Saturday, April 4, 2009

1974 yamaha rd350

so here is my 1974 Yamaha rd350.  i started building this bike in early 2005,  due to a bunch of interruptions i didn't get it finished until late 2008. i was introduced to the rd world at a young age by my dad. he has been into rd's well two stroke street bikes since the 70's. when i was about 8 my dad came home with this beat up rd400, i remember him giving me a ride around the block on it, it was awesome and the sound hooked me. shortly after he tore that bike down to restore it but nothing ever came of it, eventually he sold the parts and it was outta there. about 6 years later he showed up with another 400 this one was allot cleaner looking. after a few years of restoration and customizing he had a really cool little cafe style 400.

i came up with this idea to give the bike a ww2 fighter look at first it was just going to be a slap together bike you know low cost flat paint rusty parts etc. for some reason my family has this disease that makes it so any "quick project" we try to under take turns into a full blown rebuild, that is exactly what happened here.  back to the ww2 fighter look, i did most of the build at our air plane hanger and was raised hanging out around air planes so i thought that would be a throwback to my dad for giving me all these cool parts for the bike.
here are some of the highlights of the bike. the flat black paint i had at first turned into this house of kolor orion silver, then i air brushed this pinup on each side. after the airbrush and pinstripe treatment i hit it with 3 coats of ppg flexed and flat clear.

here is a shot of the custom premix oil canteen and the moto carerra gp expansion chamber pipes. you can also see the zinc chromate green paint on the frame. they used to use zinc chromate primer for reducing corrosion on aluminum wing skins, now they have a less toxic alternative.
here is a shot of the Las Vegas roller dice kicker and the hand built single carb manifold. converting the dual carb setup to a big single makes the bike have a lot more bottom end torque and makes the tuning way easeyer. at the time i was working at a powder coating shop so i coated the rims and hubs when no one was looking, then laced them up with Buchanan's stainless spokes.
dave tharp did the upholstery on the seat, it is camo tent material with 3 buttons off a ww2 army jacket running down the middle of the seat. as you can see here i am running this modified cafe tail section with 59 Cadillac tail lights, it also has hidden turn signals and a licence plat light under the tail section. 

the motor was built by lindsey machine (the 1st time) then i had it gone through a second time by k&t performance. i sourced a magneto setup from Germany and fitted it to the bike so now all the ignition is electronic and the bike runs with out the use of a battery.  well that is pretty much the story of this one. thanks to tom peterson for all the parts, my dad for everything, jesica garcia for modeling, james, jason, and adam for all there help!


  1. nice modifications. i m also a lover of RD350. and want to learn a lot from experts.i have read and seen Rd350 pics on misspainfield blog. and need to know how they have modified it to single carb? interested to see close ups and a little tutorials. parts are easily available in India. thanks if i can get any help from you guys. easy_rahil at yahoo dot com or cum to me at :

  2. Wow!Nice bike! would like see more up close! Many would like your points on having the one carb setup you have.
    We'd like your input!!




  3. Can I get some info on that carb and magneto set up man? I'm thinking about something similar for mine. if you would thanks - drew

    1. does anybody find solution or setup of RD350 single carb conversion? please send me some info ( ) or mail me( )