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Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by dilarayilmaz, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. Hey guys! Dilara here. Just joined the site today hoping that somebody could help me out with this bike I'm looking at.

    I'm looking at buying this 1974 Yamaha RD250! It's a US import recently brought to America and the guy wants $3795 for the bike with a RWC as well :)

    I'm wondering if this is a good deal? Is this how much these bikes usually cost? I know it's an old bike but my dad had one when I was little hence the reason I'm looking to purchase one :p

    Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you :)
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Welcome aboard dilarayilmazdilarayilmaz :)

    Cant off to much assistance except to say if its a recent import
    are you able to have it checked out by a mechanic just to make sure its all good.

    Brett from Mad Biker does pre-inspections.

    Good luck
  3. Welcome to the madhouse. :)

    Unfortunately I can't help you that bike was born before me. b12mickb12mick maybe or kneedragonkneedragon just guessing but they have heaps of knowledge.
  4. Welcome to the forum!
  5. The funny thing is that I'm buying it from a bike mechanic/dealer :p He says it's all good I just wanted another opinion haha! I know it's hard to tell without looking at the bike but it fired up and sounded great lol!
  6. Welcome :cool:

    Good luck with finding out about the bike, hopefully it'll be what you want.
  7. Welcome and good luck :)
  8. Hi, welcome

    I owned a 1980 RD350LC for a some years. Whilst not the same bike it cost me quite a bit - and it was in good nick to start with. Rubber hoses perishing, fuel/oil system issues, carb balances and it always seemed to leak fuel regardless of the fuel tap setting.

    Engine was tops but handled like it had a hinge in the middle and you had to put the brakes on a couple of miles in advance. Par for the course for 70's Japanese engineering I expect.

    Great piece of history but don't expect inexpensive cost of ownership.

  9. Welcome to NR.

    Old bikes require more maintenance so be prepared for that but all the best..

    Do you have a current bike?
  10. [Snuffle, mutter] ... Hm? What?


    First, Hello dilarayilmazdilarayilmaz and welcome to the madhouse. As many others have observed in the past, you don't have to be crazy, but it sure helps...

    Ok, early (very first?) RD 250. " ... " Well, I am about the right vintage... I have ridden a couple of RD250LCs and one 350LC, but I'm not entirely sure I've ever ridden a 1974 version.

    1. I (and most of the users here) am not in the US, I'm in Australia. What the situation is with the US model, I wouldn't know.
    2. Is US$3,800 or so a reasonable price? Er, I would think so, but it does rather depend on the condition of the bike. I would have to make some assumptions, but...

    I would think that getting any early to mid '70s two stroke going properly would require a rebuild. That's not quite as difficult as a comparable 4-stroke would be, they're rather simpler beasts. Unless it has been stripped and rebuilt some time in the last 5 years or so, I would expect to have to change the crank seals if nothing else, and if you're doing that, it may as well get new rings fitted and the bearings inspected and replaced if needed, and that means pressing apart the crank and replacing them, and then pressing it back together with a big hydraulic press. Yes, a skilled home mechanic can maybe get away with doing that in his garden shed with a big hammer, but I really wouldn't recommend it.

    What are they like to ride? Actually, they're pretty good. Compared to the average 4 stroke, they're a little light in the front, and they have no shortage of power. They brought a lot of people to grief back then, but that's not really a fault with the bike, that means they were rather a lot quicker than what most people were accustomed to, in a bike of about that engine size. Compared to a modern 4 stroke, like say a 300 Ninja ... I would tend to back the modern bike, especially if you mean to race it on a track, but for day-to-day tiddling around, I think the old RD would be at least as quick, and in SOME respects a hell of a lot easier to ride.

