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DR350 Hare scramble or Enduro worthy?

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To start off with I know close to nothing about DR350's. That being said are they very capable off road? I plan on riding some enduros this year and my current bike is not a dual sport and I don't have a CO or Title for it. A friend of mine has a 1994 DR350 for sale inexpensively that he has been riding to work the last couple years and he has never ridden dirt on it. He has street tires on it etc.. I need a dual sport street legal bike that is reasonably priced. I am trying to do this on a small budget. So I would like to know if they are capable machines or can they be made capable machines without spending a ton on them. I would guess that suspension would be the biggest issue. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

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I am planning the same thing for my '97 350SE. The biggest thing you have to worry about on the DR is the suspension. Spend a few buck and dial it in with springs and valving. I just did the front end and what a difference.

The engine is a super sturdy work horse but is a little low on power. Get the carb off a dirt only model and put a pipe on for a start. Then look into a 385 or 441 bore out kit. I have close to 27,000 miles of hard riding and it still runs pretty good for never having to rebuild.

Most of all PRACTICE. A good rider on a slow bike is faster than a bad rider on a fast bike. GOOD LUCK...

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Most of all PRACTICE. A good rider on a slow bike is faster than a bad rider on a fast bike. GOOD LUCK...

Cept on a long straightaway...............:p:moon::mad::busted:

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Hey! I used to race a TM400! That I bought brand new!

It's the only bike that I know of that they DETUNED it more every year!

LOL!!!!!

Just for giggles one time I had a buddy clock me in his car...

he was driving down the pavement on a county road,

and I was riding down the shoulder.....

he gave up at 90mph!!!!!

The TM was still going!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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There's a lot of variables here. The '94 doesn't have the nice cartridge suspension of the '98 and later models. It uses the old damper rod forks up front and a soft shock on the rear. That's not to say that the suspension can't be brought up to par. XR 400 forks will drop into the DR triples perfectly (you'd need the XR front wheel and spacers to go with it). The XR has some of the best right-side-up forks out there. You'll need to send the shock out to Race Tech for a proper spring for your weight and a re-valve. That'll help tons off road.

Pumper carb is a must. Jesse has a full kit for the DR for under $500. The CV carb is just plain garbage off-road. Jesse can hog out your stock exhaust for a modest fee, and it'll be a lot better. Do the 3"x3" mod to the top of the air-box, and you'll have the stock motor about as far as you can take it.

Get some good, fat pegs (you'll see some IMS knock-offs on e-bay, and they work just dandy), bar risers (helps to ride the bike when standing up), heavier skid plate, and some intermediate knobby tires and you should be about there.

All this stuff adds up. You'll probably drop another $1200 on the bike to get it ready....or, you could just go find a "plated "XR400 or a DR350 dirt model that's been plated.:moon::busted:

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There's a lot of variables here. The '94 doesn't have the nice cartridge suspension of the '98 and later models. It uses the old damper rod forks up front and a soft shock on the rear. That's not to say that the suspension can't be brought up to par. XR 400 forks will drop into the DR triples perfectly (you'd need the XR front wheel and spacers to go with it). The XR has some of the best right-side-up forks out there. You'll need to send the shock out to Race Tech for a proper spring for your weight and a re-valve. That'll help tons off road.

Pumper carb is a must. Jesse has a full kit for the DR for under $500. The CV carb is just plain garbage off-road. Jesse can hog out your stock exhaust for a modest fee, and it'll be a lot better. Do the 3"x3" mod to the top of the air-box, and you'll have the stock motor about as far as you can take it.

Get some good, fat pegs (you'll see some IMS knock-offs on e-bay, and they work just dandy), bar risers (helps to ride the bike when standing up), heavier skid plate, and some intermediate knobby tires and you should be about there.

All this stuff adds up. You'll probably drop another $1200 on the bike to get it ready....or, you could just go find a "plated "XR400 or a DR350 dirt model that's been plated.:moon::busted:

This DR350 I'm looking at is currently titled and plated. I would have to search out some parts and see if it will all be worth it or not.

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The XR400 forks use a .38 spring for '96-'99 and a .40 spring for '00-'04.

The stock DR spring is .37 early years, .38 mid years and .39 late years.

You could also use the '88 CR250 forks with a .39 or '88 CR500 with .38 spring.

