It's finally done! I started it up in mid-February, 2004, and it was the first time it had run since sometime in 1985. It is basically a 1975 RD350B with a bunch of 1978 RD400E parts, and a bunch of aftermarket parts. My intent with all of the modifications was to improve the performance and reliability, and reduce the maintenance required, while still preserving the classic '70's look. You can be the judge of how successful I was.
The RD400 parts include the brakes, front forks, top triple clamp, front fender, grab bar, carburetors, wiring harness, instrument panel, tachometer, speedometer and handlebar switches. I had to modify the right handlebar switch so I could turn the lights off (helpful if you need to start it with a weak battery) as the 400E had the light switch fixed in the ON position to meet the US headlight regulation. The aftermarket parts include a Newtronic electronic ignition system, a Rick's rectifier/regulator, tapered roller bearings for the steering head, a Spec II needle bearing swing arm kit, K&N filter and Y boot from Pro-Flo, DG exhausts from Pro-Flo, Progressive Suspension fork springs, Koni shock absorbers, Bikemaster G.P. Touring handlebars, a Shindy front brake master cylinder and Russell stainless hydraulic lines front and rear. The original cable-operated clutch was a bear to operate so I converted it to hydraulic using a Shindy master cylinder, Russell hydraulic line and a slave cylinder from a Suzuki 1200 Bandit. The tires are Bridgestone BT45's. I had the seat recovered at Sargent Cycle Products and used some Ken Sean mirrors I got at Dennis Kirk. I replaced the original 25/35 Watt sealed beam headlight with a 55/60 Watt quartz halogen unit. Everything else is pretty much stock RD350. My friend Matt did a fine job repainting most of the parts. For the tank, side covers, headlight shell and headlight brackets, I decided to go with the metallic blue instead of the original Portuguese Orange to hopefully attract less "official" attention, but I doubt this will help due to the extreme noise from the DG pipes.
One of the more troublesome modifications was trying to use the RD400 wiring system. I originally decided to do this to take advantage of two features - the RD400 has self-canceling turn signals, and it has an electronic voltage regulator. Well, I discovered that the RD400 voltage regulator is incompatible with the RD350 alternator. I originally bought an Electrex rectifier/regulator to fix this, and ended up with the Rick's rectifier/regulator after the Electrex unit failed. Also, when I finally got the bike on the road I discovered that the self-canceling feature didn't work. I had to buy a new $80 control module to fix this. So I ended up having to spend over $200 to make the RD400 wiring system work, but I do how have an up-to-date voltage regulator, and self-canceling turn signals, so I guess I can't complain too much.
If you'd like more details on some of the modifications, check out my RD350B Modifications Page or click on one of the links below:
1. Electronic Ignition 2. Rectifier/Regulator 3. Air Filter Kit 4. Exhausts 5. Forks
6. Fork Springs 7. Shocks 8. Front Brake Master Cylinder 9. Hydraulic Clutch Conversion
10. Mirrors 11. Seat 12. Headlight 13. Tires 14. Rear Disc Brake 15. Intake Crossover
16. Battery 17. Rearsets 18. Swingarm Needle Bearing Kit 19. Steering Bearing Kit
20. Carbs & Jetting 21. Toolkit 22. Handlebars 23. Horn 24. Fuel Tank Crossover
25. Ignition Coils 26. Wheels
Here is a photo of me with a couple of other Yamaha 2-strokers that was taken in September, 2005 at a classic motorcycle poker run in Thurmont, MD:
In case you couldn't figure it out, that's me on the left. The other guys were regulars on the USA2strokers forum, which is how I met them.
Technical Service Bulletins:
Useful Links and Parts Sources:
Bike Bandit - Great source for OEM parts. They have online parts diagrams for Yamaha bikes and indicate which parts have been discontinued. Their prices are generally lower than my local Yamaha dealer.
Bolt Depot.com - Good source for nuts and bolts, especially stainless steel.
Cyclepages.com - Good source for aftermarket parts and accessories. Their customer service is not great, but I've always gotten what I've ordered. Update: They seem to have gone out of business, so I have removed the link.
Dennis Kirk - Good source for aftermarket parts and accessories. Great customer service and quick shipping.
Flanders Company - Source for vintage parts and accessories. I haven't used them but have heard good things.
Friendly Yamaha - Great source for OEM and aftermarket parts. Great customer service and quick shipping.
HVC Cycle - Great source for vintage RD parts. Great customer service and quick shipping.
Parts N More - Great source for vintage RD parts. Low prices and quick shipping, considering they are in Canada.
PowerSportsPro - Good source for OEM and aftermarket parts. Shipping can sometimes be slow.
Reproduction Decals - Source for vintage motorcycle decals. I recently bought a set of RD350B sidecover decals from them. They are not exactly the same as the OEM decals, but are of good quality and are close enough for me.
Sargent Cycle - Great source for seat modifications and recovering.
Sirius Consolidated - Great source for vintage carb kits. Great customer service and quick shipping.
Speed & Sport - Great source for New Old Stock Yamaha parts. Great customer service and quick shipping.
Yamaha USA Parts Diagrams - Great source for parts diagrams for all Yamaha bikes back to the mid '60's. They have also included technical service bulletins and service data for most of the older models.
This page was last updated on December 30, 2013