I'm the original reviewer. I actually just found a 1975 Yamaha RD250 in original condition with only 2200 miles on it! It will be fun to own another little two-stroke. With (hopefully) just a little
work, this little RD will be cruising the back roads and zipping down the highway!
I'll post a full review later!
I owned a 1975 RD350B, and never fouled a plug. The bike was bone-stock, except for Dunlop K81s (the 'hot' tire of the time) and a big air horn.
The RDs strong suit was corners, but it was a good long-distance mount as well. I put 28,000 miles on it in the late 1970s, riding it several times 1200 miles between Boston & upper Michigan to college. In those days, bikes were smaller. It was common to see people running Montreal-to-Vancouver on Honda 200s, running low bars, flat out at 80mph. I later owned several Yamaha 650 twins, which were nowhere near as smooth at 70-80 mph as the RD350.
Over the years I've owned two 1975 RD-350B machines and wish I had another. The plug fouling is easily fixed by replacing the puny Yamaha coils with after-market 12VDC (be sure they are 12 Volt!) car coils. I used Echlin brand. They're a tight fit up under the tank, but worth the effort. MUCH higher output than the stock coils.
Yamaha's oil pump setting was a bit on the high side, too. Better to err on the 'too much' side than 'too little', though.
A little polishing of the ports and a set of Mossbarger reeds will really bring the Yammer to life. A pro 2-stroke tuner can easily get 60+ HP out of the 350, with a pair of expansion chambers. A bit noisy for highway use, though. LoL.
Ahhh... nothing like the WFO song of a 2-stroker!
-- The Nytryder --
I disagree a tad with the last commentator. Boyson Reeds and a Micron Pipe will give far greater power gains throughout the rev range.
Good old two-strokes from the seventies. I miss them loads.
Can`t beat the sound and acceleration of a two-stroke.
I had RD400 about 10 years ago. Bought it used from a pawn shop in Miami for $450. I could never get it to run properly, but I blame that on myself rather than the bike.
A funny thing happened one day. I was gassing it really heavily to keep it from dying. All of the sudden it started revving up by itself. I let go of the throttle, but it kept at full rev. I cut the ignition, it still run at full rev. At this point I started to get a little scared that it might blow up or something. So I put it on the kick stand and got off of it and went about 10 meters away. It still was going at full rev. I finally got up the nerve to run to it, turn the fuel off and run back to a safe distance. After I let it cool off (and myself too) I started it again and went off.
Unfortunately the crank seized on me one night when I was racing my roommate. And that was the end of a very beautiful bike.
Yes, it’d be nice to get another one someday.
Just purchased a 1975 Yamaha RD-350B with 13K on it for $350.
Doesn't run and has been sitting in a garage for 14 years, but seat, tank, frame, pipes, electrics are good and engine turns with what seems like good compression.
I'm intending to have the engine rebuilt by a two-stroke pro and will go over cosmetics, replace tires, re-do brakes and ignition. Happy to have found one of the legends and intending to revive this wild child!! Any comments, advice or suggestions gladly accepted.
I bought an RD350 here in India a few years ago. It was manufactured by an Indian company, but it just did not have the lines or finish of its Japanese counterpart.
It was a 1988 model. Very heavy, very bad ignition as the plugs were always fouled up and worse, it was very heavy on petrol. Giving approximately 20 km to the litre.
I live in Kolkata India and as I just could not obtain parts here, unless I was prepared to pay astronomical prices. For example $80 for a set of points, I am trying to sell it. Any help or advice would be gratefully accepted
Mohie Tikari email <email@example.com>
Check out RDDREAMS.COM now. There is a much advanced digital CDI ignition for the bike...
I had a 1975 RD 250 that I converted to a 350 with a cylinder replacment. I added 34mm carbs and an RD400 gearset, and very mild portjob (mostly opening up the ports in the pistons.
I ran the engine hard (blowing off CB750s) so I added a TZ350 roller crankshaft, a set of toomey expansion chambers and gold radial heads made by DG. The engine would rev cleanly to 14,000 rpms (the tach needle would go all the way around past the neutral light... LOL)
As for the chassis, I laced on a set of gold anodized rims, tapered steering bearings, superbike bars and a steering dampener.
This bike was a street racer and performed flawlessly. Back in 1983 it took a KZ900 to beat it and they didn't do it easily.
I sold the bike and purchased a new 1985 FJ1100 (another great Yamaha), but I regret ever getting rid of the trusty RD.
My wife just bought a 1973 Yamaha RD 350 to learn on. The bike is all stock. Is there a way to make the clutch "smoother" for her?
So far we love the bike and may buy another one. Please tell me the ultimate performance set up (parts) for later use. Perhaps a second complete big bore motor? What do you guys think?
Thank you very much.
Try lubing the cable really good. There should be almost no resistance in the cable. Also 2 stokes have little torque at low rpms, so you have to rev it more than a 4 stroke to get going. When I let my friends ride my R5, it takes 5 or 6 tries from them to get going the first time.
I'm not really a biker, but lately I've developed an interest in the Yamaha RD 350. If anyone has some interested leads on how to buy one in Delhi, please advise me at 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
Well, I'm getting me the Indian edition (b series) from Delhi. She's frame number 197 and was at one point a track bike. She's on her 4th bore and the 5th oversize is being ordered from Canada.
Expansion sets have been ordered and apparently they're good copies of some Vince and Hayne's design.
The tuner says 45 brake horse with very mild porting, considering in stock form here, they're rated at 30.5 hp. can someone suggest port heights? I need to get that sorted out so that it takes off after 7krpm. If anyone needs rds in India, log into orkut. Or mail me at email@example.com.