Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

for our english-speaking guests - english only. The place to discuss any DR350 specific technical / mechanical /repair / preparation questions you like, or answer others questions if you can.
Andy.I
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Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Andy.I » 23.12.2020 19:01

I am from the UK and I am delighted to have found this forum, not only because it is dedicated to DR350s, but because I have close connections and fond memories of Germany. I spent six months as a praktikant with Hewlett-Packard in Boeblingen and later spent five years in Hamburg working for a German software company where I also played rugby for Hamburg Polizie, Hamburg Exiles and Hamburg Old Boys. I was also married to a German lady for 20 years. I speak German although I am very rusty due to lack of use for 25 years.

I am a life-long motorcyclist with a many miles on my clock, both with respect to distance and to time! I can't remember how many motorcycles I have owned and ridden but most memorable ones were a BSA B441 Victor street scambler which had incredible acceleration and torque and a Moto-Guzzi 850 T4 / Le Mans MkII hybrid on which I rode for 180,000 miles without ever removing the cylinder heads. My current motorcycles are a BMW R1200ST and a BMW F650GS.

I might be a bit of a Germanophile when it comes to German engineering but I won't hesitate to point a finger at glaring design flaws - such as when you compare the F650GS rear suspension linkage with that of the DR350 - I'm sorry to say chaps, that Suzuki got it right and BMW dropped a bollock - I hope you understand my vernacular! ;) :)

Around 2-1/2 years ago I drove from Lincolnshire, where I live, to the Cotswolds to my friend Chris, with a trailer on my car, and then to Plymouth to pick up this motorcycle which he had bought from somebody he knew, and we brought it back. We spent many weekend exploring Cotswold green lanes but now Chris can no longer ride due to health problems and his bike has stood outside under a cover for over a year. I now find my R1200ST too heavy so I decided to sell it and buy his motorcycle with the idea of using the F650GS for longer journeys and the DR350CS for shorter ones. I know its history over the last two owners and hope to pick it up shortly after Christmas, Covid-19 restrictions allowing. :rolleyes:

I have a wet bead blaster and a dry grit blaster and I am in the process of starting a restoration business for motorcycle, car and other engineering components and have also developed a relationship with a company which does powder coating. I hope this will allow me to earn enough money in my declining years to finance me to continue riding. I would like to restore this DR350SE and use it as an advertisment to show what my business can do.

I hope this is a sufficient introduction for a new member of your forum and I look forward to asking for and receiving advice to questions I am going to ask. I have so many already but I reaise I can't be impatient and that I need to get it on my workbench and find out for myself. :bier:
Andy.I - DR350 Newbie - R1200ST - F650GS

Ensomhet
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Ensomhet » 24.12.2020 20:56

Hello Andy,

welcome to the forum! :bier: That is a more than just sufficient introduction for a new member. ;) Quite an interesting story you got there. I guess you are somewhat between 50 and 60? I can tell you, you are not alone. There are a lot of old farts in this forum. :rofl: ;) I'm not part of them yet, but time won't show mercy to me either and one day I will be an old fart too. :rolleyes:

However, I'm keen to see some pictures of your DR350 and your progess. :good: Hoping for you the restrictions will allow to pick it up very soon. :) I know the feeling very well, when you can't wait to pick up a new motorcylcle. :mopped:

By the way: My English is probably a bit like your German. I read a lot of English texts, but barely speak or write English, so the practice is missing. :rolleyes:

Andy.I
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Andy.I » 25.12.2020 07:48

Good Morning Ensomhet, Merry Christmas and thank you for the welcome!

Regarding my age, I'm actually a really old fart at 64 although I try not to act like it! :D

There's nothing wrong with your written English; as far as I'm concerned it's both fluent and colloquial. Please forgive the question, Ensomhet means 'solitude' in Norwegian, which leads me to ask: are you German or Norwegian?

