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Rajdoot 350

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ajith wrote in to let me know about the existence of the Rajdoot 350, which was a licensed copy of the Yamaha RD350B, modified to suit Indian conditions. Even though production of two-stroke Yamahas ended in Japan in the mid 1970s due to emissions, these licensed copies were produced from 1983 - 1989.

Although the bike is basically a RD350B with a detuned engine and carburettors rejetted for fuel economy rather than performance, the front disc brake was replaced with a drum brake and the instruments were from the R5, making this strange cousin very similar to the bike which is the focus of this blog. The only Yamaha branding was on the sides of the engine - tank read "RAJDOOT". See below for an ad for the bike:

More information here.

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Recreating Dad's Bike

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kynan recently wrote in and was asking about the R5 for an interesting project he had in mind for a project bike:

My father had a R5 in 1972. He has spoke of it as one of the motorcycles he misses the most. I believe it was one of his first bikes. I found two pictures of him and the bike in one of my grandmothers photo albums. If I send you the images perhaps you can tell me what year, color, and any info on bike? I am wanting to build him an exact replica as a surprise. If I know some details I can find a bike to buy and restore. It will be a fun project. I have restored many bikes myself. I just don’t know a ton about the R5. Thank you for your time, I really enjoyed your blog!

After looking at the photos (above) and referring to this information:

1970 R5(A) - Metallic Purple/white
1971 R5B - Mandarin Orange/white
1972 R5C - Mandarin Orange/black

... we can pretty much determine that IF the R5 was stock, at least in terms of body panels and paint, then it must have been a 1971... Coincides with the "1971" that's penned in under the photos. (Here's an earlier post from this blog about determining the year of a bike, as well as a complete spec list.)

Anyways, this is turning out to be a very interesting story. I've asked Kynan to keep us posted about the build and to send photos when he can. More to come!

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Campaigning an R5 "Back in the Day"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After coming across the BikeEXIF article, I received the following letter and excellent collection of photos from Bob Crossman:

Lawrence ...

Came across your site via a link from Bike EXIF. Neat stuff ...

I campaigned an R5 "back in the day" in California in the ACA, AFM, & AMA. Won the 72 & 73 AFM 350 Production Championships on my "ole R5". In 1973 I added the 6 speed gearbox and the front disc brake from the RDs. Here's some shots you might enjoy:

My 1st Race, OCIR... Rode to the race, finished 5th out of 39 starters.

3 Different ideas about the "correct line". (Turn 6 at Riverside)
From left to right:
Me in the Blue & White leathers, R5
Scott Clough in the middle (RD350)
Rod Murufas on the right on his RD350
Finish order that day was Clough 2nd, Murufas 3rd.

Riverside in '73 after adding the RD front disc brake.

Not an R5, but the Jim & Jim's/ND Spark Plugs RD400 that I campaigned in the 400 box stock class. 16 wins, no defeats.

Thanks so much for sending these in!

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Steve McQueen's License

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Steve McQueen's international motorcycle license. Too neat, had to post.

Via welovetypography.com

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The German Roots of Yamaha Motorcycles

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good article over on the Kneeslider about the German roots of early Yamaha motorcycles.

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RD Compilation

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Compilation of various Yamaha advertising for their RD models over the years. Gotta love the "soundtrack"!

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1972 Yamaha Commercial

Monday, December 11, 2006

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R5 Clay Model

Friday, August 04, 2006

Check out this great archive photo of a clay mockup of the (then unreleased) R5.


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