RD 350 or versys

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by jimbobs, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. I had a 4 or 5 year old RD 350 in 1992 or there abouts .ime convinced it was a lot faster than my versys is it just me or was the old girl a faster bike..
    Ime confused about the new bikes.admittedly the fastest bike i have ridden is an R6..but ime confused about the lack of progress in the powe of the versys..its not slow but its certainly not fast..
    Can anyone explain
    Thanks Jim
  2. The Versys isn't designed to be a fast bike but in capable hands it's surprisingly quick. This vid is quite an eye opener-

  3. The RD350 was a highly strung but reliable 2-stoke engine built for performance back in the late 80's when there was no power restriction from emissions/noise/carbon monoxide/hydrocarbons etc etc tests. Great bike btw, I had a mk2 RD350 ypvs. :)

    The poor old Versys has been factory restricted by pretty much anything Euro3, California & Thailand can think of!! :cry:
    True technology on the track has advanced over the years but us poor saps on the road have been legislated into reverse!!

    ECU Modifications – that can be removed from a ECU Re-flash company can reverse all the above nonsense....some examples below:

    * Remove Factory Timing Retard
    * Remove Throttle Restrictions
    * Increased Idle
    * Increased Rev Limit
    * Remove Speed Limiters (Gear Dependent)
    * Reduce Excessive Engine Braking/Improved Deceleration
    * Improved Throttle Control & Reaction
    * Remove Injector Shut-Off on Deceleration
    * Eliminate Factory “Error codes” (ex. exhaust valve, sub throttle)
    * Optimized Fuel Maps
    * Improved Ignition Maps
    * Injector Phasing Adjustment
    * Velocity Stack Switching Adjustment (Variable Stacks Only)
    * Race Fuel Mapping Accommodations

    Basically a ECU Re-flash or performance ECU, a pipe & an open airbox would transform a Versys, if that's what you want.:happy5:
  4. I have seen that thread Tony and that man is talented,feareless and an absolute psycho.
    There is a man called Gary Rothwell .who probably nows my name..i was on the piggeries with Dean mc Donna on a stolen motorbike we where 12 years old...(ime not proud of this)
    Gary Rothwell left us in dust...Dean mc could ride a bike but this **** Gary was born to ride..i can go as fast or as fearless as the man with me...i dont feel the need no more..
    Its about the buzz of a a bike no more......
    Ime going to ride to please myself but if it comes to showing balls...ride with Gary or Dean.....
    And as a side note teach meeeee.....37 years of riding and yes the versts is ordinary in an ordinary riders hands
  5. Who can re-flash the Versys ECU ?
  6. Had an RD250/RD250LC /RD350LC.
    all fast in their day
    And completely different from Versys
    Last bike in Uk was z550a1 still faster than the verseys,but again different and with the suspension and ABS now on the Verseys it would be a closer race with out mods.
    The 550 is in my brothers hands now still and a Classic bike now .
    Wish I had kept the others including my first ride a DT175 which would spray dirt all over the klx250 that I ride now and the Honda 250 .
  7. I must confess I am not at all familiar with the Yamaha RD350 that you guys are talking about. Not sure this bike was ever sold in my home country (US)?

    Is this the bike you guys are talking about?

    Sure doesn't look fast, but I know that looks can be deceiving... Reckon the brakes and suspension on the Versys are light years beyond what's on the bike above...
  8. The RD 350 LC looks pretty cool, but are those single piston calipers up front and a drum brake at the back?! :shock:
  9. As far as I can see only the ER6N at the moment. It takes a long development time to hack an ECU & give back all the power the emissions people took away. Not that many models available for a performance re-flash at the moment but it is a fast growing business!

  10. All these mods seem to be the norm..so i have my heart set on a z800 if its around 400.000b so we need to modify this to get the heart racing...
    Ok i was put off bikes in the UK because of the weather and speed cameras.insurance etc....is it worth just getting a grey book import ...ime completely confused
  11. ^ Reckon a Z800 should be pretty fast right out of the box, and with minor mods performance can certainly be improved.

