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Old 09-06-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
RuggedExposure OP
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The NM DR350 dirt bike

After months of searching craigslist, ebay, forums and dealerships for a suitable bike to turn into a daily commuter/ trails bike, I found a 1995 DR350S. Originally I was going to buy a brand new WR250R, but couldn't justify spending $6K on something that I was going to abuse, torture and most likely spray paint. Thanks to craigslist I found this DR350S (dirt bike version with pumper carb) in great shape. Single owner, never laid over, and runs great.

He had already fitted it with turn signals and a mirror. I purchased the bike thinking it would be a breeze converting it to street legal. How wrong was I...

In the crazy state of New Mexico you can build a motorcycle from scratch, and as long as it has a headlight, brake light, signals, mirror, etc, they will give it a license plate. But you can never, NEVER, convert a dirt bike into a street legal bike. Even if it has the appropriate parts.

So begins this thread.





Bolt Dog checking out the new ride




Time to start tearing the bike down. I haven't even ridden it a mile yet.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #2
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Hello Mr. Rugged,

My advice, if you haven't done so yet, is to talk to SOMEONE ELSE at the NM DMV. In my experience, many DOT or DMV offices routinely employ people that have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Yours may be a case where you were talking to a complete moron? Maybe not, but I wouldn't end your search at your local DMV. Give someone a call at your state capital or wherever your DMV is headquartered. Ask if there is an investigator you can speak to.

Most states have some process to issue Certificates of Title bikes when an original cannot be located or one was never issued. I find it hard to believe this cannot be done in NM.

Or another thing to do would be to "sell" wink, wink; your bike to a friend or relative in another state register/title your bike in their name, then "sell" it back to you with the newly-minted title in hand. That should allow you to then title it in NM in your name?

I'm just saying........
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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If you have the dirt version it is not an s model.
S model is factory street legal.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VooDooDaddy View Post
Hello Mr. Rugged,

My advice, if you haven't done so yet, is to talk to SOMEONE ELSE at the NM DMV. In my experience, many DOT or DMV offices routinely employ people that have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Yours may be a case where you were talking to a complete moron? Maybe not, but I wouldn't end your search at your local DMV. Give someone a call at your state capital or wherever your DMV is headquartered. Ask if there is an investigator you can speak to.

Most states have some process to issue Certificates of Title bikes when an original cannot be located or one was never issued. I find it hard to believe this cannot be done in NM.

Or another thing to do would be to "sell" wink, wink; your bike to a friend or relative in another state register/title your bike in their name, then "sell" it back to you with the newly-minted title in hand. That should allow you to then title it in NM in your name?

I'm just saying........
It sadly has changed in this state; they made a clause specifically making it impossible to convert a dirt bike. I have considered the other routes, but i have an idea that will require some effort but should work. I'll keep my progress posted.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
If you have the dirt version it is not an s model.
S model is factory street legal.
The 1995 model year code is 'S' so the title says DR350S. Its confusing, but the bike does have the dirt bike plastics and the pumper carb. Pics to come as I dismantle the bike.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #6
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I've been reading the DR350 thread. It appears to support the following:

YearDirtStreet
1990NoneDR350S(L)
1991DR350(M)DR350S(M)
1992DR350(N)DR350S(N)
1993DR350(P)DR350S(P)
1994DR350[R]DR350SE[R]
1995DR350(S)DR350SE(S)
1996DR350(T)DR350SE(T)
1997DR350(V)DR350SE(V)
1998DR350(W)DR350SE(W)
1999DR350(X)DR350SE(X)
2000DR350(Y)DR350SE(Y)
2001DR350(K1)DR350SE(K1)


So, the 1995 model year DR350S is off-road only; the DR350SE or DR350SES (on the frame) is street legal. Small details. Big differences. The letters on the end of the DR350 nomenclature is apparently the "year code", like the GSX-R750K5 is the 2005 model year for that bike. In 1994, Suzuki changed nomenclature for the street versions from "S" and "year code" to "SE" and "year code", due to the addition of electric starting (and a little more weight). The 1995 dirt only version of the 350 is confusing because the "S" is actually the "year code" for 1995.

