Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Newbie with a DR 350ES

Recommended Posts

I have recently purchased a 1998 DR 350 ES with 5900 miles and a trying to personalize it a bit and make a few changes relating to increasing dependability, improving performance, make it easier to maintain etc, etc. So I will be asking a lot of questions, some of them will be pretty dumb and obvious to you old hands. This is my first DR and I have not owned a Suzuki mc since 1965 (150 Olympian).  Had a lot of bikes in between though, so I am not a greenhorn, just green around a DR.

 

So as I run into glitches I will list them here and hopefully get some feedback. Thanks for any light you can shed in my direction.

 

PLANNING TO DO: I'll just dive in when I get a block of time,

 

Adjust/check the valves,

 

Add handlebar risers for more comfort when standing up when off road.

 

Clean/change the plug,

 

Change engine oil and replace oil filter,

 

Change fork oil (weight suggestions?....  I weigh 210, 6'2"),

 

Remove the chain roller on the left side of the frame near the countershaft.

 

Make a aluminum skid plate that extends further behind the stock one.

 

The air box  appears to be stock so I need dimensions to open it up to. Anybody have dimensions to increase opening?

 

There is a neutral switch on the DR 650 that the screws can come loose on and then go into the engine causing havoc. Is this a similar situation on the DR 350, so do I need to get in there and Loctite some screws too? Is this the plastic switch under the countershaft cover?

 

 I understand that the DR 350 also has some problems with the countershaft seal coming out and there is some optional screw on shield that prevents this situation. Is this problem also present on the DR 350?

 

PLANNING TO PURCHASE IN THE SEMI-NEAR FUTURE:

 

Install and plumb a Acerbis 4.2 gallon gas tank

 

Not sure what the stock gearing is. It now has a 15 tooth countershaft sprocket and 41 tooth on the rear wheel. Seems okay for the street, but might go to a 14 on the CS sprocket and try that out. This bike will see mostly street use, but will get used on forest service roads, logging roads and a smattering of single track in northern California.

 

Install a K & N air filter, (yea or nea?)

 

It seems to be carbureted well and runs fine so I assume it has already been re-jetted, will check carb jets and confirm at some point. Starts, idles and runs well as is though.

 

It has the stock pipe/muffler and is nice and quiet, (I like quiet bikes...so do the neighbors!) But am considering sending my muffler off the Keintech for them to do the "muffler mod".  How much does this increase the dB's?

 

TODAYS QUESTION: 18 NOV. 2015

 I dislike any potential safety gizmo that can go haywire and disable the bike, so therefore the kickstand safety switch is gotta go. It appears to just disconnect under the gas tank at a junction point and then I can remove the whole wire from the frame and unscrew it at the kickstand. Is this really so? Do I short the two wires together under the tank to complete the ignition circuit again?

 

I don't like the idea of the clutch safety switch either as a short can leave me stranded with that "safety feature" too.  Do the list members suggest I override that one also?

 

Dogfeathers
 
PS If there is an archive article that covers a lot of mods for this model, can someone point me to it? Thanks
Edited by Dogfeathers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have recently purchased a 1998 DR 350 ES with 5900 miles and a trying to personalize it a bit and make a few changes relating to increasing dependability, improving performance, make it easier to maintain etc, etc. So I will be asking a lot of questions, some of them will be pretty dumb and obvious to you old hands. This is my first DR and I have not owned a Suzuki mc since 1965 (150 Olympian).  Had a lot of bikes in between though, so I am not a greenhorn, just green around a DR.

 

So as I run into glitches I will list them here and hopefully get some feedback. Thanks for any light you can shed in my direction.

 

PLANNING TO DO: I'll just dive in when I get a block of time,

 

Adjust/check the valves,

 

Add handlebar risers for more comfort when standing up when off road.

 

Clean/change the plug,

 

Change engine oil and replace oil filter,

 

Change fork oil (weight suggestions?....  I weigh 210, 6'2"),

 

Remove the chain roller on the left side of the frame near the countershaft.  why?

 

Make a aluminum skid plate that extends further behind the stock one.

