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1975 Yamaha RD350

Giant Killer

Classic Velocity


It was the usual story. Not looking, no room, projects already in process. Then up pops a decent example of a sought-after machine from my youth. The RD350. Back then, I did not even understand 2 stroke vs 4 stroke. I didn't know that the 2 stroke era was coming to an end, and that Yamaha was a holdout. I just knew that a bike with a 350 engine and a 350 price was blowing away bikes that said 500 and even 750. A real giant killer, how could I get one ?

Well I couldn't, not back then. Fast forward decades, and now I can. For some reason, examples of this bike in good cosmetic condition are hard to find in my neck of the woods, so I had been looking on and off for a few years. This one looked good, and had a decent asking price, so I was on the road right away. As usual, there were more scuffs and paint blemishes than the photos showed, but nothing too serious. It fired up from cold, and I took it around the block. It was dark, and cold, so the test ride was an abbreviated one. A little cold-blooded, but pretty good. A little haggling, and a deal was made.

The bike has good rubber, and a few accessories and parts came along. This should be one that does not need very much. Good thing, because I have others that do....