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"New" 1973 RD350

This is a discussion on "New" 1973 RD350 within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; quote: Originally posted by spacmanspif300 I'm actually asking for my own benefit here. Given the lack of engine braking, is dual disc and ss lines ...

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  1. #21
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by spacmanspif300

    I'm actually asking for my own benefit here. Given the lack of engine braking, is dual disc and ss lines up front a fairly common upgrade?
    It is almost a goddamn necessity. But not because of engine braking. In 1975 the RD had no problem outstopping everything from Chrysler imperials to VW beetles, all 1970s brakes were terrible. Now a 10 year old Toyota corolla can outstop you by a car length or two.


    Tyler - gonna give you the first rule of motorcycles: chances are if you are designing something for your specific purpose functionally, chances are it will look right as a by product. It is really easy to have a polished turd in this hobby, but it is hard to have an ugly bike that works beautifully. Just cuz you are a designer doesn't mean you have to be stupid about everything - this will probably be a lession for you in beauty through functionality.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member spacmanspif300's Avatar
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    What Geeto said about aesthetic vs. function. I'm an artist and designer, but using that as an excuse to reduce performance for the sake of looks is a bad argument. Not accusing you of anything yet, just pre-emptively cautioning you. Think of Braun product design in the mid 20th century, look at some Sanctuary bikes, look at ukTony's RD's (on this site), read Pirsig...you may notice: a thing that does well what it is made to do, and does so in the simplest possible way, is intrinsically good (or beautiful, the words here are interchangeable).

    Thought must come before action. Before removing a part, ask the machine, "Why is this here?" Once you understand the original designer's intent and reasoning, you must then understand your own intentions for the machine. After which, you can make a decision about how you would like to respond to these intentions in action. Without this step (the one of thought), you will do things like remove both fenders, mirrors, and turn signals from a street bike. Or install 30lbs. of unneccesary chrome. Both are the same: they betray the function and purpose of the machine for the sake of looks. This results not in harmony, but in cacophony and unresolved discord.

    Additionally, the kind of person who thinks and works well enough to make something work properly often, in doing so, inadvertently makes the thing look good too. This is the ethos that, if you honor it, will give you the most traction here, and on your bike.

    I love the RDs, and one day will have one. Good luck with yours.

  3. #23
    Senior Member spacmanspif300's Avatar
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    RE: brakes

    So then are those the same 34mm forks that came on early XS650s, with the left lower drilled and ready? The caliper is identical.

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  5. #24
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    spiff - they should be. Might be a different length but the fork seals chart shows them as 34mm. If you want I know where you can get a neat set of 34mm clipons for both your xs650 and rd350
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  6. #25
    Senior Member tabby's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by spacmanspif300

    What Geeto said about aesthetic vs. function. I'm an artist and designer, but using that as an excuse to reduce performance for the sake of looks is a bad argument. Not accusing you of anything yet, just pre-emptively cautioning you. Think of Braun product design in the mid 20th century, look at some Sanctuary bikes, look at ukTony's RD's (on this site), read Pirsig...you may notice: a thing that does well what it is made to do, and does so in the simplest possible way, is intrinsically good (or beautiful, the words here are interchangeable).

    Thought must come before action. Before removing a part, ask the machine, "Why is this here?" Once you understand the original designer's intent and reasoning, you must then understand your own intentions for the machine. After which, you can make a decision about how you would like to respond to these intentions in action. Without this step (the one of thought), you will do things like remove both fenders, mirrors, and turn signals from a street bike. Or install 30lbs. of unneccesary chrome. Both are the same: they betray the function and purpose of the machine for the sake of looks. This results not in harmony, but in cacophony and unresolved discord.

    Additionally, the kind of person who thinks and works well enough to make something work properly often, in doing so, inadvertently makes the thing look good too. This is the ethos that, if you honor it, will give you the most traction here, and on your bike.

    I love the RDs, and one day will have one. Good luck with yours.
    As Yoda might say, "Well written, that is."
    Aging fart on a soon to be antique. 86 GSXR750, 883 Cosworth kit, head milled .015, 5 angle valve job, Yosh Stg 2 cams and spring kit, Extrudehone porting, Mikuni RS38s, Hindle exhaust, Falicon crank work, Carrillo rods, 17\" Dymag wheels, EBC rotors and pads, SS lines, Ohlins shock, \"Ti\" rear spring, Raceteched forks, 127 rwhp, 10.82 @ 130.7 in the 1/4. Not the bestest or fastest, but pretty frikkin tough.

