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1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

  1. #76
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild


    Insured, registered for street & dirt, plated, street kit is half installed, waiting for fresh tires & tubes. Got the battery, key switch and regulator/rectifier and loving the setup. The Vapor dash really lights up on 12V DC. Setting it up to function like a "normal" street bike - key on for power & ignition, and I can use lights/dash without the engine running.

    Decided against the antique registration but it should be inspectable when all's said and done.

    Oh yeah, insurance: $3/mo.

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  2. #77
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    The thing to watch out for with antique registrations in Maine is they track milage, if you exceed the expected 'limited' use on an antique plate, your reg gets yanked. Lots of people used to use the antique loophole to keep crap cars on the road (Think VW rabbits with rotted out floorboards and worse) without having to actually repair them. There are now milage and number of days per year used limits on antique plates.

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  3. #78
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    The thing to watch out for with antique registrations in Maine is they track milage.
    Well, you're safe as a spinster aunt then, Josh. Old AND rarely ridden.

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  4. #79
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    The thing to watch out for with antique registrations in Maine is they track milage, if you exceed the expected 'limited' use on an antique plate, your reg gets yanked. Lots of people used to use the antique loophole to keep crap cars on the road (Think VW rabbits with rotted out floorboards and worse) without having to actually repair them. There are now milage and number of days per year used limits on antique plates.
    I didn't see any reference to mileage or days per year on the affidavit they make you sign and it wasn't mentioned by the clerk. Not saying they aren't enforcing it. They don't want this to be a loophole around inspections. The part that got me was the language around usage and "reconstructed vehicles". Apparently they cannot be modified or customized in any significant way either.

    Hoping to use the DR a lot and not be looking over my shoulder. No sense in antique reg when it should take a sticker no problem (well, if my exhaust passess....)

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  5. #80
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Street conversion is complete. At long last, took Version One on her maiden voyage today.

    Did about 35 miles around town, a few dirt roads, and maybe got sidetracked on a power line trail briefly. Pretty sure everyone within 2 miles is now deaf and hates me. Still a lot of small things to sort out, getting started on suspension soon, and definitely needs to be tuned in better. But so ridiculously fun to ride. Just cruising around with tons of grunt and not 100% focused on managing the bike, just riding! Wheelies for days (not that I'd do such a thing...) Oh man, pretty happy right now she is running and hit a major milestone almost 3 years after purchasing.

    And yeah, I got some pics











    ^ Me, being happy

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  6. #81
    Lifer typeone's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    nice work ! looking good

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  7. #82
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Decided to upgrade the stator/magneto/VRR using early-model DR350S parts. The dirt-only stator put out just enough power to handle the lights/dash/etc. but there was basically nothing left to spare.

    Picked up an early-model DR350S single phase stator, magneto and VRR from a nice gent on ADVrider for $100 and finally got it sorted. This was a bit of a gamble, not 100% sure it would work, but turned out great.



    Dirt on the left, street on the right. Lots more windings.

    Was able to use the dirt CDI and ignition coil with no real modifications. Replaced the brand new Trail Tech VRR I literally just installed

    At first the VRR was chucking out 40V and I thought I was doomed - the key to making this work is shorting the orange "reference" lead to the positive lead coming from the VRR. This drops it to about 3V, then you *must* have a battery hooked up and the VRR magic smooths it all out around 13.3V.



    Now to clean up this unholy rat's nest before my top end bolts get here. Planning to helicoil a few stripped valve cover threads, starting with fresh bolts & washers all around, hopefully I can get her to stop bleeding oil everywhere.

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  8. #83
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Few things done in the last month.

    Major wiring cleanup, waterproofing lots of wires, starting to clean up the dash a bit.

    Helicoiled 3 bolts on the cylinder head and replaced all valve cover bolts with OEM. FINALLY got the valve cover to stop leaking, so sweet. Was a real bitch of a project but worth it, eventually going to have a machine shop do some proper coil inserts, maybe next winter. Did the valves for the millionth time..

    Still tinkering with the carb. Went up to a 40 pilot jet a while back and it started pretty easy but had to idle around 2,000rpm and major hanging idle. Went back down to a 37.5 pilot and got a smoother idle around 1,600 but it is HELL to get started, especially when hot, and still has major hanging idle. Has great power and smooth all the way up, just a finicky little bitch at low RPMs. I'm going to triple check for any vacuum leaks, inspect the slide for any wear that might be leaking, and almost considering a new carb just because.

