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Old 04-03-2012, 01:06 AM   #61
jkdwings
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Oh, those lovely RDs of the past. My buddy has an early 70s RD200 that I rode pretty early in my biking experience (at 17), and that was the first time I experienced a 2-stroke power band. Magical. It wasn't much later I found a used RD400 for sale that wasn't running. $500 and some carb work and she's been going solidly for a few years now. Great pull in the power band, and easy power wheelies. Then I managed to find myself an '89 NSR250. Certainly doesn't compare to the RD's torque, but that much horsepower in such a light bike should be illegal! Don't know if I'll ever be able to sell either bike
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:34 PM   #62
Ever Onward
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Early air cool RD's ? Naw, they dont handle at all !






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Old 04-09-2012, 01:28 AM   #63
Shocktower
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I love my 79 RD 400 Daytona Special, I have been restoring it slowly, but with everything you could think of, I got flat slide carbs moto carerra pipes new brake lines, new headset bearings, I think I am going to get an Aluminum swing arm . They are the coolest bikes
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:11 AM   #64
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Pjay in New Zealand will laugh at this pic !

Stock footpegs on a '73 350.......4 hour endurance race, our first one, and this is how my team mates boots looked at the end !

We ground most the way through the footpeg loops at the end. Biggest fear was bending the loop down, grounding out hard and high siding.

His son went on to win formula RD WERA 20 years later !!!!



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Old 04-16-2012, 02:33 PM   #65
scrambler73
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To say that an RD350 "handles poorly" is one of the most mis-informed things I've read here on ADV... Even by today's standards, they handle pretty stinking good...
I dont even think they handle that bad with stock/crappy supsension. (as long as there is still some oil left in the shockers/forks...lol)

I will agree that the stock brakes sorta-kinda suck if ridden hard/fast. Ive had a couple of "pucker moments" while riding briskly..

And I also agree wholeheartedly that the majority of us will never come close to reaching the limits of what that little chassis is capable of.

Yeah, they only have 40HP, but it is SOOOOOO much fun keeping them on the pipe in the tight/twisty stuff.... Of course, they are going to get schooled on an OPEN/FAST/SWEEPING track or road. They barely do 100mph.

The R5 and RD's chassis' are not that far removed from the Factory Race bikes of the same era. Spoon a set of sticky tires on (BT45's or AM26's), throw a good set of shocks and springs in there and they still kill giants in the tight stuff. They are VERY "motard-esqe" in how you can hammer the corners. Rear-sets and chambers and its a whole nuther ballgame.

In stock form, the RD Yamahas IMHO are the best handling bikes (hands down) of the early to late 70's. Guys were still competative through the late 80's in a lot of road racing clubs against bikes 10-15 years newer.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #66
Shocktower
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To me an RD 400/350 is like the hot chick from highschool only a lot cheaper and never talks back, and will always put out
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:33 AM   #67
MrR3NO
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First bike?

Hey, everyone this is my first post as I'm new to the bike scene. I recently got my motorcycle license, through a rider's course, and have been looking into getting a 70s bike as my first. I do have very limited dirt bike experience as a young kid if that matters really at all. I know it can be a lot of work but I'm pretty handy and with a manual/instructions I can fix quite a lot. That said, I've got my eye on a 74 RD350 and stumbled across this forum.

I've read the responses here thus far and there is a pretty decent consensus that an RD is an awesome machine to own. I just want to know how it would be as a first bike for someone who also likes getting his hands dirty, loves to learn, and is exceptional with google lol.

I'm not 100% dead set on the RD350 in my area but I'm gonna go check it out and we'll see, are there any extra things I should look at/consider that an average person who has just a little motorcycle knowledge needs to know? Especially when it comes to this bike?

Any help would be great, thanks.



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Old 06-20-2012, 08:38 AM   #68
tkent02
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An RD 350 for a beginner bike???
Good luck with that.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:11 PM   #69
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GO FOR IT!!

