17 January 2012

T.W.O. - Yamaha RD350 by Analog Motorcycles

For all our interest on bikes we're still really learning the intricacies of the various models made, so we're  constantly discovering bikes we've never heard of before. Case in point: the Yamaha RD350. It evolved from the piston port intake, front drum-braked, 5 speed  350 cc R5.
It featured a reliable air-cooled, parallel twin, 6-speed (in some markets, such as the UK, the first model was sold in 5-speed form), reed valve equipped intake tract two-stroke engine. From the first 1973 RD350 to the last 1975 RD350B, Yamaha's overachieving pocket rocket humiliated triples and fours packing over twice its 347ccs on racetracks and backroads all over the planet. Back when flared jeans were cool and Harley's weren't, almost anybody's big-bore bike roasted the RD in a straight line. Horsepower was cheap, and it seemed any fool could twist a throttle. It's perhaps surprising to hear nowadays, but motorcycle handling was still an oxymoron in Japan at the time...except at Yamaha. When Sunday beckoned and people donned their leathers, all bowed to the RD. Ducati''s 1974 750SS elevated that company's rep into the stratosphere and was the bike to have, but was expensive. Very expensive, so therefore a pipe dream for most people. Kawasaki's very fast, very large Z-1 was cheaper, but still over twice the price of a 1974 RD350.
Moët & Chandon on a Watneys budget. Racetrack handling for the masses.

So now you have a little flavour of the RD350, have a gander at the gorgeous RD350 built by Analog Motorcycles. A fine example of a semi-café racer style style (really needs drop bars for that head down, arse-up riding position), and on a surprising base too.
Read more here.

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