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  1. #1
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    Old Honda XR 350?

    I realise that this sounds a bit odd, but I haven't ridden off-road bikes for a few (ie 20)years and am looking at getting back into it. I am looking at an old 1983 Honda XR 350 as they were reputed to be dependable and have a smooth power delivery (as well as not ripping my arms off). I have found one, but talking to a local bike shop, I was warned that twin carb Hondas of this vintage were dodgy, I knew the 200's were fragile and am told the 250's were similar. Does anyone know if the 350's had the same problems?





    I am now 41 and will be riding with a group of equally aged mates in native forests, in sand dunes and over muddy trails in our mountains so does anyone have any suggestions as to whether the bike I am looking at will do the job? Oh, the good lord built me with ducks disease too so my legs are too short for any really high seat height. I don't know if this will affect my choice.
    Any help greatly appreciated.
    Glen




  2. #2
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    Stay away from the '83 & '84 XR350's; they were not very good. Mostly carb problems. '85 was a good year, and also the last, for this model. These bikes are not good in the dunes. If you are set on a 4 stroke, then a YZ/WR 400/426 would be a good choice. You can pick up a '98 or '99 for a reasonable sum. If you are willing to go with a 2 stroke, then a KTM 300 would be a good choice. The power delivery of these bikes is very linear and almost 4 stroke like. '98 through present has the no link PDS rear end and are good bikes, although '96 and '97 were good as well.




  3. #3
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    Last edited by woodsy; 06-04-2008 at 11:15 PM.



    m y   s i g n a t u r e:


    PROUD MEMBER OF INCA: International Nut Case Association - a YT2 INC. Subsidiary

    TO RIDE IS TO LIVE - TO RIDE WITH MY BROTHERS IS TO LIVE FULFILLED. Woodsy

    A: you are never lost if you don't care where you are. B nothing a ride on a CT110 can't cure. NZAMBON

  4. #4
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    Hi Woodsy,
    my friends are on mixed gear, I will have one on an old KLX 250 kawasaki (you know the very first ones) while another has a current XR 400, a third has an ATV and he will carry extra gas for the other one on the CR 125. After listening to you guys I am tempted to buy it and improve the suspension and brakes as I understand that an 88 CR 250 front end should bolt straight in. I will have a look around and see what parts are available. We are just coming into summer here in Enzed so hopefully I can get a chance to enjoy it.
    Cheers
    Glen




  5. #5
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    Last edited by woodsy; 06-04-2008 at 11:16 PM.




  6. #6
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    Hi Woodsy- XR 350's are rare here so I am having to buy them from up in Auckland (right at the other end of the country) but they are advertised for between $1850-$2800 NZD (thats about $900-1400USD). Im keen on this one at the dearer end of the scale so will get back to you once I get it and have ridden (or fallen off) it.
    Glen




  7. #7
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    all lies in my eyes

    i own an 83 xr350, and i have none of those problems. it has ample power, (even my friends 200 has enough pull to get me and my girlfriend up any hill.. but the 350 just thumps it.) the power is smoothe.. no bogging, the suspension is fine(by the way, i'm not sure about the 88's, but mone has an 86 cr250 front end on it, so i got disc brakes now) i've had it roughly 5-6' off the ground and it feels fine. there have been a lot of parts replaced, but all of that was just wear and tear(it IS 22 years old) and for performance. also if it has the stock exhaust on it still, rip out the baffle... it doesn't make it too loud, but it has a real nice tone to it. if you can get one of these bikes in good condition, and take care of it, and treat it like what it is, it will probably last you many years to come. mine still looks like new, starts with two kicks at most, even when it's cold... unless i flood it




  8. #8
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    I used to own a 1983 Honda xr350 and loved it. It had been through so many people around here and modded and bored to the max. I loved it. It took like 30 kicks after it warmed up though, thats why I sold it. I bought a 98 Xr400 after that and thought the 350 had more power. the suspension was incredible too. Someone must have done something to it. I would suggest this bike anyday.




  9. #9
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    Xr350

    Glen,
    I had a bit to do with the 350's here in AUS. 1983 models, if I remember correctly had an internal oil passage to feed the head, wet sump, dual carbs. Dual carbs was in theory OK and gave great mileage if you didn't crank the throttle wide open but I think history sees them as an overcomplication with little benefit over a single carb. There had been a few cases of stuffed heads in 83's if the owners ignored basic maintenance (good oil and filter regularly). Summary OK if maintained potential nightmare if not.
    In 84 honda added an external oil line (chromed) and stood out like crazy but this thin oil line greatly improved oil flow to the head and therefore reliability especially for the lazy. I owned an 84 and did about 30,000kms before a rebuild (75% road 25% dirt). Still had dual carbs on the 84 model.
    1985 came along and honda went to single carbs and a dry sump and the 85 version was written up as vastly improved and I would have to agree. Simple functional reliable but as someone said earlier may be getting hard to find bits for.
    I ride with mates that have XR400 (stock) and modified XR280 (Ballards) and these are great for a broad range of ability. Another bike you may consider is the TT 350 a good solid performer if money wont stretch to a wr400 or 450.
    Regards.




  10. #10
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    xr350 carbie conversion

    hey guys i have an 83 xr350 with the twin carbie and its a bit rubbish and i was just wondering if its possible/easy to convert to a single carbie and if it would help?. Cheers




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