DR350 Thread

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

  1. abraham_lincoln

    abraham_lincoln Adventurer

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    Interesting deal with the magnetic reader. Does the stock tachometer work via cable or does it use something similar to the aftermarket speedo?

    The more I learn about the bike the more I realize how much previous owners have done to it. On one hand it'd be nice to have a fully stock bike but at the same time it saves me from a lot of money upgrading it myself.

    From a noobs standpoint what difference is there in the stock front suspension and the one's we have on our bikes? Are they just more adjustable? Or more off-road oriented?


    ----------------

    Also, for those of you who've changed the sprockets for something more road-orientated like a 16/41 16/43.. what kind of RPM's are you running at 70-75mph? Do you still have decent acceleration at those speeds? Is hopping on the freeway for an hour or so tolerable?

    I know it's a light bike but I'd like to do some road trips and wondering if this bike would be decent enough at it. For example a trip to Yosemite would be great but that's about a 500 mile distance for me one way and there are sections where I'd probably have to take the freeway to pass mountain ranges
  2. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    I had a big-bore DR that required a very significant gearing up to work best on the road. My stock SE seems to be fine with stock gearing. It’s not especially happy on the highway and really struggled to maintain speed on high altitude passes (45mph flat out at 10,000 feet on one steep section) but it will handle it.

    Two issues come to mind:
    1. The stock seat will NOT work for most people. Seat Concepts fixed that completely for me; and
    2. They use more oil at sustained high rpm so you have to make frequent checks.
  3. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    I concur . . . while I did a seat mod myself, it's wider and much like the Seat Concepts shape. That made all the difference between a sore butt and comfort. The stock seat is just too narrow. I don't find the stock foam to be that bad. So I glued on two triangular pieces of dense foam on the sides, then took an electric knife to shape the front taper and the edges, then wrapped a dense, thin foam over the whole thing. I just stretched a one-piece vinyl cover over it with no stitching. On my WADBDR trip I rode from Victoria to Stevenson, WA on pavement and from Osoyoos BC back to Victoria (total of about 850 mi) on pavement and didn't even notice the seat. That says a lot.

    As for gearing, the 16/41 makes a noticeable difference to me on the highway. RPMs are about 6000-6250 @ 70mph. I find 6000 to be about the comfort margin. Above that it starts getting buzzy. I think the stock 350 engine displacement and CV carb can handle it, but don't expect hard acceleration in 5th or 6th gear at high rpms. With a performance exhaust, opened airbox and jetted CV, it would help at higher rpms with a bit more horsepower for passing. I'm looking forward to trying the taller primary gear on my BB to see if it improves it even more on the highway.
  4. mentolio

    mentolio Been here awhile

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    I’ve seen talk recently about different “primary gears.” What’s up with that? Looks like clutch basket and primary drive gear (on crank)...need anything else? Do the kicker idler and/or oil pump drive gear need to be changed? Are these different gears from different years? Are they the difference between dirt model and dual sport? Sorry if this has been asked before...but I gotta know!
    Boblosi111 likes this.
  5. mwitt08

    mwitt08 Adventurer

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    My $6 EMT rack is coming together.

    A little bigger than I wanted, but it fits on the back without hitting my butt. A 1/2” conduit bender has a radius of 5” so doing 4 bends front to back made the rack 20” long.

    Need to cut down and weld the four couriers where everything comes together. And add a few supports to the tail rack portion.

    I think I’m just going to use tie wire to lash it to the existing rack. I purposely don’t want this to be “structural” so that when I crash it can give a little.

    IMG_0851.jpg IMG_0852.jpg
  6. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    The OE tach gets a signal directly from the CDI. None of the aftermarket tachs have figured out how to read the CDI signal.
    I had a little aftermarket tach on my bike once that would pick up a signal from the spark plug wire. Not super accurate as you accle or decel but enough to give you a reading at a steady cruising speed. the trail tech vapor give a tach reading. Mine doesn't work too well but others have had better luck. Our bikes use a wasted spark system (correct me if I am wrong on this anyone). Thus it sparks twice per cycle. Typically a setting on the tach you need to select.

    Personally I would only run a 15/41 for the road and not deal with the 16.

    You should check what kind of rear shock you have. Chances are it has been upgraded to the dirt shock. You can tell by the lower clevis mount on the linkage. If it is machined aluminum with an adjuster screw it is the "good" one, if it is the welded steel clevis it is the 94-97 SE, which is the worst of the 3 variation of rear shocks spec'ed for our bikes.

