2008 RD350 is the retro Yamaha should build

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Yamaha_RD_350_2008.jpgImage: Oberdan Bezzi

We’ve got a confession to make. While the 2009 VMax is really cool and we look forward to riding it, it’s not a bike we’d ever be interested in owning. At $17,990, it’s not one we could afford either. No, our tastes tend toward the lightweight, the responsive and the challenging; enter the RD350.
>This design concept from Motosketches envisages a new model from
Yamaha, one that takes a similar approach to the VMax in that it
reinterprets a cult model with contemporary pace and parts. A simple,
lightweight, high-specification, medium cost, naked two-stroke would
satisfy enthusiasts left cold by the extreme competence of modern
sportsbikes while still being capable of tackling a back road or a
racetrack with aplomb.  A steel tube framed, two-cylinder RD could
compete on price and performance with something like an SV650 or FZ6,
but offer much more involvement and reward to the experienced rider.

via Motosketches

  • http://www.knjmoto.com Matt

    I do own a liter bike and I love it, but I gotta say I think this is the future of motorcycling. A sporty, attractive, LIGHTWEIGHT, fun, fuel efficient piece of motormetal. I would love to have something like this in the garage.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

    Yeah, it’s not that we don’t love liter bikes (we really, really do), it’s that sometimes it’d be nice to hop on something small and simple and challenging.

    600s now are as fast as liters were five years ago, there’s just a gap for something with less outright performance, but just as much intention.

  • http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305107 Jeff

    I don’t understand. Is there anywhere in the western world that still allows two-stroke engines on the streets??

    I love the idea though.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

    Anywhere that doesn’t begin with a U and end with an SA.

    We know it’s totally unrealistic to expect to see any future two-stroke road bikes, but that can’t stop us from dreaming.

    • Alex

      I own a RD 350 here and 2 strokes are perfectly legal here in the USA

  • Alb

    I dont get it tho, they dont allow the use of 2 stroke engines but they do allow the use of 7000 cc cars…
    thats irrational isnt it?

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

    Selling a couple thousand strokers would have less impact on spotted owls than one of Al Gore’s private plane trips. Don’t get us started on the hypocrisy of the green movement.

  • Alb

    LOL good point there! ^^^

  • Peter

    Wish there were more smaller displacement, lighter bikes available in the US. This looks badass. Hopefully somebody at Yamaha, or at any of the companies really, will get a clue.

  • larry

    I’ve had FZR1000′s to R1′s and my best memories are with the smaller 2-stroke bikes. RZ 350′s are with no doubt one of the finest to come out of Japan!

  • http://www.2-strokers.com Alan Pulsifer

    I own a Yamaha Y/B RZ350 and a Suzuki GT750 (Waterbuffalo) I love my 2 strokes. I would totally jump on the 2008 model pictured. That bike is Bad.

    We have the largest 2 stroke show in the USA coming up in August in CA. See link at http://WWW.2-strokers.com

  • Kage


  • karthick

    im searching for a rd350 but this impressed me a lot..it should be launched and hit the street roads.what would be its cost

  • Scott

    A look back at technology in the 80`s.. the two stroke was doomed.. I think with current processor speeds and fuel injection/catalyzers the two stroke of this displacement could pass current standards? The mileage increases would be considerable.. horsepower has always been about efficiency…burn it all every time..hence the little engine that could… There has been some development work around two strokes with fuel injectors… perhaps even direct injection if your not afraid of the pressures required to keep the injector nozzle clean in the combustion chamber on a motorcycle… Anyone have any idea how many two stroke leaf blowers and edgers, ect. are running out there on a daily basis across this country? ludacrist regulators..

  • Glenn Roberts

    I thought this was a free country,we should be able to own one of these jewels. This is just what i have been waiting for (nice bike) they need to build it and people will buy it no matter what.

  • Boris

    The two stroke are coming back?

    Why not?!
    With the modern electronics, direct fuel injection and catalisators, I’m convinced that a modern two stroke motor will respect the law and give us superb emotions and sounds.

    ring ring ring ing in ing gn gn gn

  • stevie k.

    This is an outstanding looking bike, wish yamaha would get there act together and build it, even as a 4 stroker.
    Used to have the real McCoy when i was in my twenties, serious bit of kit then, loved every minute of it. We also had a race series back in N.Ireland for them as well.
    If this was introduced into the UK now, it would be a best seller without a doubt, it’s a boyz toy.
    Well done Obi!!!!! Fantastic design.

    Stevie k.

  • danny ab

    great sketch! i know in 2006 yamaha got 3 stars in usa for their direct injection 2 stroke machine on vmax hpdi jetboat. did they already applied it in their streetbikes in usa? i wonder when will yamaha produce 2 stroke again since their last 2008 rx 135cc here in indonesia. love the environment, but why not new gen 2 strokes ? they are clean, silence, more efficient, and the most: power to weight.

    can’t wait 2 strokes reborn here.