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Can't kickstart 1991 DR 350S

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I recently bought a 1991 DR350S in average condition. The bike will not start when I kick it but does start and run ok when I roll start it. Does anyone have any suggestions on a checklist I should go through when trying to solve this problem. I notice fuel is leaking out of the petcock when I turn the fuel on. Perhaps this might  be related to the hard starting issue? Any help appreciated.

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Replace the stock leaking petcock first thing.  Here is a link to one that is not vacuum operated:   http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR3.TRC0.A0.H0.Xsuzuki+dr+350s+petcock&_nkw=suzuki+dr+350s+petcock&_sacat=0&_from=R40.  Check to see it hasn't contaminated your oil with gasoline, if it has change the oil.  The vacuum hose from the carburetor that used to operate the petcock needs to be plugged off. I used a short piece of hose and a bolt in the end.  Then, inside of the cap that goes on the sparkplug, there is a piece that clips onto the end of the plug.  It has a slot for a flathead screwdriver and if you take it out you'll find a short resistor and a spring.  mine was corroded, Here is a link to a whole new spark plug boot.    http://www.thisoldtractor.com/dr350_spark_plug_resistor_cap.html      The boot will unscrew off the coil wire and you screw the new one on.  It was after I replaced this part that I could kick start my dr.  Up until then I had to drift start it.  Make sure your plug is in good shape and is gapped correctly. 

Edited by travis789

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Travis789 makes some great points! Also, after you get these items sorted out, there is a starting technique. Pull the choke out both clicks, and do NOT touch the throttle when you kick. Not even a little.

Good luck! You will enjoy the bike.

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The petcock is not the problem, its just very complicated to kick start, but hey, at least nobody but you is going to know how to start it. I have a 92 350s and it took me forever to learn how to start it. Heres the steps

-turn on gas

-turn idle adjuster in 1/2 turn from normal idle

-pull out choke

-hold decomp, then kick the engine over 5 times

-Hold decomp, kick down very very slowly

-you cant kick any further then the click, if you do restart

-the kickstarter gear should catch when the kickstart is at the top.

-kick down pretty hard and fast.

-when you finish kicking down, dont -leave your foot on the kickstart, lift it off imediatly

-When its running turn your idle back down 1/2 turn and push clock in

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I have the same bike. I replaced the petcock with a straight up; on, off, reserve assembly. Works mint. Get your carb dialed in and pull the choke when the bike is cold. Use the decomp lever to find TDC, and kick it like man. Mine takes 2 kicks to start. I also have it idled up a turn or so...

Don't let Monday ruin your Sunday!

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Ok, thanks for the responses, I'll work my way through those things and hopefully get the bike starting good. One other question, is adjusting valves and piston changes a difficult job for someone who's never done it before? I've ordered a Clymer manual, so I'm I'll use that as a guide if I do it.   

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The manual does a pretty good job with making adjustments, inspections, and installations easier...some prior experience would definitly help...

Don't let Monday ruin your Sunday!

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My 92 DR 350 is the same routine as Htown mentioned above except non idle adjustment. Make sure your fuel switch is on pri(prime)

And follows the steps. I went from 50 kicks to 1 by following the routine.

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I don't use my decomp lever when I start.  I just push slowly and firmly with the kickstarter until I feel the pressure build and then I hit a spot where the pressure drops.  I stop exactly there and bring the kicker back to the top of the travel and kick it through hard. (I try not to bottom it out though)  Even in the cold I get it in 3 or 4 tries.  But if you have a corroded spark plug cap, you're going to have weak spark, which makes it much harder.  Good luck!

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I don't use my decomp lever when I start.  I just push slowly and firmly with the kickstarter until I feel the pressure build and then I hit a spot where the pressure drops.  I stop exactly there and bring the kicker back to the top of the travel and kick it through hard. (I try not to bottom it out though)  Even in the cold I get it in 3 or 4 tries.  But if you have a corroded spark plug cap, you're going to have weak spark, which makes it much harder.  Good luck!

you must have a later model dr. the earlier ones did not have a manual decompression cam and kicking an engine in good condition without use of the decompression lever had bad results.  I can completely stand up on my kick starter when its top dead center and it aint going nowhere!  mine is a 441 with bumped compressin but I would imagine the stock 350 is very similar on the old models.  I for one enjoy the bike being "hard to start" meaning 99% of people could never start my bike and I get it in 1-2 kicks

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I have a 91 and it's got a manual decomp lever...

Don't let Monday ruin your Sunday!

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you must have a later model dr. the earlier ones did not have a manual decompression cam and kicking an engine in good condition without use of the decompression lever had bad results.  I can completely stand up on my kick starter when its top dead center and it aint going nowhere!  mine is a 441 with bumped compressin but I would imagine the stock 350 is very similar on the old models.  I for one enjoy the bike being "hard to start" meaning 99% of people could never start my bike and I get it in 1-2 kicks

its a '93 with manual decompression lever.  I don't really kick it to where I need it, just slowly push it around to where it needs to be.  It ends up in the same spot the decompression lever leaves it.

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