    The biggest restrictions these days are to intake and exhaust to make bikes comply with noise and emissions requirements.

    There's nothing wrong with a grey market import IF it has a legit green book. Be wary of any seller or shop offering to sell you an invoice-only bike with promises of a green book down the road. Too many tales of woe from folks who have gone down that road.
  12. This was the exact bike I was riding in late 80's/early 90's. Being a 2 stroke twin, this bike was really fast. Extreme acceleration, loved straight lines and hated corners. Was like a missile on the road. I owned the previous version which had drum brakes on both wheels. Excessive power and poor brakes made it a "killer" machine. I consider myself lucky to be alive after the countless amount of crashes I had on this bike.

    The Versys in comparison is a pleasure to ride. Except acceleration, everything else - braking, handling, suspension, riding comfort is way better.
  13. That's what I was thinking- all that power of a 350cc 2-stroke paired with such poor brakes and suspension seems like a recipe for disaster... :twisted:
  14. Kawasaki detuned the Versys, it produces only about 56hp on the dyno. The Ninja should have at least ten more horses.

    In 1989 I "starred" in a Yamaha promotion video for this sexy beast, the 250cc R1Z, in Tokyo.


    They used a Jap rider for insurance reasons and wouldn't let me ride it. It went like stink - literally!

    Don't know if it was ever exported to the US or Europe.
  15. Got a link to support that figure? Lowest published rear wheel hp I've ever seen for the Versys is ~58-59hp


    Let me put it to you in terms you can understand since you're a Honda guy ;)

    The Honda CBR250 and CRF250L use the same basic engine, but tuned differently, right? The road-biased CBR gets more Hp, the dual purpose CRF gets more torque, at the expense of top end Hp. Same goes for the Ninja 650(r) and Versys. Same engine, different tuning. Ninja has higher top end, Versys has more torque. The Versys has shorter gearing and a lower redline than the Ninja 650(R).

    Horsepower, as I'm sure you know, is a derived figure. Here's the formula: HP=(RPM * T) / 5252

    T is Torque, measured in lb-ft.

    Most publications give the Versys around 59Hp at the wheel and 64Hp at the crank-


    In contrast, the old Ninja 650R generated about 64-69Hp (varies by source) and the new Ninja 650 puts out about 69-71Hp (but gained 22Kg / 50 pounds!)

  16. Good information Tony on the power & torque characteristics .

    I much prefer riding a Versys around town & on medium fast roads than a Ninja! I rode quite a tired rental 650 Ninja last week & was very disappointed with the handling & low/mid range power delivery. And the fairing seems to direct burning hot air from the fans onto my body & legs in traffic!! :(

    BTW my RD350 was way quicker & more nimble than any Versys or Ninja sold today. :thumbup:

    I loved my RD350LC F2 YPVS (Yamaha power valve system) back in the 80's. It was the last model in the line of RD350's with fantastic power to weight ratio & the power delivery that only a twin cylinder tuned 2-stroke can provide! The YPVS made the bike super easy & enjoyable in traffic or low speed riding aswell.

    Around 60hp with ungraded brakes front & rear.....more smoother power & much better brakes than the older brutal (some might say deathtrap) early model RD350LC's.

    Beautiful bike & what a joy to ride.


    And yes I was a little bit big for the bike but it didn't matter....lol

    My first new motorcycle was a Yamaha 250 cc YDS-5 the bike that later become a RD350. The Bike had 29HP compared to my Triumph T100S 500cc with 30 hp and 50 kg more.

