Yamaha RD350 — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

9 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Yamaha RD350 — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
Yamaha RD 350

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Years produced:  1973-1975

power:  39hp @ 7,500rpm (claimed)

Top  95mph (period test)

type:  347cc air-cooled, 2-… twin

Weight: (wet) 352lb

Price then: $1,071

Price now:  $1,500-$4,000

to popular opinion, there’s no supporting the idea that the in the Yamaha RD350 model stands for “Race Derived” — but derived it certainly was.

jumped into racing in as soon as its first motorcycle, the 125cc YA-1 “Red was launched. Early ventures the U.S. racing scene successful enough to encourage the to widen its horizons. Yamaha rider Fumio Ito might won the 1963 Isle of Man TT aboard the Yamaha RD56 if it hadn’t for a bungled 50-second fuel And when Ito was sidelined by a crash in Phil Read went on to the 250cc Grand Prix title.

Yamaha factory continued to dominate the 125 and 250 classes at level until 1968.

or bust

Despite the early success of Yamaha motorcycles, it a privateer team to crack the 350cc class. In 1967, Yamaha importer Trev modified two 250cc Yamahas, them out to 350cc, and entered the racing scene with Yvon DuHamel and Mike DuHamel led the Indy National that year before the line just behind Cal riding a Harley-Davidson 750, Duff qualified second at the 1968 Daytona 200, Rayborn also won.

The giant-killing era of the nimble 350cc was underway.

In 1967, Yamaha its first 350cc street the YR-1. As little more a big-bore version of Yamaha’s twin, the YR-1 can trace its to the YD-1 of 1957, which engineers designed after studying the M250 and racing twins from Adler in By 1962, the 250 had evolved into the YD-3 roadster with a backbone frame and electric and it was joined in 1963 by the sporty kickstart-only) 25hp YDS-2.

The big came in 1964 with the Until then, almost all were lubricated by mixing oil the fuel, a tiring and haphazard that also required having a bottle of 2-… oil at Yamaha’s innovation — called — was carrying engine oil in a separate injecting it into the engine at the by way of a small oil pump driven by the input shaft.

The fuel/oil was determined by engine speed and opening.

The only problem, was that the pump ran off the input which meant no oil was pumped the bike was stationary and in gear. was, presumably, to avoid oiling at traffic signal but could starve the engine of oil if it was sitting at a light with the in. Even so, it worked well that before long larger 2-… Japanese bikes were using a of Yamaha’s Autolube system.

In 1965, Yamaha introduced its bigger banger, the 305cc YM-1. which lasted two before being replaced by the 350cc YR-1. Next to in 1970, was the 5-speed Yamaha R5. until 1972. The next would bring bigger

The first RDs

For 1973, the Yamaha twins took a huge forward with the RD250 and The big change was the move to reed placed in the intake, replacing the porting used in the R5. Importantly, allowed Yamaha engineers to revise port timing, for a more civilized engine more thrust and a wider — without mixture being back through the intake, a occurrence in the earlier engines.

An cog went into the transmission to six speeds, while up front a brake provided the extra power this now potent needed. For the final 1975 year, when Ian Swift’s our feature bike, left the factory, nothing much had from the 1973 bike but the schemes.

The Yamaha RD350 was lauded by the motorcycle magazines of the “Take the RD350 out on a favorite of hilly, winding road the 6-speed transmission and powerful disc brake can be used to fullest, and you’ll find a motorcycle in a street machine’s said Cycle World . Cycle Guide noted, only natural for any street with a road racing to also go fast and handle The RD350 does both.”

The found little to criticize on the except its cold-blooded starting which required full and a one-minute warmup before it take any throttle, although voiced a dislike for an over-use of and vivid graphics: “The have been ‘improving’ for the last three years by doing more of it. As soon as learn to do a little less, bikes might begin to as much visual appeal as of the British machines. Until Wurlitzer city.”

Wreck recovered

If the silver-and-black on Ian’s 1975 Yamaha B look less familiar, because the ex-Brit painted the as he remembered the RD350s of his youth in old country.”

