DR350 Heading into the final stretch!

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So as I mentioned before I put the bike all back together and found major shifting issues. I was also unable to kick start it and found several vacuum leaks. Well, I fixed some of that.

I took the clutch cover and clutch out of the bike and took a hard look at the external shift mechanism. My biggest fear was a shift fork issue, if I ended up having to split the cases I don’t think I would have a chance in hell of the bike making it to the DVNR this year.

As mentioned earlier when I got everything apart and removed all the shifter parts I found I was able to easily move the shift drum through all six gears plus neutral. Man I was relieved. I went down to Del Amo Motorsports and ordered new shift pawls, springs, a bolt to replace the one I broke, and a shift cam stopper (mine felt a bit gritty). Those parts arrived on Wednesday. I ended up having to stay home from work to watch a slightly ill Sebastian on Wednesday so down we both went to the motorcycle store at about 5:00 PM.

I went straight to the parts counter and got my parts, then we browsed a bit on the way out.

Sebastian immediately got interested in the expensive aisle.

Me, being a cheapskate, tried to get him interested in the cheaper aisle.

Yeah, he wants a bike. I told him that he needs to be good, grades, etc. and work on his bicycle skills. Meanwhile I need to check out used little bikes.

So I get home and we eat dinner, etc. After I’ve got the kids to bed I can sneak out to the garage. I cleaned everything up and got the new parts in, it was feeling pretty good when everything was opened up but hard to say. I got it all buttoned up but can’t test drive until Thursday due to a missing carb. gasket. Damnit.

Thursday Sebastian was still ill so I as able to get more work in on the DR (all while “working remotely”). My new gaskets came in about 2:00 PM, I set right to work! I corrected the intake leak with some RTV on the boot between the head and carb. While I was working on it I decided to replace the carb. top gasket, that’s what I was waiting on, I was hoping these would improve starting to the point I could kick it over.

I put it all together carefully then put my new chain on. Now it was time to ride it to the gas station to see how big a tank I have. I measured out 1/2 gallon of fuel, poured it in, then tried to kick the bike over.


Screw it. I told Sebastian I’ll be back in a few, pushed it down the street to the hill, and bumpstarted it. Then I turned around, topped it off, and rode home.

It shifted great!

I let it cool down, took a few photos, and put it away since I had to go to dinner at my mother in law’s house this evening.  Note that I had to relocate the turn signals when I put my spot lamps on.  I simply made steel brackets for them and moved them down a few inches.

Gotta represent:

We got back from dinner around 9:15. I got the kids off to bed and put my motorcycle gear on for the first time in over nine months.

Man it felt good to do that.

I went out and tried kicking the bike over. Yea right! Off I went to the hill, bumpstarted it, and ran.

At first my plan was around the neighborhood a few miles, take it easy, just a longer test ride.

That didn’t last long. Up I went into Palos Verdes. Twisty roads, etc. etc.

Along the way I decided to find a nice dark spot (road to Point Vicente lighthouse) and check my spots.

Yeah, they need to be aimed. I did that when I got home.

All in all I rode it 22 miles last night. The bike performed great! It shifted through all six gears well, a bit more firmly than my KLR but not really an issue. The little 350 has a decent amount of pep and is capable of lofting the front wheel.

Tonight I’m going to try to do my old standard midnight ride. A tour of the refinery areas of Wilmington followed by the Port of Los Angeles/Terminal Island and then the windiest rods of Palos Verdes before heading home.

Category: DR350, Projects

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