Buy a used Suzuki DR 350
It should be light and handy, the little enduro, off-road and speedy on the streets – then it really makes sense.
The DR 350 had a pretty easy game: Since its appearance in 1990, it has simply outperformed its all-terrain competitors in various comparative tests. The main reasons: The engine is as powerful as it runs smoothly, and the stable running gear with its good brakes makes life hell for many large-caliber machines on narrow country roads. Above all, however, the DR 350 offers very good off-road capabilities – not always a matter of course with modern enduros.
For 6,900 marks the DR 350 S, as the first variant was still called, offered a whole lot of technology for the money. The telescopic fork sported comparatively thick 43-millimeter standpipes, pressure stage adjustment and continuously adjustable spring preload. Things then became really new-fangled on the swing arm: Suzuki used a new process to save weight without sacrificing stability. The two forged swing arms, which are open on the inside, were connected to the light metal cast part of the swing arm mounting using an epoxy adhesive – and, as a precaution, were also screwed. The compression damping on the central spring strut could be easily adjusted on the compensation reservoir, the damper had a separate system of oil and nitrogen.
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Buy a used Suzuki DR 350
DR 350 SH (“Seat Height”), which replaced the DR 350 S. The seat height could now be lowered from 890 to 850 millimeters for an enduro chest of drawers using an adjusting wheel on the left end of the handlebar. If you put the setting wheel on the ground floor in the “High” position, the spring elements automatically pumped themselves back up to the first floor as they spring in and out while driving. Incidentally, this is an action that is definitely recommended before placing it on the short side stand, as the DR fatally tends to tip over in the lowered position.
As a technical delicacy, the DR 350 SH even had an upside-down fork. In 1994, Suzuki offered the DR 350 with an optional electric starter – the extra code was now “SE” – from 1995 the option of choosing from then on it was only started by pressing a button.
Purists mourn the elimination of the kick starter, after all, the DR jumps to the first kick in daily operation, but the fact is: after a week of idle time there is hanging in the shaft, no sign of willingness to start – so the electric starter is clearly a lifeline here . By the way, in order to prevent this nerve-wracking trampling from the start, it has proven to be a good idea to close the fuel tap shortly before reaching the garage at home, because the bad starting behavior is mostly due to stale, quasi “stale” fuel. And if you should forget that, you can always empty the float chamber using the drain plug before starting – the contents can then be put back into the tank immediately.
Keyword tank: The standard nine-liter thimble is cute to look at, but is not necessarily good for driving out a good cut, since with an average consumption of 5.8 liters the big shaking starts after 150 kilometers – it comes or it doesn’t , the nearest gas station? We recommend installing a tank from the accessories, the one from Acerbis (from Gotz, phone 0 74 76/93 31 50) with its volume of 15.5 liters not only significantly increases the range, but also improves the range thanks to its shape Knee closure.
However, despite the larger tank, the traveler will still often have to take a short break, because the seat upholstery is spartan and hard. And travel plans for two on the DR 350 should be forgotten right away, because the bank is clearly too short and there is no joy.
On the other hand, this is due to the reliability of the small engine, because mechanical weaknesses of the easy-revving four-stroke engine are not known, it is generally considered to be stable – owners and workshops agree on this. However, it was noticeable that there were no kilometer tears among the readers’ letters, the highest mileage was around 30,000 kilometers – the DR 350 is not a thoroughbred touring tourer after all.
The surface quality, on the other hand, cannot necessarily be described as resistant, especially the lower edges of the tank, the welded seams of the frame and the exhaust are all too open to rust formation. Reader Christian Rieger from Bietigheim formulated this fact very pictorially: “The exhaust changes its color with every wet day.” By the way, this evil has hopefully been a thing of the world since the model year 1996, since the exhaust has been made of stainless steel since then.
An astonishing phenomenon on the DR 350 S and SH are kick starters that evaporate without notice while driving – the fault is the retaining screw, which tends to loosen. If you want to save yourself the unnecessary expense of around 200 marks, you should occasionally convince yourself of the tight fit of this screw, or even better, secure the screw with Loctite.
A similar problem can be found inside the motor, because the screw of the shift arm stop also has the ominous tendency to loosen and, in the worst case, start its destructive path through the gearbox – and a screw between the gear wheels doesn’t sound good at all . So if the gearshift becomes jerky or the gears suddenly jump out, that’s a warning sign. Checks are carried out as follows: Lay the motorcycle on its left side, remove the right housing cover – said bolt is located on the lower left above the end of the gearshift shaft.
The range of used DR 350s is not huge, but still: Suzuki sold 1700s of the S version, around 3500 of the SH and around 1400 of the SE – makes a total of around 6700 DR 350s. The DR 350 S costs, each according to condition and mileage, between 3500 and 4500 marks, the younger SH is around a thousand more expensive.
One last word for performance fetishists: All DR 350 variants can be unleashed quite easily by replacing the carburetor cover and legally (Suzuki report TÜH 1) to a nominal 30 hp. But this edition is superfluous in most cases, as the allegedly 27 hp version already has 29 horses ready, while the open version with actually 30 hp is very truthful.
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