    Here are pictures of my YDS-5 Electric and My Triumph T100S in 1967:

    The origin of this Yamaha Twin Two Stroke Line was German Adler MB 250 which was a very advanced two stroke model.
    Here You can see pictures of the “original” Adler, the first Yamaha Copy YDS-1 and my YDS-5 with electric start and Autolube you can se above. Actually I actually also owned an YDS-1 project some ten years ago in small pieces but I sold it off, almost already restored, because I couldn’t find the oil seals for the crankcase. The first Yamaha Two Stroke Twins had vertically spitted crankcases but a roll bearing based crank shaft and that needed a special oil seal that was split into two parts. The factory Japan that manufactured them once couldn’t deliver them anymore and all our efforts to fix the problem was in vain, the two stroke engine needs some air pressure in the crankcase to work properly. I actually know quite of lots of old YDS:s waiting for a solution….
    <img src=""http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k95/Low-Ki/Motorcycles/1954AdlerMB250.png[/IMG"


    http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u8/hikobengt/Adler_RS_250ccm_1953.jpg" alt="" />

    ] [ATTACH=full]112710[/ATTACH]

    With the YDS-5 I made my first foreign motorcycle trip, I went to Sweden to spend the Christmas with my family in Sweden. It was in the middle of the winter and I was 16 years old. I left Helsinki Finland by boat to Sweden and arrived in Nynashamn close to Stockholm, six a clock in the morning and -10C. My electric start didn’t have the power when cold so I had to push start the bike in the snow. The triplex carburetor/oil injection cable had frozen (probably because I had lubricated it in advance for the trip with the cable oil lubricator included in the Yamaha toolset) so I had to wait and use some gasoline to make the cables working a while before driving. When reaching the Nynashamn city some 60 km from the harbor I was freezing so damned much that I had to stop to warm me up but all gasoline stations and restaurants were still closed so I went to the police station to get some sensation back into my feet and fingers. My riding gears were not so “good” Leather jacket, jeans with some artificial teddy linings that my mother had sewn, rubber boots with newspaper wrapped around the feet to keep you warm, a Stadium open face helmet, and an oval plastic scoop as eye protection. The plastic scoop worked quite well because it builds up a “over pressure” when driving but you cannot turn your head away from the wind direction then it flies off…

    But I managed to drive to South Sweden some 700 km. Unfortunally I had to stop for the night one time and that ruined my travel budget. But I fixed it by visiting my aunt on the way south because I knew that she gives me 100 Swedish Krones every Christmas. With that money I could afford to buy gasoline for the last kilometers. My aunt still gives me the same 100 krones every Christmas, no inflation correction there and she is now 98 years old….A Swedish krona is about 5 Baht.
    But it was a nice trip, I learned something about motorcycle touring, and maybe I got a little more experienced for future trips.

    But I did have a little more Yamaha Two Stroke experience some years later. Once I thought that I will become a Road Racing Champion so I bought a Yamaha TD1-C racing bike from Sweden. The bike I smuggled “quite legally” to Finland and I did some racing mostly at the Keimola Circuit near Helsinki, but I quickly realized that this was not the play of the game for me. I was and am to scare to drive on the limit so my RR carrier ended quite quickly. Anyhow the bike looked like this:


    Then when I turned into becoming a motorcycle dealer and sold a few hundreds of Yamaha two stroke twins RD125,RD250,RD350 and RD400, Most of them I sold on terms of payment and some of them are still unpaid so I could go and recover the bikes. They may be valuable now and they are still in my name as owner…

    Here is a picture of my favorite RD400, it should be Kenny Roberts Yellow but that color scheme was never sold in Finland.


    The racing fame of the Yamaha Two Stroke line was of course made by Kenny Roberts, Phil Read,Rodney Gould, Bill Ivy, Kel Carruthers, Kent Andersson, Johny Cecotto, Dieter Braun, Carlos Lavado, Eddie Lawson and Giacomo Agostini and many many others.

