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Review of the 1971 Suzuki T 350 R:
Suzuki T 350 - A Mighty Bike
Author: Mike, 2015-08-24, viewed 149 times.|
THe T350 was probably one of the best bikes ever designed-period. By 1971 Suzuki had been developing the T series for 4 years and just about perfected the model.The bike is very simple and very reliable which made it extremely attractive.
The photo shows a model that is in between the 71 and 72 specs. It has most of the 72 specs apart from the paint job which had a swoop to the white line. The true 1971 R model had a smaller tail light and no chrome grab bar. The head fins on the 1971 R model were straight but on the 1972 J model angled (as per photo). All T350 s were 315cc.|
As it came from the factory it had a number of minor issues. First the handlebars were far too high giving a very upright position. Flat or 1 inch rise bars gave far better control and a lot more top speed.
Secondly, all the engines had small casting dags in the small auxiliary exhaust ports. Removing these gave smoother power and about 2-3 mph more speed. The seat can be lowered about 12 mm giving a better aerodynamic position by enlarging the 2 holes to make them longer vertically (until the seat pan almost touches the guard).
The standard brown front brake linings are very average - if replaced by green metallic linings braking is much improved with far less finger pressure. In a production bike race a T350 so equipped could easily outbrake a 1972 Yamaha RD350 with disc brakes. At top speed (about 99mph at T350 could brake 30 yards later for a slow 25mph corner.
The last thing that needed to be changed was the front fork oil. The standard oil was too light-leading to too much fork dive . Heavier oil produced a better high speed ride. The rear shocks should be set on the highest position. This gave even better ground clearance.
The RD350 had far more power at low revs out of a slow corner thanks to its reed valves and greater cc capacity, but at higher revs the difference was not a lot. The RD350 was about 5mph faster. Around a normal race track the 2 bikes were very close as the T350 had better brakes and much better handling. Ground clearance was amazing. With hard riding rings began to rattle at 15,000 miles and should be replaced. Compared to the T250 the 350 was a much better bike with far more useful midrange power.
Both the T250 and T350 were better all around bikes than the ponderous T500 with its ulta slow handling, far greater vibrations and greater weight as well as greater thirst at the pump. A T350 did about 50 miles to the imperial gallon or about 42 to the US gallon.
Riding a T350 today makes you wonder at the enormous weight of modern 4 strokes.
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