If you use the Honda forks, you will need a Honda wheel. Those forks are on ebay frequently for fairly cheap... I got a set of '89 CR125 forks one time for $10! Plus shipping of course.....

The '86 - '87 forks work too, it's just that the '88 are better.

All of these forks will drop into the stock DR triple clamps.

Another option to improve the forks would be to use a set of KLX250/300 triple clamps (same bearings as DR), a spacer on top of top bearing, and any KX USD forks from '91-95 along with the right KX wheel. You probably will have to do the front brake caliper too. This setup can be done for $100-150 or so IF you are patient and willing to put it together.

Look in my garage at my DR to see what you can do....

I actually have TWO '90 DR350 off road bikes.... I was running 43mm KYB USD forks, now I'm moving to 46mm KYB USD forks.

The one in my garage I raced in the ISDE qualifier series in '91 with modified stock forks.... these forks are MUCH better.

Great fun bikes.... and they are 6 speed!

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Are you looking at a 1994 dirt only model, or a dualsport (SE) model?

If it is the dirt model, you will have cartridge forks. The early ones (1994-1996) are cartridge forks, but do not have any adjustments on the top of the fork tubes. You should not have rebound or spring preload adjustments on top.

The street (SE) models have damper rod forks and a spring preload adjustment (large "screw" in the center of the top cap).

DR's are heavy and have poor suspension compared to modern bikes. You can put a lot of money into the suspension (USD fork swap, rear shock / swingarm swap or gold valves) and get a better handling bike, but you will still have a 50 lb weight penalty over the lightest new bikes.

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It is quite unusual to need a plated bike for a hare-scrambles race. There's a lot of YZ 250's and KTM 300's running these events without street licensing. It could be that you're after a single bike that can pull dual duty as an off-roader and still tackle a short commute during the week. The DR could certainly do it, with some work as I'd (and others) mentioned above. The other option, if you really-truly don't need a plated bike for the events you'd like to run in, would be a second bike dedicated totally to dirt riding. A KDX 200, IT 200, or EXC 200 are about as good as it gets for poking around in the gnarly stuff, having decent power and being light weight. The KDX and IT can be had for less than the mods to the DR would cost you, with the KTM being a bit more. Something to ponder, I guess.

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It's too damn heavy for serious woods type enduros or Hare scrambles.

lol, try telling that to me and my '04 dr650 :busted:

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If your looking to fool around and have some fun, there is no better bike at the price range($1000 to $1400). You shouldn't have to spend much more than that to have a great bike that will at least compete in an endro or hare scramble. I have a "95 350SE (paid $1250) and it is a GREAT bike! I haven't done any hare scrambles but I have ridden a DRZ400 and they really aren't a ton better than the DR350. Also a DRZ costs at least 2500 to 3000 for a cheap one. Buy a DR in very good condition, put some good knobbies on it and go to it. :busted:

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Dirt or street model would be my first question too......next would be size?....riding experience?

Street model I wouldn't care for, but good, properly set-up DR350 dirt model could be a fun budget/starter Enduro/HS bike.

Up until June '07 I rode a '94 DR350 (dirt model w/cartridge forks). Decent bike, easy starting, very reliable, no radiator to boil over and performed pretty well for what it was (a basic trail bike). Among changes I did were, 14/47 gearing, Dyna-jet kit w/modified airbox, Twin Air filter, IMS pegs, and suspension work to get a full usable 11" of travel....Mine was done years ago by Norm Kouba of Kouba Links....huge difference in handling and how fast you can ride these bikes. (last I heard, Kouba's personal old DR350 w/435 kit was still going)

At a low budget minimum I strongly suggest Kouba links set-up per their directions to improve off-road handling for anyone on any DR/DRZ (it is not just a lowering link), but really best to ALSO have someone do springs/re-valve.

I've ridden a few DRZ's, WR's, XR's, etc. Once suspension was done, I could hang w/and even pull away from many of those same similar sized bikes in tight trails....long straights/sand washes and big WOT hill climbs, the newer 400's got me.

For reference, I'd say my DR350 power felt similar to our stock KDX200, but more torque and higher top end speed (just over 70mph as geared).

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i got a 93 dirt model plated. i dont find it heavy but the supsension could definetly ues some work. if its the street model it will need alot mork work then the dirt model.

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