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My dad has a 2000s (or maybe later?) DR200SE, which he rarely rides. He bought it as a "trail bike", to be left at my parents' in-progress retirement property in Castell TX which is accessible only by miles of dirt roads. His normal ride is his Honda 750 Shadow.

Anyway, he has little patience for mechanical issues on his bikes and gives up quickly on his own, taking them to a shop and pays the local shady motorcycle mechanics often more than the value of the bike for simple things plus unnecessary things like fuel tank cleaning or replacing fuel lines.

So he called me the other day and told me his DR200 wouldn't run. He went to ride it and within 5 minutes it stopped going more than 15mph and he had to turn around and limp home. He concluded the carburetor had gone belly up. So I told him to go ahead and get a rebuild kit and I'd come over and help him get it running right. Yesterday was the day I went to help sort this out.

Without even trying to start it, we pulled the carb off and I tore it down and did exactly the same thing I do to GS carbs. I replaced the jets (3), all o-rings, and thoroughly cleaned every passage in the thing. The carbs on the DR are quite similar to the GS Mk2 carbs. I was not really impressed with the condition of the rubber diaphragm in this carb but we didn't have a new one onhand so we reused it. Set the pilot jet screw to 2.5 turns out just like you'd do with a GS.

While we had it apart my dad told me of other symptoms. He said the bike idled very, very low and often times would die when you stopped, but it'd usually start right back up. I figured the pilot mixture must be very lean or the pilot jet clogged, or both. I had also guessed his "runs for 5 minutes then won't go more than 15mph" problem was perhaps a sticking float needle valve.

The carb had enormous amounts of crusty gunk from ethanol fuels in it that we cleaned out. We had to drill out the cap over the pilot mixture adjustment and pulling the needle found surprising coating or "ring" of this crusty gunk on that needle, no doubt one cause of clogging of the pilot circuit.

An hour later we got it all back together and it refused to start. Wouldn't even click. Start button does nothing. After another hour of tearing apart the electricals and testing literally every switch and connection it turns out the clutch switch is intermittent and only really works when holding the lever upward to get the switch to make contact. We figured out a routine to get it to start consistently but that switch is going to need replacement.

Once we sorted the electrical issue, the bike fired right up and ran like a top on the freshened carb.  :thumb:

Glad it was all sorted it out. These bikes are really simple and take care of you if you take care of them. I had a 93 DR350 for a while and it was a lot of fun and a lot of trouble. When I got it I had to go through the carbs completely because of similar ethanol problems. I live right next to some sand dunes and some fun trails that lead to lakes, rivers, some water falls etc. so I used to have fun riding out to the trail head then keep going up the trail on the bike. That bike was pretty light, just shy of 300 lbs IIRC and for the time was known for good suspension and center of gravity, but I had a lot of trouble keeping up with the KX450F's and CRF450's and so on. I tipped it over more than a few times.  Still, I miss the bike and it was great for the 50 mph roads around here, but I was ready for a bike that could handle short trips and interstate speeds. The main issues seem to be similar to the GS500, carb maintenance and electrical charging. Also like the GS, they are really reliable if you keep the oil level up and changed and pay attention to the routine maintenance. I still don't have a truck or SUV so I might look for another lightweight, street legal, dual sport in the future. I always enjoy reading your posts!  :thumb:

DR350 has the same carb as the GS500, BST33. I have seriously considered a DR350 just due to my familiarity with these carbs but from what I can tell there are lighter bikes out there of the same era with the same kind of power, or bikes in that weight class with more power and better suspension. So I kind of crossed it off the list.

Thing is, around here there's basically nowhere to ride a dirt bike. We have a motocross "park" that's a bit more like singletrack that is suitable for trials bikes more than anything else (and mountain bikes...), but it's 30 minutes of 60+mph highways to get there from my house so what's the point? We have other private off-road parks with Jeeps and dirt bikes etc. but those are hours away. It's the trailer-to-the-venue kind of thing. TX doesn't really have public land like, say, AZ or NM or even CA.

The only reason I'd want a dual-sport would be to ride with my dad on the hundreds of miles of county roads out in the Llano/Burnet/Mason county area around their property, but on those roads a DR200 is more than enough. But am I really going to ride one 2 hours there on mostly 70mph country highways? Nope. What makes a lot more sense for that is getting another set of wheels for my GS and putting some 80/20 rubber on them and swapping when I want to go there. The GS will do just fine on those gravel roads with the right tires.

Kind of makes me think the way I should keep my GS is to make it more "adventure" oriented, put 80/20 tires on it, move the tires that are on there onto my Triumph and kit out the GS for more rough road duty. I think it'd make a pretty excellent long-range dirt road capable bike.

Good idea. Its nice to ride without traffic.
Have you cheked the adventure GS build? With the right tires it should work pretty well. Maybe you loss road capability but having the Triumph is not a problem.
Big block Trail tires.
You can even swap the front end if you find it cheap, but i dont see sense in having a second set of wheels.
its a hassle to change them and in the end is not a dirt bike. it is steel heavy.

I think engine guards are a must.Maybe a skid plate.

The more I consider this, the more I think it's an awesome idea :)

The GS is already most of the way there. Maybe I'll DIY some engine guards like the motec. I think a skid plate may be overkill but definitely some kind of protection for rocks tossed up by the front tire would be in order. And probably -2 teeth on the front sprocket.

With my 0.90kg/mm front springs, fork lowered 10mm in the triples and the Katana rear shock it already rides pretty high and upright like an adventure bike.

The big thing for me to work out is the foot pegs. They are just too high and slightly too far back for me to stand up on them safely.


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