    But most importantly... finally rode the hell out of it. Found some really sweet singletrack and logging roads not even 5 miles from my house. Some pretty intense tight rocky hilly muddy trails that definitely had me and the bike at the limit. So so sweet. Pretty big and heavy to shove around but I was amazed at what it could handle.. even with these crappy Shinkos and street PSI.

    Safety wiring some stuff, it vibrates like crazy and so far I've broken one mirror, one blinker, lost my license plate (found it later), lost the new rack I installed (didn't find it), battery mount broke off, muffler fell off, header pipe fell off, tank grip fell off... lol.

    First trail ride:



    Yesterday:



    Next: more carb tweaking, chain/sprockets, forks, brakes, new blinkers, figure out a good not-super-bulky rack for a bag and extra fuel. And 50 other small things...

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    05GSXR75005SV65090DR350

  9. #84

    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    sweet read!

    love that feeling of newly running bike and getting on some first dirt rides!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    ...so far I've broken one mirror, one blinker, lost my license plate (found it later), lost the new rack I installed (didn't find it), battery mount broke off, muffler fell off, header pipe fell off, tank grip fell off...
    I'm used to this...the good thing is I target those nuts/bolts/fasteners and hand tighten them before any major ride (axle, brake, seat, plastics, radiator shroud, plastics)

    muffler and header pipe

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  10. #85
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by breakdirt916 View Post
    sweet read!

    love that feeling of newly running bike and getting on some first dirt rides!!

    I'm used to this...the good thing is I target those nuts/bolts/fasteners and hand tighten them before any major ride (axle, brake, seat, plastics, radiator shroud, plastics)

    muffler and header pipe
    Yesss, such a great feeling I've been staring at this bike for years now lol

    Good call, pre-ride bolt check is going to be a must. Luckily I brought some tools & zip ties on my last trip to fix the plate.

    Not the first time I've lost the muffler haha, it vibrates like crazy. Safety wire did the trick - header bolts I'll just need to keep checking.

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  11. #86
    Posting Freak Tas's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    My neighbor is selling his 1996 DR350 for $2900 or b/o. It looks very original and in great shape but I don't know these bikes well enough to know any better.

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  12. #87
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Tas View Post
    My neighbor is selling his 1996 DR350 for $2900 or b/o. It looks very original and in great shape but I don't know these bikes well enough to know any better.
    $2,900 is high you can get a clean DR350S for around $1,500-2,000

    I've spent significantly more than that on my conversion/rebuild but in hindsight could have done it cheaper. Not counting tons of labor of course. It has some of the dirt model forks/carb and more modern speedo/dash and some other custom bits so it's kind of built to my taste which I like. Very happy with how it handles on street and dirt, and very easy to work on.

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  13. #88
    Posting Freak Tas's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Good to know. I don't know what this are going for.

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  14. #89
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Have since done a new rear Sunstar Works Z sprocket, front JT Sprocket, DID 520 chain, and just threw a new PT clutch & perch on after my last off snapped it in two. The PT has a wicked nice feel to it and fully adjustable.





    Despite lots of little tweaks, some parts falling off here and there, she has been dead reliable on the trails. Helluva right leg workout too.

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  15. #90
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Out with the old, in with the new. Nice shiny Mikuni TM33 pumper, about $220 on eBay. The old one will be a donor for the "spare" DR, whose carb was an unholy mess and still completely mucked up after soaking.

    Installed with stock jets and set the idle air screw. Seems to be running smoother down low and feeling just a tiny bit snappier. Feeling what I think is a bit of starvation at WOT so I'll swap the main jet up 1-2 sizes.



    Also installed an Immix rear rack and took it on the trails for about 20 miles with my Cortech bag. Instantly felt the difference with 20lb or so perched up on the rear. At first I hated it, but by the end of the day barely noticed it was there and actually found the extra weight made a few of the trickier climbs easier. The rack is tough, fits perfectly, exceeded my expectations for build quality. Undecided if this will be a permanent switch, or if I'll go for a rackless system and use the Immix on the other bike. For now, it's staying. Unlike a backpack, whatever goes in that rear bag gets shaken and beaten to hell so I may use it for tools/fuel and keep my bag for anything I actually want to survive.



    In other news, somehow my tank grips have managed to stay on ride after ride with 3M spray adhesive. I usually have to reapply every couple rides. Best $3 I've spent on this bike, Home Depot FTW

    Caliper rebuild/brakes and a few other items on the todo list. Oh, and tires. Currently running dirt cheap Shinko's that have actually surpassed my expectations but I've almost completely eaten up the rear. Thinking maybe the Dunlops..

