RD Reissue: A Yamaha R3 engine powers this RD350 tribute


Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi
Any dialog about the nice previous days of motorcycling will finally embody the phrases “they don’t construct ’em like they used to.” After which somebody will point out the Yamaha RD350.

The fiery two-stroke was cherished when it was launched, acquired even wilder because it developed, and has been missed ever because it was discontinued. Given the bike business’s present obsession with nostalgia, the time is ripe for a contemporary tackle the enduring RD—however there aren’t any indicators that Yamaha plans to resurrect it. In spite of everything, ever-tightening emissions legal guidelines have put the kibosh on two-stroke improvement.

Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi
Customized builder Renato Frateschi remembers the RD350 properly—notably the later RD350 YPVS F2, which made waves in his native nation of Brazil when it was launched in 1987. (When you don’t understand it, it was referred to as the RZ350 within the USA.) With over 60 horses on faucet and a paltry curb weight, it was an immediate hit.

Like many, Renato misses the RD350. So when he and a shopper couldn’t fairly choose a path for a customized construct, he got here up with a radical proposal. “Look, I’ve an RD350 chassis and gas tank right here,” Renato informed his shopper, “and I feel we will do one thing superb with it.”

Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi
The shopper agreed, and Renato set about sourcing an engine for the bike. Since the price of an authentic, good situation RD350 energy plant would have wrecked the finances, the thought was to create a contemporary tribute to the enduring Yamaha. So he settled on utilizing the four-stroke, twin-cylinder mill from the entry degree Yamaha R3 sportbike.

Housing the trendy parallel twin in a classic RD350 body took some doing, however that wasn’t Renato’s solely problem. These following the undertaking had been fast to level out that the R3’s efficiency is a good distance off from the RD350’s. So Renato did the one logical factor he might: he added a turbocharger.

Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi
A small turbocharger was imported from Japan, and mounted discreetly simply in entrance of the engine’s exhaust ports. Renato put it there to combine it into the bike’s design—however the placement additionally helped to reduce turbo lag.

Subsequent, he needed to discover area for the air consumption, injectors, sensors, and an ECU chip that might enable him to tune the bike (through smartphone). So he designed and 3D-printed a tidy field to accommodate all the pieces. The R3 engine nonetheless appears petite, however now packs a sneaky punch.

Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi
As for the chassis, Renato carried out a slew of modifications to accommodate the engine, and to bolster the body for a safer journey. He additionally managed to drag it off with out ruining the RD350’s traditional traces.

The fashionable theme continues with a number of upgrades to the Yamaha’s operating gear. It now rolls on 17” wheels (in contrast to the RD350’s authentic 18” models), with a Triumph Daytona 675 swingarm and shock out again. The entrance brake calipers are Brembo models; they’re mounted on CNC-machined aluminum spacers, and pinch 300 mm discs.

Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi
For the bodywork, Renato turned to digital strategies to get all the pieces good. First, he created a rendering of the total bike, in order that the shopper might see precisely what he was shopping for into. As soon as that was signed off, the fairing, tail part, entrance fender and stomach pan had been all 3D printed in a tricky ABS plastic.

The tail piece takes inspiration from Yamaha’s iconic race-spec TZ sequence, and includes a distinctive wraparound taillight design. The entrance finish echoes the design of the Suter MMX 500 race bike, whereas twin headlights pay homage to the 1987 RD350 YPVS F2. Sitting middle stage is the unique RD gas tank, modified to simply accept the R3’s gas pump.

Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi
Ending equipment features a CNC-machined prime yoke, with new clip-ons, grips and bar-end mirrors. The exhaust system is customized; its twin mufflers supply a small hat tip to the RD350’s twin pipes.

Renato has nicknamed his creation ‘RD Turbo,’ and wrapped it in a livery to match. Shiny pink ‘velocity blocks’ sit on a matte black base; one other nod to the bike that impressed this construct.

Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi
It took Renato two years to construct the RD Turbo, stretching the boundaries of his and his suppliers’ abilities. There have been hurdles aplenty—from determining easy methods to mate a brand new engine to an previous body, to 3D-printing elements with an unusually massive floor areas.

However ultimately, all of it got here collectively—proving that it is doable to construct a contemporary tackle the legendary RD350.

Frateschi Storage Fb | Instagram | Photographs by Gustavo Epifanio

Yamaha R3-powered RD350 tribute by Frateschi


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