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Old 27th March 2021, 08:44   #1
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Default Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

Hello Folks,

This is a short write up of my Yamaha RD 350, that I finally managed to restore( well almost) after a gap of about 12 years. It is a 1986 LT , that I bought in 1994. I have had the bike ever since though the bike had seen better days during its life.

I have been wanting to restore this for a very long time but since I knew the amount of time and patience it required, never got around to doing it. Then came the pandemic and with all the free time that everyone suddenly had, it suddenly became the best time to restore the RD.

Once the bike was stripped, a list was made of what could be salvaged and what needed to be ordered. The thing about RD parts is that you will find what you are looking for but it will come either with considerable price or delay or both.
The parts were then sent out for electro plating, spokes installed , color shortlisted and the frame was prepared. The engine was working fine before the bike was garaged so the engine was thoroughly cleaned and the seals etc that needed replacement were replaced. Despite the fact that the bike was in a much better condition engine wise than visually a huge list of parts were needed to bring it all together. Tank rust specially had to be cleaned from the inside and took a lot of time to get done. Then there were a few leaks that had to be mended. Almost all plastic parts, wires, seals, bulbs, bearings, gaskets, locks, switches, holders had to replaced. Of course needed new battery , plugs, chain set, headlight ( old JAWA) and tyres. I am sure there is other stuff that I am forgetting.

As it stands now, the bike is about 90% complete. I am still running the old meters and will eventually swap for a new pair. The old seat had completely rusted and the cloth was torn. Finding a new seat was proving to be expensive, so the old seat was re upholstered, cushioned and rust cleaned. It is a make shift job until I can find a nice new seat.

Attaching a few pictures of the journey. I still have to bring the bike home. Should bring it over the weekend. Will keep updating the thread as more work gets completed.
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-20190830_120014.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-20210102_093446.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-20210105_161007.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-img20210311wa0003.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-img20210311wa0004.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-img20210311wa0005.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-20210324_200230.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-img20210320wa0001.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-img20210320wa0002.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-img20210320wa0003.jpg  


Last edited by bigron : 27th March 2021 at 08:58.
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Old 27th March 2021, 12:24   #2
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Default re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

This is the start of very beautiful thread ! Will follow this closely.

RD 350's are really rare out there and is always a joy to spot one. Nice to see this gem coming back to it's former glory and wish you all the best !

P.S: Where is this being carried out ? I can see some Mercs as well as some Hayabusa in the background.
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Old 27th March 2021, 13:48   #3
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Default re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

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Originally Posted by TrackDay View Post
This is the start of very beautiful thread ! Will follow this closely.
RD 350's are really rare out there and is always a joy to spot one. Nice to see this gem coming back to it's former glory and wish you all the best !
P.S: Where is this being carried out ? I can see some Mercs as well as some Hayabusa in the background.
Thank you!
I am sure this restoration will be a bitter sweet experience but I have my expectations in check considering its a 50 year old technology and 35 year old model.

But yes, always feels nice seeing it coming together. Will take it for a longish spin on Sunday after a gap of 12 years to re vist some old school motorcycling.

Last edited by bigron : 27th March 2021 at 13:54.
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Old 27th March 2021, 14:25   #4
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Default re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

Superb restoration Ron! She looks lovely even at ~90% complete. The blue colour looks smashing.

I have such lovely memories with the RD so many years ago. Those days if you had an RD you were amongst the biking Gods . The mad power for those times and even today, the inadequate brakes, riding in the pouring rain with one cylinder shutting off sometimes due to moisture and switching on of its accord. Leaving a trail of blue smoke from its exhausts while redlining it through the gears

Have fun and please do keep updating the thread to enable us to relive the blast from the past.

Cheers
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Old 27th March 2021, 15:42   #5
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Default re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

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Superb restoration Ron! She looks lovely even at ~90% complete. The blue colour looks smashing.
Cheers
Thank you!
I agree, even I have fond memories of riding this with nay a worry about brakes or gear or traffic. I remember going into a gas station and getting fuel filled for 50 bucks and burning it all up sprinting up and down colleges and markets. The good ol 90s. Simpler times.

The blue is actually a shade of purple. The third last picture somewhat captures the shade. Took quite a trial and error to get it right. Even I particularly like how the shade has come out.

Last edited by bigron : 27th March 2021 at 15:44.
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Old 27th March 2021, 17:15   #6
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Default re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

Hey Bigron,

Your RD 350 looks stunning. They restoration guys did a good job.

The bike also looks t modern .I guess it is due to the clean look of the tank with the Yamaha badge (Please leave it like that). And I see that you have gone with the signature Yamaha shade .

