’73 Yamaha RD350
Please don’t make me do this. Please…somebody buy this motorcycle before I’m forced to sell a couple of project bikes I’ve got buried in the barn, three classic surf movie posters and a Rolling Stones video that was never released (and for very good reason). I really want this bike and it is too close (geographically) to say that, “well, if I lived in East Butt Crack Wisconsin, I’d go buy it…and ride it home. It’s only seventy miles away. I really need one of you to buy it and get it out of my dreams.
My first encounter with a 1973 RD350 was 1974 in Grants, New Mexico. A wide spot in the road along I40 about sixty miles west of Albuquerque. My new father in law had one and was very proud of the work he had done to improve it; different reed valve cages, some modifications to the stock exhaust, better shocks, front fork work, etc. The bike was so clean that you could have eaten off the bottom side of the motor!? Does this man ever ride it or just clean it?? My bike, a 1972 Kawasaki H2 750, was sitting there in the driveway covered with five days of dirt and chain lube from riding all over Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Jay kept looking out at my bike shaking his head and asking if I wanted to wash it…”nah, I’ll wash it when I get back home to California…I don’t want to spoil its travel look.”
After telling me all the horror stories he had heard about the Kawasaki ( “yeah I know…evil, wicked, mean and nasty…that’s what I like about it!” ), we went for a ride up the road to the top of Mount Taylor just outside of Grants. It was a beautiful summer day, no traffic, no police to spoil the fun, my bike was running great and I was too.
I don’t remember how many miles long the road was, but it was really fun. I got to the top, took some pictures and even got a great shot of my father in law coming around the last curve. We spent a few minutes taking in the view and then it was back to home for a cold beer and a late lunch. I was having such a great time on the road down that I didn’t bother looking in my mirrors to see if that little Yamaha was still behind me. I got back to the house, got a couple of beers out of the garage fridge and sat down just as Mr. Father in Law pulled up…for some reason I suddenly had a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. No, he didn’t crash or break down but I got lectured on going too fast in “his backyard”. ” “It’s people like you that will make it difficult for those of us that live here to enjoy the road without the police.” Uh, ok…sorry sir. I swear that from that day forward, he never liked me.
A year later I had the opportunity to ride his RD. For some strange reason, he wanted to ride my Kawasaki (I had finished my modifications to get it handling good (?)). Well, after a tank full of gas riding in the White Mountains of Arizona, I didn’t want to give the bike (the RD) back…I was having way too much fun. However…I again found myself waiting for dear old ‘dad in law’ and again, he wasn’t smiling when he arrived at the meeting point. That was the last time I got to ride his RD350. Lucky for me, over the years I have had friends that owned RD 350’s that did let me ride their little Yamaha.
Now, back to this RD350 I found on ebay…stock, running, looks great and a real bargain. Only 6,000 miles on it, you can’t go wrong. It can be a great commuter, canyon devil, tourer (yes, tourer…), platform for a fantastic cafe racer…the possibilities are endless.
Somebody please buy it before I have to beg and plead with my banker to let me have another toy I can’t live without. Click on the pictures below for more pictures and a contact. It’s only $2400…somebody please buy it…