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XT350 - Getting Started

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Hey All - So I recently convinced my wife's uncle to give his '91 XT350 that has been sitting in the garage for years. Had to ship it from NY to FL - but worth it...


This is my first bike, so I am definitely new to everything....looking forward to learning.


As the bike has been run in a long time, battery is dead and tank has some minor rust inside. I have the tank off it has a bunch of vinegar in it, which seems to be doing the trick. I'll empty it tonight to see the final result.


I got a Clymers + owners manual to read up on. My plan to start was to:


- get the tank rust free

- change the fuel line

- clean the petcock

- clean the carb

- change the oil

- change the air filter

- change the battery

- change the spark plug

- compression seems ok - just tested with my finger - will get a compression tester, if needed.


Does that sound like a good course of action to start with? Any suggestions or other things that I need to check on this first go around?


Also, the bike is definitely dirty. I want to clean the entire engine and bike in general prior to doing anything else.


With the seat, gas tank and side covers off, Can I spray the bike down with water? Don't want to damage any electrical components/wiring? What is the best way to properly wash it? Recommended cleaning products, degreasers etc.


Any and all help is much appreciated. Here's a couple pics of the XT350.


photo 1.JPG

photo 2.JPG

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Hi and welcome . :)


Sounds like a good plan . Squirt away . It can't be any worse than the mud and puddles while trail riding .

You might want to get a 2 stage foam air filter like : http://tinyurl.com/qfbo4l3  They work great .

I'd buy iridium spark plugs . I run an iridium and the bike seems to start a bit easier .

Definitely run a paper in line fuel filter , good to at least 60 micron :


A lot of small engine repair shops sell them .

Buy an AGM type battery . They never spill or boil over/out and out last regular lead acid batteries by at least twice . I just sold my Honda  750 and the  AGM I installed almost 7 years ago was still performing with no sign of giving up anytime soon .

It might be a good idea to inspect ALL , including the frame grounds , the electrical connections on the bike . They should be clean and metal scratching tight .

And , here's a link to a condensed service manual , to add to your 'library' : http://www.carlsalter.com/download.asp?p=1344


Pete . :)

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also as it has sat for awhile you will want to inspect the carb boots for de-laminating as it happens fairly often on the older bikes.


otherwise,  you seem to be on the right track.

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Thanks so much for the detailed response and suggestions Pete, and I will definitely inspect the carb boots maim...

I'll keep posting as it progresses.

Thanks again for the info and recs. I appreciate it.


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That list looks good i would add.

Check air box inside past the filter for dust and remove and clean if its bad.

Oil filter change ( i guess you will do this with the oil change

Lube linkage and head stem

Fork oil replacment

Check frame for cracks

Check for oil flow to the head before running for a long time. (Dont skip this step)

Check oil pump gears for wear or damage. (I suggest this as just about the only thing that will kill this bike is top end oil starvation)

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Thank again for all the info. 


A couple follow up questions as I dig into this. 


As Maim, pointed out, the carb boots were completely delaminated. They came right off when i removed the carb. The rubber is pretty worn, so I think I need a new set. Do I need to buy the entire thing - carb joint 1 and 2? Or can I just get the rubber boots and attach them to the existing joint?


The joints to the air filter look ok. Is there any way to reenforce the seal/glue? 


Also, in taking apart the carb for cleaning and inspection, I am having trouble removing the nozzle, jet and washer of the secondary carb. Are they supposed to come out easily? I suspect that since it has been sitting for years, that it is all gunked up. I don't want to force/damage anything. Any suggestions/tricks? Keep in mind this is my first bike and I am learning as I go. 


Thanks for the help.

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The carb mounts / joints come with the rubber sealed to the metal .


I suppose you might be able to glue the air tubes to the box , but why ? Suction will do a pretty good job of that . At least , it has on my bike .


The nozzle can be a pain . I use a 6 point wrench or socket and what ever force it takes .

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