Regarding my acquisition, I'll post some pictures as soon as I get it into my garage.
Andy.I - DR350 Newbie - R1200ST - F650GS

Ensomhet
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Ensomhet » 25.12.2020 14:36

Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you too! :)

'You don't stop riding because you get old
You get old, because you stop riding'

I heard this term a few times and I guess, that's what you're living. :good:

Thank you. :) I have to admit, that I have to look up some words to be sure, I'm not using them wrong. Like the 'old fart' term. :D

The name 'Ensomhet' comes from a time, when I was a bit excited about Norway and travelling there. That word and the word for 'Thank you' are the only words that I know though. :rolleyes:
But I somehow still didn't manage to get to Norway. I tried the first time around 5 or 6 years ago but then my motorcycle broke in Sweden. The radiator of my Honda CB500 started leaking after I dropped the bike on the way to a spot in the woods to pitch up my tent. That's when I realised that a street bike is not really made to go offroad. :rofl:

After that I tried it again 2 years ago with the DR350. This time my sidestand broke just the morning when I started the bike to start the trip. I still started the trip without sidestand, but on the highway on my way to Sweden the side panel and a bit of my soft luggage bag melted away because there was not enough space between the side panel and exhaust anymore. So I had to turn around after around 300 km..

Third attempt one or two months later after I had fixed the side stand, side panel and bag again: Nothing broke on the motorcycle. I rode around a little bit in Sweden, but the rain and the always wet clothing and tent were really annoying me and I ended the trip before I got to Norway. Hotels to dry up everything were not an option because that would have been too expensive for me.
Since then I prefer countries with better weather. :rolleyes: But I will try to get to Norway again for sure. Maybe then with the car so I'm not completely exposed to the weather if it keeps raining again. :rolleyes:

But to come back to your question: I'm 'German', you could say... At least I was born here in Germany. My parents immigrated here from Turkey, so I don't really look German. ;) Maybe that's also why I can't handle rainy weather very well. :rofl:

Sorry, I kind of drifted off a bit... :rolleyes:

Andy.I
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Andy.I » 25.12.2020 14:59

Thank you for your kind wishes. :)

"You don't stop riding because you get old - you get old because you stop riding "

Well my mate is 78 and he's still riding his F650GS - and three years ago when I bought my R1200ST he rode it back from Workington, which was a 250 mile (400km) 4-hour trip so I hope to have a few more years riding yet! :good:

The UK government has just announced that the Covid-19 lockdown is going to be strengthened tomorrow so it looks as if the DR350 acquisition will be delayed. :(
Andy.I - DR350 Newbie - R1200ST - F650GS

Ensomhet
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Ensomhet » 25.12.2020 18:08

Really awesome to be still able to enjoy motorcylcing at the age 78! :good:

That really sucks. :( I hope for you, the Lockdown will be over already in a few weeks. :)
As travelling was not really possible in 2020, I started planning oncoming travels for 2021 and 2022. And just the planning is already fun for me too. Maybe you could do kind of the same and just plan already everything you want to do on the DR350. :)

Andy.I
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Andy.I » 26.12.2020 09:29

"Maybe you could do kind of the same and just plan already everything you want to do on the DR350."

I think I've just about planned everything already! :D

I want to grit blast and powder coat all the steel parts and bead blast all aluminium parts. I'm also investigating the possibility of adding zinc electroplating and passivation as a service to my business and if this happens I'll be able to restore any fasteners that aren't replaced with stainless steel. My powder coating contact does very high temperature coating of diesel engine exhaust manifolds and I'll test this out on the Suzuki downpipe. I think aircooled petrol engines run hotter than diesels so I want to see how it lasts before I offer this as a service.

This bike has been fitted with lowering dogbones and the seat has been thinned out. Further possible modifications might be to change to LED lighting and I like the idea of increasing range with a larger capacity tank although I don't know whether any are still available.

Finally, I'm considering the possibility of hitching a single-wheel trailer to both the DR350 and mu F650GS. There has been an explosion of interest in doing this and a number of models are on the market, mainly from the USA but notably from the Ukraine of all places! - although these look horrendously overpriced. I live in Lincolnshire, which has its own coastline, and Norfolk isn't far, so it would be good to be able to transport camping gear in the trailer, which could then be unhitched at the campsite.
Andy.I - DR350 Newbie - R1200ST - F650GS

Ensomhet
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Ensomhet » 27.12.2020 17:03

Sounds like a good plan. :good:

About the bigger tank: A 16 Liter Acerbis fuel tank is still sold for the DR350. That tank is made for the DR350 and works just plug & play.
If you want even more range you have to buy a tank that is not actually made for the DR350 and build your own brackets to mount the tank or even cut the original seat a bit.
Me and another guy in this forum are gonna try and fit the 22 liter XR650L tank:
https://www.dr350-forum.de/forum/viewto ... 10#p122610

According to this thread on advrider it's quite easy to fit that tank: https://advrider.com/f/threads/mounting ... s.1080150/

Another option is the 25 liter Acerbis tank for the DR650. But for that it seems that you have to cut the seat because otherwise it doesn't fit.