    But there is one star above them all for Yamaha, the best Road Racer the World ever had seen the Finn Jarno Saarinen. It is in a few months 40 years since he died at Monza”s Curva Grande. He only won one world title in 250 cc with a Yamaha but he outperformed everybody on his Yamahas already as a privateer and most of his competitors admit it. Here You can se a picture at the winning line from Daytona 1973 where he sits on his Yamaha next to his team manager Kel Carruthers who finished second. They were both driving 350 cc Yamahas in the 750 class. Jarno had never been to US before but despite of that he won the race on a undersized 350cc two stroke bike without former experience from the track. The rest of the gang were riding Honda Fours, Kawasaki two strokeTriples,750 BSA and Triumph 4 stroke triples and some outdated Harleys.

    And here is Jarno in Action in the Daytona race:


    And here is one of the thousands of writings about Jarno, This one from BikePlanet.com
    Remembering Jarno
    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Jarno Saarinen in 1972. After decades of being in Kel Carruthers' garage, his Daytona winning bike now sits in the Barber Museum.
    image : thanks. yamaha
    Klaas Tjassen's biography "Jarno Saarinen: the Flying Finn" slipped off the bookshelf here at Soup last week and after paging through it we were left struck by so many things about the man who may well be the fastest Finn ever. The subject of the book is Jarno Saarinen, who is the only Finn to win a world championship.
    Saarinen won the 250cc world title in 1972 and finished second to all-time god Giacomo Agostini that season in the 350cc class for Yamaha. Saarinen started the 1973 season with three consecutive victories aboard a Yamaha in 250cc, with his smallest margin of victory at 13 seconds. He also won two of the first three 500cc races, with only a broken chain in Germany ending that perfect mark.
    He was on top of the world, seemingly headed toward a title double in just his fourth season. And then he was gone.
    Saarinen was killed in a crash May 20, 1973 during the 250cc race at Monza. Renzo Pasolini fell right in front of Saarinen, who couldn't avoid hitting him. That triggered a multi-bike pileup.
    Many racers today stay in the sport as long as their bodies and willing team managers will allow, and then they stick around the sport for years after their riding careers end in some capacity. It's all they know.
    But Saarinen was a different breed of cat, in so many ways. He finished fourth in the 1970 250cc World Championship as a rookie despite missing the last three races - to return to his engineering studies. That's unthinkable in this day.
    That perfectionist engineering brain helped Saarinen tune his bike before his days as a factory rider. And even after joining the works Yamaha team, Saarinen kept meticulous records of every aspect of his bike and the circuits, such as weather, track surface conditions, gearing and other tuning parameters. The guy was dialed into his relationship with his machine.
    But racing didn't consume Saarinen like so many today. His girlfriend at the time, Solii Karme, wrote in a foreword to the biography "Jarno Saarinen: The Flying Finn" that he often told her: "Racing is only a hobby for me. Later on I will have a regular job."
    So it's understandable that Karme concluded her foreword to the autobiography with this chilling warning: "I want to say to all of the young riders who admire Jarno, choose any sport but motorcycle racing. Stay alive and enjoy your sporting life."
    And much like Sir Jackie Stewart in Formula One, Saarinen was keenly aware of his mortality on a motorcycle and worked to champion safety at a time when "shut up and put up" was the only mantra that mattered in racing. Saarinen was no fan of the insane risks of the Isle of Man TT, never competing there, and he criticized the track surface and the Armco barriers lining the circuit at Monza shortly before his death.
    He also told Karme that he was going to quit after the 1973 season, at age 27, if he won one championship and maybe continue for one more year if he won two titles. The man knew the odds of a serious accident rose the longer he raced, and Karme recalled how he told her, "I want to live to become an old man and enjoy life after my racing career."
    So it's understandable that Karme concluded her foreword to the autobiography with this chilling warning: "I want to say to all of the young riders who admire Jarno, choose any sport but motorcycle racing. Stay alive and enjoy your sporting life."
    Saarinen's legacy always is worth remembering. His comet streak across the racing sky was too brief, but his riding style bred on ice and dirt racing influenced many to come, including one Kenny Roberts.

