May 2012: My 1983 Yamaha RD350 YPVS LCII

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.