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15K on dr350s, what should I replace?

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I think while I got it torn up for painting I should do a little maintenance and modding too.

 

Ideally I would like to make it a better street bike without totally destroying it's off road manners. Off road to me would be gravel or rutted roads. I am too old for major hot dogging or mud bugging. 

 

It has some kind of dirt only tires on it now. From my reading I think the Shinko 244 would be a good enough match for me. Think so too?

 

What benefit would i get from changing the sprockets and what would be a good combo?

 

In general I would like to tweak and improve the handling and suspension. 

 

Any proven cheap tricks like spacers for the fork springs or heavier oil or slightly moving them in the tree?

 

Would it be prudent to replace

 

    wheel bearings

 

    linkage bearings

 

    swing arm bearing

 

    fork seals

 

    steering bearings

 

    rebuild brake calibers

 

   is there any such thing as stainless brake lines for these bikes? Seemed to help on my nighthawk 750

 

   what about front fork braces?

 

   anything else that is turning or rubber or just plain tired?

 

Is there a big difference between the dirt and the street rear shock for the DR350?

 

I see a race tech gold valve kit. Is that worthwhile?

 

Is there a better stock shock and/or spring off a different bike that would fit? 

 

Are the eibach shock and fork springs worth the money?

 

MUFFLER!!! Egad aftermarket ones are expensive. Got a tip for a cheapstake? Is there a lighter, freer flowing, not so loud to rattle your fillings out, stock muffler off a different bike? In the back of my mind I think I remember someone saying a Yamaha R6 worked good.

 

I guess that is enough of my pestering for today. All help is appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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man this forum is dead. I'll google up answers to my questions and post them back.

 

Yep to the bearings and seals and such. What is 23 in dirt bike years? Probably a long time. Wish I could just go get new parts to feel all sleek and limber again.

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Ah - too many questions that is the problem  :rolleyes:

 

Replace bearings for peace of mind, or just keep an eye on them and do it when they start to wear.  Throttle and clutch cables my favourites to replace as (if you buy good one eg OEM) they give the bike a "new" feel again....

 

Brake callipers are usually not very well at this age - corrosion gets behind the seals and pushes them out against the piston creating dragging brakes.

 

I replaced pretty much every moving part on my '93 but it had been outside for a number of years. 

 

Suspension.... ah that is a subject to itself - the DR boingy bits are not great but do the job, for me the expense of getting both ends up to modern standards would be prohibitive...

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yep thedktor I unleashed a salvo of questions like a three year old would.

 

On further research I have made one grand conclusion at least about the swing arm. I don't think the rmx250 swingarm is a good fit or fix. Some have commented the geometry is all wrong and that it has been given a go because Suzuki owners might have one at hand.  If you do a search on ebay you will find other swingarms that look much more similar with the shock mount also more similar. 

 

In particular the suzuki gsx looks akin but the bike has a 17 inch tire

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251375805607?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

tempted, tempted i tell you to buy this swing arm because it has the same wheel size and is aluminum and so cheap and from a cool (imho) bike but alas I suspect the chances the width of the pivot being the same as the dr350 is just about nil.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161179336698?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

Fact is unless you have someone measuring everything for you buying an arm off any other bike is a crap shoot. Plus there are other little attachments and details on the stock arm you would have to improvise and overcome. 

 

 

Sigh. So what to do? Two good options. Leave it alone. Probably my best option since I doubt I will push it that hard and even if I did my sense of motorcycle handling isn't near as refined as some. But that option doesn't satisfy the inner tinker and the  improviser in me.

 

Option 2 is to box it in. 

 

There are even plates available pre cut for 42.50 shipped. I'd probably spend that much on material and dremel cutting and grinding wheels making them out myself. WAIT! Paris as in France? Only pay by check or money wire? Don't even give an address or payee? TGTBT yet again.

 

http://www.advracks.com/index.php?id_product=8&controller=product

 

I guess I will be making my own. There is another rub in this solution. Welding. My welder is very puny and I have never messed with aluminum. Sounds like a hassle finding someone to do this for me and here in Georgia will be pricey. I am always astonished what folks think their time and material is worth. Here is where I dive off the deep end probably. The arms are epoxied and pinned to the base already. In my extensive (HA HA) research no one has said that is the source of flex. Look up Pablo. Now if epoxy is good enough for Suzuki it is good enough for me. I plan to jb weld the plates in place and maybe drill and tap a screw or two. Worst that could happen is I'll end up looking  for a welder if that fails miserably. 

 

When I apply my brilliant skills of research and deductive reasoning to the rest of my questions I will report them back.

Edited by geaux

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Ha :)   look forward to further updates!

 

It is a tricky one though as I love the (modified) engine in my DR but the chassis is not really up to it. I have had DRz's in the past which resolve that, and may get another, but the engine, though more powerful, is not so happy to plod at low revs.  Swings and roundabouts...

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After all that wind blowing about using rm250 swing arm I just bought a 93 RM250 swing arm that had the linkage and shock too for 70$. Guess I need to look at the rm250 front end too now since I seem to have set a route.

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If your RM swingarm doesn't work  out there were people who would weld up the stock DR swingarm which was basically glued together.  I see you mentioned this but I remember it not costing that much. Cycle Gear used to offer this service.This was a good cheap fix-myself I have a Scott's aluminum swingarm on my '90 DRS 350. Also a rebuild in the front forks w/ Race Tech emulators added is a good thing  if your model doesn't have cartridge forks and a rebuild in the stock shock is advised. i have an Ohlin shock on my bike. A good resource is Jesse at Kientech and he built the Vortex airbox that I have on my DRS 350 which was a great addition.        http://www.kientech.com/   Talk to him and ask him some of your questions-he knows DR's. I have stainless steel brake lines front and rear and this would be a great addition to a bike that is that old. Those rubber lines probably don't get it anymore. I notice Jesse has a good stock muffler mod.

