I've just sold my XT350, had it 2 years.
It was an '85 with 18k. Always reliable and the easiest kick starter I've ever had - better than XRs. Having said that it could take a while if it was left standing for a few weeks.
Maintenance wise it was relatively simple with easy access to all the parts. It had grease nipples on the rear linkage and much beefier head races than a Transalp. Valves were shim adjusted (it's DOHC), I checked them once and they were fine. The motor is wet sump with a second gauze filter screwed into the bottom (this doesn't need doing every time).
I had to import a Clarke plastic tank from USA as the original was rusting out - something to check on an older bike. Nobody else makes aftermarket tanks for them.
Aside from the kick versus lecky start issue, the biggest 'negative' with XTs is the soft suspension if you want to get serious. Power wise I found it surprisingly good, it nipped upto 60 pretty quick. They're all twin carb, 'balancing' them involves setting the position the second carb cuts in which can be trial and error- the proper way involves removing both first, you cannot use a vacuum guage for this.
In short they're lightweight & reliable but the finish and durability is nowhere near as good as an XR.
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