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Factory official release picture of red and white Yamaha RD350LC motorcycle Development of Yamaha RD350LC

The 1970s were ending and though RD 350 was still a very popular bike, times were changing. Riders demanded higher performance sports looking bikes, while governments all round the world were tightening their regulations on emissions. As such, Japanese motorcycle manufacturers had to come up with new solutions for the race-developed two-stroke motorcycles, and Yamaha RD LC Series was born.

Promising start for liquid cooled RD 

The “Two Wheeled Rocketship” as one of the early magazine review writers called it, was first introduced at the Paris bike show in 1979. This was a race bike people were waiting for!

The two-stroke twin cylinder old RD was redesigned by a multinational team including Brit Paul Butler, who was a team manager for the Marlboro Yamaha GP Team and later product planning manager for Yamaha Europe.  

Amongst the new features, the old-fashioned air cooling system was replaced with liquid cooling (thus LC model), new carbs were fitted, new separate cylinder barrels, new exhaust tuning, new LC engine steady bars and new reed valve all meant that the new Yamaha 350LC was meeting both the customer desire for a race bike and government regulations.

To finish the liquid cooled two-stroke off, Yamaha added other tried and tested features like electronic ignition, mono-cross suspension and disc brakes on the front wheel. The optional fairings were just a cherry on the cake. It was an ideal cross between the old Yamaha RD series and the TZ racers.

Rocky riding experience

The first production units of Yamaha RD350LC bikes had endless problems with leaking exhaust pipes and poor intake caused by the poorly rubber mounted liquid cooled engine. Both have been resolved in the later 1982 model, with new engine mounts introduced and improved exhaust system.

Compared to a modern bike, the original LC was said to be a bit wobbly and skittish, but back in them days, little handling issues were all part of the fun! Little design flaws had to be overcome if a rider wanted to race the RDLC two strokes back in the days. The most common modifications were removing the rear mudguards and indicator stems, so they might be the restoration nightmare to replace.

Power valve introduced

The life of two-stroke water cooled LC350 Yamaha was short-lived though, innovations to cooling and exhaust system were just one step forward for Yamaha, a whole new system was in making and in 1983 the Yamaha Power Valve System opened a brand-new chapter.

Yamaha RD350LC Parts

As Yamaha models evolved so did parts, some are still being used nowadays and are available from Yamaha dealers directly, some were made obsolete. We offer OEM parts as well as top quality reproductions of some of the most desired Yamaha RD350LC spares on the market.

In our dedicated category, you can find parts such as indicator lenses, front and rear footrests, kick-start and gear lever rubbers, panel grommets, fork seals, hand grips, seat dampers, various seals and gaskets, intake hoses and many more.

We add to our stock on a regular basis, both importing OEM parts from Japan or reproducing those parts that have been obsolete for years. If you can’t find the part you are looking for, please email us, and we will do our best to source it out. 

We also offer free shipping on orders over certain value within the UK & Europe, loyalty program for registered customers and special offers.

Also, please see our separate categories for the early Yamaha RD350 models or the power valve equipped Yamaha RD350 YPVS.

Technical Specifications of Yamaha RD350LC

Model: Yamaha RD 350 LC

Year: 1980-82

Motorcycle Type: Standard Bike

Dry weight: 143 kg

Fuel tank size: 16.50 Litres

Engine, Intake & Transmission

Engine displacement: 347 cc 

Engine: parallel twin two-stroke engine

Top speed: 178.0 km/h (110.6 mph)

Fuel system: VM26 Mikuni Carburettors

Ignition: CDI

Lubrication system: Yamaha autolube

Cooling system: Water cooling

Gearbox: 6-speed gears

Transmission: Chain drive

Starting: Kickstarter

Chassis, suspension, brakes and wheels

Frame type: Tubular Mild Steel

Ground clearance: 165 mm 

Front suspension: Telescopic forks

Rear suspension: Yamaha Monoshock rear suspension

Front brakes: Twin discs brake

Rear brakes: Drum brake

For VIN numbers and colours, please click here RD350LC

For images and more details about the inspirational Japanese bike RD350LC, visit their dedicated club

If you are looking to restore a classic motorcycle, there are still many Yamaha RD350LC for sale on eBay.