it will run without a battery, but you'll have to push start or add a kickstart.
  19. TheGooderPlayer

    TheGooderPlayer n00b

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    This is an awesome thread you guys have here! I recently purchased my first bike, a 1997 DR350SE that dropped a valve. I'm now doing a full engine rebuild. Luckily, things haven't been too bad so far. I did have a question about one of the crankcase bearings though and was hoping you guys could give me some input. The ball bearing right in behind the front sprocket on the transmission shaft. It's sealed towards the sprocket and open on the other side. Should that be tough to turn? It turns smooth, but you have to really grab a hold of the inner race and twist to turn it. I tried the one I took out and the new one I put in and both are tough to spin. All the other bearings are open on both sides and they spin easily. Thanks in advance! Also, let me know if this would be better posted somewhere else, I'm new obviously ;)
  20. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    Wooo woooo woo there. "GAS GAUGE".

    At first I thought that was just a 98-99. But your right that isn't. Looks like a late 90s RM250/450 fork. But the tubes don't look quite a thick. Probably needed new triples and thus the OE speedo had to go.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]