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    Thread: Rd350... thoughts?

    1. Member autotragik b3attlewagen's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 11:59 AM #1
      I have a chance to pick up a project RD350 for a fair price. I would probably want to make it into a cafe' bike.

      anyone have experience w/ these things?
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      03-09-2012 01:11 PM #2
      I've ridden one. Made me wanna get a two-stroke. So much fun.... do it!

    3. Senior Member Metallitubby's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 01:29 PM #3
      Yes. (but paint it orange)

    4. Member autotragik b3attlewagen's Avatar
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      03-09-2012 11:32 PM #4
      After watching a few videos online, I am hooked. Gotta get me some ring-ding love.
      Almost have a deal hammered out w/ the guy selling (Friend of mine)

      Quote Originally Posted by Metallitubby View Post
      Yes. (but paint it orange)
      That just wouldn't be right...

      It more then likely will get painted King Kenny Yellow if I go race rep w/ it... or just plain black cafe'
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    5. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
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      03-10-2012 08:26 AM #5
      What year? I had 2 '75 RD-350's, they're a hoot!

      If you don't mind me asking, how much is it?

      Oh, in for pics!
      Quote Originally Posted by MRVW00
      my GF's love to show me their t!ts....and I like to motorboat them so much they call me Chris Craft...

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      03-10-2012 11:09 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by autotragik b3attlewagen View Post
      I have a chance to pick up a project RD350 for a fair price. I would probably want to make it into a cafe' bike.

      anyone have experience w/ these things?

      I had a 77 RD400 for a while. Really fun bike, and I made the mistake of selling it.


      RDs are really neat bikes. Really simple, cool sound, and reasonably quick. The frames are flexy and the brakes are 'meh', but all that was just the way things were back then.


      Check to see if the bike still has all the Yamalube parts on it (oil injection system). If it's missing parts from the system, you're looking at a bit of expense tracking stuff down. Or, you can just ditch the system and run premix.


      Here's a good place for parts:

      http://hvccycle.com/



    7. Member autotragik b3attlewagen's Avatar
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      03-11-2012 12:18 AM #7
      the bike I am look at is a 75' and seller is a guy I know at work. Its missing bars, pipes, headlight and some other little odds and ends I am sure.. basically a rolling chassis at this point and engine rebuilt but not installed.
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    8. Member autotragik b3attlewagen's Avatar
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      03-12-2012 01:04 PM #8
      here is the bike I am looking at in its past glory.
      It was taken apart to rebuild/ build the engine then never reassembled. Its a roller w/ engine not installed at this point.

      here is info I got from him:
      The engine is complete. It actually was running when taken apart(the bike, the engine/trans is still assembled). The engine was rebuilt with Wiseco pistons, Boyeson carbon reeds, and a stage 3 port job. It always started in 1 to 2 kicks and 80% of the time it was the first. It has no bottom end at all. However when it comes on the pipe it will pick the front wheel up in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I pulled it down to start a restomod and then got into racing, divorcing, out of working, etc. I still have a roller that would need handle bars, headlight, front fender, exhaust, carbs, and rear sets. I Had some big plans for it but I just don’t have the time to devote to it.





      Last edited by autotragik b3attlewagen; 03-12-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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    9. Global Moderator Paul@VWvortex's Avatar
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      03-12-2012 02:02 PM #9
      Sweet! If the price is in your range I would say buy it.

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      03-13-2012 02:51 PM #10
      The RD350 is one of the only two bikes I randomly search classifieds for (the other is the FZR400). I've always wanted one, but have a few too many irons in the fire right now to add a vintage two stroke to the equation. If you're looking for someone to tell you not to get it, you're looking in the wrong place. How much is he looking for it? It depends how good of a deal it is; even running examples of these bikes aren't too expensive.

      BTW, it always makes me laugh when people say that something was "running when it was parked" or "running when it was taken apart." Doesn't really mean a whole lot now, does it?

    11. Member veedub87's Avatar
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      03-14-2012 01:16 AM #11
      I have a few friends that have them and love them. Simple, quick, light, cheap, etc.

      My friend Dino actually just sold his '74 RD350 due to a baby on the way. Here it is along with my bike and a KZ750 cafe from the little cafe racer group I ride with.




      Here's me and some friends working on Dawn's '74 RD350 cafe project. She's about 75% complete with it now.