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    Last edited by Tekime; 09-26-17 at 03:22 PM.
    05GSXR75005SV65090DR350

  16. #91
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Keep cans of beer in the bag on the rack. More exciting that way

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  17. #92
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Already tested, definitely more exciting

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  18. #93
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Just reporting in this bike is a damn champion. Thought it might be pooched after a lot of hard riding and worried about oil starvation last year but she's been more reliable than ever this season.

    Finally did a full fork rebuild (my first time). Fork oil looked like the original juice and spent many hours cleaning every component. Some Bel Ray, new bushings & seals and it feels amazing now.

    The D606's have been great for trails... huge upgrade.

    Reminded just what a tank the DR is today when I sunk her in over 2' feet of thick mud & water. Pinned it trying to keep her running and probably lasted 20-30 seconds totally submerged. Finally died and had to dredge her and myself out of waist deep water with boots completely sunk in the mud. Finally got back on the grass and was genuinely worried I'd be walking out... 20 minutes letting dry out and cleaned a few handfuls of mud out of the airbox and started right up again.

    I've put a lot of money into rebuilding and keeping this stupid old bike going but after these last few rides I'm truly confident it was well spent and I plan on squeezing as much life as I can out of her. I'm sure when I finally suck it up and get a new bike it'll blow me away, but for now this 28-year-old pig makes me happy on the weekends!



    Oh yeah, and I decided to ditch the rack. The Immix was a great piece of gear but just too much weight that I don't absolutely need. Rackless makes more sense.

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    Last edited by Tekime; 07-27-18 at 10:02 PM.
    05GSXR75005SV65090DR350

  19. #94
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    I just reassembled my 98 DR350SE after almost 4 years of it sitting due to a dead battery and a gummed up carburetor. Fired it up for the first time last weekend, rode it to work twice this week. I forgot how much fun this bike is. I'm hoping to get a chance to finally put sort dirt tires on the second set of rims and ride a bit of dirt this year.

    I'm getting a bit of bogging around 3000 RPM, has the street model CV carb, need to research that. Also, I should probably change the ~5 year old oil in it.

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  20. #95
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Nice! I haven’t messed with the CV carb on that model. Took me a while to dial in the pumper even after putting a brand new one on last year, but eventually found the sweet spot.

    I might have a brand new clutch cable and stator cover gaskets for the S kicking around if you have a use for them.

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  21. #96

    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Lol mud run...we used to go out after rains in wrentham at the beaver loop and just absolutely swamping the hike with stinky bacteria filled boots for days...try not to anymore haha

    Keep the bike! It’s a recreational bike not a race tool...plus less money and As an owner of a 90’s bike I say they are he right blend of fun, cost, reliability, and capability. Spend more time riding and less time spending/wrenching

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  22. #97
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Picked up a 96 last year and rode it around in the woods that that old girl was a tank. sadly had to sell it this year thanks to new baby in the house. nice to see people are out here enjoying them

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  23. #98
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    *sigh*

    That's not where valves are supposed to go..

    Must have hit a few bumps a little too hard because both welds snapped off my muffler. Heard something banging around and my pipe was dangling off the back. Bike was still running fine, so I lugged it slowly to a spot near a dirt access road on a nearby trail. Rigged something up to keep the pipe in place, kicked it over and it was running but suddenly had major power loss. Pinned it for about 20 seconds trying to keep it running, creeped about 10 feet then it stalled. Gave up and came back with my truck and brought her home.. to discover a valve sitting in the jug. Strange coincidence, or losing the pipe leaned it out enough to cause a valve to drop? My best guess now is the timing skipped trying to get her running with



    Kicking myself for selling my spare bike last year or I'd have a nice motor to throw in. Luckily I just picked up a pretty sweet 2006 250 XC-W after a year of drooling over smokers. Few new parts to throw on and I'll be riding the KTM until I can get my hands on a spare DR/parts motor. Looks like I have my winter project - love this DR and not ready to give up on her yet!

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  24. #99
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    That dreaded buuuuuuuuh sound when you drop a valve. Sorry man.

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  25. #100
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: 1990 Suzuki DR350 Rebuild

    Thanks, it happens. Kind of surprised it ran so well this year with all the abuse.

    Found these twins down in NH and picked them up for cheap yesterday. One running, one parts bike. Unfortunately the PO removed the top end from the parts bike after it lost compression and then just left it outside in a pile. Case is full of rain water when it probably just needed something simple Anyway I'm stealing the top end for my DR, and looks like I'll have a complete running DR350S and a bunch of spares to boot! Lots of work ahead lol, but I'm not ready to give up on the old DR, we have plans haha.



    For now I'm throwing some new parts at the KTM and really excited to play with the 2 stroke.

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