A new series where Classic-Motorbikes.net looks back at the machines enjoyed by those of us now in our 50s. What made them memorable and why we loathed or lusted after them? Yamaha RD Air-cooled Two things you may not know…
Tag Archives: Yamaha RD
37 year old Neil Pullen’s affair with this RD50 began two years ago when he bought a Yamaha DT50M as a little bit of fun and also as a practical machine for his wife Sarah. Being a bit short in the leg department the DT seemed the perfect choice for her to get her biking experience upon. Having lavished the DT in new parts costing many hundreds of pounds the novelty of the 45 mph machine soon wore off for Sarah who then graduated on to a Yamaha TW125 leaving the by now immaculate DT50 to sit in the garage and later to be sold.
One of the UK biking scene’s best-kept secrets is the monthly bike night held at the New inn, Shardlow in Derbyshire. Held on the first Thursday in every month throughout the spring, summer and well into autumn, this meet regularly sees the gathering of the East Midlands LC and RD brigade and with them a fine collection of both standard and modified machines.
Those of you who regularly attend the many shows up and down the UK will have no doubt have caught sight of this fine looking machine at some point in time. Owned and lovingly built by Andy Holmes, more commonly known throughout the RD world as “Trig”, this distinctive looking Yamaha is the result of around three years tinkering to achieve his desires.
Dave Newitt, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, has a history of restoring old XT Yamaha’s but has recently turned his hand to a string of smaller capacity strokers. His latest being a relatively rare 1979 RD400, and the last of the air-cooled breed before the world went totally LC crazy.
The L-plate laws changed quite dramatically during the early 80’s, young riders no longer being able to ride the latest 250cc tackle, instead having no option but to get a 125 restricted to just 12bhp. Yamaha was on the case however; the single cylinder RD125LC mimicked the styling of its larger LC siblings and, once liberated from its lowly learner-legal beginnings, it was fast too.
As if the original LC wasn’t enough Yamaha went several stages further in 1983 with the introduction of the YPVS equipped version. Considerably more hi-tech than anything before, the Powervalve won many a heart, and race too, In more modern times, as people flock to Elsie ownership, it may lag behind in the desirability stakes, but the YPVS is still an attractive proposition for restoration.
Steel worker, Gary Shipley has one big regret, and parting with his beloved RD400E is it. Having started his biking career at the age of sixteen, as so many others did, on a Yamaha FS1E, Gary progressed on to a 250 Kwak triple and then onto a Honda CB400 before leaping at the stroker twin, buying the air-cooled Yam in October 1980, a good few months after the new boy LC was launched.
Do the best nuts come from Brazil? When set up correctly any “Valve” can be a pleasure to both own and ride with more than adequate brakes and chassis for the speeds involved, while keeping the 50 plus horses in…
Stroker genius The 70’s were arguably the heyday of the two-stroke but as the genre entered its final stages of a short life, Yamaha introduced the ultimate street stroker, light, fast, good looking and easy to maintain, every leather jacket…