 

The air box  appears to be stock so I need dimensions to open it up to. Anybody have dimensions to increase opening?  why?

 

There is a neutral switch on the DR 650 that the screws can come loose on and then go into the engine causing havoc. Is this a similar situation on the DR 350, so do I need to get in there and Loctite some screws too? Is this the plastic switch under the countershaft cover?  no action required

 

 I understand that the DR 350 also has some problems with the countershaft seal coming out and there is some optional screw on shield that prevents this situation. Is this problem also present on the DR 350?

no action required

 

PLANNING TO PURCHASE IN THE SEMI-NEAR FUTURE:

 

Install and plumb a Acerbis 4.2 gallon gas tank

 

Not sure what the stock gearing is. It now has a 15 tooth countershaft sprocket and 41 tooth on the rear wheel. Seems okay for the street, but might go to a 14 on the CS sprocket and try that out. This bike will see mostly street use, but will get used on forest service roads, logging roads and a smattering of single track in northern California.

 

Install a K & N air filter, (yea or nea?)  nay

 

It seems to be carbureted well and runs fine so I assume it has already been re-jetted, will check carb jets and confirm at some point. Starts, idles and runs well as is though.

 

It has the stock pipe/muffler and is nice and quiet, (I like quiet bikes...so do the neighbors!) But am considering sending my muffler off the Keintech for them to do the "muffler mod".  How much does this increase the dB's?

 

TODAYS QUESTION: 18 NOV. 2015

 I dislike any potential safety gizmo that can go haywire and disable the bike, so therefore the kickstand safety switch is gotta go. It appears to just disconnect under the gas tank at a junction point and then I can remove the whole wire from the frame and unscrew it at the kickstand. Is this really so? Do I short the two wires together under the tank to complete the ignition circuit again? yes

 

I don't like the idea of the clutch safety switch either as a short can leave me stranded with that "safety feature" too.  Do the list members suggest I override that one also? yes, under the headlight cowling is yellow/green? wire connections that you can simply short circuit the safety switch.

 

Dogfeathers
 
PS If there is an archive article that covers a lot of mods for this model, can someone point me to it? Thanks
 
answers in bold

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to Plugeyes comments:

 

Install a K & N air filter, (yea or nea?)  nay

 

Why nay? I like the idea of a re-usable filter that will essentially last the life of the bike. Getting a stock replacement once or twice a year from the dealer is likely to get chancy at some point, this bike is already17 years old!, at some points are gong to dry up.

 

Remove the chain roller on the left side of the frame near the countershaft.  why?

 

 I believe that on DR 650's and I have read elseware that may have covered the DR 350 that if and when a chain gets thrown that if hits the roller (that seems to do nothing and I have no idea why it is there) and it wraps around that roller and rips it out tearing a chunk of the frame out with it. Bummer.

 

 

The air box  appears to be stock so I need dimensions to open it up to. Anybody have dimensions to increase opening?  why?

 

Again, this modification I have read about, generally in conjunction with adding a performance pipe, allowing the engine to breath a bit better, more air in, more air out, hopefully with a performance gain included. Some folks say it just makes more intake noise though and not much else.

 

 

 

There is a neutral switch on the DR 650 that the screws can come loose on and then go into the engine causing havoc. Is this a similar situation on the DR 350, so do I need to get in there and Loctite some screws too? Is this the plastic switch under the countershaft cover?

  no action required

 

 I understand that the DR 350 also has some problems with the countershaft seal coming out and there is some optional screw on shield that prevents this situation. Is this problem also present on the DR 350?

no action required

 

No action required? Because this is not a problem on this model or just another internet rumor?

 

******************

 I was working on the bike today and cleaning up a bit of "deferred maintenance" issues and tthen ook it for a 20-25 mile ride. The bike runs fine once it is warmed up, but it seems pretty cold blooded which leads me to believe that maybe it needs some improvements in jetting still. In the midrange it seems to occasionally surge or hunts a bit, again leading me to believe it may need some jetting work after all. It is a California bike and the jetting on bikes sold here is horrible as it come from the dealer. I have yet to get into the carb so have no idea if it has been re-jetted or not.

