1983 Honda XR350R

Although a somewhat unloved model, the original dual carb XR350R is an excellent starting bike for vinduros, and that’s exactly what this is. Read through the stuff we’ve done to this bike


The purchase
– The problems

The stripdown

The rebuild
– Sorting out the frame
– Sorting out the motor
– Sorting out the handling
– First ride!

The purchase

Getting another vinduro bike wasn’t on the radar, but with the TS250x stalled while some various parts needed are sorted out and wanting to hop into the vinduro action… a cheap XR350R came up for sale. This is a 1983 model, which is the first: wet sump, dual carb, generally unloved RFVC heads that are known for detonation and destruction. They are, however, otherwise solid bikes and you can stay on top of the various motor issues (and combat them easily: richening the jetting is a very good idea for one, stops them running so hot).


Picked up cheap, it’s not a bad bike. Starts first kick, just lots of things to sort out.

The problems

Usual sort of 30+ year old dirt bike issues really. There’s a few busted bolts here and there, plenty of rust in the exhaust and a couple of minor frame repairs needed. Nothing too dramatic, but all things that need to be sorted out. Easier to sort these out now rather than piecemeal down the track, so it was basically into the shed and straight away onto the teardown.

First problem found at this point: you need a special spark plug spanner to get into the spark plug! There’s two options, either the OEM Honda plug spanner (part number ) or get the nifty Motion Pro one. Went the latter because it’s just that bit nicer. With that ordered and out of the way, everything could be pulled out and sorted out.

The rebuild