Finally, I'm considering the possibility of hitching a single-wheel trailer to both the DR350 and mu F650GS.
I've never looked for trailers that attach to the bike. Are they really that expensive? Couldn't you build your own? In Germany it would be probably quite hard to get that self-build trailer legally on the street. But the UK is a bit more relaxed about modifications on the vehicle isn't it?

For me saddle bags and a dry bag were always enough to fit all my gear. :) Riding offroad with such a trailer could be interesting though. :rofl:

Andy.I
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Andy.I » 27.12.2020 19:28

Thank you for this information - it's interesting and hopefully it will also be useful in the future. :good:

My F650GS with its relatively small under-seat fuel tank and limited range has got used to refuelling more frequently but as I would like to ride over to Tula in Russia where I have a girlfriend, I would be interested in extending the range of both bikes, especially as I could also take advantave of cheaper fuel. This could be done in two ways: either by fitting a larger tank (to the DR350), or by towing a trailer which could carry extra fuel. I think I need to find out more more about larger tanks and their pros and cons.

This is the trailer that I particularly like but it's so damned expensive at $995 plus the fuel containers, the plastic cargo box, shipping to the UK and VAT:
https://kipmoto.com/pages/sherpax

There are videos of it being used off-road on rougher trails than I intend to use. Weight has been kept down by using aluminium and you can attach extra fuel packs. I'm a mechanical design engineer so I can appreciate how it is made but I would hesitate to build something like it myself because I would have to pay a skilled aluminium welder. I actually have a large aluminium cargo box and I thought of welding up a chassis from thin-walled rectangular mild steel tubing but my initial calculations suggested that it would be far too heavy. I know there is at least one example of Kipmoto having exported a Sherpax trailer to the UK. The only cases I have heard so far of UK mororcyclists towing trailers being stopped by the police was because they had never seen it before and were curious!

The EU laws regarding motorcycle trailers apply in the UK and they are quite simple and you can see them here:
https://www.camperlands.co.uk/motorbike-towing-law/

We have had EU type-approval since 1986 and the law is applied strictly. However, I am certain that if I built such a trailer I could use in the UK. Something notable is that domestic trailers don't need an annual inspection - once they have been put on the market with all the legal type-approval checks done it is then the responsibility of the user to ensure they are safe and legal - although if you are caught with a dangerous trailer, or cause an accident or harm, then you are in big trouble - you may even get sent on holiday at Her Majesty's pleasure! :glotz:
Andy.I - DR350 Newbie - R1200ST - F650GS

Staubteufelchen
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Re: Hello fellow DR350 enthusiasts!

Beitrag von Staubteufelchen » 28.12.2020 12:11

Hi Andi,

do yourself a favour and keep it light and simple!!!

The Acerbis 16 l Tank is easy to get (used or new). Re-positioning of the petrol-inlet at the carb. and clever routing of the fuelhose, should allow you to really use 16 l instead of roughly 14.
Using the mainroads means a good infrastructure including petrolstations. Taking smaller roads or gravelroads, means the speed will drop and your mpg will increase.
Check the fuel situation in the region you're in and fill small canisters (for a better balance, it's better to use two small canisters instead of a big one ) if you have to and refill the main tank from the canisters asap.

Keep an eye on your luggage! Use lightweight and compact camping gear and reduce it, reduce it, reduce it! You will get a better handling and much more fun offroad. Lay your bike on the side in your garden, with a full tank, all of your luggage and pick it up. Think about, how will it be, to pick up a few times a day, if you're exhaustet (or injured).

Regards,
Andreas

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