The seventies were the peak years in the short history of the two-stroke. At the end of that period, in 1979, Yamaha introduced the ultimate two-stroke street fighter: the RD 350 LC (1979-1983)
That was the successor of Yamaha's air-cooled two-stroke, the RD350 and RD400
In the meantime, such an LC has already become a true cult bike. Good, original copies are becoming scarce and the prices are rising. Many LCs have run on circuits. She has usually had a hard life, with all kinds of things unscrewed (and thrown away) before the start. Due to tight cornering and sliding parts, the outlets also fell under the name 'wear parts'. But pay close attention to old when purchasing an LC.
Technically speaking, such an LC is put together well
If things go wrong, it is in the well-known two-stroke ways: jammers or holes in the pistons. Replacement of parts 'above the belt' is still the solution there. And oh yes: take a look at what went wrong and why. Crankshaft problems were of a different order until recently. The crankshaft cannot be overhauled and must be replaced in case of misery.
There Yamaha saw the components as a pure business model. The connecting rods and big end bearings can still be replaced. In the meantime, there are a few specialists who can help a crankshaft to a second life.
The LC is often seen as a road racing machine in civilian clothing.
He is not. The character of the engine is too civilized for it. The LC is much more the optical crystallization of what a fast two-stroke should look like, than a hyper nervous racehorse. It is a bright and fast toy that can also be driven as normal. The RD5500LC is a nice driving engine under the 350 rpm. In addition, the exhaust noise hardens and the block bursts into its power band from 6000 rpm.
3000 TPM later the fire goes out under the fries and you have to switch to get the fire back. Riding in such a way is riding 1.0 with her on her teeth. The only shred of decadence that remains in the heat of battle is that the LC itself has turning off lights.
Good oil. A necessity
To keep the business going, a good quality 2 stroke oil is needed. And it is necessary to always have half a liter - or less - on board. Gas stations are real 'land marks' for LC drivers. If the gas was pulled on the LC, then the contents of the tank went fast. With that driving style on winding, secondary roads, an LC is a fool for much more modern, heavier and 'faster' motorcycles. In the Ardennes or Vosges, such an 350 can literally leave the driver of an 1000 cc four-cylinder in his blue smoke curtain.
The update - with a whole new power valve set up - in 1982 was a much better machine, but it lacked the charm of The Original.
The Yamaha RD350 LC: liquid-cooled two-stroke twin, 347 cc, 47 hp at 8500 rpm, 2 x 26 mm Mikuni, six-speed, steel cradle frame, front fork ø 32 mm, rear monoshock, wheels 300 × 18 / 350 × 18, Brakes / A: 270 mm disc, 180 mm drum, weight 143 kg, top speed approx. 180 kmu
Please help us keep this website and the articles on offer free. Subscribe yourself Auto Motor Klassiek and also receive the magazine 12 times a year in the mail. Or donate a desired amount on our payment page via this link. We are certainly grateful for it.
Enjoy daily free stories about vintage cars in your email and sign up for free.