I'm become an RD collector! '73 250, '77 400 & '81 350

What do you need to know about an RD. Well, the 350 is actually easier to ride than the 250. It has heaps more torque as well as horsepower. The 350 really was a giant killer. Even my 250 would routinely beat up 750 hondas - through the bends.

It will take you almost no time to work out how many revs it needs to make power.
It will take you only a little bit longer to realsie that you have to use your left foot.
Once you've worked that out, you'll start having a ball.

What you save in tyres, chains etc, you'll spend on petrol and 2 stroke oil.

Make sure that your carbs are synch'd. Otherwise you risk burning pistons if you give it some for an extended period.

Check the oil pump and install clear oil lines to the carbs. You'll probably find that you get around 3 tanks of petrol to a tank of 2 stroke oil. But always carry a litre bottle of oil. And modern synthetic oils are so good that the only smoking it should do is when the exhausts are still cold.

Very simple. Very easy to work on.

At the risk of getting boring...have a squiz. Two of the videos I put up from an historic bikes ride day in Victoria.



On the strength of those two days, I've bought myself a 350LC track bike.

Bear in mind this is my restored bike. it's set up to use on road in social rallys. I wasn't trying to thrash it. It's 40 years old. This was supposed to be a fun event with lots of different skills sharing the track.
You can hear, in the second video, those times when I let it get off the pipe and had to change back


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Old 06-21-2012, 08:05 AM   #70
MrR3NO
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Thanks a lot Tripod, you've definitely eased my fears about picking up an RD first. It seems to be a fantastic classic bike. If I can get it for a good price, I'm gonna pull the trigger.

By the way, the videos were awesome.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:34 PM   #71
A-ron
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An rd350 is a great beginner bike. small, light, handles GREAT, a 12yr old can flat foot it, actually hard to ride over your head and a top speed of 100mph tucked with the wind at your back.
Also a very simple machine to work on, two holes 2 pistons, no valves and other unnecessary bits.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:52 AM   #72
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Pardon my rant here but..... Wow is there some misinformation on here.

Scrambler nailed most of it but I have to add my 2 cents. First of all a STOCK RD350 would be a fine first bike. It's really pretty tame considering that a lot of kids are getting on 600 supersports as their first bikes.

MR3nO asked about: "as a first bike for someone who also likes getting his hands dirty, loves to learn, and is exceptional with google lol.". IMHO I don;t think there would be a bette bike on the planet for exactly that sort of thing. there are HUGE and helpful communities. Parts are plentiful and affordable and if you choose to go that route you can turn them into mini rocket ships.

Whoever said an RD350 is a poor handling ride could not be more mistaken. The bike is basically a consumer version of the wildly successful early TZ race bikes. Properly set up they go around a corner as quickly as anything up to the the early 90's.

Oh and a STOCK RD350 sipps gas. Especially compared to other bikes(2 and four stroke) from the era. Now the tank size may limit you a bit if you're cruising with modern ADV bikes with 7 gallon tanks but I doubt you'll be running in those circles on this bike anyway.

And I've always thought the stock RD350 brakes FOR THAT ERA were a marvel. That simple little single piston fron brake was really quite amazing compared to the block an tacker of other bikes that barely slowed you down. ADD a braided line and quaity pad and they're fantastic all things considered. Of course small as they are they will heat up on you if pushed long and hard. Say on a long twisty day.

Now as far as the Kawasaki H1's and H2's go sure they had plenty of brake and handling issues but if you get into them you quickly learn that most of those issues can either be eleminated or significantly negated without anything too major.

Rant off... carry on...
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:57 AM   #73
FloridaSteve
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@ triptiger That second video looks like a freaking BLAST!
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:59 AM   #74
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Bassani pipes... Even with the mile long stingers they are my favorite! Awesome street pipes! Nice broad range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Budget View Post
Early air cool RD's ? Naw, they dont handle at all !

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Old 06-29-2012, 07:40 PM   #75
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Yup, hands down the best old school midrange pipes out there. Despite their long ends, I managed several WERA podium finishes with a pair of em. Very, very easy to jet for them with a otherwise stock engine.
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