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Thread: Supermotarding a 1997 Suzuki DR350

  1. #1
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    Default Supermotarding a 1997 Suzuki DR350

    Hi all. Pretty new here. Just went out and bought myself a 1997 Suzuki DR350 in mint condition. Only 8600 miles on her.
    There's a few things i want to do to her.

    Wheels.
    I am going to throw a set of 17" wheels on. Possibly Morad rims on Talon hubs. Or should i just get the wheels built around the original hubs?

    Brakes.
    Once the wheels are done, will i need to change the brake calipers and brake discs?

    Bodywork and Decals.
    Is there different or more modern bodywork that would fit the DR350? Maybe off a more modern bike. I'd like to give it a sharper more modern look. I quite like the look of the new DRZ400. Could the bodywork from that be made to fit the DR350?

    I don't have the bike home yet from the dealers as i only have room for the R6 at the moment. I'm moving in 3 weeks and will be picking it up then.

    Thanks in advance
    Using the R6 for commuting
    is like using a silk scarf
    to tie up a parcel

  2. #2
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    First off congrats on getting what I consider to be a great little bike. I've had a bucket load of grins n' giggles on mine. But you gotta realize that the bike is getting dated and that if you want to keep it fairly cheap that you want to keep the mods simple and not go overboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude
    ......Wheels.
    I am going to throw a set of 17" wheels on. Possibly Morad rims on Talon hubs. Or should i just get the wheels built around the original hubs?......
    A full set of rims will be VERY expensive. Probably as much as the bike itself. To keep it cheaper you can go for stock hubs. For the rear get a rim and lace it to the stock hub with the proper spoke kit. Choose a color that adds a bit of bling if you like. For the front you need to look into things. The older DR hubs had a 4 bolt rotor mount. I've looked around and it looks like there's no 320 rotors that can be had for the 4 bolt pattern. If your bike uses the later 6 bolt rotor mount then you're OK and you can get the rotor kit that works with the DRZ400 and RM250 wheels. DO NOT GET the 290 mm conversion. They are not very strong and I've heard more than a few reports that they'll warp and distort pretty much immediatley under street use.

    Anyhow the point here is that being as how it's on a DR350 you need to keep it on the cheap side since you will not get back any of your investment later on. The bikes just do not have the spotlight any longer compared to the newer stuff. I know,I know, you're going to keep it forever.... yeah right. We all think the same way and it NEVER happens. Look at the numbers and be brutallly honest with yourself. I think you'll find there's a lot of sense in keeping it on a serious budget.

    .....Brakes.
    Once the wheels are done, will i need to change the brake calipers and brake discs?....
    Yes, the stock setup on the front sucks. The rear is fine. What you want to get is the EBC SM rotor conversion kit that fits the DRZ 400 and RM250. I've seen them mail order for about $180. That's pretty much as good a deal as you'll find. Depending on the caliper on your DR you may need to find a DRZ or RM250 caliper to work with the rotor kit's caliper relocator bracket. Ebay.... Something fancier would be nice but the reality is that the stocker with some nicer pads will probably work just fine.

    ....Bodywork and Decals.
    Is there different or more modern bodywork that would fit the DR350? Maybe off a more modern bike. I'd like to give it a sharper more modern look. I quite like the look of the new DRZ400. Could the bodywork from that be made to fit the DR350?
    ....
    I'ts only plastic and the color runs all the way through it. Lots of the older comparable generation RM or other bike stuff will fit and you have a wide choice of colors. DO some searches for DR's and you'll find a few that were fixed up with a listing of what they used. For myself I've resisted the urge to go crazy but I'd really like to get a larger front rotor.

    There's a couple of other budget options. First off the bike is a blast even just with some smooth street rubber on the stock wheels. I've had mine out to our local motard play days and with the right tires the bike is very capable even on the 21 and 18 combo. Something like BT45's or Avon Distanzias will provide the grip even if the bike doesn't have THE LOOK with the stock rims.

    Another option would be to leave the 18 on the rear and put a 19 inch rim off some MX'ers back wheel onto the front hub. That would let you run a 120 rear tire and a 100 front for a nice cheap compromise bike.

    The stock exhaust is quite heavy. So far I have not replaced it as I prefer the stealth aspect of a fairly quiet bike. But there's a few far lighter options that don't make a big amount more noise. Remember noise makes the wrong people look at the shenanigans you're pulling off and that can be life threatening to your license.....

    Finally the stock suspension is pretty darn soft. You may want to look into some internal mods to the forks and shock to upgrade it. My bike was done in the past by someone that knew what they were doing but another one I rode was super soft in the rear and when I dived into a turn the rear squated so far that the bike felt like it had a sideways hinge in the middle. By far the biggest upgrade you can do will be to tune the suspension to your weight.

    Hope this helps. The old DR is a simple and fun bike but these days it doesn't make much sense to put a lot of money into it.

    For the record the tires I have right now are the Avon Roadrunner 90/90-21 front and Super Venom 110/90-18 rear. It's a skinny looking combo but I can pretty much drag peg with them. They have a really nice grip and seem to telegraph when they've had enough very nicely. On this last bit I don't often get them that far over to feel this edge of grip thing since I'd pretty much need to be dragging cases by that time.

