The Yamaha RD350 was indeed the most legendary bike which stormed Indian roads. But it also was the most difficult to maintain. Or so some say. In this post, I’ll talk about how a little dedication and effort will take you a long way in resurrecting your RD 350 and enjoying a everlasting love – affair with her.
I’ve already given preambles to the 350 here. So let’s get down to business directly.
There are many who wish to buy and ride an RD, but fear the fact that she’ll be too much effort to maintain and still not give rewards like they expect. Suckers! Her spares will be tough to find and so will a competent mechanic. True! We find many mechanics who claim to be able to restore an RD (they’re just posers actually). But if you pick the right mechanic (and I mean a good one) and know where to look for parts, life becomes much easier. It’s still NOT a cakewalk! Trust me, if you’re looking for a cakewalk, go look elsewhere. Don’t waste an RD... It’s simply too precious to fulfil stupid whims and fancies.
The best thing to do (if you REALLY want to OWN an RD) is to buy one in a beaten down condition with the engine running and clear papers. Yes, clear papers! Else, boy, are you gonna be in trouble! You may even forge papers, but you don’t know the history of that bike! God knows which jackass got her into trouble and bailed. So go for one with clear papers and a running engine. Then approach a mechanic whom you’ve known for some time, who’s less talk and more action, and get ready to have the time of your life. Depending on the diagnosis, your RD will need:
1. A New Ignition Kit – Lots of folks go for RDD (Ron Chinoy’s kit), or the Raju brothers Racing kit, or a CDi with TVS Scooty Pep ignition coils, or others. The 1st 2 work okay for a while, after which compatibility with modern and classics starts to wane and it shows on the performance of your bike. The best option is to pick a Points or Kiran Bhide TCi kit, both of which are highly compatible for with RD350 (Hell, they’ve been made for the RD). The ignition kit will also need an alternator, a magnet, a mounting plate and a cam. The Kiran Bhide kit can be sourced from Bangalore (you just have to look it up on the web). For Mumbaikars, the rest of the parts (points, plate, cam, magnet, etc.) can be bought at Suraj Auto at Grant Road, opposite the famous Ram Auto Parts.
|Yamaha RD Points ignition kit|