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Tip of the day series - RD rod bearings

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On RD crank rebuilding, there are options to go to better bearings for the connecting rod replacing both stock upper and lower needle cages.
With stock engines modified up to air filters and aftermarket chambers only... stock bearings are fine.
Once you add cut heads or aftermarket heads, porting, big bore pistons, bigger carbs, aggressive ignition curves and any more advanced power adder's I would recommend with these upgrades on the rod bearings.

In this pic, the wristpin bearings to the left are stock RD type. These in the pic are Pro-X replacements and are exact copy's of stock OEM Yamaha just like the Wiseco's as well.
The Snowmobile ones I use for upgrade's have 2 more pins and 1mm longer for much better load handling in higher HP in RD engine setups.
Years ago we were able to use OEM Kawasaki H1-500 pin bearings that were like this, so was the LA sleeve H1's.... but are not available any more and with the supply market now when you order for an H1, they give you the RD type as it is the same fitment in physical size.
I was able to find a supplier 2 years ago, but have to pre-order 100 qty at a time. When I get down to about 10 on the shelf I place another pre-order for 100 more.

The lower rod bearing is also another weak link on the stock RD rod assembly with the stock lower rod bearing having 14 needle pins and the upgraded RM125 has 17 pins, the pins are 1/2 mm longer and are in a much stronger flat silver plated cage that doesn't crack like the stepped Yamaha type (Pro-X and Wiseco) that is copper plated.

So this has eliminated any rod failures in our race motors. When we did have a crank failure, it was always the rod bearings first...since using these better/stronger bearings now the cranks are lasting longer and when we do have a crank failure it's always a main bearing now. 


Yay Chuck!

Can you use RZ350 rods on a rd350?

No, RZ/Banshee is 29mm big end rod bearing, RD is 28mm, RZ/Banshee rod is 1mm wider also on the big end at 17mm, RD is 16mm.

Good evening Chuck,

Excellent tech info, many thanks.
Quick question. Since the RM125 are 1/2 mm longer, are the thrust washers still utilized?




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