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I have a Nice '75 RD350 which I have been restoring for some time now. I got it cheap a long time ago, spent a ton on it, put it aside for a while, and now I am back into it. Meanwhile I have been converting it to look like one of Yamaha's ealy 1960's YCS-1 bikes....

I kind of got sick of working on the bike because it had some weird, irregular engine stumbling problem that I never was able to sort out. Usually it happened when I was really getting on it. It was just weird, and I never could pin it down. It also had a charging problem. It seemed be charging, but not quite enough -- as in it ran fine forever as long as all the electrics were turned off, but everything tested out correctly. This was just frustrating stuff, so I put the bike aside to spend my money on something else for a while.

Well I got to invest a few hours with the bike this evening, and I sorted out ALL of these issues. I feel like a freaking super hero! I found and solved three issues. (1) The carb cross-over tube was cracked and leaking. (2) The rectifier has a spring tension adjustment that I was able to tweak and get dialed in. This increased the voltage and solved the charging problem. (3)But the real surprise was that the handlebar kill switch was shorting out. That kill switch short was the main problem. I just (temporarily) soldered the wires together w/ heat shrink tubing, but I will get a new switch soon enough.

So I took it out on a test drive and my mostly dialed in, completely stock RD350 was freaking screaming!!! I rolled back the throttle on a nice little straight stretch of slightly up hill, back road highway, and my little scooter quickly accelerated up to about 90 mph. It continued to easily accelerate, but not quite as intensely from there. A moment later I looked down at my GPS as I was catching up to some traffic, and it said 98.9mph. (It records the max speed....) It would have casually done the ton and then some if either the road was flat or if I had a little more time to wind it out. No stumbling, no hesitation. Just pure screaming fun.

This is a good feeling. There are officially no longer any "mystery" problems with the bike. The rest is just sorting out some normal old stuff: fix the front brake, make and upholster a seat, work out some dings and paint the thing, plus a handful of other stuff -- none of which are serious or complicated.

Just thought I would share my good day. I guess all I really needed was to put the thing aside for a while. When I finally got around to fiddling with it today everything just seemed like easy common sense.... Still, you should have seen me driving around with a multimeter duck taped to my headlight. Whoot!

Peace and grease,
Fang
 

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if a bad day of motorcycling is better than a good day at work, then...a good day of motorcycle tuning RULES. having the multimeter taped to the headlamp is just cool. but, if you're like me, the headlamp would fall off while you're on the way back to the shop, then you swear a lot as you stash your bike, jump in the car, jet back to the scene and dodge traffic to get your headlamp back. don't ask...long story...and YES...i tightened the freakin' headlamp mount about an hour before riding.
 

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I can think of an awful lot of roads around Austin, on which I'd like to exceed the speed limit. One of the favorite places I've ever been. I recently had a similar day, fixing a shorting headlight, and as much as I hate electrical (because I lack an understanding of it), it felt awesome, having torn out half my main harness & gotten it back together with no ill effects. Good for you.

Can't wait to see that sucker finished.
 
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