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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.
 

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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.
 

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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 ;)
 

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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." :D
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
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.
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #30
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
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Geeto67,

What is wrong with the plate? The clearance?

quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

quote:Originally posted by jaguar

quote:Originally posted by tylermoney

Good information. Thanks. I'll definitely be looking into a fork brace, though I've actually seen several RDs w/o a fork brace or fenders. This is definitely a starting point, and I'll slowly be putting work into it.
just because you have seen things doesnt make them right

Cool bike
Too true. I have seen a Tijuana Donkey show and let me tell you nothing about that will ever be right!

Fix your plate, clearance the bubble in the tail for the rear wheel, and put the oil injector back on. Then run the crap out of it.
 

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That's a nice fork brace and specific to 350.
Get it.I couldn't make one that cheap (I know because I have made one very similar for a CB360)
As a designer you should know the rear end is too short so doesn't look right, (about 30~45 degrees from line vertical through rear axle looks better and is actually a lot more practical if you do get caght in the rain) plus, I'm pretty sure everyone here thinks side mount plates are 'ghey' :D
Front tyre is oversize, check wheel rim width (it's stamped on rim somewhere)
Needs to be WM2 or 3 (1.85" or 2.15") for a 100 tyre, you probably have a WM1 (1.60x18) 90/90 will be safer as I believe stock was a 3.25x18, 100mm is almost 4"
 

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Welcome to Austin, y'all. For better or worse, I am his drinking buddy with the RD350 problem.

Tylermoney found a sweet bike. I understand it was built to be a track bike, and the guy who sold it bought it as a track day bike. Along with this RD, the previous owner also is racing locally in a 250 Ninja class, and had a sweet fleet in his garage. The seller was cool as hell, but was a skinny giant, probably 6'3", and looked like a friggin space monkey on the RD. Come to think of it, he probably does on his Ninjas too.....

This particular RD is extremely clean, the compression is tight and hard, everything is powder coated, fresh, and basically "right". There is NO rust, and everything seems to be in good condition, adjusted more or less correct, plus it just looks and feels good.

I got to drive it home across town through mild traffic. It is a quick, confidence inspiring ride that invites roll-on wheelies and urban ninja aggression. Its definitely WAY above average. As in, I got bike envy, above average. Regarding the seat, or something like that, I got something to rub/grind a little in the middle of a tight, well committed turn with an unexpected bump in the middle, but I'm not quite sure what it was. It might have been the wheel, or maybe something else.... Either way, the bike tracked straight and true without all the wobbly skittishness I would have expected from a stock RD in a nasty turn. Just a little rubbing somewhere, but we never missed a beat. I guess a happy little fork brace would be nice.

Aside from the fantastic paint job (the 'ghosted' Yamaha details are simply incredible in person), 'clean pipes,' and upgraded suspension, the other interesting thing is the custom built 'light weight' BMX bike rearset foot pegs. Yes, they're non-folding. They probably will help protect as skid pads if/when the bike is laid over, but they also get in the way of the kick starter. So the kicker only has about 1/3 kick before you hit the rigid foot pegs; there's definitely less than 1/2 throw, yet it still starts strong on the first kick. This is a solid feeling motor, and it just pops with those DG pipes.

Regarding pre-mix VS the stock injection system, the 2-stoke guys really hammer this one back and forth. Basically both are good options. If you mix it right (with both correct ratios and good shaking/mixing) the pre-mix is of course always right. Injection pumps can go awry in many ways.... I once had an oil line come off the pump behind the engine cover. It was impossible to know until after it seized. Nevertheless, I still run the injector pump on my RD. There are knowledgeable smokers who do both, and I personally don't think it is an important mechanical issue, rather one's simple preference.

Tylermoney, welcome to the forum. I had no idea you were posting here, but I am glad to see it. You might find a critical audience here among these salty bastards. A good number of the regulars here are racers -- and not just of the cafe variety. Much of what they share reflects their experience of what works on a track, and there is a general disdain for pretty-ass bikes and their dufus owners who sacrifice functionality for something clever looking.
But I will vouch for your RD. It's all business, and in good hands to boot.

