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Prior to 1970’s motorcycles were fairly expensive. Each model was innovative and parts were specific to each and every models. However as popularity of racing bikes and demand for their street versions grew, manufacturers were looking for ways to produce in bulk and save cost. Yamaha therefore started factory produced racers - modular motorcycles with interchangeable parts. The great example are the motorcycle classics - Yamaha DS7 R5
The Yamaha R5 was introduced to the market in 1970 - developed as a successor to the 1965 305cc YM1, 1967 350cc YR1, 1968 YR2 & 1969 YR3 / R3 models. It was a street bike designed around the race track success of Yamaha two stokes.
The R5 350 Yamaha motorcycle was a slightly larger sister of the DS7 250cc twin. It was lighter and slimmer than earlier Yamaha motorcycles and it had excellent handling and engine performance. The fact that it was modular meant, that Yamaha R5 350 parts were interchangeable with other models and thus cheaper to replace.
Yamaha R5 350 had air cooled 350cc twin two stroke engine with piston port controlled fuel injection. The horizontally split crankcase housed 5-speed gears and the front wheel as well as rear wheel were fitted with expandable drum brakes. It came in a range of bright colours as well.
1970 Yamaha R5 / YR5 - R5-000101 – 013649 - Metallic Purple/white
1971 Yamaha R5B - R5-015101 – 042209 - Mandarin Orange/white
1972 Yamaha R5C - R5-100101 – 130606 - Mandarin Orange/black
The popularity of the 350cc engine Yamaha R5 started the biggest era of Yamaha motorcycles, continuing 2-stroke program into air cooled reed valved RD350 R5 series and in 1980’s the water cooled RZ350 (USA) or RD350LC (Europe).
As motorcycles evolved so did their parts and factories had to adapt. Some parts are just not economical for Yamaha to produce anymore, so we have decided to stock some high quality reproductions for this classic Yamaha R5. If you can’t find a specific R5 part on our website to fit your Yamaha YR5 restoration project or you need a parts list, please email us.
Here are also some handy links:
Yamaha R5 350 Twin road test article at Motorcycle Classics
Inspirational 4 part video of 1972 Yamaha R5 350 Restoration