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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up a 75 rd 350 that hasn't been on the road since 1992. I think I wanna convert it into a cafe racer but don't know where to start for parts. There's so many scams out there now that I figured I'd get on here and ask. Looking for seat, bars, cables, pegs ect. I appreciate any help. Thanks.
 

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1979 XS750
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Mikesxs is good, ebay has never let me down just look at the seller first, usually they are a little vintage shop. Is the bike running already?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The bike is not currently running. It's a barn find I picked up for $500. Thank you for your response.
 

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1979 XS750
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Is it good enough shape you think to start it up with clean carbs? Or will you rebuild it?
 

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it would be sad to take a classic like that and hack it up in the current fashion of cafe racers. best to keep it as stock as possible.
 

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It IS a cafe racer. I advise an RD400 oil pump, freshen up the motor and mount clubman bars, expansion chambers, good rubber, decent shocks maybe a swing arm bushing. That is ALL I would do to it . Go kill some mosquitos!!
 

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It IS a cafe racer. I advise an RD400 oil pump, freshen up the motor and mount clubman bars, expansion chambers, good rubber, decent shocks maybe a swing arm bushing. That is ALL I would do to it . Go kill some mosquitos!!
It IS a cafe racer. I advise an RD400 oil pump, freshen up the motor and mount clubman bars, expansion chambers, good rubber, decent shocks maybe a swing arm bushing. That is ALL I would do to it . Go kill some mosquitos!!
and fork springs and seals
 

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Maybe I missed something here. Did you say it was a cafe bike already? If so what has been done so far. I would avoid altering anything that you couldn’t put back to stock ie don’t hack on the frame. Body work wise a 1 piece seat and tail. But make sure the motor runs decent first. Brakes next. Replace rubber front brake hose. How does the tank look inside. Brake pads and shoes ok? Fuel hose and Autolite hoses. Wheel bearings? Steering stem bearings go with tinken replacements. Swing arm bushings maybe upgrade to aluminum/silicone. Clip-ins or drag style. Clutch and cable. Barnett. Throttle cables. Save chambers and air filters and the resetting until it’s a reliable rider. The old TZ750 style steering damper. Change fork oil maybe fork springs. Air caps? Rear shocks. Progressive wound springs front and back. If you go with clip-ins the you will want to do rear sets. And not to forget TIRES. And you’ve already changed out the transmission oil right. We used to find unwanted TX500s for there front forks. Both legs have mounting ears for calipers. Do yo really need dual disc on an RD? Also RD400 rear swing arm wheel and disc brake. 400 swingarm is 1” longer-less tendency to wheelie. Different rearsets depending upon which swingarm/brakes. How far do you want to go?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's not a cafe yet. I'm up in the air with what I want to do. It's all original 1975 rd 350. I'm in the process of getting the motor going now. Need to either get new carbs or keep trying to get these ones un-seized. Tank is all but mint. It sat in a barn for 25 years. Has 4700 original miles on it. We'll see if I can get it going here in a couple weeks.
 

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Are you saying that the carb slides are seized in the carbs? Most likely need to replace them if that’s the case. You could try soaking them to get them apart at least but it sounds kinda grim. I made my own agitating Solvent tank using a five gal pail a coil of copper tubing and some expanded metal. You roll the tubing the diameter of the bottom of the pail. Work from the center out. Crimp the end closed. When you get to the outside loop you bend the tubing up and then over the top of the pail . Drill small holes all over the top of the coil you have in the bottom of the bucket. At the top where you bend it over the edge of the pail attatch an adjustable flow valve. Not a regulator. Attatch a quick connect air fitting to the inlet of your flow valve. Cut a round piece of expanded metal to fit inside the pail at a point several inches above the coil. Fill the pail 2/3 or so with solvent. Put your parts, carbs or whatever on the expanded metal. Connect an air supply and adjust the flow rate so that you have some bubbling/ agitation going on. Set a lid on the pail and go on about your business. You’ve made your own parts washer. You now have one whether it helps get your carbs apart or not.
 

