Yamaha RD350 LC – The Motorcycle Icon of the 80s

Yamaha RD350 LC – The Motorcycle Icon of the 80s


arguably one of the most iconic bikes of the 80s it was loathed and loved in equal measure loathed by parents teachers policemen and other bikers and exactly because of that loved by those who rode them the term Giant Killer could have been invented just for the LC looking at the popular performance bikes of the early 80s many of them were big heavy and draped and generous applications of metal flake and chrome the LC struck a completely different tone with its understated yet striking matte black and white color scheme it looked like no other bike before it wasn’t just the looks though the Rd 350 was now liquid cooled and mono shocked just like TZ 350 Racer. In spirit it was a road-going TZ and Yamaha was keen to promote the racing heritage even if the LC had a little in common with the TZ mechanically weighing in at a hundred and fifty-four kilos with 47 screaming horses at 8,000 rpm the LC was every bit the racer for the road and became an icon almost overnight as legend had it the LC was so desirable in the UK that everyone on the road had been stolen not just once but twice the precursor to the LC was the air-cooled Rd 400 and later Rd 350. the 400 enjoyed massive success in the GPS and became hugely popular on the road as well but with tightening emissions restrictions the air-cooled bikes had to give away to a more sustainable solution in the LC the formula that worked so well in the air-cooled bikes finally came of age just like many of its riders in fact I remember these bikes coming out vividly we were riding around on K H’s GTS and GS, Z and the air-cooled bikes When the LC came out it made that lot look past it overnight the styling was fresh in the detail crisp they were refined to ride they were like they were nimble and they were fast not just fast for a two-stroke twin they were really fast the handling is phenomenal thanks partly to the monoshock suspension and you don’t feel any frame flex at all which is a first for most of us at the time they gave the 350s twin discs and they’re simply awesome but you do have to work the engine hard you’ve got to keep the needle north of 6000 rpm and that, well that turns you into a bit of a hooligan but it’s so much fun and you get a massive smile on your face every time you head out the LC led us into the 80s and for everybody who experienced the era they’re going to have fond memories of something or other it was a mad time and for some it was about Madonna or Sam Fox sniffing glue or snorting coke but always about big hair and bright colors but for a legion of lads it was one of these that brings back the best and the most vivid memories

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  1. 昔にヨーロッパでこのRD350(RZ350)ワンメイクレースが在ってスポットでCarlos Lavado が出場しダントツの速さを魅せ優勝。

  2. I recall riding a red Yamaha RD350 back in the mid-late 1970's. This later addition RD 350 is liquid cooled. I rode the earlier RD 350 and was not all that impressed with it's power curve. Even at higher RPM's the power was so-so. I had a couple of Honda 450's back in those years which were the preferred road bike over the RD350. a 2-stroke bike is basically a chain saw on 2 wheels with an extra cylinder. I had a Yamaha 650 twin and it was the better bike over my Honda bikes. The Yamaha had a generator instead of an alternator. What were they thinking?

  3. I had an RD350B, (chambers, jets, etc) the ONLY bike that gave me any heartache was the 900 Kawasaki. The RD400 was no problem either. I should have kept it.

  4. I learned to ride on the rd 50 before picking up a 250E cafe racer then a 400 E exactly the same colour scheme bars and microns that I had on the 250 next up was this machine before buying a brand new 350 ypvs then did a part ex for the 500 v4 ypvs I’ve owned bigger and much faster modern bikes since but not a one of them brought a smile to my face as my two stroke screamers and the smell of oil 😍😍 great days great bikes the 80s What a decade eh 👍🏻

  5. God, that 2 stroke twin sounds fantastic! I had a pretty much new old stock RD-350, and it was a beast, as well as Suzuki GT-380 and 550 models, a Kawasaki H-1 500, anything 2 stroke, thank you! Even my mower was a Lawn-boy, some deck with a Clinton Panther on it, a Jacobsen, or a Tecumseh/Power Products 2 stroke! I still have them today, wish I still had the bikes! Love Detroit diesels, even have a rare 4-51 valveless, a very fine and unusual and cool diesel that sips fuel and has a clean, clear exhaust, debunking the "2 strokes are "dirty" nonsense, and an exhaust note to die for! Also have a 2 stroke SAAB car, and many 2 stroke antique engines, British, American, (i live in upstate NY, USA) German, whatever, and some are rare prototype engines, and yup, I run 'em! The 2 stroke was unfairly maligned, yet it is genius in operation and design, pure elegance! Both Day cycle (like this bike and any other petrol or diesel 2 stroke with no valves in the cylinder, except opposed-piston types) and Clark cycle (Detroit diesels EXCEPT the valveless Day cycle 2-51 and 4-51 models, and any 2 stroke with uni-flow scavenging with inlet ports and exhaust valves, or the reverse, and ports only as opposed piston types) 2 stroke engines are amazing machines, and far more efficient than most think, particularly diesel and direct fuel injected petrol types. Was never a fan of 4 stroke engines, much hyped-up and frankly, not much to write home about. Anyway, cheers, enjoyed the speed and SOUND of this awesome bike! 😀

