RD350/400 - (73-78)
The RD350 was a motorcycle produced by Yamaha. It evolved from the piston port (pre-reed valve intake tract), front drum-braked, 5 speed Yamaha 350 cc "R5".
It featured a reliable aircooled, 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. Available in either a dark green or brandy red with white and black side details with metal emblem "Yamaha" on the tank RD350 (1973), the RD350A (1974), simple purple tank with "Yamaha" decal on the tank, and the orange with white RD350B (1975). The B model (in the UK at least) also featured a silver and black colour scheme.
The frame dimensions of the street 350 were very similar to the famous Yamaha TZ250 and TZ350 series factory road race bikes, differing mainly in weight and front fork rake - the RD being ~27 degrees and the TZ being ~25 degrees. The frames appeared similar, side by side, with the street frame adorned with many brackets for the street equipment. The weight difference was substantial though, with the street going RD frame weighing almost twice as much as the "TZ" roadrace race frame.
The stock bike made about 32 to 35 true rear-wheel HP at about 7500 rpm - very fast for the time. A contemporary of the RD was the Kawasaki H2 750cc Triple, said to make 72 to 75 true HP (tested by Cycle Magazine at 55 bhp).
The 350 evolved into the more refined and cleaner running RD400C in 1976, the "D" and "E" in 77-78 and the final model, the white 1979 RD400F. No matter though the color of the tank or special options, the RD350 and RD400 are two speed crazy choices for those looking to build a Cafe Racer.
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