  7. #26
    Senior Member Teazer's Avatar
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    The brakes are fine, though they can be improved with better brake lines, a smaller master cylinder and new pads. We use those on race bikes and they are fine. They just aren't the same as modern brakes and take a lot more effort to stop.

    Power is more of a story that reality too. Great little bikes that handle OK but not great that make about 35HP and even when it jumps up on to the powerband, it's not a very big leap. Full race tune, there's nothing below 8500 and it's all over 2000 revs later but the street bikes are not fiery beasts - they are perky though.

    Just treat it with respect and learn slowly. There's no rush to push the envelope here.

  8. #27
    Junior Member tylermoney's Avatar
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    Geeto, I'm planning on this being a lesson for me in a lot of ways. The bike runs well, and it's looks good. That's a great starting point. I'll be going through everything else as I go, and I won't be "taking advantage" of the bike ever.

    I check the spark plugs yesterday (first time I've ever done that - they're in good shape btw) and I charged the battery (first time I've ever done that as well). So, almost every step mechanically is a learning experience. I'm not jumping in it blindly though. I have a friend who has owned/restored several rds. I also have these forums.

    I certainly don't want a polished turd. I've seen the Myth Busters where they did polish turds. The problem with a shinny turd is that it's still shit. I'm working to make this RD run better than it does now, and be a blast to ride. So hopefully as I'm learning, I can work with you guys to help that process go more smoothly, or at least tell me "You're doing it wrong."

    Thanks.

    quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

    quote:Originally posted by spacmanspif300

    I'm actually asking for my own benefit here. Given the lack of engine braking, is dual disc and ss lines up front a fairly common upgrade?
    It is almost a goddamn necessity. But not because of engine braking. In 1975 the RD had no problem outstopping everything from Chrysler imperials to VW beetles, all 1970s brakes were terrible. Now a 10 year old Toyota corolla can outstop you by a car length or two.


    Tyler - gonna give you the first rule of motorcycles: chances are if you are designing something for your specific purpose functionally, chances are it will look right as a by product. It is really easy to have a polished turd in this hobby, but it is hard to have an ugly bike that works beautifully. Just cuz you are a designer doesn't mean you have to be stupid about everything - this will probably be a lession for you in beauty through functionality.
    I\'d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.

  9. #28
    Senior Member crazypj's Avatar
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    Looks like it has an oversize front tyre? (100 or 110?)
    That won't improve handling.
    Most of the horror stories are from stock RD's with high bars, front end gets very very light
    Clip-on's will change weight distribution, loading the front end is a pretty good idea in my opinion.
    It REALLY needs a fork brace
    I dabble in rocket science, when I\'m not picking my nose
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  10. #29
    Official Site Vendor ukTony's Avatar
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    stop been a girl and just ride the damn thing man!
    'old hooligan...

  11. #30
    Junior Member tylermoney's Avatar
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    The front is a 100 and the back is a 110. Is 100 oversized for the front on RDs?

    quote:Looks like it has an oversize front tyre? (100 or 110?)
    That won't improve handling.
    Most of the horror stories are from stock RD's with high bars, front end gets very very light
    Clip-on's will change weight distribution, loading the front end is a pretty good idea in my opinion.
    It REALLY needs a fork brace
    I've already rode it. When did I say I wasn't? I'm just not taking it on major roads or anything since I don't have my license. I'm just practicing and learning the bike.

    quote:Originally posted by ukTony

    stop been a girl and just ride the damn thing man!
    Other updates. The seat was attached to the extreme with a ton of hose clamps. It made it a real pain to get the seat off to then get to the battery, and even more of a pain to get it back on. I removed all the hose clamps, and have the saddle seeded with velcro instead now. That way I can get to the battery and stuff a little more quickly.... also I can put it back together more quickly. I'm looking into a fork brace to add to the stability. I'll possibly add a front fender later. Like I had mentioned, I have the original fender. It needs some TLC, so I'm going to slowly try and save it and make it worthy to put on a bike.

    As far as fork braces go, does this seem like decent choice?

    http://www.rswracing.com/rd350.htm

    I\'d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.

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