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So let’s say you end up replacing your carbs. This is when you need to consider what you plan to do with the bike. Stock replacements or do you plan on chambers? Any porting work you are considering? You can put bigger carbs on depending upon modifications you have in mind. 30mm can be done with stock intake boots if you are careful about enlarging the intake boots. Any bigger, 32mm let’s say will require larger intake boots. 36mm will require even bigger boots and larger intake reeds as well as some machine shop work on the barrels to make them fit. At that point you are probably having some fairly radical porting work done anyway. I have a 73 350 with TZ750 reeds. Extensive porting, larger intake boots and 36mm lecturing flat slide carbs with velocity stacks and foam filters. I actually still use the auto lube system with this motor. It’s kinda radical for the street. I use DG chambers. The point being to think ahead if you end up having to replace your carbs. If you can’t make yours functional maybe you can find a fellow rd rider who will let you borrow theirs to start your motor on to see what condition it is in before you spend money on replacements.
 

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Things to watch out for. Vacuum leaks between carbs and barrels. Rubber intake boots get old hard and cracked. If you have bad crank seals you are going to be doing some disassembly anyway.
 

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It IS a cafe racer. I advise an RD400 oil pump, freshen up the motor and mount clubman bars, expansion chambers, good rubber, decent shocks maybe a swing arm bushing. That is ALL I would do to it . Go kill some mosquitos!!
What he is saying is; the RD350 was a race bike built for the street from the moment it was introduced to the market. They are stupid fast and always were. (for a 350cc motorcycle)
 

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Great little bikes and easy to improve, but as the boys have already suggested, best to start with getting it running and to do that you should test compression and leakdown and if they are OK, give it an end to end service and replace consumables.

As for making it go faster, there are many paths you can follow. No one has fitted TZ750 reed cages in the last 4 decades, because there are better and cheaper solutions. That's also true of pipes. I personally liked DG pipes back in the day when they were really cheap and barely adequate, but there are so many better pipes for not a lot more cash.

For stock type parts, try EconomyCycle in TX. Good people to deal with. Then there's HVC and Yambits in the UK to name a few. I'd forget clubman's (Ace) bars and fo with something slightly more comfortable ie so called superbike bars with a slight rise which are much easier to live with.

Seats are a personal thing. You can get TD3/TZ replica seats from different models but be aware that they are lower than a stock seat and that makes for a somewhat cramped riding position. Not as cramped as our RD350 drag racer or a TD3

Airtech streamlining makes most RD/TZ seats and there are many other suppliers.

Check out 2strokeworld - Index for a bunch of ideas from guys that live and breathe these smelly things.

Here's a couple of images to get you started.
 

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My first project bike was an R350. It was going to be a street bike but at some point I decided to make it a track bike instead. Made it out of three different bikes - two RDs and an R5.

I built it in what was supposed to be the dining area of my apartment. Never took any decent pictures of it (pre-digital cameras and smartphones)


It had DG heads, swingarm, and pipes. Probably had clubmans? I got most of the parts by buying bikes that had the parts on them. I wouldn't even begin to know where to buy parts for an RD these days, I put this one together back in... 1991 or so? Rode it one day at the track, got my provisional novice license on it at Putnam Park but it had some transmission issues. I rebuilt it but then sold it instead of racing. Life happens, it was maybe ten years before I was back on a racetrack and then it was a trackday on a Ducati 996.

Honestly it was a bit of a let down, I had heard so many stories abotu how fast they were but I didn't think it was all that. In fact I thought maybe something wrong with it, but the guy that bought it called me later to see if the crank was welded because it pulled harder than any of his other RDs. Then again I had rebuilt the engine after riding it, so maybe the timignwas off the first time around or something? Who knows.
 

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What he is saying is; the RD350 was a race bike built for the street from the moment it was introduced to the market. They are stupid fast and always were. (for a 350cc motorcycle)
correctomundo. it is the grandfather of the TZ's after all
 

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Wheelies on demand.
You just gotta be real careful setting the front wheel back down or she'll wiggle like a sob :LOL:
 
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