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.
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.
Originally Posted by The Dude
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.
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.
Once the wheels are done, will i need to change the brake calipers and brake discs?....
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.
....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?
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.