    An option that would keep the price down is a set of Ninja 500 or the old Honda Hurricane cast wheels. You'd have to look at a lot of mods to make this work but they can be had for cheap and would provide the "look". The rims won't hold the modern rubber but the bike would look more in scale with the rubber they can hold. Besides I'm pretty sure that the rear end won't hold a full 160 due to the swing arm and the chain line. Even a 150 would be seriously pushing it and would require a lot of measuring to check for clearance. The 130 to 140 that these cast wheels would allow definetly will fit. But you'll need to do some spacers and stuff.
    B for Bruce

    I'm a born again two wheeler. 7 bicycles, 4 operational motorcycles and two basket cases in need of love.

  3. #3
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    Thank you very much Bruce. A lot of good info there and i appreciate you taking the time to post it for me. Cheers
    Using the R6 for commuting
    is like using a silk scarf
    to tie up a parcel

  4. #4
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    My old DR350 was the bike that made me want to get into supermoto in the first place. If I didn't have a bad wreck on it that destroyed it, I'd def still have it as a B bike.
    "It is not the critic who counts..."
    -T. R.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2006
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    break down and get a 400 sm. I was in the same boat with a 97 DR350. Once I rode my bro's 400sm I was hooked, he wound up selling it to me and I got rid of the 350. BIG difference in braking, accel, handling. Just my two cense

  6. #6
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    Jan 2005
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    I just stumbled across this thread.... whooo hoooo....

    I just picked up a dr350se to serve as a commuter bike going to and from dc, as I didn't want to take my drz400sm into the city - it chews up tires, and beats up the bike a bit, and I don't wanna risk the SM getting stolen.. While not a big suzuki fan - the drzsm impressed the crap outta me... So when I had the opportunity to get the SE for a good price - I jumped on it.... However, I am not so much a fan of the DS tires - so I am looking to put more street orientated tires on it...

    So I am the same boat.... Let the games begin

  7. #7
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    Same here hawk I just got a dr350se 94 model. Just been milling over tires. I am thinking distanzias 90/90-21 front and 120/80-18 rear. I don't like the price. Almost as much as the bike was. one question on those is which is the sticky ones? the T or the H designations? Also thinking of the kenda k761 in same sizes can get a set for about 50 bucks cheaper than the distanzias.

  8. #8
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    from experience, go the cheaper route with the rims. look around and you can find deals. i just got the parts to build my klx300 wheels for $235 (17x3.5 front rim, 17x4.25 rear rim, and rad mfg spkoke kits for both rims). if you were building a more modern bike, then going the talon hub route would be worth it, but on something like your dr, i don't think it'd be worth it.

    i'm in the same boat too, and trying to keep the klx as cheap as possible. (i got the bike free, just needed the head rebuilt)

    i'm still looking for a decent 320mm rotor, as my bike has a 4 bolt pattern too. dunno if it's the same pattern as the dr350 though. if i come across anything, i'll spread the word.
    steve k.

    motorcycle repair/maintenance/customizing
    757-285-0627
    --------------------------------------
    '02 cbr954 streetfighter
    '01 klx300r- for sale
    '87 cagiva wmx250

  9. #9
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    I was looking at some older rotors from some gpz's and old gs's from the 80's a few of them have 4 bolt rotors. Looks like we need to find the one that has a stock rotor that is better than ours. Skrooz what tires you recommend on the stock rims??

  10. #10
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    I was thinking about some rear rotors for some of the newer sport bikes are 4 bolt too? It prolly would not matter if it was bigger in diameter as long as it was thicker so it would not warp from the abuse it would get on the street. Another idea to check out.... parts hunting makes me lose sleep.

  11. #11
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    Wow, I have more in common with Bruce.
    My first SM was DR350SE! I had the wheels built onto OEM hubs while working in the UK. (It was cheaper there at the time).
    Performance mods were Vortex air box, A header and FMF can, pumper carb. Otherwise the engine was stock and bombproof! (I miss the e-button)
    I found a stainless braided frt brake line (BIG improvement) and a 320 rotor from Galfer. Had to fab up my own frt caliper adapter though.
    Other mods were heavier/stiffer frt fork springs.
    Body wise, I modifed a YZ rear fender to fit and installed a Acerbis LED tail/brake light.
    I really enjoyed riding it back and forth to work, etc. Much more then my KTM 525SX/SMC.
    I'll try to find some pics on my computer at work on Monday.
    Have fun with it...in many ways I regret ever sellin mine.
    RogerB#39,
    2010 'Berg FX450
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  12. #12
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    front and rear wheel on ebay right now (not mine) if anyone needs another set of hubs for their dr350.

  13. #13
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    Hope this works...
    Link to some of my DR350 photos...

    http://rides.webshots.com/album/60192191rIrvfi
    RogerB#39,
    2010 'Berg FX450
    2013 Sponsors:
    http://www.vinaccio.com/
    Great people, AWESOME coffee!
    http://www.axorace.com/
    http://www.fmfracing.com/

  14. #14
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    looks good.

  15. #15
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    think I have found an idea on the rims for the dr. just get rear rims from a dr650 (2.15x17) and or rear rim from a klr 650 (2.5x17) ?? not very wide but can get the sticky distanzias and go ride the snot out of it for cheap. or mount another 2.15x18 on the front and get 120/80x18 distanzias put on both rims = even cheaper. what do you guys think?

  16. #16
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    I have decided (wallet empty because of Christmas) that I am going to keep the stock rims for awhile and ride my ride. I think I am going to get the bridgestone bt45's in 90/90-21 and 120/80-18 sizes and just ride. I do not plan on any dirt excursions with it as I have the xr200r for that.

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