    Generally suspension upgrades are for better offroad. Other than brake dive, I feel the stock suspension is fine for road riding; even the SE shock.

    Despite the gearing riding 70-75 is never a pleasant thing on a DR. Almost sounds like you want a more road oriented bike.


    The 90-93 DR350 (ALL versions) had a primary gear reduction of 2.818 (62/22). All 94+ bikes had a 3.2 (64/20) reduction. This is all documented in the workshop manual that you can download from Greg Bender's website (search this old tractor). I did this conversion on one of my bikes and if I recall all you needed was the basket and the primary gear. The oil pump gear is the same. Thing to note is you need to somehow hold the engine while you spin the nut holding the P-gear BACKWARDS (reverse threaded). And a penny jammed between the oil pump gear is NOT what you want to do. The teeth on the oil pump gear will break off. Ask me how I know. I think I impacted the nut off and forgot how I got it back on tight.

    If you are buying this off e-bay do not trust the discription on the year. No one knows what year their bike is. Find the best resolution picture, print it, and count the teeth.
    abraham_lincoln likes this.
  7. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    Nice job on the adapter! . . . I used the Scott weld-on kit because at the time I had painted my frame (wherever visible) from Barney Purple to Black. After welding it on, only a paint touch up was required. I concur with you on the benefits of the damper . . . I added mine to avoid another wrist/elbow injury when the front wheel got tweaked hard and fast unexpectedly in a dry stream bed crossing that caused an injury that took 6+ months to heal and affected my ability to clutch. After installing the damper, I too found it stabilized the front end at high speed on the highway and on gravel, in deep sand, etc. I hardly notice it with normal riding until the wheel wants to quickly move in an unwanted way and it kicks in. I have it set higher than a friend likes, but to me it just makes the front end handle like a bigger, heavier bike without the added weight.
    el_lobo likes this.
  8. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    It's been discussed on this forum for years. I'll let you know for certain after I try installing mine, but from what I've read it's a bolt-in thing and doesn't interfere with anything. I'm hoping that is the case. I have a '96 se with a kick starter added. I'm not sure on your other questions around models, model years, etc., but a quick search of this thread should provide that info.
  9. plugeye

    plugeye MC rescue

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    the thick primary gear of the taller primary takes the place of the primary gear & oil pump drive gears.
  10. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    Are you using that OE rack to support the side racks. Do you still have the little sticker on it that says Do not exceed "4lbs" HAHAHAHAHa
  11. hellotimmutton

    hellotimmutton Been here awhile

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    if im not mistaken, its parts 21200-14D11 (62 tooth) and 21200-15D21 (64 tooth). I believe its based on year not type. I believe 93 and below had the taller 62 tooth sprocket and 94 and up had the shorter 64, but would be nice for someone to confirm/deny that
  12. Alaska1WD

    Alaska1WD Long timer

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    I can confirm this, 90-92 all models. I am not sure about the 93 tho!!

    I bought an early 62T basket myself. This is handy for a guy like me, as I do a lot of highway and use my DR as a commuter/tour moto. I cruise at 70+ a lot so I need to keep my RPM down. The early clutch basket drops the RPM by 11.95 percent (off the top of my head FYI). As the lowest gearing a SE/cush can have is technically 15/41, which does 7200 RPM at 65 MPH, you can't run it on the highway safely/easily for very long, even though a DR350 has the power for it :(

    You can run a 15/38 (use my Huskavarna TE630 trick for the 38T cush sprocket, perfect fit;) ) but for some (like me) even that isn't a low enough RPM for the highway. I use a 15/36 myself, which is perfect for my needs. The problem with such a small rear T is that the chain slides on that black chain slider a LOT more due to the smaller rear radius. With a 62/22 replacing my currect 64/20, I can swap my 36T for a 41T and keep the same RPM and reduce chain wear! Almost a necessary choice for anybody who spends much time at all above 70 MPH... I've been over 75 MPH for over an hour on my DR racing to a lady's house (guess why! :p) and it ran great/cool as the RPM was about 6-6.5K, which is in between the peak TQ (6ish) and the peak HP (7ish). I had it at full-throttle half the time TBH. I hear stories on here about guys who cook their DR's when they keep their RPM above 8K for 5-10 minutes on the highway, It's not full throttle that pops a DR, it's crazy high RPM!

