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Yamaha RD350 was my first motorcycle, a 350cc, twin cylinder, 2 stroke engine from the year 1988. The full name is Yamaha RD350 YPVS F2 -88, 1WT engine. I have had it since 2015.

Super fun bike to drive. It's very lightweight and power wheelies on first gears.


  • 350cc twin cylinder 2 stroke, 1WT engine
  • Jolly moto exhaust
  • V-Force reed valves
  • 2x 28mm Mikuni flat slide carburetors
  • Zeeltronic PCDI-10VT programmable ignition and exhaust valve controller
  • Iridium spark plugs
  • ~63HP on rear wheel
  • Dry weight ~110 - 120kg ( This is an estimate, original dry weight is 141kg)

Before and after

The after state is still missing rear fairings + rims and front fender should be painted. Also the bike has not been cleaned in a while.

On the left, the day I bought it and on the right some years later. Before and after

The bike also looked like this for a couple of years, but the rear fairing's fasterners kept breaking up from all the vibration, so I didn't want to keep fixing them. Also It's nice to change the look of the bike every now and then. Old fairings

Restoration summary

The bike was undriveable when I got it and required a lot of work to fix it. It had countless problems, but the main issues that the bike had were here: - Gas tank was covered in rust inside - Gas lines and carburetors were covered in rust because of the gas tank. - Carburetor settings were way off, engine didn't rev or run idle. - Didn't rev or idle at all, also oil mixture was so bad that you couldn't see through the smoke from the exhaust. - Didn't know the condition of the crank or the gearbox so engine overhaul was needed. - Steering head bearing was completely done so that the handlebar couldn't be properly moved. - Front fork oil seals were leaking. - Bad battery - Fairings had bad paint and looked like crap so new fairings and seat were needed and a paint job. - A lot of weird "fixes" that the old owner had done which needed to be fixed again.

The bike had been sitting in a garage for the past 5+ years before I bought it so a complete engine rebuild and overhauling pretty much every part of the bike was necessary.

Didn't take too long until the bike was in this condition after buying it: After buying

Can't remember all the details from the rebuild since I'm writing this 5 years after these photos. I'm just going through my old photos, adding some of them here and write what I can remember.

Front forks

Front forks removed Front forks removed

Changing the front fork seals. Front forks


Old top yoke steering bearing. The bike didn't handle very well because the steering bearing had some damage done to it. The steering would get a little bit stuck everytime when the handle bar was straight. Old top yoke bearing

New steering bearing fitted. New bearings were these taper roller bearings, old ones were ball bearings. Top yoke

New bottom yoke bearing

New top yoke. Had to buy it to be able to install a new handlebar that I bought. New handlebard wouldn't fit straight in because the old top yoke was meant for clip-on handle bars. New top yoke

Fitting in a new handlebar. Though later on I have changed it to a different one. Fitting in new handlebar

Rear swingarm

Rear swingarm, linkage and shocks looked like they had seen alot so I took them apart, bought new spacers + other parts and added new lubrication.

Taking the rear swingarm apart. Rearswing 1

Axle and spaces removed Rearswing 2

Rear shock Rear shock

Rear swingarm cleaned Rear swingarm cleaned

Rear swingarm, linkage and shock cleaned. Rear swingarm parts cleaned

Engine and transmission

The engine didn't run very well and it was crazy to even run the engine without knowing the condition of it. The engine had been sitting still for 5 years so it had to be taken apart and refurbish it.

Exhaust valve cable adjuster cover was broken, had to find a replacement from ebay YPVS cover

Taking the engine apart Taking engine apart

Engine had probably seized at some point, piston and cylinder barrels didn't look so good Old piston

Old piston2

Scratches in the cylinder barrel. I had to send the cylinders to a machine shop so they could refurbish the cylinders by drilling a bigger hole in it. Old cylinder barrel

Cleaning YPVS exhaust valves. Later on I ordered used YPVS valves from ebay. They arent cheap.. Clean YPVS

Next, taking the crank case apart. Starting from the clutch. Clutch

Clutch 2

Had to make a tool to hold the clutch in place while loosening the nut + a little leverage for the ratchet 😁. Clutch 3

Behind the clutch Behind the clutch

On the other side, removing the magneto. Remove magneto

Magneto removed Removed magneto

Taking the crank case apart Taking crank case apart

Crank case open Crank case open

Crank and gearbox disassembled Crank removed

Outer crank bearings were making noise so the crank had to be sent to the machine shop with the cylinders. Crank was also measured properly in the machine shop to make sure it wasn't bent.