“I have a romantic of bikes from the mid-Seventies,” Ian, a former Royal engineer from Sheffield, now living in Victoria, British Canada. It was a 250 belonging to his brother introduced Ian to the RD series. “I pottered with them and took to pieces, and kept them back then,” Ian says. just rediscovering and re-honing skills. So I generally stick to the I know, which is why I do 2-strokes.”

Ian a motorcycle store in a town to where he grew up. On display was a RD350 that Ian coveted, but afford to buy. “I’ve got vivid recollection of seeing showroom full of bikes the 350 Yamaha in the middle and not being to get at it,” he says. “So when I across this one …”

Yamaha RD 350

The RD350 here was one of a pair that Ian in a wrecker’s yard in Victoria. Ian to buy both machines, but the wrecker was to part them out. Ian as the bikes kept shedding all the while trying to persuade the to sell him what was left. went on for more than a he says. “Eventually, I think he have needed some because he sold me one of them. But I had to re-find all the parts that had dismantled from it.”

Restoration and more

Since Ian’s Yamaha RD350 has a complete nut-and-bolt rebuild, NOS (new-old-stock) replacement parts possible — “I like to use the original if I can,” Ian says — and all the fasteners and parts were replated. The was treated to a rebore and new Wiseco while the frame was powder at Victoria Powder Coaters — and polishing was done by Victoria

One item not taken care of was the fork stanchions, which sent back to the U.K. for chroming. Ian has found hard — commonly used for hydraulic — to be very expensive in North so he takes advantage of visiting to have parts shipped to the “There are more niche in the U.K. that do things machining,” Ian says.

Stainless for the wheels came from Spoke Rim Inc.. and the wheels trued by Ian’s local shop. “I respoked them, but I’m not good at truing,” he says. Avon Roadrunner tires an eBay find, while obscure parts come Action Motorcycles. a Yamaha in Victoria, after Ian identified the numbers from microfiche he found on the Internet. “I just the guys the parts list and order them, even rubber pieces,” he says. if they come from they only take two weeks to get here.”

Ian recovered the himself using a repro cover, while the decals from Sunrise Graphics in the For the paint, he worked with Custom Paint in Victoria. the right shade of silver was he says, “because the only I had to work with were photographs.”

Ian credits two other companies helping him find NOS parts, the top of the airbox and some of the rubber that keep things in he says. Many of these from Speed Sports in Bloomsburg, Pa. and from Northwest Cycle Parts .

Worth the

The Yamaha started third after the restoration, and Ian has found it attention wherever it goes. real trick is finding these days,” he says. remembers them, but can you find one all the pieces on and complete and working? You As people come to realize I guess they’ll become and rarer.

It certainly resonates a lot of folks as I ride it around. It to be a bike that a lot of people their riding careers

The Yamaha RD350 is just one of classic strokers Ian has restored, a Kawasaki KH400, a Suzuki 500 a Vespa 150 and a Suzuki GT750B. Ian is the revenue generated by selling his to help pay tuition costs for the program he’s presently in. “Think of it as innovative financing, if you he says.

Many people to lose money restoring especially when, as Ian does, specify NOS parts. So I asked Ian his secret was. “You factor in the time you spend it,” he says. “If you did, it be a hopelessly loss-making exercise. If you the labor as a hobby, it works. I it therapeutic, too.”

Riding the RD

marches on. Reviewing the RD350B in motorcycle magazines universally the bike’s broad powerband, brakes and stable handling. In the of small 2-… bikes of the I’m sure their praise was

But compared to modern sport the RD350 feels strange

Perched on the narrow seat, the very much sits on top of the rather than simply on it. The feel oddly vague and while the powerband is quite with limited grunt 5,000rpm — and it’s all done at — although there’s a tremendous between the two points on the rev band. on the period tires feels and braking, while competent, is not noteworthy.

Where the RD350 though, is the fun factor. My fellow compared the experience to being into a scene from the show Life on Mars and the 1970s — disco mirror platform soles, Afro and all. In an age of cookie-cutter, plastic-wrapped the RD’s vibrant paint, chrome, ring-a-ding exhaust and trails of blue smoke stand out.

Now what be really interesting is a side-by-side with the other 1/3-liter of the day, like the Kawasaki and Suzuki GT380. And Ian has a KH in his garage, too … MC

Yamaha RD 350
Yamaha RD 350
Yamaha RD 350

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