      My friend John rides an RZ350 Kenny Roberts edition as well. For those that don't know the bike, it's a water cooled 2 stroke twin, of which the engine later was used in the Yamaha Banshee.






      Last but certainly not least is my friend Pete: He has several RDs, but his main ride is a Suzuki GT750 'Water Buffalo' two stroke triple. It's a bit hard to make out in this pic, but it's the second bike from right. Dino's RD is in there too, behind the helmet on the ground. Pic kinda gives you a size reference; it's in between to new Bonnevilles, + Honda Hawk in the middle, then my W650 next to the Hawk. It's certainly little. Dino said he had it stripped down to about 285lbs.


      ...and some ring-ding video of both bikes

      Last edited by veedub87; 03-14-2012 at 01:29 AM.

    12. Member autotragik b3attlewagen's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 12:54 PM #12
      decided to pull the trigger on the RD350. My buddy delivered the rolling frame and a tub full of extra parts on Sunday, and engine to follow sometime this week.
      gonna need lots of work, time and attention.. but all in all a good starting point.

      pics soon.
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    13. Senior Member Metallitubby's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 04:04 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by autotragik b3attlewagen View Post
      decided to pull the trigger on the RD350.
      Lemme know if you need any help, tools, orange paint...

    14. Member autotragik b3attlewagen's Avatar
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      03-20-2012 04:47 PM #14
      some 'before' pics for those interested, Shows the size comparison to my KLR.










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      03-21-2012 01:51 PM #15
      sweet. i really want one of these. i saw a rd400 for sale locally, is there much difference between the two bikes?

    16. Member autotragik b3attlewagen's Avatar
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      03-22-2012 11:59 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by rpmk4 View Post
      sweet. i really want one of these. i saw a rd400 for sale locally, is there much difference between the two bikes?

      My understanding from interwebs research is that the RD400 is the newer/ younger brother of the RD350. As the name suggests, its 400cc instead of 350cc.


      Found this:

      Yamaha RD350/RD400: Charting the Changes
      Evolution of the Beasties

      Once Yamaha's 1972 piston-port-fed R5C begat the reed-valved, seven-port RD350 in 1973, very little changed for the next three years. Aside from the obligatory new coat of paint, the big news would have to wait until '76, when Yamaha kicked the rest of the 400 class right where it hurt. Enter the stronger, more civilized RD400.

      Engine changes aimed at more power with fewer revs. Thus the 400 got 8mm more stroke, which bumped displacement to 398cc. Stronger coils and a 280-watt generator made for easier starting and fatter sparks under all conditions. New 28mm Mikunis inhaled through a bloody huge airbox.

      Sliding the 400's stroked engine 20mm closer to the front wheel reduced its predecessor's wheelie-prone nature. Rubber engine and footpeg mounts made for a smoother ride. The 400's alloy wheels were heavier than the 350's wire hoops. A new-for-'76 rear disc dialed up brain-warping stops and improved suspenders were more composed over all manner of bumps for a more comfortable ride.

      The 400's seat was thicker and more comfortable as well. Turn signals were self-canceling, the engine fairly sipped two-stroke oil (thanks to a more accurate Autolube injection pump) and the slab-sided fuel tank carried a quarter-gallon more combustible fluid than the 350's.

      The bigger twin made a couple of extra horses at 7000 rpm, but all that extra civility bumped wet weight to 378 pounds. The 400's poundage and taller gearing had it running low 14-second quarter-miles at about 95 mph. Still, it wouldn't smoke out of the hole like a 350.

      From there, the graphics changed in '77. In 1978 the 400 grew a nifty tailsection and a coat of silver paint. The 1979 RD400F, a.k.a. the Daytona Special, arrived with blood-red-on-pearl-white paint and throttle-controlled butterfly valves in its exhaust headers to squelch exhaust effluvia. Unfortunately, they also squelched horsepower. At least the ground-fouling foot brackets were replaced by less invasive bits.

      The Daytona Special was the end of the trail for air-cooled RD Yamahas. Liquid-cooled, catalyzed-for-your-protection RZ350s relit the lamp in 1985. But it went out a year later with the last 1986 RZ. Is the light that once shone so brightly dark forever? Can technology bring them back? Both good questions, ones that just might be answered by the likes of Bimota and Honda in the next few years.--T.C.
      I have to laugh when someone calls me an a*****e. I've been called far worse than that.
      - Gordon Ramsay

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