Please chime in if you think I've missed something. I've been trying to get this straight for a long time, and many, many inmates here think they have it right, and they don't.
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Gryphon12 screwed with this post 09-07-2012 at 11:52 AM Reason: Additions for clarification.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon12 View Post
I've been reading the DR350 thread. It appears to support the following:

YearDirtStreet
1990DR350?DR350S
1991DR350?DR350SM
1992
1993DR350PDR350SP
1994DR350RDR350SER
1995DR350SDR350SES


So, the 1995 model year DR350S is off-road only; the DR350SE or DR350SES (on the frame) is street legal. Small details. Big differences. The letters on the end of the DR350 nomenclature is apparently the "year code", like the GSX-R750K5 is the 2005 model year for that bike. In 1993, Suzuki changed nomenclature for the street versions from "S" and "year code" to "SE" and "year code". The 1995 dirt only version of the 350 is confusing because the "S" is actually the "year code" for 1995. I think that they changed again in 1998 and 1999, but I can't document it yet.

Please chime in if you think I've missed something. I've been trying to get this straight for a long time, and many, many inmates here think they have it right, and they don't.
According to this
http://www.suzukicycles.org/DR-series/DR350.shtml

it looks like you're spot on.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:53 AM   #8
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Thanks for the link. I've updated and corrected my post above for future reference by inmates.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:42 PM   #9
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Started with this


A few minutes and a beer later...


On the path to being street legal in NM... Stay tuned.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:19 PM   #10
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Took off the swing arm and suspension


Since this project is on somewhat of a time crunch, I didn't feel like fighting with the motor so I masked it off and went to painting the frame


Might as well paint the wheels while I'm at it
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
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This was the carb before dismantling:


And after some scrubbing

Once I get this bike street legal and running again, I'll see how this carb operates. I'll probably end up taking it apart and cleaning it out of boredom anyways, but right now I have bigger fish to fry.

And the frame after paint:


I'm going to let everything dry over night and see if I can remember how it all goes back together.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:45 AM   #12
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:48 PM   #13
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There are a number of ways to plate a dirt bike in NM. It can be done. Depending on where the bike came from and the title that came with the bike can make a difference on how easy it is. One of the problems with Japanese dirt bikes is the original title usually states off road use only or something similar and MVD will not grant a street title for it.

Dr350's are great bikes. Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
There are a number of ways to plate a dirt bike in NM. It can be done. Depending on where the bike came from and the title that came with the bike can make a difference on how easy it is. One of the problems with Japanese dirt bikes is the original title usually states off road use only or something similar and MVD will not grant a street title for it.

Dr350's are great bikes. Good luck!
Ya, MVD said this bike will never be street legal because of the certificate of origin/title. We'll see about that.
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RE Fotowerks
Border Road 100 Border Road Rally Raid
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:11 PM   #15
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Back at it this morning. I attached the newly painted swing arm and chain first.


A few more parts here and there... figured out the wiring harness too. I then put the tank on to see if it would fire up:


The front forks were a bit of a pain, and adjusting all of the cables. But within a couple of hours it was ready for a test drive around the neighborhood.


test drive went good! (nothing fell off and the bike ran great)


All I'm waiting for now is the TrailTech 8" race light, a tail light/brake light/ turn signal/ license plate holder ebay special, and a horn to arrive in the mail then its off to get this thing titled.

And for those of you wondering why this bike looks naked, its because I'm not putting any of the panels on when I get it inspected. The goal is to not have this look like a dirt bike at all.

I did do the airbox mod while I had it apart, and I may need to re-jet the carb a little. I noticed it was running rich so i thought a little more air might help, but when you goose the throttle it bogs down. but for now it runs good enough to get me to the MVD office. Once its titled and registered i'll be putting on a new chain, air cleaner, and tinker with the carb.
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Border Road 100 Border Road Rally Raid
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