Edited by bimbamboom

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thanks bimbamboom. If I don't sober up on this bike project I will definitely be contacting kientech about that big bore kit. But first the rest of the bike goes together before I throw in that whopper size piece of grand finale dessert.

 

 

I have been busy some of this day figuring out the front suspension. First I figured out why the guys are buying and using rmx250 forks instead of the upside down rm250 forks. The reason you also have to change your triple tree to rmx250 is the diameter of the mrx250 forks is different. Stuff that might seem obvious but nobody explained it. Looked at the rmx250 forks but figured a cartridge fork is the cat's meow in tuning and rmx250 forks aint that. Next I went looking for upside right forks in 43mm that fit my tree. Also the desired axle is 15mm. A cartridge fork with those attributes is a 90 to 92 xr600r. Just as hard to find as the late model dr forks with cartridges. I didn't identify any others. What I settled on is the 98 43mm xr400r forks but they have a 17mm axle. Paid 140 for the pair. At least as far as internet pundits go those forks are not bad mouthed at all. I just bought a 15 to 17mm sleeve. If that that doesn't work why I will try something else. Got a feeling trying to use these forks is gonna be a lot of fun. But it is a challenge and a time killer so all good.

 

FRANKENBIKE!! I just christened it Franky.

 

Just wait till you see what I got in mind if I win a gas tank. me and my welder. WAAAHHH.

Edited by geaux

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Musing and researching the usage of my new rm250 stuff.

 

I am about 200 lbs. Not a confession of being overly fat but it does have bearing when discussing suspension.

 

What I deducted is using the swing arm has nothing but good things. It is about an inch longer but didn't see anybody say they needed a longer chain. 

 

Shock and linkage is a different story.

 

a) If you keep and use the rm250 shock and spring you have to move the rectifier and the exhaust header tube to get clearance? The header tube part makes no sense to me. It will raise your back end another 2 or 3 inches taller.  Numero uno solution is to match rm250 forks on front. At this moment I don't want to do that.

 

B) If you use the dr350 shock and spring and linkage you don't need to rearrange stuff and the stock height remains the same?

 

if b is true sounds like the sane thing to do is use the dr shock or an equivalent the same size. Spend the money on gold value and springs?

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SXrcing I will when I get to actually doing something. Right now it is research and internet purchasing and  jockey stuff. Parts in the mail though.

 

Bought a hardly used muffler from a KTM bike that had been modified (cut down) to give more back pressure for a 350cc bike. Sounds perfect huh? Looks pretty but hope it isn't obnoxious loud. 

 

How does one go about designing a custom midpipe? Would you have to take the whole bike to a muffler shop and tell them what you want?

 

 

Latest flash of brilliance is a new rear shock. While everything I have seen says the rm250 rear shock is a good one with all the adjustability desired I am a little put off by all the modding folks say they have to do to the airbox and tailpipe and moving the rectifier to use it. If you look at its shape it puts its reservoir (? all to the right). 18 inches eye to eye. If the info I have is correct the stock shock eye to eye measures 17-1/8 inch. It has either a 10 or 11 inch travel. It's reservoir is on a hose so non intrusive. So the quest is to find a mo better shock with the same dimensions and less obnoxious shape. On another thread a fellow used a yamaha yfz450 shock but early models were 18.5 in and later a long stretch 19.25!!!! Shape did look friendly though. other shocks i looked at that might work was suzuki lt450 which was 16 in eye to eye, honda trx450, 05 was 14.75, 07 15.25. seem kinda short to me. maybe something someone doing a motard would find interesting. Me I am going for street AND dirt dominance. 

 

I don't know what it is about 4 wheelers but there are slews of fairly late model used parts on ebay for them. Because they are popular? Because their owners abuse and fubar them? I will never know.

 

What I deemed a real winner was a 08 kawasaki kfx450r rear shock. eye to eye is 17 3/8, travel is 10 inches. the reservoir would face to the back of the bike and afaict not bump on all that stuff on the right. Length wise it shouldn't mess with the airbox. fully adjustable with linkage and spring for 45 shipped. 

 

 

 

Now I will have the choice of 3 shocks (stocker could still be improved), 3 linkages, 3 springs. Shouldn't I be able to come up with something mo better with all that options? I hope so.

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Heck, take a picture of you clicking the 'buy it now' button.

 

And let's see the bike dismantled. I've always liked those pictures.

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HA you want to see a enduro snuff film? I might just be killing the poor critter rather than healing it. 

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There are certain things that should be replaced regularly, like chains, sprockets, grips, brake pads, etc. But when it comes to bearings and seals, you can wait until they fail. Fork seals are a good idea if they have never been done, but if you've done them at some point, I'd probably wait until they go bad. Swingarm bearings and wheel bearings, grease them up and you should be good. Brake lines may be a good idea if they are old and you want to spend the money, since I've had old ones fail internally and cause a blockage.

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yellowdatsun I am leaning toward just inspecting and replacing if i suspect a bearing or seal might be tired or willing to rebel in the near future. The old if it aint broke don't fix it philosophy is easier on the wallet too. 

 

I do think I will rebuild and possibly upgrade the brakes and calipers. If those go it might not end up with me just cussing out the bike on the shoulder of the road. 

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