A job well done . Do Enjoy it for many more years.

Last edited by Eshan Joshi : 27th March 2021 at 17:24.
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Old 27th March 2021, 18:10   #7
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Default re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

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Originally Posted by Eshan Joshi View Post
Hey Bigron,

Your RD 350 looks stunning. They restoration guys did a good job.
The bike also looks t modern .I guess it is due to the clean look of the tank with the Yamaha badge (Please leave it like that). And I see that you have gone with the signature Yamaha shade .
A job well done . Do Enjoy it for many more years.
Thank you!

Even I prefer the cleaner look of the tank. It was deliberate to keep the tank and side panels free of the Rajdoot tank stickers and '350 Torque Induction' stickers on the side panels. I find them too busy and it hides the shape of the beautiful tank.

I sourced these original Yamaha logos that they now use on all new bikes. I will put a chrome '350' emblem on the side panels eventually but dont know when.

My painter is a phenomenal worker. Very steady hand and quality job. A little inside information - He is now painting tanks for MS Dhonis 350's.

Last edited by bigron : 27th March 2021 at 18:18.
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Old 31st March 2021, 00:59   #8
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Default Re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

Finally got her home and she rode like a dream. Of-course being 35 years old a few things need to be revisited like a notchy neutral and grabby clutch. The fuel tank lock spilling fuel on bumps etc. Nothing a weekend session would not solve.

Last edited by bigron : 31st March 2021 at 01:12.
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Old 19th April 2021, 21:54   #9
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Default Re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

What a beautiful restoration job!
She looks absolutely smashing in that unique purple/blue color.

Wishing you loads of happy hours in the saddle listening to that sweet twin soundtrack.
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Old 20th April 2021, 10:32   #10
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Default Re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

Wow - Beautiful restoration.

The original 'Thrill' bike of India. The sound track from those twin silencers were music to ears.

Hope you get all the spares to maintain this lovely brute
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Old 20th April 2021, 11:36   #11
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Default Re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

bigron, this is an absolute stunner. Thanks for bringing it back to life. How did you manage to get the RTO passing done for such an old bike, presently many states allows 25 (15+5+5) years of passing. This was one bike I always fancied to own. Eagerly waiting for the final restoration pics.
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Old 20th April 2021, 12:14   #12
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Default Re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

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Originally Posted by varoon9999 View Post
How did you manage to get the RTO passing done for such an old bike, presently many states allows 25 (15+5+5) years of passing.
I dont think there is any such specific rule of not allowing passing after certain years. Can you be more specific on your question? any link for such information?
I own a dozen 2 and 4 wheelers registered in MP, MH and UP. I am able to renew passing for each of them through inspection and tax for 5 years.
And yes, all of them are 30 to 70 years old.
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Old 20th April 2021, 13:08   #13
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Default Re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

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Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
I dont think there is any such specific rule of not allowing passing after certain years. Can you be more specific on your question? any link for such information?
I own a dozen 2 and 4 wheelers registered in MP, MH and UP. I am able to renew passing for each of them through inspection and tax for 5 years.
And yes, all of them are 30 to 70 years old.

Dear Shubhendra, Thank you for clarifying, pardon me for being ignorant on this, I just wrote out of my little knowledge on this domain. 30-70 yrs old vehicles can be retained, voila!! we couldn't have asked for more. My Thunderbird to turn 20 in 2023, that means I can keep her beyond 25 years, as long as it passes the RTO passing in every 5th year.

Also if you can educate on new scrappage policy too, should there be any impact on the older vehicles, older than 20-30 years. I'm pretty sure you must be following new scrappage policy very closely.
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Old 20th April 2021, 13:26   #14
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Default Re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

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Originally Posted by varoon9999 View Post
Also if you can educate on new scrappage policy too, should there be any impact on the older vehicles, older than 20-30 years. I'm pretty sure you must be following new scrappage policy very closely.
This topic has been discussed widely in this forum, please search. I dont want copy paste the information here to dilute this thread.
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Old 24th April 2021, 16:59   #15
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Default Re: Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)

Oily aromas, screaming like a banshee, ghostly blue smoke , on/0ff power bands, weak chassis, temperamental fuelling and non existent brakes.

Nostalgia is a potent drug when the world is going crazy .

She is ready. Maybe a badging here or there but this is what the time machine to paradise looks like .

Mods could you please edit the title of the thread and remove the "well almost" part. Thanks
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-20210328_074652.jpg  

Yamaha RD 350 - Restored (well, almost)-20210328_074603.jpg  


Last edited by bigron : 24th April 2021 at 17:10.
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