    In terms of history, Yamaha went racing, in the early '70s, and they designed a line of bikes called TZs. The design was rather modular, so you had a TZ125, with one cylinder, and a TZ250, which was 2 of them next to each other, and there was a TZ350 which was a slightly larger version, and then the TZ 500 and 750, which started out as a pair of TZ250s stuck together and a pair of TZ350s. For much of the next 25 years those bikes were at or near the top of the racing world. Yamaha went to use their designs and expertise to make road-going (slightly detuned) versions and sell them to road riders. That's what the RD series and the RZ series and the TZR series are about. They're the road-going (every day cooking versions) of Yamaha's TZ race bikes.

    Mostly the RD Yams, like a stack of 2-stroke bikes, got stopped because of pollution laws. Even with modern fuel injection you really can't make a 2 stroke engine that runs properly, gets decent fuel economy, and gets past emission control and air pollution testing. You get bad fuel consumption and you get bad emissions and a smokey exhaust, and that's just the way 2 strokes are. On the upside, you get a bike that is quite light and mechanically simple, and quite cheap to manufacture, which will keep up with 4 strokes of about double the engine capacity. They can be a little bit quirky to ride, but their reputation is rather worse than the truth. (... in most cases...)

    I would imagine you could buy crank seals for an early RD 250 from someone... but I would not entirely expect your local Yamaha dealer to have them on the shelf... I am pretty sure you can get them, but you might have to ask around a little...

    I know a bloke who has an early '90s TZ250, which is the Grand Prix race version, and he is still able to get seals and rings and bits & pieces, although it takes some hunting. He recently did his first trip to the Isle of Man, although I think he ran a stock SV650 to have a look at the place...
    • Informative Informative x 2
  11. This bike will be total rubbish - now give me the name and address of the dealer and I will make sure the bike doesn't bother anyone for the rest of my life!
    Luuuuv 2 strokes, want another but have no place to put one. May not be the best as an everyday bike but as an occasional ride - lucky you
    • Funny Funny x 1
  12. Hey thanks a lot for your reply! Sorry I made a mistake in my post. I'm actually in Australia and this bike was imported into Victoria. Hmm good point about the motor, I guess it's pretty old isn't it! And 2 strokes do seem to be very loud and smokey don't they :p I'm thinking it might just be a good idea to put it on club rego or something haha. I'm just not sure if the price is good. $4500 would be the price all up for RWC and rego.
  13. [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 2
  14. #15 kneedragon, Sep 5, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
    Ok, for Australia. I don't really know if that's a great price or not. It is certainly in the ballpark, but any time you buy a machine made in 1974... Buyer beware. You might get a great deal, or you might get ... (don't drop a word with sexual connotations, that'd be a bad idea...) You could get taken advantage of.

    [edit] Ah! LOL. Certainly looks tidy enough. Not that it means all that much, but it is encouraging... If that's a reasonably current photo and that's exactly what it looks like now, then you're probably on a rather good thing...
  15. Look very clean, should make a great club bike for a little nostalgia
  16. I would add this - people who had RD 250s, 350s, 400s and so forth, speak very highly of them to this day. They're a bike that seem to inspire considerable affection. My mate doogle-ass the ferry driver, with the FJR13, had an RD400 in Townsville in about 1977 and it tried pretty hard to kill him but failed, (so he bought an XS11 and that failed too...) and he loves the memory of it to this day.
  17. Disclaimer: I'm an ex-mechanic (car, still into old Alfa Romeos) and have recently converted to two wheels.

    Check any of the perishables eg rubber, hoses, leather, plastic etc. If any of those items are in bad shape it may be a sign that the owner either doesn't care much for the bike and/or its been sitting for a long time. If so this will be an emotional purchase as it may need some love.

    If all the perishables look good on very close inspection and it runs nice then the owner may be what we call in the Alfa world an Alfisti : )

    LOL !!!! My Mrs just walked in whilst I was looking at the pic of the bike, starred at me and said "I bet you'd like to wrap your legs around that bike wouldnt you, you dirty slut"

    • Funny Funny x 8
    • Like Like x 1