Two-Stroke Gold: Yamaha RD350 Café Racer

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

For Sale: “Goldhead” RD350 by Twin Line Motorcycles…

The Yamaha RD350 remains one of the sweetest, most well-balanced two-strokes of the 1970s — and one of motorcycling’s great giant-killers, both on the track and the street.

“Yamaha 350 racers have been beating bikes with engines twice as big, and the street counterparts have gotten better and faster just as steadily.” –Road Test, 1976

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

Back in 2007/2008, our friend Isaac Siegl of Speedy Siegl Racing was working with Ian Halcott at Twinline Motorcycles, when they had a customer turned up with a cache of unobtainium parts:

“Our customer had a large hoard of really nice parts, a donor bike, and an idea of what he wanted it to be and we did the rest!”

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

Some of those rare items included original DG heads and DG box-section swingarm, Motocarrera rearsets, and Millennium GP hydroformed chambers with aluminum silencers. Says Isaac:

“Finding these things back in the early 2000’s was difficult, now it’s nearly impossible!”

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

The boys at Twin Line took that cache of parts and created one helluva RD350 café racer, pushing their skills at the time to new heights.

“The levels of fit and finish that were above and beyond what we had seen or done before on all components have really stood the test of time.”

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

They detabbed the frame, fabricated a tail section from the back half of a spare RD350 tank, drilled the brakes, and fabricated bits and pieces all over the bike. Nicknamed the “Goldhead,” the bike was featured all over the web, including Bike EXIF, Silodrome, and other prestigious publications, with photos from none other than Todd Blubaugh (@bluetodd).

Evidence of the quality of the work is that this bike has remained in excellent condition, and it’s now for sale via our new friends at Seattle Used Bikes:

“It has been owned by same person since 2006, the time finally arrived to let this one go, Isaac was commissioned to bring it out of storage and make sure it was ready to go enjoy…”

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

Prospective buyers can check out the listing here: seattleusedbikes.com/motorcycle/1975-yamaha-rd350-goldhead. Below, we talk to Isaac for more info on this beloved RD350. 

Yamaha RD Café Racer: Builder Interview

• Why was this bike built?

This bike was a commissioned project at the shop where I used to work, Twinline Motorcycles. Our customer had a large hoard of really nice parts, a donor bike, and an idea of what he wanted it to be and we did the rest!

 

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

The design concept was a lean, clean, and mean cafe racer with the focal point being the beautiful golden anodized DG radial heads.

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

• What custom work was done to the bike?

LOTS. Of custom work was done to the bike! We detabbed and cleaned up the frame, fabricated a seat from the back half of another RD350 tank, drilled the brakes, fabricated lots of brackets and an electronics tray — there is too much to list. The parts list is pretty incredible too. Finding these things back in the early 2000’s was difficult, now it’s nearly impossible! Original DG heads and swingarm, Motocarrera rearsets, and Millennium GP hydroformed pipes, etc.

• Does the bike have a nickname?

We have always called this bike “The Goldhead.”

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?

The Goldhead feels very compact. The rearsets are high and well centered on the bike, which isn’t the most comfortable until you’re ready to attack some corners, then they feel perfect. The Woodcraft clip-on’s are narrow, but the steering is so light it’s hardly noticeable. The bike is very light and well balanced, so it corners like it’s on rails and can change directions very fast. The engine is very well mannered up to around 6,000rpm, then it takes off hard up to 10k! Brakes are fantastic front and rear to help keep things in control.

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

This build really pushed the limits of our skills at the time. The levels of fit and finish that were above and beyond what we had seen or done before on all components have really stood the test of time. Every part of it is beautiful and serves its purpose as designed. I’m proud of all the work we did then, and I’m honored to be able to prepare it for the next owner!

More Photos

Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer

Follow the Builders

Isaac Siegl
Website: www.speedysieglracing.com
Instagram: @speedysieglracing
Facebook: facebook.com/speedysieglracing/

Ian Halcott
Website: seatandtank.com
Instagram: @ianhalcott

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One Comment

  1. I want sir

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