Never let an old girl die – bike restoration blog – and general bike gibberish related to keeping your girl on the road

Stumbled onto this tonight…

“No more points for your classic RD!!!
Quick, Easy installation… easier than changing a set of points!!
No modifications to the wiring harness, charging system, etc.
Works with stock coils, or aftermarket coils made to use with points.
Timing stays set where you put it and NO MORE gapping points!!”

I’ve seen a lot of builds where the points look somewhat weathered … in fact mine have seen better days. They work but for how much longer? Hopefully a lot longer, spares just aren’t that readily available.

If they ever die I wonder if the Dyna S Ignition would be a good path to do down… it’s hard to justify $300USD on something like this however… I think I’d rather scrounge for spares. I am in the good position of not having the RD as my daily ride tho.

Certainly an interesting option however.

For more info and possible purchase head over here Dyna S Ignition for DS7, RD250, R5, RD350


White is definitely one of the colours I have been musing with regards to my RD350… Here’s a somewhat tasty ’82 CB750F in white.


Source: Benjie’s Cafe Racers

Not a very big start to concept design but a start none the less.

One of my workmates is currently building his third 3D printer, that prints PLA and ABS plastic but it is limited to objects of 20x20x20 cm – somewhat too small for my plans to build my own Cafe Racer Seat… unless it’s to scale 😉

His interest in the 3D printing has certainly inspired and steered me towards the software linked  further below in this post.

However I was initially intending to sculpt something out of modelling foam and learn how to create something with fiberglass, like in the following videos:

Herm Narciso, Dime City Cycles – Makes a Fiberglass Cafe Racer Seat! – Part 1

Herm Narciso, Dime City Cycles – Makes a Fiberglass Cafe Racer Seat! – Part 2

The only downfall I can see is I cannot prototype quickly and accurately… I cannot see how it will look prior to actually shaping the mold. Not without some other approach at any rate… That and I will probably create something lopsided with my first attempt…

Enter Autodesk 123d and Autodesk 123d Make (both available here:

These 3D applications look great for getting into rapid prototyping, you can quickly segment a model, print off a template and cut your design out of ribbed card board… for a quick example watch the video below.

This video originally linked from:

It’s worth pointing out that you can also print more accurate plastic
models or just about any material… you’re just limited by what
printer you have access to.

I recently had some projector mounts printed for an 848 headlight mod I’m working on… more on that another day however!

You can even objects
printed in gold, titanium, etc and in a large array of sizes but for my
purposes templates for cardboard are more than adequate.

I’m intending to prototype both scale models and full sized cardboard versions of my seat before finally printing a mold with which to lay my fiberglass in.

That’s the intention anyway… we’ll see how I go!

My first challenge was finding an adequate 3d model to base my initial prototyping off – aka I want to be able to model a seat and place it on a 3d model bike… prior to getting into the whole printing prototypes.

Finding a 3D model of a 73-75 RD350 was difficult to say the least and in the end I had to settle for a user submitted model for the game GTA: San Andreas, which was unfortunately quite low detailed and also a 72.

It looks a little different… but for my purposes will be an adequate place holder as the bike itself doesn’t have to be too accurate, I’m not printing that !

I can open and view the file so far, I can convert it to a 3DSMax file but need to find a way to convert it into something compatible with 123D instead… something for another night.

Anyway here’s the model in question:

I’ve left the creators name on this image I did up… just so he knows I appreciate his work should he ever see it here.

Spent some time scrounging for some second hand parts tonight by trawling the usual places (eBay/forums/Google/etc) and one of my searches was for RD350B brake calipers… well just one, the rears a drum brake (which doesn’t work as of yet mind you).

When I say the bikes a rolling chassis, that’s essentially all it can do! It doesn’t even stop 😉

Anyway thanks to CMS ( I was able to find the relevant part number: 306258100A
It also gave me the RRP for the little sucker – € 561.50 – are you serious? Ouch. Thankfully they’ve probably been out of stock for 10-15 years so I’m unable to do anything verging on the ludicrous.  I’ll be curious if any NOS (new old stock) show up on eBay… not that I’d buy one even if it did.
Anyway after failing to find ANY calipers of any quantity available for RD350’s I tried looking at RD250’s … and found this:
Yamaha RD 250 350 XS 650 New Reproduction Brake Caliper
Searching eBay for the term “Yamaha RD New Reproduction Brake Caliper” should bring up only the one result from a seller called: doxydoglover
Apparently a doxie is a Dachhund… or as I know them, a Sausage dog… either way the new reproduction callipers should set you back about $140USD plus shipping – so all in all a new Caliper shouldn’t set you back more than $200USD shipped.
I’d probably try to salvage mine, they are ridiculously simple devices, once you’ve pulled one apart the first time… but my rolling chassis didn’t come with one sadly. 
Went on a north western adventure on Saturday afternoon to get a new engine for the RD. The donor? A sprint car. She’s clearly had an interesting life… flogged half to death? Quite probably.

I’d have loved to have taken the sprint car for a spin, sadly she needed quite a bit of work…
On closer inspection, yeah, she’s a “little rough” around the edges 😉

After getting it home – I had quite a bit of fun maneuvering it about by myself… had to rig (ha) up some specialized engine movement equipment (read: skateboard).

I sadly have to admit I was more than a little surprised just how heavy these things are.

I’ve also been assured it’s got “new” bits inside… but when your current engine looks like below… you will be happy for any bits that aren’t rusted in place!

The project bikes current engine… there’s a war here and it’s slowly being won by apathy and rust!

Maybe the crank of my current engine is salvageable? I certainly don’t know… it’d be kinda nice to have matching frame/engine numbers but it may be a pipe dream… will pull it apart… if I’m able… curious to find out just how of an issue that rust will be.

The “sky hooks” part of me says it’s toast… the knowledgeable side of me, well, I don’t have that side just yet when it comes to engines or mechanics… haha.

Got a week off soon so I’ll probably dedicate a day to tearing it down, if I’m able!

Setting up

Hi there, I’m in the process of setting things up… as tempted as I am to post an animated gif of a little man digging a hole… I will digress.

I should have things up and running soon tho 🙂

Just filling out some basic content on the other pages, as time permits I will start posting.

Still tweaking colours/style sheets etc… so hopefully I don’t make your eyes bleed too much in the interim.