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TOURING ON RD 350

Pain and Pleasure, all in one package----doesn’t get better than this...



The bike’s main purpose is for road racing, but sadly due to the simple reason of non-availability of big capacity 4 stroke engine bikes other than the Enfield, You are left with very few alternatives. Rd 350 best describes the scenario present, we are talking of touring on a bike rolled out of the factory 20yrs back. Finding spares for the bike can be a real pain if not downright impossible, so in situation like this, the age old mantra of “ prevention is better than cure “ best sums up when you decide to go touring on rd.

Listing out some basic general guidelines for the bike.

The basic check points for the bike starts right from the heart, that’s the engine, its an air-cooled two stroke twin engine with an power output ranging from 26bhp for the low torque to the 32bhp for the high torque, leaving the 39bhp US spec barrels which are very few and rare. The engine is a slightly stressed one in the sense the power band of the bike’s limited, thereby making the state of tune of the bike the primary factor in making sure the bike can do the ride without a major hitch, some of the factors to ensure smooth running of the bike are listed below:

1. Make sure your running good quality pistons since the heat generation in the rd350 is quite high, the pistons should be able to handle the same without seizing the engine.

2. Make sure you do some mid distance rides to see the behaviour of the bike. Keep varying the RPM of the bike, oscillating from the low 3ks to the high 7k’s in case of the occasional blast. At the end of the ride the bike’s running characteristics have to be stable, i.e., there shouldn’t be any drop in power or the smoothness of the bike.

3. The Yamaha rd350 had come with an auto lube system which ensures optimum flow of 2T Oil at varying stage of the running of the engine, but due to fickle fact that it can fail and you end up with a seized engine, some folks prefer to disconnect the auto lube and use the pre mix option which gives a peace of mind as well eliminating the danger of it failing, but preferably it would be advisable to use the auto lube with a slight dose of premix in the region of 10ml per ltr, but it should be ensured to see the working state of the auto lube at regular intervals .The company folks can’t be nutty enough to design something if they had not got the reason behind it right ....

4. The bike originally came with points setup and it runs fine in city conditions but if you planning to do some serious riding, it would be advisable to switch over to the numerous after market CDI kits available, they are less prone to change in variance of tune as well as failure of moving parts. The points need a constant schedule of cleaning and maintenance, unless you are technically proficient enough to do the same, it would be best advised to go in for a CDI. Depending on the kind of CDI your planning to run you can carry the spares originating from the pulsar to the coils.

5. The bikes run with mikuni 28mm carbs with 140 main jets and 25 pilot jets, this setup is optimum for rides, it would be advised that you get a grip on opening up the carbs and assembly of the same and back without a glitch. Water proof them for any needless hassles, mentioning on the same lines, it would also be advisable to water proof the essential cable point inlets and outlets.

6. If you are planning to do quite a bit of off road rides, it would be advisable to strengthen your front suspension with an addition of springs, also add a plate at the rear shocks to give you more travel with the extra load.

7. Last but not least, fuel consumption, a good stock bike should give anywhere in the region of 20 to 22 kms to a ltr, based on this, you can plan your ride and the amount of fuel that you might need to finish your ride.

Hope this gives you a brief insight to what you would need to do before you embark on a ride on rd350, but trust me when you are on the open road and you wanna disappear from the crowd, this is the bike for it.


Adrian



   
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