The Yamaha RD series of motorcycles is a true classic in the world of two-stroke engines. These bikes were first introduced in the 1970s and quickly became a favorite among motorcycling enthusiasts for their lightweight design, nimble handling, and outstanding performance.
The RD series is comprised of several models, with the RD350 and RD400 being the most popular. These bikes feature air-cooled, two-stroke engines that offer a unique and thrilling riding experience. The two-stroke engine design is known for its simplicity and responsiveness, making these bikes a joy to ride.
One of the most appealing aspects of the Yamaha RD series is their ability to be fine-tuned for even more power. With the right modifications and maintenance, these bikes can be transformed into true performance machines. This has led to a dedicated community of enthusiasts who are passionate about preserving and restoring these classic bikes.
The Yamaha RD series is also known for its iconic design. The bikes feature a sleek, minimalist look that is both timeless and stylish. The classic cafe racer styling of the RD350 and RD400, in particular, has made them favorites among vintage motorcycle enthusiasts.
But the Yamaha RD series is not just a favorite among vintage motorcycle enthusiasts, it's also loved by modern street riders, enduro riders and motocross fans, the bike has something for everyone. The lightweight design and nimble handling make these bikes perfect for navigating tight city streets, while the performance capabilities make them a blast to ride on winding country roads.
The Yamaha RD series is also a favorite among dirt bike riders and motocross enthusiasts. The lightweight design and responsive engine make these bikes well-suited for off-road riding. With the right modifications, the RD350 and RD400 can be transformed into formidable dirt bikes that can hold their own on the motocross track.
One of the most appealing aspects of the Yamaha RD series is their two-stroke engine. Two-stroke engines are known for their simplicity and responsiveness, making them a favorite among motorcycle enthusiasts. However, two-stroke engines have their own set of maintenance requirements and need more frequent oil changes and air filter cleaning compared to four-stroke engines.
The two-stroke culture is a unique and passionate community, dedicated to preserving and restoring these classic bikes. Many RD enthusiasts are also involved in two-stroke performance tuning, and can help you with rebuilds, maintenance and racing.
The Yamaha RD series is a true classic in the world of motorcycling. These bikes offer a unique and thrilling riding experience that is sure to delight enthusiasts. With their lightweight design, nimble handling, and outstanding performance, the Yamaha RD series is a must-have for any motorcycle enthusiast. Whether you're into classic cafe racing, modern street riding, enduro riding, motocross, or just a fan of two-stroke engines, the Yamaha RD series has something for everyone. Join the community of RD enthusiasts and be a part of the legacy that is Yamaha RD series.
The Yamaha RD350 was a two-stroke motorcycle that was produced from 1973 to 1979. It was an evolution of the Yamaha R5, which was a 350cc, 5-speed motorcycle with a piston port engine and front drum brakes. The RD350 featured a 6-speed, air-cooled, parallel twin, two-stroke engine with a reed valve intake tract. It was available in dark green or brandy red with white and black accents, or purple with a "Yamaha" decal on the tank. The RD350B, released in 1975, also came in an orange and white color scheme, as well as silver and black in some markets. All models were equipped with "Autolube" automatic oil injection, which eliminated the need for manual mixing of oil and gasoline. The RD350 had 18-inch chromed, wire-spoked steel rims with a 1.85-inch front tire and a 2.15-inch rear tire. In the UK, the rims were slightly smaller at 1.60 inches in the front and 1.85 inches in the rear. The brakes were a single front disc and a rear drum, which were highly regarded in their class for two-stroke motorcycles.
The RD350's frame was similar to that of the Yamaha TZ250 and TZ350 factory racing bikes, with the main differences being the weight and fork rake. The RD350 had a rake of approximately 27 degrees, while the TZ bikes had a rake of around 25 degrees. However, the RD350 frame was much heavier due to the added street equipment and was not optimized for racing like the TZ series. The stock RD350 had a rear-wheel horsepower of around 32 to 35 at 7500 rpm, which was very fast for its time, but not as fast as some of the more modern, fuel-injected two-stroke motorcycles on the market. A contemporary of the RD350 was the Kawasaki H2 750cc triple, which was said to have a horsepower of 72 to 75, although it was tested at 55 bhp by Cycle Magazine. The RD350 was succeeded by the RD400C in 1976, the RD400D and RD400E in 1977 and 1978, and the final model, the RD400F, in 1979. These later models were more refined and clean running, but still required manual mixing of oil and gasoline. .
Indian Rd350 History:
The Indian RD350, also known as the Rajdoot 350, was produced by Escorts Group in India from 1983 to 1990. It was based on the Yamaha RD350B, but did not achieve the same level of success in the Indian market. This may have been due to its high price and poor fuel efficiency. Despite its lack of popularity, the Indian RD350 helped establish Yamaha as a performance bike manufacturer in India. There were two models of the Rajdoot 350: the High Torque and the Low Torque. The High Torque model had a maximum power output of 30.5 bhp, while the Low Torque model had a power output of 27 bhp. Both models were designed to be more fuel-efficient than the Yamaha RD350B, which had a power output of 39 bhp. By the time production of the Indian RD350 ended in 1990, the bike had been fully indigenized with very few Japanese parts.
The High Torque model was the top-of-the-line version of the Indian RD350 and was known for its impressive speed and acceleration. It was capable of reaching speeds of up to 160 kmph and could accelerate from 0 to 60 kmph in 4 seconds. However, its high fuel consumption made it unpopular among the majority of the Indian population, leading to a decline in sales. In an attempt to boost sales, Escorts released the Low Torque model in 1985. This model was a toned-down version of the High Torque model, but it was no match for the more powerful bikes that had been released in the previous two years. Around this time, smaller, more fuel-efficient two-stroke and four-stroke motorcycles were becoming more popular, leading to a decline in RD350 sales. As a result, production of the RD350 was eventually discontinued.
Although the Indian RD350 is no longer in production, there are still many second-hand models available for purchase. If you're a speed enthusiast on a budget, the RD350 may be the bike for you. With proper care and some modifications, it can be a reliable companion for long rides. It's worth noting that the RD350 has a highly versatile engine and can be made to outperform larger bikes with the right modifications. It has even been ranked among the top 10 bikes of the century by Cycle World USA.
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