    But Yes the RD350 was a fantastic machine, it was killed by some stupid legalization making two strokers impossible to sell. But it was for sure more powerful than my 650 Kawasaki”s.

  18. Sure, click here: http://www.motorcycle.com/gallery/gallery.php/v/main/shoot-outs/2012-honda-nc700x-vs-kawasaki-versys/2013-honda-nc700x-vs-kawasaki-versys-vs-triumph-scrambler-hp-torque-dyno1.jpg.html?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_NOISSES_PMT

    It's a nice comparo featuring the Versys, the Triumph Scrambler and one of your favorites, the NC700X!

    Versys: 56,7hp @ 8,300 rpm, 39,4 ft-lb. @ 7,200 rpm; Triumph Scrambler: 50,4hp @ 6,700 rpm, 44 ft-lb. @5,100 rpm; NC700X: 47,7 hp @6,400 rpm, 42,6 ft-lb. @ 4,700 rpm.

    Of course no two dynos are the same or come up with the exact same results, that's why Europeans and especially the Germans are mostly interested in crank hp. You can believe what you prefer, a motorcycle mag established in 1994 or wikipedia.

    "The Honda CBR250 and CRF250L use the same basic engine, but tuned differently, right? The road-biased CBR gets more Hp, the dual purpose CRF gets more torque, at the expense of top end Hp. Same goes for the Ninja 650(r) and Versys. Same engine, different tuning. Ninja has higher top end, Versys has more torque. The Versys has shorter gearing and a lower redline than the Ninja 650(R).

    Horsepower, as I'm sure you know, is a derived figure. Here's the formula: HP=(RPM * T) / 5252

    T is Torque, measured in lb-ft."

    I've always wondered what the difference between hp and torque was. Thanks for clearing that up! ;-)
  19. You're welcome :)

    Since you want to bring in your beloved NC700X into the discussion, why not include the actual review?

    5:53 sums it up nicely :cool:
  20. I used to race RD 250/350 LC's back in the early 80's and owned a couple of YPVS's. In the right hands and being touched by God (Stan the Man - Stan Stephens) in Kent, these bikes could either blow anything away that was a four stroke on the twisties. As a particularly silly twit I challenged a mate of mine to a one lapped around the Heathrow Airport Perimiter road ( Peri-track) on a touched RGV 250. The bloke didn't stand a chance on that bloody deisel, I whipped his **** on a bike with quarter of the CC's. Best fun bikes on the planet, and I am sorry that they were put in extinction.
  21. Thanks Muzz for a trip down memory lane, I bought a stage 2 ported RD250LC head & racing reeds from Stan the Man about 26yrs ago!! Incredible power band....:thumbup:

    Those were the days, racing round the airport perimeter road & 30 bikes racing thru West London from Chelsea bridge to Heston services at 150mph before speed cameras lol .....crazy days!! If the police weren't fast enough to catch ya, you got away it!
  22. Thanks guys
    I thought it was just me being about 20 years old and a total maniac ....oh the joys of youth.....it was the power band i remember...i had the 350lc ..white .no one got near me even the big bikes strugggled untill i got on the motorway...i heard someone say it didnt handle well....i rippee the plumbs and swapped it for a Norton chopper....its was a piece of shit...ended up strangling the fella who had me off..
    You are right tho the versys is alot more steady.but i enjoyed the powwr band and the front lifting in 1st and second..
    Great days thanks guys...if anyone has got one for sale ide love to talk
  23. Jim. I also used to race a Yamaha TZ350G, if ever there was an animal she was one of 'em. Even with power jet carbs, there was absolutely no powere until about 6500, then it came in with such a smack, you had to be hanging on. I have ridden RG500 TZ500 TZ750, all far more powerful but for the grin factor the TZ350 was the one for me.

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