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'74 RD cafe makeover

Started by smokah, July 17, 2021, 08:18:42 PM

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smokah

I have a 1974 RD350 that, besides the bars, was bone stock when I got it 10 years ago. It had 4200 miles on it when I got it. I hated the stock pipes so the first thing I did was get a set of DG pipes and start down the modification rabbit hole. After many late night phone conversations with the late, great Dave Freist, I was hooked on these wonderful machines and looked forward to tinkering on mine some more.

smokah

After those conversations with Dave F., I wanted to learn more. I modded the reed cages according to Ed E. website. Added the tall K&N... and more jetting and theory conversations with Dave  :dawg:

smokah

Then I had one points plate that kept getting loose. Met Nick from Vintage Smoke and installed the Dyna ignition. Then did the 520 chain conversion and new sprockets.

smokah

#3
Next, since I was averaging a few hundred miles a week on the old girl, I decided to put on a cafe seat, clip-ons and graft FZR600 rearsets as well. Soon after that, I installed the Dunstall 1/4 fairing. Progressive suspension front and rear.

smokah

I drove it weekly and on my tuesday night meetups, those were 200 mile nights. I did that until 22,000 miles, then got a Vito's crank and all the seals and bearings to do a rebuild.

smokah

#5
After reassembling the engine and driving it a bit, I saw a picture of an RD at the handbuilt show. I fell in love with the color and always was a sucker for the speed block. I was talked into buying a Chinese tank and that's where the fun began. The petcock that came with the tank was small. I changed it for a CB350 one ( M in SC). That required notching the frame for it to clear. Seat was lengthened 2" and extended down a little. Hoop was welded in under the cafe seat.

smokah

#6
Then paint! My vision coming to life. Thanks to an awesome and talented friend, Scott McClintock of Griffin Customs did the fab, bodywork and paint. I think he knocked it out of the park.

smokah

Then I kept going on the crazy train. Sent the heads to Ed Toomey squish and dome adjustments. Then got PWK flat slide 28's. The bell end was too big for the stock y-boot. I used uni filters. Hated the look. Went back to y-boot, heat softening it this time. Got a set of used Spec ii chambers but the mounting tabs needed adjusting. Also the tank needed a crossover. I used a chrome valve stem for the crossover. Crossover was an afterthought as the tank was already painted and didn't want to weld on it.

smokah

Now just waiting for time to reinstall the rebuilt oil pump and run a few lines. Need to make a new rear brake linkage as I bent the threaded rod and heim joint setup I originally made. I'm making a clevis setup this time. So many changes. I'll be doing the jetting all over again, this time without Dave laughing with me while discussing theory and telling stories. Miss that guy.

SoCal250

Looking good!  :clap: That's quite the transformation.
How did you seal the valve stem in the fuel tank? I think the standard rubber gaskets that come with those will breakdown with fuel and leak over time.

Quote from: smokah on July 18, 2021, 12:34:33 PM
Miss that guy.
Me too. I also had some late night conversations with Dave about RD jetting and life in general. He was one of the good ones.
75 Yamaha RD125B   75 Yamaha RD125B (project)
75 Yamaha RD250B   75 Yamaha RD200B (project)
73 Yamaha RD350     77 Yamaha RD400D   79 Yamaha RD400F  
91 Yamaha TZR250R  89 Yamaha FZR400   05 Yamaha FZ6   
05 Yamaha XT225TC  82 Honda MB5  02 Aprilia RS250 Cup (sold)

smokah

He was a great guy and a wealth of information. The later the call, the longer it always was. I used the rubber seals that came with the valve stem. I left them in gas for a week and they didn't melt. They've been in the tank over a year and don't leak yet. Hoping they stay that way. Yes, I changed so many things, it's going to be a different bike. I'm no bike mechanic, but with the help of many I was able to get it to this point. If I didn't have my street race bug, this bike would be done and so much better, but I'm grateful for what I have for sure.

SoCal250

Quote from: smokah on July 18, 2021, 01:14:54 PM
I used the rubber seals that came with the valve stem. I left them in gas for a week and they didn't melt. They've been in the tank over a year and don't leak yet. Hoping they stay that way.
Sounds like you should be good to go. If they need replacement in the future you can always pick up some viton seals from McMaster-Carr.
75 Yamaha RD125B   75 Yamaha RD125B (project)
75 Yamaha RD250B   75 Yamaha RD200B (project)
73 Yamaha RD350     77 Yamaha RD400D   79 Yamaha RD400F  
91 Yamaha TZR250R  89 Yamaha FZR400   05 Yamaha FZ6   
05 Yamaha XT225TC  82 Honda MB5  02 Aprilia RS250 Cup (sold)