The pipes are ready !
I ordered some exhausts a good while back from Kenny at TSA (two stroke addicts), he advised me of a 10-12 week lead time so I bit the bullet and slapped a deposit down.
I managed to get back from Holiday and go and collect them from him personally. Kenny designs and builds YPVS expansion chambers and on the UK forums the opinion is that he makes the best pipes available. Lots of midrange power which is perfect for the road. Kenny gave me lots of useful info and suggested a good carb jetting base to start from, shame I’ll not hear the pipes until the bike is finished. What struck me is the quality of workmanship, they are also very lightweight. The end cans I went for were alloy and they weigh more then the expansion chambers !!!
Once again little garage time this month but I have managed to get these parts vapour blasted and repainted. I used RD Cox and Sons in Reading and they did a great job.
Between the Vapour Blasting and painting the barrels were sent of to Granby Motors in Liverpool for a rebore. They bored them and supplied Mikita pistons to suit and did a very fast turnaround of 4 days. The crankcases as originally supplied from Yamaha would have been bare alloy for the lower half and painted satin black for the upper half. The Vapour blasters said they could do a satin finished alloy which looks like its been painted silver, yet it is bare metal. The finish is superb and should be easy to keep clean.
Only trouble is now everything I put back on the bike will have to be re-finished to the same high standard otherwise it’ll look shabby.
I did spend a few evening on the web ordering various parts for the rebuild, as it looks like I’ll be gathering parts for a Winter re-build. All hopes of getting the bike finished for this summer or year look doubtful due to holidays and a promise of doing some dreaded DIY in my house.
Been a while since the last update…… But in my defence the garage is too cold over Winter!
I have completely stripped the bike and made a start on cleaning and preparing for paint etc.
The frame was filthy and a bit rusty in places but not structural so along with the swing arm and various brackets, was dropped off at Power Park Autos in Banbury. They did a great job and I have a very deep gloss red on the frame, swing arm is silver and the fairing brackets and stands were welded and coated in gloss black.
I’ve been through numerous wire wheels cleaning up bolts, swing arm links, brackets etc. I have bought a zinc plating kit from Gateros and intend to have a mass plating session when all the steel parts are prepared.
The Tank and plastics have been sent to Power Park Autos for strip and paint. They have done a brilliant job, using the correct pearl/metallic white and red.
I got some graphics from RD LC CRAZY and applied them before the top clearcoat. But I was not happy with them, I got the fairing and belly pan ones on poorly, so ordered some replacement ones. Fitted them and though not 100% happy due to bubbles etc decided to go with it. Left the tank etc in the spare room and a week later orange blotches appeared all over the white paintwork!!! Took it back to the painters and went on holiday.
The painter said there had been a reaction between the processes, so removed everything and started again. I now left it for a few weeks to check it would be Ok this time before wasting more graphics.
I decided to make my own graphics as I am in the print trade as a hardware engineer for Canon. So many many hours making templates and using Adobe illustrator I ended up with my own set printed on quality Vynil.
I drank 2 strong bottles of beer on a Friday evening and sat down to apply them, I had printed a few sets so I could afford to get them perfect. I was well pleased with the results, nice flat bubble free graphics.
Sent them off for the clearcoat and got them back and the final result is brilliant, probably better than factory.
This is the bike just after I bought it. Sold as a rolling restoration project. Had a years MOT and had been ridden quite often. First things to note were, the belly pan was missing and the fairing was an aftermarket one. Oh and the paint scheme was non-standard “Kenny Roberts” job which I don’t really like anyway. It does not have matching engine and frame numbers, so even if I restored this back to near factory delivered condition it would not be worth as much as a matching numbers bike. But my aim is to rebuild it to a good condition and to ride it as Mr Yamaha intended.
So for the first few months I just intended to ride it and then SORN it and strip it over the Winter months, however the Bike clearly had other plans and started to give me grief when I used it.
It was a pig to start and the right-hand cylinder only fired when it had the mind to do so. Very frustrating and we almost fell out and joined the ranks of the hundreds of failed projects you see listed on ebay every week. When it did run though it pulled strong and showed me that the engine could be worth sorting, though to be fair the clutch was slipping too, but still allowed me to pop the odd wheelie and put a stupid grin on my face. Funny how riding this bike made me regress to being 20 again and acting like a loon after only one outing.
So into the garage for the first spannering session
I’ve started this blog to keep a record of my re-build of a 1983 Yamaha RD350 YPVS LCII and as work progresses then I hope to keep things updated.
So why choose a 350 Yamaha ?
In the UK today there is a big “retro” scence, be it with cars, fashion, music etc. There are quite a few people attempting to re-live some part of their history by restoring something they have fond memories of, such as a Motorcycle. So I’m jumping on the Bandwagon to try and recapture some of my mis-spent youth.
I have been riding Bikes for 30 years now and over this time I have only been without a bike for a few months. Most of the bikes I have owned have been Yamaha’s and the majority have been two-strokes. I owned 2 Yamaha RD 350 YPVS’s and always remember the great times I had on them and the buzz I got from riding a fast (for its day) two-stroke.
This is the first RD350 YPVS LCII that I owned in my early twenties. It had the usual sticker applied to the nose fairing where the previous owner had crashed it. I put the very second hand Allspeed exhausts on it, they made it sound fantastic. This bike used to blow oil out of the power valve covers and would cover my white trainers with two-stroke sludge every ride. I never got the thing to stop leaking despite changing all the power valve seals.
This is the second one I bought, it was an ex-race bike. It was run in the Production Racing Class by a friend. You can see its a bit of a mix of parts and been modded to race. The frame is an LCII, but the forks are “variable damper” from a later model and the tank/side panels were from the full fairing model. The tank was very bashed in as the guy who raced it liked to come off his bikes a lot ! The handlebars were clip-ons and the homemade rearsets (with pilion pegs removed) allowed the bike more ground clearance. Note the screen was missing (smashed) and the indicators were gone too (who indicates on a race track anyway !) The engine had been proddy tuned by Stan Stephens (I think it was anyway, but neither of us can remember) and it went so much quicker than a standard 350. Top speed was about the same as an untuned bike but this one just got there so much quicker.