Is this true?

yzeater

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#1
Suzuki has a commercial that includes the quote "When Suzuki first introduced the DR350, it rocked motorcycling." Is this true at all? I wasn't into the sport back in those days, but I can't imagne a four stroke trail bike (much less a suzuki) rocking motorcycling. So, is it true or is it a lie?
 

dirt bike dave

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#2
The bike did get extensive and extremely favorable press coverage when it was introduced. It was an improvement over previous Suzuki 4 strokes and the mags talked it up as an excellent, affordable trail bike with race potential. Let's just say magazine hype for new models with big advertising budgets is not a recent phenomonon :)

While the bike sold well and modified versions were raced by talented riders with some success, the suspension and handling of the stock bike was hardly a step forward from the other machines of the day. Performance was not significantly better than a mid '80's XR350, IMO. Many of us were (I'll be polite here) underwhelmed the first time we rode one after reading how revolutionary the bike was.
 
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Farmer John

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#4
Ever ride a dualsport event prior to 1989? probably not, & if you did what was the attendance like?

I do not think it was as much as the "greatness" of the DR350 as it was Suzuki's bringing out the right model at the right time.
Motorcycling was ready for the rebirth of dualsporting & Suzuki dropped the DR250/350 into dealers.
 

dirt bike dave

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#5
I agree. The DR was instrumental for proving that there was a renewed market for dual sport bikes that emphasized dirt. Suzuki does deserve to take credit for that, and the bikes certainly helped introduce a lot of riders to the sport.
 

ktmboy

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#6
Some more DR trivia. Al Baker was very involved in the design and testing of these DRs', but the bike that made it to the showrooms was nowhere near as good as the proto-type he perfected. ( He's also the guy that helped develope the early Honda XRs'!)