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80's Yamaha RD250 ....should I bother ?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by martych, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. Hi. I'm considering purchasing a toy again and am looking at an early 80's RD250. I remember these things being the ducks guts in the 80's. Fast and noisy little buggers, and heaps of fun.

    I know finding a good one is a rare thing as most of them either ended up on the track and/or wrapped around a power pole.

    Thing is, I've only had one 2-stroke bike (DT200) and I had some unpleasant reliability issues with it. It kind of put me off 2-strokes.

    As a 'fair weather' rider who wants to clock up the occasional trip to Lorne etc, (and I don't want more than about 3 grand's worth of toy sitting idle in the garage) Is one of these little beasties worth considering ?
  2. I reckon they're a good buy even now - try Central Motorcycles in Oakleigh, they had a couple for sale that looked ok (in the pics). If ridden like a 2-stroke should be ridden, then it'll be fine.
  3. I've owned both an RD and its successor the RZ, and found both fun and reliable. You could likely get a decent RZ for that money if you preferred, but an RD would be fun.
  4. A bit ike me in the '80s, I'm a bit worn out now though. :grin:
  5. I have one sitting in my driveway for sale, Which is in pretty good condition, just needs a little work. I'd be riding it if i could be bothered to get it registered.
  6. yeahhhh, get the RD, most fun you can have with your clothes on.


    the model after my first ever bike, sigh.....
  7. I think it's pretty easy to may a 350 or a 400 out of them, so they would may a good project bike, but be prepared to get your hands dirty
  8. Early 80's? So do you mean an RD or an RDLC.....biiiiiiiig difference!


    EDIT - Image added.
  9. George, you are right, I'm talking early 70s models, of course.

    They CAN easily be upgraded, you just have to replace the pistons, barrels and heads, and a 250 becomes a 350.

    You need to change the gearing, though. On my 1974 model I went from 15 on the countershaft and 48 on the back wheel to 16 on the countershaft and 40 on the back wheel..
  10. RDLC just like in the pic. Good thing or Bad ???

    Also Cleverlie, can you PM a pic or two of the one you have in your drive ? Send some info too . Cheers,
  11. Holy Shite ! I just visited their website .Have you seen the prices ???

    Also...what do you mean "ridden like a 2-stroke". Should they be ridden hard or the opposite ? Lots of oil changes ? ???

  12. The 'Elsie' was a damn fine motorcycle, and will leave any modern 4-stroke 250 for stone cold dead. It is gentle and forgiving out of the power, and plenty were used successfully as commuters, but get it above 6,000rpm and they go like a scalded cat. The 250 had a single disc front, but many were later upgraded to the 350's dual disc front end. They handled superbly for their day, and are no slouch in that department even now. They are pretty strong for a stroker, much more robust than an RGV for example, but be warned, when they do need rebuilding the parts are stupidly expensive nowadays. It's become a 'classic' see...
  13. Is that an LC?
    I may be interested :D
  14. may i ask as to what? i kinda want a toy (yes i know from cars classic=expensive) with potential to play with and i'm a fan of all things sleeperish... especially an old motorcycle that whoops new ass. i like riding/driving old beasts anyways.
  15. How's that for a memory! :)
  16. Beats me i don't know much about the RD's although its made in 1980 or 1981..one of those.
  17. Wheelie much with that gearing?

    Also, if it's an LC, the oil pump needs an upgrade if you turn a 250 into a 350, at least if you want a decent length between rebuilds.

    To the original poster- get it. An RZ350, would be the best, although the air cooled RD's have their own appeal. For an old bike, they're a relatively sensible purchase, given they are tough motors, and very simple.
  18. Is it air cooled or water cooled?
  19. If you can work on it yourself, then get it.

    But if you have little mechanical knowledge, have you enough cash to keep it going? These are 25 year old bikes, and many two strokes are temperamental from near new.

    RD's also a pretty small bike, are you a big guy? I'd say find a classic four stroke, maybe an SR500 or a largish twin.
  20. Air cooled.