    Upping the primary+rear radius size also allows for swapping the front from 15 for 14, 13 ect without worrying about that black slider. I don't hear people mention/notice it, but I'm sure it reduces power due to friction. My slider is hot after a long ride, and I spray stuff on my chain often too. If I ran a smaller front with my 36T, I'd likely melt/wear my slider... :\

    Oh and PS, any cush rear guys interested in getting their hands on a 37T cush sprocket to fine tune their RPM? I have a sweet drill press I can use to re-drill the sprocket holes on a JTR1760 like I did with my 36T :)
    porterrad likes this.
  13. Alaska1WD

    Alaska1WD Long timer

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    I just noticed Mr. Pulldown beat me to answering this. I'll leave my post here anyways. Yes, count the teeth!

    And if you want to make your DR pleasant on the highway, mount an action-packer 8 gallon box on it. Takes a few MPG away, but it completely gets rid of any wobble/unsteadiness. The drag in the rear keeps the DR pointed straight, and I can still ride with a passenger. It's a night and day difference for me! It's the one in my profile pic :)

    Mr. Pulldown, PM me if you want to buy a cheap DR oil cooler, I think I remember you asking about one once?
  14. Alaska1WD

    Alaska1WD Long timer

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    I forgot to click reply for you, check two posts above this one, it should answer all of your questions :)
    abraham_lincoln likes this.
  15. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    FYI - My 93 'S' model also had the taller-ratio clutch basket/primary gear combination. With a 435 big-bore, Vortex airbox and big-bore exhaust, it had loads of torque but did not rev nearly as freely as the stock engine. However, it happily pulled 16:41 gearing, a full 20% taller than stock, giving a true 80mph at under 6500rpm
  16. abraham_lincoln

    abraham_lincoln Adventurer

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    For a while I was really tempted on getting a Versys X-300 but I live right in the Oregon forests with lots of trails I enjoy exploring and I felt the Versys would be too road biased for that style of riding. But I still wanted to do some longer back road trips around the state, and those roads are usually cruising between 45-55mph which usually meant ringing my old XL200R out to the max in 5th. And that's when I came across the DR350 and got really sold on it since it can cruise on the roads at 50 with headroom to spare while also being pretty dirt capable.

    What especially sold me on the DR350 though is that I live about 15 miles via freeway from the nearest big town, but on my XL200R I would have to take back roads which would take about 40 minutes for me to get there. So now with the DR I can at least hop on the freeway for 15 minutes at 65mph and while it might not be the most comfortable ride it'll be a lot better than what I was doing beforehand lol

    You're right though on longer interstate trips I'll most likely need something a bit bigger and more road oriented, but trips like that can wait till 2021 since this is only my 2nd year riding and I should probably take things easy for the time being, I've still got a lot of places nearby to ride to that the DR will give me easier access to.

    I think I may try a 41T on the rear that way I could drop the front to a 14T to return to stock ratio if need be and put on a 15/16 for any longer rides I may do.
  17. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    I have a Vstrom 650 and a DR441/trailer. That combo seems to work well for me. If I want to take the DR and it's a longer ride than 3-4 hours, I trailer it now. Besides, I can take more stuff too!
    abraham_lincoln likes this.
  18. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    Good on you for taking your time gaining experience. I've done two bikes thing, one for two-up, winter commuting, and long bike trips - the other for more technical off-pavement and even some trail riding. I have owned 650 Vstroms as everready mentions and for a mostly road oriented bike but still very capable on gravel, fire/logging roads, they are nice affordable bikes. The older model motors were very smooth. I wanted a sturdier dual-sport oriented bike I could use for more technical off-pavement riding and went for a used R1200GS instead. But the Vstrom was a great highway bike and very comfortable. So that would be a good choice as a second bike one day. But with a better seat and taller gearing, the DR turned out to be better on the highway and longer trips than I thought it might be. It should serve you very well for the time being.
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  19. abraham_lincoln

    abraham_lincoln Adventurer

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    I don't know a ton about electrical but is it possible to directly swap out stock headlight/taillight bulb for an LED to put less strain on the system? Or does there need to be some modifications to run an LED light?

    I'm wanting to lighten the electrical load since I have grip warmers and am wanting to install some AUX LED's in the near future and don't want to be frying anything
  20. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    These are a straight swap and high quality. Much better than stock.
    https://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/
    porterrad likes this.