  6. なんで、
    旧車と言われる時代の
    デザインに惹かれるんだろう
    今でも同じようなデザインが
    あっても良さそうなのに……

  7. That RD400 killed more kids…I could do a wheelie in every gear. Crazy bike, am I'm not surprised it's a collectors item

  8. In the 80’s I went from a 50cc to one of these as soon as I turned 18, I don’t know how I did not kill myself. Probably one of the most fun bikes I have had. Definitely not the quickest bike I have ever owned, but I don’t think any other bike has ever terrified me as much.
    Currently riding a Kawasaki Z800 and wondering if I would want to take an RD350 for a ride and destroy the memories I have of it because compared the the Z it’s probably slow with crappy handling and braking.

  9. Hmm missed that one – too busy hanging off Mach 111s, Mach IVs. LC looks more sophisticated – Kwakas were just brutal and fast. Steering dampers mandatory for going around corners.

  10. Used to have an rd 400dxin blue ..Loved watching the LC yamahas racing up at knock hill in the 80s .Great days.28 bikes later and now reflecting on motorcycling years.

  11. Confession time. Had a Fizzy, an AS3(pre RD125 twin), an RD 250LC, and a YPVS 350, amongst my early bikes,have had many different ones, now ride a T140(1978). I'm getting old and I prefer the torquey lounge on Triumph Bonny. My racing days are no more, oh the far off days of the Chelsea bridge to Heston motorway services burn up. Crazy times.

  12. I had the black and red 250 LC and my brother had the white and blue 350 LC back in 82 I was 17 and it was mad lol

    ps yes, we took the baffles out!

  13. I had both the 79 RD 400 Daytona Special and the LC 350. I liked my 350 but I'll be honest I LOVED my RD 400.I had some performance shocks, DG chambers, K&N Filters, re-jetted, dropped bars and ran Pirelli Phantoms on it. I'm 55 now I had that bike when I was 19-22 years old and to this day I STILL dream about the bike, I can smell it, I can hear it, I feel the vibration, I can feel the power band kick in way up around 7 to 9,000. Funny story I damn near killed myself after I re-jetted it because that band kick in way later that with factory pipes and jets / setting. I took off expecting the band to kick when it did before, I cranked the throttle and basically choked out the carb for a second but once it cleared all of sudden BWAAAAAAAAAAA IT TOOK OFF! I was still in first so one second I was level next couple seconds I'm literally starring at the sky. I stood it up basically 90 degrees, I let off the gas and for a second or two didn't know if I'd looped it on not. thankful I slammed back down on two wheel and learned a valuable lesson about carb jetting ( hey I was 19 lol ) Anyway that bike and I got along real well after that and I'd go thru two set of Kodiak work boots a season ( that's what we wore then ) grinding the sided off them cornering. Anyway, just thought I's share that with all you old Two Stoke lovers out there. Cheers and keep that right wrist cranked.

  14. what a great delivery. exactly what these bikes are and exactly what they inspired and still do in my case.100% video rating. that xs, the cbx, the z oh. Imagine or remember the sound of an xs750 with a three into one or a cbx with a straight through 6.1,or an lc with mk 1 allspeeds, or an h1e with similar, or knob off.

  15. First time I had a go on a 350 LC, I nearly pooped myself having only ridden a C90 and TV200 scooter before.
    Absolute rocket in the day.

  16. Miss those days, so 'scary' but 'so' invigorating, hell yeh, glad the one's I was privedged enough to sample, all had, ' home now Jame's, but safely, ' buttons on the bars 🤣

  17. I got caught by the old bill riding my mates RD250 when I was 16😂got banned for a year and I couldn't start driving until I was 18.

