XT660R Heaven

XT660R Heaven
Life on the road is fab...

DR 350 SEW 1998 Project

Hi All

I bought a DR 350 before I went to the States to ride the TAT, now I'm back home, the XT is somewhere on the ocean floating merrily back to the UK, so my attention has turned to the little DR that has been sitting in my front room waiting for some attention.

DR350 SEW 1998

This bike has been neglected in a garage for a number of years, it was ridden as a learner bike by a young kid a few years ago, then thrashed around the fields of the farm the family lived on in the Peak District, the left in the garage as far as we can tell.

When I bought it the guy was selling up a few of his bikes as he had 26 in his shed & he wanted to free up some space... (Yes I did say 26!!). I rode it for a quick 2 miles when I bought it, first impressions were, strong solid engine, tatty little thing needs some TLC, it had broken levers, a knackered clutch cable, bald tyres & shite brakes. All fixable things though, the frame has rust patches all over it, the front manifold pipe was corroded & the bike just looks its age & a bit forlorn & unloved... we'll soon get that sorted though... It has a recorded mileage of 6200 miles, I guess you never know with these older bikes whether they've done more or not. I offered him £750 & after a discussion with his wife he agreed, so we paid him there & then & loaded the bike into the van, where it has now sat for the last 2 months leaking fuel onto the floor!

For me I have a rebuild project in mind for this bike, first though the basics, sort it out so it runs sweetly & I can go play on the local fells for the remainder of the summer until I head back to the Antarctic for another stint of work.

So far I've replaced the levers with OEM parts, put a clutch cable on it, changed the oil & filter, put in an OEM air filter, removed the rear handlebar frame & re-bolted the under seat frame as it was missing loads of the original bolts. I've also added a little tail bag for some tools so I can do basic repairs should something break whilst I'm out playing in the local mud & rocks.

Next up is new rubber, that'll come in the form of a Midas 110/90-18 on the rear, the standard wheel apparently is a 17 inch one but for some reason there is an 18 inch one on this bike. The front is a Metzler MC5 on a 80/100-21 rim, these are the job for tomorrow morning as they have just been delivered.

After a few changes the bike is looking a bit more like a dirt bike!!
 I'm struggling to find a decent bash plate for this bike, all the manufacturers who made them seem to have stopped, run out or just unlisted these bikes. The stock one is OK but the oil pipes are open to damage from the rocks we have around here, the rear of the engine is also open & the engine side casings are a definite for a hole without some kind of cover, so i'll keep looking for the time being but I might just get one made at the local garage or try to adapt a DR600 one that my brother in law has in his garage. We'll see...

The header pipe is available in the UK in stainless steel at £130.00, that's pretty expensive but if its the only choice I can find then that'll be it. It seems after a bit more time on the internet that Keintech in the US produce one too at $129, I'd have to add import tax etc so not sure it'll be any cheaper & the last one I've found is at Predator Motorsport which is £108.00 plus postage.

I found a site that makes luggage racks for these bikes too, Manracks, not sure I'll add one of these but its good to know that somewhere exists where I can get one.

I reckon it might be a good idea to replace a few O rings on this baby too, the only place I've found that sells the entire set is a US site, This Ole Tractor - Gregory Bender, he seems to do a lot with Moto Guzzi bits too but there is also a set of all the O rings on the DR for $8.50, can't go wrong with that really.. Thanks guys...

As I've surfed the net more on this bike, I've found a few dedicated blogs, with plenty of useful info so here are the links for these...
Joergs DR350
Dirt Rider Mag 
Nath - trip to Russia
ADV Rider - Tiny War Machine DR rebuild write up
ADV Rider - DisTech's DR350 rebuild

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