If we’re being honest we’re not a huge fan of two-stroke bikes but we are a sucker for Elsie’s!
So, whilst our bounty (white) 350 LC is off being restored, (see here) we missed the sight of her in the workshop so much we started hunting for another one!
Finding an RD350LC to buy isn’t difficult, finding one for less than £3000 was, almost impossible, we started a few wanted ads on Facebook Marketplace and the VJMC page, very few enquiries followed.
We wanted a cheap project. eBay wasn’t the place to find one, bidders get carried away and late night beer-fuelled bids send prices too high! We need to fine one privately owned that hadn’t been advertised for sale!
Trouble is, much like trying to find parts for these classic bikes, everyone who has them, holds on to them and finds it difficult to part with, usually because of sentimental attachment but also because it is their pension!
As we are currently restoring a 1980 350LC in standard trim we thought we would build a special, something a bit different, but tasteful!
Only one sensible enquiry followed, in Sarf London, about 2 1/2 hours away so do-able. It ticked most (if not all) of our boxes, spec as follows;
- Deeprose Special
- YPVS 31K engine
- Micron fork brace
- Micron exhausts
- Metmachex alloy swingarm
I was going to put cheap in the above list but decided against it, depends on your point of view…
The asking price was £2500 (non-negotiable) and was worth every penny. At the time of writing you can’t find one for sale anywhere close to this price. If the truth be told we bought it before we even turned up no matter how bad it was. It’s difficult to play your poker face when you’re holding 4 aces!
It was mostly all there, although clocks and keys were missing, non-standard headlight and a gash rear tail light were fitted. She had been stood for 20+ years but did come with a little history and receipts from the early 1990’s. Was obviously a non-runner having been off the road for 10+ years.
The owner had owned it for 25+ years and rode it when he was a teenager, there was clearly a lot of sentimental attachment associated with the bike. Unfortunately the recent Corona Virus had focused peoples minds and forced some people to sell their prized possessions, as it turned out later that day (we bought the bike on 23rd March 2020), about 6 hours before the UK Prime Minister told non-key employees to stay at home, talk about timing!
The rest is history…
She’s a one-off (well almost) Deeprose Special, the shop in Catford built two of them in these colours and one was smashed up. This old girl was later put back on the road, which would explain the Q-plate and why it wasn’t registered until 1998. There are receipts from the Deeprose shop in 1990 so it could be true.
The frame begins with 4L3, which suggests it is an RZ350 import.
The bike will now reside in our workshop probably for the next 6 months before she gets any attention which gives us time to shop for some of the missing parts and think about how special we want to make her (Koso clocks, R1 gold spot calipers, TZR250 front discs etc). Hopefully this virus will disperse in time to attend some of the autojumbles and we can hunt out some spares without requiring a visit to the bank.
Watch this space…