New pistons. Cylinder + crank arrived from the shop. New pistons

New V-Force reed valves for crispier revving. New V-force valves

Complete Gasket set, clutch plates + clutch springs and exhaust valve seal kit Clutch plates and springs

Refurbished cylinder Refurbished cylinder

Refurbished crank Refurbished crank

One of the crank bearings was not properly in place when it arrived from the shop, no biggie. Refurbished crank bearing clearance

A little crank bearing adjustment Adjusting crank bearing clearance

Assembling the crank case and gearbox Assembling crank case

Putting crank cases back together with some gasket sealant Assembling crank case 2

Building the clutch. Build clutch

Clutch plates in place Build clutch

Building the top of the engine Assemble engine top

Placing the piston rings to the cylinder to measure the piston ring clearance Assemble engine top 2

Measuring piston ring clearance Measure piston ring clearance

Pistons and piston rings in place Pistons in place

Cylinders in place Cylinders in place

Placing the cylinder head gasket Placing cylinder head gasket

Assembling the cylinder head Assemble cylinder head

Assembling the coolant hose and reed valves Assemble reed valves

Engine pretty much built up, thermostat missing still Engine assembled

Engine in place Engine in place

Transmission oil, coolant liquid and 2 stroke oil. Carburetors, cooling system, YPVS and so on had to be assembled at this point also, didn't take pictures though, not that interesting. At the background there is one of the carburetors diving in diesel to clean it, more on this in the tank and fuel lines section. Oils

First start ! 😎 First start


Got to have some performance exhaust on two strokers. More lightweight, more power, better sounds. I didn't find any recordings of my own of jolly moto pipes on RD, but here are some youtube clips:

Received the exhaust Jolly moto

Jolly moto wouldn't sell straight from the factory so I had to contact some swedish moped shop and order the pipes trough them, they added some stickers and sunglasses to the package. Stickers

Jolly moto performance exhaust Jolly moto 2

Left pipe wouldn't fit because the spring holder on the kick stand would get in the way. Fitting exhaust

I relocated the spring holder by welding it to the other side of the kick stand Fitting exhaust 2

Exhaust fitted Exhaust fitted

Tank and fuel lines

Most annoying part of this whole project was trying figure out how to remove the rust from the gas tank. The rust would immediately clog the fuel filters and the jets in the carburetors. I battled with this problem for weeks and tried several different methods.

Rust in the carburetor float bowl. This thick rust/fuel/oil mixture would clog the jets immediately. Float bowl

Also the jets were in very bad shape. Probably not due to rust though. They had this weird coating on. Dirty main jet

The needle jet broke way too easily. Needle jet broke

Removing the rust

Method number 1. I bought a liter of this expensive rust removal chemical from the local hardware store.

First I removed the fuel tap and replaced it with this piece of plexi glass and an o-ring to prevent the chemical from flowing out. Bottom cap

The problem with this one was that this would only cover only a small portion of the gas tank. The chemical has to sit still for hours so doesn't help if you shake the tank. Annitrol in tank

Chemical removed. It did remove the rust from where the chemical was and a clear line with rust can be seen. Annitrol removed

The tank had to be placed in all positions and hope that the chemical would clean the whole tank. Tank position 1

Tank position 2

Placing the tank in different positions didn't really help because the spot where the chemical removed the rust would start to just rust almost immediately after removing the chemical.

Tried to check the tank for rust with this camera + light setup. Tank camera

Lots of rust can be seen in the camera view on the laptop Rust found

So I had to give up with this one and come up with something better.

Method number 2. I went to a local agri market and bought 4 kilos of citric acid. This can be mixxed up with water so that it covers the whole tank.

First I decided to put some screws to the tank so I could shake the tank and remove the biggest rust sections. Screws

The screws worked quite well and I was able to remove this pile of rust from the tank Rust removed

Filled the tank with citric acid and water mixture Acid in tank

I made a custom cap for the tank so that the acid would not break the seals on the normal fuel tank cap. Custom tank cap

I let it sit there for a day, removed the acid and I could see the tank rusting before my eyes. So that didn't work out either. Tank rusting after acid

Method number 3. I found this tank rust removal and zincing kit online for about 60€ and decided to try it. Can't remember the name of the kit sadly, it was the method that finally worked.

It had 3 parts, some rust removal chemical, some sort of anti rust chemical and finally a zinc paint.

The rust removal chemical would need to be added to the tank and shake it properly so that every part of the tank is covered. Then drain out the rust removal chemical and add the anti rust chemical, again proper shaking required. Drain out the anti rust chemical and finally add the zinc paint to the tank and make sure the zinc covers every part of the tank.

Draining the zinc paint out of the tank. Draining zinc

The result Zinc result

I checked the insides of the tank last year ( 2019 ) and the zinc has stayed in there with zero rust. I added the zinc in the tank in 2015.