  18. My mate had the Rd 350 power valve and I thought that was quick. Was better looking than the LC I think. Plain looking to me, Yet water cooled and crazy power. Dam it was fun back then. Not like now with cars trying to ivor push me aside or kill me. Cos I'm not human. I'm a biker and fare game. I have no children , mother, farther or wife. It's ok to knock me off. Mayby I should go crushing cars in my lorry. Well that guy last week cut me up so all cars should pay. Bloody stupid brainless idiots. Also I got knocked off last week. Manouver signal too late. It's ok my pain. Came from the side of me and I didnt see that one coming. 3 near misses since. It's getting worse they're not looking.

  19. Back in the 70s, myself and many friends also had RDs. I had a BAD-ASS '74 Rd 350 cafe. It was bright yellow w/black Japanese bamboo (Yamaha) lettering font. Had a lowered buttoned duck-tail cafe seat, rear-set shifter and pegs, J&R PowerPipe expansion chambers, high-compression heads, DID aluminum ribbed rims, lowered drag bars with clear gummy grips, tiny slivered front fender, and only a small chrome racing tach up front. Some of THE BEST and funnest times screaming through the gears all around the Ft. Lauderdale, FL area with friends. What great memories!

  20. A mate had one, had my work cut out keeping him behind me on my GSX 750. Amazed how bloody quick it went from a start, and so nimble

  21. Bring back the 2 strokes with new technology in emissions now A new 350 cc 2 Stoke yes please. I had Rd 250 lc in 1983 for my 16 birthday thx dad what a weapon.. My mate was killed on a 350 RD on his L Plates.. Today they are racing in new era classic racing so nice to see them again

  22. Two strokes is a class in it self.. did own a Kawasaki 400 MkII 3cyl even a tad lighter than Yamaha.
    But why do people add extremely loud music to videos like this?

  23. bought mine brand new in 1980 sold it 18 months later with 37000miles totally shagged out and never had it stolen ……

  24. Here in the States, we didn’t get this paint scheme, ours were Yamaha racing yellow with the black stripes. The UK RD350LC looks very much like a different Yamaha I owned, the Seca 650 (XJ650) which had the similarly-styled tank, side panels, wheels and stripe design. The color was silver with blue and white stripes and, in my opinion, is the prettiest bike Yamaha ever made. Having owned an air-cooled RD350, I always wondered what it was like to ride the LC. By the time the LC became available in the US, I was riding the FJ1100, another huge leap forward. It was a great time back then.

  25. why can't yamaha motors reintroduce this bike with stroke engine as that of New Jawa 42 etc. with modern gadgets

  26. Lighter??!! The RD250LC / RD350LC was actually HEAVIER than the air cooled bikes that preceded it.

    KH250 / KH400 = 330 Pounds.
    GT250 = 320 Pounds.
    GT250 X7 = 280 Pound.
    CZ250 / CZ350 = 291 Pounds.
    RD250E / RD400E = 325 Pounds.
    Honda CB250N / CB400N Superdream = 430 Pounds.

    OK maybe lighter than a Honda Superdream…..

  27. Wow brings back memories. I remember when they were first introduced in Australia. We called them Water Bottles. They were absolute ball tearers. A lot of lads lost their lives on them.

  28. Although a friend of mine had a 350 LC, (which I went on the back of loads of times) I never owned one. They were indeed a massive Icon here in the UK, we just loved them over here. I also loved their Air Cooled predecessors too.

  29. ウイリー!まいぅ~!\(゚o゚;)/ウヒャー www
    その昔、弟のバイト先の胡散臭い先輩いうのから
    RZ350を15万で買わないか?言われて見にいったらものすげぇボロボロで諦めた
    でやんす~♪(≧д≦) 一度は乗りたかったです(´ε`;)ヾwww

  30. Aaaah i remember my 400c in yellow & black in '77. What a bke! It could wheelie in first & keep it up till 3rd…. It was such fun to ride, I always thought I was Saarinen (my hero)
    Those were the days, I'd love another one 😊

  31. If you hadn't thrashed, crashed, laughed all the way to court and A+E on or because of one of these, then you don't know what riding really is. Turning up everywhere smelling of two-stroke fumes and upsetting the locals was a must. Pc's and YPVS's made you think that you were a god, and everybody else think you were a twat. Bring back the LC "Johnny".

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