2017 Shannons Melbourne Winter Classic Auction

1974 Yamaha RD350 Solo Motorcycle




Engine Twin-cylinder, 347cc
Gearbox 6-speed manual
Colour Red
Trim Black


This lot is no longer available

A relative latecomer to the motorcycle market, Yamaha’s first bike – the YA-1 – was launched in 1955 and the company quickly established itself through competition success, both at home and abroad.  The RD350 was a sport bike made between 1973 and 1975, featuring a two-stroke parallel twin with seven port, reed valve cylinders along with a six-speed gearbox, a single front disc brake and a rear drum – class leading specifications for the day.  An advanced “Autolube” automatic oil injection system removed the need to mix petrol and two-stroke oil.  The race bred RD350’s frame was similar in design to Yamaha’s contemporary TZ250 and TZ350 production racers, albeit of stronger construction, while the chrome wire-spoked rims, chrome exhaust and snazzy tank design gave the bike a glamorous appearance.  Renowned as something of a giant killer, the RD350’s reputation for exemplary handling and an ability to outrun much bigger displacement bikes was impressive, even more so with the relatively cheap asking price factored in.  The RD350 proved popular with riders and the press alike, with Cycle Guide noting “It’s only natural for any street motorcycle with a road racing heritage to also go fast and handle well. The RD350 does both.”