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Tips and Tricks For The Suzuki DR 350  



Timing Chain Wear Test

You can determine the condition of your timing chain with this simple test.  Remove the two bolts that attach the timing chain tensioner to the rear of the cylinder.  Remove the tensioner and give the extending foot a tug and make sure it's fully extended.  Now reinsert the tensioner with the foot fully extended and see how far you can push it back into place.  You should not be able to completely reinsert the tensioner.  You can measure the space or the gap between the tensioner and the cylinder where the tensioner mounts.  The size of this gap is how much travel you have left for the extending foot and indicates the condition of the timing chain.  If you have zero or very little gap you need to service your timing chain components.


Aftermarket Foot Peg Interchange

If you desire to install high quality aftermarket foot pegs on your Suzuki DR 350 you need to know what will interchange as there are very few aftermarket foot peg options for the dr.  Luckily with a very minor modification you can adapt the Kawasaki KX 100 aftermarket foot pegs.

 I happened to luck into this information one day when I was riding my dr with my dad riding his KX 100.  I got to looking at his really awesome fast way foot pegs and I thought wow those would fit on the dr very nicely.  I bought a set and installed them with very little fuss. 

As a result of my success my U.S. Military friend Rob was very kind to put together this little informative piece on this particular modification.  So without any further delay here is the mod info.


Rob's Excellent Foot Peg Interchange Write Up

I Just wanted to give some more detail to gman's excellent Fast way F3 foot peg mod. Here's the comparison between the tiny stock foot peg and the F3.


And here's what you have to modify. The foot peg's collar is too long to fit in the DR's foot peg bracket, so you have to cut the collar down to fit.   


I used an air compressor cutting wheel. Instead of putting the collar in the vise, I mounted the collar in the foot peg, then put the foot peg in the vise. After I got about 3/4 of the way through the collar, I removed the collar, turned it about 180 degrees and reinstalled it, then cut it the rest of the way.

It's better to cut it a little too big, it's easy to file it down for a perfect fit.

The details on the peg's from gman's original post: "This set is part # 49-0819 at $104.99 ordered from dennis kirk. They actually fit a late model kx100 Kawasaki."

The pegs extension angle is adjustable using supplied shims. I used one thin and one thick shim to level the pegs. You may want to use two thick shims so the pegs will be level when standing (the rubber mount allows the pegs to sag). It's easy to add and remove the shims without removing the foot pegs.

The pegs come with two sizes of studs that screw into the holes in the pegs. I'm going to try them with no studs for the street and street shoes, but they may be too slippery.

Thanks again to gman for figuring out this very cool mod.


Here are two pics of the fast way foot pegs on my dr


Setting The Fuel Level On The Off Road Model

When you need to set the fuel bowl level on the off road model with pumper carb this trick works like a charm.  On the bottom of your carb is a drain.  Take a clear piece of hose and shove it onto the drain spigot for the carb.  Now take that clear tube and make it turn vertical and also have it alongside the side of the carb.  Now open the drain spigot in the carb.  The fuel will flow up into the clear tube to the same level it is inside the bowl.  That is your exact fuel level.  If you want you can check the level with the bike running.  Just be careful.    I run my level about 1/8" above the fuel bowl gasket line.  You can run yours less if you want but don't run it too far below the fuel bowl gasket line or you might starve for fuel on wide open runs.............. 


Valve Adjusting Tool And Procedure

When you need to adjust your valves you will find it to be a bit tedious and difficult.  You will find it to be frustratingly difficult without a handy little tool.  Go to RonAyers.Com
and order part # 09917-14910. It is a $4.23 dollar tool that is designed for adjusting the dr valves.  It is a small yellow handled tool that holds the square end of the valve adjusting screw so you can tighten the lock nut with precision.

To check the valve adjustment you will find two oval covers on the very top of the cylinder head right under the gas tank.

One oval cover is in the front and one is in the back.  They each have two bolts in them and the front one has a little metal bracket for the spark plug wire.

Simply remove both covers to gain access to the valve train.  
Take your feeler gauges and BEND the last 1/2" of them to aid in getting them under the rocker tip.  

Remove the left side engine case plug and the smaller plug on the left side engine case that is on the front of the case.  Insert a 19mm socket through the big hole and rotate the crankshaft.  View through the small hole and find a "T" and also a line next to the "T".  Center this line in the small hole and this will set the motor at top dead center.  MAKE SURE THAT WHEN YOU SET THE MOTOR AT T.D.C. that all the valves have some play in them.  IF THEY DON"T>>then rotate the motor 360 degrees and align the t.d.c. mark and then recheck to make sure the valves now have play in them.  (it is possible to line up the t.d.c. mark and be on an exhaust stroke instead of a compression stroke.  The valves must be adjusted on the compression stroke AND NOT the exhaust stroke.

Now with the motor at top dead center you can measure the valve clearances.  I like to measure both intakes and both exhausts at the same time.  I also like to feel the same amount of drag on both feeler gauges when both of the valves are set evenly.  Also, I like to insert the feeler gauge and rotate the motor.  Sometimes when you rotate the motor away from t.d.c. you will GAIN a little clearance in the valves.  You want to check and set the valve clearance WHEREVER you have the most clearance EVEN IF IT DOESN"T HAPPEN to be EXACTLY at top dead center.  Also, on the models with auto-decompression release MAKE SURE that when you set the exhaust valves that you are not on the decompression release of the cam or it will throw your valve adjustment off by about .020".  

As far as tools required you need to buy 2 feeler gauge sets.  You will also need to make or purchase a tool to fit on the square end of the valve adjustment stem.   Some people use a screw with a square drive in the end of a piece of wood.  I chose to buy the Suzuki adjuster tool cause it was less than 5 bucks and I use it all the time and it was well worth the investment.

As far as recommended clearances that varies from early model to late model.  If you need the valve clearance specifications please follow this link to my factory Suzuki specification gallery.  Click Right Here to Proceed to the Suzuki Factory Specs 


Home Made Clutch Holder

When you find it necessary to remove and or tighten / torque the clutch hub nut you may find it difficult or impossible to be able to sufficiently hold onto the clutch hub during the procedure.  If you want you can spend a tiny bit over $30 and buy the real tool which is made by motion pro and is available just about anywhere. 


If you are willing to spend a few minutes of your time here is an excellent tip from my very knowledgeable friend Duane.

To remove or install the nut make one of these home made clutch holder tools out of one old friction disk and one old steel disk. 

To remove or install the nut make one of these home made clutch holder tools out of one old friction disk and one old steel disk. 

Then put a penny between the large gear on the clutch basket and the primary crank gear. BUT DO NOT PUT THE PENNY BETWEEN THE PRIMARY GEAR AND THE OIL PUMP GEAR!  Or you will break the oil pump gear.  Of course remember to remove the penny after you re-tighten the hub nut.   


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