 

Dogfeathers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to Plugeyes comments:

 

Install a K & N air filter, (yea or nea?)  nay

 

Why nay? I like the idea of a re-usable filter that will essentially last the life of the bike. Getting a stock replacement once or twice a year from the dealer is likely to get chancy at some point, this bike is already17 years old!, at some points are gong to dry up.

 

the stock and A.M. foam filters are reusable & will last for years. k&n filters are just as much effort to maintain & dont filter as well. i keep at least 2 foam filters, 1 oiled in a ziplock & 1 in the airbox.

 

Remove the chain roller on the left side of the frame near the countershaft.  why?

 

 I believe that on DR 650's and I have read elseware that may have covered the DR 350 that if and when a chain gets thrown that if hits the roller (that seems to do nothing and I have no idea why it is there) and it wraps around that roller and rips it out tearing a chunk of the frame out with it. Bummer.

 

i'm aware of the dr650 issue, but never heard of this with dr350 & dr250.

 

The air box  appears to be stock so I need dimensions to open it up to. Anybody have dimensions to increase opening?  why?

 

Again, this modification I have read about, generally in conjunction with adding a performance pipe, allowing the engine to breath a bit better, more air in, more air out, hopefully with a performance gain included. Some folks say it just makes more intake noise though and not much else.

 

yep, a well-tuned stock machine has no problem keeping up with the loud ones.

 

There is a neutral switch on the DR 650 that the screws can come loose on and then go into the engine causing havoc. Is this a similar situation on the DR 350, so do I need to get in there and Loctite some screws too? Is this the plastic switch under the countershaft cover?

  no action required

 

 I understand that the DR 350 also has some problems with the countershaft seal coming out and there is some optional screw on shield that prevents this situation. Is this problem also present on the DR 350?

no action required

 

No action required? Because this is not a problem on this model or just another internet rumor?

 

right, no problem on dr350 or dr250 models. the neutral switch is externally mounted and the countershaft seal has a retainer.

 

******************

 I was working on the bike today and cleaning up a bit of "deferred maintenance" issues and tthen ook it for a 20-25 mile ride. The bike runs fine once it is warmed up, but it seems pretty cold blooded which leads me to believe that maybe it needs some improvements in jetting still. In the midrange it seems to occasionally surge or hunts a bit, again leading me to believe it may need some jetting work after all. It is a California bike and the jetting on bikes sold here is horrible as it come from the dealer. I have yet to get into the carb so have no idea if it has been re-jetted or not.

 

Dogfeathers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BimBamBoom,

Thanks for the heads up regarding the K & N filter and the fact that the stock filter is cleanable/re-usable. I have one on my 1990 BMW

R100GS and have been happy with it although it also sees mostly street use and no blasting into dust clouds behind other riders, so even

when I am on dirt, it is "nice dirt"!

THE QUESTION OF THE DAY: 22 November '15

I got the bike used with only one ignition key and no fork lock key which I will want to use occasionally. The is no number near the key

lock area so have no idea what to ask for if I go to the Suzuki dealer asking for a key. What do I do then, just buy a blank key and then take it to a locksmith and have them pick the lock and somehow make a new key? My Honda XL had a fork lock built right into the ignition

key switch and I liked that a lot. I would prefer not carrying an extra lock devise with me all the time if I can help it so I want to atleast use the fork lock make it "harder" to go off with my bike. Any suggestions? TIA

Edited by Dogfeathers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks MuckSavage,

Yea, I have run into a dead end with this fork key problem. There is a place in the manual that asks you to write down the key number and none of the previous owners did so.

I re-contacted the previous owner and the owner before him and they claimed they never had the key.

I have contacked a locksmith about them picking and then making me a key and they are giving extimates of around $60.00!

As usual, when you have a problem......add more money! Oh well!

Dogfeathers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess you'd have to decide if the $60 is worth the alternate......buying & carrying a quality aftermarket lock device.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...