What do you do when you want something so bad it hurts? Just keep pestering, according to reader Vince Richer.
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I have been following this great mag for many a year and thought it was time to send you some pictures of one of my Yamaha fleet!
Ever since my early days in the 1980s I was thrashing around on two-strokes. I started off with a Yamaha Fizzy, then a Yamaha DT100, a DT175 MX, a DT250 MX, Yamaha XT500 then a Suzuki X7 with Microns and a Suzuki X5. Every now and again my eye would catch a glimpse of the king of two-strokes on the street: the Yamaha RD350LC: but sadly for some reason it slipped through my net way back when. I guess the usual stuff that normally occurs happened: I got married, got four wheels and the bikes slowly went by the wayside!
So what was it that made the RD350LC look so good… well, the design of it the shape of it and the tech that went into it at the time. When you think back it was a big leap forward: monoshock rear end, six-speed gearbox. It had all that black satin going on too, simple design and not lots of plastic. You could say goodbye to chrome: it was the new beginning a street race/road version of a TZ and I loved it.
But as I said – I never seemed to get one back in the day, but then I did four or so years back. I’m now your typical old maggot; reliving my youth I got one at last: a 1981 4L0. And she wasn’t too bad when I got her. Although she came as a basket case, she did have only 9000 miles on the clock so she was in good nick in many respects.
The price: well, I managed to nab her for around £1500. It was owned by a neighbour of a mate that had it. I kept pestering him with ‘give me a shout when you want to sell it!’ Eventually, he caved in for cash and boy am I happy he did.
When I had a good look over her, I would say it was 80% there but the engine was in bad condition. Thankfully I got Stan Stephens (who is just down the road from me) to strip it and he found one piston had seized (someone had used a YPVS piston in there) and the barrel was scored. Apart from that it was in good condition, he said. The frame and gubbins around it were powder-coated. I also got the cases, barrels and head stove enamelled.
What do I love about my LC? Well, it’s the simplicity of the engineering of the time: a fun design and colours. This was the start of the 1980s and things are too complex now and there is too much plastic: bikes have become boring. I will never get rid of my LC now. It’s valued at around £10,000 and I know they will have to bury me with it, I love it that much!