Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

fast "classic" lams bikes

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by spenaroo, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. been looking through the lams list, to see what fun old bikes i can find for a potential project (weekend bike) was looking at the rz250, rd250, rg250 etc... the 2 stroke 250s that arent baned due to their age i guess. then found scrolling down the page that the rd400 is lams approved....... good luck finding one but wow.

    so what other beauty's are there that i dont have a clue about. and this is not a "the fastest lams bike" thread its looking at project bikes/weekend bikes. as most people are on lams for a while.....
  2. Old aircooled 550s provide a decent ride for not much money. My pick would be a Suzuki GSX550 but Kawa's GPz550 is pretty OK too. GS550 or Z550 if you want something more classic looking. Bigger aircooled fours are good too but I'm not sure of the LAMS eligibility once you get into the over 550 bracket. Suzuki GS650 is a good bet but Kawa's Z650 is getting very spendy these days given its status as a poor man's Z1.

    I wouldn't touch a Honda with a bargepole but that goes without saying from me :D.
  3. You and your hondas patB... albeit you were right about them (had to replace the stator on the VFR after i bought it, spewing!!)

    Interested to know where you go with this, i've always thought about getting an OLD (1980 and before) bike for lams (still got 2 years plenty of time to play around) but just never knew what to go for.

    I'm sure there's some nice old BMWS on the list too.
  4. If I wanted to do a bike up I would consider getting a BMW R65 and cafe it. That would be cool, but not really fast.

    The problem you have about fast bikes is that takes its toll and I wouldn't want to risk an old bike on that. If I was handy with the wrenchs, I would get a Husaberg 650 motard. 55hp and 100kg dry, ok its new but it is fast. The only issue is that you have to rebuild them all the time but you said you wanted something to work on.
  5. Since I have both an R65LS and a 550 Katana (and did a lot of work on the LAMS list for older bikes ) I feel moderately qualified to comment.

    You won't get a fast bike on the LAMS list, not in the 2011 sense of fast.

    What you will find if you look are some lovely bikes with plenty of usable performance that can be a lot of fun. The aforementioned RD400 is one of the great fun bikes of all time. (as are any of the air-cooled Yamahas from the period)

    My 550 Kat is more than capable of keeping up with normal riding and looks good.

    The R65 is a great tourer - it 's comfortable and sits at unreasonable speeds all day - any BMW under the capacity limit of 660cc will be LAMS approved.

    You will need to maintain them more than a modern bike although the degree will depend on the bike.

    Some bikes will surprise you with the power to weight ratio - the mid eighties GSXR400 comes in at 146.5.
  6. I remember part of a story that the "newer" RD250's were actualy faster than the older 400 design some how... can't remember the details or where I heard / read it though.
    And yes, 250 smoker twins are awesome fun :D
  7. The RD250LC (liquid cooled) versions were quicker than the RD400 (air cooled) bikes when both bikes were in standard condition.

    IMHO the pick of the lot was the RD350LC but some people prefer the RZ350 (which is faster but I don't like the styling as much).

    This is the sort of subtle mods that work well with the RD350LC...

    • Like Like x 1
  8. Trouble is that the LC versions aren't LAMS compliant. The 350LC is about 167.0 Kw/tonne** well above the LAMS limit of 150. The RD400 was about 125.

    **(that's one reason they're so much fun)
  9. yeah see thats exactly what i had in mind,
    not something thats the fastest, but is fun to ride and a project. you definetly have me thinking. reliability isnt too much of an issue, as it would be a weekend warrior. the biggest factor is cost. id like something i could play around with and work on, fix cheaply thats fun, using my vtr as my daily. if i go old then i can get classic rego (cheap, and i being a project/weekender i wouldnt ride it that much) im putting some thought into this..... it keeps looking better and better..... now the question is 250cc 2 stroke or around 500 4 stroke stroke. i like the 2 stroke as its kinda crazy compared to the sensible vtr (and make a fun trackbike........) but a classic 4 stroke has its appeals.... i find myself drawn to the classic look though. really thinking along the lines of that rd350 zrx1200r posted. thats sorta what im going for. just not as clean.......

    basically a cheap bike that will put a smile on my face when riding it, and keep me occupied in the garage occasionally. (bits and pieces at a time)

    especially as i can see the vtr turning into a money-hole, if i dont have a project (as id be adding parts to it e.g. indicators, headlight, bikini fairing etc... and id go new. and thats only cosmetic) but if i go an old bike i can ghetto it (read improve) with parts from wreckers etc... off more modern bikes and get more satisfaction cheaper. plus i learn more about bikes
  10. I think pre-1960 open slather for LAMS.

    That's got to open up some golden oldies. I guess it depends on your definition of 'fun'...
  11. reckon this would be great,
    once its running, with a bit of a clean.... that would be fun... then i can slowly upgrade/mod... i.e. re-doing the seat. swapping in some ninja 250 parts (like brakes etc..) it even comes under classic rego (more reading, looks like its 25yr old not 30... that really opens it up)
    shame i dont have the funds atm to do it.

    the more i look at this bike the more i love it, especially the rear end. cool brake-light very retro racer
  12. just a simple thing like a bikini fairing can make a big difference to the look of an older bike

    My 550 Suzuki


    The bike cost me $950

    I had to reregister it and get new tyres, chain & sprockets etc.

    It had been standing for several years so the carbies were gummed up and it needed some good servicing and some tuning.

    So far I've spent in total <$3000 (including rego, servicing, carbys and freeing a frozen gearbox etc etc)

    At some point I'll get the cosmetics sorted.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. A bike that looks very similar to an RD250/350 lc that is on the LAMS list is the Yamaha XJ650. I was looking for one of these but stumbled across a Suzuki gs650 that I got at a good price. The Suzuki gs650 is not on the LAMS list despite having an identical power to weight as the yamaha because it is actually 673cc, where the Yamaha is 653cc.
  14. This


    Released in 68', 500cc 2-stroke twin, won the isle of man, arguably the first japanese superbike before being somewhat overshadowed by the CB750. Like the GT750, actually not very fast, but within your limitations you could do worse. Also sold as GT500, the earliest models are the fastest. More reliable than any 2-stroke before or since.
  15. Find yourself a Honda VF400F, they push on or above the 150kw/tonne limmit with rider and fluids (depending if limmited to 11,500 or 12,500 rpm). just make sure you find one wich is well looked after. P.S the smaller bikes (400cc + 500cc) had none of the problems that were found in the 750's

    Take into consideration that the orginial exhausts were very very restrictive... most have "unfortunately" rusted out ;) and have been replaced with very high flow units + rejetted carbs.

    You will find these are giving a bit more power to these bikes - should snap about 45kw +

    they are legal in TAS and VIC, not sure about other states though
  16. What about a VFR400?
    They are a great bike to restore
  17. VFR400, great bikes that go like the clappers... they clean up very nicely :)
  18. VFR400's are not lams approved dispite what bikesales.com.au says.

    that is, unless you happen upon one with a lams condition on its rego sticker.

    you can however get an RVF400

    EDIT: this information pertains to nsw.
  19. true, VF400 is the only V4 that made it in, VFR did not...