Danielle Murdoch

Suzuki DR 350

After much thought and some twisting of ones arm, I decided to leave my 2007 Suzuki DRZ-250 and purchase a 1999 Suzuki DR 350 to take on my Australia to Africa Adventure. When I had returned from my last adventure, I found myself with quite a bit of free time, not knowing how to fill it. I bought a Suzuki DR 350 1994 which wasn’t going at all. I stripped the engine down and tidied the engine, wiring up. Just to discover that the previous owners had installed the coil the wrong way around. I after closer inspection of the bike, I decided I should sell my mechanical toy and buy another that can at least get a road worthy, without adding another year to my work load!

Suzuki DR 350

Suzuki DR 350 Motorcycle Issues

The problem with taking a smaller bike like the Suzuki DR 350 is that they need regular maintenance. My workshop manual tells me to replace the cam chain every 20,000 kilometers. After a few months on the road along with all the other requirements, this becomes quite tedious. The other underlining issue is, I brought this bike of ebay, though I did take the time to inspect the motorcycle I was still in a hurry to make the purchase. Once I got it home, I realised this bike had passed through many hands, everyone leaving their mark on the bike itself. My preparation job now became even larger, and since I’ve had on going issues every time I touch the bike.

Since leaving the safety of my workshop at home, I’ve encountered the following issues / breakdowns. On top of these I also change my oil, oil filter, chain and tires.

Week 1 – Australia

Lost a bung in my carburetor.
Dropped a valve through my piston.

Week 3 – Australia

Snapped a needle in my carburetor (replaced carburetor)
New fork seals

Month 11 – Pakistan

Bottom end bearings (Four day repair for $150 USD)
Clutch issues

Month 12 – Iraq

Front Breaks maintenance

Month 13 – Turkey

Front Breaks maintenance
Check everything for Africa

Month 14 – Egypt

Piston Rings
Mechanic Mistake -Stripped an oil pressure bolt

Month 16 – Ethiopia

Cut tire

Month 17 -Tanzania

Replaced Cam chain & guide
Fix all stripped bolts (there were lots of them)
Fixed electrical wiring
General all over maintenance.

Month 19 – Kenya

Crankshaft replacement
Gaskets
Clutch plates
Electrical wiring

Month 26 -Johannesburg

Piston Rings
Honed Barrel
New valve seals
General all over maintenance.
Clutch Problems
Carburetor Clean new seals.