Taking the carbs apart Carbs apart

Cleaning the jets and other parts Cleaning carbs

Cleaning the fuel tap Cleaning fuel tap

I eventually changed the fuel tap entirely. Don't remember why, maybe it was broken or impossible to clean. Original Yamaha fuel tap. New fuel tap

Cleaning the carbs by placing them into diesel Carbs in diesel

Carbs in diesel

Fairings and paint

I think the bike looked like crap when I bought it so it had to be painted. Also the last owner build the rear fairing using wood and what not so it weighted a ton. Had to buy new fairings because of it.

Took apart the wooden rear fairing thing from the last owner. Old fairings

Found these original rear fairings from ebay New fairings

I hunted for this little piece for a month from the internet and this cost something like 75€! It belongs to the back of the seat, to the rear fairings connecting the right and left side.

Didn't know anyone with a 3d printer at the time, it would have been a lot cheaper and faster to just print one.

I had to also buy a new seat ( back there in the box ) because the old owner sawed the old seat in half to fit the wooden rear fairing. Rear fender piece

Got a new seat cover aswell New seat cover

Removing the old seat cover Removing old seat cover

Old seat cover removed Seat cover removed

New seat cover fitted to the seat. It is stapled on. New seat cover fitted

Testing how the seat would look like Testing new seat

Having some paints made at a paint shop, trying to select a color closest to the white leather on the seat cover. Buying paint

Had these paint cans made. They are proper car paint in a spray can. There's also a primer, a lacquer and some acetone for cleaning the fairings and tank before painting. Car paints

Removing paint from the tank Removing paint from the tank

Sanding the fairings to get rid of the old paint Sanding fairings

Sanded fairings

Fixing some bumps and scratches with filler Filler

Fairings and tank ready for painting Ready for paint

Fairings painted Fairings painted

Fairings painted 2

Tank painted Tank painted

Tank painted 2

Comparing the result to the front light mask Comparing mask

Comparing the result to the seat cover Comparing seat cover

Putting it all together Testing paint result

Testing paint result 2

I was too lazy to sand the front fender because it is more a complex shaped piece so I didn't paint it. I thought I would paint it later but at least haven't yet painted it 5 years later.


Original rear rim had a huge bump in it so it would wobble a lot while driving, new ones had to be hunted from ebay. Old rim

Bought rims on ebay Ordered rims

Found a pair of rims with tires and brake disks New rims

Cleaned them and changed the wheel bearings Changed bearings 1

Changed bearings 2

Also changed the sprockets and bought a new chain Rear sprocket

Checking what would they look like fitted in Checking 1

Checking 2

Rims changed Rims changed


Old meters and headlight looked awful without front fairings and weighted a ton, so I decided to install a lightweight mask ligth. Old meter

Old wirings were a mess. Also includes all sorts of weird connections done by the old owners during the last 30 years. Old wirings

New mask, blinkers and speed meter. I also bought a temperature meter for the liquid coolant ( Temperature sensor is in the cylinder head, measuring the liquid coolant ) New parts

Koso speed meter Koso

Testing the speed meter Testing speed meter

Testing speed meter 2

Testing the front light. Testing front lights

Testing the arrow head blinkers Testing blinkers

Had to change this old blinker relay as well to make the new LED blinkers work. Blinker relay

Testing temperature meter Testing temperature meter

Installed this programmable ignition + exhaust valve control system. Also bought it with this handheld programmer tool ( Zeeltronic PCDI-10VT ). Installing zeeltronic

Installing zeeltronic 2

Installing zeeltronic 3

I installed it so that I could easily just remove the seat, plug in the programmer and adjust settings. Installed zeeltronic

With the zeeltronic programmer, I can adjust the ignition timings and at which rpm area will the exhaust valve start to open and close.


I have been writing this post quite some time now, mainly because finding good pictures from the old albums is time consuming, I think it's best to end the post here.

These pictures include the main things I did during the restoration, but I have countless of pictures from after the restoration because 30 year old bikes tend to break alot. Especially 2 stroke engines with a driving style like mine and when the total amount driven with this is somewhere around 80 000km.

To be honest the bike has been like this for the past 2 yers. Though I drove something like 12 000km with it before this state. Also I had to open the engine at least once during those 12 000 kilometers. Current The engine has been in the back of my garage since the head gasket blew up.

Didn't find motivation to rebuild the engine yet since one of the cylinder head bolts has bigger threads than what can fit through the head gasket, which is 3 layered metal gasket so it's not easy to drill it bigger without having the edges of the bolt holes thickening.

I have had all the required parts to fix it for a while now. Maybe during the next winter I'll finally fix it, not that big of a deal especially after this sort of restoration.