I know decent folks that would have paid a good bit more and gotten a lot less bike. Welcome aboard.


peace and grease,
Fang
 

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quote:Originally posted by tylermoney

T

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
sorry pal, thatl teach me to read the full thread!
bike looks cool by the way, im heavily into RD's myself ;)
 

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quote:Originally posted by Fang

Welcome to Austin, y'all. For better or worse, I am his drinking buddy with the RD350 problem.

Tylermoney found a sweet bike. I understand it was built to be a track bike, and the guy who sold it bought it as a track day bike. Along with this RD, the previous owner also is racing locally in a 250 Ninja class, and had a sweet fleet in his garage. The seller was cool as hell, but was a skinny giant, probably 6'3", and looked like a friggin space monkey on the RD. Come to think of it, he probably does on his Ninjas too.....

This particular RD is extremely clean, the compression is tight and hard, everything is powder coated, fresh, and basically "right". There is NO rust, and everything seems to be in good condition, adjusted more or less correct, plus it just looks and feels good.

I got to drive it home across town through mild traffic. It is a quick, confidence inspiring ride that invites roll-on wheelies and urban ninja aggression. Its definitely WAY above average. As in, I got bike envy, above average. Regarding the seat, or something like that, I got something to rub/grind a little in the middle of a tight, well committed turn with an unexpected bump in the middle, but I'm not quite sure what it was. It might have been the wheel, or maybe something else.... Either way, the bike tracked straight and true without all the wobbly skittishness I would have expected from a stock RD in a nasty turn. Just a little rubbing somewhere, but we never missed a beat. I guess a happy little fork brace would be nice.

Aside from the fantastic paint job (the 'ghosted' Yamaha details are simply incredible in person), 'clean pipes,' and upgraded suspension, the other interesting thing is the custom built 'light weight' BMX bike rearset foot pegs. Yes, they're non-folding. They probably will help protect as skid pads if/when the bike is laid over, but they also get in the way of the kick starter. So the kicker only has about 1/3 kick before you hit the rigid foot pegs; there's definitely less than 1/2 throw, yet it still starts strong on the first kick. This is a solid feeling motor, and it just pops with those DG pipes.

Regarding pre-mix VS the stock injection system, the 2-stoke guys really hammer this one back and forth. Basically both are good options. If you mix it right (with both correct ratios and good shaking/mixing) the pre-mix is of course always right. Injection pumps can go awry in many ways.... I once had an oil line come off the pump behind the engine cover. It was impossible to know until after it seized. Nevertheless, I still run the injector pump on my RD. There are knowledgeable smokers who do both, and I personally don't think it is an important mechanical issue, rather one's simple preference.

Tylermoney, welcome to the forum. I had no idea you were posting here, but I am glad to see it. You might find a critical audience here among these salty bastards. A good number of the regulars here are racers -- and not just of the cafe variety. Much of what they share reflects their experience of what works on a track, and there is a general disdain for pretty-ass bikes and their dufus owners who sacrifice functionality for something clever looking.
But I will vouch for your RD. It's all business, and in good hands to boot.

I know decent folks that would have paid a good bit more and gotten a lot less bike. Welcome aboard.
peace and grease,
Fang
Am I missing something here? "Upgraded suspension"??? Where is it?
OEM looking shocks?? No fork fender/brace? I'm not seeing ANY upgrades there. Unless the fork internals have been RaceTeched,,, and I kinda doubt that seeing they had the,,,, ahhhh,,,, good mind to run without a brace.
 

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quote:Originally posted by tylermoney

Geeto67,

What is wrong with the plate? The clearance?
It gives a cop a really good excuse to pull you over and "inspect" your bike for other violations. Plus zip ties are not an appropriate plate fastener, they are a good backup but you need a bolt in there somewhere.

If fang is your drinking buddy, you should be alright.

RD's are about the only 2 stroke street bike where you can convert to premix without machining the crank. you can't do it with a kawasaki triple or a suzuki. it is 6 of one 1/2 dozen of the other but if it were up to me I would run the injector.
 

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quote:Originally posted by tabby

Am I missing something here? "Upgraded suspension"??? Where is it?
OEM looking shocks?? No fork fender/brace? I'm not seeing ANY upgrades there. Unless the fork internals have been RaceTeched,,, and I kinda doubt that seeing they had the,,,, ahhhh,,,, good mind to run without a brace.
Look again at the rear shocks. The fronts are fresh/rebuilt and have been progressive-ified.
 
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